From My Carolina Home

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


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Quilting Donation Quilts

It was a productive time in the last 10 days, as I worked though the backlog of donation quilts I promised to do.  Having the longarm down for three weeks didn’t help.  Most of this is my own making, as I wanted to do several small quilts for the club’s donation to Mainstay and Open Arms, both local charities. I did another of the four patch quilt, and got it on the frame.

Donation Quilts at From My Carolina Home

I still had the Wrought Iron pantograph loaded up, and thought it would do fine for this little quilt. I like the way it overlaps the previous row. Thread was a variegated green Superior with Bottom Line in the bobbin. Warm and Natural batting.

Donation Quilts at From My Carolina Home

Sunday’s are made for hand sewing binding while watching football games.

Donation Quilts at From My Carolina Home

All done with this one.

Donation Quilts at From My Carolina Home

Then, I was asked to quilt a top for a fellow club member, Betty, who has had some health problems. Another member took her blocks and sewed them together with borders. She brought it to me, last week and I was thrilled to see it was Scrap Dance, the original!

Betty's Scrap Dance 1

I love the colors she used. There is a lot more blue than I generally like, but it really works here. I decided to put a swirl pantograph pattern on it to soften the sharper angles.

Betty's Scrap Dance 2

I did the quilting in a lighter ecru color thread, so the texture shows on the light borders. Thread is Essentials on the top, and Bottom Line in the bobbin. Batting was donated to us by the Warm Company, Warm and White.

Betty's Scrap Dance 5

A few minor puckers on the borders were pretty well flattened with some steam and judicious pressing.

Betty's Scrap Dance 3

Overall the quilt looks wonderful. Club member Sharon picked it up to bind it, and it will go to a local charity.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her about the mistake in the bottom row.  Do you like this pattern?  It is for sale in my Craftsy store, click HERE.

Betty's Scrap Dance 8

What are you working on this week?

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Clearing Out

Detritus – the pieces that are left after something breaks or falls apart, what is leftover as a remnant, worthless material to be disposed of.  Having more time on my hands than usual, I decided to tackle cleaning out a closet in the office.  This is something that has been sorely needed for literally years.  I stuff things in there and forget them, the detritus of past college classes, boxes of  papers from my mother’s estate, pictures on faded film going back more than 40 years, packing boxes that might come in handy if I ever put the stuff on the other two shelves on eBay, gifts bought for coworkers that will now not be given, at least not until I have coworkers again.  DH was home working on his computer on the day I decided to do the clean out.  I picked that day in order to at least have some conversation as I pulled stuff out and littered the floor.  So intent was I to get started, I didn’t take any pictures of the mess.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

How many jigsaw puzzles does one person need? I remember doing one at every Christmas holiday, the family gathering at the in-laws or our home for several days of visiting, eating, watching football and old movies, enjoying the holiday time.  With 8 adults in one house for several days, a jigsaw puzzle was a way to get everyone involved in a come and go activity, something to do when one was just a bit bored.  We almost always got the entire puzzle done.  But the last time we had five adults in our NC home, and the puzzle was too difficult to finish.  It was of turkeys and pumpkins that I bought for a Thanksgiving gathering, and it had 1000 pieces.  I still have it, maybe I’ll try again, but my sense is that I will again get discouraged by its difficulty. You would think that ‘larger pieces’ wouldn’t be so hard.  Puzzles are supposed to be fun, not stress producers, especially when there are houseguests.  I put two in the donation box.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

What about these backgammon games that no one ever plays anymore, yet we have stored for years?  I imagined playing on our veranda, reminiscent of a simpler time, when a cool evening can be passed with a simple game and a large glass of iced tea.  At this point, I would have to look up the rules to remember how to play.  OK, the smaller one can be donated, keep the larger.  Maybe put it where I’ll think about it when the weather finally cools off instead of hiding in the closet again.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

I pull out a photograph of a sales meeting from 1986 or 87, or was it 88, with at least a hundred people all wearing the same polo shirt we got when we arrived.  I remember the meeting place, a lovely hotel in Scottsdale Arizona.  I remember the closer friends I had when I worked there.  When the picture was taken, I could tell you the name of everyone in the photo, now I could barely name a half dozen.  Why am I keeping this?  I don’t know.  I handed it to DH and said, look at this.  Then I asked him, what should I do with it?  I certainly don’t want to frame it and hang it on a wall.  I don’t see keeping it at all.  Should I put it back in the closet in its keeper cardboard folder?  Then what?  Let someone else shred it after I am gone? DH wordlessly held the picture over the shredder.  I nodded.  One piece of paper down, hundreds to go.

Then, I tackled the shelf with my research for my Master’s thesis. I had kept every article photocopied for the basic reference support, drafts and diagrams, all my personal notes, and illustrations I made to advance a new theory. It filled one shelf and spilled over to another. I had successfully defended the thesis in oral argument in 2002, and was told by the three-professor committee that I should consider publishing it. Now, years later, all the research is hopelessly out of date, and I will finally admit that I will never publish this.  I would need to start over on the whole concept and research – not something I want to do at this point in my life. The next shelf held magazines and illustrations I was keeping in case I ever taught a class, along with interesting photos of microscopic tissue and bacteria studies – things from before the internet. I started a box to go to the paper recycler. Then I filled a second box fairly quickly. Ever notice that once you start throwing things away, it gets easier to do more?   Some things are current and records I have to keep. When I was done, all of that was down to half of one shelf.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

I remembered going through the same kinds of things at my mother’s home after she was gone. It took an entire day just to go through her cedar chest stuffed with unlabeled photographs of people no one in the family knew, letters and papers that meant nothing to me, along with every card I ever sent her, letters I wrote from camp, report cards and graded papers from years of school, pictures of me in dance costume, and a few things I’d rather forget. I wondered, is this the detritus of her life or mine? Maybe both.  Having found mementos of my childhood, should I keep them, and then what?  Keep them in the box somewhere for someone else to throw away years from now?  Maybe I’ll go through it more carefully another time.  For now, it isn’t taking up much room.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

OK, so this can be donated, and so can that.  Boxes were brought in, filled up and set near the door to be taken to one of the many thrift stores in the area.  Progress was being made slowly, as looking at all those papers was time consuming. My mother had kept a newspaper page from 1964, and I have no idea why. Maybe she was interested in this house plan as she got her real estate license around that time. Do I need this now?  No, I don’t. But it is over 50 years old, and there is a school lunch menu on the other side. It went back into the box with my childhood stuff.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

Our wedding album, almost 40 years old, falling apart with faded pictures, and still brings back wonderful memories.  This of course is a keeper for me, as is my bridal album.  Someone else can throw those away after I am gone.  What is special to me now, will become detritus to someone else later. Another shelf holds several photograph albums along with shoe boxes full of photographs, remnants of days enjoyed at air shows, car shows, and vacations, holidays and special days.  Do I remember all those days?  Some, but not all.  But when I was asked for a photo of a memory for my cousin, I managed to come up with one of her holding up a calendar, so we knew it was from Christmas 1979.  Her daughter was still a toddler.  Looking at some of those photos brings back fond memories of those days.  But this was the first time in years that I have even thought about looking at them.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

At day’s end, six boxes and two bags cleared from the closet – two to the paper recycle, and rest to donate.  Shelves are cleaned and reorganized.  CDs sorted, organized by genre, and some pulled for donation.

Clearing out From My Carolina Home

On another day I’ll see about all those photographs, maybe scanning the ones that seem important, and tossing some.  How about you, do you keep papers and other things long after they have outlived their usefulness? Do you have papers from your childhood still?  When was the last time you looked at your old photographs?

 

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Quick Italian Dinner

This is one of those go-to recipes that I make a lot.  It takes a minimum of effort, is ready in a hurry and tastes wonderful.  I cannot tell you how often I make this on a weeknight after a long day at work.  DH is always happy to have Italian food on his plate, as often as possible.  I sometime buy Italian sausage in bulk when it goes on sale and divide it into one pound bags for the freezer, but I also get it when it goes on sale in the one pound packages.  Sometimes I’ll use it in my Italian Meat Loaf recipe, but more often, it is used in this one.  Seriously easy, you cook the meat, add the pasta, throw on some sauce, plate it up with a sprinkle of cheese and you have dinner in about 20 minutes.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

So, as I always do, I gathered some ingredients.  Know that you can mess with this a bit, use more garlic or onion, more or less basil or other spices, it lends itself well to tweaking.  Also, change the pasta to your favorite shape.  I like bow ties, but whatever you have in the cabinet will work.  The best news is that most of the ingredients are just on the shelf so you can always have what you need on hand.  You can defrost the sausage in the microwave which would add about 10 minutes to the total time, but that still means dinner in half an hour!  Plus, you can throw in anything more that you want, sometimes I add the last of the bag of fresh spinach for a one dish meal.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Sometimes I’ll pick some fresh basil from the garden, if it is summer.  The more fresh ingredients the better it is.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Easy to use, just put the leaves together and roll them up.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Cut across into julienne strips.  I throw the tough stems away.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

I’ll chop garlic and onion for the dish, and I like using some fresh tomatoes as well as it adds a fresh tomato taste.  Sometimes I use cherry tomatoes, and sometimes I’ll just chop a fresh large beefsteak or heirloom tomato.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Start with sauteing onion and garlic, add the Italian sausage and cook until the pink is gone. At the same time, boil water for pasta with a bit of salt and olive oil, and cook according to the package directions for time.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

I love mushrooms, so I add those when the meat is cooked.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

I drain and rinse the sausage mixture to get rid of excess grease.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Returning the meat to the pan, add in the fresh basil. A little fresh Parmesan is a good thing.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Add the tomato sauce and additional spices or herbs as you like. Fresh cracked pepper is good here.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Add in the fresh tomatoes at the end, just to heat through but not cook to mush.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Drain the pasta and add it to the meat sauce. Mix well.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Plate it with some colorful veggies, and top with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Or serve in your favorite pasta bowls with a salad on the side.

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

Yum! Dinner in under half an hour.

Quick Italian Dinner

1 cup uncooked pasta
water, dash of salt and olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 teaspoon dried basil, or six fresh basil leaves julienned
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese or Mozzarella cheese, or both

In a large pot, boil water for pasta with a dash of salt and olive oil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add Italian sausage and cook until no pink remains, chopping up the meat as it cooks. Add mushrooms, cook for one to two mintues. Drain mixture in a colander and return to pan. Add tomato sauce. Add fresh tomatoes and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is done, drain pasta and add to the meat mixture. Stir until well mixed, serve with a sprinkle of your choice of cheese. Serves two nicely.  Enjoy!!

Quick Italian Dinner ~From My Carolina Home

What is your favorite quick meal?  Do you think you will try this one?

 

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French Cottage Quilt

A generous donation was made to our local quilt group of a number of kits from a collection called French Cottage. Each kit made one block. Our program chair brought them to a meeting, and asked for volunteers to make the blocks. I think there were a couple of dozen block kits, and I took two to complete at home.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Starting out, I made the half square triangles called for in the spools block. Then I squared them up, and laid out the design with the other precut pieces. This went really fast, having die cut fabric pieces helped keep the blocks uniform.  All I had to do was sew with my quarter-inch foot to keep the seam allowances even.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I pinned sections together, and chain pieced to save even more time.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I did the same thing with the second block kit.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Two blocks done. I took these to a meeting a couple of months ago, and turned them in to Marti. She was allowing a bit more time for the rest of the blocks to get finished.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Fast forward to last month, when I participated in a sew-in after the last meeting. We were putting together yet more block kits that were donated to us. Sewing as a group is always fun, yet my machines were not cooperating. My portable broke, and that was right after the longarm went wonky. When Marti showed the French Cottage quilt all assembled and ready for quilting, I convinced her to let me quilt it. I wanted to see it through, since I had made a couple of the blocks, but even more so, I wanted to show you all something wonderful. Here is the completed top laid out on the floor. Notice anything?

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s another clue, this is the top loaded on the longarm.  The batting was provided by the Warm Company, Warm and White.  They are so generous and supportive of our charity quilting program. No affiliation, just a happy customer.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Another view, figure it out yet?

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

It has not only borders, but sashing as well. The wonderful thing is that these were all properly done and this top is absolutely flat. There are no puckers, C cups, D cups, pleats or ruffles. Just look at the top corner, heaven.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Quilting went quickly as there was no steaming, easing or messing with it. I just quilted from one side to the other, stitched down the edges and went again. What I thought would take four or five days quilting in my spare time took just three. When I got to the bottom, the sides were still straight…

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

and the bottom was just as flat as the top.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The quilting pantograph I used has a trefoil motif, kind of French inspired, and it has them going in opposite directions. It also interlocks with the rows above and below, making a medium density that should hold up well to washing.  It is called Wrought Iron by Willow Leaf Designs.  It is quilted in Superior Glide Thread with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course I have to show you at least one of my blocks, LOL!  This quilt is for Elizabeth House, a local hospice.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The fact that this quilt has about a dozen different people with that many different machines doing the blocks makes it even more amazing.  Just look at the blocks, each one has a border, then then whole quilt is sashed with cornerstones and another border.  Yet, it is absolutely flat, flatter than ANY quilt I have ever made myself or quilted for anyone.  I will tell you, this is all because of the person who assembled it, Marti. She asked for the blocks back uncut, so she could square them up herself. She then measured and cut the block borders, sashings and the outer border, and then applied them the right way. It made this quilt a joy to quilt, and I will be delighted to do any quilt for her anytime.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

So, the moral of the story is no matter how many borders you have, your quilt can be absolutely flat too, if you use the right technique of measuring and cutting.  See my tutorials at the top under Quilting Basics for more information and how-to articles.

So, have I convinced you about borders yet, between the wonky ones Here and Here, my tutorial Quilt Borders Understanding the Why, and this one?

P.S. Today is the last day to order from Primitive Gatherings with the discount. The 20% discount online code is: Carolina  This code expires at the end of today, August 25th and is good for any wool order excluding the following items: wool bundles, wool charms, specialty dyed wools (meaning customer picks color and texture) unless a full yard is ordered.

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An Unusual Exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum

We are fortunate in this area to be blessed with not only the Blue Ridge Parkway, and gorgeous mountains, but the North Carolina Arboretum just next to the parkway.  It is less than a half hour away, so DH and I drove over to it over the weekend to see a most unusual exhibit.   I took over 150 pictures while we were there, but I promise I won’t show you all of them today, LOL!!  Some will have to wait for more posts later.   I wanted to show you all this first, the Lego Sculptures by artist Sean Kenney.  If you live in the area, make time to see this extraordinary work.  The NC Arboretum is one of several exhibit sites, with more all over the country.  There are over 100 sculptures in Sean Kenney’s series Nature Connects, and we are lucky to have 14 of them here for a limited time exhibit.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Although all of the sculptures are impressive, this Monarch on Milkweed was really a striking in its detail and colors. Up close, the legos look like a jumble of colors. Smaller and larger pieces, with dark and light shades create the illusion.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Then, step back and the eye blends the colors into an extraordinary sight. This Monarch on Milkweed sculpture contains 60,549 legos, the largest number of all the exhibits.  It is four feet wide and over four feet tall.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

I think I took the most photos of this one too, I was so enchanted by the design and the intricacies of the work. I cannot imagine what it took to make this. Sean Kenney did an interview with the NC Arboretum to discuss his work, and this piece which is a favorite. He spent over 160 hours just in design! See the interview HERE.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Right in front of the Baker center is a Hummingbird with a Bellflower. Dramatic in its appearance, the hummingbird is suspended in air over the flower. Fascinating to just admire, and it is huge, over 6 feet high.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

I didn’t make a note as to how many legos are in this one, but it has to be well over 50,000.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

This one has a bit of whimsy, depicting the battle between squirrels and birds for the seeds in the feeders.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Again the detail close up is extraordinary, all done with legos!

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The Pileated Woodpecker was high in a tree, just like you see them in nature. It had 4,424 legos.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Near a pond, the Duck and Ducklings sculpture had 6,927 legos.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The Sundial was huge too, with 27,869 legos and had a little bluebird sitting near the top.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The placement of the sculptures was part of the artistry. The Bald Eagle was placed high overhead, to emphasize the majesty of the bird. It was a grey morning, but you can see mountains in the distant background of the picture partially obscured with low rain clouds. The eagle and its tree perch contained 42,198 legos, and was 59 inches tall.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

The Giant Praying Mantis was one of my favorites, peeking out over the top of the wildflower garden, it was a whimsical surprise.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Circling around the garden to see it, the size is impressive standing five feet tall!

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Again, the detail of the legs and tail are so amazing!

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

These were just so much fun to see these, wonderful from every angle. There were 52,164 legos in this piece.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Then near the quilt garden was the Giant White Lily containing 32,514 legos.  It was three feet tall, and 84 inches long from leaf end to the stem end.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

Incredible, they really need to be seen in person.

Sean Kenney Lego Exhibit at NC Arboretum ~ From My Carolina Home

If you live within driving distance of the North Carolina Arboretum, plan a day to see this extraordinary exhibit. I only showed you half of the sculptures, there are more to see. It will be here until October 23rd.  I would even think of running down to South Carolina to see their exhibit as it would have different ones.  More are on loan to gardens in Iowa, Indiana and Virginia.

What do you think of this exhibit?

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Slow Stitching a Quick Project

Remember this little cross stitch Christmas tree that I showed you during Christmas in July?

Cross Stitched Quilted Christmas Ornaments | From My Carolina Home

It is one of several designs in a kit. The problem I have at this point is I don’t want to make it the way the pattern says. It calls for the stitched piece to be cut out in a stocking shape, sewn and stuffed.  That is why there is some decorative stitching above the tree and to the left at the bottom.  The pattern contained the backing pieces already drawn for cutting and sewing.

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament - From My Carolina Home

So, if I want to sew it into a quilted ornament like I did the Candy Cane Ornament, I’ll have to make some decisions.  Mainly, what to do with those little bits – take them out?  Add more to balance them off?  Neither option was appealing.  Then I thought, I’ll just stitch a stocking shape around what is there.  So, I got out some DMC floss, and auditioned some colors.

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament - From My Carolina Home

I liked the red best, so started stitching a stocking shape around the existing needlework.

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament - From My Carolina Home

I stitched that turn three times, I took out the first two because I didn’t like where it ended up at the toe area. I’m not sure that I really like this either, but it is staying. At this point, I thought it might be good to give myself a stitching line, so I drew one on in pencil.

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament - From My Carolina Home

A few more minutes of hand work, and the stitching was done.

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament - From My Carolina Home

Finishing the ornament went the same way as the other one, beginning with squaring up the stitched part. This one is quite a bit larger than the candy cane stitching, so I had to use a 4-inch square.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

I knew that would make the final ornament large, if I went with two borders again. But I still wanted to do it that way, so I began with the first border in a gold and red print.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

I added the outer border in a cream print with holly, and squared it up again.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

Gold cording is looped at the top for a sewn in hanger.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

I sewed the pieced front to the same rose print backing, leaving an opening for turning, then adding two layers of batting.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

I stuffed just a bit of fiberfill inside to make the center puffy, then sewed the opening closed with topstitching. I went all the way around the ornament to hide the closure.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I stitched in the ditch on both borders to quilt it.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

All done, it may just be a bit too large for the tree.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

But, because I put a larger loop on it, it could hang on a closet door or on the handle of one of the cabinets.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

Or perhaps it could simply lean on a sewing machine, lending a bit of holiday cheer to the sewing room.  This one along with the candy cane ornament will go as a set of two into the cross stitch category at the fair.

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament ~ From My Carolina Home

Have you pulled out any holiday stitching for this season?

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Garden Windows – Quilting the High Contrast Version

Quilting the high contrast version of my Moda Bake Shop design Garden Windows took forever.  Or at least it seemed like it. I started by adding the borders, and then loading on the longarm. I stabilized it first by quilting in the ditch around the borders.  I did a full custom job on it, each window got an individual feather wreath.  I did all of these freehand, only marking a circle, and boy is there a lot of variation in those feathers!  I do have a lot of potato chip shapes, and some hot dog shapes, but overall it works.  Just don’t get to close, LOL!!

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

I started with the strip blocks, putting a row of ribbon candy in each strip, working down, then up then down again. I did one row at a time, alternating with the garden print squares.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Using a circle template, I marked a circle in each of the garden print squares.  This is actually a longarm circle ruler, but I have never used it for that.  I have a set of them in multiple sizes, and I don’t actually know how to use them with the longarm.  I think I need to do some research on that, well, maybe someday when I really want to know, LOL!  In the meantime, they are perfect for marking with a water soluble pen.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

OK, so I marked the circles on each square in the row.  I did each row as I advanced the quilt so I didn’t have to roll back and forth too much.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Then, I took a deep breath, and freehand quilted a feather wreath in each one. This one was one of the better efforts. Lots of them have wonky feathers, and potato chip feathers, some didn’t come out even at the start/stop point.  Plus, I need to get better at the backtracking over a stitch line. Ah, practice and more practice. This one was near the end, of course.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

As each feather wreath was done, I erased the water soluable marking pen with Sew Clean.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Moving on to the borders, the outer one was done in my favorite beadboard. This is ruler work of the easy kind.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

I started marking the green border with an egg and dart design stencil. This was not as easy as they make it look at the shows!  I got it too thick on the top border and the chalk bounced in little pills as I tried to figure out where to sew – on the outside of the line or in the middle?  The middle won, but the marking was so uneven that the egg and dart came out uneven too.  Plus the green fabric hid the thread!  Ah, but it also hid the wonkiness.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

One thing I figured out is at the show, the demonstrator is using a board under the stencil and has a hard surface to push the chalk against. Trying to mark while the quilt is on the longarm is not as easy.  The surface gives with the pressure and the chalk just doesn’t come out as easily.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

I did one green border at the top, and added ribbon candy in the black border.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

My marking on the side didn’t show enough to quilt by, so I had to mark again.  Lining the stencil back up precisely where I had it before was a challenge too.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Eventually, I was able to get an amount of chalk on the quilt dark enough to see, yet not so much that the chalk was bouncing on the fabric as I sewed.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Then, I realized that the traveling I did in the ditches was not enough to get all the sides of the squares, and I decided that I needed to stitch in the ditch around all of them. So, out came my really long ruler, and I did that. I am not good at this, but again, practice is needed and I have to start somewhere.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

Trying to get close up pictures of the quilting was difficult. The thread I used was a tan polyester that added a little shine, but because the fabrics all have gold threads, it is difficult to see.  The bobbin thread was Bottom Line.   The batting is my favorite Warm and Natural all cotton.

Garden Windows Quilting ~ From My Carolina Home

Got mustard? There’s a big hot dog in this feather wreath.

Garden Windows Quilting ~ From My Carolina Home

You can barely make out the egg and dart in the green border on this pic, after the chalk was removed. The great part about this chalk is it brushes off easily, and any that doesn’t come off disappears with ironing.

Garden Windows Quilting ~ From My Carolina Home

I bound it in the green print, over a couple of evenings while watching TV. Here it is all finished.

Garden Windows | From My Carolina Home

One more important note, after my pattern for Garden Windows was published on Moda Bake Shop, I read with dismay that the pattern was done before.  One of the comments said it was Warm Wishes, so I researched that name and found it.  It was originally published in 2000 by Quiltmaker magazine for  Project Linus.  I had no idea, as I didn’t begin quilting until 2003.  Moda didn’t catch it either.  I had never seen the Warm Wishes pattern on any website or in a magazine.  I didn’t know about this pattern at all.  I came up with the idea completely independently using the jelly roll strips.  Although I have now given proper credit on the Moda site in my response to the first comment that mentioned it, I still feel bad about it.   How can I know if a design I come up with in my head is truly original now? Garden Windows is different as it uses a jelly roll in a scrappy version with a different method of construction, where the original Warm Wishes uses width-of-fabric strips of all the same fabric, but still it bothers me.   I do not believe that there is any way I could have found out prior to the publication of Garden Windows.  Still, my apologies to everyone, and see the Quiltmaker website for a free download of the Project Linus Warm Wishes quilt.

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