From My Carolina Home

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


31 Comments

Magnolia Attic Window

I really liked this large magnolia print, but I knew that cutting little pieces out of it would obscure the print.  I had been noodling around with some cake layers and jelly roll strips, trying to come up with another new design, when the Attic Window concept occurred to me.  The magnolia print was nearby, and I just switched gears and grabbed it.  I had this wonderful black with gold print, and found a green that would go nicely too.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I cut strips of the black and green, measuring like I do for borders. Large squares were cut from the magnolia print.  You can make this any size you want, just cut the squares a size that makes sense for the print.  Then cut 2-1/2-inch shadow strips, one in the same length as your square side, and a second one 2-1/2-inches longer.  Then for your sashing, cut one strip the same as the second shadow strip, and another 2-1/2-inches longer.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Talk about lightening fast construction! Chain piecing each block with the strips went really easy.  Apply the shadow strips to two adjacent sides.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

In no time I had 12 blocks done with the black.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The green strips went just as fast, sewing them to the black strips.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Chain piecing both green strips just like the black.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Three blocks are joined for the first row.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Then all four rows are joined together.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Long green strips were joined together, then applied to the two sides to complete the sashing look.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Then a wider black border was added using the same print as the shadow strips.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Onto the frame to quilt.

Magnolia Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I love the way the colors work on this one! After I got it to this point, it occurred to me that it would have made a wonderful valence for the kitchen. I still have the fall one up from the Autumn Jubilee, LOL!! Ah well, another project for another day. I’ll get back to the quilting on this one next week. Have a fun sewing weekend!!

What do you think of the green, white and black?  Do you have any large prints in your stash?

Click on Quilting Magnolia Attic Window to see the quilting and finish.

Sharing

Crazy Mom Quilts

Main Crush Monday

 


11 Comments

Three Good Books

Three recently read books have really caught my attention, two fiction with culinary themes, and a non-fiction cookbook.  After doing the sewing/quilting book review series last September, I had a couple of marginal reads to one truly bad read (reviews are on Goodreads) interspersed with quick cozy mystery reads. Then I picked up Delicious by Ruth Reichl, her first fiction novel. I have thoroughly enjoyed her non-fiction books, both her autobiographic accounts Tender at the Bone of her early years, and especially Garlic and Sapphires – a tale of her years as an undercover restaurant reviewer.  I still have Comfort Me With Apples on the To-Be-Read pile.

Delicious is the story of a young woman named Billie, who takes a job at a food magazine. She quickly demonstrates her commitment to the challenges, and folds into the magazine family, only to have the it suddenly shut down. She is offered a position to maintain the hotline for recipe inquiries and complaints wanting the money back guarantee, remaining as the only employee in a deserted mansion in downtown New York. Finding a mystery in the magazines archive, she discovers a hidden room, and the letters of a young girl, Lulu, writing to the legendary James Beard. Through those letters, and an arcane filing system of organizing them, Billie learns about history, the history and challenges of food during the war years. Lulu’s courage battling her own heartache inspires Billie to confront her own tragic past.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with a different kind of story, one of the few times I’ll give a novel five stars on Goodreads. Ruth Reichl’s writing is superb, engaging interest quickly and making it difficult to put the book down. Her characters are well rounded and real, with raw emotion just beneath the surface apparent when the source of her main character’s anxiety about cooking is revealed. This is a must read for any fan of Ms, Reichl, any foodie, or anyone looking for a wonderfully different story.

The next book with a culinary theme was suggested by my book reading buddy, Kelly. We meet every couple of months to discuss a book we both read. This time was her turn to choose, and she picked A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White. The story is told from three different viewpoints. It begins with Alice, a young black girl living in 1929 Emancipation Township, North Carolina, subject to the plight of poor people and the persecution of her race. She escapes to New York, becoming the chef at a restaurant called Cafe Andres. Later she writes a cookbook with recipes from her time in the south. The story picks up in the 1981 with Bobby, a young gay man, escaping from his own persecution. He comes to New York, and apprentices at Cafe Andres, after Alice has left. He finds a home with Sebastian, and lives through the horror of AIDS. The third story begins in 1989, with Amelia coming to the city in the aftermath of her husband’s affair and subsequent divorce. She leaves her wealthy comfortable Connecticut home, only to find a connection with Alice that redefines who she really is.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This is a beautifully written novel about three different people with very different backgrounds, escaping their troubled lives to New York City. Throughout the novel there are references to comfort foods and experiments with new culinary ideas. This novel is so well written, with rich imagery and detail in the lives of the characters. The well developed storyline is written in a convergent style, and a twist at the end that I did not see coming.

The non-fiction book is At Elizabeth David’s Table, Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom.  This is so much more than a cookbook. For the non-foodie reader, Elizabeth David is an icon in the culinary world.  Ms. David was a world traveler, living a bit of a wild life for her time in France, Italy and England, and one of the first food writers for magazines.  In 1950, her work A Book of Mediterranean Food was published, followed quickly by French Country Cooking in 1951.  Long before Gordon Ramsay, she became an superstar in England but was, and still is, virtually unknown in America.  At the time Julia Child was working on her book of French cooking in Paris, Elizabeth David had already published five works concentrating on the food of five different regions – the aforementioned Mediterranean and French volumes, along with a second book on French cooking concentrating on the Provincial region, English Summer cooking and an Italian cookbook from her time living in Italy in the early 1950s. Throughout her life, she continued to write for international magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and The Spectator, and published more cookbooks on English cookery.  She won many awards over her lifetime, including the Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Order of British Empire, and Fellow of the Royal Society of literature for her food writing.  All of her cookbooks remain in publication today.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

At Elizabeth David’s Table is a collection of selected recipes from all of her published cookbooks, along with some of her writings, musings on food and her life in different countries as she lived.  Every course is included from starters and soups, eggs and pasta, rice and sides, meat, fish, poultry, sauces, sweets and bread.  Reading her articles transports the reader to rustic Italy, a summer day in Britain, the French countryside or the edge of the Mediterranean sea.  The forward to the volume was written by Ruth Reichl, a devotee of Elizabeth David.  It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that the revelations of Ms. David of the rationing and austerity of the war years was an inspiration for the Lulu letters of Delicious.

So, two new fiction books for you, dear readers, and one really special cookbook. If you are local, and would like to join the reading group, let me know. Kelly and I meet for lunch when we can, using the discussion guides online for questions. We would love to have at least two more in our little book club. We’ll take turns choosing books, hopefully to push us out of our normal reading genres.

What are you reading now?

 

Sharing

Share Your Cup

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Saturday Sparks

 


27 Comments

Repairing an Old Damaged Quilt

One of the things I do is repair well-loved quilts that no one else will touch. Most of the time, someone that is truly using a quilt will not care that it isn’t museum quality, they just want the worst of the damage repaired.   But many quilters won’t touch these, believing they are too damaged to be repaired.  In my experience, these quilt owners just want to be able to keep using a family treasure.  Such was the case with this quilt, brought to me by a lovely lady named Stephanie. She loved to wrap up in this quilt, lay on top of it with her kids and the dogs while watching TV, and in general using it the way we all hope our quilt gifts will be used. But, years of use has resulted in some severe damage, popped seams, worn areas and frayed edges.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

The worst damage was on and adjacent to the binding.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Fabric was disintegrating and pulling away from the seams all along the striped binding from the stress of use.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Plus the corners which get a lot of handling were wearing away.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

My best advice was to remove the binding plus a couple of inches where the worst damage was occurring, then use this fabric to repair the center of the quilt.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Some spots like this one were in a straight line with plenty of fabric left.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Those could be resewn with a satin stitch in matching color thread.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

But most of the tears and worn places were larger or L-shaped.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

These did not have enough fabric left to cover the defects, so patches were made from the fabric cut off. The edges of the patch were turned under, matched to the patchwork as best as I could, then topstitched on.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Having a bit of every fabric helped, and sometimes I pieced two together to match up a patch.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

At a distance, the repairs are not obvious. I was pleased with that result.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

I found this fabric for her to put on new binding, and offered to tea dye it to dull it down a bit, but Stephanie said her curtains were close to this so she wanted it left the way it was. It does echo a red and cream print in the quilt, but the white background is a bit startling. Still, she thought it was fine, so I went with it.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

I made it very wide, to mimic the one I cut off, and give her plenty of new fabric to take the stress of handling.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

All done, and when she picked it up she seemed very pleased.  I did give her some advice on using it in the future, to only use it for display and not to lie on top of it as the fabrics were disintegrating and wouldn’t hold up to such heavy use.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

I believe she said it was her grandmother’s quilt, so likely this treasure is many, many years old. All in all, though, I think the repairs are enough to keep it going for a few more years, if she is careful.

Antique Quilt Repair ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you have any well-loved quilts?

If you need a well loved quilt repaired, I am happy to work with you. I do take mailed in quilts and would discuss the particulars with you before beginning any work.  Please contact me at frommycarolinahome (at) gmail (dot) com, or see my page on the Carolina Mountain Longarm Association website – Carole’s Quilts.

Sharing

Freemotion By the River Linky Tuesday

Vintage Charm

Needle and Thread Thursday


16 Comments

Stamping Fun in March

Now that I have a truly organized and wonderful stamping space, I made some cards for friends. There seems to be a constant need lately for support and cheering up. I got out this pretty lavendar rose paper, and it was easy to pick coordinating colors from the paper shelf, now that the colors are sorted.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

Gluing the paper to the front of the cards, I added a dark purple ribbon tucking the ends behind the rose paper.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

I stamped “Thinking of You” on cream stock, mounted it on green stock, then set it at a slight angle.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

Inside, I did the basket of flowers in three colors of ink, and added the sentiment.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

Of course, my stamp goes on the back. Better than Hallmark, right?

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

I made one plus a spare to have one in reserve for later. A lavendar rose was stamped on the envelope.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

I had enough of the lavendar paper left to do one more card, so I tried it out with a darker cardstock. Over the top a green strip of embossed paper was added.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

Adding a gold cardstock scalloped circle, and then a pink one with a stamped butterfly, the front of the card was done.  I could add a sentiment in the lower right, but this time I think I’ll leave it alone.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

Then I got more creative with the inside. I needed something light to show up the sentiment, so I chose the coordinating lattice paper and cut a piece to fit inside. I added a rose in lavendar ink, then the sentiment in dark purple ink. I really like the way it turned out! This may be an inspiration for the next card front.

Stamping @ From My Carolina Home

I was on a roll, so I kept stamping. It was just too much fun to stop yet. This neat printed vellum was in the same paper pack as the lavendar rose stock. I had a stamp to use that looked nice with it, and I colored it with my chalks and blender pens.

Spring Stamping at From My Carolina Home

Picking up the gold color from the vellum, I embossed a strip for texture, and mounted the stamped image on two layers of frame.

Spring Stamping at From My Carolina Home

I only use my little rabbit tail stamp in the springtime, and usually I’ll just write my name under it. This time, I masked off the leaf on my personal stamp, and added my name below with ink.  It is crooked, but maybe that just adds to the charm of a handmade card.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Spring Stamping at From My Carolina Home

I use this sentiment a lot this time of year, this time adding a daffodil bouquet inside.

Spring Stamping at From My Carolina Home

A fun day of stamping!  I am getting started on my Easter cards too, and will show you those next month.

What are you having fun with today?

 

Sharing

Brag About It!

Celebrate Your Story

Creative Muster

Share Your Cup

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

I Am Pinnable

Saturday Sparks

 


40 Comments

Springtime Tablescape and Blog Hop

Springtime brings lighter colors, warmer days, and a desire to go outside to the garden. It’s a wonderful time when the air is clear, and warm gentle breezes drift across the veranda while we enjoy the sunrise over the mountains, and sunsets across the valley. I am so ready for it to warm up and stay that way, to see the budding growth of flowers and trees,  listen to the birds sing, and enjoy the explosion of spring color. The colors that appeal to me right now are yellow and green, so my tablescape features those in abundance.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

I began with the place settings, starting with a green tablecloth. I layered ivory placemats on top so the green chargers wouldn’t get lost. White china plates, with yellow floral salad plates complete the stack. Of course, I usually put out individual salt and pepper shakers on each place.  The good silverware comes out for this springtime dinner party, and wine glasses complete the setting.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

I use yellow napkins, gathered with yellow flower pot napkin rings for a garden feel to the table.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

The centerpiece is a yellow ceramic basket, with spring flowers. Daffodils and tulips say spring to me. A little yellow bird peeks out one side.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

Of course, gardens often have rabbits, and as long as I don’t put out any eggs, it just says springtime. So out came a few rabbits. This serving tray is one of my favorites, and I use it all spring. One of my little gardening rabbits sits next to the centerpiece.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

I have two gardening rabbits, this one is on the opposite side of the centerpiece.  This one has a watering can.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

Gardens also mean vegetables. This little guy peeking out of a lettuce head is a sugar bowl with a cute little carrot handle.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

On the opposite side of the yellow ceramic basket is this rabbit, in green and white.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

On the other end of the table, a sweet bunny offers his carrots. This cutie was a thrift store find recently. Isn’t it adorable?

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

Another little bunny serving plate, white goes nicely on the green tablecloth.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

This is a little nut bowl, so very cute with the bunnies trying to climb inside.  I usually have this on my coffee table, but decided to use it here this year.  One of the fun things I like to do is find new ways to use what I already have for fresh looks.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

All set for a lovely spring dinner!

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

I hope that by the day of the meal, the trees have leafed out. But the view from the dining table is wonderful no matter what the season.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

One more view of the table, yellow and green, fresh for spring.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

I am one of the bloggers on the last day on this fun Spring Tablescape Blog Hop hosted by Chloe at Celebrate and Decorate.  Visit these other great blogs for more tablescape ideas!

Tuesday
Life and Linda | My Kentucky Living | Etched in Colloquy
Living With Thanksgiving | Charleston Crafted | The Bajan Texan

Wednesday
Sweet Sensations | Belle Bleu Interiors | Our Crafty Mom
Fjolla’s Table |  | A Casa di Bianca | Bluesky Kitchen

Thursday
Panoply | PMQ for Two | The Robin’s Nest
Dining Delight | Celebrate & Decorate

Friday
Simple Nature Decor | Rosemary & Thyme | Supper Table Talk
From My Carolina Home |  The Painted Apron 


 Are you setting a spring table?  Did you enjoy the hop?
Sharing


17 Comments

Be My Neighbor Quilt Along Block 6

Moving along to catch up, block six is next.  I picked a large scrap of purple fabric for the house as the bottom bit of this pattern has a piece 18-inches wide.  It has some squares on point at the bottom, and these still look like flower boxes to me.  So, I pulled some flower fabric to use.  I love this snapdragon print, but it is to close to the purple I have selected for the house.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

So, I went back to the daffodils. More contrast will look better.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

OK, I like that so I cut the required pieces. I double checked the sizes this time!

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Lots of HSTs meant drawing a lot of lines.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

The top of the house has five flying geese sections that are not the same, so I laid out the pieces carefully, chain pieced, then laid them out again to check the placement.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Then the top section was pieced.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Assembling the top two rows, I got this.  The points are so far off I cannot stand it.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

And so the streak continues, I have to frog something on every one of these blocks.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Sewing again with more pins to keep the edges lined up. It isn’t perfect, but it is as good as it is going to get.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

This block has a lot of pieces. Carefully following the steps, it went together.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Chain piecing all the squares on point helped streamline the assembly.

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

Finally, all done!

Be My Neighbor Quilt Block 6 ~ From My Carolina Home

So, now I am caught up. The next two blocks are on the list for completion in April.  Are you sewing this week?

If you’d like to make these blocks too, go to Bear Creek Quilting Free Moda Be My Neighbor for the patterns for all 16 blocks.

Sharing

Let’s Bee Social

Oh Scrap!


24 Comments

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

It’s the first day of spring, so we are ready for a fresh breakfast cake, perfect with a cup of coffee.  I had blueberries and a lemon, and set to work creating a recipe for a light and lovely coffee cake.  It would be lovely as dessert too. Something with blueberries and a hint of lemon, light and airy.  DH prefers this kind of cake plain, but you could add a lemon glaze to jazz it up if you like.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

I begin with assembling a mis-en-place, assembling and measuring ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Let it cool just a couple of minutes in the pan. Then turn it onto a platter.  Serve warm right away, or allow to cool for later.  Or both, LOL!!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

It isn’t easy to resist having a slice warm from the oven, and you don’t have to.  Yum, enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1-1/2 cups blueberries
2 cups flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan or tube pan with cooking spray, or use butter/flour to coat inside the pan. Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter. Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Delicious as is, or a lemon glaze can be added if desired by combining juice from the lemon with powdered sugar.

Download the recipe – Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Happy Spring!  Are you in the mood for a bit of spring baking?

 

Sharing with these fun link parties

Brag About It!

Celebrate and Decorate

Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday

Talk of the Town

Creative Muster

Share Your Cup

Foodie Friday

Saturday Sparks

Snickerdoodle