From My Carolina Home

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


Thinking of You Cards

Several people I know are having some health challenges facing chemo, rehab or surgery.  I wanted to send just a Thinking Of You card with best wishes for a speedy recovery, or just a message of support.  So, I got out my stamping stuff and got creating.

Thinking of You cards 1

My friend, Carol W, gave me a card she stamped, and I was inspired by her embossing.  No, it wasn’t my birthday, she gave me the card to use for someone else.  I plan to give it to my boss next month, as Carol knows her.

Carol W's card

I don’t have an embossing tool or machine, so I improvised. I got out my rolling wheel, loaded it with the filigree wheel and navy ink, and began rolling rows of curly-cues. I start with one on an angle, and then roll more from there to the right.

Thinking of You cards 2

Then I turn the paper around and roll the other end.

Thinking of You cards 3

I did two full sheets so I could get four cards at one time.  This one I messed up a bit, but that can be the back side, LOL!

Thinking of You cards 4

I am still using these beautiful handmade papers sparingly that I got from fellow blogger Kathy in Ozarks. I tore some strips using my deckle edge tearing tool.

Thinking of You cards 5

I punched out some scallop rounds in two sizes for an accent. As I lay out the elements, I thought about using the long strip of off-white for the Thinking of You stamp, but decided it would cover up the handmade paper too much.

Thinking of You cards 6

With the design settled, assembly began. I glued the handmade paper strips down first.

Thinking of You cards 7

I stamped a pansy on the off-white scallop rounds to mount on top of the larger green scallop rounds.

Thinking of You cards 8

All put together.

Thinking of You cards 9

Inside two of them, I stamped Get Well Soon with a butterfly. The other two I left blank to write a personal message.

Thinking of You cards 10

Because I have a hard time leaving well enough alone, I stamped the envelope too.

Thinking of You cards 12

All done now.

Thinking of You cards 13

I just need to add a personal line or two, and address them.

Thinking of You cards 11

I know I rely on email as much as anyone, but there is just nothing to compare to a heart felt message sent by snail mail to let others know you are thinking of them.  Do you still send snail mail?

Sharing with the fun parties on my sidebar, and…

Le Challenge – Round

Rooted In Thyme . Pieced Pastimes . FoodieFriday



Scrappy Project part 2

This morning, the sun is shining on the snow, but I am still not going anywhere. Here is the driveway with about 4 inches of snow left.  Nope, not going anywhere until more melting takes place.  The sun should make the road passable by late afternoon today, but too late to go to work.  Snow day to sew!

Jan 25th Snow in morning

When I left this project in the UFO stage, I had put together most of the scraps, and had this.  So, I worked on it a bit more over the weekend.

Scrappy Quilt Carrier | From My Carolina Home

I added some squares to the side of the other diamond block.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

A green fabric fills a space to match up with the width of the first piece.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The two pieces were joined together.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

So here is what I ended up with.  It looks like a hot mess right now, but I hope it will morph into something interesting.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Loading it on the longarm to quilt, there is some fullness in the piecing, naturally as I just pieced randomly without measuring.  So I’ll steam it a bit to try to smooth it out.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The colors suggest an autumn feel, so I put a leafy pantograph on it.  I chose one that is fairly dense to take up some of the fullness.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

This is the most difficult pantograph I have, called Luscious Leaves. It has a lot of intricate moves, going around some leaves, then going back and forth with changes in the direction of the stitching.  It is a bit hard to explain but the bottom line is, don’t get off line!

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Quilting proceeds nicely, no thread breaks, LOL!

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

I quilted right off the edge so it was fully quilted with out any bare spots on the edge.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The quilting did well over the seams, and there were a lot of those.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The quilting is a bit more visible on the back.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

So, it is quilted and trimmed. Now, what to do with it? Part 3 is HERE.

Speaking of scraps, for those participating in the Scrap Dance Tango! Mystery Quilt Along, I would love to see more pictures of HSTs and colors on the Flickr group.  We have a lot of members, but not a lot of photos yet.  Our first update will be very soon, so upload your progress.

In the view this morning, fog is in the valley.

Fog in Valley, January 2016

DH put a bowl of food out for the ground feeders Saturday, and the juncos found it pretty fast.

Junco chowing down

Then the goldfinches took it over, even though they aren’t traditionally ground feeders.  I must have taken a hundred pictures over the weekend of the birds.  And made them more protein cakes to eat too.

Goldfinches in bowl

So, staying in one more day to work on UFOs. Do you have a UFO in progress?


Making a Meal for our Feathered Friends

Winter finally arrived with some really chilly temperatures and snow!  This morning the total is approaching a foot, and it is still coming down. This picture was taken about an hour ago, already 6-8 inches everywhere. The forecast for my area is 12-18!  With the leaves gone, our winter view is able to see the mountain to the east of us.

January 2016 Snow 2

On the bird feeder, our local avian community has been working hard to empty the seed reservoir over the past few days.  I know that extra protein and fat are essential for them in really cold weather.  There are literally hundreds of recipes on the internet for suet, using all kinds of things for fat and protein.  So, I thought I’d try something with what I had on hand.

Suet Feeder 1

I had lard left in a pan after cooking bacon that I allowed to become solid, so I skimmed off the top and put it in a cup. Then I added about an equal amount of peanut butter.

Suet Feeder 2

Shelled sunflower seeds were added.

Suet Feeder 3

And cracked corn in the form of grits.

Suet Feeder 4

Mixing them all together, …

Suet Feeder 5

I filled two paper cups …

Suet Feeder 6

and packed the mixture down to make two round suet cakes.

Suet Feeder 7

I found a suet feeder at the hardware store.

Suet feeder basket

It was a bit thinner than my little cakes.

suet cake 1

But I flattened them a bit to form a nice round cake.

suet cake 3

DH figured out how to attach it to the feeder pole, under the main feeder but still out of the squirrel’s reach. He put it out a few days ago. I wanted the birds to have time to find it before this blizzard hit.  It took a day for them to find it, and the Carolina Wrens were first.

wren on suet feeder

The cardinals weren’t too interested while the weather was good, but that changed this morning.

Cardinals January 2016 - 2

Today they all looked cold, with their feathers all fluffed up against the cold. DH says some of them are just fat. Still, he is the one that buys them the better seeds, already shelled. But now I have proof of my theory. Here is the junco, as he landed.

January 2016 Snow birds junco 1

Then a moment later, he fluffed himself up. Same bird, now much bigger.

January 2016 Snow birds junco fluffed

This morning, everyone was competing for morsels of this high calorie meal. A chickadee and a titmouse share the wealth.  I was surprised to see snow on top of the cake.  Didn’t seem to bother the birds, though.

January 2016 Snow birds 6

Then a woodpecker stopped by.

January 2016 Snow birds 7

And another!

January Snow birds 21

I didn’t know what picture I had until I was pulling them off the camera. This one is neat, with the little wren still hanging off the side of the feeder, while the titmouse flew away.

January 2016 Snow birds 16

I had to keep grabbing the camera, as more birds stopped by for a bite. Here, a female cardinal has a morsel in her beak, while a nuthatch attempts a landing.

January Snow birds 23

Yes, he made it.  The male cardinal has had a few morsels, but I didn’t get a good picture of him.

January Snow birds 24

All the birds seem to be sharing nicely. DH says he will put the other suet cake out, and refill the seed reservoir a bit later when the snow lets up. I think I’ll make some more cakes with just vegetable shortening for later. They seem to be scarfing it up. Next time I am at the store, I think I’ll get some mealworms and see if the bluebirds are still around.

Are you feeding your birds?






Beaded Quilted Purse

This beaded trim from the upholstery department in the local fabric store is really neat.  I love the long strands that catch the light and have such movement.

Quilted Purse bead trim

I have long thought that this kind of trim would be so pretty on a bag. I had the perfect fabric to go with it too, this lovely print from Timeless Treasurers.

Quilted Purse fabric

So I designed a new pattern to use them both. This is the result!  A fully quilted bag, with a gathered bottom for extra space inside.

Quilted Purse Finished 1

Completely machine sewn, there is no hand work needed. But, now I need two pattern testers to see if the instructions are written well and the dimensions are correct.

Quilted Purse Finished 2

The body of the purse is quilted, and there is a pocket inside.

Quilted Purse Finished 7

If you would like to be a pattern tester, you need to be able to make the purse and email a picture back to me within a couple of weeks. I am hoping for maybe two to three weeks to get feedback, at the latest February 14.

Quilted Purse Finished 8

I need to do this before I publish the pattern. You’ll get a pdf copy of the pattern, complete with assembly pictures.

Quilted Purse Finished 9

For pattern testing purposes, you can use any kind of trim, just be able to sew the trim into place per the instructions. It doesn’t have to be this kind of beaded trim.  You’ll need 1 yard of focus fabric (yes you could piece scraps), and one-half yard of solid color for the yoke.  You’ll also need batting for quilting.  If you would like to be one of testers still needed, leave a comment on this post. I’ll get back to you via email.  I plan to make another one myself, in a different colorway and with a pieced bottom.

The pattern will be very inexpensively priced, and I have some of that fabric in my Etsy store if you love it too.   It is supposed to start snowing tonight, and we should have 10 inches by Friday night.  Woohoo, snowed in for sewing, LOL!!!  I just need to get peanut butter, soup, and a few other necessities before I get home from work today.  Thanks, and have fun sewing!



Slow Roasted Pork

Most of the time I use a slow cooker to cook a pork roast, but last year I saw a new way of cooking this kind of pork on the cooking blog Leite’s Culinaria.  I have followed David’s blog for a number of years, and some years ago was one of his recipe testers.  The idea of slow roasting in the oven was interesting as I have not tried this with pork.  Actually, I haven’t done slow roasting in an oven at all since the turkey disaster.  But I liked the idea of ‘bark’, the crunchy flavorful exterior that comes when you get pork at a smokehouse style restaurant.  The recipe on Leite’s Culinaria calls for the pork to be wrapped in foil, but they never do this at a smokehouse so I didn’t either.  One of his editors didn’t either, and hers came out great, so here we go. I rubbed the pork with a spice mixture, wrapped it in wax paper then plastic, and put it in the frig overnight to let the flavors mingle.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

I placed it on a rack over a pan…

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

and put it in a slow 250 degree oven in the morning.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

It roasted for 7-1/2 hours.  Long, slow cooking while I was quilting and crafting, and having fun.  The bark was wonderfully developed, and the internal temperature was 190 degrees.  Now all I needed was a quick salad and some steamed veggies, and we had dinner.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving, tent with foil to keep it warm.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

Ah, look at this! Moist and juicy, lovely crunchy exterior with intense flavor!

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

The meat doesn’t shred while slicing, so it holds together for serving or making sandwiches.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

Lovely for eating now, great for sandwiches tomorrow.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

A little barbeque sauce and yum!!

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home

Slow Roasted Pork

1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 4-pound pork Boston butt roast

Mix spices, rub into pork. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Unwrap and place on a rack over a baking pan. Place in a 250 degree oven, roast for 7-8 hours or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. Let rest 30 minutes. Slice and serve.

Slow Roasted Pork | From My Carolina Home








Quilting the Snowflake Runner

One thing I need to practice much more is free hand quilting.  I can do feathers most of the time, and some ribbon candy but I am often stymied by  the lack of ideas for quilting without a pattern or pantograph.  Small projects do lend themselves to experimentation, so I decided to custom free hand this runner.  I wanted the background ecru to be different from the white snowflake blocks.  As this runner is very low volume, almost no contrast to differentiate the white from the ecru, I hoped the quilting would help. First, to decide whether to use ecru or white batting.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

The white brightened the white areas a bit more, so I loaded it on the longarm and stitched down the edges.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

I put feathers around the border, working them into the areas in ecru around the snowflake blocks.  Oops, missed one.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Here’s the other end.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Now the really scary part, marking the white areas with a water soluable blue pen. Yikes!!

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Then I didn’t like what I drew, and drew more lines over those. I wanted to practice some pebbling in the ecru triangles, so I did that first.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

In the end, I ignored the markings and did some loops.  Bad choice, it does nothing for the snowflake idea, but I am not frogging it.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Kinda, meh on the quilting. Feathers are OK, but the rest is really mundane.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

They don’t look much like snowflakes, but I do like the white on ecru.  I probably should look into a few stencils.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

The binding was a bit longer than two strips, so I put a short strip between the longer ones. I laid it out to be sure that the seams didn’t end up on a corner.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Stitching it down in the usual way.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Slow Sunday Stitching while watching the football games!

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Finished, and displayed on the kitchen counter.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

Here are a couple of close up shots, after it was ironed and the blue marks removed. Whew, yes they all came out.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

The other end…

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

and the middle.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

I liked the mortar and pestle on it, with my grandmother’s little white chickens.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

I like to burn a candle on the counter too, the Butter Cookie one goes well.

Snowflake Runner | From My Carolina Home

I think I am done with white for now. I’ll enjoy the clean feel of white through January, then it will be on to Mardi Gras.



January Garden 2016

There are only a few things to do in the garden this month. I did want to get some peat pots to go inside my clam shell boxes. I used these last year, but the transplant shock was too much. So, I found some little peat pots to go inside. I’ll plant some seeds in those, and let them get much bigger before I try to put them in the garden outside. The Farmer’s Almanac says the 17th and 18th are good days for planting above-ground crops.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

The amaryllis is coming up again for the third year! The bulb is becoming exposed so I need to fix that. I took it outside with the peat pots to the potting bench.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

A little potting soil and it is now protected.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

The violets were in need of attention as well.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

The stem will put out roots if it is covered. I have let these go a bit too long. The exposed part is where leaves have come off.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

There was room in the pot to simply add some dirt and press the stem down a bit to stabilize the plant.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

I did the same with the other one.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

I bought 2 packs of 12 little peat pots, and 8 will fill a clam shell plastic container. With the lids on, they will become little greenhouses.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

The potting mix is outside on the potting bench, so I filled the peat pots up and arranged them in the containers so I could take them inside. The soil can get warmer in the house for the seeds.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

The seeds are out at the hardware store, so I am all set for planting this weekend.


Just a few little chores for now. Now, back to looking at gardening books and planning for this year’s flowers.

January Garden 2016 | From My Carolina Home

Are you doing any gardening chores, or garden planning now?