11 November, 2013

Pendleton Pillows

I made a barter deal with my cubicle-mate, Darcy. She's getting a new couch and I told her I would sew her a couple of pillows. When I pulled out my home dec boxes and wools, I found this Pendleton Wool that worked with her colors.

I found this Pendleton Wool at a garage sale in Aurora (I remember exactly where!) probably 15 years ago.


A jacket (and lining) that was cut out and ready to sew up but the sew-er lost interest. I loved it because it was Pendleton wool.

This wool 'jacket' UFO languished in my stash until the Darcy project. I was going to mix and match some wools with pleather for the back side. Some strips, some rectangles. Random strips.

I was going to make a cording rolled edge but didn't have cording the right size and, frankly, I just needed to make pillows and not get all fancy on the design.

While the back is sewed with strips of coordinating wools from my stash, I loved the simplicity of it when I finally turned the corner this morning into having a finished project.

Here's the UFO pattern - Simplicity 9522. Vintage 80's length meant I had plenty of material. The second pillow front was pieced in the upper corners (armhole scye) but not that you would ever notice.
Utilizing my black vinyl pleather set up a good contrast with the deep red of the wool.

Various wools littering my sewing room floor. Those two pieces in center front are the left & right hand fronts to the jacket. I still have plenty of wool left!

I love these pillows. Darcy and I might have custody issues over these stunning Pendleton pillows!

Darcy and I had each others backs during my Portland detail job. She made me go walking at lunchtime -down by the river and to check in on the police horses every day - five times a week. She went with me on 'field trips', to the print shop, downstairs to drop our mail and other breaks. She kept me sane while I was commuting and working so many hours.
Her barter is to give a me a bunch of vintage sewing supplies.

Even better, I managed to piece two pillows that basically match - pretty dang well.

Here's my pieced back. I lightened (contrast/brighten) the photo up and the reds went a bit fuscia.

Everything came from my stash, including an 18"  & 22" zippers. They are both blue. I used a flap to cover the zipper and that turned out well.

My tip for making pieced pillows like this is start and try to keep to 19" wide - for an 18" pillowform (knowing I will be using 1/4" serged seams at the end).  However, fabrics shift while sewing and what you are really headed for is 18 1/4" by the time you trim &  serge the edges together with a 1/4" seam. This makes the finished pillow top 17.75" which makes the 18" pillowform sit tighter inside - poufing out those corners.

If anyone wants the multi-sized UFO jacket pattern, holler at me and I will mail it to you.

10 November, 2013

Chicken Curry - Mulligatawny Soup

Two weekends ago I made a new soup.

I found it in a Susan Wiggs book. It might have been The Apple Orchard. Or not. I was reading a couple of Wigg's books at the time.
There were various recipes at the start of each chapter.

It's a pureed soup with plenty of veggies.

Onion, Apple, Celery, Carrot,Tomato, Bell Pepper. Diced.

Used up my vintage Curry Powder and bought Garam Masala spices at my local Thriftway.

This is such a great soup. Perfect for Fall. It can be easily changed up - if you want it vegetarian - just use vegetarian stock and leave out the chicken.

Mulligatawny Soup
from a Susan Wigg's novel.

1 whole boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
salt & pepper
4 Tbsp. butter (separated)

diced fruits & veggies, including a whole onion, whole apple, stick celery, a carrot, a tomato, a bell pepper.

1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour (Rice flour)
1 Tbsp. Curry Powder
1 tsp. Garam Masala
4 cups chicken stock (I used beef stock because we are out of chicken)
1 cup cream or plain yogurt (Coconut Milk)
Cayenne pepper to taste

Season diced chicken with salt & pepper. Warm two tbsps. of butter over medium-high heat in a wide, deep pot. Add chicken and saute until golden; remove chicken and keep warm.

Add the rest of the butter to pot and reduce heat to medium. Add diced veggies and garlic and saute until mixture starts to brown.
Sprinkle in flour, curry pwd. and garam masala.

Add the chicken stock and stir to combine, then simmer until veggies are soft. Puree with your immersion blender or in batches in your counter-top blender.
The soup doesn't need to be perfectly smooth.

Add cream/yogurt/coconut milk. Season with salt & pepper , cayenne. Top with unsweetened coconut flakes.

Kathy's notes:
I only used half an onion as I have problems with onions. I used 1 1/2 apples - using up the rest of my lunch-time apple -- don't. The sweetness is interesting - keep it to one apple.
I also would use more chicken. One chicken breast was about 12 oz. This could be due to the size of my veggies - creating more soup. For instance, I used two stalks of celery, not believing one was enough.
My big substitutions were rice flour and coconut milk. Great tasting soup; leading me to believe you could substitute whatever is in season as long as you have the curry powder and garam masala spices.

This is a great tasting soup to add to my repertoire.

added: Once pureed, the soup is a light tan color - forgot to take photo. Had unexpected company. They agreed - Great soup.