We had fabulous weather all last week with temps in the upper 70’s.  This is pretty unusual for Minnesota so we all think we stole a week away from an early winter.  Warm days at this time of the year are treasured.  The cool nights combined with warm days really make the fall colors intensify.  I have lived my whole life in this climate and every fall I am still amazed at how beautiful this season is between lush green of summer and frosty white of winter.  I think you can see how my fall fabric collections were influenced by my surroundings.  Even the simplest image would have been an inspiration.

 

This past weekend was also the last of our Sunday night boat rides around the lake.  Everything is pretty wrapped up for the winter. Boats are put into winter storage and docks and boat lifts are pulled out of the water.  It was a pretty night and we got the last trip in right at sundown.

The wind and rain in the forecast will eliminate the remaining leaves on the trees but these are hanging on for dear life.  This orange tree outside my sitting room window actually casts an orange glow into the room.  This is always the last tree in the yard to “give up”.

 

This is what greeted me last Thursday out my front door.  When the leaves are changing, everyday is different.  I can see this view from my living room and from the main hall of the house, so every time I walk down the hall I see this.  I really hate to see this week end.  I am sure big changes on on the way.

The bench on my front steps is a fun place to decorate, so I change it often.  This might be able to hang on until November and then the Christmas/winter arrangements will be next.

In October, I host a birthday dinner for a friend that has been a tradition going back decades. I am always happy to have October as my month to host the group.  I have found a great cookbook that was written by Amy Thielen.  She is a Minnesota native that was trained in the culinary environment of New York city.  She and her family have returned to MN and her cookbook, The New Midwestern Table has become a favorite of mine.  Check it out at your local bookstore or Amazon.

I made her Chicken Wild Rice Casserole for the main dish of my dinner and served it with red cabbage (Ina Garten’s recipe) and baked winter squash with a maple syrup glaze.  I will definitely make this meal again.

For dessert, I served a Caramel Apple Cream Cake, which was also a hit. I found the recipe in my recipe box and have no idea who it came from but saved it for years and had never made it. The original recipe directions included making it in a bundt pan, which I did.  It was pretty, but a little hard to serve.  Next time I make it, I will use a 9″ x 13″ pan.  That way I can skip the step of cutting off the top to make a flat space for the apples and the bottom will be flat making it easier to serve with the extra whipped cream topping.  I snapped this picture before cutting and topping with the whipped cream.

Get recipe here.

I have taken on the task of stitching small  wool felt animal and figures for the Countdown to Christmas envelops my daughter uses for Taylor and Ella in December.  Technically, I should come up with 50, so I better start in ernest TODAY.  Kerry and I made this extravaganza 3 years ago.  The kids love it so it will go up again this year.  They are not candy eaters so other small treasures are needed for the envelops each day in December.  They are growing up so fast, I think maybe this year might be one of the last that they would be excited about finding these in their envelopes each morning.  So far, I have made three….that makes 47 to go.

I made the envelopes (one for each kiddo, for each day) from left over envelopes and Christmas cards and small felt figures from craft stores ad well as scrapbook papers.  I punched a hole in the corner of the envelop and used narrow ribbon to tie onto branch bundles that Kerry gathered from her yard.  The envelopes have held up well and can be used again this year. 

I think I should put string loops on the wool felt figures so they could hang them on the little trees they have in their rooms during the holidays.  It will keep them from getting lost in the shuffle with the other thousands of little things in their house they have collected.

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14 Comments on LAST GASP

  1. Barbara Hymas
    October 28, 2017 at 5:28 am (3 weeks ago)

    What a beautiful autumn you are having up north! I think those fall colors are my very favorite. Thanks for posting your decorating and sewing ideas. I love to see what you are doing. I have collected many of your quilting books through the years and never tire of looking through them for ideas on what to make next. They truly have the best instructions of any book or magazine I’ve seen. Thanks again and best wishes!

    Reply
    • thimbleberries
      October 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm (3 weeks ago)

      The best thing about good instructions, you can always go back to quilts you have already made and remake in new fabrics and they will again be beautiful quilts that were fun and easy to make.

      Reply
  2. Dorothy Otoupal
    October 25, 2017 at 11:53 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Fall is my favorite time of the year too. I think that is why I have loved your fabric collections so much. They are my favorite colors too. I have a nice collection, but I do use them too. Hate it when I won’t have any more, but I may not live that long. Thank you for all your posts.

    Reply
  3. Jan Dudley
    October 24, 2017 at 9:55 am (4 weeks ago)

    Oh my goodness! The views at your lake home are so pretty. Thanks for including all the details of the traditions you have going on. Those grandchildren will have wonderful memories to cherish! Thanks, Jan D

    Reply
  4. Cindy A.
    October 24, 2017 at 7:55 am (4 weeks ago)

    Don’t be too hasty in thinking that your grandchildren won’t want more of the cute treasures you make for them. You may be pleasantly surprised as I was last year. As our children were growing up, we did 12 Days of Christmas. In the morning they had something in their stocking to open and at night, after we read a Christmas related story, they drew for a present. Last year, our 22 year old daughter moved into her own house, shared with some friends, and she still wanted to do 12 Days of Christmas. I wrapped everything and she took it all with her when she left the day after Christmas. We did the remainder of the days over the phone, story and all, using Facetime. So, you might want to start planning for next year once you get all your cute little critters made for this year. It’s often amazing what special things children latch onto and how long they’re willing to allow you to enjoy doing for them.

    Reply
  5. Cheri Steenbock
    October 24, 2017 at 3:37 am (4 weeks ago)

    Thanks – Lynnette – for the beautiful fall inspirations – We in Minnesota often forget the fabulous “Falls” we always have – I have some of those same hydrangeas and love the change of colors throughout the year- Can’t wait to try the recipes

    Reply
  6. Leona Nowland
    October 24, 2017 at 1:38 am (4 weeks ago)

    My mother bought Treats No Tricks and fabric from you a long time ago at the Nashville Quilt Show. I found it recently in my inherited stash along with fabric to make the Quick Tricks table runner from the book. All of your instructions are so easy to follow so I sewed the table runner and followed it with 4 out of Christmas fabric for presents. My first quilt was your pattern those years ago. And it was wonderful taking your Craftsy class. Keep designing beautiful projects.

    Reply
    • thimbleberries
      October 26, 2017 at 9:37 pm (3 weeks ago)

      I am happy you are continuing the Thimbleberries traditions. I was always so proud of our pattern instructions and how many quilters got their start with Thibleberries books and patterns.

      Reply
  7. Sandy Bessingpas
    October 24, 2017 at 12:14 am (4 weeks ago)

    Hi Lynette..its great to catch up with you and as always the pictures are inspiring. I am going to copy you and decorate the bench on my deck for the holidays. Great idea. I love Amy’s cookbook. You might want to check out her memoir Give a Girl a Knife

    Reply
    • thimbleberries
      October 24, 2017 at 12:18 am (4 weeks ago)

      Hi Sandy…

      I guess we will never end being inspired by good recipes and decorating. Nice to hear from you.

      Lynette

      Reply
  8. Diane Matthews
    October 23, 2017 at 11:27 pm (4 weeks ago)

    How lovely your part of the world is at this time of year! I was born in Hollywood CA and have lived all over California for my 79 years. Thank you for the pictures of your yard and the lake. The envelopes for the Countdown to Christmas are displayed with such imagination! LOVE the branch bundles. Hope the kidlets are still enraptured by the whole idea of Santa, It goes so quickly – life, that is. Thank you for sharing. Diane M

    Reply
  9. Vangie Brake
    October 23, 2017 at 10:55 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Dear Lynette. Wow what a wonderful view. I can see how you were influenced by your environment. I started quilting in 2006 and the first quilt I made was one of yours, the second quilt I made was one of yours. To this day I am still most comfortable in that fall color range and palette. Thank you so much for all the joy you have given me over the years.Vangie Brake

    Reply
  10. Sandy Bessingpas
    October 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Hi Lynette..so nice to catch up with you..your yard is georgeous. I love Amy’s cookbook..you might want to check out her memoire..Give A Girl A Knife..thanks for the idea. i am going to decorate my outside bench for the holidays

    Reply
  11. Lee Ann Bailey
    October 23, 2017 at 9:38 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Here in Indiana, Fall has barely started. I’m looking forward to the beautiful foliage colors such as you have. Also, regarding Midwestern cooking, I’ve often felt that it is a hidden treasure. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

    Reply

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