From My Carolina Home

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Birthday Card for a Quilter

One of my quilting buddies turned 90 years old this week.  She is an inspiration to everyone that knows her.  I wanted to make her a special card, something from the heart instead of the store.


I started off with stamping a paisley print on one side of the card, and gluing a printed paper to the left.  I have some lovely printed papers, and cut triangles from three prints for flying geese.


A quilt block was made using triangles in an hourglass block design, mounted on a darker square like a border on a quilt.


At the top is stamped “In the crazy quilt of life, I’m glad you’re in my block of friends”.  I added a little bow to the right.


Inside, I like to fancy up the Happy Birthday with a couple of quilt block stamps.


On the back is my custom made stamp, so she knows I made it.


Then, the envelope got a couple of stamps too.



I hope you had a Happy Birthday, Donna!!



Block of the Month June 2014

This is a pretty simple block, but I will warn you, simplicity can be deceptive. The colors in this block are light and dark of four different colors plus a background for a total of 9 different fabrics used. Positioning is critical, especially for the flying geese units.


The pattern for the block is called Box Quilt and is available on Quilt Blocks Galore – click on Box Quilt Block Pattern. Begin by cutting the pieces. You’ll need the following:


Grey background – four 3-1/2 inch squares, and four rectangles 2 x 3-1/2 inches From each of 8 colors (light and dark of four different colors) you’ll need one rectangle 5×2 inches, and one rectangle 2×3-1/2 inches. Now decide if you want the dark in the middle or the light in the middle. Whichever you choose, you will need two 2-inch squares of each of four darks OR four lights. These will be the flying geese. I choose darks for the center. Sew the dark 2×3-1/2 rectangles to the side of the 3-1/2 inch grey squares.


Press towards the color. Lay the piece with the color to the bottom, and add the 5 inch rectangle to the right side. Sew, then press toward the color.


Make one pink, one yellow, one green and one blue.


Following the pattern, place the colors towards the middle, with the green in the upper left, blue in the upper right, yellow in the lower left and pink on the lower right positions, and sew together.


Now make the flying geese units. Be very careful here as position of these colors is very important.


Draw a diagonal line on all the small squares.


Place the one of each color on the right side of the 2×3/12 grey rectangles and sew on the line. Sew all the right side geese colors first.


Cut off the excess and press to the color.


Using the layout guide below, place the left squares with the diagonal sewing lines showing.

Left            Right

Pink            Blue

Blue            Green

Green         Yellow

Yellow        Pink


Sew, trim the excess and press.


Lay the block out, using the 3-1/2 inch color rectangles on the sides and the 5 inch rectangles top and bottom matching up light to darks. Position the flying geese units to match the colors.


Sew the side units. Sew the top and bottom units.


Sew the side units to the center block.


Sew the top and bottom units to the center block.


Done!! Looking at the picture for this block, it looks like it would be easier to do HSTs for the color corners instead of flying geese, but it didn’t work. I did try it with some other fabrics as a test, and the dimensions didn’t work out. So, make it the way the directions tell you.

If you missed any of the blocks, click on the Block of the Month category to catch up.  These blocks and fabrics are chosen by my local quilt shop, and I am blogging it as we go to help out fellow quilters.  You can use your stash, so c’mon and quilt along!



Anita’s Arrowhead Quilts for Elizabeth House

I was having lunch with my dear friend Carin last November when she began to tell me of a quilting project her area group was working on. They were making quilt tops, but their plan for having them quilted wasn’t going as hoped. Carin hesitated to ask, but she wanted to know if I would do one or two. When she told me that the destination for these quilts was Elizabeth House (a local hospice), I said I would do all six. I think it is important to give back to your community when you can, and this was something I could do.

The quilts were all in the same block design, a really neat trick published by Quiltmaker magazine. The pattern called Anita’s Arrowhead is available at their website – here – as a free download with instructions. Go get this now, as it is only going to be available for a limited time.

Carin dropped off the tops, batting and backing just after Thanksgiving. All the quilt tops were different colors, so I thought I would use some different quilt designs based on the color, and I had just purchased six new pantographs. My mother in law was visiting at the time, and her favorite color is purple, so I loaded that one first. It spoke to me wanting the new grape design pantograph that I had just received called Vineyard by Threadsongs. So, it got that.



The red one just seemed destined to have hearts.


So I used the pantograph Hearts a Flutter by Intelligent Quilting.


The green one was quilted with a floral design pantograph called Rhapsody by Willow Leaf Studio.  Somehow I have lost the pic of the quilting.


This blue and beige was done with a pantograph called Fantasia by Lorien Quilting.



This mostly brown one was just perfect for the pantograph Woodgrain by Threadsongs.


This pantograph is one of my favorites. It is called Plumeria Garden by Intelligent Quilting.  It quilts out with a nice density and really flattens out wavy piecing if needed.  This quilt was perfectly flat, including the borders, and was a delight to quilt.



Here’s the back so you can see it more clearly.


Carin picked those up, and brought one more. It received a circular design with swirls called Fascination from Lorien Quilting.


I was happy to do this quilting, and it felt good to be able to do something for my community.  The ladies of Area 9 of the WNC Quilt Guild did a wonderful job piecing and finishing the quilts.

Carin sent me this picture of the quilts she took with her phone when they were delivered to a happy staff at Elizabeth House.


How do you give back to your community?

Linking up –
Val's Quilting Studio


Pan Roasted Chicken with Asparagus Dinner

Fast and easy recipes for a weeknight dinner for one or two are on my mind lately.  I shared the Fish with Spinach Dinner recently, and it got me thinking about using chicken.  Then, on Pinterest, I saw a pin for pan roasted asparagus.  Well, I knew that, but haven’t done it in a long time.  Why, I have no idea.  Anyway, I developed this one pan meal that is perfect after a long day.


The key is getting the chicken to fully cook. Boneless skinless chicken breast is needed. Normally, I like to cook the bone-in breasts because they retain moisture and have more flavor. But this dish needs a quick cooking chicken.


So we start with the boneless skinless breast and get ready to pound it flatter. Place it on a cutting board, cover with some wax paper or plastic wrap.


Pound it to 1/2 inch even thickness with the smooth side of your mallet.


Be sure the thickness is even so it will cook evenly. It is larger in diameter now, but evenly 1/2 inch thick.


Season the way you like it. I use garlic salt and lemon pepper, sometimes with some thyme or oregano too.


Oh, and I need to share how I keep my asparagus. They are just like flowers, put them in water. I like to use mason jars, and I only cook what I’ll eat so the asparagus is fresh every time.  The air can circulate around so the tips don’t get mushy.


So, start by filming a large pan with a little olive oil and butter.   Put it on a medium-high heat.  Add the asparagus and toss lightly to coat.


Push to one side and add the chicken breast, seasoned side down.  Season the other side.


Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, until chicken is browned on the bottom.


Turn the chicken over, toss the asparagus a little, cover and finish cooking 2-3 more minutes.


The chicken stays moist because it cooks quickly and isn’t over cooked. The asparagus remains crisp tender. Yum!!


Variations on this dish are many.   Vegetables could be yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, or snow peas.  The meat could be veal scallopini, a thin steak, or a fish filet.  Whatever you like.  Just be sure the meat is pounded thin or quick cooking like fish, and the vegetable is a firm one that holds up to quick pan roasting.


Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!



Brag About It!


June Flowers are Still Blooming

The blooming season just goes on and on here.   Two years ago I received a white lily around Easter and when it finished blooming, I put it in the garden.  It bloomed last year and again this year.  Although it is well past Easter!  Last week two of the flowers were out.


It has three beautiful white flowers now. Easter lily about 2 months late, LOL!!


The spinach is coming along, I see a salad in the near future provided a bear doesn’t eat it like it did my lettuce crop 2 years ago.  I have proof – on my Pinterest board bear pin.


I have one little tomato.


The purple day lily continues to bloom.


The raised box with the two day lily plants is in full flower.  I have two areas with those purple day lilies.


This cream color lily has a purple throat and a lovely ruffled edge with purple.


Then there is a wonderful yellow day lily. It also has the ruffled edge in red.


In the pots, the verbena has finally shown a cluster.


Hoping for lots of vegetables and more flowers… and no bear visits.


Patriotic Table Runner

Now that you have your Tri Recs stars and print fabric pieces sewn together, I’ll show you how to finish it up with the borders.   Click on Tri Recs Star Block  to see part one if you missed it.


So, we left off last time with three Tri Recs Stars and two printed fabric blocks, plus a triangle on each end. Next, put on the borders.

PatritoticTable Runner assembeld

Remember, measuring is important for borders.  I started by measuring the short pointed side first.

Patriotic measure side

Then I cut and sewed the first border piece.

Patriotic sew side 1

Then I measured the other side of the point to the edge of the outer border.

Patriotic measure side 2

Sew it on, then cut off the point even with the side edge on both sides.

Patriotic cut side 2

Repeat for the other end point. Then measure and cut your side borders. Sew, then trim the point.

Patriotic cutting angle

Patriotic cut angle-2

Repeat the process for the outer red border. You can start with the long sides if you prefer. I started with the end points on the blue border, and then did the sides first on the red border so the seams fall in different ways. Quilt as desired.  I used my longarm and put a pantograph on it that kind of looks like fireworks called Fern Spin II by  Linda’s Electric Quilters.  I used variegated red thread.

Patriotic on frame

Here’s the back –


Bind in the usual way.  Enjoy your Patriotic Table Runner all summer long!


Happy Quilting!

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.  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 third mystery quilt is in progress, click on Scrap Dance Two Step on the sidebar for the first post.  Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.

OMG, my post was found by Mark Lipinski!!  See it on his wonderful blog at Mark Lipinski’s Blog!


Patriotic Table Runner Tri Recs Star

Follow along to make this patriotic table runner using with a star using the Tri Recs angle rulers.   Here’s a pic of the final project.  If you don’t have the Tri Recs rulers, any star could be substituted in the final project.


Start with cutting your triangles using the angle rulers.  You’ll need one 4-1/2″ strip the width of the fabric in white and red for each square, or one fat quarter of each color cut into 4-1/2″ strips.  I want the finished block to be 12 inches, so I use a 4-1/2 measurement for the Tri Rec units.


Note that you need a right and left red triangle. I put my fabric right sides together and cut two at once.


Place the red unit on top of the white one, right sides together. Note that the cut off point fits neatly on the angle showing you just where to sew.


Sew with a quarter-inch seam allowance. A quarter-inch foot comes in handy here.


Press the red outward with the seam allowance under the red.


Repeat for the other side.


I like to do them chain style with all the right sides at once, then all the left so I don’t get mixed up. By now you know that I am a big fan of laying things out multiple times to be sure you are doing it right. Saves a lot of frogging!


Cut 4-1/2 inch squares of fabric, one red for the center and four white for the corners. Multiply by the number of blocks you want to make.


Sew in rows, press the seam allowances to the left on the top and bottom rows, and to the right on the middle row so the seams will nest.

PatritoticTable Runner assembeld

Set your Tri Recs blocks with 12-1/2 inch squares to assemble the runner. I used three Tri Recs blocks and two fabric print blocks. Cut a 8-1/2 inch print square in half on the diagonal, and add to each end to create the point.

Patriotic Table Runner

Now, on to Part 2 – Finishing the Table Runner

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.  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 third mystery quilt is in progress, click on Scrap Dance Two Step on the sidebar for the first post.  Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.


Happy Quilting!

Needle and Thread Thursdaystitch by stitchwhoop whoop