Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mills County Quilt Show

So yesterday I take a break from sorting, and go to a quilt show that I've actually entered a quilt in.  It's the kitten quilt a few posts back, entered into the wall hanging division.  I'll tell you how I did later in the post.
Anyway, it's a long drive from nowhere to get to nowhere but several of us from the Voca Quilt Club do this every year.  And many of us place in the divisions we enter.  We always enter hand stitched pieces, since that's what we do the most of and it's a dying art form that is being pushed aside by the big name fabric companies in favor of the faster machine quilting.  Most entries in these shows now are machine pieced.
This was my 4th year attending and my second year entering.  Last year I landed 3rd place (peoples choice voting) behind a first place heavy machine quilted boot and a second place Dick/Jane panel that had been loosely stitched.  My entry was hand appliqued passion flowers and hand stitched, all in batiks.  But that's ok, I at least placed!  And this was the quilt (notice, the first place winner to the right, remember that....)
And a close up if you'd like to see it:

We arrive today and begin to sort through all the entries with our ballots in hand.  The show's theme category this year was "Western".  I finally make it back to the section of wall hangings and there to my surprise, shock and possible horror was my kitten quilt sitting to the right of that same boot from last year..... I about had a heart attack until I saw that it had been entered into the theme category instead of the wall hanging category.  No way was I willing to lose to the boot again this year!
As the votes were being tallied we did our shopping, they had a nice 'general store' section with leftovers and scraps and such from their club/guild members and I landed myself a bunch of pre-cut, pre-marked and in many cases pre-hand sewn pieces and parts, all for $5.  I won a door prize right near the end, 2 patterns, holiday baskets and plaid chickens on log cabin like blocks.

And so, our winnings for this year, one of our group won second in the Western category with red work cowboys and first in the contemporary category with a hand stitched, hand appliqued, quilt!  Another of our group won second place in the contemporary category with a name quilt (Voca quilters names).  As for me..... I placed second this time, loosing first place to a more honorable foe, machine embroidered chickens.  I can handle that, I liked the chickens, they were cool looking for machine work ;)
My quilt if you don't want to go hunting back through the old posts: Curiosity and the Kitten

Monday, October 4, 2010

Changes in the air and lime jelly

So I bet you've been wondering where I've been huh?  What I've canned lately?
Well I have done a few things, I'm working on a gallon batch of sriracha, I put up more candy apple jelly, finished off the watermelon jelly finally and experimented with key lime jelly but......
Life has a way of letting you know you can't get comfortable for too long.  And now it's a cross country move to keep us on our toes.  It's a job for hubby, a real job, with decent pay and benefits and a relocation package.  We can't afford to turn it down.
So, we are trying to get as much done as we can to prep for this little adventure. 

But onto the lime jelly experiment.........

I found a bunch of lime jelly recipes out there but decided to try something a little different since I can't find liquid pectin out here.  Granted I can make some but well..... I was lazy.  So I did this a bit different.  I had 4 pounds of key limes which I juiced and was about to toss the skins when I had an epiphany, I had to get my $2 worth out of those skins!  I tossed them all in a pot and added a couple cups of water and brought it just to a boil, then backed it off to a simmer until the skins started turning dark, about 10 minutes.  The house smelled fabulous!  I strained this and added to the lime juice to make 4.5 cups of lime 'essence'.  Then I proceeded as follows:

4.5 cups lime juice/essence
4 cups sugar
1 packet no sugar needed pectin

Bring lime juice to boil, add pectin, bring back to boil for 1 minute, add sugar and stir it really well (I had trouble with lumps for some reason this time) bring back to boil for 3 minutes, ladle into jars and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Landed me 7 half pints and a bit for taste testing.

Just so you know, this stuff is TART and about 10 days on it's still only semi set at room temp, gels nicely in the fridge though.  If you like sweet, I'd add another 2 cups of sugar.  But I like my tart stuff!