Sunday, October 27, 2013

Apples, Apples, Apples........

It all started with four boxes of lovely Greenbluff Golden Delicious Apples from Cole's organic orchard. It ended with six apple pie fillings, 5 gallons of dried apples, 4 quarts of mincemeat pie filling and 12 pints of apple butter.  

Where to begin?
With apples, of course, which have to be peeled, cored and sliced.....

For drying, the apples were cut apart in half-rounds and allowed to have a little bath in lemon juice and cool water (about 1/4 c. juice to 1 gallon of water)

Then, they were blotted with paper towels and ready to put on the dryer trays....

where they happily deydrated for about 8 hours until they looked like this.....

and were, subsequently, nestled together in ziplock bags and closed snugly up in a cool, basement pantry until further notice.

For mincemeat pie filling, the apples were, of course minced......

with a lemon and crystallized ginger.....

some oranges, peel and all (no seeds allowed).....

and mixed up together in a roasting pan..... 

with currants and golden raisins.....

sugar and spice and everything nice.....

some butter (or suet, if you can get it).....

and left to stand overnight, covered......


all comfy.....

The next day, it was baked and placed in glass jars and put into the freezer for pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

And there was enough left over bake into a pie for now.....

This, friends, is seriously good mincemeat....without an ounce of meat in it. I remember the mincemeat of my childhood, which I didn't like. It was made from venison. I'm pretty sure I would like venison mincemeat now, but I'm past the stage where I can shoot my own deer, etc. Mincemeat is definitely an adult-acquired taste, I think. And it's really tasty.

Here's the recipe:

Mincemeat Pie Filling - Makes 3 or 4 quarts

10 - 14 Apples
8 oz. shredded suet or 1/2 to 1 c. cold butter, cut in small pieces
12 oz. golden raisins
8 oz. dried currants
3 whole oranges, minced
4 oz. of crystallized ginger or candied orange peel, minced
1 whole lemon, minced
4 oz sliced almonds, minced
2 c. brown sugar
2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground cinnamon
7 T. good brandy

You may use a food processor or grinder to prepare the apples, dried fruits, candy, nuts and citrus. Hand chopping makes a bulkier and chewier product that is, also, lighter in color. Mix all together, except the brandy, in a non-reactive pan and let stand, covered, overnight. In the morning, stir the mincemeat well and heat for 3 hours at 225 degrees F. Stir a few times while it is in the oven. When all is hot, when the butter or suet is melted, and the mincemeat is glistening, add the brandy and mix in well. Pack in sterile jars and seal, leaving 1 inch of head room. This will keep in the refrigerator for a month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bake according to whatever recipe you like to use. I used a store-bought crust and baked it for 40 minutes at 425 degrees F.

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Quilt Patterns for Christmas and Winter

"Dashing" is one of our newest quilt wall hanging patterns for winter and Christmas. It's fun to decorate these little projects. With this one, I found some lovely brass bells for the harness of the horse. They really jingle.
These models were machine quilted by Lise Ott at Experience Quilts! quilt shop in Odessa, WA.

This is a pattern for the less-experienced quilter wanting to learn applique' techniques and a little piecing. The directions in all these new patterns are complete for one wanting to learn. These are good patterns for classes in quilting. The projects are small, usually under a yard in dimension, and the shapes are quite simple. The patterns even include the embroidery stitches needed to do the embellishments.

These patterns include instructions for fusible web applique' and freezer paper applique'.

The corner of the blanket is blowing out behind as the pony trots swiftly on, weighted with a little bead and some stem stitching. Below, is the center block for "Midnight Feast", a small wall hanging done in violet batiks, for the most part.

Winter is a hard time for some of our little forest friends. On this frigid night, some bunnies receive a present from Mr. Snowman! He's all decked out for the season.

Here's some of the detail work, below, and a complete picture of the center block with borders and snowballs (above).

We used some sequin-like leaves for Mr. Snowman's decorations.

"Twas the Night" is the name of our third winter decorative quilt. The pattern includes the words to Clement Moore's poem as well as a recipe for old-fashioned Sugar Plums (seen dancing over the child's head).

Mom reads to her daughter, warm and cozy.

Here's the whole piece. The blocks for these quilts are simple and the patterns include all the directions needed to assemble them. We hope you enjoyed this preview. You can purchase these 
patterns at Pattern Peddlers. The model for "Dashing" will be at the Fall Market.

Odessa Deutschesfest Vintage/Antique Quilts Show - September 2013

It's that time of year, again: Deutschesfest. All year, we've been looking for old and older quilts to hang in the 100+ year old St. Matthew's Church in Odessa, where we live. This year, our old church got a facelift of magnificent proportions: New Paint, New Sign and a NEW ROOF! It looks absolutely wonderful and good for another 100 years, God willing.

Inside, the sanctuary is the setting for the quilt show and a special photography show (new, this year). On the Sunday School side of the building, members of the Association of Germans from Russia maintain a genealogy research room.
As the ball fields fill up with RV's, as the city park fills up with campers, as every available spot is occupied by more RV's and campers, we all crowd in and enjoy our annual celebration of everything German: food, music, culture, art, and craziness. Oh, and a little beer (RIGHT!). You can read more 
about Deutschesfest here.

Here is our guild's banner quilt, designed to hang at the entrance of our annual quilt show (every April in Odessa - you can enter a quilt from anywhere in the world) and at this antique/vintage quilts show. See the little quilters all around the quilt, adding their tiny stitches. That's us, all year long, quilting away on our bi-annual raffle quilt. Every other year, our raffle quilt is a hand-quilted-applique' quilt (which we spend at least a year quilting.

This coming year's offering will be our version of "Aunt Milly's Garden". We call it "Mildred's Garden" in honor of Mildred Diefe, one of Odessa's greatest quilters and teachers, who passed away earlier this year, in her 90's. Mildred taught in the public schools for many years. When she took up quilting, she began to teach that, too. Many area quilters fondly remember Mildred for her great and cheerful sacrifices for them in lending her time and talents to bettering their education and understanding on a wide range of topics.

 Here's the quilt all set up and being quilted at the show. Isn't it a treat? Write to me, if you'd like to buy a chance on it. You don't need to be present to win.

And now, for the old, antique and vintage quilts.........

Quilt Name or Pattern:  “Kewpie Dolls” (a popular doll in the 1930’s)

Made by: Alice (Luiten) Wraspir
Quilted by:  Alice (Luiten) Wraspir and Elizabeth Luiten
Date Completed:   Nov 1934

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
Alice, Harley’s mother, made this quilt for his birth in February of 1935. Her mother, Elizabeth, helped.

 Quilt Name or Pattern:    “Irish Medley”
Made by:   Hilda Arthur
Quilted by:    Hilda Arthur
Date Completed:     c. 1929

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
 Jack Arthur’s father was Irish, hence the green shamrocks. Pieces of material from other projects were used.

Along in front of the altar was a lovely little display of photographs by Jana Kay Jasman, of Odessa. She is an up-and-coming local artist and her photos of area scenes are wonderful.

Quilt Name or Pattern:    “Lambkins”
Made by: Jackie (Werts) Helm
Quilted by:  Jackie (Werts) Helm and her mother, Peal Chase Werts
Date Completed:   1942

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
This quilt was made for a daughter and grand daughter's birth.

Quilt Name or Pattern:   “Fan”
Made by:  Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Quilted by:   Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Date Completed:    unknown

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
Louise was a prolific sewist. She made many quilts, crocheted many Afghans and doilies. She also made dolls for the grandchildren. When she wasn’t sewing, she made wonderful German meals for her family.

Quilt Name or Pattern:  “Bow Tie”
Made by:   unknown
Quilted by:    unknown
Date Completed:     unknown
Quilt Owned by:    Lise Ott, co-owner of Experience Quilts! quilt shop in Odessa, WA
Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
 I found this at an estate sale in East Wenatchee. I felt an immediate connection with it, which is weird since I don’t really care for pink. It had obviously been loved in the past. I knew it needed to be loved in a different way now.

Quilt Name or Pattern:   “Embroidered Child’s Quilt”
Made by:   unknown
Quilted by:    unknown
Date Completed:     unknown
Quilt Owned by:    Lise Ott
Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
A yard sale find – the lady said her neighbor had had it for years, but didn’t know much more. It was stained and dirty and unfinished, so, probably, isn’t all that old, but it charmed me. 

Quilt name or pattern: Dresden Plate – “Grandma Carol’s Quilt”
Made by: unknown
Quilted by: Lillian Starkell
Date Completed:  1949

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
This quilt was made for Grandma Carol by her mother, Lillian Starkel. Grandma Lillian handquilted it out of dresses the girls wore growing up. She gifted it to Carol when she married Herb Spies. 

Quilt Name or Pattern:    “Grandmother’s Flower Garden”
Made by:   Lillian Starkel
Quilted by:    Lillian Starkel
Date Completed:     Mid 1970’s

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
 Grandma Lillian made quilts for all of her grandchildren in order of their births. This was the third one made of those.  

 Quilt Name or Pattern:   “Fan”
Made by:  Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Quilted by:   Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Date Completed:    unknown
Quilt makers and owners connections to Odessa, if any:
Louise came to America with her family as a small child. They were German emigrants from Russia. The family first settled in Ruff, Washington, then, moved to Odessa.

Quilt Name or Pattern:   “Lone Star”
Made by:  Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Quilted by:   Louise (Wilskie) Heimbigner
Date Completed:    unknown
Quilt Owned by:  Louise’s great grandson

Quilt Name or Pattern:   “Embroidered Flower”
Made by:  unknown
Quilted by:  unknown
Date Completed:   unknown

Quilt history or other interesting information about the quilt and its maker:
This  was purchased from an antique dealer in the Wenatchee area.  

Wasn't that fun? Don't you just love old quilts? Aren't you inspired to rescue the next one you see at a yard sale? I am, truly. Next time, I'll show you our latest quilt patterns for Fall Market. Yes! We've been working our little fingers to the bone!

Bye, for now......