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One of my favorite fall recipes is my great grandmother's pumpkin cookies. I'm not a huge sweet fan, so I love how these lovely, little, bite-sized morsels have such wonderful flavor without putting me into sugar overload. I particularly like them topped with a dark or semi-sweet chocolate ganache (which I have included here), but I also found a pretty good cream cheese frosting recipe that compliment's them well (Laurie's idea).
My Great-Grandma's Pumpkin Cookies
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully mixed.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop cookie dough in blobs about 2 inches apart. Grandma's recipe called for "teaspoon-sized dollops" but I am impatient so mine were more like "Tablespoon-and-a-half-sized dollops." If you use Granny's way, bake them for 14-16 minutes; 18-20 minutes my way. They should be firm and slightly golden (don't over bake them or they will become dry).
Grandma's way yields about 5 dozen or so smaller cookies. My way gets you about 3 dozen (try not to eat too many between batches).
(this recipe will make enough to cover all your cookie and then some)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips work fine, but you can be decadent and use one of those fancy bars, too)
1 tablespoon butter
Put your chocolate and butter in a bowl. Heat the cream up to boiling and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until smooth.
(Note: while certainly not the most healthy idea, you can mix a couple spoonfuls of the leftover ganache into some heated milk for an absolutely sinful cup of hot chocolate)
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages of cream cheese (8oz.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Blend the cream cheese in a mixer until fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar, and then add the milk and vanilla. Mix everything until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk a little at a time.
For the chocolate ganache, the best way to apply it to the cookie is to just dunk the top of the cookie in (giving it a swirl for good measure). You can do the same with the cream cheese, or you can use a spatula or pipe it on.
La Vie des Années Quarante! (The Life of the 1940's)
Silhouettes for fall 2007 are varied, wide ranging and reminiscent of the 1940's. There is truly something for everyone to update their wardrobe with. Lady-like styles including softly tailored jackets and dresses are some of the best updates. You can choose any length of skirt that suits your figure from the mini to an A-line skirt at your lower calf. Pants can be super skinny or the wider leg variety like Lauren Becall would have worn. Add a great new fall color or accessory, and you are up to date! We have a great selection of Fall Fashion fabrics ranging from our Wool Gaberdine & Suiting (check out our great suiting in our Everything's $1.95/yard) for pants to our new Corduroy for jackets.
Speaking of jackets. One of the best features you could sport for fall is a nipped waist. There are tricks to perform in case your waist isn't already ''nipped.'' Princess seaming in a jacket or blouse will reveal curves that may be just barely there. Add a belt or a sash, and you could be amazed at what you see in the mirror. Wool coatings and wool meltons will make this style of jacket appropriate as outerwear. Another trend in jackets is a ¾ length or bracelet sleeve. For colder climates, these jackets will require a longer glove. They are very 1940's without the giant shoulders. Add a great glove, and you have a great update.
Pants and trousers this season can seem confusing because the trendiest styles are totally opposite. Skinny is still ''in'' and if you are tall and thin, this is a great trend for you. Add volume on the top to balance out the skinny silhouette with a voluminous top for evening, or a chunky sweater and a scarf for day. The other end of the spectrum is the higher waist and wider leg trousers a la 1940, Check out Erica's wonderful wide leg pants here, note how she works in that great belt to show off her waist! A wool gabardine will add some drape to the trousers and give them some warmth and substance.Or if you are looking for something lighter for the transitional period try our great selection of suitings.
Pencil Skirts and A-line skirts pair nicely with lady-like blouses for fall. A-line skirts need a fabric with movement and some flow. Try the pencil skirt to the left with our Wool Blend Tweed Suiting and Simplicity pattern 5259. The Soft Suede is a terrific fall fabric, and would update an A-line skirt pattern you already have. Pencil skirts need structure. Wool gabardine or even a dull satin like Duchess Satin are both great choices.
The blouses have accents like long thin bows at the neck or ruffles on either side of the placket. To capture the richness of the season, create your blouse in a charmeuse satin. For a crisp alternative, use our Japanese Shirting. Try this Vogue pattern to make your own. We recommend Charmuse Satin in Butterscotch or Sweetheart Satin Antique Gold to bring some warmth and shiny into your closet.
As always we, here at fabric.com, look forward to seeing what you create for fall. When we can't find great ideas in our Sew & Tell Gallery, we troll the craft blogs. Either way, we are loving everything you create. Don't be shy drop us a line and tell us your ideas or better yet, show us! Post your pictures in our Gallery. Have a great season!
A few years back my best friend Ann purchased a furnished "rental" condo in a resort area on the South Carolina coast. While the place had good bones, it was blah, blah, blah. Think basic furnishings, sparse accents, no window treatments...just no personality. Our mission was to turn this place into a cozy nest without breaking the bank account. We purchased new bedding, lamps, accessories and fabrics. We set out on a six hour drive to begin a two day makeover. While Ann got busy hanging pictures and arranging things, I got busy with the fabric. First up for me...drapery panels. I used a plaid promotional dupioni silk. Wow, they instantly brightened and added life to the room! Next, it's on to decorative throw pillows. I really wanted to pull all the colors from the plaid silk throughout the room. Accent pillows are such a quick way to accomplish just that. My last significant project, and the one I am most proud of, is that I covered a headboard. I had no confidence that I could pull this off. As it turns out, it was so simple! All I did was lay batting, then stretch and staple the fabric. Bye, bye boring old headboard! I wish I would have known it was going to be this easy. I am sure I could have used Fabri-tac to add some cute embellishments!
We are so proud of our quick makeover. It must have turned out well because I have not yet been able to claim my free week...The place is always rented! I have 2 projects under way right now that I am excited about. Vicki is going to help me because these are more detailed. Hope to have them ready by my next blog entry!
My love is quilting. Cotton is the fabric of my life. I credit my grandmother with sowing the quilting seeds. As a child, I remember her creating templates from Kleenex boxes, and carefully cutting her fabrics from cast off clothing. She would create her quilt tops during the summer. I knew it was Fall, not only by the weather, but by Grandmother setting up her huge wood quilting frame. She would handquilt several tops in a season. I cannot see a Kansas City Star quilt pattern without thinking of my Grandmother. Even now I have one of her quilts lying at the foot of my bed. The colors are still bright even though the fabrics are slightly worn. It comforts me in times of crisis, to pick out the scraps of my sisters's dresses. It is time for me to start sowing some seeds of my own. In honor of my grandmother and the Halloween season, I have created a very simple "Trick or Treat" bag. I used the Scaredy Cat charm pack from Moda. Any fall themed fabric would work such as Acorn Hollow. These also could be used for potpourri . We have some great fall selections available at his time. This is a great use for charm packs. Many customers ask what to do with charm packs. That will be a future topic. I hope that this very simple project will get someone started quilting. The treat bags are very simple. No cutting involved. Select 2 charms. Place wrong sides together and sew 3 sides creating a bag to fill with candy or your choice of items for those special trick or treaters.
One of my favorite book series is Harry Potter. I know alot of kids out there who would like nothing better than to be their favorite wizard or witch for Halloween. This is a great Invisibility cloak or dress robe pattern for your kids. My fabric picks for this are our Sparkle Velour (to which I have referred to as Wizard Wear since it hit our warehouse) or Stretch Velvet. Both are machine washable.
Another decorative project I am anxious to start because of great expectations to be so festive is a Pumpkin Garland made from these Pincushions. They would make perfect pumpkins. I plan on draping them around my front door and over my fireplace. I learned a little trick from Heather Bailey's Pear Pincushion stems. She rolls up a piece of felt whip stitches is loosely, tugs the strand to get a good bend and then stitches the stem to the pincushion. This would be a great addition to turn these pincushions into happy pumpkins. My pattern choices are a toss up between Moda Fall Back in Time and Scaredy Cat Fat Quarters. Maybe Both!
I am really excited to get started on all of the above projects, but at the moment I am finishing up my dress for my brother's wedding. He is getting married in Savannah, Ga on the 16th of this month! I am his best man AKA Best Broad! The dress is drafted from my own pattern and so far it is turning out better then I could imagine. Here is my inspiration picture. The finished project will have thicker straps and not as low cut but equally as sassy! (please excuse my primative photoshopping). I am using Linen because it will still be warm/hot so far south. I do not want to sweat and the drape from linen is just perfect for this casual wedding. I was originally leaning toward our Cotton Sateen but given the temperature range in Savannah in September, I decided on linen to catch any breeze (fingers crossed on a nice breeze, please!) It would also be great in seersucker for more a casual or any of our Bridal Fabrics for a more formal look. I love this look because it is a fitted up top and has a gathered empire waist, which means....I CAN EAT! So awesome and very important. I will be sure to update later with picture of the finished dress in our gallery.
Update on embroidered ottoman cover. The move is on the 17th so whenever I can take a break from packing, I am working on it and my dress. However, so far I have measured and cut. No embroidery to date. Apologies but it looks great in my head!
Moniqa is our Graphic Artist. She is one of the most creative young ladies I have ever known, and I have known a lot of creative ladies! Moniqa creates purses, tops and dresses for herself and these wonderful flowers. We all marvel at them when she wears them to work. She'll pin them to her top or coat, but usually we see them on her handbags. She designed the handbags herself, too.
Here's a link to the pattern, but I wanted to give you a little instruction to go with it here.
- You decide a set number of petals to cut from any fabric you like. Felt, suede and faux suede will not unravel. Boucle, silks and other interesting woven fabrics will, but if you can stand it, the raveling can become part of the design.
- There is a template for the stigma, or center of the flower.
- You will clip little fringes half-way through your strip of fabric and roll it to create the center.
- Hand stitch the bottom of the roll to hold it in place.
- The bottom layer of petals are the larger size petal template. Lay them in a circle overlapping them slightly and hand tack them together. Do the same for the smaller top layer of petals.
- Push the sigma through the middle and hand stitch the whole flower together picking up each petal layer and securing it into the stigma.
- Add a little fabric or felt circle at the back either with glue or hand stitching.
- Now you can add a pin back or create a necklace with two pieces of ribbon. Make several flowers and create a fantastic bracelet!
Remember, these are only guidelines. You can make the flower larger. You can make the stamens shorter, longer, thicker, thinner. Add leaves. I think you get the drift. Try my No Rules rule: just start cutting and see what happens. I think that's how Moniqa came up with this project in the first place.