Soft and Stable: An innovative alternative to batting. A perfect choice for Placemats & Totebags

Don’t you just love it when someone comes up with an idea that makes your life, or in this case, your projects, so much better and easier? I am so grateful to the genius behind a new product, ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable. I suspect, like many of you, I have typically used quilt batting when making placemats and totebags. While I was working my booth at PIQF last month, one of my students stopped by to show me a sample of a product she saw demonstrated in a nearby booth by its creator, Annie Unrien. I remember thinking, “This looks like a great product and I must stop by her booth.” Unfortunately, time got away from me and I never made it there.

Soft and Stable comes both pre-packaged and by-the-yard in black and white.

As luck would have it, I found a package of Soft and Stable at my local quilt shop while Jennifer and I were shopping for fabric for our placemats that were featured in this post. What perfect timing. I purchased a pack and used it in place of batting. I must tell you that I L-O-V-E it!

In addition to all of its wonderful features (indicated on the cover above),  Soft and Stable can also be safely ironed and there is no need to quilt every 2″ to 4″ as with many battings.  Click here to watch a video by Annie promoting her new product.

So, because I want to show you how well it works, I’ve decided to make some new placemats for my Mom for Christmas using lovely blue fabrics by Kaffe Fassett . . . shhh, it’s a surprise.

Leftover 2-1/2" wide pre-cut strips are perfect for this project.

Here’s what I did to keep this quick and easy:

-  cut the 18″ x 58″ piece of Soft and Stable into four 14-1/2″ x 18″ pieces.

- cut 2-1/2″ wide fabric strips for the front of the placemats (need seven 2-1/2″ x 18″ pieces for each one).

- cut one 18″ x 22″ piece of fabric for each backing (fat quarters are perfect).

Note: Stitches on the backside will show so be sure to use a matching thread color. Also, a walking foot is always helpful when stitching through multiple layers.

1. Center a piece of Soft and Stable (S&S) onto the wrong side of a piece of backing fabric. Layer two fabric strips onto the S&S, right sides together, and even with one of the long sides. Use pins to secure the layers. Stitch through all layers, 1/4″ from the inside edges of the strips, as shown.

2. Use a steam iron, on medium setting to press the top strip over the stitching line. Place another fabric strip, wrong side facing down onto the pressed strip, aligning the raw edges. Secure with pins. Then stitch through all layers, with a 1/4″ seam.

3. Continue adding four more strips in the same stitch-and-flip manner, until the entire piece of S&S is covered.

This shows a short side of the placemat. The strips run lengthwise.

4. In the interest of keeping this simple, I decided to skip adding a separate binding. Instead, I chose to wrap the extra backing fabric around the edges to form a binding. I like the look of mitered corners so I used the cutting tools to trim the backing fabric to 1-1/4″ from the edge of the S&S, all the way around.

5. Working on the two short sides first, turn and press the backing fabric in half so that the raw edges are in line with the edges of the S&S.

6. Turn the folded edges of the backing over the edge of the placemat and secure with pins or binding clips, as shown. Press to set the crease. Then press the corners of the long sides at a 45-degree angle, as shown.

7. Next, press the backing fabric on the long sides in half so the raw edges are touching the edges of the S&S, as shown.

8. Turn and press the backing fabric on the long sides over the placemat, adjusting the corners to form neat miters. Use pins or clips to secure.

9. Finally, stitch the folded edge of the binding, through all layers, all the way around. It is helpful to start on a side rather than in a corner, and pivit at each corner. That’s it, finished and ready to go!

Be sure to check with your local quilt/fabric shop to see if they carry Soft and Stable. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be going back for more.

Whew . . . one gift I can check off my list. I think my mom will love them. Hope you are making some headway with your to-do lists.

Oh yes, thought you might like to know that I “chatted” with Annie via e-mail letting her know how much I enjoyed working with her product and that I would be promoting it in an upcoming blog. She graciously sent me a package to offer as a giveaway. Soooo, by now, I’m sure you know the drill. Please simply leave a comment letting us know why you would love to be the winner by end of day  Dec. 9th and we will add your name to the random drawing. I will announce the winner with my next post on Dec. 13th.

Many thanks to all of you for taking time to post comments for our holiday decor giveaway.  I wish we had a set for each of you. The lucky winners of the placemat and napkin sets are Sue W. for the Gold & Silver set and Pam for the Red & Green set.

Until next time…find joy in this lovely holiday season.

A Sorta-Fast Sparkling Holiday Pillow–A FREE Downloadable Pattern (Part II)

Greetings from the lunatic fringe! There’s nothing like a beckoning blog post deadline to inspire an all-and-out sprint into crafting insanity. In the last post I promised a winter holiday variation of my pillow pattern and so I had to fulfill that commitment . . . didn’t I?

I neglected to mention originally that I’d limited myself to supplies on hand to create the autumn leaf pillow (bartering/borrowing permitted, of course). That was my intention again, and I did that . . . kinda . . . but I had to invest in a couple things—NOT fabric though, that was all stash inventory!

Cool & Useful Stuff

  • 505 Spray and Fix (www.sprayandfix.com):  Long-arm machine quilter Elaine Beattie turned me on to this aerosol glue.  In this case it worked wonderfully to adhere the paper template securely (yet not permanently) to the fabric for machine embroidery.
  •  Golden Threads Quilting Paper 18” wide (http://www.goldenthreads.com): I traced my 16” x 16” hand-drawn pattern onto the paper, tacked it to the fabric with spray glue, and traced the design with a darning foot.  Easy! Although next time I’ll adhere it to the wrong side of the fabric so I won’t go cross-eyed picking tiny paper shreds from overlapping thread lines after I’ve torn off the pattern paper.
  • Japanese seed beads (www.whimbeads.com):  Aside from broad color, finish, and size array, these beads have consistently sized holes so loading beads onto a needle is much easier; they slide on without sticking. Pictured: a variety of gold-toned Size 11, Size 8, twisted bugles, and hexagons.

So, to recap, click the Pattern Library tab and scroll to the winter variation of the holiday pattern.  Use the Autumn variation to build the pillow and the Winter variation (Part II) to embellish it.

Okay, I know “easy” is a relative term; but really, this is an achievable project with dazzling results. I drew the pattern freehand (so you can do it as well) and the beading only took a couple of afternoons this past weekend. Nothing crazy.  Here’s a time-saving hint for beading:  load a few beads onto the needle at a time and then tack them onto the fabric with a basting stitch (3 beads is optimal and gaps of 1/8” to 1/4” look natural). “Lock off” a run of beads (maybe 2” or so) with a back-stitch for reinforcement. That’s it: go forth and build a beaded pillow!

Wishing you the very best for an enjoyable holiday weekend! Remember to comment on our most-recent group post for a chance to win handmade holiday table decor!

Group Post #3: And So (Sew?) The Season Begins . . . With a Giveaway!

“How would you describe your holiday style?”

That was the question “on the table” late last month as we began discussing our upcoming, holiday-themed posts for See How We Sew. We quickly discovered that, although we number just four, each had her own unique take on how to “deck the halls” at this special time of year.

Laura loves the traditional look and remembrances of Christmas past, as exemplified by her Dickens Village and vintage Santa collections. A nostalgic array of handmade photo ornaments, one for each daughter to mark each year, is a beloved tradition on the family tree.

Christie’s whimsical holiday scene centers around a small tree adorned with bells and bows and a large collection of holiday critters and snowmen, all of whom dance and party at night when the house is quiet!

Jennifer favors classic red and green holiday decor, with large doses of warm gold, although a recent passion for snowflakes (especially iridescent, sparkly versions) now complicates the mix. Her compromise is to drop snowflakes from the ceilings, affix them to her walls, and tape them to her windows–yes, it’s an OBSESSION.

Darra’s seasonal style is a casual blend of natural and homespun: live tree (always!), lots of greenery, pine cones, candlelight, and handmade ornaments–fiber, paper, glass, ceramic, tin, wood, cornhusk–some heirloom, some gifts from “crafty” students and friends, many gathered during her years in the North Carolina mountains.

So…how do four women with such divergent tastes launch the traditional holiday season in a single post? With a challenge, of course! Knowing that so much of holiday tradition centers around the holiday table, we decided to create two distinctive table settings, using seasonally themed placemats and napkins as the focal point.

Coming up with a placemat pattern was a no-brainer: we selected the versatile (and easy!) Table Chic pattern from Christie’s Artichoke Collection pattern line. For napkins, we went back to our archives, and agreed on the clever, two-sided napkins featured in Laura’s May 3rd post.

In the spirit of compromise (and given four busy lives), we worked in teams. Laura and Jennifer opted for an elegant and sophisticated palette of gold and silver. Their fabric selections sparkle with a wink of metallic, and the motifs are more seasonal than holiday- specific to carry comfortably into the new year.

For their interpretation, Christie and Darra chose a contemporary–and somewhat whimsical–take on the time-honored palette of red and green. Their fabric choices feature Rudolph and candy stripes, snowflakes and festive, funky holiday trees.

When we gathered for “the big reveal,” we were more than pleased with the results, and amazed at how the same basic placemat and napkin could yield such different looks. We also agreed that the project was easy, easy, easy, and either set of placemats and napkins would be welcome on the table at our own holiday gatherings, or as a quick-and-easy gift…

…which leads us to today’s giveaway.

How would you describe your holiday decorating style? Traditional? Sophisticated? Whimsical? Homespun? Kid-friendly? “On trend?” Do you have a favored holiday color scheme? Leave us a comment by Sunday, November 27, 11 pm (PST), and we’ll pop you in the drawing for one of the placemat and napkin sets we made for this post. Each set includes four placemats and four napkins; be sure to tell us if you’d prefer the gold and silver, or the red and green set.

Option 1: Jennifer and Laura

Along with the placemats and napkins, each winner will receive Christie’s placemat pattern so that she (or he) can add to the set, or make a set for family members or friends. Laura will announce the winner in her post on Tuesday, November 29.

It’s our way of saying “thanks” to our wonderful readers…like you!

Option 2: Christie and Darra

Before we sign off, congratulations to Janice, Sandy, Lisa, and Brenda–winners of the November 8th giveaway. Each receives a downloadable version of Christie’s Urban Chic pattern.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone (and a special “thanks” to our friend, Kim Butterworth, for the beautiful table-top photography)!

Immerse Yourself in Button Madness!

Are you tempted by the bounty of colorful novelty and elegant fashion buttons that are popping up in quilt, craft, and sewing shops?

Do you drool over button websites on the ‘net? Have you inherited the family “button box” from Mom or Grandma? Do you just, flat out, love buttons? If the answer to any of these questions is yes…read on!

Vintage 19th-century buttons (except that large one in the back). Photo courtesy of Bumble Button.

Collecting and trading buttons is nothing new; in fact, it was quite the thing back in the Victorian era for a young lady to amass a large collection. The goal was to gather as many different buttons as possible, with no duplications, and the preferred way to sort and display them was on a string, called a charm string.  Many lovely stories have grown up around this custom, including one that promises that the acquisition of the 1000th button (ideally from the coat of an eligible young man) would signal the arrival of the one’s true love.

While the pursuit of marital bliss is no longer considered a prime motivation for collecting, buttons still hold a fascination for many of us who are captivated by all things sewing-related. As a certified “embellishment enthusiast,” I’m always on the lookout for different ways to utilize my stash, and I’ve just found a new outlet for my passion for buttons.

Button Madness, a wonderful new pattern line from JWD Publishing, made its debut at Fall Market in Houston last month. The inaugural collection includes three fun and easy patterns. One is for a button bracelet that you can make as elegant…

 …or as whimsical as you choose.

The second is for a fashion pin that can be fancy…

D_nov 18_purple pin

…or festive!

D_Nov 18_Christmas pin

With the third, you can whip up a set of custom napkin rings to grace your table on a holiday…or any day.

Teresa Fields (aka Quickie Chicks), the creative mind behind Button Madness

The creative mind behind Button Madness is Indiana quilter, crafter, and designer, Teresa Fields. Her two previous patterns–the Sole Cool Hot Iron Bag and the Snap, Grab and Go! Tote and Quilt–are two of JWD’s bestsellers, and when Teresa designed her first button bracelet for Nancy J’s Fabrics in Wabash, IN, as a sample to sell buttons, the demand for a pattern was so great, the Button Madness pattern line was born.

Each 8 1/2″ x 11″ double-sided, photo-illustrated pattern includes step-by-step instructions and helpful hints to guide you on your way. Make a bracelet for yourself, another as a gift for a family member or friend. Sport a personalized pin on your lapel, hat, scarf, or tote. Fashionable, fun…and creative, too!

These little projects are ideal for mixing new buttons–Teresa’s favorite sources are Jesse James Beads, Dill Buttons, and Blumenthal Lansing–with vintage buttons, including those from your own (or Grandma’s) button box.

“You may not have room in your home to display Grandmother’s china, but by using the buttons from her button box, you can create a wonderful memento,” Teresa says. I love that idea, don’t you?

Incidentally, as I was preparing this post, I stumbled upon a wonderful site that I’d like to share. It’s called Bumble Button, and it’s authored by Louise Bouton, whose last name is French for button. Buttons, however, are just one of the things she posts about. Bumble Button brims with charming images of many things vintage, including 19th- and early 20th-century postcards, greeting cards, bookplates, illustrations, and other ephemera, much of which Louise allows you to copy for personal use. If vintage is your thing, I encourage you to stop Bumble Button and take a peek.

Finally, to all who will celebrate next week: Happy Thanksgiving!

"Over the River and Through the Woods with Sunbonnet Sue" ( 22" x 26") from "A Year in Life with Sunbonnet Sue" by Darra Williamson and Christine Porter (Martingale & Co.)

LET’S TALK TURKEY – Wave Goodbye to “Wavy Borders”

Don't let wavy borders ruin your beautiful quilt.

Several years ago, my pre-teen, non-quilting, independent, determined, self-assured (you get the picture!) daughter decided to make a quilt for her best friend’s birthday. After asking my advice on a pattern, she decided on a Log Cabin. For hours she cut and sewed strips together in a “somewhat” log-cabin style. I popped my head in and noticed that none of the blocks were the same size, and–as a result–all the edges of the quilt top were uneven.  I made some (obviously unwelcomed) comment and was quickly told that it was NOT a Laura Nownes quilt so it didn’t have to be PERFECT!

Yikes…did I feel guilty! What was I thinking? As it turned out, she just trimmed and straightened the edges, often cutting off half the blocks, and then added a border. It turned out to be a very charming quilt and her friend just loved it. Isn’t that all that really matters? Yes, of course, unless you have different and PERFECT expectations in mind (which many of us apparently do).

After this experience, I try my hardest to keep my thoughts to myself unless asked for advice. I know from years of teaching that how to add borders and keep the edges of the quilt top straight are two of the questions I’m asked most often. So, in case you ever have challenges with this step, here’s my “two cents.”

If you find that your borders look like this, it is best to take them off and start again. It is well worth the time invested.

First, let me say that it’s rare that quilt tops are perfect. There are just too many variables involved in making them. There are, however, some steps you can take to help correct any discrepancies and achieve great results. Just work carefully and take your time. (These steps generally take twice as long as I think they should.)

1. ALWAYS MEASURE. Lay the quilt top on a flat surface and use a plastic tape measure(not cloth, as they can stretch) to determine the length of both sides as well as down the center. You may end up with three different measurements. If so, you are not alone. Take the average measurement of the three and cut two border strips this length for the sides of the quilt. Note: If I have enough length of fabric I will cut the border strips on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage edge) as there will be less stretch than if strips are cut on the crosswise grain (from selvage edge to selvage edge). I do both, but just be aware that there is a difference.

Jot down the measurements for easy reference.

2. Mark the center points (and quarter points if working on a big quilt) with pins on both the quilt top and border strips.

3. This next step is best done on a large pressing/ironing board. Place one border strip, right-side up, onto the pressing board. Then place the quilt top, right-side down, onto the border strip, aligning the center-point pins. Secure the ends with pins also. Carefully press the two together to eliminate any fullness. Add more pins to secure.

Note that the quilt top and white border strip are offset to clearly illustrate the matching points.

4. Check to see if the edges are flat or if there is more fullness on one side. Have you ever heard the term “baggy bottoms?” It simply means that the bigger/longer piece (either quilt top or border strip), the one with the extra fullness, is placed on the bottom when joining. If the edges are flat, with no fullness, I prefer to stitch with the border strip on the bottom so I can monitor the seams in the quilt top as I sew. (The seams tend to flip over less if I can see them on the top.) If, however, there is fullness on the quilt top, I’ll flip it over and stitch with the border strip on top. This allows the fullness to work in as I stitch. Press the edges again and add more pins, if needed, before stitching.

In this case, it is best to stitch with the quilt top on the bottom since it has more fullness than the border strip.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to pin and stitch the opposite side border. Press the seams in the direction of the border strip.

6. MEASURE AGAIN, this time taking three new measurements across the width of the quilt: the top edge, across the center, and along the bottom edge. These measurements will include the side borders. Take the average measurement of the three to cut border strips for the top and bottom edges.

7. Use the same pinning and sewing technique as described above for attaching these borders. Press the seams in the direction of the border strips. Your bordered quilt should be the same length on opposite sides and the borders should hang straight.

Now, on to basting…..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

P.S. – BTW, the beautiful quilt at the top of the post was made by one of my students using my Sunrise/Sunset pattern. She removed the wavy borders, and with careful measuring and re-stitching, the problem was corrected.

The Super-Fast & Easy Hostess Gift and/or Seasonal Décor Pillow Project—not only FREE, it’s downloadable too!

I’m going for the less is more approach with this post:  Fewer words, more images, and a Super-Fast & Easy Pillow pattern—gotta love it. It’s all because I scored heavenly photos of autumnal foliage from Neil Porter from Bristol, England. He’s the talented photographer husband of Christine Porter, my blogging sister Darra’s co-author. Neil’s given me permission to share them with you.  Enjoy!

Copyright 2011 by Neil Porter
Copyright 2011 by Neil Porter
Copyright 2011 by Neil Porter

Now didn’t Neil take a lovely stroll through Westonbirt Arboretum (a short distance from the home of HRH Prince Charles)? I can just about feel the crisp air, catch a whiff of chimney fires, and hear the crunching sounds of fallen leaves under a footfall.

The photos inspired a burst of craftiness on my part–what with the need for holiday hostess gifts and seasonal decor . . . So here’s a decorative pillow I whipped up from fabric and embellishments I had in my stash. The pillow construction is super, super simple and once you’ve mastered it you can make a pillow in less than 30 minutes—decorations add time, of course, but nothing too heinous.

Hand-stamped autumn leaf images scattered on gold-washed cotton embellished with decorative thread and beads.
A closer look at the super-fast & easy pillow project.

Because the Super-Fast & Easy Pillow is such an adaptable design, I’m going to show you a winter holiday version in my next post. Think of this pattern as a totally transformable hostess/holiday gift. Sew an autumn version for a friend and then bestow a winter holiday version of the pillow cover a few weeks later. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Time to announce the winners from my Diamond Jubilee pattern giveaway:  Carol, Connie, Kathy L., Cathy and Doris. Congratulations!  Laura has generously donated five patterns for this giveaway. BTW: we’ve got some fun ideas and treats for the holiday season so be sure to check the upcoming blog posts for details.

p.s.  Special thanks to the wonderful Elaine Beattie who lent me her rubber stamps, paints, and supplies.

Tree Trunks to Bouganvilla – The Quilts are Finished and the Giveaway is a “Challenge”

If you’ve been a faithful reader (we thank you all), you’ll remember my September 27th post, which focused on color inspiration derived from two very different photos from Mother Nature, an intriguing tree trunk and gorgeous bouganvilla flowers.  Using these sources as our color palettes, my friend Sally and I challenged each other to make a quilt using the Urban Chic pattern from Artichoke Collection.  It was great fun and we’re both rather pleased with our quilts (both were machine quilted by our very talented friend Elaine Beattie).

Here’s the tree trunk photo:

Christie's tree trunk

Here’s the quilt:

Christie's quilt inspired from the tree trunk.

Here’s the bouganvilla photo:

Sally's bouganvilla plants

Here’s the quilt:

Sally's quilt inspired from the bouganvillas.

Check out the backing fabric on Sally’s quilt – it’s from the Wrenly Collection by Valori Wells for Free Spirit. How cute is that?

Cute backing from Free Spirit - Wrenly.

So, are you ready to take the challenge? Let me know what fabrics you would use as inspiration for this pattern – Mother Nature, theme fabrics, a specific color palette, a holiday (I’ve seen it done beautifully in Christmas fabrics). The ten winners selected will each receive a downloadable version of the Urban Chic pattern. The “challenge” entries must be submitted no later than Saturday, November 12th.  The winners will be announced in our group post Tuesday, Nov. 22nd.

And finally, the winner of the fall batik fabric bundle giveaway from my October 25th post is Gayle Grier. Congratulations to Gayle and thank you to everyone who entered.

Happy November!

Four-at-a-Time Flying Geese: The Secret Star Method

A few years ago, at my annual getaway with two quilting buddies, I planned to make a scrappy, Sawtooth Star quilt “starring” my precious stash of reproduction fabrics. Using my favorite sew-and-flip method, I happily began constructing the Flying Geese units that would become the Star points.

When Alex (Anderson), one of my retreat mates, saw the individual units going up on my design wall, she stopped me in my tracks. “I can show you a method that gives you four of those Flying Geese units at a time,” she said. Being something of the old school, “if-it-ain’t-broke, don’t-fix-it” sort, I was reluctant at first. However, once she showed me this technique, which she calls “The Secret Star Method,” and which she included in her book, Kids Start Quilting, I was hooked. After all, if those kids could do it, so could I!

Just as Alex promised, this method yields four Flying Geese units at a time–enough for all the points on a Sawtooth Star block. Quick and easy? You bet!

First, determine the finished size of the unit you need. For my 8″ finished Sawtooth Star blocks, I needed Flying Geese units that finished 4″ x 2″ each.

In the steps that follow, Fabric A = brown print; Fabric B = pink print.

The Magic Formula:

From Fabric A, cut one square equal to the finished measurement of the long side of the unit ( in my case, 4″) + 1-1/4″.

From Fabric B, cut four squares equal to the finished measurement of the short side of the unit (in my case, 2″) + 7/8″.

For 4" x 2" finished Flying Geese units, I cut one 5 1/4" square (Fabric A), and four 2 7/8" squares (Fabric B).
 

The How To:

1. Draw a diagonal line, from corner to corner, on the wrong side of all four small squares. This will be your cutting line (shown in black).

2. Draw diagonal lines 1/4″ from the original diagonal line on each square. These will be your sewing lines (shown in white).

3. With right sides together, pin two marked squares in opposite corners of the large square so that the markings run in continuous diagonal lines. (Note: The two marked squares will overlap at the center.)

4. Sew on both outer lines. (I used yellow thread so that you can see the stitching. In “real life,” I’d use a neutral-color thread, such as gray.) Cut the unit apart on the center line and press toward the small squares.

5. Pin a remaining marked square on the “available” corner of one unit from the previous step. Make sure that the markings run from the corner to the center of the unit.

6. Sew on both outer diagonal lines. Cut the unit apart on the center line and press toward the small square. Presto: two Flying Geese!

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make two more Flying Geese. Trim the “dog ears.”

How easy is that? Now all you need is a 4-1/2″ square for the Star center, and four 2-1/2″ squares for the block corners, and you’re good to go!

Say you’d prefer that the Flying Geese be a bit more scrappy. No problem! Just use four different fabrics for the four small squares.

Here are a bunch of blocks that I made at our retreat. Wait ’til you see what I slipped in between them. I’ll post a photo when the quilt is finished.

Yes, I still use my old standby sew-and-flip method from time to time, but if I want to make my Geese in bunches, it’s the Secret Star method for me.

Before I sign off, I’d like to pass on a bit of good news. Remember the post I did a few months back about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)? Well, a little bird told me that on October 25, the AAQI awarded its ninth grant, this time a $30,000 research grant, to Dr. Chris B. Schaffer, Professor of Biological Engineering at Cornell University. As AAQI executive director Ami Simms reminds us, “We are able to give that money because of quilters like you.”

I hope you’ll visit the AAQI site to see how you can continue to support this worthy and important cause.

‘Til next time, happy stitching!

Pumpkin Chip Mini Muffins – a favorite Fall recipe

After reading Christie’s recent post and all of your wonderful comments, looks like I’m not alone in loving this special time of year.

One of my favorite Fall recipes is this delightful and easy-to-make Pumpkin Chipper Muffin. I bake them in mini-muffin pans, not just because they are so darn cute, but also because it doesn’t feel so much like cheating…unless, of course, you eat a handful of them.

Please join me for one of my favorite fall treats.

Diana McClun’s daughter, Katie, shared the recipe with me several years ago, and it has been popular among my family and friends ever since. When I first started attending PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival), I would return home after a long day at the show and whip up several batches just to have them available in my booth the next day. The past few years, I decided to end the midnight-baking madness and substitute a good night’s sleep. Believe it or not, at this last show, I still got comments from shoppers telling me how much they had enjoyed these little treats.

Here’s the simple recipe. For a dowloadable version, simply click on our new “Recipes” tab at the top of the page.

1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.

2. Add the canned pumpkin and mix thoroughly.

3. Add the dry ingredients.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Grease the bottom of the muffin pan. Fill each muffin mold halfway with batter.

Fill muffin molds halfway with batter.

6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Warm out of the oven, they are irresistible. The chocolate just melts in your mouth.

Bet you can' t eat just one!

Enjoy this special season of giving.