From My Carolina Home

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Chain Piecing Half Square Triangles

I have been making half square triangles like a mad woman lately.  I have a new pattern that I have designed and I am really excited about it.


I know I have been through the process of making HSTs several times, and today will do it one last time.  Here’s a look at the current crop of HSTs.  When I get this lap size quilt fully assembled and quilted, then I will share it and the table topper you’ll see coming up with my Easter tablescape.  But first….


let’s do HSTs!

Mystery Scrap Quilt -1

Start by cutting your squares to at least 3/8″ (and I do 1/2″) larger than you want the finished HST to be.  In other words, if you need the HSTs to be 2-1/2 inches for piecing the next step, cut the squares 2-7/8 to 3 inches square.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - The Fabrics

Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on your lighter color fabric.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 3

Pair the two colors together. Many times this will be the focus fabric and the background fabric.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 8

Sew 1/4″ away from the line on both sides.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 4

Chain piece by setting up all your squares, then running them one after another through the machine. The chain makes sewing the seam on the other side really easy as they are all together.  Just turn the chain around and sew 1/4 inch away from the other side of the line.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 5

Cut the pieces apart from each other, then cut on the drawn line to yield two HST units.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 6

Press toward the darker of the fabrics. Square up to the correct size, placing the 45-degree line along the diagonal seam and trimming all four sides.

Mystery Quilt 2015 - 7

That’s it!  No need to be afraid of a lot of HSTs any longer.  Quilts are so much more interesting with these angles as part of the design.  Next time you see a pattern with a lot of HSTs, be confident, you can do it.

The pictures above are from the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt.   It isn’t too late to start, just click on the link and come quilt along.  The button is on my sidebar, and if you are participating and have a blog, let me know if you add the button to your blog sidebar. Also, I’d love to see your scrap colors and your progress, so please upload your pics to the Scrap Dance Flickr group if you can –   Also, the Scrap Dance Mystery has been picked up by, and I am excited about that too!

Happy Quilting!


First Outing in the Little British Car

We got the TVR out on Saturday for a drive with friends.  It is one of our favorite things to do, springtime in the mountains just has to be experienced.  We really enjoy these drives, and we get to see some of our wonderful blooming trees.  So, here we are at the parking lot, gathering together in preparation for the drive.  The blue TVR in the middle is ours.

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 4

On the road, lots of little vintage cars.  We had 14 in the queue, here passing by one of the pear trees in bloom.

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 16

Golden forsythia was in full bloom in many places along the route.

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 30

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 36

By far, though, my favorite is the weeping cherry. Lovely pink blooms cascade down on long fronds like a weeping willow.

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 38

We ended our drive at the local Jaguar dealer, who fed us a wonderful lunch of burgers, hot dogs and all the fixin’s, along with some decadent chocolate cake.

BCC Drive March 28,2015 - 45

Yesterday, I got a few extra pics of these beautiful trees to show. These weeping cherries are about 100 ft tall.

March 2015 - weeping cherry 6

They are all over, and all in bloom right now. The bloom color runs from pinkish white to a deep pink.

March 2015 - weeping cherry

These are up the road a bit, upright pink flower covered trees.

March 2015 - cherry trees 2

Close up of a bloom. They look a lot like peach blooms, I am not totally sure what they are.

March 2015 - cherry close

Here’s another weeping cherry, with some golden forsythias.

March 2015 - weeping cherry forsth

In front of my office are these cute little daffodils.

March 2015 - jonquil 2

And behind the house, the periwinkles cover the mountain.

March 2015 - periwinkles

The redbud is getting ready to bloom too, but that is enough for now. This time in the mountains is wonderful, with something new blooming just about every week for the next couple of months. Happy Spring!!





Re-blooming Amaryllis

Waiting for this amaryllis to bloom again has been a real exercise in patience.  Remember it was January that I showed you the beginning.  Get ready, this post is picture heavy!!  This was early January.  Just a couple of new shoots of leaves coming alive.

Amaryllis Jan 2015

It took until late February for the bud to show.

Amaryllis bud Feb 14 -2

I was thrilled, as I have never been able to get one to bloom a second time. About 10 days later, I had this long bud stem.

Amaryllis 2-26-15

It was so exciting to see that it was going to bloom again, but since then the progress has been excruciatingly slow!! March 7, the bud began to show signs of opening.

Amaryllis slightly opening

Five days later, it is going to be a beautiful red just like last year.

Amaryllis rebloom March 2105

The next day, real progress! And it looks like there will be a third bloom.

Amaryllis third bud

Can you believe it, took two more days, but now it looks like there may be four blooms!

Amaryllis March 14 four buds

Later that day, the first two larger blooms are starting to open.

Amaryllis rebloom 10

The next morning, finally!!  It opened up to this gorgeous flower!!

Amaryllis rebloom 11

March 17, the first two blooms are fully open and beautiful.

Amaryllis rebloom 14

Next day, still waiting for the other two, and now I am hoping that the first two stay pretty.

Amaryllis 33

Two more days for the remaining two buds to begin to open.

Amaryllis 34

March 21, maybe they will all be open at once, hopefully before the first two fade.

Amaryllis 38

Yes, success!! Late in the afternoon on the 21st.

Amaryllis 43

Three are facing one way, and the fourth faces the opposite side.

Amaryllis 41

This is the first time I have ever been able to successfully overwinter an amaryllis.

Amaryllis 32

This was excruciating waiting, but the blooms finally got there. I cannot believe how long it took, but now that they have all opened, it is amazing how long they are lasting. They were still beautiful days later! Thank you to my sweet mother-in-law, Joyce, for giving me a gift that lasted so long and has given me so much pleasure. Both she and the flower are treasures!!


Sharing at the wonderful parties on the sidebar, and The Scoop.


March in the Garden

It is finally getting warmer, but we are not out of the possibility of a freeze.  Although this year that seems unlikely, I have seen snow on Easter Sunday in April in years past.  So, I won’t be jumping the season by planting outside just yet, but there are a few things in the garden that have made an appearance.  So wonderful to see the season of renewal getting underway, starting with the miniature jonquils coming up last week.

March 2015 Garden - 1

Only one little plant, but it is mighty, eventually yielding seven blooms.

Jonquils mid March

The crocuses came up and opened so pretty!!  I just love this purple. They came up seemingly overnight.

Crocus 2015 - 1

And the next day they opened. Just one little clump, but aren’t they pretty?  The color is hard to believe, it is so intense.

Crocus March 2105 - 13

I have one lone white crocus, think I need to plant some more.

Crocus white open

This one (below) is coming up next to the crocus. I don’t think it is one of the hostas that cover the bed in the summer.  The leaf looks like a different shape.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Growing leaf

The tulips will likely be next.  They survived the freeze with the plastic cover, and now are coming up strong.  I need to weed this bed next, and add more mulch.

Tulips Midmarch 2015

The irises are just beginning, and will bloom later than the tulips.

Irises mid-March 2015

Inside, the seeds are doing well in their little ‘greenhouses’! The top one has the johnny jump-ups, they are really going!!

stacked greenhouses

Basil seeds are peeking up.

Basil seeds sprouted

Parsley is a bit behind, but still showing signs of coming along.

parsley seeds sprouting

I got out on the veranda last weekend and cleaned up the remaining dead plants and detritus of winter.  I took down the winter wreath and put up the Spring Floral Wreath I made last year.  The chairs and table got a good washing so I can sit outside and enjoy reading.  Sometimes, we enjoy a meal there.  Something is wonderful about our view, a hot cup of coffee, the avian choir in full voice, and the sun coming up over the mountains on a cool spring morning.  Or a lazy warm evening, with something tasty on the grill, a gentle breeze through the trees, and the quiet beauty of a mountain sunset.

Next post, I’ll show you the amaryllis progress.  It has been maddeningly slow, but the wait was worth it!!

How is your garden doing?


Sharing with the wonderful link ups on the sidebar, and The Scoop.


Springtime Cards and Two Little Words

Lovely warm spring, this time of year is just so inspiring. It brings out more creativity.  I am just obsessed with yellow right now.  For some reason it is saying spring is here!!  It seems the right time to be grateful for many things.

Springtime Cards - 4

Do you know what those important two little words are?  Thank you.  I think it is so important to let people know that they are appreciated.  Periodically, I’ll get some little gifts for the lovely ladies who work with me, keep me on time, help me with all sorts of things, put up with my irritation with certain things, and just generally hold the office together.  My boss gets one too, for without her I wouldn’t have a job.  So, I have a lot to be grateful for with these ladies, and I like saying Thank You! I wanted to do some cards to go with a little gift for the office staff.  I started with yellow cardstock, and found a couple of bird stamps.  I used a grass green ink.

Springtime Cards - 5

I just had to use some of the handmade papers that I won in a drawing from Kathy at Kathy In Ozarks.  She ordered me to use them and not just hide them away.  So, I used my deckle edge tearing edge and tore some strips so this lovely handmade paper would go farther.

Springtime Cards - 1

That bottom corner needed something, so I used a little tiny heart.

Springtime Cards - 2

Some fern green ribbon to add a bit of movement.

Springtime Cards - 6

A sweet pansy stamped on a flower cut out in green will add some interest.

Springtime Cards - 3

Voila, all put together!

Springtime Cards - 7

Close ups of the cards, each is a bit different in placement of the papers and ribbons, and which bird stamp was used.

Springtime Cards - 8

Springtime Cards - 9

They were given with these cute little daisy pots, with growing medium and seeds.

Springtime Cards - 10

These didn’t cost much. But the value in giving them is in the sentiment of gratitude. I think it is fun to see people’s faces when they get an unexpected gift. It is truly the thought that counts, just to say Thank You for all you do.

Which one do you like best?


Celebrate Spring at My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies


International Quilt Day 2015

It is a great weekend to be a quilter!  It ‘s International Quilt Weekend!  It started with a Quilt Day in Kentucky, and from there went national then worldwide.  Read about the history HERE. There are special deals going on all over the web, and I collected a few for you.  We need a mini online quilt show too, so here are a few of mine, starting with my first miniature.


Hands down the very best deal out there is the free weekend for videos at The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims!  Click on the How Does this Weekend Work, and you go to a page where you can log in (if you are already on, and it is free to join if you aren’t), enter the contest for a Bernina 550QE, or lots of other prizes from Superior Threads, Innova, RJR Fabrics, Missouri Star, and more.  I have no affiliation with any of these companies, I just want to let you all know about the great prizes.  Then, you can watch more than 200 Quilt Show videos for free this weekend!  I guarantee quilt overload in a hurry, so choose wisely!


Want some more online quilt show inspiration?  Check out the National Quilt Museum website, there are some wonderful pictures there.  You can also see the searchable database at The Quilt Index, even more inspiration there.  The International Quilt Study Center and Museum has an online exhibition.  The National Quilt Collection, part of the Division of Home and Community Life’s Textile Collection at the National Museum of American History, has wonderful historical videos on their collection on youtube.


If you are wondering why I chose these quilts to show you, it is because I am entering all three of them in the NC Quilt Symposium quilt show in May 2015.

OK, so you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, this is a good weekend for quilt related sales.  There’s a Try Me sale this weekend at Superior Threads. Martingale Books is having a Flash Sale, $6 ebook titles this weekend only.  And, Fat Quarter Shop is having a sale now too.  Just had to tell you!  And is there ever a time when we don’t want new fabric?  Well, unless you are Stashbusting.  One of my favorite places to shop online is Connecting Threads, and they are having a sale this weekend too.


So what am I going to do this weekend?  Why, quilt of course!!  Working on the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt Along quilt!

Are you celebrating International Quilt Weekend?



Springtime Tablescape

Spring is right around the corner and everything is in the process of turning green.  Little shoots of new bulbs are peeking out of the ground with the anticipation of flowers to come.  Thinking green in March seems traditional, not only for St. Patrick’s Day, but just because it is spring.  It seemed a green and white tablescape was in order.

Spring Tablescape - 7

One thing my mother used to do was collect all her mismatched glass candlesticks and put them all together as a centerpiece.  I took that a step further, and added greenery and some white silk tulips with the green candles.  All those different heights create interest, yet you can still see around them to talk across the table.

Spring Tablescape - 12

I set out the good, white china plates on white basketweave placemats with these rare, depression glass salad plates.

Spring Tablescape - 8

The pattern is called Bowknot, and only a few pieces have been found.  There are salad plates, and some fruit cups known, and a few other pieces.  No one knows where or how they were distributed, or why there were no larger plates or other pieces.  The pattern is delicate.

Spring Tablescape - 3

I folded the napkins with a little turned-down corner like a flower petal, and added small sprigs of silk daisies.

Spring Tablescape - 5

Aren’t these lettuce leaf bowls wonderful? The perfect serving dish for a spring table.

Spring Tablescape - 11

There are two, and they have little lettuce leaf plates to go underneath.

Spring Tablescape - 13

This is a great time to serve some Irish Coffee in my special cups.

Spring Tablescape - 14

Recognize the quilted table runner from last spring’s Thread Color Experiment?  The green and white toile, along with the white and tan go well for spring.

Spring Tablescape - 16

I love this serving dish with its rabbits and fresh vegetables.  The green and white motifs seem to pick up the toile in the table runner too.

Spring Tablescape - 1

All those different greens work together nicely, holding the promise of a season of renewal.

Spring Tablescape - 15

Are you ready for Spring?



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