Plans Gone Awry

I woke up Monday morning with the urge to finish up some unfinished projects in the sewing department of my life. I keep a drawer in my studio space that holds all unfinished projects. Cut pieces for small quilts, half finished aprons, hand drawn pattern pieces for clutch purses, etc...
I gathered the rather large pile that has accumulated over the past few months and brought it down to the kitchen island to sort through and order the attack on these little lovelies.

Now it is Thursday and not much has happened. My little Pfaff sewing machine is giving me lots of trouble this week. I have adjusted, cleaned and adjusted again & again every aspect of this machine and yet it leaves me with stitches looking like this. I am beyond frustrated. I have lots of grumblings under my breath (calling my machine not-so-nice names at times), which Mike finds quite amusing. Me, not so much.

In kitchen news I thought I'd share a little tip that is helpful in getting meals made a little quicker. I often add chopped (nearly minced) mushrooms as a base to many soups, chowders, stews and sauces we make. I really don't like mushrooms so much but in minced up bits, added to onion to brown and caramelize, they add a depth of flavor and earthiness to things like wild rice soup or beef stew that I don't get otherwise.

Quite often I find mushrooms on super sale at the grocery store. Last week I found 2 packages of baby bella mushrooms for $.79 a package. I brought them home, cleaned them, pulsed them in the food processor a few times, put them in a mason jar and into the freezer they went ~ ready to use at a moments notice.

Do you have any quick tips to share? I am always up for learning new time saving methods in the kitchen. Oh how I love to cook, but with 3 little ones underfoot, any bit of "help" I can get is invaluable.


  1. You probably already tried this but I know for I always forget to change my needle, maybe that will work?
    Love the mushroom tip! I pre-cook my hamburger and freeze for quicker cooking in recipes.

  2. Great idea about the hamburger. Hadn't thought of that. I precook chicken sometimes but overlooked the hamburger idea. Thanks!
    And yes, changed the needle. No difference, unfortunately.

  3. Argh! That is so frustrating with the sewing machine. I wish I could help, but I'm useless with that sort of stuff.

    My kitchen tip these days is making veggie stock. I keep the butt ends of mushrooms, onions, carrot peels, and all the other trimmings. When I have a large container full I add water and make a simple stock.

  4. I actually have a section called 'Quick tips' on my website!;)

    here's one:


  5. here's the whole (small) lot;)

    I'm totally doing the mushrooms!!!:)
    Thanks, friend!

  6. I'm no help AT ALL with the sewing, but as for the fast cooking tips; I find almost anything can be frozen and used later. I get hot peppers in bulk from the farmers market in the summer, blitz them in my food processor to dice them, and then toss in a bag and freeze and use them throughout the winter. I do the same for onions and regular peppers. I peel and slice apples to use in desserts and pancakes and for applesauce in a hurry. Actually, I freeze a lot of fruit fresh from picking: blueberries, raspberries, peaches and strawberries all are great on yogurt. I either mike them briefly, or toss in some warm water to thaw. I make cheese or meat filled bagels in a bunch for last minute lunches for kids. Cake gets sliced and wrapped and bagged for individual desserts. You name it I have probably tried freezing it!Even egg whites! The worst is finding it all in the freezer afterwards!!

  7. I have a Pfaff and went through the same thing, plus the thread broke ALL the time. It went on for about a year. (Completely frustrating!) I had some neat older ladies over for tea and they did something for me that seemed so simple, but seemed to work.

    They made a little square of fabric for me to sew on when I was at the end of whatever I was sewing. That way, I'm not pulling the threads everytime I finish. (It saves on thread and my sanity.) They made three of them because you usually have one where your stitches start, then one at the end. It has a name... but I can't remember it. (It's similar to chain piecing.)

    Not sure if that helps at all. :)

    In the kitchen, I make a full dish of lasagna, cut them and individually wrap them with Saran wrap and freeze in a larger ziplock bag. They make perfect lutes for Pete or quick, hearty dinners for the fam. (Someone gave me a bag of these when I was pregnant and they were perfect!!)

    Praying for you guys!

  8. Def always have browned hamburger in the freezer and also precook chicken but have it chopped up for soups and casseroles. if you have a baking day bake extra muffins and freeze for quick can freeze lasagna and stuff like that too so when you are making 1....go ahead and double and freeze one to eat in a couple of weeks!

  9. I hate sewing machine issues! I'm going to try that with the mushrooms. I use some of the same tips already mentioned. Usually when planning my menu for the week I think about what I can make extra of later but so it would appear to be related. For example - Weds. night is homemade pizza night, so I will make enough pizza dough (double it) for the night, and then store the rest covered with saran wrap in the fridge for stromboli the either Thursday or Friday evening....

  10. Me again. Not that I know much (well, anything) about sewing, but my mom mentioned to me that the first things she always does with her machine, before fiddling with the changing the needle (which was already mentioned) and to try new thread? Not sure if that helps but thought I would throw it out there, just in case.