From My Carolina Home

Quilting, cooking, reading books, gardening, crafting, sewing, photography and more


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Dealing With Those Pumpkins, and a bit of Mountain Living

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is done and we are well into Christmas decorating, the orange pumpkins need to go.  Baking the little pie pumpkin is easy, and will provide wonderful fresh pumpkin for use in recipes.  All you need to do is cut the pumpkin into halves and scoop out the seeds.

Pumpkins 1

Place cut side down in a baking dish.

Pumpkins 2

Place in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

Pumpkins 3

Scoop out the pumpkin, it will be the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Pumpkins 4

I store it in a container, for a day or two until I can get to baking. I measured the output of this little pumpkin, it came to 2-1/2 cups of fresh pumpkin. The aroma is wonderful, fresh and no preservatives!

Pumpkins 5

So, what to do with the other jack-o-lantern pumpkin? I didn’t want to just throw it away. We don’t have a zoo nearby to give it to, did you know that hippos love pumpkins? On the advice of a few readers, I decided to split it open and put it out for the turkeys. I sprinkled it with birdseed, also a reader suggestion, thank you Linda, Susan and Valerie.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 1

Then the stupid turkeys didn’t show up that day. So the little birds got all the seed. The next morning, I saw the turkeys in the meadow, and walked out to the veranda with a piece of whole wheat bread, and called to them. They came directly up to get their handout.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 2

Then they spent half an hour pecking at the ground, and walking around the pumpkins.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 3

Circling around and ignoring the orange treat, they were making that cluck-purring sound.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 4

Pumpkins for Turkeys 5

After a while, I got bored, and went down to the sewing room. A bit later, DH called me up to see them actually eating the pumpkin.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 7

I didn’t want to disturb them, so I took a couple of pictures from inside the house.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 10

First one, then the other one got a beak full.

Pumpkins for Turkeys 11

Oh, and I have to tell you a funny thing!  Our mailbox is down the mountain from the house so it is rare for the postal delivery guy to actually come up here.  But yesterday, the box from Back Side Fabrics wouldn’t fit in the box so he brought it up.  I heard this noise out in the front, and came up from the basement and out to the veranda to see what the commotion was.  The two male turkeys were trying really hard to run him off, and I had to laugh as they chased him around his jeep pecking at him and gobbling really loud.  Then he turned around and began to chase them off, yelling and waving his arms around.  When he came up to the house, winded, with my box, he said they had followed him from the house down the hill, running behind his jeep the whole way up the mountain!  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I encourage them to stay, LOL, or that the pumpkin halves in the year were for them!  Nor did I tell him that they chased my car down the hill as I went out earlier in the week, feathers fluffed, tails up and gobbling the whole way.  They are getting really bold.

Anyway, now that I have the pumpkin all baked and ready to use in a recipe, I need to decide what to do with it.  The links below are to my original pumpkin recipes.  Which would you choose?

Spiced Pumpkin Cake Donuts

Spiced Pumpkin Cake Donuts at From My Carolina Home

Pumpkin Orange Bread

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you have a leftover pumpkin?


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Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along

Today will be Block A.  This is the star block that uses just a few HSTs and lots of squares.  If you are still making HSTs, this should give you some time to catch up. Lay out your squares and HSTs in the design shown.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Sew in rows.  Press the seam allowances in opposite directions – such as even rows left and odd rows right, or however you like – so the rows will nest nicely.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Press the row seams all in one direction, either up or down, doesn’t matter. This will allow nesting of the seams with Block B.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Make 18 for the quilt-along size quilt.

waltz-block-a-reds

And, for those who have asked about the two color Christmas option, I have done the math for you.  Update – Thanks to Cheryl for catching that I colored the sample backwards to the instructions.  Here is how it should be.

christmas-waltz-2

Here are the cutting needs for that option.
Background 2-1/2 squares –   212
Background 3-inch squares –  174

Block A – reds
2-1/2 inch squares – 162
3-inch squares -72

Block B – greens
2-1/2 inch squares – 153
3-inch squares – 102

Don’t forget, upload pictures of your progress to our Flickr Group – Scrap Dance Waltz – I’ll do an update next week, then the next step Block B in a fortnight.

Are you quilting along?  Are you scrappy or two color, or three color?


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Catching up to Christmas

I am working on several new projects for this holiday season, but nothing is ready to show yet.  I will be working on our quilt-along this afternoon, the next step is tomorrow.  My weekend sale online orders from all my favorite retailers are coming in for new projects for the blog, thread and fabric should arrive this week.  But for now, refill your coffee cup or tea, and settle in for some fun time on my blog as I do a review of my Christmas in July event along with some previous season ideas with links to the projects.  You might be here a while today, LOL!!  We had great fun in July and had a number of wonderful prizes from my favorite vendors, and yes, we’ll have more events like that next year.  Do you have a quilter on your gift list?  This Sewing Kit is easy to make, has no hand sewing, and can be used for jewelry too!  The link has a full tutorial.

Sewing Kit | From My Carolina Home

My original design Christmas Mini Quilt fits a table top stand, and the post has all the instructions to make it.  The ornament pattern is embellished with little pearls at the triangle corners.

Christmas Ornament Mini Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

My Christmas Trip Around the World quilt goes so fast, that I made it from beginning the cutting to finishing the binding in just over a week – and that was around my work schedule and social commitments!

Christmas Trip Around the World | From My Carolina Home

You have cards to send, so here are some card stamping ideas for your Christmas card list.  Stamping Christmas Cards.

Stamping Christmas | From My Carolina Home

Are you into wool applique?  This is my original design, Christmas Wool Penny Rug and the post has a free pattern download.

Christmas Wool Applique Penny Rug ~ From My Carolina Home

Christmas Cookie Cutters Ornaments are easy to make with buttons and ribbon roses.

Rose Angel at From My Carolina Home

An integral part of most of my tablescapes are quilted runners or table toppers. One I use over and over is the one shown in the picture below, a simple hexagonal shape with rings of alternating values and colors in red, green and ecru.  The pattern is free in my Craftsy store. While you are there, please take a look at my other patterns, your purchases help fund the blog costs.  I hope never to have the obnoxious ads I am seeing on other blogs these days, moving animation on every single photo in a post, flashing ads on sidebars and popups, hello bars at the top and popup bars at the bottom, and some blogs with all of those at once! Monumentally annoying.  As long as I can pay for everything with Etsy store sales and Craftsy sales, the only ads you should ever see will be the occasional one at the bottom put there by WordPress when you visit the blog page.  Someday I hope to go completely ad free.

Christmas Hexagonal Table Topper 15

If you would like to do another runner, here is a link to the quilted runner I did last Christmas as a quilt-along. Christmas Star Runner

Christmas Quilt Along finish

This year I published my first purse pattern, The Charleston Bag. Of course I had to have it in Christmas colors!  For the month of December for my readers, the pattern is reduced to just $5.  The Charleston bag is a roomy purse with an inside pocket, completely finished by machine, no hand sewing!  I was carrying it yesterday while shopping for some crafting supplies, and several ladies commented on it.

Christmas Charleston Bag

Need some ideas for the guys on your list? Gifts for Guys will give you some different ideas from the usual.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

I love giving Gifts From The Kitchen too. This post has my Double Dutch Chocolate Brownie mix recipe with a downloadable pdf of this recipe with others along with printable gift tags.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

We are finally getting some much needed rain this morning, and I am enjoying the gentle patter and cooler temperatures.  It is hoped this rain will help the firefighters, particularly to keep the fires from spreading although it will not be enough to end the drought or to extinguish the fires going now.  It is a great day, however, to curl up with a good book.  I did some cozy Christmas mystery book reviews last year, here are some holiday reads you might enjoy too.  Cozy Christmas Reading  If you haven’t heard that term, a cozy mystery is one without overt violence, no foul language, and the intimate scenes are left to the imagination.

Cozy Christmas 2

Just for fun, here is my Christmas Tablescape from two years ago. This post has a recipe for Shrimp Avocado Remoulade, along with the plan for the quilted table topper.  I found some new chargers for this year and I have an idea for a totally new tablescape using things I already have in a new way.

Christmas Table 2014 - 2

And one last project, a Holiday Pine Cone Hanger to use those big cones you might have sitting around.  I gave this one away, but I’ll be making another one for the veranda this year.

Pine Cone Hanger at From My Carolina Home

I hope that gives you some things to enjoy to get the season started.  I’ll have more projects and ideas very soon, and our Scrap Dance Waltz continues tomorrow.  I am revising the math for those that are doing the two tone Christmas option, and I’ll add that to the post tomorrow.

Are you getting started on Christmas?

Sharing

Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

 


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Late November Garden

Cold outside means the garden moves inside.  After leaving my violets out on the veranda all summer, they finally decided to bloom again! I had forgotten the color of the lovely purple and white variegated blooms.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

I am thrilled, finally I think I have figured out what they really need to bloom. The other one is a velvety purple.

Flowers in Late November

My Thanksgiving Cactus bloomed for the holiday this year beautifully too. I love these unusual flowers.  This was a gift from a dear friend, and I am amazed that I have kept it alive and blooming every year for over 10 years now!

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

I learned that although I originally believed this to be a Christmas Cactus, it has the spiky leaves which makes it a Thanksgiving Cactus, blooming usually in November.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

It has several flower colors all in the same pot, purple, pink, red, yellow and white.

Flowers in Late November

Flowers in Late November

On the veranda, in spite of the sub-freezing temperatures of the past few nights, the white begonias are still blooming like mad. All the pots are still going. I stopped watering them for about a week after DH turned off the water outside to prevent the pipes from freezing. Still, the little guys continued. Yesterday, I watered the ones still going with a pitcher.

Late November veranda 2

The red dianthus are still blooming too, they should have finished up a month ago.

Late November veranda 5

The chrysanthemums got a drink too.  Their colors are fading, and I should dry some of the flowers for use later.

Late November veranda 1

Late November veranda 4

Time for the pumpkin to go, I think. But, before we leave the Autumn season, here’s one more last look at sunlit autumn color.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

These leaves are still hanging on, but coming down fast.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

Lovely autumn color, finally here, and gone too soon.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

I have been seeing the turkeys several times a day now. The two males have again separated from the flock, and forage on their own. I have been getting them used to seeing me, and just this past week began talking to them. They make the most wonderful little cluck-purring noise, like they are talking back, and they no longer run away when they see me. So, on Thanksgiving, I stepped slowly onto the veranda while they were visiting and gave them a piece of whole wheat bread, broken up into a few pieces. They were wary but they did eat it. One gave a nice display of his tail feathers, and puffed up, probably to signal that he was ready to do battle if necessary.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

After a couple of mornings giving them a bite, not only are they not afraid of me anymore, but they come running when they see me! It is fun. I don’t plan to continue this long, as I don’t want to make them into pets. I certainly respect the fact that they are wild and should continue to be so.

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

But, for a day or two, I’ll feed the turkeys as well as the little birds.  I wonder if they might eat that pumpkin?  Today, and this week I’ll be packing up Thanksgiving and getting out Christmas.  I’ll be simmering a pot of turkey soup while watching football and piddling around collecting up the autumn decor. My MIL is coming in five days, and I want to get to Christmas decorating and setting a pretty table for her visit.  Plus, I have some blocks to do for Waltz!  So, I better get busy.

What’s going on around your home today?


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One Monthly Goal – November

My One Monthly Goal for November was only to get the red fabrics ready for cutting, and cut the pieces needed to begin.  At the time I made that goal, I had a red mess after washing the fabrics.  The color ran like crazy, and after I did the goal, I decided to wash them a second time.  With more color run, I thought the best thing would be to put the cutting on hold and order some Retayne.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I got the order mid-month, and reading the label I needed water at 140 degrees, plus I couldn’t use the washer as it is a low water top loader. Our water isn’t set that hot, so I added a dutch oven of boiling water to the half filled mud sink. Then I stirred in the Retayne and added the dry fabrics. I had to use some tongs as the water was too hot for my hands.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I set a timer, and went back to agitate the fabrics around every five minutes for the 20 minute total soak.  I kept having to add more water, and thus a bit more stabilizer, because the sink plug wouldn’t hold tight enough and the water kept leaking out.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I rinsed them in cold water, as the label says, and  the good news is that the rinse water was clear. Then, I threw them in the washing machine for a spin dry, re-rinse and spin again. Then into the dryer. Out came this mountain of reds, yet again needing pressing.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

One big motivation to get this done was using the reds in the current Scrap Dance Waltz quilt along.  So, I had to just get busy! This took a better part of a day to get to this point.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

After that, the cutting went fairly fast.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

I got started on the HSTs then remembered I needed to finish cutting the individual 2-1/2-inch squares, so I got busy again and finished up the cutting.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

The main thing is the goal was met. Scrap Dance Waltz continues on Wednesday!  Check out the beginning post HERE, you have time to catch up!

Linking up with One Monthly Goal.

Show Off Saturday

Oh Scrap!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday weekend!  I wanted to share again my Thanksgiving post from two years ago about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as the great majority of readers haven’t seen it.  It really feels like the holidays are beginning when this day comes each year, my favorite holiday. I always wake up with much anticipation for the day. After making a pot of coffee, I’ll enjoy it while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have been spending the holiday morning doing this for many years. Seeing Tom Turkey kick off the parade is exciting every time!

TomTurkey©Macy’s, Inc

Did you know that they use the same floats year after year as well as balloons? Each year, some are the same, and some are reworked into something new. I think my favorite float would have to be the Marion-Carole Showboat float which has been in the parade more than 35 years. It is one of the few times I have seen my name on something spelled with the E! Usually the performer on that float is one I like to see. The Big Apple float is also a favorite.

MarionCarole BigApple

©Macy’s, Inc

Sometimes the balloons get a change of clothes. In 1946 Harold was a baseball player, and had a role in the 1947 release of Miracle on 34th Street. At another time, the same balloon was a Harold the Fireman. The Macy’s Parade website says this was 1948. But, the same site says the baseball player was 1949, when we know it was 1946 because of the movie.

HaroldBallplayer HaroldFireman

©Macy’s, Inc

The scenes of the parade in the movie were made in 1946, the year before it was released, with the actual parade seen through the window! They had to time the scene to correspond with the appearance of the baseball player to match the script. Plus, all the parade scenes had to be shot that morning, as doing them over wasn’t possible.

Natalie-Wood-and-John-Payne-watching-parade©Twentieth Century Fox

Edmund Gwenn was really the Macy’s Santa Claus in 1946 so the scenes could be shot with him in them. I love this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and I’ll watch it sometime this weekend. None of the remakes have even come close.

EdmundGwynn©Macy’s, Inc

Santa©Twentieth Century Fox

Snoopy is a classic too.

snoopy ©Macy’s, Inc

They even have floats perfect for foodies! The one on the left is by Lindt called The Enchanting World of Chocolate. And on the right is Domino Sugar’s Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations.

WorldChocolate Sugar

©Macy’s, Inc

And more floats!!

Celebearation CentralPark

Sesame 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

©Macy’s, Inc

A couple of years ago I started a Pinterest board to save pictures of the iconic parade – Thanksgiving Parade!! I wish I could share more of them on the blog, but you’ll just have to go to the link to see them. There are images pinned from before WWII, modern images, and even some from Miracle on 34th Street. Images I have used here are from the Macy’s media release, and are used with permission.

The holidays are now officially on, so I wish you all a very merry season!  Happy Thanksgiving!


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Busy Busy

Today is going to be a day of fun.  It is prep day for Thanksgiving, and I plan to get in a bit of sewing too. I know not everyone has the day off to do some advance cooking, but those of us that do can get a head start.  Usually I would only have a half day off, so this is a luxury!  Today I’ll be making several things, starting with some Apple Cinnamon scones. DH cannot get enough cinnamon, so I’ll bake for his holiday breakfast today.

Scones

Then while the oven is hot, I’ll cube up all these bread ends and bits saved in the freezer for the dressing. I really do like to make my own from a variety of breads we have eaten over the past few months. There are ends of loaves of sourdough, oatmeal, multi-grain and hearty white breads. I can always add a bit of the bagged dried bread cubes if I don’t have enough. These came out of the freezer to thaw out before I cut them up and toast them.

Stuffing

I’ll add leeks, onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, along with sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, garlic, chicken broth, and whatever else in the spice cabinet strikes my fancy at that moment. Sometimes I add sausage to it, and I do have some in the frig. I can’t decide whether to do that, or make sausage balls for snacking during the day. Or just make sausage for breakfast. Maybe breakfast. Anyway, after that, I’ll bake off the sourdough rolls so all they will need tomorrow is warming up. Then the little bitty pie I got for DH needs to be baked today, too.

Later in the afternoon, out will come the turkey, to be cleaned and put into the brine overnight.  If you have never done this, it is easy and really makes a Moist Succulent Turkey.

Brining Turkey - 1

After all that, I expect the frig to look something like this again, LOL!!

Brining Turkey - 6

It is supposed to be grey again today, the smoke is really bad. Yesterday it was so thick from a new wildfire in McDowell county (arson!!), that none of the valley was visible. The closed garage smelled like wood smoke, and so did the sun room. I had forgotten to close a window out there. I am hoping that the front coming in will bring rain, but the chance is small. But a grey day is perfect for sewing, so I’ll attack more of these half square triangles for Scrap Dance Waltz. After Sunday marking, I paired them all up with their scrappy squares so I could sew yesterday.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

I got all of the HSTs sewn, chain piecing for speed.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

Some have even been squared up! There are 348 HST units here. I won’t square all of them at once, some will need to wait for a bit so I can get started on the blocks. I still need to cut the remaining 2-1/2 inch squares of both the scrappy reds and background so I’ll meet my monthly goal.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

But I should get enough done today to get at least a few Block A’s sewn over the long weekend so I can do the process post next Wednesday.

How are you spending your day, this day before Thanksgiving?