From My Carolina Home

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


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Winter Lights

Winter Lights is an event at the NC Arboretum for the holiday season, and is just magical.  It is a major fundraiser for their programs and exhibits, and you can attend any evening in December through the 31st.  We went on the last warm night before the recent cold snap and snow fall to enjoy almost 500,000 LED lights.  Tickets are only available online and members get a discount, see the exhibit information at Winter Lights. No affiliation, just fun.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The first view of the thousands of lights is in the parking lot, where the trees are lit in red, green, purple and blue.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

This light show was called Twinkling Topiaries.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The blue orbs turned green after a moment, then red and back to blue.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The gumdrop lined path led through a red and green lit covered bridge.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

White lights drew the visitor onward to see what was next.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

As we got near to the quilt garden (I’ve shown this when it was in bloom last spring), we heard Christmas music.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

A light show was synchronized to the music, with the quilt blocks flashing in colors lighting up the star patterns. This show was called Dream Quilt.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

It was enchanting to watch!

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The large Tree of Light, two columns and wall of lights behind it were also changing as the music played.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

So fun we stayed there for several songs, just watching the light show and enjoying the music.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Finally, moving on to the Shimmering Stream part of the show, all white lights cascade from the trees.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

There were Reindeer Games, a couple of fun things to play with. One was a tic-tac-toe game, where you touched a button on the board and it lit up a square on the game lights. We played one game, with DH playing with green lights, and I was the white snowflake ones. I won.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Snowflake Way was a covered light walkway with snowflakes hanging above.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Candy canes and lollipops adorned Rock Candy Cottage.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

If you were cold, the Cocoa Shack had hot beverages.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Still on exhibit now is a really fun indoor exhibit called Wicked Plants, all about poisonous and prickly plants that can harm.  Set inside a run-down Victorian home, there are fun interactive things to see, and a really interesting ‘murder mystery’ inside one of the rooms.  You looked around the room and tried to figure out how the victim died.  DH and I did the mystery, looking at the ‘clues’ and examining the ‘corpse’.  There is a cabinet in the room with printer’s trays in it.  When you think you have solved the mystery, you pull out the top tray.  Depending on the answer to the question, you pull out another tray lettered B through E.  That tray will tell you if you are right or not.  We got it right.  I pulled out one of the other trays to see what it said, and it told the reader to go look again.  Wicked Plants will be on exhibit until January 7.

Back outside, there were three firepits where you could stop and get warm.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

There were lit figures here and there, like this blue heron. There were more but this was the only photo that came out well. It is very hard to get good pictures of lights at night.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Some of the Bonsai trees had lights too. These were brought into a greenhouse area to protect them from the harsh cold.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Another one had blue and white lights.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Back out to the parking area, we headed home after a very fun evening.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

We are planning to see the Lake Julian show before the season is over. I like these smaller light shows in natural settings better than the huge ones with lines of traffic winding through parking lots.  Happy Hanukkah for my readers celebrating the Festival of Lights this week.

Do you enjoy light shows like this? Are there any near you this holiday season?

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Nine Patch Star Quilt Along Finish

Continuing on our quilt-along, we’ll finish it up today.  If you are just now finding this post, start HERE. Quilting the Nine Patch Star was next. Here’s where I left off last week, with the border on the blocks matching the center block in the nine patch.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

I loaded the runner on the longarm and selected one of my holiday themed pantographs, a bell and holly design called Deck the Halls by Patricia Ritter for Urban Elementz.  Quilting went very fast, only three passes and it was done.

Nine Patch Star Quilt Along at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph was the perfect choice, and one I rarely get to use.  The runner has Warm and Natural batting with Essentials thread on top and Aurifil in the bobbin.

Nine Patch Star Quilt Along at From My Carolina Home

Next, trim the piece, and apply the binding.

Nine Patch Star Quilt Along ~ From My Carolina Home

Hand stitching binding while watching football games is a favorite thing to do.

Nine Patch Star Quilt Along ~ From My Carolina Home

All done!  I put it on the little coffee table in the den.  The width was perfect for that spot.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

One other note about this pattern, even though came up with this on my own, I was certain it wasn’t original. It was too simple and had to have been done many times before. Several readers have emailed me that Missouri Star did it a couple of years ago, but, their pattern is not a nine-patch, it is a four 4-patch (or a 16-patch) in the center.  See HERE.  The main design uses the same size unit 4-patches as the star points.  It has been published before by Pat Sloan as Happy Little Wishes, see it HERE. She wasn’t the first to publish either, as it was apparently published in a McCalls Quilting magazine in 2011, although I have not been able to verify that.  I’m sure that other examples can be found.  Still, it is a fun block and I hope you enjoy using it with my ideas for color placement.

Just this past week, reader Sheila was kind enough to send me a picture of her Scrap Dance Waltz quilt with permission to share it with all of you.  She did a fabulous job, with 608 HST’s and 2833 pieces, her 90-inch square quilt is spectacular!

Sheila's Waltz

See more reader quilt finishes on our Waltz Flickr Group.  Scrap Dance Waltz was the mystery quilt along from Winter 2017.  Yes, I will be doing another mystery scrappy quilt along next year. The design isn’t done yet, but I have some ideas.  It will begin in January, and as we have done for the past mysteries, will post a step once a month for several months so you can work it in around your other projects and use up your scrap bin.

What are you quilting this season?

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Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

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Slow Sunday Stitching

Oh Scrap!


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Cheddar Onion Mashed Potatoes

The perfect accompaniment to the Standing Rib Roast for holiday dinner is my easy Cheddar Onion Mashed Potatoes. These don’t need gravy, or even butter at the table, just serve them hot.  Great alongside beef, or my Mushroom Meatloaf, Panko Turkey Breast, Dijon Pork Loin Roast, or the Butterflied Roast Chicken.  Easy to make, these are essentially your favorite mashed potatoes, with cheese and chopped green onion added right before serving.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

I made this particular dish to serve four, so I used 6-8 potatoes.  Little bitty ones count as one.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Rough cut into chunks.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until done, about 10 minutes.  While they are boiling, get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

I put butter in the bottom of the bowl, and dump the drained potatoes on top.  Using the mixer, break up the potato chunks manually, then begin on slow speed to whip the potatoes.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Add more milk if needed to get a good texture, but keep the mixture a bit on the thicker side, rather than completely smooth.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  If the potatoes are still too thick, add a splash of milk.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Whip to a nice texture, smooth or a bit lumpy as you like.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

When ready to serve, toss in the cheese and green onion, stirring lightly with a spoon or spatula.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Leave streaks of yellow where the cheese is melting..

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Serve hot and enjoy!!  In the past, I have added some cooked crumbled bacon too, and sometimes a bit of sour cream too for variety.

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Perfect alongside prime rib, chicken, pork chops, meatloaf or really anything.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Cheddar Onion Mashed Potatoes

6 medium size russet potatoes
1/2-3/4 cup milk
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped green onions
4-6 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Peel and boil potatoes until fork tender.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Add about 1/2 cup milk and three tablespoons butter, allowing the heat in the potatoes to melt the butter.  Using the mixer, break up the potato chunks manually, then begin on slow speed to whip the potatoes.  Add more milk if needed to get a good texture, but keep the mixture a bit on the thicker side, rather than completely smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Add green onions and cheddar cheese, gently folding in with a spatula, leaving streaks of yellow where the cheese is melting.  Serve hot.  Yields four servings.  For scaling up or down, plan on about 1-1/2 potatoes per person.  Wonderful as leftovers, so don’t be afraid to make more.

Download the pdf recipe – Cheddar Onion Mashed Potatoes

Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home

Yum!  Do you like mashed potatoes?  What special ingredients do you put in yours?

Psst – final clearance on pincushions, ornaments, and some stamp sets in my Etsy store ends Saturday – shop HERE.  Orders will ship on Monday, in time for Christmas.

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Cheddar Onion Potatoes at From My Carolina Home


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Special Holiday Dinner – Standing Rib Roast

Over the past few years, I have become a convert to the English tradition of serving beef for Christmas dinner.  Growing up we always did turkey, but just having finished off the Thanksgiving bird, the idea of something different and really special was appealing.  I have done a goose before too, but I like a standing rib roast the best.  Also known as a prime rib, the ‘prime’ actually refers to the grade of meat, not the cut.  Yes, this is an expensive cut of meat, so cooking it takes some special care.  I promise, the results are worth it.  You could also do some Yorkshire puddings with it, which are more like popovers than what we Americans think of as pudding.  I am told by my local grocer that this cut will go on sale for Christmas this week, so I’ll look to your local grocer for one.  Just one rib will serve two with leftovers.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

This is just a single rib section, as you can see it is a big roast even with just one rib. Let it sit out on the counter (covered with plastic) for about an hour before cooking.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

I season only with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Cook the roast on a raised rack, so it doesn’t sit in its juices as it cooks and the air can circulate around the roast.  For a single rib, this is the only way I have to keep it upright.  If you have two or more ribs, it will likely sit on the ribs without any additional help.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Roast slowly, on a low oven at 300 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.  You really will need a digital read thermometer for this.  Take the roast out when the proper temperature is reached for your desired degree of doneness on the scale below.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Roast to a temperature of 120-125 for rare, 130-135 for medium, and 140-145 for well done.  Know that the temperature will rise at least 5 degrees as it rests, so take it out at the proper time for the doneness you want.  Err on the cautious side, you can always put it back in the oven if it isn’t quite done enough, but you can’t turn the clock backwards if you overshoot the mark. Let it rest at least 15-20 minutes covered with foil for the meat to reabsorb the juices.  Don’t worry, it will stay warm.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

I roast to 125 in  the center before the resting period, when it will rise to 130 degrees.  This will yield a medium rare center that I like, and a medium edge that DH likes.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Slow roasting at 300 degrees gives an evenly cooked slice, without the overdone edges.  This may be too pink for you, but just follow the temps I gave you above for a bit more done.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Heaven on a plate, a wonderful main course for Christmas dinner.  The top has that nice crust too.

Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Nothing like a prime rib sandwich with horseradish sauce on sourdough bread for lunch on Boxing Day.  With the leftovers and the bones, I’ll make a Beef and Barley soup that I’ll show you after Christmas if I remember to take pictures, LOL!!

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

Merry Christmas dinner!  I have so many recipes to share with you this year, I’ll give you the recipe for the Cheddar Onion Potatoes to go with it next time.  The Spinach Bake with Roasted Garlic will be on the menu again this year too.

Holiday Dinner Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

What do you do for your holiday dinner?

Standing Rib Roast at From My Carolina Home

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Foodie Friday


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How to Use a Towa Gauge – and a Quilter’s Christmas list

If you are a longarm quilter or you use a computerized embroidery machine with a bobbin case, a Towa gauge is either in your tool kit, or you have probably heard of it.  I have to admit that for several years I resisted buying one.  They are not cheap, and I just couldn’t see the benefit.  It didn’t help that there wasn’t anything out there to tell me why I needed one.  Many longarmers would recommend that I get one, especially when I would complain about broken threads, but no one explained why.  I had a hard time believing the bobbin was the issue when it was the top thread that usually broke.  So what if I knew the pressure number, what did it tell me?  And how did I use that information?  No one would explain.  So, now here are the answers to my questions, and maybe I can help someone else understand.  The bobbin tension on a longarm isn’t like a domestic machine, it is finicky and needs more precision because of the high speed at which these machines sew.  The same is true of embroidery machines that have a bobbin case (not a ‘drop-in’ bobbin) and sew at a higher speed than is used for straight line stitching in piecing or garment making.  That tension needs to be ‘just so’ – too loose and the thread will jump out of the tensioner on the bobbin, too tight and it hangs up snapping the top thread.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Using the method of pulling on the thread until the bobbin stands up in your hand but doesn’t lift off your hand is really imprecise, and although lots of people use this, it will still result in broken threads while sewing.  Jamie Wallen has a video on this, and it is the method I used for a long time, feeling like if it was good enough for him it was good enough for me.   But it doesn’t work all the time.  Change your thread and you’ll change the tension needed.  Even bobbins wound from the same thread spool one after another will need adjustment between them.  Change brand or thickness of thread and you have to readjust too.  I frequently go from Bottom Line to Aurifil, and back again.  Since I began using the Towa (about 2 years ago) each time I put in a new bobbin, I have reduced my thread breakage by 99%.  I’m not exaggerating.  The amount of breakage has virtually reduced to next to none, down from several per quilt, and sometimes even several thread breaks per bobbin.  My frustration level is greatly reduced too, and longarm quilting is a pleasure again.

So let me show how it is used.  I loaded a bobbin with red thread to make the steps easier to see.  Load the bobbin as usual through the tensioner.  I have removed the check spring from my bobbins and put in the silicone discs (affiliate links size L or size M) for a smoother operation.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Place the bobbin in the gauge, snapping it in place just like you do when loading the bobbin case in the longarm.  The thread should be coming from the bottom.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Place the thread on the bottom of the first wheel.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Wrap it around the top wheel from right to left over the top.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Then thread it back down to the guide at the bottom.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Then pass to the left along the groove in the gauge.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Now pull with a steady even pressure and note the reading as the top wheel moves down and the red indicator shows the tension.  Here is is about 100.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

This is too loose, as I find that the right tension is about 180 for the threads I use most – Bottom Line and Aurifil.  Without taking the bobbin out, place a screwdriver in the tension screw and turn clockwise to tighten.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Pull again and note the number.  I only turn a quarter of a turn at a time, so it didn’t move much.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Another half turn, and I am now getting about 150.  The gauge will sometimes waver, so pull in a smooth motion to get the most accurate reading.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Just a bit more, and now I am at 180, just where I want it to be.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Raise the bobbin bar to release it from the gauge, and flip the Towa over so it comes out without dropping the bobbin.

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Now, the next thread is a different manufacturer, and to illustrate the difference it is purple thread. I did not change the bobbin tension, just popped in the next bobbin and took a reading. It is 260!!

How to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen the tension to 180.  Here I overshot just a bit, so will tighten it back just a smidgen.  But I think you get the idea from this.

How to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

Now you see why you have to do a measurement on every single bobbin. The thread on the second bobbin was very close in weight to the first, both are 40 wt threads. If you use a heavier weight, the thickness of the thread will usually mean a loosening the screw to get the optimum 180 setting. I find that Bottom Line is slicker than Aurifil, so it has to be a bit tighter to get the same 180 reading.

Superior Threads produced a chart for the ideal Towa gauge tension for all of their threads. Download the chart on this page.  Most of their threads do best in the range of 180-200. Madiera threads recommends a bobbin tension of 180-220 for their threads for bobbins in an embroidery machine.  Although I have not found any other thread manufacturer recommendations for tension, I have found by trial and error that 180 works for Aurifil and Essentials threads as well as Superior.   If I use King Tut in the bobbin, a slightly higher tension of 200 results in less thread jumps out of the bobbin tensioner.  It doesn’t seem to matter which brand of longarm or embroidery machine you have, the bobbin tension matters more to the brand and weight of thread.  There is some speculation that certain Gammill machines work better at 200-260, but I think the best thing is to start at 180 and adjust to your machine as you gain experience with the numbers.

Usually retailing around $68, Amazon has a lower price on a Towa gauge, purchasing by using my affiliate links may give me a tiny commission to help support the blog.  Thank you for clicking!  Towa Gauge M SizeTowa Gauge L Size.  Or see all the Towa Gauges by clicking on this link and then entering the word Towa in the search box HERE.  If you use a lot of Best Press, the price per ounce is the cheapest by the gallon, plus it will qualify for free shipping.  Click on my Amazon affiliate link – Best Press Unscented Gallon size.  Get the  Karen Kay Buckley 4-Inch Perfect Scissors while you are there.

What’s on your Christmas List?

My blog is a variety of subjects, quilting and sewing, tablescapes and recipes, book reviews and hand stitching, crafting and mountain living. I love to have new followers, too! See the buttons on the sidebar to follow by your favorite method. If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, Pinterest, a blog hop or link up, please stay a bit and have a look around, my tutorials are gathered at the top in pages to make them easy to find, and the categories on the sidebar will gather posts in any subject for you. Lots of fun is had here, and I invite you to follow with any of your favorite methods, see the sidebar for ways to follow. My fourth mystery quilt is in the planning stage, and will begin in January 2018. Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.

Nancy's Quilt at From My Carolina Home

Easy Threading Needles are great stocking stuffers, they are available with my affiliate link at Fat Quarter Shop HERE.  You can find the needles in a large pack to share with friends at Amazon Self Threading Needle Pack.

Fat Quarter Shop Countdown to Christmas Quilting Sale

If you want to get some of gorgeous fabrics for your holiday sewing, check out the Fat Quarter Shop’s Moda Line.  Get spools and cones of the fantastic Aurifil Threads at Fat Quarter Shop Aurifil Threads.  You’ll love the extra light with the Sewing Machine LED Lighting Kit.  If you would like to have a pair of wonderful serrated edge scissors, click on Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors to get your pair from Fat Quarter Shop.  Get your Olfa Splash Cutter at FQS too – Olfa Splash.

Fat Quarter Shop begins its Countdown to Christmas today, special deals daily from today until the 24th!!  Click on the banner below.  The deals change daily at 10 am!!  Yesterday was a set of Auriful threads for 7.99!!  What will it be today?

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

Great classes for longarmers are now on sale at Craftsy!! If you’ve always wanted to learn something about quilting, design or using rulers, now is the time!!

How and Why to Use a Towa Gauge ~ From My Carolina Home

 

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Finished or Not Friday

Crazy Mom Quilts


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Christmas Quilt Along Nine Patch Star

Our second week will see the construction of the block and beginning the quilting. So, here is where we left off.  If you missed last weeks beginning with the cutting instructions and the first unit construction, click HERE.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Start by sewing the HSTs units together. Press the seams open on these units to reduce bulk.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Then sew in rows across the block.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Make three blocks.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Sew the three blocks into the runner.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Add a border. I used the same gold as the fabric in the center of the nine-patch.  My border is cut 2-1/2-inches wide.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

Assemble your runner, and quilt as you like.  I’ll show you my quilting next week.  The blocks finish at 12 inches, so the runner is about 12 x 36 without borders.  The Patriotic quilt version with 20 blocks is about 58 x 72 with 2-inch sashing and without borders. Here is the pdf I promised, with three sets of cutting instructions for more sizes – Nine Patch Star. One more thing, today is my day on the Moda Bake Shop site for this Candy Twist Block.  If you go to the Bake Shop, you can see all the blocks in their Countdown to Christmas quilt along which began December 1. Find your Moda Christmas Fabrics at  Fat Quarter Shop’s Moda Line.

Moda Block at From My Carolina Home

Fat Quarter Shop December Basic of the Month is Riley Blake Ginghams! Thank you for using my affiliate links!

Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabrics and Supplies

Great classes are now on sale at Craftsy!!  If you’ve always wanted to learn something about quilting, design or using rulers, now is the time!!

Divide & Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space – $19.99
Retail Price: $40.00
You Save: $20.01
from: Craftsy

Creative Quilting With Rulers – $24.99
Retail Price: $40.00
You Save: $15.01
from: Craftsy

Gift a Craftsy Class to your best Quilting buddy, or treat yourself!! Sort by price to see the more bargains! Classes on everything are on sale, quilting, sewing, knitting, longarming, photography, cooking and baking, art, paper crafts, and more!

Online Quilting Class

1200x627_sewing

We were really snowed in!!  We got somewhere between 8 and 10 inches of snow.

December Snow at From My Carolina Home

But the sun came out very late in the afternoon, so we might be able to get out by Monday.

December Snow at From My Carolina Home

Are you quilting today?

My blog is a variety of subjects, quilting and sewing, tablescapes and recipes, book reviews and hand stitching, crafting and mountain living. I love to have new followers, too! See the buttons on the sidebar to follow by your favorite method. If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, Pinterest, Moda Bake Shop, a blog hop or link up, please stay a bit and have a look around, my tutorials are gathered at the top in pages to make them easy to find, and the categories on the sidebar will gather posts in any subject for you. Lots of fun is had here, and I invite you to follow with any of your favorite methods, see the sidebar for ways to follow. My fourth mystery quilt is in the planning stage, and will begin in January 2018. Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.

Nine Patch Star at From My Carolina Home

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Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday

 


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December In the Garden – Snow!

December mornings have been cold and grey these past few days. Fog in the valley shows the layers of hills between our mountain and the next ridge.  This might have to become my header photo for winter.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Friday morning dawned colder still. As I looked out the window, I noticed that the snow had begun to fall. It was just a dusting at first, then a little later I noticed that the driveway was starting to get covered.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

I watched the bird feeder for quite a while, as they came and chowed down.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

A bit later, the patch of clear pavement on the driveway was gone.  The pile of snow on the post is a bit taller too.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

Winter wonderland isn’t it!

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

The birds kept working on the seed, and the suet cake.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

By mid-afternoon, we had somewhere between 4 and 6 inches, depending on where you looked.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

Beautiful serene and quiet, here is the snow on the rhododendrons in the back.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

The road going down the mountain has not been spoiled by any cars, too dangerous to try.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

We are snug and warm, with a fire going in the fireplace, turkey and dumplings for lunch, and Christmas movies on TV.  Plus, being ‘snowed in’ means I can sew to my heart’s content.  The snow on the branches is captivating, I cannot stop taking pictures of it!

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

But, elsewhere in the garden in December, my white amaryllis bloomed. Beautifully! Four spectacular Apple Blossom blooms in white with a blush of pink.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And the most exciting thing, the red amaryllis that has bloomed for four years, is starting to put up a leaf shoot. This will be the fifth year if it blooms again!

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Did you see the Super Moon this week?

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Before the snow, the deer came by again. There were three in the front of the house.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

And these two were in the back at the same time.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Another picture a few days ago, the dawn light was gorgeous with the orange in the sky. I wish I could have gotten a really good photo of it.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

More bird watching.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

A few days ago, the leaves were finally gone from the trees, and the mountains next to ours could be seen.

December in the Garden ~ From My Carolina Home

Now, today, everything is covered in white, and the low clouds almost obscure the mountain view.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

One last look at the rhododendrons.

December Snow ~ From My Carolina Home

Did you get snow this weekend?

P.S. If you have time, go see The Man Who Invented Christmas, and take the kids.  We enjoyed it!