Slow-cooked pork

29 06 2014

I’ve made this several times now, and I keep changing the basic recipe 😉 This time, I brushed the boned leg of pork with smoky BBQ sauce before putting into the cooker, and during the cooking process. And on the advice of the butcher, I took off the skin before putting the pork in the cooker and cooked it separately in the oven for an hour and a half to make a wonderfully crisp crackling (olive oil and salt rubbed in to the skin first).

And this time, I also made jalapeno poppers (baked not fried) and baked some ready-to-bake baguettes to serve with the pork.

Instead of pulling it apart at the end, I sliced the pork quite thickly and we had it on the hot freshly baked baguettes, with extra smoky BBQ sauce and the jalapeno poppers on the side. The pork was unbelievably tender and delicious (the butcher also said he only ever gets pork from sows as it’s much tenderer and less ‘smelly’ than pork from boars).

The jalapeno poppers were good too — I didn’t make the ‘essence’ that’s in the recipe, just added cumin and a Cajun spice mix to the cheese mix. Interestingly, the jalapenos varied in heat — some were quite bland, others very bitey! Four jalapenos resulted in 8 halves — 3 for me and 5 for my DH, which was plenty.

The photo below is while the pork is cooking after a basting of BBQ sauce. It’s doesn’t look very appetising, but it sure tasted good!



Community Quilt 150

29 06 2014

I called this one ‘Quivering Butterflies’!

I started by stitching in the ditch around each butterfly block (inside and out), around the border, then around each appliqued butterfly to stabilise the quilt. Next, I echo quilted around each butterfly, giving a quivering, shaking, scared effect 😉

As the floral fabric was so ‘busy’, I just did a large meandering stipple in that area, followed by a simple straight line echoing the edge of the border.

It took about 3 hours to quilt this quilt — I was able to really speed along (70% speed on my Sweet Sixteen) in the meandering stipple as I have a lot of ‘muscle memory’ for this motif.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)




Threads used:

  • Top: Wonderfil Deco-Bob tan thread for stitching in the ditch (80 wt, colour DB 414); Fil-Tec Glide ‘Cornflower’ (40 wt, trilobal polyester, colour 80120)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide Classic pre-wound bobbin (white)


Gwen’s quilt

29 06 2014

This was a BIG quilt (68 x 83 inches), and HEAVY (the batting, I suspect — see my notes on the batting below the main pictures). It was a bit of an effort to quilt it as the drag and weight of the quilt did their best to usurp my attempts! I had it attached to my bungee cord system, and while that helped, it only mitigated against the weight of this quilt, not eliminating it completely.

Gwen had made the quilt for a ‘traditional’ friend, and wanted me to do cathedral windows in the 9-patch on-point squares and just outside them, which I did, but only after I’d stitched in the ditch around all the blocks and along the strips — this was a puffy quilt. She had suggested an infinity rope design for the long dividing strips. I had an old stencil for that pattern, but I couldn’t find a single marker in my extensive collection that held the markings enough to quilt with, or that didn’t fade into the fabrics, or that I could quilt along with the puffiness without going off the markings. I attempted some markings and quilted them in small sections, but to be honest it would’ve taken about 20 hours just to do it that way — that’s just not cost-effective! So I unpicked the small section I’d done that way and went with more ‘traditional’ feathers in the striped sections — the feathers go up one strip and down the next strip, alternating across the quilt.

As Gwen didn’t want this quilt too heavily quilted, I didn’t do anymore quilting in the main top, and for the border I only did a large semi-circle motif, using a 4″ clam shell ruler.

Gwen had initially started quilting this beast on her domestic sewing machine — I’m surprised and impressed that she got as far as she did. But she had trouble not only with the sheer bulk and weight of the quilt, but also choosing a colour that blended well and didn’t stand out. I auditioned several threads, settling on a light tan 80 wt thread that would hardly show (the colour blended well, and 80 wt thread almost disappears into the fabric), thus letting the fabrics and the quilt top design take centre stage.

It took more than 10 hours to quilt this quilt.








Now, about that batting…

The batting used in this quilt seemed to be a high-loft polyester batting. It was very heavy, and as a result caused a lot of drag. It was also very puffy and the fabric slipped on it, so I had to stitch in the ditch around almost everything to stabilise the quilt and stop any potential pleats and puckers before they could occur. Gwen had already pin basted the quilt for me, so that at least was done. She’d also stitched in the ditch down some of the strip seams, so that helped too.

With flatter battings (e.g. cotton, bamboo, wool), the fabric will often stick to the batting easily, thus requiring fewer basting pins and possibly not even requiring stitch in the ditch (though for a quilt this size, I would have stitched in the ditch around the major areas anyway).

Until I quilted this quilt, I hadn’t realised how much difference the batting makes to the quilting… now I know — a lot.


Threads used:

  • Top: Wonderfil Deco-Bob (80 wt, colour DB 414)
  • Bottom: Fil-Tec Magna Glide pre-wound bobbin (60 wt, white)