January 1, 2013

Homemade and a Happy New Year

I have been a quilter for over 20 years. I went off quilting for a bit lately to take up other textile interests. I still love quilting and try to finish at least one quilt a year around Christmas time. I also like to start a new quilt during this time. This Christmas I completed this quilt I started years ago with my friend Geo. It's a quilt made from recycled fabric either from clothing or fabric that we found in thrift stores. Both Geo and I have shared all the fabric we found. I got the quilt machine quilted a couple years ago, but it was only this Christmas that I decided to add the binding. So I can say I completed at least one quilt this year.

After I finished piecing the top I decided to add a border with some writing. I called it 'Rags to Riches' and I put that around the borders.

Geo and I choose the fabric randomly except the "F" (feature) fabric which we each bought at the beginning. It might look like a total scrap quilt without patterns, but there really is a pattern throughout the quilt. The pattern is called Trail Mixed. If you look carefully, you will see the pattern right through it. I really had fun piecing it, but it took me a long time to finish. 

A close up of the quilt top. I even put fabric from a Hawaii shirt in there and also some 1950s fabric. The blue fabric you can see there was from Geo's mother's dress. Another homemade activity this year is preserving.

Every summer around Christmas time our only apricot tree gives us plenty of apricots. This year we have more than we can eat. I started preserving them the weekend before Christmas knowing that I would get busy once Christmas came. I was glad I picked them then because soon after that our dear friends - flocks of birds started to visit and picked what was left on the tree.

I bottled two batches of them and also made two batches of jam and one batch of chutney. I did them in time to give them away for Christmas. I also took them to DS's family. Everyone greatly appreciates the homemade goodies.

It was a lot of preparation getting the fruit ready for bottling, but I have to say I love doing them and seeing the end result of jars and jars of bottled fruit to be used in the off season.

Jars were packed in the boiler and boiled in a slow cooker for an hour. I had to do that a few times because my preserving pot only holds 9 jars at a time. I think I worked until midnight that day.

The beautifully stacked fruit was well packed. Even after steaming the fruit didn't rise to the top as had happened in the previous year when my helper was in a hurry to get them done quickly. Nothing is more pleasing than seeing them stack in the cupboard ready to be consumed. 

We are away at the moment to visit DS and our DGC. We took a quick trip to see our block of land on the South Coast of NSW. It was such a lovely day that day that we went in for a swim at our local beach. I will share some photos with you on my next post. 

I hope everyone had a great Christmas with your loved ones and a Happy New Year to you all. 

Until next time


Dolores said...

Looks like you were very productive before Christmas. Now you can relax. I love apricots and it looks like you had a bumper crop.
The quilt finish was kinda sneaky. I have one that needs binding too - and a label.

deanna7trees said...

i do see the pattern in your beautiful quilt. lots of interesting fabrics. my grandmother used to make lots of delicious candies with apricots. looks like you have enough for more than one year. wishing you and your family joy and peace.

Kim said...

Happy New Year Nat:0)

I hope 2013 brings plenty of creativity your way.

Happy Sewing, lovely scrappy quilt!

Needled Mom said...

Those apricots are making my mouth water. They are my all time favorite canned fruit. I think I am glad that our trees do not ripen until summer because I do not know how I would get the canning done during Christmas!!!

Your quilt is wonderful. I did see the pattern running through it and I love all of the different fabrics.

Have a wonderful and productive new year, Nat.

Terry said...

Nice to see the quilt I remember you twon starting it. Yummy apricots.
Happy New Year may you get lots of stitching and dying done.

Peggy said...

Nat, your finished quilt is amazing. What an accomplishment to have made this beautiful piece. Love your apricot photos, beautiful food in and out of the jars! Happy New Year. xo

Nedra said...

I love scrappy quilts. Congratulations on a finish! and your apricots look so yummy. Your canning jars are very different than the kind we use here in the U.S.

Sue-Anne said...

Your quilt looks fantastic Nat, lots of sewing in that one. The apricots look very appetising in the preserving jars.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Lis Harwood said...

Proper patchwork! With recycled and vintage fabrics, shared with friends and a glorious result. I can see the design, it's lovely. Did you hand or machine piece it?
Oh those apricots.....delicious.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Gotta love that quilt Nat especially as both you and Geo have 1 each...now I'm sure I will get to see both quilts in person one day! Home preserved apricots...can't beat that! Glad you enjoyed the coast...we WILL catch up one day ha ha!

AnnieO said...

That is a beautiful scrap quilt and I have no doubt at all why it took so long to finish, with all those pieces. Congrats on a wonderful project! Your tree was very productive indeed and I hope you savor every bite of your hard work on collecting and preserving it!

Cheryl Harper Textiles said...

Happy New Year Nat,
Love your site,

Nifty Quilts said...

LOVE your scrappy quilt!! Your apricots look yummy too.

Morna Crites-Moore said...

Good Lord, Woman! That is one incredibly complex and beautiful quilt.

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