Applesauce & Quilting

Baking/cooking, Murrieta Stars – Flannel

Yesterday was a very busy day.  I have really been wanting to make some applesauce and finally got a lot of apples and got started.  I used a combination of three different kinds – Gala, Yellow Delicious and Fuji  – I hadn’t intended to use the Fuji but as the apples were simmering I could tell it had way too much liquid in it and more apples were needed so there went my munching apples into the mix.

A full pasta pot full of chopped up apples (the baking soda of course is not for the apples – I keep a box near the stove for emergency’s even though I rarely need it)


Simmering down – I like my applesauce chunky not mushy – I use an old fashioned potato masher and mash while it cooks leaving chunks behind for texture.  This was about 14 pounds of apples, 1/2 cup of Boiled Cider (from King Arthur) and 1/2 cup of water – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and a 1/3 cup of sugar and a dash of salt (less than 1/4 teaspoon)


11 pints —  I had the boiling water bath going and all of a sudden the smoke detector went off and there was so much steam in the room the only thing that would work was to remove it to another room until I was done.  It was new – I didn’t realize the steam in the kitchen would set it off – but it was close enough I guess.  I thought I was going to have to process some of the jars over but finally all the lids popped – it just took a little longer than it does sometimes.  I think I am done with canning everything that I want to – I have a full pantry shelf – still have 18 pints of marinara sauce and 5 half pints of strawberry rhubarb butter – and now this – should last the winter for sure!


I got about a third of this border done by Sunday night on Murrieta Stars.  Linking to Esther’s Quilt Blog  – and kokaquilts: Sew, Stitch, Snap & Share  –


I mentioned that I travel the needle and thread as much as I can so I don’t have a lot of starts and stops – it really makes your quilting go faster.  So it is hard to describe the path I take so I drew the stencil out on paper and color coded so you can see the tracks I take – can’t travel as much as I would like for the whole thing but it gets done quickly – the paper next to it with the pillow is a pattern I saw for free on All people quilt – I thought some of my left over flannel might be put to use this way or pillow shams.


Some of you have mentioned that I am flying through this quilt and yes I do quilt fast – but also keep in mind this is big stitches for me – I put the ruler next to the stitches so you can see – because I zoomed in and the lighting wasn’t right the color is off of course.


I had the video lesson on once again for the Babylock Presto2 and was trying out some of the decorative stitches while I played- I hadn’t thought to use a different fabric on the front (it was busy print) so this photo is from the back so you can actually see the designs – pretty!  I am loving how it sews and it really is so quite compared to the big industrial Juki.





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32 comments… add one
  • Deb Oct 24, 2017

    The applesauce looks delicious ! I made a small batch last month with the twin grands ; they got a kick out of that 🙂
    Deb recently posted…Slow Sunday StitchingMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      I don’t like peeling the apples and chopping but I love the end result

  • Barbara Oct 24, 2017

    I don’t hand quilt so I am interested in how you travel. This may be a question that would be obvious to anyone else but….How do you stitch the purple areas? Stop and start each section, or slide your needle and thread through the middle of the design to get to the next purple area?

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      you can slide the needle with the thread under the quilt top between the layers if your needle is long enough my needle isn’t quite long enough to do that – but I don’t like to waste the thread anyhow so I knot off and then make a new knot for those areas. In other areas of the quilt I might do that if I won’t be wasting a lot of thread.

  • maxine lesline Oct 24, 2017

    Embroidery ‘blackwork’ patterns are charted about the same… coding with colored lines is helpful.. Quilting with big stitches and heavy thread certainly highlights your lovely quilting.

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      I haven’t done much needle work and didn’t realize they do coding with colored lines – it was just the easiest way for me to show as I don’t know how to do that on a photo like some people do with the computer – I would need someone to show me that!

  • Sandra B Oct 24, 2017

    Your applesauce is making my mouth water, Karen! We love homemade applesauce…so much better than store bought! And the house smells so good when it is cooking! I haven’t made any in a while…now that the weather is getting cooler, I will make some soon….When I was little my grandmother used to make applesauce pies…she would make a bottom crust and cook that, then fill with homemade applesauce that had been chilled, sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon…They were delicious…your post made me think about that special memory…Thanks!!
    Your quilting is looking great…I love the color of thread you are using, and I really like that newest stencil a lot. I will have to look for that one…

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      The stencil is from The Stencil Company or it was about 5 years ago when I got it. I love to use this applesauce for applecrisp also – some recipes only call for a top “crust” made of oatmeal/sugar/butter I like to put a layer of this on the bottom packed firm then the fruit and then a light sprinkle of the topping on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and bake.

  • Joyce Barham Oct 24, 2017

    Karen, good looking applesauce! I have a question–where do you order your needles, mostly the hand ones? I need a good variety. Also, where do you order your thread? I would really like to buy variegated thread. Thank you. I have many quilts I want to start quilting after the first of the year.
    It is windy today and cooler outside. Hope it warms up a little tomorrow as I need to retrieve a big dog kennel from our 2nd garage, about 75 feet from the house through the woods. Always something to be done, isn’t there?

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      I get most of my thread from Red Rock Threads as they have many different kinds and I have always had good luck with them. I only have Hobby Lobby to buy from locally so most of my purchases are on line. I have found the Bohin needles that I am using on the current quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop, Hancocks of Paducah has many items also – and so does Connecting Threads – Craftsy and Missouri Star Quilt Co are also good choices – I think these are the ones I buy from the most but there are others just can’t think of them off hand.

  • Dottie bishaw Oct 24, 2017

    I could take a bite of that applesauce right out of that pot, lol! You’re going to have some good eating out of all those beautiful jars in the cupboard. Thank you for showing us how you travel with your needle, I was trying to figure it out. Your stitches are really pretty and show up so good. I’m going to visit my brothers and sister in Lubbock, in the Panhandle of Texas, tomorrow. I haven’t seen them since my Mother died in March, so I’m excited. I won’t be able to read your posts until I get back on Sunday because my brother doesn’t do computers, Lol! Enjoy your quilting in your new sewing room and playing with your new sewing machine, I’ll look forward to reading your posts when I get back.

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      have a good visit with your family Dottie. I did take some spoonfuls of applesauce as it was cooking and I had about a 1/2 cup leftover that didn’t fit in the jar so I ate it on the spot right out of the pan!

  • Dottie bishaw Oct 24, 2017

    Yes, of course you had to finish it, so good, lol!

  • Vicki V Oct 24, 2017

    Thanks for the diagram! Now I get it. You had quite a productive day!

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      I did it just for you 🙂 I don’t always do it the same way sometimes I get side tracked and take a wrong turn LOL

  • Shirley Oct 24, 2017

    Love your quilting. I have used that stencil before and have a more efficient way of stitching it. If you would like to see it, contact me via email and I’ll happily send you a ‘map’ of how it can be more easily stitched. Happy quilting!

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      sure send me an email – I have one half of this border to do and 3 more – always willing to see if another way would work for me

      • Shirley Oct 24, 2017

        I don’t have your email address. If you would like, send it to me at shirlsu at

  • Julie Oct 24, 2017

    Yummy looking apple sauce, I would see lots of applesauce cakes in my future with that. Your hand quilting is beautiful, so even, they are normal quilting stitches for me, so I can’t imagine how tiny you usually quilt. Thanks for linking to Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE.

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      yes applesauce cake sounds good too – I also use it in pancakes and muffins. With regular quilting thread and small needles I do about 7-8 stitches per inch – this is about half that – but whose counting! I’m just having fun

  • Kristie Oct 24, 2017

    Your applesauce looks very yummy!!! Love seeing your quilting progress.

    • Karen Oct 24, 2017

      it almost makes me want to make more – but I can always do that when I run out – there are always apples I can buy!

  • elaine Oct 25, 2017

    Thanks for the apple sauce recipe! our old Bramley apple tree was fully laden this year, I have loads in the freezer for crumbles, puddings and of course apple sauce 🙂
    elaine recently posted…The Mellerstain FirescreenMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 25, 2017

      if your Bramley apples are really sweet you might not need the sugar or might need a little more

  • Roseanne Oct 25, 2017

    Hi Karen,
    That applesauce looks so good. I used to do a lot of canning with my mom, and haven’t at all since she’s gone. You might just inspire me to get back into it again. I love the photo of your decorative stitches – you have a nice variety to choose from. ~smile~ Roseanne
    Roseanne recently posted…Garden Gate Quilting DecisionMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 25, 2017

      I was playing with the sewing machine today to see what I can use for machine applique and started to play with other stitches too – some really pretty ones on this machine

  • Glenda Australia Oct 25, 2017

    Oh my goodness Karen lots to see today, thanks for taking the time to share your quilting path, can see it would be much quicker like that on a frame like yours. SO glad you are enjoying your new machine it will be great for machine applqiue if you ever have to do it by machine. Years since I bottled but your looks lovely and I can almost smell it LOL Cheers Glenda
    Glenda Australia recently posted…WOW or WIPs 18th Oct 2017 The Secret Garden by Esther AliuMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 25, 2017

      I was just looking at the applique stitches today and playing with the machine a bit – I think I will be able to use a tiny buttonhole stitch for applique with some practice – I will show what I practiced on tomorrow’s blog – nothing major just scrap bits to get a feel for it. Do you always fuse your pieces down first? I will try that next. I have to start doing more by machine like you have – the fingers are getting more arthritis in them – I need to finish the projects I am doing now by hand and when I get caught up not do more than one hand project at a time – 3 EPP at one time is way too many LOL

      • Glenda Australia Oct 25, 2017

        Karen when I started I was doing raw edge applqiue using fusable fabrics but when doing raw edge I found you needed to do very close stitches to stop the edges from lifting or freying when washed the quilt plus it was a little stiff compared to hand applqiue, Ive been practicing with turned edges and all though it is also still quiet stiff it looks nicer to me but thats just me after 20 years of just needle turned edges of applqiue. I’m not using glue to hold my pieces in place (yet!!!) but I have some bias tape fussing strips and add some of this to hold the pieces in place till I get to the machine and I use lots of very small fine pins. It’s still trail and error with me but I do like basting my applqiue pieces first as I love that smooth edge and finished look, as my hands can still do this I will stay with them but machine applqiue them to the background fabric. . Some pieces are so small you need to lift the presser foot nearly every stitch and turn the fabric so if you have a leg lifter it makes life sooo much easier and frees up your both hands to manage those tiny pieces much easier. I’m using a 10 year old Janome which is a big improvement on my nearly 50 year old Bernia but I’m sure your machine will have even better stitches to use than my machine I’m using Karen. Happy playing its the best way LOL and most of the Utube videos are great to.
        Glenda Australia recently posted…WOW or WIPs 18th Oct 2017 The Secret Garden by Esther AliuMy Profile

        • Karen Oct 25, 2017

          yes I need to watch some videos – the little practice pieces I did today I used a fabric glue stick on the pieces to hold them down – it worked pretty good. I will find the lightest fusible I can find as I don’t like stiff pieces in my quilts

  • Glenda Australia Oct 25, 2017

    PS I did see recently on Jenny Henry’s blog that she is doing reverse machine applqiue for the very tiny pieces like eyes and this looks great and makes it much easy to do some thing small like an eye, check her link out on Esther’s blog this week .
    Glenda Australia recently posted…WOW or WIPs 18th Oct 2017 The Secret Garden by Esther AliuMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 25, 2017

      I will look for it! thanks

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