From My Carolina Home

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Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 4 – stitching the edge to the back

The binding is almost done.  Part four will cover how to hand stitch the binding to the back.   The edge needs to be folded over to cover the raw edge of the quilt and stitched down.  There are two key things to this process.  First is to ensure the corners have perfect miters front and back.  Second, the fold needs to be filled with batting.  I use a whip stitch by hand.

Begin by picking a spot on one side to start.  Bring the binding over the raw edge firmly to the back so the batting fills the binding, and the edge covers your stitching line on the back.  I like to just pin it down, and use three or four straight pins in a row to hold the binding down.


Knot your thread and hide the knot under the binding.


Take another stitch to move the thread to the stitching line.


For right handed quilters, put your needle down in the quilt, push it to the left a tiny distance, then bring it up catching just the edge of the binding.


With the next stitch, place the needle in the quilt directly below the binding where the previous stitch exited the binding.


Push to the left and repeat.  Periodically sweep the needle under the un-stitched binding to smooth out the layers.

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If you are left handed, do the same but work towards the right.

When you come to the corner, continue stitching the binding all the way to the edge of the quilt.  Then, push the needle back to the corner point on the back.


Fold the corner down, and pin it a short way away to keep it in place.


Take a stitch in the corner of the folded edge.  This pulls the corner to the exact spot needed for a perfect miter.


Bring the needle back for another stitch in the same place.


Stitch up the folded corner to the point on the back only to secure it.


Then stitch back down still on the backside and continue down the next edge of the binding.  Repeat for the remaining corners until the entire quilt is done.


Finger press the corner to a sharp point.  Your corner will come out perfect on the back…


and the front without any stitching on the front!

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Perfect mitered corners on both sides.   This same process works for 90-degree four-corner quilts, and 60-degree hexagon six-corner quilts.

For new quilters, I hope this tutorial has helped you learn how to bind a quilt.  For experienced quilters, I hope there was a tip or two you could use.   If you missed any of the first three parts, click on the Tutorials category in the right sidebar.

Happy Quilting!


Linking up with lots of other quilt blogs this week.  See the right sidebar and links below.




Pork Roast and more

My husband went with me to the grocery store last week, and he was shocked at how much prices have gone up.  It is getting ridiculous!  But it got me thinking about how large the lower priced cuts of meat can be.  Those big pork roasts called Boston butt roasts are flavorful, but way too much for two people.  So, I set a challenge for myself – to cook one of these roasts, and make the leftovers taste as different as I could.   The second part of the challenge was to not have leftovers of leftovers, but to use it in recipes serving only one or two.

So I started with a beautiful 4-1/2 pound Boston butt pork roast.


I wanted this roast to be flavorful but amenable to other added spices later for different recipes.  So, starting out with the usual onion, I split two 1/2-inch slices of onion into rings.


I sprayed the inside of my slow cooker with no-stick spray, then added half the onion rings.


Two garlic cloves were smashed then coarse chopped.  Half of the garlic was added to the slow cooker.


I put the roast on top, then added some lemon-pepper seasoning.


The remainder of the onion was put on top of the roast along with the rest of the garlic.  Note that I don’t use salt, it isn’t needed and it can be added at the table.


Set the cooker on low and let it cook for 8 hours.


Yum!!  Pieces of the flavorful, tender, juicy roast were served with yellow squash and a spinach salad.


The leftovers cooled, and were divided into two containers of about 2 cups of meat with juices each.  I’ll use this up over the next few days and will share the recipes with you.  There will be enough variety that you won’t realize you are eating the same roast!!


Slow Cooker Pork Roast

1 4-5 pound pork Boston butt roast
2 slices onion 1/2 inch thick
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1-2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning (to taste)

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with no-stick spray.  Put half the garlic and onion rings in a slow cooker.  Add the roast on top, sprinkle with lemon-pepper.  Top with remaining onion and garlic.  Cover and cook 8 hours on low.  Enjoy the tender roast with vegetables for the first night.

Here are the posts for recipes using up the leftovers, in quantities suitable for one or two.

The first one is  Pork Nachos.

Or make Leftover Pork Roast Farfalle Pasta

Leftover Pork Roast Enchiladas

And  Pork Potstickers.

cookingWedLinkyProject-Parade-Link-Party-Button200x200_zps29ffd2f6 Val's Quilting Studio



Block of the Month – April

I hope you are quilting along with us for the Block of the Month!  This is April’s block chosen by the quilt store, called Lindy’s Plane. The pattern is on Quilt Blocks Galore at

This one was a bit of a bear, with all the seams and little 2 inch squares.


The kit had pink and grey batiks. My friend Karen gave me some size 10 needles, and I used the Aurifil thread she recommended.   I hoped these last two ideas would solve my batik puckering problem.

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The instructions call for one long piece to be marked into squares then sewn in a zigzag to create the 20 HSTs. I do not like that method, as it is too many starts and stops to reposition, plus there is a lot more marking. I find it easier to chain piece in squares. So I cut 10 2-1/2 inch squares in pink, and 10 in grey, pairing the squares up.


Draw a single line down the middle, and sew 1/4 inch away from the line.

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Turn the whole chain around, and sew the other side all at once.


Cut them apart and finger press.


I like to do this all at once with all the HSTs on the ironing board lined up for quick pressing.


Square up your HSTs.  If you need to have a refresher on this technique, see my tutorial on How To Square Up Blocks.


Cut 36 grey 2-inch squares by laying out your fabric doubled. Cut rows of 2 inch strips.

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Then without moving the strips, cross cut into 2-inch squares.

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Cut 8 pink 2-inch squares.  Now lay out the entire block. There are so many pieces that this is essential.


Sew one row at a time.


Press your seams opposite so you can nest the rows. I finger press first so I am going the correct way when I get them over to the iron.


Sew the rows together.  This block really has a bunch of seams. Looking at it in the store presentation, my friends and I discussed that some of those seams could be eliminated easily, like the six in each corner or the entire corner could be one triangle.


Anyway, here is the completed block. And notice that even with all those seams there are no puckers!! Yipeee!!


Aurifil thread and size 10 needles, a must for batiks. It was my turn to learn something new, and learning something new was the reason for choosing the batiks in the first place. I am beginning to see why some people like these so much. They are still a bit difficult for me to work with, I don’t care for the stiffness of the fabric, or the prints overall. But, they do hold a nice seam line, and crease nicely too when pressed.

If you missed the first blocks, you can catch up with us.  Just click on these links for the first three blocks.  Remember that I started late, so two are catch up blocks.

Block of the Month January

Block of the Month February

Block of the Month March

I hope you will quilt along and show us your completed top at the end of the year.

Happy Quilting!!



Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 3 – joining the binding ends

Quilt along with me as I show you how to bind a quilt.  I use a lot of pictures so this full tutorial is in four parts.  If you missed the first two parts, you can see Part 1 Making Bias Binding and Part 2 Sewing Binding to the Quilt by clicking on those links.


Now that the binding is mostly in place, we need to join the ends so no one can tell which seam is the last one. This takes just a bit of care, and is really fairly easy.

Start with one of the ends, I usually start with the one on the left. Lay it out on a cutting line on your board and make a 45-degree cut.   The end should be approximately in the middle of the open space on the quilt.  You need that open space to make it easier to get the ends under your presser foot on your machine.  I use the lines on my cutting board, but you can also use our square up ruler that has a 45-degree line.




Then place it back on the quilt lining up the bottom edge.  I like to pin it down so it doesn’t shift.


Lay the right side of the loose binding on the quilt lining up the edges.


Mark the 45-degree line on the binding where the left side ends.


Mark a second line 1/2 inch to the left of the first line.


In the picture, you can see the hash marks for the edge of the left side piece, and the line drawn 1/2 inch away for the seam allowance.

Binding9  Cut the fabric on the left line.


If you find it easier, you can draw two lines, using the edge of the left hand piece as a guide for the first line by laying it on top.  Then measure and draw your second line 1/2-inch to the left of the first line.

Line up the ends, right sides together, and offset them so a 1/4-inch seam will start and end at the points shown in the photo.


Pin and sew.



Press the seam open, then press the strip in half like the rest of the binding.



Cut off the fabric tips.


The binding should be exactly the right size.


Sew the remaining binding to the quilt.



In Part 4, I’ll show you how to turn the binding to the backside, with a little tip on getting perfect mitered corners on both sides.

Part 4 Stitching The Edge to the Back

Happy Quilting!



Tips and Tutorials Tuesday



The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

“A stone path led beneath an arbor of ancient roses with arthritic joints. The temperature cooled as they crossed the garden’s threshold. The overall impression was one of darkness and gloom. And quiet, an odd, still quiet. Even the noise of the irrepressible sea seemed dulled in here. It was as if the grounds within the stone wall were asleep. Waiting for something, or someone, to wake them.”  Page 220.

I love that passage.  It is a place I’d like to explore.  So often the cool evenings on our front veranda are like this – quiet, peaceful, restful.  Like this time of year when there is an expectancy in the air, of the emergence of new life, new leaves, new flowers, but not quite ready yet.   When Spring is here, but Winter has yet to completely release its hold.   It is a good time to enjoy some fresh air and a good book.


This book isn’t a page turner mystery, although there is a mystery to be solved. This book is more of a character study, slowly pulling the pieces of their lives together. There is not just one story, but three, interwoven and intertwined like the overgrown garden of the title. We go on a journey of self-discovery with Nell, as she tries to trace her true identity.   We see the hard life of Eliza as she is thrown from one bad situation into another. We take up the search for the secret with Cassandra as she tries to reveal the final clue that her grandmother could not find. All three stories are told by switching back and forth through time. Interspersed within the stories are the folk tales of The Authoress. Reading like Grimm’s fairy tales, they are interesting bits and asides.

I highly recommend this book, a real keeper to be read again, wonderfully complex, with richly drawn characters. I’ll be giving my paperback to a friend to read and buying a hardback for the library shelf.

quotethursday  Booklinky



Quilt Binding Tutorial Part 2 – sewing binding to the quilt

Sewing the binding to the quilt is rather easy, just follow along the edge.  The corners are tricky, but not too hard once you know the secret.  Remember that quilting is based on accuracy and precision, and your binding should be that way too.  See Part One on How to Make Bias Binding if you missed it.  Or click on the Tutorials category on the right sidebar to see all my tutorials.


Begin by laying out your binding loosely on the quilt, do this on the floor if necessary.  You want to be sure that where you start will not put a seam on a corner.  Adjust it if needed.  Begin sewing the binding onto the quilt top about 6-8 inches from the end.  In other words, leave the end loose for now.  You’ll see why this is important later.

I use a presser foot that is almost 3/8 inch from the needle to the edge because I find that little bit extra in the first seam line makes a perfect amount for folding over.  Some will use 1/4 inch, and if you do so, you might want to decrease the size of your strips to 2-1/4.  I like a generous binding, so I use 2-1/2 inch strips and the 3/8 seam allowance.  Decide which presser foot will suit your needs, and then start sewing the binding onto the quilt.


As you are coming close the the corner, stop sewing (needle down helps but isn’t required).  Fold the fabric back over itself forming a 45 degree crease.  The bottom edge of the quilt and the binding should be at the same level.


Finger press this crease hard.  Be sure your edges line up so your crease is just right.  You can see the faint line of the crease in this picture.  The end of the crease should land precisely in the corner of the quilt.


To make it more obvious, I will sometimes go over it with a marking pencil.


Now, sew up to the line, then backstitch two or three stitches to lock them.


Check to be sure you got it precisely on the line.


Nope, needs another stitch or two.


OK, that’s perfect.  Now, fold the fabric up and over itself again along that creased line, then back along the bottom edge of the quilt.  Line the fold up with the edge you just sewed.  This is very important to making that perfect miter.  You don’t want too much or not enough fabric in that corner, accuracy pays off, so do this carefully.


Begin sewing at the edge of the fabric.

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Here’s a couple more pictures of that corner, and a few more corners on this quilt and a QOV quilt.

bindingfoldcorner Bindingsewtocrease Bindingsewfromend Bindingsewcornerfinish

Continue around the whole quilt, stopping when there is 6-8 inches of binding left at the end, and an unsewn area on the quilt of 8-10 inches.


The procedure is the same for 60 degree angles and 90 degree angles.




It works no matter what size binding you use. This portable ironing mat has a binding of 1-1/2 inches finished width, and started with strips 6 inches wide!


The application of a binding is so important that it can mean the difference between winning a ribbon in a show and not winning.   Judges look for three main things in a binding.  First, the binding must be full of batting, no spots where there wasn’t enough.  Second, the corners must be perfectly mitered on both sides.  Lastly, the joining point must not be apparent.  No tucking one end into the other.  The seam must be the same as any other seam in the binding, with no puckers or pleats.

Even if you never enter a quilt into competition, a well sewn binding will provide the perfect finish to your work.  In part three, I’ll show you how to join the ends of the binding so no one will be able to tell which seam was the last one.  Part four will take you through hand whipping the binding onto the back and making those perfect mitered corners on both sides.

Part Three – Joining the Binding Ends

Happy Quilting!



Hands2Help Tutorials Linky




Garden flowers and a walk in the park

Spring finally seems to have arrived, and Easter Sunday was a glorious day, warm and sunny.  My garden is coming a bit more alive, and some of the flowers are still going strong.  Others are beginning to stir.  I am especially impressed with these tulips, still looking good, and the dark purple ones have come up.

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They are such a dark purple they almost appear to be black.  The stamens inside form a star.  So pretty!


The little Jump-up is still blooming on the driveway, in spite of the fact that my husband drives over it regularly, not hitting it with his tires, but still.  Hardy little thing.  Blooming where it is planted.


We decided to go for a walk in the park and saw a robin busy hunting bugs.   There were a few cherry trees still with blooms too.

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The blue sky was an amazing color this day!  The Bradford pear was still in full bloom.


Back home, I spotted a dogwood blooming in the forest.

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My little garden pots are making progress too.  The squash seeds are coming along, and the garlic is very tall now.  I put them outside for a bit to soak up a little sun.  It is still too cold at night to leave them out, but soon I will be able to do that.

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In that silver pot, my amaryllis is putting up yet another leaf.  It has already bloomed twice, once at Christmas (picture on the left), and again in February (picture on the right).  My dear sweet MIL gave it to me.  She knows how much I love flowers.

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Back in the garden, the irises on the left and the hostas on the right are putting up leaves for blooming later.

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One more shot of my redbud with that amazing blue sky!  The garden is waking up!  Welcome Spring!