Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2 Quilts Finished in One Day!

I've had several quilts in the works for awhile.  This isn't my usual way, but it's just how it worked out this time.  On Saturday I finished TWO of them!!  Yep, you read that right . . . TWO in one day!

I think I started one of them a year ago sometime in the spring.  This one was made for Aimee. She chose the pattern and fabric for it.  Her pattern was found here, but it doesn't seem to be available anymore.  It looks like maybe they put out new patterns using their fabric that's available now.  I did find her pattern available with a quilt kit, here.  Not that you want to buy it, but this is what her pattern looked like . . . what originally caught her eye.

I like to use flannel on the backs of my quilts, but Aimee said NO!!!  It's too hot!!  I also like to use my leftover fabric on the back, so that's what I did.  There were many little strips left and I pieced them all together.  I like how it turned out:)

I think I've gotten used to the added thickness of flannel on the back.  It seemed too lightweight when I quilted this and I didn't do a very good job of it.  I suppose it didn't help that I hadn't quilted anything for quite awhile.

So, in all fairness, I quilted this a couple weeks ago, but couldn't finish it because I didn't have binding fabric.  That's really all I had to do on Saturday.  Aimee was gone for awhile and I wanted to get it all done and upstairs in her room before she got home, but I just got the last stitch done as she was walking in the door.

The second one I started at the end of January, a week before Tanner was born, at our annual quilt retreat.  It's a "Jelly Roll Race" quilt.  If you want to make one like it, I found a video tutorial here that you can use.  It's super simple and quick.  Mine just wasn't quite so quick for several reasons.

Sometimes when you're buying jelly rolls, you don't know quite what you're getting.  I'd originally wanted to do a quilt for a young man.  The colors peaking out of my batik jelly roll were greens, golds and browns.  I thought I could applique something on it to "man" it up.  I'd also decided if it didn't work for a male, I'd give it to my sister-in-law, whose husband was in the final stages of cancer.  As soon as I opened it up, I pretty much knew it was NOT going to be going to a young man!!  Just too much of a hint of purple in it.

I got the whole main part done at my day retreat.  I couldn't go any further because I hadn't bought anything for the borders since I didn't know what way it was going to go.  I was glad I hadn't.  Eventually I bought fabric for flower appliques and for the borders.  My final push to get it done was knowing Kathy would be coming here.  I quilted it parts of Thursday and Friday and was finishing the binding in the beginning minutes of Saturday!!

I ended up getting a variegated thread to quilt with.  I've had much trouble trying to use variegated thread but I decided to try it again anyway.  At first I was having trouble and then I remembered someone told me to use a bigger needle so the thread wouldn't keep breaking.  That was what it took, and I'm so happy I found that out.  I really liked using this thread.

For the quilting I just did an overall meandering.  (I definitely noticed the added thickness with the flannel on the back of this one.  It seemed like I had so much more control and I think I did one of my better jobs here.)  I outlined the flowers, leaves and stems.  That is not something fun to do and it didn't turn out very good.  When I was all done, I quilted a design on the leaves.

You can see the quilting in this picture.

My applique work.

Two more of my own quilts ready to be quilted and one comfort quilt I made that needs pinned and quilted.  Then maybe I can start something new:)  I have it all picked out and ready to go!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Tooth!

I found Tanner's first tooth tonight.  Usually a tooth is an important piece of information to share with Grandma.  Tanner doesn't have any Grandmas to share the news with, so I decided to tell all of you:)  So far he's being like Morgan in the tooth department . . . I didn't notice that it was coming . . . and I really like it that way!!!  Tanner's 7 months and one week now.

I just had to share some pictures of his adorable self with you:)

Friday, September 6, 2013

All About Applesauce

A little over a month ago I made applesauce.  We got transparent apples from my sister and I think they make the BEST applesauce:)  It comes out so juicy . . . in fact I don't use all the juice or it's too juicy!  A few years ago I got some kind of small green apple and the applesauce turned out so dry that it tasted kind of pastey.  No one liked it so I still have some left . . . and I always have to mix it with my juicier applesauce.

We ended up getting 7 boxes of apples . . . so I won't feel the need to make it again for at least 2 years.  Most of them were quite small, but I got lots, so that's ok:)

I use one of these apple corer things to get my apples ready.  I just wash them and then cut them.  I know on the really small ones it seemed like more was going to the compost pile than I was saving, but that's ok.  It was fast!

I use a juicer to soften my apples.  No worrying about scorching the apples!!  I pile the juicer high and leave them to cook.

When they are all cooked and really soft, I start to make my sauce.

I use a Foley Food Mill to make my applesauce.  After turning and turning the handle, I just have apple peelings left and I clean that out before adding more soft apples.

I add lots of sugar and some cinnamon to the applesauce.

After stirring, it's all done!  A big pot of applesauce ready to be dumped into jars.

I made 62 quarts, 19 pints and 7 half pints.  I was running out of quarts and decided to make some smaller jars to give away.

And now we have applesauce for a long while.  We really love it with roast and ham, but sometimes I think to put it out if we're having a pretty simple meal . . . something else to add to it.