Monday, December 23, 2013

The Myth of Scraps

 I don't have a "stash".  Well, not like some of my friends have.  My stash is some wool and one small tote of some special fabric and another small tote of Kaffe Fasset prints.  You see, a stash makes me nervous - it calls to me and makes me feel guilty that I'm not using it.  I also like to have a tidy sewing room.

So, since I admire my friends that make scrap quilts I decided to try it.  I had this box of Kaffe fabrics leftover from my bright Acorn's Promise quilt.  Gee, when I bought those I really thought I would use them all up in Acorn's Promise, but no, there was still a full box when the quilt was finished.


In an effort to avoid feeling guilty, I decided to make some hexagon blocks.  Surely, that would use up the scraps!  Wrong again, even after the hexies and cutting out borders that pile of fabric is the same size.


And my room is a mess.
I'm going to try using them up again with an amazing pattern by Chris Jurd of Patchwork Fundamentals.  If I still have this box full when the quilt is finished, I'm thinking of giving it all away.  After all, if I make every quilt out of the same box of fabric, they will all look the same! 

I worked hard the past few days and cut out all the pieces for the side borders of the hexie quilt and am quite excited to get them appliqued and then do the top and bottom.  Someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will show it to you.


Friday, December 6, 2013

3rd Day of Christmas- Door Buster Sale!

Today I have a great gift idea for you.  Have you noticed how dry your hands feel after a day of sewing?  Are your cuticles torn and finger tips cracked?  Do your heels get dry and crack?  After searching the store shelves in vain for good natural products that really work,  my sister, Paula and I, decided to make our own skin care products.  Bee Balm and Heel Thyself are all-natural with no artificial color or fragrance.  Only high quality plant oils, healing herbs and beeswax. Family and friends loved the products so much we started a small business, In Your Bonnet.

Bee Balm is an all-natural healing ointment that moisturizes while healing cracked skin, torn cuticles, burns, cuts, and takes the sting out of insect bites.  My husband calls it "miracle in a tin".  Bee Balm doesn't leave an oily residue and you will be surprised at the immediate relief and quick results. 

Apply Heel Thyself nightly until the cracks heal and then just once or twice a week to keep your feet smooth. Heel Thyself is absorbed quickly into your dry skin so no nasty greasy marks on your sheets and no need to wear socks to bed.


Today, Paula is offering a fantastic "door-buster" to friends of 
Kerry Stitch Designs.  

Buy 10 small (1 oz) or 4 large (4 oz) Bee Balm and get 
1 Heel Thyself, regularly priced $15.00 FREE!

Don't wait, all of the In Your Bonnet products are made in small batches and supplies are limited.  Just visit IN YOUR BONNET and at checkout, in the special instructions box type "Kerry Stitch".

Paula will send your products via Priority Mail, so you can get treating your dry skin within a few days.

(This offer expires on December 20th, 2013)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day 2 of Christmas

During Quilt Market in Houston, my eyes were drawn to the beautiful threads in the Threadnuts booth.  Threadnuts is the wholesale distributor for Painters threads from Germany.

Painters threads have a very unique dying system for their hand-dyed threads and fibers where color is painted on giving each skein varying dots of sparkling colors.  Believe me when I say that the colors are so vibrant that the camera can't begin to show how beautiful they are and what a difficult time I had deciding which ones to offer first.  Each skein is a work of art named after a famous artist.

As you know, I love to embellish my wool applique and the Painter's Pearl Cotton size 8 is amazing to work with.  Since colors are applied in a random manner rather than a set repeat, the variegated colors result in beautiful embellishment stitches.

I have a limited quantity of the Painter's Pearl Cotton in my Etsy shop here


 I sometimes like to add a bit of metallic threads but so many of these embellishment threads are just too much shine for me.  I like the metallic to enhance, not overwhelm, my work.  Painters Threads also offer a fine metallic braid in amazing colors.  Any of your embroidery stitches can be worked in this fine thread for just a hint of sparkle or my favorite is to use it for adding beads with a Coral Stitch.

Find the Painters Metallic Braid in my Etsy shop here.


I have a limited quantity of the threads on hand but don't worry, if I sell out I can have a new supply within a week.  Do you have a friend that would love some threads for Christmas or can you sneak them into your own stocking?

As I mentioned yesterday, Etsy gives me limited options on charging postage.  If you want to add necklaces, threads and patterns to your order and fill up a flat rate envelope for just $5.00, give me a call at 801-706-4671 to order and we can save on the shipping charges.

Check back tomorrow for another perfect stitchers gift idea.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 3, not 12 Days of Christmas

Yesterday I heard a news story that estimated it would cost $27,393 to buy everything in "The 12 Days of Christmas" song.  Wow!  I guess that's off my wish list.

Most of us need to be a bit practical during this holiday season but still want to give special gifts.  Since I'm a bit late starting my Christmas shopping, I only have 3 ideas - not 12 for you.

Starting today, I have 5 beautiful necklaces to hold your little scissors.  I wear mine whenever I'm stitching so there's no looking to find them when I need to clip a thread or snip off a little corner of fabric.  My friend, Marsha looks for unique beads and combines them into unique pieces.  I had Marsha make a scissor necklace for me and thought you might like one too.  There are additional, close-up photos when you click on the "here" links.

Colorful Lampwork Beads Necklace for $22.00 click here
 Colorful African Christmas beads with batik dotted bone, $24.00 click here
 Navajo bear fetish symbolizing strength, introspection, and the power of the soul for $24.00 click here
 Hand-painted pelicans on ceramic beads from Peru, $22.00 click here
 Who doesn't love pearls for only $22.00?  Click here

When listing on Etsy, I have limited options for adding the shipping charges.  If you would like to order more than one you can call me at 801-706-4671 or go ahead and order on the Etsy site and I will refund the excess shipping charges.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see what I have for you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Life Before The Internet

I do remember that there was life before the internet, but now I find that it is an addiction.  Last week the phone line to my computer decided to give it up.  After going through the unplugging, waiting, and plugging in, I had the stress of calling the phone company - 3 times before they would send someone out.  Finally, a very nice young man came to my home today and fixed everything in 10 minutes.  

Imagine my happiness at being able to check my email, see what's new on Pinterest, and show you the finished Urban Owls quilt that I absolutely love.  This is a pattern by Wendy Williams and was a Block of the Month from Material Obsession.  I know some of you have registered for this program and my advise is, stick with it, even the hard blocks, because look how beautiful it is when finished.


And here is a close-up of the cat on the roof and pretty people in the windows.

Cindy Paulson did an amazing job adding so many quilted details.  Every time I look at the quilt (and there have been many) I see something new.  The quilt is hanging on the wall of my family room and it is a perfect place for me to enjoy it.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I will be preparing dinner for my family.  But first, it is my husband's birthday on Wednesday so I'm taking it one celebration at a time.  

Marsha just delivered 6 more beautiful scissor necklaces which I will try to get on the blog and my Etsy shop this week.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Busy Week

Last week was quite busy.  On Tuesday I stayed at the beautiful Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah the night before teaching embellishment to members of the Midway Heritage Quilt Guild on Wednesday.  I had a wonderful time with this great group as we learned different stitches and shared a delicious lunch provided by the guild members.

In fact, I was having such a good time I forgot to take photos (again).  Well, you just need to take my word for it that everyone had fun and made beautiful stitches.

Friday wasn't near as much fun..... I had to report to jury duty.  Now, the clerk and judge tell you this is a great honor and your civic duty but I didn't buy it for a minute.  Really, if it is such a great thing why are you threatened with a $1,000 fine if you don't show up?  There were 25 jurors and only 6 were needed.  Lucky me, I wasn't chosen.  Now I'm off the hook for at least the next 2 years.
 
On Saturday, I was greeted with dark clouds, rain and snow for the 
drive to Village Dry Goods to teach my Day Tripper Purse.





I started everyone off by laying down the foundation for the back pocket.  That's right, you would assume we would start with the front, but in the interest of time I've found that all the techniques can be learned in less time on the back pocket so class doesn't seem so hurried.

Fran and Rolayne catered a tasty lunch so we didn't even have to leave our sewing table to eat, and then it was on to learning embroidery stitches.

Village Dry Goods on historic main street in Brigham City, Utah has a beautiful new store  with a wide assortment of fabrics, patterns, wool and a friendly and helpful staff.  This shop should definitely be on your list of places to stop.

The beaded scissor lanyards are all sold but Marsha is making more and they will be in my Etsy shop soon.  They will be priced right for Christmas giving.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beaded Scissor Lanyard

My friend, Marsha Christensen, makes the most beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry with unique imported beads.  You may have seen the one I wear while sewing that holds my small scissors handy for snipping.  Each necklace is a total of 30 inches with a clasp that is easy to open for adding your scissors or badge and slips easily over your head.  I have received many compliments on mine and asked Marsha to make a few more. I'm not even embarrassed to admit that I really want to keep all 3 for myself, but in a rare act of self-denial, they are listed in my Etsy shop.

The beautiful brown shades of the Peruvian beads remind me of a perfect mocha, topped with whipped cream.   Click here to see close up photos and ordering information.

Marsha tells me these colorful Indian Eye beads protect you from the evil eye.  Now, tell me, who doesn't need to keep the evil eye away?  Click here for close-up photos and ordering details.
 
I love the colors of these Peruvian beads and if you look close there are little scenes on them.   Click here to see close up photos and details on ordering

I only have 1 of each and they are very affordable for hand-made jewelry, ranging from $20 to $24.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Quilt Market in Houston, TX


Last week I attended the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX to help my friend, Norma Whaley, in her booth.  Norma is the creator of all the Timeless Traditions Quilts patterns, a selection of beautiful wool and cotton applique for all seasons and traditional pieced quilts.  Our trip to Houston was met with a few problems, first a 2 1/2 hour delay added to the 2 hour layover in Denver and then a 2 hour drive to our hotel due to traffic problems.  On Friday, we set up the booth and then went shopping in Spring, Tx.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday found us at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston along with hundreds of booths selling everything connected to quilting.  Since Norma and I were joined by our friend, Julie Wardell, we each had a chance to leave Norma's booth for a bit of shopping and exploring on our own.

 I was really excited to see that Hobby & Land was just 2 aisles away from us.  Hobby & Land sells all types of accessories for purse making and this year they had patterns for the most amazing bags.  Yes, I ordered several patterns and can't wait for them to arrive.  The people in the booth are from Korea and are so kind and helpful. 
 Here are Amy and her Mom standing in front of the handle display.  Amy speaks very good English and was able to translate to her Mom how much I love all the designs.  Mom has designed many of the bags and was busy with her applique in the booth.

 Isn't this the cutest idea for a key holder?  There is a zipper on the side where you stash the keys you're not using.  I ordered the pattern, ring and the cute little locks.

Of course, I couldn't resist buying the clasp and pattern for this small purse.  The flower is made from brushed cotton.

I stopped by the Aurifil booth and was so excited to discover the person I was speaking with was Elly, my sales rep from Italy.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone to take her photo but take my word for it, she is beautiful. It is so much fun to meet people that I've talked to over the phone or in emails.  We are like old friends and now I know who I'm actually talking to on the other end of the line. 

Norma was very successful and we had a great time but were happy to get back home to our own beds and comfy sewing chairs.  I'm thinking that I would like to go back to Houston next October for Quilt Festival which is held just a few days after the Market.  Festival is HUGE and everything is for sale - retail.  Start saving your money and meet me there next year.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Picking Posies Pattern on Sale


I have drastically reduced the price of the Picking Posies pattern in my Etsy shop.  This is a beautiful (unfolded) pattern with professional close-up photos of each block and the embellishment stitches.  The pattern also includes a listing of the embellishment threads and colors used.

Even if you don't want to make the wall hanging, the pattern is an excellent resource for embellishment ideas on your next project.

The new price is only $12.00, just Click Here to purchase on Etsy.  Don't want to deal with Etsy?  That's OK, you can call me at 801-706-4671 to place your order.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Crazy or Busy?

It's been about 3 weeks since my last post, but not because I was resting.  In fact, I've been too busy.  My husband and I went to Elk City, Oklahoma (a 900+ mile car trip each way) where he was enrolled in a wood carving class.  Wood carvers are like quilters - over the years you get to be good friends, so there were a lot of laughs and good times.  The class was held at the home of  Phil & Vickie Bishop, and carvers came from California, Illinois, Connecticut, Nebraska, and Texas.  We stayed in a local motel and each morning we would travel a few miles to their home where I would spend my time with two other wives, Mary and Pat.  Pat was working on a baby quilt, I stitched on my new project, and Mary was wood burning amazing little birds and gourds. We would clear up to serve lunch then hurry to get our projects out again until it was time for dinner.

Did I mention that our 2 dogs traveled with us?  And, Mickey, who recently had surgery to repair a torn ACL blew out the other ACL 1 week before the trip?  That's right, a total of 4 days in the car and 8 nights in a motel with dogs, one of which was a bit crippled.  Just a little bit of stress.  One night I started to brush my teeth and quickly realized from the taste that I was using the dog's toothbrush - gross.  Then, just a few days after returning home I picked up my friend for a movie and after she paid for the popcorn, I realized I took us to the wrong theatre. Instead of the chick flick we had planned, we watched Gravity.  Did I also forget to mention I ran the car into the garage door?

My husband said all of this is because I'm always doing too many things at once while talking at the same time to pay attention.  Maybe he's right but I'm thinking a rest would be good.  If you are looking for a rest too, there are some quilting retreats I want to tell you about where I will be teaching.

January 8-11, Page, Arizona is the Lake Powell Quilting Adventures.  Classes, trunk shows, vendors and a room for open sewing in a beautiful location.  Sounds like heaven.  To find out more click here

Can's make it in January?  How about the Small Town Quilt Show in a Big Town Way, June 26-18, 2014 in Midway, UT at the Zermatt Resort at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  This promises to be a fantastic retreat with multiple national teachers, vendors, quilt competition and more.  To find out more about this retreat click here


I mentioned my latest project.  Here's a little sample - more later.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day Tripper Purse and Travel Bag

Yesterday I received a very nice email from Beth.  She had purchased my Day Tripper pattern a few months ago at Village Dry Goods and just finished her bag.  Beth is going to Mexico on vacation with her family and wanted to make this purse for her daughter.

This top photo shows the front flap opened up to show both the front and back pocket.  Beth was a bit hesitant to tell me she made some changes, not certain of my reaction.  I'm thrilled when someone makes changes to my patterns to make the project their own.  My pattern is just the starting point to bring out your own creativity.


On the front flap Beth changed out the bee hives for sail boats which is more fitting for her daughter.  In the above photo, Beth chose to applique her daughter's beloved dog that passed away not long ago.  What a sweet reminder of a best friend.

I think Beth did a fantastic job on her Day Tripper.  I'm sure her daughter will love this gift from Mom and appreciate the hours of stitching and careful thought that went into creating it.

I will be teaching the Day Tripper at Village Dry Goods in November and look forward to seeing the changes each student makes.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stitches


The next few weeks will find me traveling with my husband to Oklahoma where he will be taking a wood carving class.  Over the years we have become friends with this group and are looking forward to seeing them again.  Let me tell you, carvers and quilters have a lot in common.  During class, I hang out with our dogs, and they get to watch me stitch.

Occasionally I'm invited to teach a class on embellishment.  I enjoy the classes, meeting new people, and seeing how excited they are to learn stitches, trying out a new thread, beads and colors. Since I have a few classes coming up soon, I started working on some new samples to demonstrate stitches and fibers.  Here's a sneak peek:

Bees and lavender - what a lovely combination to surround a woven bee skep.  The next blocks will be flowers to surround the hive.  I've been busy experimenting with new fibers and learning new stitches.  I'm looking forward to my stitching time; I wonder if the dogs are.

Mickey and Juno

Memories

A few weeks ago I told you about my hand-me-down bed from my nephew and the quilt that fit perfectly.  With a few minutes of free time, the hunt was on for more quilts to cover the bare walls. Finding just the right quilt in my closet turned into a trip down memory lane.

This is a design by Blackbird Designs that I made many years ago. When I first saw the pattern my eye was caught by the waving flag which is so different from the straight flags more commonly seen and I really love the basket design.  The original pattern had 3 eagles across the bottom block, but I substituted one grand bald eagle drawn by my friend, Debra Hale.  I love to do needle-turn applique and this was a joy to make.

Really, isn't this flag special?


This next quilt is one of Buggy Barn's "crazy" designs.  I'm either too crazy or not crazy enough to enjoy this technique, but I love the finished quilt, especially the fabric used for some of the flags.  It's not easy to see in this photo but it is a red/white stripe with a beautiful little floral design.  I just wish there would have been enough for all the flags.

This pillow was lovingly hand embroidered and given to me as a birthday gift by another good friend, Sue Olson.  How lucky am I to have such talented and generous friends?

And then there is the memory of my dad, Jack Rose, only 18 years old in this photo wearing his Army uniform and recently drafted to serve in World War II - and the flag that draped his casket over 30 years ago.

So many memories in this small room.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kits & Threads


I made kits for my recent Berry Bloom class and have 2 left over.  The kits have everything you need to make this little purse including the embellishment threads and pattern.  The only thing not included is the bee at the bottom and applique thread.  The kit is $45.00 and you can find it in my Etsy Shop.  This is hand-dyed felted wool, fully lined with a cute Kaffe print.


I prefer to use Aurifil Lana Wool thread for my wool applique because the texture of the thread matches the "wooliness" of the wool and hides better.  I like a good matching color so the applique stitches don't show and take attention away from my embellishment.  But, a good collection of colors can be expensive so last year I started offering kits of Aurifil wool thread in 32 colors wound on bobbins.

A few months ago my friend let me know she couldn't provide the bobbins any longer, so I went searching for another solution.  I was excited to learn that Aurifil also has the same wool thread on small spools of about 54 yards that I could offer in the same 32 colors.

I'm moving up again with 5 new colors to bring my collection to 36 vibrant, wonderful, wool colors perfect for applique.  No, that isn't a math error - even though 32 + 5 is 37, I deleted one so there are 36 colors in the collection.

If you already purchased the 32 color collection, you can buy the 5 new colors in my Etsy Shop for $20.00.  These new colors are really lovely and "fill in the gaps" of the previous collection.

Now, if you were waiting to buy threads, the full 36 color collection is also available on Etsy for $135.00 which is a discount from buying single spools.  Speaking of single spools, if you just need just one or two colors, I've got you covered there too - again on Etsy, for $4.00 each.



I have some new things in the works that I hope to share soon.  Until then, enjoy the cooler weather and have fun stitching.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Class Projects

I get so wrapped up in teaching that taking a few pics is usually forgotten.  Carol sent pics of her work from class so I can show what we worked (played) on.

In the morning we learned stitches and how to use them to embellish wool applique.  I appliqued a leaf and flower on wool for each student prior to class.  You can see that Carol practiced her bullions, pistils, whipped back stitch, detached chain, fly and more.  She has also completed the embellishment on her Berry Bloom and did a fantastic job.

Carol broke her leg just a few days before class and did all this stitching with her leg propped up on a pillow.  At the beginning of class she told me she didn't know how long she could stay as the leg was quite painful.  Guess what?  She got so caught up in the enjoyment of stitching she was able to stay the entire day - even the trunk show that didn't begin until 7 p.m.

There's nothing like quiet stitching to take your mind off your troubles.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Main Street Quilt Cottage - Peach Days Retreat



 Last week I taught 2 classes during Quilt Camp at Peach Days in Hurricane, Utah.  Hurricane is located in southern Utah, about 20 miles from Zion National Park, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Even though I've lived in Utah my entire life and been to red-rock country many times, I'm always amazed at the beauty.  Definitely add this area to your list of places to visit - soon.

While you are visiting the Park, stop on your way at Main Street Quilt Cottage in Hurricane.  Lynette, Wendy and Shariah were gracious hosts for my classes and they have a fun shop with a great selection of fabrics, notions, and don't forget to look at the gorgeous Singer Featherweight machines.  They have quite the collection of Featherweights that have been newly painted in fun colors at great prices.

Before class started we each received a fun gift bag with beautiful stilettos hand-made by Lynette, a magnetic pin picker-upper and I was lucky enough to also get 2 bottles of home-made peach jam from Wendy's Aunt Peggy.

Our first class focused on learning a variety of embroidery stitches with Pearl Cotton from Valdani, Silken Pearl and Sea Grass from The Thread Gatherer.  There were about 18 students in class, some taking the class for the first time and it was fun to see a few from previous classes.  After 3 hours of stitching fun we took a break to visit the food and craft booths and quilt show.  I don't know how I did it but I garnered the strength to pass up the dutch oven peach cobbler with fresh peach ice cream.  I wish I would have been weak and bought a bowl - I can't quit thinking about it.

After lunch we worked on my Berry Bloom purse.  I hand-dyed wool for the kits which included everything needed to make the purse including the embelishment threads.  I'm often asked about the bee closure at the bottom of the bag.  I hate to admit it but I bought a necklace at Chico's, paying too much as I knew this was something I would never wear.  But I wanted that bee!  It looks perfect on the bag so it was worth it and now I have a collection of beads from the rest of the necklace.  Gloria found the same necklace on ebay - paid less than I did - so if you love it, give ebay a try.

I was having such a good time that I forgot to take pictures during class and I'm hoping someone will share theirs.  I think everyone enjoyed the day and was excited about the new techniques they learned.  For me, I'm hoping to get invited back next year!


p.s.  maybe I can get some of the peach cobbler next time







Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Exciting News

I have a "real" website - sort of.  Probably because I never thought of myself as really being in business, I just sold patterns through my Etsy shop - which works quite well.  But since someone actually called to schedule a class 2 years from now, I started thinking that maybe I am in business and should act like it.

So I'm starting slow, with just 1 page but it is beautiful.  You can see it at www.kerrystitchdesigns.com and you will see that it still takes you to my Etsy shop to order patterns but it is a step in the right direction.  A baby step, but a step nevertheless.

I don't even have time to add a pretty picture as I should be upstairs right now packing up for my class at Main Street Quilt Cottage in Hurricane, UT, part of the annual Quilt Camp at Peach Days.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hand-Me-Downs

My sister and I often decide to change things around in our house and we usually plan to sell them.  That is until the other one knows it is "up for grabs" and wants it - and gets it for free.  We have both been the recipient of some very fine things and most recently my nephew's bed came to my house.  As you can see, I had the perfect quilt for a twin bed that accessorized nicely with the shelf already in place.

I made this quilt over 10 years ago and because it didn't fit anywhere, it has been in the closet since it was completed.  It is a Blackbird Designs pattern - Celebration of American Life(?).  I just love the ticking I used for the background.  I appliqued on the wrong side of the ticking as the "right" side was a bit too bright.  How nice to get it off the shelf where I can enjoy it.

This little corner contains my nephews bed, my quilt, an Uncle Sam carved by my husband, a photo of my Dad when he was drafted into the Army and sent to Germany during WWII, and the flag that draped my Dad's casket when he passed away. All good hand-me-downs.

Now, if I could just get my sister's cabinet that would match perfectly in here.......


Sunday, August 18, 2013

What to do with all those tomatoes...

 Are you shocked to see me posting about a recipe?  You should be.  After 44 years of marriage, I'm tired of cooking (and housework) but since we still need to eat every day I'm still at it.  I don't do a lot of canning but each year I like to make chili sauce.  It tastes wonderful with roast beef on those cold winter days and I like to add it to my chili too. 

Here is my "how to" on making the best chili sauce:
 

 Right after the last frost, early May here in Utah, plant your tomatoes.  My husband tends our little garden - just tomatoes and cucumbers.  This year he has a bumper crop of both. If you don't have a garden buy them at the grocery store or farmer's market.

Ingredient List:

Large paper grocery sack of tomatoes.  I don't know how many pounds, just a big sack.
6 large yellow onions
6 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
3 Tablespoons salt
3 cups white vinegar
7 cups brown sugar.  That's not a typo - use 7 cups
3 Tablespoons pickling spice tied in cheesecloth (I used a double layer of cheesecloth)

How to:
The tomato skins need to be removed and the easiest way to do this is to simmer them for a few minutes and then plunge into a sink of cold water.  Here you can see my big grocery sack right next to the stove.

While I start peeling the tomatoes my husband begins grinding the onions and peppers.  I'm certain you can do this in a food processor but I've always used my grinder as it cuts them just the right size - not the mush I end up with in the food processor.  I got the both the man and the grinder at my wedding and they've both been very reliable. What you can't see is a large bowl on the floor to catch the juices from the grinder.


As I peel the tomatoes I also cut them into a few big pieces and place them in the cook pot.  You want to choose a heavy bottomed pan so the sauce can cook at a low temperature without burning or constant stirring. This pan holds 3 gallons of liquid and is the bottom of a pressure cooker that belonged to my mother-in-law.  Many years ago she let me borrow the pan but I didn't get the lid until after she died.  She was convinced I would blow up the house if I tried to pressure cook anything. 

Add all the ingredients to the pan and don't forget to add the juice from the grinder.  It looks like swamp water but is full of flavor.
Here it is on the stove ready to cook.  Stir the pickling spice bundle down into the mix, turn on high and bring to a low boil, then turn on low to simmer and reduce by one-half. I don't need to worry about stirring or checking very often as I'm using a gas stove and the pan has a very heavy bottom.  It is important to stir and check the heat so you don't burn the sauce on the bottom.   Get ready for a wonderful aroma that always reminds me of fall.
Here's my chili sauce pot 11 hours later.  Yes, this is a project best started in the morning as it takes all day.  I will admit that I turned it off for about an hour to get lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant.

About 1 hour before this point, I wash the canning jars in my dishwasher with the heat-dry option so I know they are perfectly clean and still hot when I pour in the hot chili sauce.  Just before filling the jars I place the lids in a shallow pan of water and bring it to a simmer.

The chili sauce is hot, the bottles are hot, and the lids are hot.  Twist the rings on and place the jars upside-down for about 10 minutes then turn right-side-up.  All of my jars sealed and there is no need to process any further.

Right now I have a roast in the oven with potatoes and carrots to enjoy with my first jar of chili sauce this season.  It's not a cold winter day but I couldn't wait.

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