Monday, September 29, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
5. While your jam is cooking, clean your bottles and rings in very hot water. I like to rinse and leave them in the hot water until I'm ready for them. When the jam reaches about 215F, put the lids into hot water
6. As soon as your jam reaches 220F, remove from heat. Pour into the hot bottles, wipe the threads clean with a wet cloth, top with lids and rings.
7. I process my jam in boiling water, 5 minutes for 1/2 pints and 10 minutes for full pints. Make sure your lids all "pop" down and tight. If they don't pop within a few minutes of removing them from the boiling water, process some more, making sure the water covers the top of the bottle.
This "recipe" works with just about any kind of fruit, and is easy to adapt to your tastes. Experiment with combinations, I like nectarines with blackberries, blueberries with lemon zest, strawberries with ginger (peeled and sliced, pull out before bottling!), and raspberry with lime zest and juice. Whole spices such as cinnamon and cloves are great in cranberry jam (use 1:1 ratio for sugar!) with orange juice and zest, chopped herbs can be lovely added at the end of cooking; blackberry with lemon verbena, or strawberry with basil are great combos.
I'm not really a recipe writer, so if anything is confusing, just ask and I'll try to clarify!
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
I decided to do simple echo quilting because I wanted emphasize the shape of the applique. Once again, I like the back as much as the front!
Friday, March 21, 2014
The blue hexagons are cut from shirts that belonged to my grandfather. The red, grays, and whites are scraps from other projects, and the red silk with the three-legged-llama-dogs are from a tie that my brother got as a gift. The hexagons were thread basted to paper patterns, then whip stitched together into the stripes, thread basted to the gray fabric (a brushed cotton bed sheet from Target) then appliqued. I then spray basted the top, batting (my usual Warm and White) and minky, rolled it up and started quilting. The quilting on this one was kinda crazy, the echoes are a 1" zigzag, which means quilt an inch, stop, lift, pivot, repeat. I marked the peaks and valleys of the hexagons before quilting, which made it easy to eyeball the distance from the previous row of stitches.
Binding the minky made me nervous, so I ran it through my serger after I squared it up. I auditioned a few bindings, and wasn't really happy with any of them, so I asked my sister. Katie suggested red, so I went digging in the stash (it's in milk crates under the bed) and found this red solid. I don't know what it is, but it was the perfect color for this project.
It is by far the cuddliest quilt I've ever made. Something about the minky makes it drape so wonderfully. Any other quilt I've made with this much quilting has been so much stiffer than this. In the week since it's been done I think I've found Katie snuggled with it almost every day, unless I get to it first!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Yesterday was my sister's birthday so I had to send cookies! (of course). She and I are both fans of fabric designer Kate Spain, especially Sunnyside (and all the Christmas collections!). She sent me Sunnyside fabric for Christmas, so I made matching cookies for her birthday.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
The next quilt I started was made using this pattern by Camille Roskelley. The quilt isn't finished (a project for 2014!) mostly because it's massive. The matching pillows are finished with straight line and pebble quilting. I decided to try free-motion quilting last year, and will continue to work on that this year. So far these pebbles are the only project I've free-motion quilted.
|There are two of the 14" Lucky Pillows with straight-line quilting|
|but only one 16" Lucky pillow with pebble quilting|
Katie's Christmas quilt featured a panel from an older Kate Spain Christmas collection. The majority of the blocks were a paper-pieced block called Arabic Lattice. This was a really fun block to piece. To make the quilt easier on the eyes I put borders on all the blocks. The back is the red floral print and is bound with a white-on-white swiss dot.
|This is the blocks laid out to assemble the top|
Next I finished a project I'd started a few years ago, one of the first quilts I started, and the only one to sit in pieces in a box while I worked on other quilts. The original blocks were poorly done, with uneven seams, poorly sewn bias seams, etc. It was overly ambitious for my skill level at the time, but with a lot more practice and even more study I decided it was time to take them out of the box and have another look. I ended up cutting them into triangles and re-assembling them. One I put the new blocks together I liked it.