Pitted, Cooked, Processed, Canned, Sandwiched, Pinned, Basted

Now, you might think I was cooking up new ways with tuna fish after all that, but I'm not. I'm cooking up cherry chutney and sandwiching a quilt. How's that for a productive day? You have to get up pretty early in the morning, and fortunately, my furry alarm clock insures that I'm wide awake and kicking at the dawn's early light.

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?

21 comments from clever and witty friends:

Jean said...

Thi is exactly what I do. Exactly. It is a bigger challenge the bigger the quilt, but that is mostly because we have to extend the dining room tabl with the extension. Good explanation.

Dora, the Quilter said...

I used to use Sharon Schamber's method all the time. For some reason I've been pin basting lately. The two most recent quilts had Sharon Schamber's treatment--I did thread baste and realized it is so much faster than pinning. Since this time I used leftover Glide from some bobbins I seldom use, I realized that was another thing that made it very fast--and it's much easier to work with while quilting.

I really, really like your quilt (okay, I do say that every time I see it) and am looking forward to seeing it quilted.

Extra congratulations for managing to make cherry chutney too!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have done up to a queen size on my one banquet table with just clamping (do it in quarter sections) and pin with 'harpoon' straight pins - I am a sadist. The board flipping seems like a lot of extra work. But what ever system works for each person, hey, go for it.

WoolenSails said...

I saw that method and it looks like an easier way to get a quilt pinned. I also saw your last post and your beautiful quilts, I hope they all win ribbons, they deserve it.


Marei said...

Glad that this worked for you Barbara. Wasn't it easy? I don't do the first step as I have always "eyeballed" my backing to top ratio on the bed, so I just start rolling the top and bottom on the boards. And I always use a little tape to secure the fabric for the first roll, too.

Janet said...

I bet the cherry chutney is delish! Cherries here are so expensive I would never try this, but maybe one day...

Cath said...

I have watched Sharon's video and I thought your idea of taping the quilt to the board a really helpful addition. I can't get past the issue of wastage when I think of basting the quilt with all that thread so I was really interested to see how you went with pinning it.

Tami C said...

Love painters tape! You can use it for many things! I have seen Sharon Schamber's video but have not had the chance to try her technique. I really like your Where Angels Walk quilt. I've been waiting to see it finished.

Lyndsey said...

I love the quilt Barbara and I'm very interested in this method of making the quilt sandwich. I have found pin basting comes looser than spray or thread basting but it all quilts up well. The cherry chutney sound delicious. Cherries are fairly expensive here but I love the taste so will give this recipe a try using smaller quantities.The thought of the cherry taste out of season is too good to miss.

Dana Gaffney said...

I used to do thread basting, then discovered spray and never looked back. I've always thought that pins would be a pain when you start quilting.

beaquilter said...

You NEED a long arm ;)
got my fabrics btw... thanks!!

Nita said...

I've got to get one of those cherry putters...I used a paring knife and my fingers, lol! Oh, and I was given a huge quilting frame (10 feet long!) and I think it would be great to use for basting...thanks for the idea!

Dar said...

Good explanation on Sharon Shamber's method of basting a quilt. I too use the painters tape to get it started, but found I like to use embroidery thread for basting. You don't have pins in the way when quilting the quilt and it's not nearly as heavy when maneuvering it under the sewing machine. Much faster outcome -- clip thread at point where you might cross over and keep going. Where Angels Walk is such a pretty quilt.

VickiT said...

I am drooling now with all those cherries. I LOVE cherries and usually buy as many as I can weekly so I can just eat them. Those and pineapple are my favorite fruits with strawberries right there with them.
I don't know if you've seen the Progressive Cherry Pitters, but they are awesome. I bought one about five years ago and can pit one of the bags you normally see in the grocery stores in about 10 minutes. It does 4 cherries at a time and rarely misses a pit. I bought mine from Bed, Bath and Beyond, but their website shows it not stocked anymore. I searched and found the same one, but it is different colors now so maybe they just don't have the new ones in stock yet. They still have the video online but I found another that's better than the one they have, plus the one they used on their site but clearer to see.
Below is the link to Amazon where it's for sale and then below that are two links to the videos; one longer and a better explanation/demo and the one BB&B has on their site too.
I think you would love this pitter because it would cut your job down tremendously and BONUS - more time to play at your sewing machine. :)




Sally T said...

Thanks for showing your method. I was wondering how one could use this method for a large quilt.

Brown Family said...

Interesting process. I want to know ans see how the quilting goes!

quiltzyx said...

I've seen that method of basting - must have been by my former quilt teacher. It's almost like on a long arm. Good idea with the blue tape - that stuff is great.

Oh my mouth is watering looking at your chutney - I wonder if the post office would allow you to mail it? Trade for a bar of Dreamcicle soap?

Junebug613 said...

Interesting sandwich technique! Pinning does always seem rather loose and lumpy.

Kate said...

The chutney sounds yummy. Interesting method for basting. You've made a lot of progress in the last few days.

Janine said...

Congrats on all your new work! I don't think cherries will ever last long enough in our house to make chutney but I'm going to try the basting method :)

Celtic Thistle said...

Anything that reduces the pain in my knees for basting is good news as far as I am concerned Barbara!

Thanks for linking up to New to Me too.