Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pickled Watermelon Rind!

I love trying new foods...and somewhere inside of me is a Prairie Mom itching to get out. I SO love any handmade crafts, and down-home, throwback recipes. We had watermelon this weekend, and I suddenly had the urge to turn this sweet Summer treat into some pickled watermelon rind! I scoured the internet for recipes, and took the best bits of each...and here's what I came up with:
STEP ONE: Cut away all of the flesh (pink) and peel (green) of the melon, leaving only the rind. (Now if you know me, you know I don't measure when I cook, and I do things as well as I can easily but I'm not OCD about it...some of you would use a toothpick to scrape away every last vestige of pink but this is what mine looked like) and cut into about 1" pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl with water to cover and a couple of teaspoons of salt to soak in the fridge overnight.
STEP TWO (it is now the next day :): Rinse the melon in a colander, and place it in a stockpot covered with new, fresh water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. While this is happening, cut a square of cheesecloth and place 5 cinnamon sticks broken into small-ish pieces, about a teaspoon of cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed. (I didn't measure it and it came out great!)
STEP THREE: Tie up your cheesecloth into a cute little pouch!
STEP FOUR: Oh look, the watermelon is boiling! Boil it for 30 minutes over medium heat.
STEP FIVE: While the watermelon is boiling, put 2 quarts of Apple Cider vinegar (or white, I used the former) in a stockpot with 2 1/2 cups of sugar (approx.). Add that adorable little sachet of spices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir to make sure sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
STEP SIX: When the watermelon's done, drain it.
STEP SEVEN: Put the watermelon into the vinegar mixture and heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil for 45 minutes until watermelon is translucent. After 40 minutes of boiling, remove the spice sachet.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool, and can as you would can anything else, or put in a clean pickle jar in the fridge for more immediate eating :) I did the latter, and I used this recipe with the rind of one large melon.
The finished product! It is SO yummy! You can still taste the watermelon-y flavor but it has a lovely pickle-y crunch...I am SO making this again!

Monday, July 27, 2009


L-O-V-E this new fabric. SOOO much! L-O-V-E this girl lots and lots, too!
It's a Japanese upholstery-weight, and I think it will have to be a new tote for the Alaska Cruise in a couple of weeks...if it gets done in time....but the nice thing about the quilting cruise is that I can sew on it while I'm there, too, with tons of fabulous Scottie Dog Quilts Quilters!! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Clutchy, clutchy.

This is my first attempt at a clutch. I went into JoAnn fabrics last week and the linen was literally staring me down. Literally. It was right in front, first row, 60% off. What's a girl to do? Then I tried to buy one yard, and there was another 3/4 on the bolt that they gave me 75% off of the 60% off...anyway, how could I not? So now I have this gorgeous linen, and only a fat quarter of some ADORABLE bird fabric Liz bought selvage, no idea who made it, only that it's Windham (I think). So I thought, "I guess I'll add some linen". I looked at a bunch of patterns online, made some pleats (now that I know how! :) and then didn't know what to do for the top...I found this pattern and used it for the shape idea for the top of the clutch...and then I made it a different size, different width and height, and used contrasting lining, added a zipper and wrist strap (my first zip, BTW, a little wonky but workable!)...and it's done!
I can't wait to make another!!!!

Relay For Life--and the amazing Margaret's Hope Chest

I have to post about someone who staggers me with her kindness. I can't even find the right words to describe how remarkable I think is. She makes quilts simply to bless people. Margaret's Hope Chest is my hero! I entered a giveaway on her blog through Sew, Mama, Sew....and I won! I never win anything, and I was thrilled to win this gorgeous quilt! (image courtesy of

My husband and I in our team regalia at Relay

I wanted to use this quilt to raise money for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and our team, Mel's Movers, in honor of our dear Auntie Mel (her photo is on our bright green shirts), who lost a courageous battle with lung cancer a couple of years ago. We put the quilt on the very front of our table and it received so many comments and sold so many tickets....we were so thrilled! We drew a winner at random from the lottery, and she was just ecstatic to win this handmade masterpiece!!!
The quilt gracing the front of our booth
Our team
Survivor Lap at Relay for Life 2009
Thank you, Margaret's Hope Chest, for all that you do. The gift of this quilt is something I will carry with me always...and I know the recipient will treasure it forever. What you do and what you are teaching your children with your positivity and gifts of love is so remarkable...and I truly admire you! You are amazing!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I can see clearly now, the junk is gone!

Finally, finally....12 years after first learning to quilt, I have finally gotten my fabric out of its under-bed bins and onto some shelving! Yes!!! This is an old LP shelf we got free from a record store that unfortch was closing...and it worked surprisingly well for fabric organization! SOOO happy this task is completed!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our finally-finished King-sized bed quilt!

The pattern is "Bohemian Boxes"...coming soon from Scottie Dog Quilts!! The fabric is the Bleeker Street line--which I adore!!

Wallet and Grommet!!!

I love this bag! The Heather Ross fabric is one of my favorites...the little tadpoles and frogs in jars are just so enjoyable! The Amy Butler circle fabric is called "martini" and it so looks like little strings of olives.

The pattern is called "Wallet and Grommet" and it is so much fun! I love how the handles can be doubled or single, slung over-the-shoulder-style.
This bag makes me so happy! Thanks BrendaLou for all of the tips and tricks!!