Sunday, September 19, 2010

Peppers and quilts

Today, I harvested jalapeno peppers from the garden and put them in the dehydrator. I've never used a dehydrator before but people at work swear by them, so I thought I'd give it a try. Don planted about 6 jalepeno pepper plants in the garden--what was he thinking?--and I didn't have any idea how to preserve them, so we'll try drying them and see what happens. Now the entire house reeks of hot pepper aroma! Fortunately, it doesn't make your eyes water or anything like that. Also, fortunately, I remembered to put gloves on before I started cutting the peppers. I can't imaging how my hands would be burning if I had forgotten to do that!

I also will be drying some carrots as well--I think they will do fine in the soup pot this winter. If I had any tomatoes, I'd try them as well, but my plants all got consumed by fungus this year, the worst it's ever been. Next year, we're using plastic to try to protect them from the fungus. And I have green peppers that will go into the dehydrator as well.

I'm spending the rest of the afternoon being lazy. While I'm watching tv, I decided to make needed repairs on this quilt:

This is the sampler quilt I made in the year-long quilting class I took in 2000 or so. It was held at the local JoAnne Fabrics store in the town where we lived then and my teacher was Sandy, one of the best, in my opinion. There were about 6 of us in the class and we all signed up for a 3 month course, meeting every Monday night at the store. The youngest member was a kindergarten teacher in her early 20's and the oldest was retired and in her early 80's, I think. When the first 3 month session was finished, we took a break for a few weeks and then started another 3 month session, until we had completed the year and had finished the quilt.

Because the class was sponsored by JoAnne, I bought all my supplies and fabrics from that store and I've been fairly satisfied with how they've held up. I used a polyester batt in this quilt because I only tied it. I remember that I couldn't afford to have it machine quilted by a long-armer and I didn't think I could machine quilt it myself, so I tied it. The repairs I made today were to restitch the binding. For some reason, I used a poor thread to stitch the binding and it was all coming apart. So now it'll be good for a while longer.

What I appreciate about this quilt is that it shows how far I've come in my quilting. My points don't match as well as they should, some seams are beginning to come apart, the applique is not very good, and I don't like the colors I chose at all. I've learned a lot since then and I like to look at this quilt sometimes to see how far I've come. Then I look at other people's quilts and see how far I have to go. Always there's the challenge to improve. Regardless of all the errors in this quilt, it's still wonderful to snuggle into on a cold winter's night. And that's what it's about.


  1. Isn't it nice to look back and see how we've improved? I can't bring myself to rip out my first FMQ in a small quilt. It's really horrible, but when I look at how far I've come, it gives me pride and pleasure. I once froze a whole quak (however much that is) of jalapenos. I didn't do gloves. My hands burned so bad, and a few days later the skin peeled off. Hard way to learn a lesson.