Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Love Pincushions

There I've said it and I'll say again...I LOVE PINCUSHIONS! Whether they're magnetic, decorative, or just functional...I love them all. Here's my collection. They all sit in various spots around my sewing room. Nearly every time JoAnn's notions wall is on sale I buy more pins.

The one I've circled is my very favorite. I've had it more than 20 years. It's actually a paper clip holder but has served me well as a pin holder.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Super Easy Chicken Tortilla Dump Soup

I promised this recipe to Faye at Faye's Sewing Adventure a week ago! I'm such a terrible friend...sometimes. Better late than never!


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 32 oz chicken broth or 2 cans
  • 1 can diced chili seasoned tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can verde enchilada sauce
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 pack taco seasoning mix
  • 2 packs dry onion soup mix
Combine (dump) all ingredients into a large stockpot or slow cooker. I always make mine in my slow-cooker. Set on low for 8 hours. On stovetop, cook over low heat until chicken can be easily shredded. Remove thighs, shred, add back to pot. I like to add a dollop of Tex-Mex sour cream and crumbled Fritos on top! Enjoy.

Project Runway Inspired Tunic

Not a Project Runway pattern you say?? I didn't say pattern I said " inspired" tunic. I like to sew while watching Project Runway! I started with the Cynthia Rowley pattern above. I made my usual FBA and then had to do a bit of finagling to fit all the pieces on the fabric after I managed a huge snag in the fabric.

I added 1" to the side seams from the waist down for more of an A-line shape and shortened the hem 3". I drafted a "kangaroo" pocket for the front because I wanted an "artsy, fartsy" design. Finally I drafted a front and back facing and cut it from the faux leather I scored at the American Sewing Expo in 2013. What really drew me to this pattern is the slit elbow sleeves. This tunic stitched up very fast, came out exactly like I envisioned and is super comfortable. Although the neckline is a little wonky, it's not a deal breaker and will be in regular rotation with my new-to-me casual style. I plan to wear it with leggings and boots. There will be another rendition of this tunic. I do need to fine tune the elbow slita. It seems my slits aren't allowing my elbows to stick out as I envisioned but it's certainly bears repeating. The fabric is from JoAnns and was 60% it's original price.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just checking in

I've been a very lazy blogger lately. I haven't been sewing as much as I usually do but I'm still getting it in. I've been making tons of cards and you can check those out at my other blog at "I'm Black Martha."

Mostly I've been dealing with a health issue. I was told I had asthma but that just didn't sit right with me. Through research and perseverance I more or less diagnosed myself. Now the doctors have all agreed. I have been suffering from sarcoidosis for at least five years! WTH. I thought all my aches and pains and symptoms were a part of the aging process. That is until my blood pressure topped out at 191/104 and resting pulse rate was 94. I knew something was wrong! I'm currently on medication and a heart monitor while they try to figure out how much damage has been done to my lungs in particular and other organs.

Just image, I've had four surgeries in that five years which have more or less remained inflamed for just as long! The main treatment is steroids and before you say it "long-term use almost always guarantees an enormous weight gain." What a bummer. If the steroids can give me some relief I'm all for them. I started the steroid therapy on Wednesday. I can't believe I woke up Thursday morning with no joint aches! I mean not a single one. I am just thrilled. I'm still very tired but now that I'm getting some relief, maybe I'll be more in the mood to sew.