7/22/17

A Better Day

After the kitchen calamity of the day before, I was bound to have a better day, right? It's only fair. And I'm happy to report that yesterday found me bathed in success. My first task was to churn the watermelon sorbet. Once I had the ice cream maker set up, I poured in the liquid sorbet and churned away.


After about 20 minutes, it was frozen enough to put it into a container and then into the freezer. It takes a couple of hours in the freezer before it's ready to eat. We had some of this for dessert last night. So yummy.


While that was churning, I opened up all the jars of watermelon jelly, added the remainder of the pectin from an open box, and then boiled it some more. The images and instructions I posted yesterday were very helpful in determining when this would be done. When I did the spoon test, it was first dripping from the spoon in one drop. Eventually it separated into two drops and then ran together and slipped from the spoon more like honey.


I was feeling pretty confident at that point, and so I tried the saucer test. It was supposed to wrinkle rather than run. Look carefully around the perimeter of my finger, and you can see the wrinkle. (Try not to be dazzled by my lovely manicure. Difficult, I know.)


When I did this test on the jelly the day before, it was nothing like this. Since I'm not a jelly aficionado, I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. Now, I was certain it was ready to go back in the jar. Not surprisingly, my yield was 5 1/2 half pints this time around, as opposed to the 8 half pints from the previous day. I didn't care about the yield. I just wanted jelly, rather than syrup. And take a look at that. This is the jar I refrigerated to cool it faster.


When I checked the other jars this morning, they too were well set. I was a little worried I'd overshot the mark by adding more pectin. We had some on our toast this morning, though, and it was perfectly spreadable.

With that in mind, I'm sharing the link to this recipe for Watermelon Jelly from Marisa McClellan. I think in the future, I would add only the original amount of 5 tablespoons of powdered pectin, rather than adding more. However, I would cook it long enough and be certain it passed the tests for doneness before putting it into jars. Be sure to read her entire blog post because there are some helpful hints about it. Finally, there was some talk on Facebook about watermelon (indeed, all melon) not being high enough in acid to be safe for water bath canning. I checked in with Marisa McClellan about this, and she said she'd tested the pH when she developed the recipe. The half cup of bottled lemon juice puts it into the "safe" category, so no worries. Just follow safe canning procedures, as always.

So, finally, I was able to make my way into the sewing room. While I was there, I caught up on the 8th clue for the Welcome Home Small Quilt Mystery. I was to make eight square in a square blocks. These finish at 3 1/2 inches.


When I had those finished, I turned around to find I was no longer alone in the sewing room.


It was my drug-seeking cat, looking for his fix of nip. After snorting up the little bit I gave him in a bowl, he was gone again.


For some reason, I developed an ear worm just then. If you grew up in the 60's you might recognize these lyrics:


Humans, huh, yeah
What are they good for
Absolutely nothing
Humans, huh, yeah
What are they good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why'all


Yeah, it's good to be valued for oneself rather than the services one can provide. I wonder what that feels like.

So anyway...I continued on with the 9th clue for the mystery quilt, which was to add a border around the outside.



And now I'm caught up on my challenges. After that, I took a look at my white board list of to-do's. They're broken up into sections. Try not to notice my spelling errors.

So, yes, "Challengs" are all caught up.



It seems as if the Welcome Home quilt ought to be coming to a close soon. It's a small quilt, and it's moving into lap sized territory if it gets much larger. I believe the Marvelous Mini's will be finished after 12 weeks, but I could be wrong about that. If I'm right, I should have all the blocks finished before we leave on our trip. 

As for the rest of my list, I have three quilts that are sandwiched, but not quilted. August's OMG goal is going to be finishing up the Bee Lovely quilt. The other two will probably sit until next spring when we return home.


The Solstice Challenge is the only one on the "tops to finish" list, but there might be more before we leave. Those are going to be kitted up and carted along. If I have time to sew while we're traveling, I'll work on those.


This one is finished, but not sandwiched. It's unlikely anything will happen on that until spring. Usually, I sandwich several quilts at once. Right now, this is the only one.


As for the embroidery projects, I take these in a rotation. Hocuspocusville has just one more block to finish, and I expect to kit that up for finishing the quilt while we're traveling. Wine Country has farther to go. I'm hoping to finish Mumm's the Word before the end of July, and Summer Holiday is closing in on a finish as well. The Bag Ladies...well, those are a monthly given until the last one is finished in December.


And, finally, my WIP's. These are not far enough along to expect to finish any of them before we leave. I'll keep plugging away at them either a block, section, or row at a time for as long as I can, and then they'll be on hold until we return home next spring.


With that in mind, I'm back to the top of the list and the next Chicken Buffet block, Hawaiian Chicken.


I'm hoping to get some work done on that today, but our power is off. No idea why. It's kind of weird on a sunny and not-too-hot July day. I'd blame air-conditioning, but it's not that hot. We kind of expect this during a winter storm, but no clue what's going on today. I just know we're not alone. I'm typing this blog post on my laptop, which the Resident Engineer has helpfully hooked up to a generator. The power has been off for several hours already, so I'm hoping it won't be much longer.

That was all I did in the sewing room yesterday, and then I went outside to take some pictures. I noticed that the red sunflower had bloomed.


It's smaller yellow cousin was nearly fully opened as well.


Also the echinacea are putting on quite a show. I was thrilled when these survived the winter, and it's even more thrilling to see them blooming now.


As I walked alongside the herb garden, I noticed that last year's parsley had seeded itself and is now growing along the edge of the sidewalk. It's growing in enough abundance that I'm fully stocked with parsley for any cooking I want to do the rest of the season.


Finally, the wisteria is looking very pretty above the front door porch. It was late to blooming this year because it was in the shade of one of the trees that needed planting. Now that it's getting some sunshine, it's blooming in profusion.


So, I still had some time left before I needed to leave for my haircut, and I stitched around the third corner of Wheel Estate.


When I got home, I finished the last of it, and now Wheel Estate is in the finished column. Yay!


Here's how it looks from the back.


This was my 2016 Rainbow Scrap quilt. I didn't start one for 2017, but I'll be linking up today to show off my finish. Also, this is my OMG quilt for July, and so I'll be linking up at the finishing party when it's time.

This morning, I had some time to do some hand-quilting on Mumm's the Word. I've nearly turned the fourth corner on the outer borders.


I just need to stitch to the left and then down to the finish line indicated below, and then this...my oldest UFO...will be ready for binding. I really can't wait to get this into the finished category.


And since the power is still off...it's about the only thing I can do for now. Sadly, I can't run the vacuum. As I'm sure you can imagine, this is a tragedy. It might be worth calling in the National Guard just for that. So, powerless to do any housework, there's nothing but hand quilting on the agenda for a while.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

claudia said...

No! Do not call the National Guard! They are far too busy for power and vacuuming problems at this point! Just keep sewing and cooking!
That sunflower is GORGEOUS! The yellow one is extremely beautiful too, but that red one is so, so pretty!
Now I know what I am doing wrong. I'm using my white board to list the outside stuff that needs to get done (which isn't getting done, because the people who are doing it don't live here, therefore don't see my lists! 'DUH')
I think I am going to go and clean it off thoroughly, move it to a better location, like by the sewing machine, and do a new list. I wonder if all the stuff I need to do will fit. Maybe I should just buy a bigger white board! Then I can list my challengs too!
I have a lot of catching up to do. Since way back in May when I sent two of my pooches off to the Rainbow Bridge. It's high time I get off my duff and get with the regularly scheduled program.

WoolenSails said...

I love making frozen fruit slushies. I make mine with strawberry, blueberry, pineapple and a bit of orange juice, great pick me up for the summer. Your quilting is beautiful as always.

Debbie

The Joyful Quilter said...

You've got SEW much going on!! I find your big BLUE list terrifying. Congrats! on completing your Wheel Estate quilt.

quiltzyx said...

What spelling error? You just got rid of a silent letter. That's my story & I'm sticking to it!
All of your canning jars are always so pretty, I love looking at them. Glad the watermelon jellied nicely this time.
Lovely Sunflowers, thanks for sharing with us.
Yay on the Wheel Estate finish! Great job!!!

Dana Gaffney said...

That red sunflower is so pretty, I've been seeing lots of sunflowers on social media lately, it makes me want to try again with them.
No worries about spelling, our president has made misspelling great again :)

piecefulwendy said...

Well, I hope your power is back on by now. Weird. So, does Smitty race all over the house after his nip? Mine gets a little crazy and then crashes. Pretty funny. You are doing a great job on reducing your white board list! Good for you! Glad the jelly turned out, finally!

Emily said...

Wheel Estate is so awesome! Congrats on a really neat finish! And I like the whiteboard idea. I wonder where I could put one in my sewing space...

Sandra W said...

I think that's the first time I've seen your "list." I have always avoided making such a list, but now you've got me inspired. I'm afraid of what I'll find.
When I sew at my cottage (where I spend 6 months--May to November) I used to take a whole lot of projects. This year I focussed on a small number to finish and a few piles of fabric in case I feel inspired. This seems to work well as it eliminates dragging along all the extras--difficult to store. Inevitably though, there is always something that I need that I forgot. I have a number of embroidery projects that I work on while watching tv. But I miss having all my "stuff" around.
Your camper quilt is lovely. I also really like the Mumm's quilt, although at first I wasn't sure about the colors.
Do you have a start and end date for your adventure?

Sandra W said...

More.
By the way--the vacuum not working is not as reason for calling the National Guard.
BUT--the dishwasher is another story! That's a full-fledged emergency.

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

I always feel like a slug when I see all the things that others manage to accomplish. I like all the pretty eye candy you posted, but the Wheel Estate has got to be my favorite. What a fun little finish! Happy sewing! --Andrea

Lyndsey said...

Love the wheel estate quilt, it is a really cute quilt. Great finish. Such a shame you have no power to vacuum, but I guess you managed to force yourself to do the hand stitching so the time wasn't wasted. I wish that would happen to me so I had to do stitching instead of my online marking

PaulaB quilts said...

By all means, call in the National Guard. At least there will be some eye candy to cheer you up. The camper quilt is so cute, a great finish. I like the Mumms quilt also. How large are the blocks that make up the outer border. It's a very nice scrappy way to finish it.

Brown Family said...

I like the whiteboard list of projects. I might get more done if I could see what all I have going. I so want to get started on several mini quilts! Pretty flowers!

Sharon - IN said...

Now that is a well organized to do list! And time spent in the kitchen too! Have you ever made pickled watermelon rind? My husband's grandmother made them, and boy were they good!

Patty said...

Wheel estate is such a cute quilt. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your goal finish.