From My Carolina Home

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


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August This and That, Etsy Sale and Studio Sale

Thrift shopping and warehouse sales have been very fruitful lately.  The four bolts of fabrics were my haul during a recent trip to Foust.  While we were out that day, I picked up my Shop Hop win! Yes, amazingly, for the first time ever, my entry was drawn for one of the Shop Hop basket prizes!  Wahoo!! Just look at all the goodies inside!! Some of them will become door prizes for other events, but I’ll sure have fun with the fabric.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

The fabric box it came in will be really useful.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Of course, getting new stuff means I need to clear out some old, so you can have a chance to get some nice fabric, or new stamps at a great deal.  My Etsy store is restocked and ready, and here is a coupon code link – Click HERE to take you to my Etsy store, and register your 15% discount on any sale $20 or more without having to enter the code.  I have made a number of new pincushions, and listed more of my stash and stamps to temp you plus I have added fabrics, charm packs and stash stuff I am willing to let go. The coupon code AUGUST2017SALE will be good to the end of the month, just put that in the coupon area if you use your own link to get there.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

New-to-me Gorham crystal wine glasses came from the thrift store last month (we used them at the summer luncheon), and some really fun pottery bowls were nabbed from a friend’s garage sale.  I have been experimenting with Japanese cooking lately, and these rice bowls were perfect for those meals.  Yes, I’ll be sharing some recipes soon, but I don’t have the spice balance right yet, and the meat filling on the Shumai is coming out too much like a meatball.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I was thrifting with a friend last week, and we found a big garage sale at a downtown church, and a new-to-me junk shop in old downtown. What a score!! An added bonus is I got to see a number of friends at the church that I haven’t seen since I left the quilt club. I am thinking of attending a quilt retreat day in the fall, just so I can sew with friends for a day.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

This gorgeous magnolia picture has the perfect color background for my master bath, but I don’t like the band of beige and gold on the frame. This will be a DIY rework soon.  I picked this up at the Safelight thrift store the week I delivered the spa bags.  If you are local, try the Tomato Pie at the Safelight run Dandelion Cafe on 5th St in Hendersonville.  It was scrumptious.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I couldn’t resist these white fine bone china leaves at a recent auction house sale.  They are so delicate that you can see your hand through them when you hold them up to the light, indicating a very high quality china.  They will be wonderful when I do all white tablescapes in January.  All seven dishes, six plates and the larger bowl were too inexpensive to pass up.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Grilling outdoors has been fun this summer, and I haven’t had a chance to show you that I found a good use for the onion bowls from a previous thrift find. They were perfect for baked beans!

This and That at From My Carolina Home

After my luncheon earlier in the summer, a dear friend gave me the knife rests I have been wanting. Thanks, Bonnie!!

This and That at From My Carolina Home

Many of you have asked where I store all these dishes, and the answer is in every nook and cranny I can find. One thing I do is change out the ones in the kitchen seasonally. The spring and summer colors occupy these spots in the lower dish drawer, and will change to the autumn colors in September. Off season dishes are stored in the basement on a bookshelf stuffed with tablescaping bits. Holiday dishes have their own cabinet in the den, that also doubles as a TV stand.  My china and glassware, along with some depression glass and serving dishes are in the china hutch around the corner from the kitchen.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

This biscotti jar was also a recent find at the Blue Ridge Humane Society thrift store, and will be nice on the apple inspired tables I like in September.  I just realized that I have never shared my recipe for my biscotti that I give as gifts some years.  I need to make some and share that this fall.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I’ve been harvesting in the garden too, and I’ll show you that soon. Fresh parsley has been making its way into lots of dishes.

This and That at From My Carolina Home

I am currently in the process of designing for Autumn Jubilee, gathering sponsors for giveaways, and pulling things out of the stash for a studio sale.  I have invited friends over for a shopping day next week for a first peek and preview sale, then I’ll be carting some of what is left to a friend’s home in September to participate in a neighborhood garage sale.  I’ll keep her company and sell a few things of my own.  I spent hours this week, pulling and culling, and I have a good start here. Household items, bird feeder, sewing notions, bits of this and that, crafting and tablescaping. Still to be added, stamp sets and paper goods.  Sorry the picture is so dark, it was pouring rain when I took this shot.  Oh, and the table is stuffed a lot fuller now.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Fabrics on bolts will be cut to length wanted.  I only really need about 2 yards from each of the bolts I had to buy at Foust, so the rest will be offered for sale.  Then there are other fabrics I have wound onto bolts since I had multiple yards of it, and haven’t used nearly all of it.  Prices will run from $1-5 per yard, depending on what I paid. Pretty much I am selling at below what I paid, but I just have more than I will ever use.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Large 2-gallon size grab bags of scraps are on the longarm table on the backside, after hours of measuring and pulling out fat quarters, half yard pieces and yardage.  The grab bags are sorted loosely into spring, fall and holiday collections, all $3 each.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

I set up a cardboard folded mat to display more fabrics, all labeled with the length. There are quilting cottons, gabardines, corduroy, some silky fabrics, some home dec and a doggy tapestry.  This was at the end of day one of pulling and pricing, I’ve had two more days since then to add to the sale.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

I figure I’ll sell what I can, then whatever is left will be used in projects coming up. I still have two more shelves of fabrics to go through in the big closet. I am finding fat quarters tucked everywhere! Gathering them into baskets, they’ll be $1 each.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Now up to three baskets full, with some one yard cuts in a bin for easy shopping.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Then I’ll have books on sale too, Christmas books fill two shelves, and they will all be for sale.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Plus, I am going to go through my shelves of quilting and sewing books to cull out the majority of them. Now that I am designing my own, the books are never used anymore. So, most of these will be in the sale too. I guarantee, my selection will be better than the library sale!  I’ll be pulling out patterns, magazines and duplicate notions too.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

Batting for sale in small craft and table runner sizes, along with some large enough for lullaby quilts.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

And here is the box on offer of rayon embroidery thread. I’ll have other specialty threads too.  What doesn’t sell will go on Etsy, or another internet selling site.

Studio Sale at From My Carolina Home

So, that is what is going on around here.  What is going on in your studio today?


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Be My Neighbor Quilt – The Finish!!

Yes, it is done!!  I finished up the handwork this past weekend.  I have had this little Welsh Terrier button for a very long time, looking for a project to use him on.  I have three of them, and never found a garment that could use them.  Isn’t it cute?  A little tiny dog frolicking on the lawn enjoying the sunshine is fun detail.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

I bound it with the same fabric as the backing. The quilt is huge, so this took working on it over several evenings, and the one preseason football game we got last week.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

I put a couple of stitches in the miter on the front, although I think this shouldn’t be necessary. But judges take off points for not doing it. My feeling is if the miter is done right, there is no need to stitch it, and it lays so much nicer without those stitches. But, I will be putting it in the fair, so I did it.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

My friend Mary C. sent me some tiny buttons to use for bird eyes, they were the perfect size! Here is the little cardinal…

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

and here is the junco…

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

and the wren.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

The bluebird too.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

One of the things I like to collect are pins from shows and events.  I put them on my Sewing Chatelaine (click on the name for a tutorial), but I have more pins than space now. Many of them are quilt blocks. So, I thought the quilt block pins would be fun to use on the quilt like barn quilts.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

Amazingly, these pins are just the right size to be barn quilts.  The robin got a button eye too.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

The pin back ones are hard to find, but those could be sewed on the quilt to reinforce them, so they can be on the quilt for the fair.  I buried the knots, hoping that it will be difficult to see how it is done.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

The tie tack style pins could be used when the quilt is hanging in my basement. I’ll remove those for entry into the fair.  I don’t want to lose one, or take a chance on a tack-back to come off.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

This star pin came from a Charlotte show.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

In the large yellow solid block on one of the houses, I appliqued a Battenburng lace triangle to embellish that area.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

For the flowers, I sewed a large button in the center of each one to finish it off, rather than doing a second appliqué.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

One flower got this butterfly button that I have been saving for a long time for just the right project.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

Next, a hanging sleeve was added to the top back. I made another re-usable one. See my tutorial on these HERE.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

Lastly, it got a label. I am calling it “Be My Carolina Neighbor”.  I used a simple fabric square with writing in Pigma pen.  It will be fine for the fair, later I may do a better one with embroidery.

Be My Neighbor label ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I pinned a bit of fabric over the label with safety pins as required to hide the maker’s name. And it is all finished and ready to enter in the fair. Amazingly, it isn’t the night before the deadline!

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

Do you like the pastel look? Or would you rather see autumn colors?

One more big announcement. I have become an affiliate for the Fat Quarter Shop! Wahoo!  What this means is if you want to buy from them, and you use my link, I will get a very small percentage of the sale to support my blog.  The cost is the same to you if you use the link or not, and yes you can still use your existing account if you have purchased from them before.  I’m going to try this for a while and see how it goes.  The links are on the sidebar too, so you can check the flash sales as you read posts.

Fat Quarter Shop

See the introduction on Lori Holt’s new book, Spelling Bee Book.

Spelling Bee Book by Lori Holt

And don’t forget their Flash Sales!  Neat new items every day!

Fat Quarter Shop Flash Sale

Thanks for shopping!

 

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Fresh Peaches and Peach Coffee Cake

I managed to get the peaches this year before the bears did, and what a bumper crop for my little wild peach tree!! I harvested 21 peaches, nicely ripened. These are wild clingstone peaches, so the amount of actual peach is pretty small per piece. Still, they are organic, no chemicals used, and have a wonderful peach flavor.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

The ones on the tree with nibbles from the birds or the squirrels were left there for them to finish off, or thrown into the cove. These peaches were lovely, only a few blemishes here and there, and no bugs at all.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

So, I got to work, peeling and seeding them. I cut the flesh into pieces, so there would be nice chunks of peach in the coffee cake.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

I pulled out my ingredients to mix up the batter, and realized with some irritation that I had grabbed self rising flour instead of all purpose flour on my last trip to the grocery store. Oh pooh, I already had the peaches peeled and ready to go!   I had more peaches than my original recipe for Fresh Peach Coffee Cake called for too.  So, I figured out what I needed to do to adjust the recipe. And in fact, using the self rising flour cut down on the number of ingredients and the amount of measuring to do. But it didn’t stop there!  I was also out of oats for the topping, so I just left them out. Then, I didn’t have all the sour cream I needed, so I put what I did have in a measuring cup, and filled in the space with half and half. Sometimes you have to punt more than once, LOL!!  Improvising is fun, isn’t it?

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

I mixed up the coffee cake batter, and added the peaches, folding those in by hand.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

Dolloping the batter in the prepared tube pan, I topped it with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon topping, then repeated the layers.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

It was baked for one hour, then it was set on the cooktop to cool for a bit.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

It turned out just fine with the adjustments to the original recipe, nicely moist with a very fresh peach flavor. Actually, I think it might just be a bit more moist with the half and half addition. Isn’t this a gorgeous cake on my favorite art pottery platter?

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

So, don’t let the lack of ingredients get you down, where there is a will, there is a way!

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

DH approved.  Hungry yet?

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups fresh peaches, chopped (about 16-18  medium clingstones, or 5-6 large freestones)
1 tbsp sugar

3 cups self rising flour
1-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, peel and coarsely chop fresh peaches, sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar, set aside.  In another small bowl, combine brown sugar, 3 tblsp butter and cinnamon and set aside. Grease and flour a tube (or Bundt) pan, set aside.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat 3/4 cup butter with white sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir the sour cream and half-and-half together and set aside. Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients in the bowl and mix well on low speed, followed by 1/2 of the sour cream/half and half mixture. Repeat. Add last of flour mixture and mix well. Fold in fresh peaches with any juice that has formed. Dollop 1/3 of the batter into prepared tube pan, spread evenly. Top with 1/3 of the brown sugar and cinnamon topping. Repeat two more times. Bake 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes, remove outer pan and allow to cool another 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely.

Fresh Peach Cake at From My Carolina Home

Do you like fresh peaches?  What is your favorite recipe?

 

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Keeneland Library – A Hidden Gem

On our recent trip to Lexington, I was able to visit the Keeneland Racetrack and grounds. What a neat place to visit! There is such history here, for the history buff as well as the fan of horses. This history begins at the very entrance to the park, where the post is a replica of the original Kentucky Association track which was located in downtown Lexington. The monogram KA on the post is identical to the old Kentucky Association logo. While removing building materials from the old site, Hal Price, the first president of the Keeneland Association realized the KA would work for his track too, and help preserve that history.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

There were no races the week we were there, but the track and walking tour of the facility is open most of the time. If you get there early enough, you can watch the morning workouts on the track. I didn’t get there in time to see the horses training, but I could tell they had been there from the prints in the dirt.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

I did a self-guided tour using the printed map of the grounds that also gave a brief history lessons along the way. From the clubhouse to the giftshop, there was something to learn and appreciate. In the paddock area are a row of jockey figures painted in the colors of the winners of recent races.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

I can just imagine being here during the races. Of course, even though it isn’t the Kentucky Derby, I’d still need a pretty hat.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

As magnificent as the track and associated buildings are, I want to show you the hidden gem on the Keeneland grounds. I would venture that since it is the last stop on the self guided tour, many choose to skip it. But, if you are close this year, the Keeneland Library is well worth the visit.  Established in 1939, it has collections of over 30,000 books, one million photographic negatives, and thousands of magazine and newspaper articles dating back to 1836 along with horse related art and sculpture, trophies and artifacts.  It also has a collection of racing forms going back to 1896!  This year marks the 100th anniversary of Man O’ War’s birth, widely acknowledged as the greatest horse ever to race. Not only did he win 20 out of 21 races (only losing one to a bad start), he is credited with reviving the horse racing industry in the public’s eye after the misery of the first world war.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

This unassuming, small building set on the outer grounds a short drive away from the track holds wonders available to the public. The exhibit this year runs to the end of the year, and is a photographic history of Man O’ War’s life and achievements. It begins with a short video shown on a small TV in a space the size of a study carrel. The video was very well done, with a lot of actual footage from races, and training exercises, interviews read from actual newspaper accounts and interviews, and the story of his funeral and enshrinement at Kentucky Horse Park, after being moved from the original burial site on Faraway Farm.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

The tour around the library itself took the viewer past many photographs from the time, nicely annotated with notes.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Interesting photos and notes on his descendants are also on display.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

On the other side of the library from the photo exhibit are the photo albums covering decades of Keeneland history.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Amazingly, they are available for viewing by anyone walking in the door, no white gloves needed. Beginning with the bare ground, you can see the photos showing the building of the track, going through all the improvements over the years, along with racing photos from major races in each year. Each book has several years worth of history.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

One book, though, was dedicated to one race. In 1984 Queen Elizabeth visited the track for a special horse race, The Queen’s Cup.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

This is the first page of the album.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Inside were dozens of photographs telling the story of her visit and special race day.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

On a wall in a study carrel is a most fascinating history lesson.  This is a geneaology chart from the first Arabian horses that launched a dynasty.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

It is circular in design as it is easier to see how the subsequent generations spread out with famous horses in the mix.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is where Man O’ War adds to the chart, siring War Admiral (the fourth Triple Crown winner) and War Relic, grandfather to Intent and Relic, and more.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Permanent photographs are around the walls showing the excitement of racing in stunning detail.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

Gorgeous windows make a light and airy place for study.  You’ll note there are not a lot of books on display, most of the collection is held underground in climate controlled areas, available to researchers.  It is a non-circulating library, meaning they don’t check out materials, but make their collection available to researchers both in person and online.  See the online catalog HERE.   There are a number of statues and figures to see like the one on the windowsill here.  If you are nearby this year, go see this beautifully curated exhibit.  Thanks to librarian Dan Prater, who showed me all the interesting tidbits, and kept assuring me that pictures were OK, and yes I could touch the albums.

Keeneland Racetrack and Library ~ From My Carolina Home

The Keeneland Library also has an online exhibit that you can see called Man O’ War: In Other’s Words. It is really something! Click on the link, the galleries are on the sidebar, and when you go to one, the photos are accessed by clicking on the titles at the bottom, one at a time, moving through his history.

Do you enjoy horse racing?  Have you ever been to Keeneland?

 

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Quilt of Valor – Eagle Squares

Moving on to the next Quilt of Valor, each one has been unique and interesting.  This one had foundation pieced stripes on a muslin base, alternating those squares with an eagle print.  I was concerned that the difference in weight between the squares might make quilting a challenge.  I laid it on the longarm bar to check the size of the backing and batting.  The batting is Warm and Natural all cotton.  It was nice that this piecer did a good job on her borders.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The stripes had to be precise so that they would seem to move behind the eagle print squares. Foundation piecing made sense for this. But the difference in weight between the muslin backed squares and the others was noticeable.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

I loaded it on the longarm, and chose a lighter color thread than I usually choose to use.   I picked a lighter ecru color Essentials thread, with the same thread in the bobbin.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The backing fabric was a light beige, and anything dark would show every little wobble or glitch. I don’t plan to do that but it usually happens anyway. The first pass across the quilt did nicely, thank heaven no tension issues with this one.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

That was a relief, as it was very apparent to me with the additional drag on the machine when I was stitching in the striped blocks. Quilting on the eagle print squares had less drag, so I tended to speed up just a tiny bit. I think the stitching does the best when I can maintain a consistent speed in movement of the machine.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Still, it really didn’t seem to matter, the stitching was good over the stripes too.  The pantograph is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Looking at the two different blocks after quilting, side by side,  the size is pretty consistent.  The stitches get a bit longer when I am changing directions, so I adjusted the cruise to a higher speed to compensate.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Going over the borders, the thread color blended well.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The seams where the corners joined had some excess bulk due to the extra muslin layer. It would have been better to clip out some of this excess muslin before sending it for quilting. But, I just tried to do my best.  Here you can see the rounded seam and a bit of gathering in the blue on the left.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Most of the time I was lucky and the stitching line on the pantograph went around the point where there was extra bulk.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

But you can see how the extra fabric in the seam allowance makes that point pop up a bit where four blocks come together.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

It quilted quickly, and I trimmed it before folding it up to add to the shipment back to the guild.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

As usual, I learn something with every quilt. This one taught me that differences in block weight didn’t make a difference in the stitches, but I should trim excess foundation from the joining seams where possible. I have a couple of friends with longarm machines helping me with these, but I still have several more to show you. I’ll get to most of them between the end of August and through September. I am working on doing another Autumn Jubilee in October, and I already have some fantastic plans in the works. More on that later!

What are you working on? Have you ever done a quilt with foundation piecing?

 

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!  I do new tutorials and patterns quite often, along with a variety of other subjects on my blog. I would like to invite you to follow if you want, by using the sidebar buttons for your favorite blog reader, or enter your email to follow via email. I post usually about 4 times a week, not excessively. My annual Autumn Jubilee is coming up in October, and I’ll have a lot of new things to show, projects to do, a quilt along and giveaways.

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The Safelight Project Delivery and Winners

The Safelight Project has come to a close, and I want to show you the rest of the story. Cards and donations just kept coming, more bags were made, and the delivery has been done.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

The cards coming in were just extraordinary, such creativity and beauty! These from Cyndy R. were stunning.

Cyndy's cards 1

I have to show you this one up close, look at the coloration of the rose with glitter for a bit of sparkle.

Cyndy's cards 4

It is a tri-fold card, here is the middle, beautifully colored and so inspirational.

Cyndy's cards 2

Then in the inside, she hand wrote a beautiful message, one that is sure to lift someone’s spirits in a nice way.

Cyndy's cards 3

Heather, who blogs at Creative Blessings, sent in a whole batch of cards, each one unique.

Heather's cards 1

Handwritten messages unique to each one were very special.

Heather's cards 3

More of Heather’s designs, all beautiful.

Heather's cards 2

Danice was having so much fun making cards that she sent six more the following week. Thank you so much, Danice!!

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Cindy in Florida sent these beauties.

Cindi in Fl's cards 1

Inside all were stamps or stickers to make them pretty, and a heartfelt handwritten note, unique to each card.

Cindi in Fl's cards 2

My friend Gail made several cards as well, so pretty!

Safelight Project Gails cards

A box of goodies arrived from Denise F., all melaleuca products, who sent facial renewal cream and yummy flavored lip glosses for the bags.

Safelight Project phase 2 1

Those lip gloss tubes had all kinds of flavors from Vanilla Bean to Pina Colada, Peach Nectarine and Pineapple.

Safelight Project phase 2 4

The donations just kept coming too, even after I announced that the initial goal was reached, and even exceeded. Thank you to all the monetary sponsors!

Amy O. —  Mary Jo L.  — Nancy B.  — Norece E.  —  Susan D. — Mary Z.

Sharon S.  —  Kathryn W.  —  Jodi M.  —  Mary C.  — Deborah M  —  Denise F.

Mary Jean C. — Susan G.  —  Jennifer G.  —  Christine S.  —  Erika N.   —  Susan C.

Linda S.  —  Carol L.   —-  Teresa M. —   Sherry T.  —  Jeanne C.  —  Donna S.

Nancy J.  —  Beth L.  —  Sarah K.  —  Elizabeth S.  —  Ruth C.   —  Melanie T.

Karen T. —  Judy D.  —  Lesley G.  —  Janice H.  —  Lisa (unknown)

Mildred P.  —  Jennie R.  —  Edy J. — Vicki W. — Pat E. — Dana W. — Carole B.

Kelley L — Cindi W.

I had to make another trip to the store, luckily they still had some of the same tote bags. More bags were filled with goodies, cards, and essentials.

Safelight Project phase 2 5

Each one got a piece of sparkly tissue on top, so the spa bag was more like a gift. It is with great pleasure that I tell you the number of spa bags increased to 45 with all the donations!! Thank you so much to everyone that helped, it couldn’t have happened without everyone’s help.

Safelight Project phase 2 6

And now, congratulations to the winners of the prizes!

Cindi W. won the fantastic Stampin’ Up kit!  Visit Stampin’ Up to find a demonstrator near you!

The winner of the Mastercard Gift Card was Nancy B, congratulations!!

Safelight Project Giveaway at From My Carolina Home

So, bags all made, I made arrangements to deliver them on Monday. On Sunday evening, I loaded the car. The trunk was completely full.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

So, I put the seats down in the back and continued to stuff the car to its gills. The last two were tucked onto the floor behind the driver seat. The bag of extra toothbrushes, combs, deodorants, and nail files were stashed in there too.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Monday, August 7th, was a rainy day, so we had to wait for a break in the downpours. The car was loaded and ready when a break came near 11:30 in the morning. I called Laresa, said I was on my way, and she was waiting outside with two rolling carts to quickly get the bags inside before the bottom fell out of the rain clouds again.  Turning on the hazard lights, I jumped out and we quickly loaded the carts.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

Then, I parked the car, and went inside to meet the wonderful people that run this shelter, see the programs they have in process and have a tour of the facility in its construction stage.  Here are three of the shelter managers from left, Charlotte Rapp -Shelter Manager, Laresa Griffin -Director of Development and Wendy McEntire – Job Training Program Director.

Safelight Project at From My Carolina Home

While I was parking the car, Laresa said a resident saw the bags and got very excited that one would be for her.  Charlotte planned a time to hand out to everyone at once for that evening.  On Tuesday, Laresa sent me an email with the resident’s reactions.  She said “the clients were ecstatic! They were so ‘happy to have personal items that were like luxuries, not just the necessities’ and it made them all feel so special. They really appreciated the handmade cards and the caring notes written inside. Thank you and your blog readers who contributed to these amazing gifts for our clients. It really has lightened their loads, giving them a self-confidence boost and the ability to pamper themselves. We appreciate you and your hard work in coordinating this project and loving on our clients in such a personal way. Thank you!”  There were enough bags for every resident of the shelter, and the transitional apartments, and a few left over which will be stored for future needs.  There were also about a dozen cards more than bags, and Laresa will give those out to those who need a lift later.

So, this project is finished. There really isn’t an opportunity to sew anything for them at this time. We did explore the ideas of seasonal table linens, or pillowcases, but those just cannot be used right now. The shelter is in transition, and is a transitional facility as well. But, for local readers, they do have a program beginning sewing class that meets every Monday, and they can use fabric and thread if you have any to donate. Just take it to the Safelight thrift store, and tell them it is for the Sewing class at the shelter.

Thank you to everyone that contributed cards and items, and donated money to make it such a success!


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Be My Neighbor – Quilting the Beast

After the flimsy was done, I measured the quilt.  It came out at 70 x 96 inches, quite the beast!  So now the decision was how to quilt it.  From the beginning, I wanted to do a cloud fill in the sky parts, and individual motifs and designs on each house.  I needed to decide as it affects the way it is loaded on the longarm, custom quilting gets loaded with the top edge pinned to the leader and quilted from the front of  the machine.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That, frankly, was an overwhelming idea at this point, with it being such a big quilt.  I could do that and just not finish for this year’s fair, after all there’s another fair next year.  But I just chickened out and decided on a pantograph. So, I need to load it crosswise, with the longer axis parallel to the leaders.  Pantographs are quilted from the back side of the frame.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That decision affects how I would piece the backing as well, as it is best for the seams to run parallel to the bars. There was only one fabric in my stash for backing that had enough fabric on the bolt.  I needed 5-1/2 yards to get the required 4 inches all around for longarming.  I have a couple of wide backs in the stash, but their autumn look didn’t go with this quilt.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Now, what pantograph to choose? I pulled several from the basket to audition.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I eliminated three right off, as they were not dense enough for the look I wanted. So, these two were the choice. The flowers and leaves didn’t seem to be the right scale for the houses. So, I picked the one on the left below for its feather motif and fairly dense quilting design.  It is called Feelin’ Groovy designed by Michelle Wyman and Terri Watson for Heart and Soul Quilts sold by Willow Leaf Studio.  The width of the panto is 14 inches, so one pass quilts a lot of area.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing seam done, it was loaded with Warm and Natural batting. I folded up the bottom to check the square. Yippee, my borders are straight! Yes, I do this on my own quilts. I want to fix piecing or border issues before starting quilting. You can do the same with your quilts using the side of a bed.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

OK, getting there. Next choice, thread color. I auditioned lots of colors, I thought the greys would win, but they didn’t look as good on the houses as a brown tone.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The choice came down to these three.  I had an idea that the light variegated gold might look like sunlight in the sky, but it was too bright for the houses. Ultimately, I decided on the light brown Essentials thread for the top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And we’re off! Amazingly, the tension is perfect from the beginning.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The stitching stepped over the appliques easily. I was nervous about that.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I like the look on the lighter colors, adding a bit of pattern to the larger pieces on the houses.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

It disappeared on the busier prints and darker colors.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The birdies did well too, another breath holding moment, or five, LOL!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Working my way down the quilt, all is going well. I left it for the evening, to pick up again the next day.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Starting again on day two of quilting, new bobbin and it is quilting nicely.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And in a stroke of luck, the bobbin only ran out on the pebble fabric, so I could tie off and bury the threads and it didn’t show the starts and stops at all.  I did buy a side threading needle to make that easier.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Down to the bottom of the quilting (which is the side of the quilt top), still doing well. Whew!!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing checked, no thread loop runs, all looks great, so off the frame it came.  Amazing!  No trouble at all.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is quilted. I was really afraid that it would be a pain since the piecing has been such a trial.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

But there it is, here’s the bottom half.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

All trimmed, and ready for the final touches. Binding is next, and football preseason is here, so I have handwork to do for a number of days. I need to do the binding, then add all the embellishments like buttons for bird eyes and some other things. After that, it will need a hanging sleeve and a label. At this point, I am ahead of schedule and will surely have enough time to finish in time to show it at the Mountain Regional State Fair.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever had a project that gave you as much trouble as this one has given me?

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  You can follow my blog in several ways, see the sidebar for email sign up or blog-reader links.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!

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