From My Carolina Home

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


Refashioning a Necklace

Do you have any of those multi-strand necklaces?  This one was sitting in the drawer not being worn because two of the chains were starting to look tarnished.

Necklace rework - 2

Plus it was a lot of necklace at once, actually just too many strands.

Necklace rework - 1

So, I decided to take it apart and recycle the individual strands into single necklaces.

Necklace rework - 3

I really like these lavender beads with the gold ones between. The pearls became two necklaces, one with chain links and the other without.

Necklace rework - 7

I have another vintage pin to use with a couple of strands like I did with the black ones from What’s In YOUR Closet?

Necklace pin 1

I have this snowflake pin that goes well with the pearls from this project and a rhinestone necklace from the vintage drawer.

Snoflake pin

This one DH gave me in the 70s when we all wore rhinestone pins on scarves around our necks.

Necklace rework - 6

Who knows, this may turn out to be a new trend!

Necklace rework - 4

Do you have any pins that would work with two necklaces like this?  Do you like to recycle older jewelry into a new look?



Snow Day! Time to Quilt!

After missing work most of last week, I got up this morning to this.  The picture looks white all over because it is still lightly snowing.


Not good news, as the schedule was slammed this week because of all the snow last week. Oh well, what to do but accept the fact that I am not going anywhere today. It is still snowing, too, but should stop by noon if the weather report is to be believed. There is snow on the branches of the trees, and the veranda railing. Looks like about 2 inches.


Lots of birds are stopping by the feeder. DH said he planned to refill it last night but didn’t get to it. I think there is some in the bottom that they can get to still. These little guys are goldfinches. They lose their bright yellow in winter.


This titmouse is looking for a meal too.


Cardinals look so gorgeous in the snow. We have two pairs living nearby, but only this male was out this morning.


In the back, the rhododendrons are curled up against the cold.


So, I am headed to the basement to make order out of this.

Mystery Scraps 2

Believe it or not I do have a plan. But, I cannot share that just yet. Stay tuned for a quilt along to start in mid-March. I hope you will enjoy it. And if you are snowed in like I am, have fun quilting or crafting today, and stay warm!


A Chicken Project

I am a member of a longarm quilter group locally that has both professional and amateur members.  To promote the  Carolina Mountain Longarm Association, hopefully find new members, and let quilters know about our professional members, we are making gifts for participants at an upcoming show.

Chicken closeup

We started with some 4-1/2 inch squares, felt beaks and combs, and some 3-1/2 inch squares for the tails.

Chickens fabrics

Chicken Pincushion - 1

Place the beaks and the combs on the right side of a square.

Chicken Pincushion - 2

Sew the seams. Leave the back open, and an opening on the bottom for turning.

Chicken Pincushion - 3

Pull the back seam crossways, insert the prairie point tail, and sew.

Chicken Pincushion - 4

Turn right side out.

Chicken Pincushion - 5

CMLA member Carol said to stuff the tops of the chickens with a bit of batting because the walnut shell filling always settles. This way the head of the chicken remains stuffed.

Chicken Pincushion - 6

The eyes were next so the knots would be hidden inside the chicken. On some I did buttons, and on a few I used floss and made French knots.

Chickens 2

Chicken Pincushion - 7

Fill with crushed walnut shells.  The shells help keep your pins sharp.  Another tip, use a water bottle cut in half as a funnel.

Chicken Pincushion - 8

Get them really full, because the filling will settle a bit.

Chicken Pincushion - 9

Then put a piece of batting across the bottom to keep the filling in while you sew the opening closed.

Chicken Pincushion - 10

Chicken Pincushion - 11

Chicken batting

Isn’t it cute?

Chicken Pincushion - 12

Here’s the flock after the first assembly.


And here are some of them finished.

Chicken flock

Cute, aren’t they!

Chicken Pincushion - 13

Sharing –
CrazyMomQuilts SoCalGal A Bright and Beautiful Life Sew Cute Tuesday By Stephanie Lynn The Enchanting Rose WIPWed be6b3-linkybees  BlogButtonNoRulesBP Needle and Thread Thursday OBWbutton DIY-Crush-Link-Party-Button



A Quilting Project for Elizabeth House

I have been working on some quilts for a local hospice, Elizabeth House. I was part of a work party last month to get the tops put together, but unfortunately, the finishing kits were cut wrong.


The borders were too long for the short side, and not long enough for the long side. I measured them a couple of times to be sure, then just had to take a breath, and cut off the excess sewed on by the members at the work party. You can see a huge amount of excess fabric on this side.


I attached the excess to the other border strips and put them on the quilt top. Then I loaded it on the frame. I had to piece the backing. It took 7-1/2 yards of fabric!

EH backing

The other unfortunate thing, the donated batting was only 45 inches wide, so it had to be pieced as well.

EH batting cut

It was a lucky break that my friend Marti (who works at Elizabeth House) came by before I started quilting. She took a look at the quilt top and carefully tried to tell me that it was too big for EH to use.  I’m so glad she did, I would hate for all our members to put in all this effort if they were not going to be used. So, we had to cut off six inches of border all the way around.

EH on frame

The good news is we could attach that six inch wide border to the quilt tops made with just some sashing to make them bigger.

EH quilt3 - 2

I decided to quilt with a grey thread that would recede in the blocks and pop on that white background.

EH quilting 23

I started with this swirly design pantograph. I liked the way it looked with the angles on the blocks.

EH quilting

The drawback is every little wobble will show. Of course, I don’t plan to show you any of those wobbles!!

EH quilting 22

The grey thread does recede nicely on the blocks.

EH quilting 2

I finished quilting that one, and sent it off to be bound by another club member. I had another one to quilt, so it was loaded on the frame this past week. Slightly different block placement in this one, but substantially the same as the first one.

EH2 quilting on frame

I am quilting it with the same grey thread, and a different pantograph. This one is a trefoil design that overlaps on each pass.  I finished off the quilting on this one pretty quickly too.

EH2 quilting

The best part of doing binding is that you have a warm quilt on your legs when it is in the single digits outside with snow and sleet!

EH binding

The goal is for the quilts to be done and ready to deliver in March.  I think we will make it, with the help of a lot of friends at the quilt club.



February 2015 Garden

It has been too warm lately, and my irises decided to wake up and start growing.  Unfortunately, the weekend was going to be 8 degrees with snow!

Iris shoots

I asked DH to cover them up, and he had the brilliant idea of using clear, plastic, painter’s drop cloths with boards to hold down the corners against the wind. The little sunlight we are getting can get through the plastic so hopefully will keep them from freezing. I know it isn’t good to leave plastic on for a long time, so I’ll be taking it off as soon as the danger of hard freeze is over.

Iris shoots covered

Good thing we did, this was my driveway yesterday a couple of hours after I got home.  Good thing I left work at lunch!  I know it isn’t as much as some others, but this is enough to be a problem for driving on this mountain.  I found that out the hard way last year!  My Snow Day of 2014 was a bit of an adventure.


This morning the result of the overnight ice formation was actually quite beautiful.  Trees and limbs are coated with ice, and glistening in the early morning sun.


Looking toward the next mountain to the east, more ice glitters in the sun.


Inside is warmer and more inviting.  I am excited that my amaryllis has apparently decided to bloom! This little bud showed up a few days ago.

Amaryllis bud Feb 14

I can’t wait to see it, hoping it will be as beautiful velvet red as the flowers last year.

Amaryllis bud Feb 14 -2

I do have some flowers in bloom. The lovely ladies of my quilt group gave me this pretty red cyclamen.


Down in the basement, the little plastic carton greenhouses are waiting for their seeds.

Seeds stacked

Some of the seeds I ordered have shown up in the mail. I’ll get these going around Feb 25th, have to wait for the right phase of the moon, and not too far ahead of the last frost date.  I hope the tomato seeds arrive in time!


Last fall, I sent in a soil sample to the county extension office.  I got the kit at the Mountain State Fair.  North Carolina offers this service free to homeowners if you get your samples in before the end of October. I wanted to see if my soil was the cause of so few tomatoes and spindly growth of my herbs and peppers last year.


This looks like a difficult report to read, but the pages of information that came with it made it easy. My soil pH is OK, 6.5-6.6. No lime is recommended.  My soil type is mineral, a good one to have for growing things – not sandy or clay.  But, there is a deficiency of magnesium, manganese, and zinc in my soil. So, I’ll look for those and apply sometime next month when it gets a bit warmer. The report says a liquid fertilizer is ideal, which works for me.  I don’t want to dig up all the bulbs that are there.  The recommendations are the same for both tomato crops and peppers/sage crops.  Most extension services offer this service, some will have a nominal fee, and it is worth the time to do it when the information is specific to your garden.  I’ll probably have another analysis this fall, just to be sure that the fertilizer and supplements I put on this year corrected the problems.

Have you ever had your soil analyzed?

Linking up with the fun parties on my sidebar and ..



Valentine Hearts Wall Hanging

I thought I’d bring this project forward from last year, since it uses the same hearts as the Hearts Around Table Topper.  When I showed it last February, there were only about a dozen people reading my blog, so most of you haven’t seen it, LOL!!


It is a bit bigger since I put three borders on this one, an ecru, then the sweet little rose print, then the outer cream background print.  The hearts float in the background on this one.  I quilted it with a pantograph of hearts.


To make this one, just follow the heart block directions for Hearts Around, orient them all the same way, then add a background sashing and border 2-1/2 inches wide.  The second border is a dense red print 1-1/2 inches wide (before sewing), and the third border is a sparse red print cut 3 inches wide.  It is bound in the same print as the outer border.  It finished at about 30 inches square.

Happy Quilting!  and Happy Valentine’s Day!



Val’s Tuesday Archives



Valentine Breakfast

Since I decided to do breakfast instead of dinner for Valentine’s day, the tablescape is simpler.  What better way to put a little romance on the table than with these pink depression glass dishes, a pattern called Cherry Blossom. Aren’t they sweet on the pretty white placemats?

Valentine Tablescape 13

There are paper heart napkins under the red linen ones, just to add a few more hearts to the table.

Valentine Tablescape 14

The centerpiece is really on the side, with white and pink tulips left over from my Spring Wreath from last spring.  They are in a Fenton antique milk glass vase with a ruffled edge that has pink on the inside.

Valentine Tablescape 11

The reindeer now has apples in his planter.  I put a few on the table too. The table topper is my Hearts Around that I shared a few posts back.

Valentine Tablescape 12

There are two places set for this breakfast of Popovers with Black Cherry Creme.  The Cherry Blossom handled tray will hold the popovers.

Valentine Tablescape 16

Hope you have a heart warming Valentine’s day.



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