The Free Motion Quilting Project: Chigger Feast 2017 and Canning Tomatoes

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Chigger Feast 2017 and Canning Tomatoes

Nope, sorry, there is no Sit Down Quilting Sunday video today because I have just had the worst week ever.

It started with a stomach flu, then just as soon as that started to turn around, we went on a hike in the woods and I got hit by a hungry horde of chiggers.

Gotta love North Carolina woods! It's gorgeous, except for all the things that want to eat or poison you.

I'm very tempted to show you a picture of my chigger nibbled legs, but it's just too horrible. You could Google chigger bites to see pictures, but it turns out I'm very allergic to them which makes the bites swell, turn bright red, and create golf ball sized welts. Uggh.

So I haven't been feeling well and I'm behind on making videos on the Grace Qnique. I had plans to get some Wonky Christmas tree quilts pieced together this week so I could start filming and quilting them for Christmas gifts, but everything got put on hold after the hike and Chigger Feast 2017. I'm too ITCHY to quilt! Double uggh!

But I had to keep my hands busy so yesterday we canned tomatoes. Dad, Josh, James, and I have a pretty smooth system by now and we can reasonably turn 80 pounds of tomatoes into thirty jars in a day.

One problem we realized this year is we haven't been keeping notes on all the details of our canning adventures. It's a lot of little details to remember and we only can one or two days a year, and we wasted a lot of time last week forgetting to buy essential things like ice until the last minute.

So we started a canning notebook to keep with our canning supplies so we won't waste as much time next year getting back in the groove.

Now I'm off to take a cold bath and soak my itchy skin. I'll leave you with some important advice on avoiding my itchy fate:

1. Wear bug spray! If you spray your clothes as well as exposed skin, you're less likely to get bit.

2. Keep your shoes on (yeah, I know, I'm an idiot). Better yet, wear tall boots, tuck your pants down into the boots and tape around the top.

3. As soon as you're done hiking, take off all your clothes and change into fresh clothes that you kept safe in the car. Throw all the clothes you wore in a plastic bin, seal it tight, then throw it straight in the wash when you get home.

That will probably be enough to save you from being served up at the next Chigger Feast!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I started itching just reading your post. Those tiny critters are the worst. Hope you're better soon.
    BTW, your tomatoes look tasty!!!

  2. So very sorry it has been such a nasty week. Chiggers are so nasty - seems like I end up with cellulitis about half of bad chigger attacks. Don't have a suggestion for treating bites but found a great preventer - a handmade all-natural soap called Skeeter Defeater(TM)by Blue Mound Soap Company. I don't know if it is available in NC but there is probably something like it locally (?). I tried it for mosquito's and ticks (works great) but to my delite found it works great four chiggers too and is still nice on skin. Hope you find a way to repel those nasty biters and enjoy your beautiful woods.

  3. I learned Tip No. 2 the hard way. Very important to wear long pants, tall boots and something to keep the critters from crawling up your pant legs but where I'm from it is scorpions, black widows, ants, etc. that will bite, sting or otherwise inflict pain.

  4. Having survived a couple of chigger attacks myself, for temporary relief from the itching, I applied clear nail polish over the bite at the start. I don't think there would be a bottle big enough for what you went through. Hope you feel better soon.

  5. I was digging up a plant in my city backyard, (but we are surrounded by woods) and I got chiggers all over my knees. It was horrible ! I ended up buying some anti itch ointment and that helped most of all. I have no clue how we got chiggers here in our area. Yucky little creatures.

  6. Our aunt and uncle used to dust us with sulfur powder before going through the woods to swim in the lake. They said chiggers hated it. Trouble is, after swimming, it was all rinsed off, so coming back from the lake, we were on our own. LOL Very sorry you had to go through that, though. Miserable.


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