Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ah Fall . . . .

So over the weekend, I went through my usual Labor Day list of To Do's:
Pack up white shorts - check
Pack up white slacks - check
Pack up daisy napkin rings - check
Swap out summer place mats for fall ones - check
Swap out summer flower arrangements for fall ones - check

I'm always a little sad to pack up the summer things, but I love fall, and I can't stop time, so I say goodbye to my summer favorites and welcome the things I love about fall.

One of which is pumpkin! One of the great things about fall is that Starbucks introduces, for a limited time only, pumpkin scones and pumpkin cream cheese muffins. They are Yuuuummy!

So over the weekend, after completing my fall "chores" I decided to reward myself with a Starbucks pumpkin treat. For some reason, before I left for Starbucks, I decided to check the nutritional value of these fall bakery items. (sometimes the internet is not your friend, and ignorance really is bliss!) Each item was close to 500 calories, yikes! And in all fairness to Starbucks, the items are huge, really more like 2 servings, but I knew myself well enough to know, I wouldn't eat just half a muffin or half a scone, so I decided to bake some pumpkin bread instead.

I researched some lower calorie recipes online, made my list of required ingredients, then headed to the grocery store. Have you tried to buy canned pumpkin lately? I guess the stores have been out for months!!! I guess last fall's crop didn't produce much. I went to 3 different stores, no pumpkin. One person even told me they weren't sure they would be getting pumpkin by Thanksgiving!! I was shocked, how did I miss this, I watch the news, I read the paper, how did I miss out on the pumpkin shortage.....and where's Starbucks getting their pumpkin for their bakery items??

Luckily I have a girlfriend with a kitchen pantry much like my sewing room closet, stuffed! She had 3 cans of pumpkin and gave me one. I made the most delicious bread, we enjoyed every slice, like there was no tomorrow, good thing, 'cause there is no tomorrow when it comes to pumpkin.

I think I'm going to have to find a Starbucks buddy who is willing to share one of their pumpkin treats with me. One, who when I say, " I think I want my own pumpkin muffin/scone" will say, "No Thelma, you only need a half of one".

I bet you're wondering how I'm doing on my Lee's Quilt (my father-in-law's quilt)!

I've made a pattern decision!! Now that's what I call progress!

My father-in-law requested a lap size quilt. I did a little research on "lap size", there doesn't seem to be a standard size, like for bed size quilts, so I decided a quilt around 56 inches wide and 60 inches long would be a good size. I didn't want it so long that my father-in-law would get his feet tangled in it if he needed to pop out of his chair and run somewhere. (he may be going on 90, but he goes places!!)

Wagon Wheels is 56 x 74.

The blocks finish at 16 inches, so I could leave off the last row of blocks and have a nice size quilt. The only downside, each block has over 70 pieces..several half square triangles, and some of those blocks with the triangles on the corners.

This pattern had several size options;

This one is 70 X 70, not really a lap size.

The blocks that make this design are 6 inches finished.

I like this pattern better, more interest with the additional border going around the star,

but it is 110 x 110, that's about two lap sizes.....

So what's a girl to do, a girl with limited time..go with the perfect sized Wagon Wheel pattern, and just put in the time required to get it done, or work with the star quilt, which would only have just a few more pieces in the whole quilt than in one wagon wheel block.....

I decided to halve the block size of the star quilt and save the Wagon Wheel quilt for another time. I really like the Wagon Wheel quilt and hope to make it for my husband, out of the leftovers from Lee's quilt. My husband only has one quilt, and it has a baseball theme, so a different throw would be nice for him. So that's the plan.....stay tuned for more!

And be on the lookout for that pumpkin . . . .


  1. Sounds like a reasonable solution on the quilts!
    I adore Fall too and can't wait to see everyones decorations!! I live vicariously through the internet when it comes to decorating, we just don't have the room or the storage space!

  2. I love the Starbucks pumpkin scones and now you've got me craving one! I'd share it with you but we don't live close enough.

    Love hearing about your decision process on which pattern to use. I go through my own mental gyrations - I've spent more time thinking about what to make with my Rural Jardin FQ stack than I will probably spend on the actual sewing!

  3. When I was trying to buy pumpkin in winter/spring this year they told me Libby had made a recall on their product, I can't remember why exactly, but I bet that is why they are still short.

    I love the Calico Carriage pattern, I've made the 70x70 quilt four times! It goes together so quickly. I even taught a class using that pattern :) I love all of the patterns here, it's hard to choose a pattern isn't it?

  4. I was in the grocery last week looking for pumpkin after eating delicious pumpkin bread at a tea room. When I asked for it and was reminded of last year's shortage, I did remember it then. I searched my pantry hoping I had a can stashed from last year, but no such luck. I bought a can of yams, and plan to mash them up and do "pumpkin" bread from that. I figure if sweet potatoe pie is close to pumpkin in taste, maybe the bread will be also. I'll let you know!

  5. I heard about the pumpkin shortage last year, and it sounds like it'll only be worse this year. I have an awesome pumpkin bread recipe that we got from Lily's kindergarten teacher (guaranteed NOT low fat) but Lily gets mad when I make it (she's allergic to pumpkin), so I don't want to torture her.

  6. Wish I could share some of that pumpkin goodness with you!
    Hadn't heard about the pumpkin shortage--now that's bad news!

  7. Well mystery solved. Last month my Niece wanted to make my pumpkin cupcakes and she went to the store and there wasn't any. she was told it was a seasonal thing. I told her it was because she lives in the middle of po-dunk nowhere, Nevada. We figured it was just that no one in Nevada cooks with pumpkin. Then last week I went into my local store to prove to her that every one else has canned pumpkin, and what do you know, NONE. Know that I'm informed, I could cry!

  8. Wow...thanks for the heads up on pumpkin...I have only one can in my pantry...I'm going to start looking now! I love fall too!

  9. thanks for the tip on the pumpkin issue will check next time i am in the store. For a second there I thought you were making me a quilt...Lee

  10. we really, really like pumpkin pie - and we don't just eat it at thanksgiving ... last year i kept waiting for pumpkin to go on sale and it never was ... then i heard about the shortage for this year, so i bought lottsa cans of pumpkins (at regular price - shudder) and put them on a shelf in the basement - i haven't actually LOOKED for pumpkin in the store cuz i already have it covered

    i would be your halfsie friend, but you know that it would lead to no good - cuz that's how i roll ... sigh

    i love the Wagon Wheels pattern - but the star is good, too - it looks like a gigantic wagon wheel

  11. Fall is my favorite season! Love everything about it o:) All the patterns are nice, but oohhh, Wagon Wheel is perfect!


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