Sunday, August 05, 2007

I am still here and I am still jam-less. I know it has been a week since I last posted and so many of you thought that perhaps I was up to my elbows in jam with fingers too sticky to use a keyboard. But my silence had more to do with the fact that it was hot, I was cranky and I couldn't think of anything fun to say.
As far as jam making goes, I'm still going to go for it but I got a bit scared off when I read the book. At the beginning there is much talk of all the dread things that can go wrong - creepy little bugs that invade your work and give you things like salmonella or botulism. So I began to worry that I may have taken on more than I can handle. So I reread all the instructions and asked Hubby to do the same so we could discuss areas where I had questions or concerns.
During all that reading and discussing, the fruits that I had were not going to hold their freshness and I ended up freezing all of it. Today with renewed optimism, I will buy more fruit and at last begin the jam making. I've had so many encouraging comments, helpful hints and tips on where to seek answers if I have questions. Stay tuned - there is bound to be a counter full of jars brimming with tasty goodness to share with you all before you know it.
On Friday I did receive the most lovely surprise package in the mail from Finn. Like a child on Christmas morning, I just could hardly wait to open the package. As the layers of tissue paper came away, I gave a little *gasp* when I spied the fabric peeking out at me. Just so delicious in it's vintage look.Once the paper was completely removed, I unfolded the most wonderful, vintage apron. Finn tells me it most likely dates to the early 20th century. It is quite long (nearly to my ankles) to protect the longer skirts of that era. Just think of the stories this apron could tell of it's owner, her family, the meals and cleanup . . . . Thank you, Finn!
Even in the heat of the week, I did manage to get a little quilting in. And now Kentucky Wildflower is complete.


It is all hand applique and hand quilted. Initially I planned to have it never touched by sewing machine. When it came time to apply the binding, I quickly changed my mind - and I'm glad I did. The border applique made and additional layer to be stitched through all the way around. Combine that with extra fabric at the top for the hanging sleeve and my poor little fingers would have been mince meat.
Also this week, I joined a new swap that is forming. You can read all about it and consider joining the fun at Four Seasons Quilt Swap. Already my mind is swirling with thoughts of what I shall make for the first swap. Since the quilts are small, I can probably make more than one of my ideas before the first deadline.

30 comments:

Darlene said...

I've been missing you, my friend! I can understand why you hesitated to start 'jammin' - I'd be afraid, too. You can do it!

Love the apron Finn sent - it's adorable and so YOU!

Hey, I joined the 4 Seasons Swap, too. Sounded like a nice change of pace!

Nice to 'see' you!

dot said...

Libby, don't be afraid to make jam. It is so easy. Just follow the directions inside the pectin box and all will go well. I have been making jam for over 30 years and it is one of my favorite things to do. I have not made any yet this year but have the berries in the freezer waiting for me. You can do it.

Susie said...

I'm sure your jam making will be a success! Love your quilt and the vintage apron.
xo

Diane said...

Missed ya! Your applique quilt is gorgeous. It looks like you found the perfect spot for it. A friend of mine makes jam and gives jars as Christmas gifts. There's nothing like a little taste of summer come December.

Judy said...

Ohh the quilt turned out lovely! I still will probably make one, but I want 2 of those fabulous berry filled flowers on mine! They are too neat. Very cool apron from Finn!

The jam will be good, don't worry. I agree with Dot the pectin box has perfect instructions...follow those! Can't wait to see them!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Oh, Libby! I love the Kentucky Wildflower quilt! The way the borders go around the corners is fantastic. It's stunning. The colors are grand (remember, I love red!!). Good luck with your preserves, I can just smell wonderful scents wafting from your kitchen...

Quilt Memories said...

Libby, can you just see the lady who wore your apron making jam with it on??I can, she would have been very pristine and so careful in what she was doing,just as you will.Can't wait to see pictures of all those jars in your cupboards.
The quilt is an absolute beauty,I am "red" with envy.

KCQuilter said...

Kentucky Wildflower is gorgeous! And your apron is wonderful--that Finn is an angel in disguise! Good luck with your jam making--yum yum.

ROZ said...

Dear Libby, Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm sure that your jam will be great. There's nothing like homemade. Just be sure that you process it after it's bottled and it'll keep.
Now about your wall hanging--it's lovely!

Screen Door said...

Hey kiddo - I hope the blues is "short lived." The apron is awesome--- curious thought... why were they always white that showed the dir so easy? The hand -appliqued project is beautiful, I love that color-- reminds me of sweet potatoes...Looking at the comments quilters have sent...I think your blues are over... you are so loved....(Rent one of those "yucky -love-stuff" movies, that'll help too.)

Bren said...

Your wallhanging is beautiful!! I love the colors. That apron is quite a prize. Will you wear it while making jam?
I joined the swap too!

Rabbit Stitchings said...

There you are! :O)....
Your Kentucky wall hanging turned out just super :O)...
The apron Finn sent you is quite nifty!
I too get a bit over whelmed with the canning... I do better with the freezing as well :O)...
I was going to can tomatoes last year, I wound up freezing them :O), which worked wonderful, I just chickend out on the canning :O(...

Carole said...

Your quilt looks absolutly lovely! I should get the pattern. Not like I need another project! As for canning, I wouldn't worry. I used to can eons ago! ;o) I would keep my jars in the oven, temp 225F. That kept them sterilized. Very rare does something go wrong and when it does, you can tell when you open a jar. Good luck!

Linda said...

Libby your quilt is absoloutely outstanding, stunning, fabulous and all those other good descriptive words. Good luck with the jam making. I'm guessing that it's done differently here in the US. I used to make the jam, get it to setting point, fill the jars which had been sterilized in the oven and seal.

Connie W said...

Well making jam has never been something that I did so I wouldn't have any advice to offer. Once I made strawberry freezer jam but something went wrong, I think the freezer went out after I made it, or something, anyway I never bothered to make it again. And I've been wanting to remember to comment on how much I like your top border on your blog, it's neat.

Juliann in WA said...

So happy to see a new post from you. I love visiting your blog. Your Kentucky Wildflower quilt is wonderful. Thanks for posting.

dee said...

Love everything about the quilt-especially that border. Just beautiful Libby

Beth said...

I love your Kentucky Wildflower! Was that a pattern? It's gorgeous!

Beth
baalberts@verizon.net

Sonnja said...

Your wallhanging is beautiful!! I love the colors too.
Kind Regards,

Sonnja

Finn said...

Glad to see your post again Libby, I was beginning to get concerned...darn the heat anyway, makes all of us crabby.
So happy you like the vintage apron *VBS* I see Mel asked if they were always white, I'd say definately "NO", I believe it was an apron for Sunday or for 'best'...when company came. The fabric weight is that of a summer dress or blouse. Everyday aprons were closer to muslin weight and very often a dark color on purpose. If they were to carry eggs or fresh veggies from the garden, they needed to be sturdy.
I have a picture of my Great Grandmother wearing one similar to the one I gave you..it's all white and nearly to her ankles..*S* But then she was a tiny little thing, not even 5 ft. tall. I'll have to see if I can find it and put it on my blog.
Your Kentucky Wildflowers are just gorgeous...but I knew they would be!! Hugs, Finn

Wendy said...

Don't worry about the jam making, just follow the instructions in the pectin package. It's always worked great for me.
Love your new wallhanging. You always have such wonderful projects to show.

Katie said...

That frozen fruit makes great jam too. Making jam is a hot job tho. Remember they have to spell out every possible problem and most will never happen. Besides you will eat it up so fast. VBS Store in the refrig and you can freeze too.
Love your apron from Finn.

Meredith said...

I am all for doing things by hand but I hear ya on the binding. What a lovely gift from Finn. As far as Jam goes I have never made it but I think you can do it. Lets face it women were doing it long before they had any of the new items we have in our kitchens.

Rose Marie said...

The quilt is lovely and so antique looking! I was wondering about the mini quilt just below your quilt and just realized that it is a light switch plate. How cool is that!

Knot Garden said...

The Kentucky Wildflower quilt is lovely, and I really like that red background. Great job, especially with all that hand sewing.
Good luck with the jam:)

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous fabric and a wonderful quilt. I love them both. You can do the jam! Remember they have to give all of the doom and gloom warnings "just in case". If you are careful and follow the directions, you'll do fine.

Dawn said...

Oh the apron is to die for! And your Kentucky flower is wonderful! You can do the jam - no problem! I'm not good at it and I never had a problem.

Patti said...

Finally getting a chance to start catching up - you've posted 31 times since I visited last! I'll read every one, but probably restrict commenting much until I catch up with everyone.

I love the Kentucky Wildflower wallhanging - so simple and yet so very striking in the two colors. I'm glad you did the binding by machine - I can't imagine trying to go through that many layers by hand!

As far as jam goes - just go for it! People used to seal jam with melted wax - much safer if you use regular canning jars and process them in a water bath. I've made hundreds of jars of jam over the years. If it spoils you can tell right away because it changes color and mold starts to grow. Botulism is a problem with things that are low acid content like vegetables - shouldn't be a problem with jam. But if you are really worried make freezer jam instead of canned jam. You can do it! And it tastes so marvelous!

I'm so eager to see what you've been up to. Love the apron you got from Finn. I need to post about the package I received too. Now that my room is put together I should be able to find a minute or two to do that!

The Calico Cat said...

guess what I had for dinner even though it was officially too hot to bake...

Lucy said...

What a beautiful apron. It is truly a lovely gift from finn! And the picture you made of it looks like it comes straight from a magazine :-)
You did a fast, great job on your wall hanging !!