Friday, September 25, 2009

Old trick, new dog

When you sew something right sides together then turn it right side out, it can sometimes be a chore to iron the seams flat--especially when batting, interfacing etc. is involved and wants to puff out. Here is my solution. I take a scrap piece of fabric (I like flannel) and fold it once or twice. Put it on a coolwhip or other plastic lid and add water. The lid has a well to catch any excess water. While ironing your item, wet your fingertips on the flannel and it will give you traction to beat that seam into submission!

Here is one of my organizers right after turning. See how puffy it is? That water trick really helps!

Now it's nice and flat and ready to topstitch.

Ta Da! Sew on my button and I'm done.

OK, that's the old trick. Here's the new dog.

Meet my new granddog, Walter. He is a South African mastiff and is just a couple or so months old. Full grown he will be about 150 pounds. My son has a small house so he should be constantly underfoot by then. Right now he is just a sweet, floppy puppy.

I will be gone for a little over a week on vacation. I'll catch up with you when I get back!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lace scarf completed

Another knitting project off the needles.


Into the Christmas box. OK, now to find another knitting project.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tailgating bag

My friend's son CJ is a huge fan of our local professional soccer team, the Columbus Crew, and enjoys tailgating before games. He asked me to make him a bag to hold 2 small propane tanks for his portable gas grill. He wanted a pocket or two for other misc. items and it to be in black with yellow trim since black and yellow are the team colors of The Crew. Well, as with any other custom order, I had to mull it over for awhile to get the right pattern in my head.
This is what I came up with. I used black denim for the body of the bag. For a neat effect, I put in a zippered diagonal pocket on the flap. Yellow zipper of course. Parachute clasp for closure. Also adjustable web strap with another parachute clasp.

With the flap open, another zippered pocket with yellow trim. You can also see the key fob I sewed in the side.

This was the trickiest part of making up the pattern. How to include a divider so the 2 propane tanks don't bang against each other. This part really burned up some brain cells! (thanks Stephanie for helping me brainstorm!) First off, I used denim covered timtex stabilizer for the divider. Attached the divider to 2 seams in the front and back of the lining. The divider is not attached to the lining bottom. In fact, I left about a 1/2-inch space at the bottom. Enough space to put in a piece of plexiglass for stability (can you see light reflecting off the plexiglass?)

I installed a 3-D zippered pocket on the back of the bag.

Both sides of the bag have pockets with elastic tops and pleated bottoms. Great for carrying water bottles.

Whew! Well, I'm pleased at how it turned out. Hopefully, it will work out well.

That's all for today. Talk at you later. Rumi

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lacy scarf and more basil fun

Well, the local weatherman is predicting frost by the end of the month. I must do more with that basil before frost turns into a black yucky mess. OK, I rinsed my basil leaves well then stacked them on my cutting board with a large leaf on the bottom. I rolled it up tightly cigar style.
I sliced it up thin and then ran my knife a couple of times in the opposite direction (that part not shown but you know what I mean)

Next I placed them in a couple of ice cube trays and filled it up with water. Into the freezer they go.

Next time I am making spaghetti sauce or anything else that I want basil in, I just pop a frozen cube or two into the pot--no need to defrost, it will melt in the pot.
While I'm at it, let me give you one of my favorite pesto recipes. Easy and delicious! This makes enough for 4 sandwiches.
Mix about 3 tablespoons pesto with about 2 tablespoons of mayo (adjust to your tastes)
Add about 10 ounces of shredded or cubed cooked chicken and mix until the chicken is well coated with pesto goodness.
Grad some good bread and pile on the chicken. Add a slice of provolone, a slice of tomato and some lettuce to each and enjoy with 3 of your friends.

Now onto some knitting!
I bought some lace weight yarn at the knitting convention in June. I had never knit with this weight yarn and quite frankly, I was afraid to. The yarn is so fine that it is akin to knitting with spider webs. (ok, a bit of an exaggeration but it is very, very fine!)
Well, I took the plunge and bought some--I couldn't resist this lovey blue! My fears were unfounded. Yes, it is a bit tricky getting used to working with lace weight but it was not the impossible feat I had anticipated. Here is the lovely scarf I am making. This is slated for a Christmas gift.

Can you see a thin red line almost halfway down the photo. That is red quilting thread. Mary Grace of Hooked on Needles posted that neat trick recently on her blog. She called it a "lifeline". I have been knitting for years and did not know about this fabulous trick! You run a thread through your stitches at the beginning of your repeat rows. My scarf pattern has a 16 row repeat. At every "row 1" I weave this red line through with a large eye yarn needle. That way, if I make a horrible mistake or if the project should slip off the needles, I can unravel to the red thread and know that that is row 1 and I can pick up from there. Knock on wood, I have not had to use that lifeline but it is nice to know it is there, just in case!

That's all for today. Talk at you later! Rumi

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Birdie, revisited

Yeah! I had some time to work on my birdie quilt. Here is a pic of the top corner.
Ta Da! Whatcha think? Several people suggested that instead of a narrow white first border, I should pick one of the colors in the quilt. Good call people! I like it! I decided to jazz it up a bit in the corners by using some more of the birdie fabric. (ahem, this decision was easy to make since I was a tad short on the blue border fabric.)

Now comes my least favorite part--putting it together and quilting it. Hopefully it will not languish in my UFO pile!

Talk at you later. Rumi

Thursday, September 3, 2009


My 2 basil plants have done very well this year. Look at all this! I must make a dent in it! How about some pesto! I'm making a double batch so I need 4 packed cups of leaves.

Be sure and look on the backsides of the leaves. Those pesky insects!

Well, not a big dent in my plant but a dent none the less.

The stripped stalks go into the compost bin out back.

I gave the leaves a good rinse and patted them dry with kitchen towels.

Next I toasted up some pinenuts in a skillet. Don't walk away while toasting them; they can burn in the split second your attention is diverted! Mmmm, smells good in here!

Whirl up in the food processor along with fresh garlic.

Mix in the freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I put the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze them. When frozen solid, I pop them out and put them into zip top freezer bags. I'll take out as many as I need for a recipe.

I made enough pesto to fill 1 1/2 ice cube trays.


I got this recipe from the food network. Here it is for those of you who are interested.

Giada's Pesto

2 cups fresh basil--packed
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup (approximately) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In food processor pulse everything except olive oil and cheese until finely chopped.
With the food processor running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in parmesan cheese. Season with more salt and pepper to your taste.
Can be made 2 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: This tends to turn dark after being exposed to the air so if I am not freezing this, I will put the pesto in a container and place plastic wrap directly on top of the pesto to seal it from the air.