Counting down the comments that brings me to:
Thanks to everyone who played along. Quiltzyx, I've sent you an email, so check your inbox!
Even though the giveaway is over, anyone who wants to join in the stitch-along can still get 10% off on the patterns. If you'd like to join in please email me, and I'll get your information off to Chickadee Hollow Designs to get you set up. Please put "Stitch-Along" in your subject line. Click on that little button above for all the details. The stitch-along starts January 1, 2017.
Now...about those sticky fingers...sometimes you can and sometimes you "can't". Yesterday was definitely a day of "can'ting". It was the day I'd set aside to make apple pie filling.
Oh my gosh! What a sticky mess! Actually, I think the pie filling is going to be fine, but if I'm to do this again, it had better be the best pie filling we've ever eaten. I was working from this recipe, which sounded delicious with the addition of butterscotch schnapps. Without going into all the sad details I'll just say that I was hoping not to coat the entire kitchen in pie filling, reserving the five-foot perimeter around me for what flew out of the pot and the jars. Geez, Louise. With great difficulty and a whole lot of swearing, I got 'er done.
As for the recipe, I used Clear Gel instead of cornstarch, which seems to be the preferred method for pie fillings of all kinds. Also, I added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom as suggested at the bottom. Also, I foolishly thought that adding the apples to the syrup before putting them into the jars would be easier than the first method. Wrong! If I do this again, I'll chunk up the apples, rather than slicing them, and then pack them raw and add the syrup separately. Heed my warning if you try this at home.
It's good that I did the pie filling first because I was heartened when the red pepper jelly went so much easier.
The red bell peppers and red jalapenos were piling up from our CSA share, and so it seemed like a good way to dispense with some of them. I was working from this recipe. It isn't very specific, and so I'll say I used white vinegar, and I added half a red jalapeno without seeds. It ended up a perfect level of heat. Also, you'll want to use bottled lemon juice, rather than fresh, to ensure your acid levels are high enough. As for the "bottle" of liquid pectin, I used both packets from a box of Ball liquid pectin, which equals 6 oz. It gelled nicely. Finally, the recipe kind of drops you off without telling you how long to process the jars. Checking another recipe, I gave mine 10 minutes of processing time (plus five minutes for our extra 1,000 feet of elevation).
I was using 4 oz. jars, but in the future, I'll use half-pints. I had more jelly than I had clean jars, and so I ended up putting the last of it in a jar I grabbed off the shelf. That one went straight into the refrigerator to be eaten immediately. (In case you're wondering, no, I didn't eat all of it yesterday.)
So canning (or can'ting) took most of the day, but I still had time to fuse the pieces for And On that Farm I'd cut the day before.
There was one more large sheet of grass that was fused to the right, and then I fused it to the larger piece. It's big enough now that I need to lay it on the floor to photograph it.
Nevertheless, I am worrying about it, and so I took a look at the picture of the whole quilt. Blessedly, all the sections are sashed, and so I can make up for any problems by making the sashings wider if I need to. Okay...setting worries aside for now.
Worry-free, I continued on and made the rooster.
Isn't he fun? Sometimes I'm amazed at the detail in these pieces. For all I complain about her patterns, McKenna Ryan is quite a genius when it comes to creating realistic looking critters from fabric.
So I'm on the home stretch. All that remains is the fence, the chickens, and the tree at the bottom, and I can move along to something else.
Today is Farm Day with our CSA farmers. As I said in an earlier post, we missed Farm Day last year, and so I'm pretty excited to get a chance to visit today. Although it's been raining all week, the forecast for the day is dry. It'll be fun to venture further into their 40 acre farm, meet some of the other members of the "farm-ily" and get a look at the animals, crops, and equipment that make up Working Hands Farm. It's gonna be a good day.