Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Well, I have a couple of works-in-progress (WIP).... I am working on a quilt that has a deadline coming up pretty quick. I've been working on it for a couple hours today. It has a border that I haven't tried before, and I am liking the way that it looks.
I am having some inner conflict about liking this quilt or not. Some days I like it and others I don't. I think it depends on the lighting. It is all floral and the colours are a little more toned down than I usually choose. It sometimes seems too busy. I really like the design though, so hopefully when all is said and done, I like it. It isn't for me to keep though, so it really only matters if the recipient likes it!
This is another project I started recently. I was procrastinating a bit from doing the floral quilt. I had bought some pre-cut scraps from a quilt shop and I decided to just start sewing them together without a plan!
Ahh! That's hard for me to do. I usually draw everything out in advance so that I get maximum usage of fabric. I've posted here three different layouts that I am trying. I'm sure that there are other options too. I can cut up the long rectangular blocks to rearrange as well.
Which of the three do you like the best? Or do you have another suggestion on what to do? I found a little bit of fabric at home that coordinates that I can use to fill in a few spaces if needed. Let me know what you think and I'll keep you updated with what I do.

xo Nicole

Friday, August 14, 2009

Apricot Jam

Yesterday I made some delicious apricot jam. My friend Lillie brought over some apricots that she picked from a neighbour's tree. She didn't have time to use them up, what with family reunions and packing to move.
They were so small and delicious! I had to quickly make them into jam before you-know-who ate them all up. He already had eaten 14 since the day before. It doesn't matter if you say that he will enjoy the end product even more...
I found a fantastic recipe online for this jam and it doesn't require pectin or boiling jars in hot water once they are filled. That's a great thing for me, since I don't really have any canning equipment. I just bought these jars at the grocery store. I didn't really have a big enough pot to cook the jam in either. As you can see, I had to use two pots at first, when the jam started boiling over!
Let me just warn you if you want to make jam too, it makes a really big, sticky mess in your kitchen. The jam was splatting all over the place when it was cooking, including my arms, clothes and feet. Ow! Its really burning hot! And the recommendation about getting a wide funnel to put the jam in the jars? Great advice. I think I'll follow it next time.
I ended up with five 500 ml jars full of delicious jam, and a little extra kept in a container in the fridge. And instead of adding the little kernel inside each jar, I added a smidgen of almond extract to the whole batch after boiling it. Almond and apricot pair really well. In the end I also had a few apricots left over so I made some muffins, but I found that recipe online and it wasn't very good. Too bad!

Well, what have you been making this summer? Anything delicious? Something beautiful? Feel free to write something in the comment section!

xo Nicole