Sticky Fingers

Before I tell you about the sticky fingers, I need to pick a winner of the set of embroidery patterns for Bag Ladies of the Fat Quarter Club. Mr. Random has spoken and the winner is:

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! 

Cat Patches

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.

This has me a little worried because this fused piece is not going to fill the background piece completely when I'm ready to fuse it all down. It's going to need to be trimmed even, and I'm not sure how that will work when I start sewing the whole quilt together. On the other hand, I may not live long enough to finish the whole thing, so why worry now? Am I right about that?

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.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

The rooster looks great, as does the whole piece. I wouldn't have the patience to put something like that together. You've done a beautiful job with it.

gpc said...

I am canning apples today and tried one jar of pie filling as an experiment . . . a mini sticky mess all the same. As you say, it had better be stellar, especially since mine doesn't have the schnapps that might redeem it. The house smells good, though. Your rooster is gorgeous! Congrats to quiltzyx! :)

Betsy said...

Beautiful projects you are doing

WoolenSails said...

Love her patterns and you are doing a beautiful job with the pattern.
I do have a couple of cat kits that I found, so they will be good to practice on.


Gretchen Weaver said...

My main memory of pie filling is how important not to fill the jars to full before processing. Otherwise it would boil out the top and that is definitely a mess to clean up.
Blessings, villacrestfarm@gmail.com

SJSM said...

When you use the pie filling hopefully the memory of the processing will lessen and you will feel all is worth it.
Nice job on the quilt. The animals look wonderful and your patience is paying off.

Denise :) said...

For all the work (and mess) that row of apple pie filling jars looks so beautiful, as do your jars of red pepper jelly! I really miss this aspect of living in a stix-and-bricks home. :)

Lyndsey said...

Your pie filling and red pepper jelly looks delicious. I've made some apple chutney and plum jam but on a smaller scale. I wish I had more storage room to be able to do more. The quilt is looking amazing. The detailing in the pattern makes all the difference plus your choice of fabrics.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I wouldn't have the patience for the pie filling or the pattern - got me beat twice - three times actually, cuz I wouldn't make jelly either.

Angie in SoCal said...

Congrats to quiltzyx. I use to can peach pie filling until I stumbled across an apple pie filling frozen. Real simple - you line a pie pan with double foil and shape it to the fit the pan. In a bowl, you put the peaches and what you need for the pie filling, mix and pour into prepared pan. Cover with double foil again and crimp well around the edges. Put in freezer. Once hard, you can take it out of the pan. I store 3-4 in a plastic bag. Probably more than you wanted to know. Both canning projects look yummy. Love your Farm Animals!

Brown Family said...

The apple pie filling looks good. I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I have never acquired a taste for pepper jelly, but it is pretty. Cute rooster!

Cathy said...

Wow, that apple pie filling looks so good. But then I enjoy Apple Anything at this time of year. Your Farm Animals quilt is coming along beautifully. It's really surprising how the suggested colors and shapes translate so well. And of course I know who Foghorn Leghorn is! "Ah say, Ah say, he's my most favorite rooster!"