From My Carolina Home

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


Autumn Jubilee!

Finally, it is almost October and we can really get into the Autumn season, my favorite!  It was wonderfully cool last night, down to the low 50s, and I got out my sweater this morning to go to the Asheville Quilt Guild’s Quilt Show.  I have been working on a special event for the past month by sewing, crafting and designing just for you dear readers for Autumn Jubilee!  Gather all your scraps in Autumn colors as we will begin a quilt along next Friday, the 7th.  There will be four posts for the quilt along, every Friday in October, (part mystery and part quilt along) and at the end you will have one or more items finished for decorating and tablescaping well before the season ends.  There will be prizes too! Other posts this month will feature crafting, sewing, stamping ideas and recipes with the fall season in mind.  There will be a couple of posts to celebrate Halloween, later in the month, and some of the projects will work for both holidays.


I am thrilled to announce the sponsors for this event, who have all donated wonderful prizes for readers to win. Returning sponsors Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, and Aurifil are participating for the quilt along, plus I welcome new sponsor (and North Carolina business) Backside Fabrics.

Aurifil will ship an Autumn Collection Thread set to a lucky reader!  Gorgeous colors.  I wish I could enter this drawing myself!

autumnoutside autumninside

Fat Quarter shop and Backside Fabrics have pledged gift certificates so you can go shopping.  I already went shopping, LOL!!

FatQuarterShop-300x300 . backside_fabrics_logo_addtm


Connecting Threads will ship a mini quilt stand with an acorn and leaf topper just like mine to one lucky reader!

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

AND there will be more prizes for crafting inspired posts later this month, including this Paisleys & Posies Bundle from Stampin Up!


All drawings will be based on comments on the post featuring each sponsor, and will remain open for the remainder of the month. Reveal of the winners will be November 4, with quilt along participant features.

Plus one lucky winner will get their Autumn Jubilee table topper size project quilted by me, batting included! If you want a head start on the project, gather scraps in Autumn colors and begin cutting 2-1/2 and 3-inch squares of those and a background or light background scraps.  You’ll need a few larger bits too, so save a few aside.  How many will be decided by you as you see the design and decide on how many projects you want to do and how big you want them to be.  I am going to give you instructions for the completion of three projects, each one can be finished in less than a week.  The winner will be chosen by random drawing from participants with the new Flickr group, Autumn Jubilee.  This is a public group, open to anyone wanting to participate, no invites or approvals needed.  Just join the group and upload your pictures as you make progress on the projects.  Only photos related to the quilt along are eligible for the drawing.

We are going to have fun and be all ready for Thanksgiving, with Autumn inspired projects.  There will be Halloween inspired projects and a tablescape later in the month too.  There will be a lot to do this month, and I invite you to follow me (if you aren’t already) by any method – email, Bloglovin, RSS readers – so you don’t miss a post.  This will be a month of fun and projects to celebrate Autumn, my favorite season.

Update! – Autumn Jubilee is underway, these posts are live with  more coming this month!

Harvest Wreath

Autumn Valence

Pumpkin Orange Bread

Autumn Jubilee Part Mystery Part Quilt Along Begins!

Pine Cone Candle Wreath

Celebrate Autumn Jubilee at From My Carolina Home!  Are you excited to get started?  Please, comment on this post to help me thank all the sponsors for their support.




Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Show Off Saturday

Crazy Mom Quilts

Saturday Sparks

Oh Scrap!

Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make

Main Crush Monday

DIY Crush

Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday

Talk of the Town






Sewing Fiction Magic and Ghosts

Supernatural occurrences are abundant in these books with a sewing theme. My favorite of all the writers of ghostly themes is Barbara Michaels. In fact, it was the book Stitches in Time that hooked me on her writing many years ago. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story, especially with Halloween coming up?   The first is Ammie Come Home, originally published in 1968, but you don’t need to read it to follow the story in the second two books.  The author is good about catching you up, and this book is hard to find.  It introduces the house and the family, with Ruth and Patrick.  A  spirit takes over a vulnerable woman, trying to prevent history from repeating itself.  Another more malevolent spirit has other plans.  Shattered Silk is the second book and introduces us to Ruth’s niece Karen and her friend Cheryl, who come together to open a vintage clothing store.   There no ghosts in this story, refreshing in that it isn’t a murder mystery, but I was expecting some supernatural element – it is Barbara Michaels after all! But, the mystery is engaging, difficult to put down, and there are some twists that you won’t see coming. It is fun to read a book written before the internet or cell phones (1986), which would have changed the story in some ways, as characters would not be out of touch – unless there was the story device of a dead battery or out of tower range.  These are the second and third books in the Georgetown trilogy.

Sewing Fiction Barbara Michaels ~ From My Carolina Home

Stitches in Time picks up 10 years later, with both ladies married and dealing with a thriving vintage business.  Karen has changed her name to Kara, to exorcise the memory of her ex-husband.  When a stolen quilt is left at their door, strange things begin to happen to their part time worker Rachael, eerily like something that happened before.  Patrick remembers some of the ghostly incidents (from the first book), and tries to unwind the mystery, but the curse on the quilt isn’t easily set to rest.  The descriptions of the vintage quilt are marvelous, as are descriptions of some of the vintage clothing.  There is a good deal of information on preserving and cleaning old garments and quilts in the book too. I highly recommend this series.

Annette Blair writes a cozy mystery series with magic in the clothes.  First up, A Veiled Deception as Maddie returns home to Mystick Falls, Connecticut to attend her sister’s wedding.  Things go awry when the ex-girlfriend of the groom winds up dead and the bride is the main suspect.  When Maddie begins having visions coming from the wedding dress, things get interesting.  In the second book, Larceny and Lace, Maddie is busy with her vintage clothing store, called Vintage Magic, in a building formerly the morgue.  Again, she gets visions from the clothing that helps point her to clues.  I liked both these books, there is a bit more romance in these than usual, but I can handle a little.  I have the next three yet to read.

Blair books

I have yet another magic series on Mount TBR, the Magical Dressmaking Series by Melissa Bourbon.  Harlow Cassidy, descendant of Butch Cassidy, moves back to her home town in Texas to escape the big city and open a custom dressmaking shop.  Apparently all the women in the family have special gifts, but Harlow believes that she doesn’t have any gifts.  Her mother can make things grow, her grandmother can talk to goats, and her great grandmother Meemaw always got what she wanted.  Meemaw has passed on, but apparently not left the house she left to Harlow in her will.  Ghostly occurrences and communication helps Harlow unravel the mystery, as she discovers that her gift is in the sewing of dresses and clothing to help the wearer feel better, or pretty, or more confident.  All the books have sewing tips in the back. I think I am missing book 2, but will likely just skip it and read the rest of what I already own.

Bourbon Books

So many books, so little time!  What are you reading now?



Val’s Tuesday Archives



Voting Opens for Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Voting starts today for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  You can see all the participants and lovely inspirational quilts on Amy’s Creative Side. Of course, I am hoping you will vote for Scrap Dance and Scrap Dance Tango! There are 12 categories in all for voting, and readers will get three votes per category.  Voting will be open all week so you have lots of time to visit the entries and vote on your favorites.  Scrap Dance is in the Small Quilt Category.

Scrap Dance on bench

Scrap Dance Tango is in the Large Quilts category

Tango Cover Shots 6

To vote, click on the little heart in the upper right corner of the thumbnail linky picture.  Be careful, once you click you cannot unclick and change your vote.  You get three per category.

If you love these designs, the patterns are available in my Craftsy Store.  I will be doing another mystery quilt in the early part of next year.  And coming soon, a special event with a quilt along!

Click on the links to go to the voting pages for the individual categories, or the icon below to see the other categories.

Votes from readers will determine the winners of some really neat prizes.  I would love to have your vote, and so would all the bloggers entering.  Just choose your favorites from the entries.   Visit and be inspired!


More Recycling and Repurposing

So, last weekend we made beds and mats for the humane society, and today will be more using up some other things you may have around the house to make more.  DH bought a new pillow for himself, and wanted to throw the old one away.  Of course, I couldn’t let him do that.  The fiberfill in his old pillow was perfectly fine for a dog bed, just pull away any fiberfill that looks dirty or stained after washing.  I pulled away just a bit of the top layer on the surface of the pillow stuffing, the edges and middle looked clean.  Then, I pulled out an old sheet that will never get used for quilt backing.  I cut it up into rectangles, and serged three edges.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

I used the serger for really only one main reason, to use the machine. Any machine needs to be used regularly to maintain it in working order. Plus, I have lots of thread for it!

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

But, just use your regular machine if you don’t have a serger. Sew three edges and part of the fourth leaving an opening for turning.  Stuff softly, then topstitch the edge closed.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

That old pillow will fill a bunch of dog beds.  The fiberfill gets very fluffy when pulled apart.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Smaller pieces of batting can be folded into the right size to fill a crate mat.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Just start with the size piece of fabric you want, then place the folded batting on top, trimming off any excess.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Sew the edges leaving an opening for turning. Roll the batting, and insert, then unroll inside for a flatter mat. This mat is 12 x 18 inches.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Then I had two pieces left over 10 x 16, those will be fine. I lay batting on the sewn cover and trimmed it to fit.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Then, I had little batting pieces like these left over.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Which turned into quite a fluffy stuffing when pulled apart with my hands.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

So, one pillow, one king size sheet, and some leftover batting scraps turned into this!

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Seven dog beds and two crate mats ready for a sweet dog or cat to use while waiting for a forever home. I cleared out a bunch of stuff from my sewing room between today’s project and last weekend’s beds, all from things that might have just been thrown away otherwise. Recycle and reuse.  Old pillowcases would make quick beds too.  And as reader Jeanne observed, an old hole filled blanket can be cut up for stuffing too. It is a win-win for me and the animals!

Do you have old pillows, pillow cases, blankets and sheets to recycle? What might you do with them?



Creativity Wednesdays






Decorating for Autumn

The weather should be cooling off a bit this coming week, at least that is the hope. It sure was still too warm last week when I met a friend for coffee. She reads my blog and said it was time to show some fall decorations. Of course, she is right (yes, you, CW!!). I did get a few out last week, and started the process with a Pumpkin Tablescape, but I realize I haven’t shown anything else. There is a method in my madness for that, as some things I am saving for the special event next month. More about that later in the week. But for now, I did get a few little details for the kitchen sink window sill.  The Happy Harvest sign is small, and the little tins have candles in them, never burned.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

In the library, a vibrant quilt called Autumn Around the Bend is hanging over a chair. It is difficult to get pictures in this room because the light is so bright through all the windows.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

Here’s the front of the chair. That little leaf pillow is all wool applique. No, I didn’t make it, but I plan to to something similar soon.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

Behind the chairs is a bookshelf that holds my cookbooks. The top now has an autumn leaf plate that was decoupaged with leaf fabric on the back by a local artist. Brown candles with pretty little candle rings, fall leaves and a ceramic pumpkin surround a stack of cookbooks that promise wonderful meals for cooler nights.  Casseroles, slow cooker meals, or pot pies, which to choose for that first cold weather meal?

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

My favorite autumn candle scent is called Autumn Wreath, sitting on a Maple Star hot pad. I burned one entirely last year and part of this one too. I really need to find a Yankee candle sale and get a couple more.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

The candle sits with the rooster placemats I made two years ago, flanked by autumn leaf plates.  We have breakfast on this counter a lot.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

On the kitchen pie safe, I put the Maple Leaf Table Runner I made two years ago.  A few more cookbooks chosen for their cover colors and recipes.  Who doesn’t like a hearty soup with homemade bread on a cold rainy day?  A tin with pumpkins and an autumn leaf basket go well.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

I also made a companion three leaf table runner for the little library table in the kitchen, but it wasn’t with the other one. It wasn’t in the autumn decor boxes. It wasn’t in the linen drawers in the antique china hutch. It wasn’t in the linen drawers in the antique secretary. Ok, now I am getting frustrated, where did I put the bloody thing? Cedar chest? No. Basement shelves? Nope. Under the bed? Ridiculous, I never put anything under the bed but I looked there anyway. I went back to doing some other things, but it still bugged me. Office closet? Nope. I complained to DH that I couldn’t find it, and he couldn’t offer any suggestions for places that I hadn’t already looked. But I went through all of them again. Two hours later it dawned on me. I gave it away. I took it as a hostess gift to some friends we were staying with last July. I figured I could make myself another one, then promptly forgot all about it! So, the library table got a rooster placemat.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

Isn’t that rooster trivet cute? Of course, it was a thrift store find just a couple of weeks ago, the colors are perfect for the kitchen.   The Gooseberry Patch cookbook Celebrate Autumn comes out each fall, maybe this year I’ll actually cook something from it.  Another thrift store find was the black plate stand. I stacked autumn inspired hot pads in it (made from the same panel as the rooster placemats) for both decoration and easy reaching from the stove.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

I hung the Maple Leaf and Cornucopia wall hanging up in the den.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

On the top of the cabinet is the Anita’s Arrowhead Mini Quilt, some ceramic pumpkins and orange candles. The ceramic turkey is the perfect fall color for now, so he gets to come out earlier than the others. Also, he was a thrift store find last summer and I hadn’t packed him up.

Decorating for Autumn ~ From My Carolina Home

So, that is where I am for now.  The big dining room table isn’t set yet, and I’ll save that tablescape for a bit later.  I am really sewing like mad, trying to finish off the projects that I am going to have for the event next month.  I know, I am teasing you.  I just don’t want to talk about it yet, but I promise you will have fun.  Look for a big announcement post on Friday.   I also want to get the veranda looking more fall-like, and I need a few pumpkins and mums to complete it.  Plus I need to clean up the detritus of summer.  So, more later.

One more thing, the winner of the drawing for the Birds in the Air book…


was number 44, Mary!  Mary said  ‘Enjoyed reading your frank reviews. I look forward to reading Birds in the Air and A Vintage Affair.”.  Mary was sent an email last night to let her know.  Congratulations, Mary!!

Are you decorating for fall now?


Help for the Humane Society

Want a way to recycle and use up fabrics, batting and scraps along with some other things that would otherwise go to a landfill?  I have a project for you that is fast, easy, and will clean out your sewing room in a hurry.  Rural counties are always in need of donations to help with their work saving animals that need homes.  The farther away from a larger town, the more they need help.  In several of the rural counties in Western North Carolina, their entire budget for the year doesn’t cover the costs of caring for the animals.  As a result, they are happy to have little extras for the dogs and cats.  I spent two afternoons making dog beds and crate mats to take to the humane society groups needing the most help.  These are ridiculously simple and will clean out all the bits and pieces you want.  Start with those orphan fabrics in your stash, the ones you’ve had for years and still cannot find a project for. Sew three sides, and fill with batting scraps.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Crate sizes used by most humane groups are 12×18, 18×24, 24×30, and 36×42.  Crate mats can be these sizes, or anything close will do.  Smaller ones need smaller flatter crate mats, just a little something for a cat or dog to lie on while being transported. After inserting a few layers of batting, just turn the raw edge to the inside and sew the opening closed with a topstitch. Sometimes I add a little stitching in the center to keep the batting pieces from shifting. OK, so that’s two.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Then I gathered up some old t-shirts. These have some stain on them that won’t come out in the wash. I cannot wear them anymore, but the fabric is fine. Trust me the dogs won’t mind!

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

See that tomato stain?  Nothing has taken it out over several washings with pretreating and Oxyclean.  But, it won’t be seen in the final bed. I turned the t-shirts inside out, and marked a line across the shirt under the sleeves to sew on.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Sew on the line. Do not cut off the top.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Just turn right side out, and include the sleeves and neckline inside as more stuffing.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Because these are heavy knits, I can fill them with all the bits and scraps that I would usually have to throw away. If you save these in bags, you will be surprised at how much you have after just a couple of weeks – enough to fill a dog bed easily.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

I keep a bag hanging off a closet door near the cutting table, and just throw bits in it as I cut, trim, and square up blocks. Bits like this, the edge of batting and fabric that I trim off a quilt after quilting. I cut away the part that is usable again, saving large pieces of fabric and batting aside, but those strips of fabric and batting that are sewn together go into the scrap bag.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

I had a couple of pillows I made years ago that were stuffed with fiberfill. It is amazing how fluffy it will get if you pull out the old stuffing, and pull it apart with your fingers. It will go a long way in a dog bed, and the dogs will be very happy to have the softness and will not care that it has been in a pillow before.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

OK, so nicely stuff the t-shirts, then sew the bottom closed with a topstitch.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

They might be a bit ruffly around the edge, but that is OK.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Continue for all the old t-shirts you have. Easy sewing because the bottom edge isn’t a raw edge, you can just topstitch.  If you have a knit stitch, you could use that if you wanted to.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

And, voila! Dog beds! These were delivered last month.

Dog Beds Recycling Scraps

Next week, I’ll show you another idea for pet beds to help our humane societies. Update – click on More Recycling and Repurposing.

So, do you have old t-shirts to turn into something useful?



Late September in the Garden

Fall colors are going to be late this year and likely not as pretty as in other years due to the dry weather, the need for rain, and warmth that is lasting too long.  We need a cold front, and some rain!!  I cannot find much in the way of color yet.  We should have some by now as our peak is usually the second week of October.  Some of the Bradford Pear trees have begun to change in town, but on our property not much is happening.  Well, except for the stupid locust trees that are raining brown leaves on the driveway.  Everything else is staying green for now.

Driveway leaves

Up on the veranda, the geranium decided to have one more burst of hot pink blooms. Not one of my fall colors, but it didn’t care about my color scheme or the harvest wreath hanging near the door.


In the large pot near the front door, a volunteer yellow double begonia came up totally unexpectedly. I planted these last year, but went with the white single begonia this year. It sure took its time, not flowering until now.

Double begonia

The white impatiens continue to bloom, amazing that they just don’t seem to want to quit. But I am sure that the warm weather is responsible.  All three pots under the little tile tables look like this one.


The watering can plants have struggled a little, never really taking off the way I had hoped. But this intrepid pink impatiens finally bloomed nicely.  All the lobelias are done and gone.

Pink impatien

The purple torenias in the hanging baskets are still blooming some, but are looking really ragged.  If it wasn’t for the hummingbird still visiting them I’d take them down.  She stopped by yesterday and hovered right in front of me as I was watering them. The yellow torenia is still going, but it is winding down too.

Yellow torenia September

The flowers themselves are also much paler in color, but still pretty. I would have cleaned them up a bit, but it is just still to warm for me.  Pulling weeds, cleaning up the grass in the beds, and deadheading the flowers is all on the list of things to do.  Maybe early next week when we are supposed to get a little cooler.

Torenia yellow

So, I looked around for some fall color, and all I can find is this little bit on a maple tree up the mountainside.

Late September Garden at From My Carolina Home

And just a little bit in this tree on the north side of the house.

Fall Leaves Sept 2016

The rest of the forest all around our home is still green to the west, …

September Forest 1

green to the east…

September Forest 3

and more green in the back.

September Forest 4

A few visitors came by, nine turkeys all hungry for the acorns falling all over.

Late September Garden at From My Carolina Home

I tried to get some pictures of them in the field but they ran off pretty fast.

Late September Garden at From My Carolina Home

There was some color in the sky one evening last week.

Late September Sunset 3

I hoped they were bringing rain, but alas, not to be.  Still the evenings are cool, and it is nice to sit on the veranda in the rocking chairs and watch the light play in the clouds with the setting sun.

Late September Sunset 1

In other news…

If you missed the giveaway yesterday for the book, click on Sewing Fiction Stories of Life to enter. That drawing will be Saturday so you still have time to comment.

And on the Bloggers Quilt Festival, nominations are open for Viewer’s Choice.  Nominations will be taken through the weekend, then voting on all the categories begins Monday.  Visit this link and nominate your three favorite quilts for Viewer’s Choice voting.  Click HERE.  Actual voting for quilts in the categories begins next week.

So what are you up to?  Gardening, sewing, reading?