Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday at the Table: Walla Walla Sweet Onions, and a Thread Storage How-to

Debbie, over at "A Quilter's Table" has decided that this month's theme is picnic!  There's just about no more perfect food item for picnics as the sweet Walla Walla onion!  There are other places that grow these (Vidalia, GA comes to mind), but one of the food gems of our area that I see popping up all over the place this time of year, is the Walla Walla sweet.  I feel so lucky to live in such a great food-growing place!

These sweet onions are really best eaten raw, as they are indeed, incredibly sweet!  My favorite way to eat them is simply on top of a fresh salad, but they're also fantastically delicious in cucumber salads or tomato salads, or on sandwiches or burgers.  I had plans for pasta tonight though, so I cooked them up with some tomatoes in a pasta sauce!  Yum!

Now, I just HAVE to share what I've been working on the last few days as well.  I've been searching for years for the perfect thread storage rack, to no avail.  I wanted something that I could cover, to protect from dust, and my cat, who likes to eat thread, and something with pegs that are long enough to store the bobbin on top of the thread spool.  For some reason, I just couldn't find it, so I decided to make my own.

I bought a small 2 by 4 foot piece of 1/4 inch plywood, a few 3/16th inch dowel rods (which fit my bobbin spools perfectly), and some cheap plastic shoe box storage bins.

I measured the floor of the bin (in my case, 6 by 11 inches), marked the lines on the plywood, then used first a hand saw, then a jig saw to cut the rectangle out of the plywood.
I sanded the piece after cutting it.  Then I drew out a simple "template" of where I wanted holes drilled to put the spool pegs into.  For "regular" spools, I spaced them every 1.5 inches.  For my bigger spools, every 2 inches.  Then I centered the template onto the board, and used my 3/16th inch drill bit to drill at each spot.  Yep, that's a band-aid on my finger, and yes, my boy scout son got to practice a bit of first aid on me after I cut it with the saw :-O.  We ladies-of-the-thread can take it though... no worse than a needle through the finger LOL!
I then cut the dowel rod into 3 inch lengths for the regular spools, 4 inch lengths for the larger spools, and sanded the ends smooth.
They fit so perfectly, that I didn't even need any glue.  All that was left was putting the pegs in place, and loading them up!!  I am beyond thrilled at how easy and amazing these racks are!!  My sewing space looks great, and now I'll never have to match up my bobbin thread and spool thread again!!  Now that they're in these bins, I can move and stack and store them easier too!  Yipee!!!!
Best yet, the panel (enough to make 16) cost under $10, the dowel rods about 60 cents and the bins a dollar, so each bin is under $3 to make!!!  Trust me, if I can make it you can too!!!


  1. oh I love sweet onions, especially Walla Wallas when we can get them! They are great grilled or caramelized too - yum. And congrats to you on your thread rack - very cool. Clever girl! Oh & thanks for your support of T@tT and for linking up!

  2. I think I said this already, but you are awesome! I have a plastic thread case and I don't really like it. I do have plenty of these bins though and plenty of tools in the garage. As they say in the scrapbook world, I am "case"ing this (Copy And Share Everything), and Pinning it too. :)

    I have never had a sweet onion. I will have to track one down.

  3. Yum on the onions! And this thread storage idea is the BOMB! Totally awesome!

  4. Never had fresh sweet onions in my life. Not sure where to look for them in the Netherlands.
    LOVE your thread storage. GREAT idea. Will have to ask my DH (o:

  5. Walla Walla Sweet Onions are DELICIOUS! My MIL used to grow them and we enjoyed them each summer when we visited.

    I love your thread storage idea. I think I will have to try it! Fantastic idea. Thanks.

  6. Aren't you clever......I LOVE Walla Walla sweets but dh is not an onion fan so we don't use them very often around here :-(

  7. Such a smart idea, Becky! Thanks for the tutorial!

  8. Your pasta looks delish! I've never tried a Walla Walla Onion - are they still sweet after you cook them into something - like your tomato sauce?
    Great idea for the thread storage, you are so clever. :)

  9. So how many did you make? I've never been happy with thread storage, but your idea has me thinking.