This morning I got right to work with my cherries because I was determined to make a quilt sandwich today too.
I pitted and stemmed four pounds of cherries, which makes quite a mess.
Then I tossed in all the other ingredients and cooked it down for about an hour. I was supposed to dice the cherries first, but I forgot. (Duh.) As they cooked, I mashed them with a potato masher. Despite being really careful in the pitting process, I fished out four pits that floated to the top as I cooked them.
Once I had it all cooked down, I ladled it into half pint jars and then processed it 20 minutes. (I have to add five minutes for our elevation.)
And there they are. My yield was 9 half-pint jars...just about what was promised. I like putting chutney in half-pints rather than pints because it is used rather slowly. It also makes a good gift that way.
Of course, I opened one of the jars and tasted it, and it was delicious. The cherry flavor really comes through. It's a little bit tart, and it has a nice kick. Lots of folks ask me what to use it for. It's a condiment, like ketchup, and it's very good on pork, poultry, fish, sandwiches, or else spread on a cracker with some cream cheese. Dee-lish. If you'd like to give this a try, you can find Marisa McClellan's recipe right here. She's become my go-to gal for all things chutney, saucy, and salsa.
When I had that done and things fairly well back in order in the kitchen, I turned my attention to sandwiching the "Where Angels Walk" quilt. As I said in an earlier post, I was going to give a try to Sharon Schamber's method of sandwiching and basting a quilt sandwich. It worked out pretty well, and it was way easier than getting down on hands and knees. So here's how it goes, but watch the video if you really want to know.
First you lay out your quilt backing and top without the batting. In retrospect, it seems to me you could do these one at a time if you're certain your backing is large enough to accommodate your quilt top.
Once I had everything laid out and smooth, I was ready for my boards. I had Mike go with me to pick out some boards. We chose some really inexpensive boards that are nice and smooth and already painted. Thus, no splinters.
Next, you roll the top onto one board, and the bottom onto the other. I used a little painter's tape to keep mine flat on the first roll of the board, and I thought that helped quite a bit.
When you're finished, each is rolled onto its own board. This is why it seems like you could roll them up one at a time rather than smoothing them all out on top of one another. They aren't connected in any way at this point.
Next, you're ready to unroll with the batting between the two. You start by turning both boards around so that you unroll away from yourself.
Sharon Schamber goes into quite a bit of detail about thread basting at this point in the video. I had already decided to pin baste. None of her warnings about it really applied to me, so I ignored them. I had a little trouble keeping the back nice and flat and tight as I was flipping the batting back and forth while rolling the three layers together, but in the end, I think it's fine. When I was all done, I had a nicely sandwiched quilt, and no bruises on my knees.
I'm used to spray basting where everything is stuck tight together, and this pin basting felt kind of loosey-goosey to me. I don't think there's anything wrong with what I did, but it feels loose to me compared to spray baste. Also, I think as a first-timer, this would have been easier with a smaller quilt. I had a huge piece of batting that I cut to size with scissors once I had it all sandwiched, and that worked pretty well. And since this technique is new to me, I'm linking up to:
So that was my day, in a nutshell. I did a lot of stuff today, but those are the highlights. By the time I was finished sandwiching the quilt, my neck was bothering me, and so I quit for the day. Next, I'll start quilting it, but that probably will have to wait until tomorrow or Sunday.
What did you do today?