7/22/13

Sew Fine

It's my favorite kind of day...a little bit of everything.

This morning, I did some embroidery, and then got right to work making blueberry chutney.  I picked up the blueberries last week on my way home from the dentist.


I did a little tutorial last year showing you how I make it, and giving you the recipe I'm using.  You can see it right here.  I pretty much stick with small batch canning.  This year, I'm mostly canning for our own use rather than making extra to share.  It takes four cups of blueberries along with other ingredients and about 45 minutes of cooking time to get the blueberries to their chutney goodness.


Then it's ready to ladle into jars, lid them, and process them.  For today's efforts, I ended up with four half-pints, which will last us about a year.


I'll be making plum chutney once the plums are ripe, and so this should do just fine.  

I still had plenty of blueberries left, and so I mixed them with the raspberries we picked yesterday and made a rustic fruit tart.


I did a little tutorial about that once before too.  You can find that post with a link to the recipe from Fine Cooking right here.  I didn't have the whole milk I needed for the crust, and so I added a little more butter to make up for the loss of fat.  It made my crust to soft and melty, so I ended up with a very rustic tart, indeed.


It's not the most beautiful dessert I've ever made, but you know what?  Our taste buds won't know the difference.  Besides, it will look a lot worse after we've eaten it.

I still had both blueberries and raspberries to spare, and so I froze the remainder.  And when freezing berries, did you know this trick?  I had to become a fan of the Food Network to learn it.  Lay your berries out on a baking sheet and spread them out so that they are separate from one another. That way, when you freeze them, they won't stick together and turn into a big ol' berrycicle.  Once they're frozen, you can scoop them into zip-lock bags for permanent storage...as permanent as your appetite will allow.


Updated to say I'm linking this post to:


So I finished processing the berries around noon, which left me plenty of time to head into the sewing room. I'm still working on quilting the Hello Sun quilt.  I feel a need to repost a picture of the whole thing so that you can see what I'm doing with it.  Notice how the sawtooth stars create a secondary pattern of white squares and white diamonds.


It was good to take a few days off from this because it gave me a chance to figure out what to do next.  I decided to quilt suns into the white squares and diamonds.  The diamonds are just slightly smaller than the squares.  For them, I used a medicine bottle cap for my circle template.


I'm using a Clover Hera Marker to mark the circles.  The tool I'm using is essentially a stylus and it "creases" the fabric so that I can quilt over it without putting colored marks onto my white fabric. 


This is the one I'm using.


For the larger suns in the squares, I used the top of a container that I keep my hot fix nailheads in.


Then I quilted around the circles and put rays extending out into the corners of the diamonds and squares.



For the half squares, I made half suns.


Unless I'm struck blind with some other inspiration, my plan is to stitch in the ditch around the "teeth" of the stars and around the inner border.  Then I'll stipple in the outer border.  

It's taken me a while to figure out how I wanted to quilt this, and so now that I'm on my way, I feel it won't be long before I have the quilting done.  Then I'll bind it and finish it.  Just maybe I'll get it finished by the end of the month after all.

Tomorrow I'm going in for my annual big squash.  And may I just say that this has been an absolutely fabulous week on the health care front.  I've been to the dentist and now I'll be going to get the big squash all within a span of just five days.  I'll just bet you're envious, aren't you?  As long as I'm driving into town, I need to run a few errands, including taking my sewing machine in for an update of its software service pack. I can wait while they do that, so the sewing machine won't be staying overnight.  And since I have a rather large store credit at that quilt shop, one never knows what might happen.  But one could probably guess.

So I was taking a break from quilting while I wrote this, but now I think I'll get back to it.  It's amazing how much more inspiring the work is when you have an idea in your head about how to proceed.  

I hope you're having your favorite kind of day too.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

Love the plan for quilting Hello Sun! Simple yet very effective - my kind of design :*) Enjoy your Squash Day!!!

Quilting Babcia said...

Your goodies all look so ..well good!
I like what's happening with your hello sun quilt. I can't see my hera marks under the machine's light, but it's working great for hand quilting.

Junebug613 said...

Busy, Busy Lady! Sorry about the impending big squash, I have yet to have my first one (even though I was due 2 years ago). I am amazed and impressed with your quilting - every time! I enjoy reading your cooking stuff too, but that's Bruce's domain in my house. LOL

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Super plan for the Sun quilt - and your templates can be found in any household - love those kind. And the blueberry desert - hey, with some vanilla icecream on top, would not last long here!!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

The blueberry dessert looks delightfully delicious. Yes, indeed, vanilla ice cream will improve it (and anything you put it on!) and make it sinfully good. I use whatever circle is close when I need a template-jars/lids, cups, salt shaker, small plate, change...

Brown Family said...

I have a lot of peaches that would be good in that recipe! Love the quilting. You are always so creative! My 830 machine hung up over the weekend and would not sew. I took it into the shop and the tech fixed it while I waited, Of course he blamed it all on me. He was teasing since it has been in the shop twice in the last two months.

Dasha said...

Oh to live somewhere where I could get blueberries cheap enough to make preserves with them! The cheapest they ever get to around here is about $4.99 for a 250g punnet, and I saw them this week at $7.99. I do make strawberry jam though at the right time of the year, and you can generally pick them up at around $2 a punnet. Makes for very expensive jam. But home made strawberry jam is to die for. Dasha

Dasha said...

Oh, and rasberries are sold at an extortionist price!

Dana Gaffney said...

I really like the way you made the rays of the suns, it adds so much.

treadlemusic said...

I froze a lot of blueberries (as berries) this year. I just freeze them in sandwich baggies, put in to a larger freezer baggie. They stay individual and defrost quickly after grabbing a handful. $1.99/pint this year. Not too bad (especially after reading other comments). Love that quilt and the stitching motifs are so wonderful. It really does make a motivational difference when there is an idea exploding in your head!!!!! ROFL!!!! Have a great day!!! Hugs.....

Dar said...

Your sun rays are perfect for your quilt and you are so creative at using what you have for templates. Love it. I like the looks of your berry chutneys. I've never done one, but may try one in my future. We picked up some strawberries yesterday for $1/carton, which is cheap! They go in my cereal so not sure there will be enough to cook into some delicious dessert! Have fun on your Squash Day. That's something I don't look forward too.

Kate said...

Very inspired quilting. It looks great!

Michele said...

Such a great quilting idea. It is going to be totally fabulous.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I like your quilted suns. My big squash was in June. I passed just fine. I'm sure you will, too.

quiltzyx said...

What do you use your chutney for? I've only had chutney once, when someone brought in a cheeseball with chutney to quilt class. It was delish. She used a specific kind of chutney she bought at the store. (Can't remember what it was)
The sun quilting looks wonderful! I really like your wavy rays.

Now I'm off to do a little sewing myself!

Patricia said...

Ok, I'm hungry now ;-) The Sun quilting is really looking good.

Nancy in IN said...

Love the quilt. Quilting is what I love. My problem in quilting is the planning!

ANudge said...

That is so cute!! Wonderful quilting, too. Look forward to see what you start on next.