Things are really starting to pile up around here — sewing projects, that is. That’s because I’ve got Beginner’s Disease. Heard of it? I have 8 different half-finished sewing projects in my sewing basket and that’s not counting the other 8-or-so I have swimming around in my brain, all with the silly “deadline” of Orlis’ birthday in a week and a half. Ha! Do you have this problem? And did you see the photo of my car trunk loaded up with batting, stuffing, pillows, and foam? That’s from my recent trip to Fabric Depot – it’s like CostCo for crazy women who want to sew everything, like me. I loved it there.
The thing is, I just adore the beginning. Those moments when you are cutting out the pattern or laying out the quilt top or choosing the fabrics and the scent of possibility just works it’s magic — moving my mind and my fingers quickly because I am so excited to see how this thing will look — those moments are priceless. And addictive, as I can see. I’ve got big plans. A birthday teepee in the works, a toddler-sized artist’s smock (from Little Things to Sew) a couple of mini wall-hangings for my office/studio, some pillows for a reading nook in the works, some floor cushions for…I-don’t-know-where-yet, and a dress-up bucket from Growing Up Sew Liberated. Oh yeah, and a baby quilt that just needs an hour of my attention to be complete. You’d think I would just plop myself in front of a B movie and go to town with a needle and thread and check a few things off the ole’ list, wouldn’t you? But why — when I could enter that Beginning Frenzy when the project is at its most exciting and I haven’t yet stitched anything that I have to rip out and redo yet? I do love to pile things into the sewing basket. That way, I’ve always got options. And if any friends or family members who particularly love to hand-sew come over and want to get their zen on, I have a basket of goodies (and no pride about it) awaiting them. And in the meanwhile, it’s Monday right? I’ve got all week.
And by the way, here’s Peter Berley’s Asian Cucumber Salad that I promised you: (love that man)
2 (4-inch) pieces of dried wakame seaweed
2 lbs Asian or Kirby cucumbers, unpeeled, very thinly sliced. (get yourself a mandolin if you don’t already have one — but BE CAREFUL when you use it)
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks or shredded
1 tbs coarse sea salt
2 tbs rice vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Soak the wakame in 2 cups of water and set aside until it is soft, about 15 minutes. Place a colander inside a bowl. Put the cucumber and carrot in the colander and toss with the salt. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar in a small bowl, and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the sesame oil and chile. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the cucumbers and carrots and transfer them to a salad bowl. Drain the wakame and trim off any tough rib portions. Chop the wakame into bite-size pieces and add it to the salad along with the vinaigrette. Toss well and serve immediately, or chill for 15 minutes beforehand.
Make it tonight — it’s so good.