Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins

I am SO ready for it to be fall! Summer is my least favorite season--yes, I like winter better than summer! (Winters here in Virginia are a much milder version than what I experienced growing up in Northern Illinois and Indiana.)

Pumpkin is one of my favorite things about fall. I found a wonderful recipe in my 1996 Southern Living cookbook for Pumpkin-Apple Muffins. (By the way, the quilt in the photo above is called "Richmond", it's from a Jo Morton Little Women group.)

Gather your ingredients. Combine in a large bowl:
1-2/3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice. Because I love cinnamon, I added 1/4 tsp. King Arthur Flour's cinnamon (don't waste your money on any other brand of cinnamon--this has THE best flavor!). Combine these ingredients and make a "well" in the center of the bowl.

Combine in another bowl:  1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 large eggs  (lightly beaten). Add these ingredients to the dry ingredients, combining until just moistened.

Prepare 1 Granny Smith apple:  peel, core and cut into small pieces. Fold the chopped apple into the batter. Spoon the batter evenly into 12 greased muffin cups.

Combine in a small bowl:  3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the mufins. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until a pick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Remove them from the pan immedietly and cool on a wire rack.

We enjoyed ours with a dollop of butter and a hot cup of Gevalia coffee.  I've tried many pumpkin bread/muffin recipes over the years. I prefer the ones that use butter rather than vegetable oil. I somehow can never get the oil mixed in completely, and the final product just seems greasy and dense.

On the top of the cookbook stack is my Susan Branch Autumn cookbook. It's a wonderful coffee-table cookbook. I LOVE her artwork, don't you?!

I'm working on my Generals Wives quilt blocks and my Happily Scrappily Irish quilt today. I'm making great progress on both of them. Hopefully, I'll have something to show you soon on both of them.

Till next time, keep stitchin' or bakin'!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Design Wall Project

This was on my design wall last week; it's a Little Women Group 11 quilt called "Pottery Shards" by Jo Morton. This was a really fun quilt to make. I started with the border fabric; it's labeled "Shirtings 1875-1900 by Terry Clothier Thompson for Moda. I don't remember when I purchased it, but I just love the subtle floral design and the soft blue shades in it.

For the pieced and setting blocks, I used a charm pack of Jo Morton fabrics and added some 5 inch charm squares from my container of nickel squares. The setting blocks are cut at 3 inches. This project was easy and went together quickly. I have it layered with batting and backing and plan to machine quilt it in a simple grid pattern.

What's on your design wall? I'd love to see it!
Keep stitchin'.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's on my design wall?

Have you ever had a fabric that you just fell in love with, and it jumped off the shelf into your arms and said, "Take me home with you!" Well, that's the way I felt about this Robyn Pandolph fabric. In my opinion, fabric-wise, Robyn Pandolph can do no wrong! And my LQS was having an end-of-summer sale...doesn't get much better than that! So I bought 3 yards of it for a border. I was able to hear Bonnie Hunter's lunch lecture at the Hershey PA quilt Odyssey show, and knew that I wanted to make her "Happily Scrappily Irish" from her Leaders and Enders book.

The Scrap Therapy group that I'm in had done some fabric strip exchanges, and I pulled quite a few of the greens, planning it to be at least 25% green fabrics in the piecing. To go with the Robyn Pandolph fabric, I pulled some pinks also. The off-white small background print is something that has been in my stash for at least 8 years, and I had over 6 yards of it. (Backstory:  I worked in a quilt shop partime, and whenever the shop owner had a fabulous end-of-bolt sale, I bought big chunks of background fabrics. I still have more background pieces in my stash!) Now that fabrics on the shelf are sporting $12 a yard price tags, I really appreciate having the wisdom to stock up when fabric was marked down to $4 a yard! Shameless bragging, I know, and I apologize!

I got so carried away making the pieced blocks that I have the second Scrappily Happily Irish quilt blocks 25% pieced!  I did strip piece some of this, most of my strips were cut from fat quarters.

It's just so much fun when a project cooperates with you. This was easy to sew, and such fun to put up on the design wall. I wish my design wall were a little bigger!  Bonnie does make very big quilts, and I am cutting mine down in size a bit. I need to make quilts for my queen size poster bed at least 88 inches square. I use pillow shams, and I like making square quilts so they can be turned any direction on the bed. I'm anxious to send this to my long-arm quilter, but I have something else in line before this one can get quilted. It's my granddaughter's quilt...shhhh...don't tell. Once I get the border on that one, I'll post a pix for you.

Till then, keep stitchin!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Little Women - August

In addition to our Spool Challenge quilts (see yesterday's post), we had some additional show and tell at our Little Women meeting. The top quilt is Raspberry Swirl by Vickie and the bottom quilt is Transferware by Pam L.

This little feathered star is about 9 inches square!

 Celestia's baby quilt (above) and Carol's mini Country Comfort (below) by Fons & Porter Easy Quilts, Fall 2011. Her quilt is about 9 x 11 inches.  

Becky attended the Quiltmaker Symposium at Williamsburg and brought her progress from class (above). That's her mini Hexagon flowers quilt, a Kathleen Tracy pattern (below).

Becky makes doll clothes for her American Girl Dolls...this is Addy all dressed up...isn't she darling?

A very fun version of Transferware by Vickie.

I've got a new quilt on my design wall (Pottery Shards) and I've been cutting 2 inch strips and sewing 4 patches for Bonnie Hunter's Scrappily Happily Irish. I'll post a photo when I've made more progress.   We're watching Get Smart and I'm finding it hard to concentrate. That Steve Carroll is such a hoot.

I hope you're finding some time to do some stitching!
Till next time,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Little Women - August

We had our Little Women Spool Challenge Quilts unveiled at our Little Women meeting today, and as usual it was a really fun contest. Charlotte Barnes took "Best Non-Quilt" with her very unique Roman Shade. Yes, the spool blocks are there on the sides, I see I didn't really do her project justice in this photo. And I see that I didn't even get a pix of her adorable shade pull that was made out of several spools. Great work, Charlotte!

Pam's entry included her spool blocks and some 4 inch cakestand blocks that she swapped with the online Jo Morton Yahoo group. She machine quilted it and made a label listing who made the blocks and where they are from. Great job, Pam!

Becky Wright is one very talented lady, she won "Best in Show" with her darling quilt with the four sewing theme cornerstones. I wish I had taken a closeup of the embroidery and the wording. What a darling quilt, Becky, you did a great job!

Anne Wright's quilt has the shop name on it...very cute! Anne won the prize for "Most Creative." Don't you love her center spool block?! The lettering was done with a very thick thread. Good job, Anne!

Lori Kepley was not in our group last year, so she had to make her own spool blocks. The house tree, and flower are wool. We love your spool quilt, Lori...very nicely done.

Pam Leonard is new to our group, having just moved from Washington state. She and Lori are friends and worked on their projects together. Her house, flower and tree are wool also. Welcome, Pam, to our Little Women group, great job!

Celeste got her blocks together...good job, Celeste, we are looking forward to seeing your quilt finished. Borders or no borders? We shall have to wait and see!

This is my entry...I won "Most Likely to Succeed" because as you can guess, it is not quilted and bound. The outer blue border is made with Jo's "ladies" fabric. I wonder if anyone caught the symbolism of that? I love a good strippy quilt!

Even our refreshments carried out the theme. Celestia made us a wonderful German Chocolate cake, decorated with a spool of thread. Celestia is a wonderful baker, and the cake was absolutely yummy.

Thanks also to Linda and Lori for the fabulous refreshements--everyone wants that chicken salad recipe! And I need to give a special thank you to Pam Sharpe, who took charge of organizing the spool challenge, donating some of the prizes, and printing the number tags and the voting ballots. Thank you, Pam, I appreciate you assisting with this event. Your friendship means a lot to me!

I'll post more photos of our regular show and tell tomorrow. And until then, keep stitchin!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Wayward Girls

The Wayward Girls were only two strong on Saturday, August 4, so we had a rather relaxed agenda...heck...we had no agenda...for our sewing day. In the morning, Pam worked on one of her works in progress, as did. I'm still making 8 inch log cabin blocks for my "Underground Railroad" (a Log Cabin quilt-- it's a Jennifer Chiaverini pattern). I already posted a photo of 1/4 of the quilt so I really don't have anything new to show on that project. I'm going to set it 12 x 12, for a total of 144 blocks. I am up to 110 blocks now.

After lunch at the Crazy Greek, which we shared with our husbands, Pam worked on another Mary Mayhem quilt (below). She plans to keep this one (see also: Merry Mayhem quilt)! It's so bright and cheerful, we both really like it. I has a 30s vibe to me, I can picture it on a white enamel topped kitchen table with white painted chairs.

We both fell in love with the little 12 inch square seasonal quilts by the Wooden Bear. I have quite a few summer and fall quilts, but very few Halloween quilts. I thought this little pumpkin guy (above) was a cutie, so I worked on him and had this to show after just a few minutes work.

We're having our "Spool Quilt Challenge" this Saturday at Little Women Club, so we worked on dividing up the prizes into 4 bags. We always have such a good time at Little Women, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again.