From My Carolina Home

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


Best of 2016 and Goals for 2017

Who knew it would be difficult to write about the 5 Best posts of 2016 on From My Carolina Home!  As I near the end of my third year of blogging next month, it is amazing that I still have things to say, projects to sew, things to create with hot glue, cards to stamp, new recipes to cook and it is still fun.  So, what did I enjoy the most this year?  Well, instead of five posts, I am going to review three events.

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt Along

This was the second mystery quilt I designed, and it told me its name while it was in the design stage. The Scrap Dance series took off after this, and now has five patterns in the series, with #6 coming in January.  It was the second event I did on the blog.  The pattern for Tango is available in my Craftsy store, link on the sidebar.  You’ll also find Scrap Dance the original, Scrap Dance Quickstep, and The Charleston bag there too.

Tango Cover Shots 3

Christmas in July

I began thinking about doing this in the spring, and started designing new projects for a 12 day event.  I contacted my favorite companies for prizes and the response was terrific.  Sponsors included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Superior Threads, and Primitive Gatherings.  I was just about done with planning when I got an invitation to join a blog hop, and was so very fortunate to be the first stop.  Many of the blog hoppers came back for more fun later in the event.  We began with the Sewing Kit / Jewelry Case Tutorial, and for the next 12 days made a wool applique penny rug, stamped cards, sewed a Christmas purse, made a mini quilt and a Christmas bed quilt, made ornaments, created gifts for guys and gifts from the kitchen, and then did some decorating and tablescapes.  And after all that, we settled down to rest with some Christmas themed books.  Click on the Christmas category on the sidebar and scroll down for all the posts.  I had a blast doing that event, and the sponsors were happy too.
Santas 2

Autumn Jubilee

Then came my favorite season, Autumn.  Here is where I lost my mind, and committed to a month long event with 2 quilt alongs, a stitch along, sewing and crafting projects, tablescapes, thrift store finds and recycling, another wool applique pattern and a new recipe for Pumpkin Orange Bread.  I had a great time doing that, and again had marvelous support from my favorite sponsors with giveaways.  Sponsors for this event included Aurifil Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, Connecting Threads, Stampin’ Up!, Back Side Fabrics and Magnet King. Click on the Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar to see all the projects.


So now, what will I do in 2017?  Time to set some goals for the year, with you in mind, dear reader. I need to get in a little bit of everything as usual, heavy on the quilting and sewing, with gardening, cooking, reading, crafting, card making, thrifting and recycling, and more thrown in for fun.

Goal 1 – Do a mystery quilt for 2017 – already in the works to begin in late January

Goal 2 – Plan another event during the 2017 year with giveaways from my favorite sponsors for readers

Goal 3 – Be a stop on a Christmas in July blog hop, not a 12 day event this year

Goal 4 – Publish Scrap Dance Waltz

Goal 5 – Do another Autumn event, as yet undetermined, encompassing a wide variety of projects

And finally a funny story about my best laugh of the year.  I was Christmas shopping for a calendar for DH, and I found a large display in a store.  One of them was called the Anti-Affirmation calendar and the cover shot made me laugh out loud.  Yes, in the store.  Could. Not. Stop.  Other customers were coming over to see what was just so funny.  In short order, I had a group of people laughing, and was still going as I went to check out.  No, I didn’t buy it.  The person I would want to give it to is my ex-boss, and I am quite sure it would not be appreciated.  So, what did it say that was so humorous?  Here it is, and maybe you had to be there, or maybe it was just my mood that day.  Or maybe it is truly hilarious, because I am still laughing as I type this!

“If I give you a straw, will you go suck the fun out of someone else’s life?”

Still laughing.  And committed to having fun this year!  Won’t you join me?

Late November Garden at From My Carolina Home

Linking up with

Quilting Jet Girl 2017 Planning Party

Best of 2016 Link Party 

Main Crush Monday

Celebrate and Decorate

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social

Vintage Charm

Share Your Cup Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

Whoop Whoop Friday

Rattlebridge Farm New Year’s Eve Party

Crazy Mom Quilts

Brag About It

Handmade Hangout

Scrap Dance on benchThe original Scrap Dance quilt pattern is available in my Craftsy store, along with all the Scrap Dance series patterns and more.


Catching up to Christmas

I am working on several new projects for this holiday season, but nothing is ready to show yet.  I will be working on our quilt-along this afternoon, the next step is tomorrow.  My weekend sale online orders from all my favorite retailers are coming in for new projects for the blog, thread and fabric should arrive this week.  But for now, refill your coffee cup or tea, and settle in for some fun time on my blog as I do a review of my Christmas in July event along with some previous season ideas with links to the projects.  You might be here a while today, LOL!!  We had great fun in July and had a number of wonderful prizes from my favorite vendors, and yes, we’ll have more events like that next year.  Do you have a quilter on your gift list?  This Sewing Kit is easy to make, has no hand sewing, and can be used for jewelry too!  The link has a full tutorial.

Sewing Kit | From My Carolina Home

My original design Christmas Mini Quilt fits a table top stand, and the post has all the instructions to make it.  The ornament pattern is embellished with little pearls at the triangle corners.

Christmas Ornament Mini Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

My Christmas Trip Around the World quilt goes so fast, that I made it from beginning the cutting to finishing the binding in just over a week – and that was around my work schedule and social commitments!

Christmas Trip Around the World | From My Carolina Home

You have cards to send, so here are some card stamping ideas for your Christmas card list.  Stamping Christmas Cards.

Stamping Christmas | From My Carolina Home

Are you into wool applique?  This is my original design, Christmas Wool Penny Rug and the post has a free pattern download.

Christmas Wool Applique Penny Rug ~ From My Carolina Home

Christmas Cookie Cutters Ornaments are easy to make with buttons and ribbon roses.

Rose Angel at From My Carolina Home

An integral part of most of my tablescapes are quilted runners or table toppers. One I use over and over is the one shown in the picture below, a simple hexagonal shape with rings of alternating values and colors in red, green and ecru.  The pattern is free in my Craftsy store. While you are there, please take a look at my other patterns, your purchases help fund the blog costs.  I hope never to have the obnoxious ads I am seeing on other blogs these days, moving animation on every single photo in a post, flashing ads on sidebars and popups, hello bars at the top and popup bars at the bottom, and some blogs with all of those at once! Monumentally annoying.  As long as I can pay for everything with Etsy store sales and Craftsy sales, the only ads you should ever see will be the occasional one at the bottom put there by WordPress when you visit the blog page.  Someday I hope to go completely ad free.

Christmas Hexagonal Table Topper 15

If you would like to do another runner, here is a link to the quilted runner I did last Christmas as a quilt-along. Christmas Star Runner

Christmas Quilt Along finish

This year I published my first purse pattern, The Charleston Bag. Of course I had to have it in Christmas colors!  For the month of December for my readers, the pattern is reduced to just $5.  The Charleston bag is a roomy purse with an inside pocket, completely finished by machine, no hand sewing!  I was carrying it yesterday while shopping for some crafting supplies, and several ladies commented on it.

Christmas Charleston Bag

Need some ideas for the guys on your list? Gifts for Guys will give you some different ideas from the usual.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

I love giving Gifts From The Kitchen too. This post has my Double Dutch Chocolate Brownie mix recipe with a downloadable pdf of this recipe with others along with printable gift tags.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

We are finally getting some much needed rain this morning, and I am enjoying the gentle patter and cooler temperatures.  It is hoped this rain will help the firefighters, particularly to keep the fires from spreading although it will not be enough to end the drought or to extinguish the fires going now.  It is a great day, however, to curl up with a good book.  I did some cozy Christmas mystery book reviews last year, here are some holiday reads you might enjoy too.  Cozy Christmas Reading  If you haven’t heard that term, a cozy mystery is one without overt violence, no foul language, and the intimate scenes are left to the imagination.

Cozy Christmas 2

Just for fun, here is my Christmas Tablescape from two years ago. This post has a recipe for Shrimp Avocado Remoulade, along with the plan for the quilted table topper.  I found some new chargers for this year and I have an idea for a totally new tablescape using things I already have in a new way.

Christmas Table 2014 - 2

And one last project, a Holiday Pine Cone Hanger to use those big cones you might have sitting around.  I gave this one away, but I’ll be making another one for the veranda this year.

Pine Cone Hanger at From My Carolina Home

I hope that gives you some things to enjoy to get the season started.  I’ll have more projects and ideas very soon, and our Scrap Dance Waltz continues tomorrow.  I am revising the math for those that are doing the two tone Christmas option, and I’ll add that to the post tomorrow.

Are you getting started on Christmas?


Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Celebrate and Decorate



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?


Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy’s Quilts

Needle and Thread Thursday

Rattlebridge Farm Foodie Friday

Smalls Stitch Along 2016

Show Off Saturday


Christmas in July Finale and a Few More Ideas

Christmas in July has been a lot of fun, did you have a good time?  I had a ball making up new projects, and I hope you downloaded the pdf files for ideas and tutorials where they were available. If you are just now finding this series, go back and see all the posts on the previous 12 days for the Christmas in July event on From My Carolina Home.  I hope you’ll visit my Etsy Store and Craftsy store for great bargains on fabrics and patterns, links on the names and on the sidebar too.  Today is the last day for The Charleston Bag pattern sale (update – sale extended for linkys until Aug 1)  I am already planning another event for my favorite season, Autumn!  I still have more ideas that I couldn’t fit into 12 days, even with some of the really long posts!   Ideas like this one, use the extra table runner you made as a bed scarf on your guest bed.

Christmas Table runner used as a bed scarf | From My Carolina Home

Make my Brie and Proscuitto in Puff Pastry for an elegant appetizer course, or to take to a party.

Brie Prosciutto Appetizer in Puff Pastry

Search the used bookstores and the Friends of the Library sales for some Christmas Theme novels to read while curled up with your new Christmas Quilt in front of a fire.  Last year I did a few reviews for some easy reading Cozy Christmas mystery reads.

Cozy Christmas 2

Later this year, at the right time, I’ll talk about forcing blooms for Christmas giving.

Amaryllis Third Year Bloom ~ From My Carolina Home

The winners for all the giveaways were drawn yesterday afternoon using’s random number generator and emails were sent to the winners.  Forgive me for not posting pictures of all those draws, but they were sent to the sponsors.   Once again I want to thank the six marvelous sponsors who gave prizes for your comments and visiting their websites.  I hope you all visited them, and followed where you liked.  It is traffic on their sites and sales of their products that encourages the sponsors to do these giveaways.  Here’s one more chance to thank them for their participation by leaving a comment.  All the sponsors have been reading all your comments, and will be reading today’s post too.

Please leave a comment on this post if you had fun!

Leading off, our first sponsor, Fat Quarter Shop awarded a Fat Quarter Bundle of fabrics in the Midnight Clear line.  The winner is #27 Alison!  Alison said “I love Juniper Berry!:)”  Congratulations, Alison!

midnightclear-circle-900_2 midnightclear-fqb-900







The kickoff sponsor, Aurifil Threads awarded a 12 spool box set of threads from V&Co Simply Color.  And the winner is #113 Heidi!  Heidi commented “Great idea for gift-giving Carole, thank you for sharing! I follow Aurifil every which way, and most designers too, lol. Love Lori Holt’s Christmas set!”  Congratulations, Heidi!

SimplyColorful-Large-Insideaurifil SimplyColorful-Large-Outside








Connecting Threads Logo



Connecting Threads awarded a Mini Quilt Stand, 4 headers, book and fabric stack.  That lucky winner is #96 Sandra J!  Sandra J wrote “I would have to say that my favorite line is “Christmas Remembered” with the Flurries fabric being my favorite.” Congratulations, Sandra!

TableStand StarHeader

EvergreenHeader HollyHeader ScrollHeader





Superior Threads awarded the King Tut thread and needle prize to #70 Lori S!  Lori said “I have not worked with metallic threads yet. So I checked that out. Wow I knew none of this. Going slow and why, tension, placing spool properly on machine and why, etc. very cool indeed. Book marked that page for all this wonderful educational hints. thanks for sharing this page with us.”  Congratulations, Lori!


Primitive Gatherings awarded their lovely wool bundle to #9 Darla!  Darla wrote “This is something I think I could accomplish with my rather basic sewing skills. I’ve always liked the vintage penny rugs I see and it would be fun to do something for PGchristmas bundleChristmas along those lines.”  Congratulations, Darla!







StampinUplogo2 Stampin’ UP! will send their giveaway of a stamp set, paper and ink to #48 Linda in Montana!  Linda commented “HI FROM MONTANA ! love this card kit: Oh Happy Day Card Kit ! Thanks for sharing!”  Congratulations, Linda!


Winners of the giveaways from me, congratulations to all the winners!
Seed Bead Kits are going to  -#33 Mary Jean Cunningham, and #24 Jayne P in the UK.
301 Country Christmas Blocks – #7 Jeanne Rauch
Christmas Bazaar Crafts – #2 Brenda Ackerman
Marti Michell’s A Quilter’s Christmas – #3 Julie McKenzie
Debbie Mumm’s Quick Country Christmas Quilts – #9 Anna Brown
Cardstock and Rub-ons for cardmaking – international winner – Lesley in UK
Charleston Bag Pattern – #19 Barb K

If you missed anyone on the hop, here are all the links to the participating blogs.  You may have to scroll back to get to their Christmas post, but the effort will be worth it.  Lots more great ideas here.

July 14th:    Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts

                    Carole Carter @ From My Carolina Home

July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist

                    Chris Dodsley @ made by ChrissieD

July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion

                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter

July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn

                    Selina @ Selina Quilts

July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble

                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies

July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne

                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter

July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio

                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic

July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.

                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion

July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt

                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms

July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ

                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication

                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts

                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

I am delighted to have new followers, and I hope you’ll continue to follow to see what is coming up next.

Did you have fun?


Sharing with some of the parties on my sidebar, and ..

Celebrate and Decorate Linky Celebrate Your Story





Gifts From The Kitchen

This is Day 11 of my Christmas in July event.  If you are just now finding me, scroll back to the previous pages for great ideas to kick start your creativity! Although the drawings are over for this event, there will be another event for Autum, coming up in a couple of months with giveaways planned. Today I want to talk about Gifts from your kitchen.  Some of the best gifts around are the ones that come from the heart and hands of the giver.  I love to give gifts from my kitchen both mixes and fully made items.  Packaging these mixes and treats is part of the fun, so now is the time to hunt down some interesting containers.  Filled with a mix for something irresistible to your recipient, these are the gifts everyone wants.

Gifts From the Kitchen | From My Carolina Home

Today, I’ll give you some ideas on mixes to please the chocolate lover and a few others on your list.  For that chocolate lover, start looking in your grocery store for Special Dark or Dutch Process cocoa, it is smoother than the regular and gives baked goods a darker, richer appearance and flavor.   Not every grocery store has it, so look around and get plenty before the holidays. You’ll also need dark chocolate chips for my special Double Dutch Brownies. If you just don’t like dark chocolate, you can make these with regular cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

You can make up these mixes weeks in advance, so you are done early.  Layer the ingredients in a pretty jar, and give with the instructions provided.  I  like these containers that have the clamps to hold the tops on.  This one has a lovely snowflake on the side.  Look in the clearance section of your stores and at discount stores like Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, Ross, TJMaxx, or Big Lots for these now, or scour the thrift shops.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Of course I had to make sure that the recipe was good, so I made it up again. Any excuse for brownies, right? So, your gift recipient will just soften some butter, and whip it with 2 eggs and vanilla.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Then, dump in the mix…

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

and stir gently until incorporated.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Butter the baking pan with the inside of the butter wrapper, or use no stick spray.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

Let them cool completely in the pan, then cut into 16 squares.  Did you know that if you cut brownies with a plastic knife they won’t break apart as much?  I just learned that (after these were done) and it is really true.  The downside is you don’t have little bits that break off that need cleaning up to nibble on, LOL!!

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

YUMMMMMMM, moist and deliciously dark, chocolatey and good!

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina Home

If you are using a simple jar, add a wrapper to the jar for presentation. This one will fit most jars and is great for candles too. Find those instructions HERE.  If your mix is pretty, like bean soup or the brownies, let the mix show nicely and just add a ribbon.

Wrapper 19

Double Dutch Brownie Mix

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup Dutch Process cocoa
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together, place in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Or layer the ingredients alternating light and dark layers,ending with the chips on top.  Give with these instructions:
Cream 1/2 cup softened butter, two eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in entire jar of mix. Pour into a prepared 8×8 inch square baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let cool in the pan. Serve and enjoy!

Gifts From the Kitchen - Double Dutch Brownies | From My Carolina HomeOther recipes I like to give include Cinnamon Mocha Coffee Mix, Fruity Tea Mix and Seasoned Bean Soup Mix.  Today everyone is a winner, just download this pdf for all the recipes and printable instructions for the mixes to mount on cardstock and tie to the jars – From My Carolina Home Gift Mixes

Later this year, when it gets close to the holidays, I’ll post the wonderful biscotti that I love to give.  For those who enjoy giving homemade baked goods, try my Cinnamon Banana Coffee Cake, and give in a festive bag to make the gift special.  You could also try my Carmel Apple Coffee Cake, Orange Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake or Fresh Peach Coffee Cake.   Cranberry Cinnamon Scones make a wonderful afternoon tea with Carole’s Creamy Scone Spread or a nice addition to serve with Perfect Breakfast Eggs.

One of my favorite home-baked breads to give is Pumpkin Orange Bread.  For baked breads and candy, I have specialty bags and boxes to use for presentation. Some are personalized, the bags laying in front were purchased at a dollar store, and the festive motifs look wonderful with a bow.

Gifts from the Kitchen ~ From My Carolina Home

I have these boxes in two sizes for candy. I purchased a several dozen several years ago and I still have a few left. They say “From Carole’s Christmas Kitchen” on the front. I ordered them online, but sadly I cannot find them now.  Christmas cookies go over well in these boxes too.  I just line them with wax paper using a sheet large enough to fold over the top of the food.

Gifts from the Kitchen ~ From My Carolina Home

The paper bags are wax coated on the outside, and are suitable anytime for home baked goodness.

Gifts from the Kitchen ~ From My Carolina Home

More recipes for breads and great baked gift items will come closer to the holidays.

Have you given gifts from your kitchen?  What is your go-to gift from your kitchen?



Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm

Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes

Create Link Inspire

Val’s Tuesday Archives


Gift Ideas for Guys

Guys are really difficult to make gifts for as they don’t really go for most of the sewn and crafty items that we gals like to make.  I have yet to see any guy actually wear an apron while grilling, but most will be delighted with a gift of something for the grill.  Here are some of the hits I have given, starting with a seasoning mix for meats on the grill.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Gather together some herbs and spices, combining them in a small wide mouth Ball jar for your grilling guy.  I’ll give you my recipe for the spice mix, but know that you can add and subtract as you like.  You can also fiddle with the amounts, if you like more garlic and less onion, go for it!

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

If I have larger bits like peppercorns, I will use my mortar and pestle to grind them myself.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Steak Seasoning Mix

2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (or just chili powder)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine ingredients. Store in airtight container.
To use: sprinkle on meats before grilling, or mix into hamburger meat before grilling.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

In the download, the recipe for this Bold Smoked mix using black smoked salt is included.  To use just pinch some of the mix between your fingers and sprinkle over the meat.  Both these mixes work great on beef, pork and chicken.  In addition, it works nicely as a dry rub for smoking meats, and under barbeque sauce. Just put a label on the top and it is good to go.

Seasoning Mixes Gifts for Guys | From My Carolina Home

Yum, steak!  That’s my Garlic Zucchini on the side!

Steak done

Another idea is to combine some items from his favorite store in a creative container and you have a dynamite gift that the guy will really appreciate. Then fill it with guy stuff that he likely uses all the time, things that he will run out of and need more – batteries, tie wraps, shop towels, latex or nitrile gloves, hand cleaner, nail brush. A box of gloves can be wrapped separately and given with the caddy. This one has microfiber towels that DH says are good to have, hand cleaner, a hanging flashlight and tire cleaner.  DH has put plastic razor blades on his list for scraping gook off things without scratching surfaces.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

For the gearhead guy, make up a car care caddy with his favorite car care products.  Go to the garage and find out what brands he likes.  DH says that most guys are a bit picky about which wax they want for the car.  But other things like dashboard conditioner and tire cleaners are pretty generic.  Sets of funnels are always useful too, as are cable ties in both white and black.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

This is another one for the car guy, with car care products from Mothers and Meguiars, both brands DH likes.  The larger wells of this caddy from a restaurant to-go section can take the bigger size spray bottles.  With all of these, wrapping is easy with the clear bags made for baskets at the dollar store and a big bow.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

For the gardener guy, garden gloves, specialty slow release fertilizer, inexpensive hand tools, seeds.  You are only limited by what you can think of, take any theme and find six things that fit that theme.  More ideas in the download.

Gifts For Guys ~ From My Carolina Home

If you are set on sewing something, make a banner for his garage or man cave.  You can find sheets and bedspreads with fun motifs on them like this one with The Stig – (a character on a British TV show about cars called Top Gear).

Stig 3

The head was on the pillow case, and the body on the bedspread.  I cut apart the pillow case and sewed it to the bedspread, adding a sleeve on the back to hang.  I have seen Tardis sheets for the Dr Who fan, Star Trek and Star Wars stuff for those fans, sports team sheets, whatever your guy is into probably has something you can turn into guy decor.

All my ideas and instructions are in my Craftsy store Gifts For Guys.  Learn how to craft a unique holder for his goodies, with lists of suggestions to fill it for every sportsman, gearhead, hobbist, handyman and grill lover in on your list. Recipes for seasoning mixes and fish fry mix are included with printable instructions for giving. These are always a huge hit with the guys in my life! I promise, the small price will be well worth it, and helps support my blog so I can bring you more free projects and ideas.

If you missed any of the Christmas in July posts over the last 9 days, be sure to go back see all the great ideas, and enter all the drawings for the giveaways.  The deadline for all is tomorrow, July 24th at noon Eastern Daylight Time in the USA.  (Drawings have been held, but more events are planned with giveaways to come).  I’d love to have you follow my blog to see all the ideas and tutorials coming up!

Do you have a DIY idea for a guy gift?




Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes

Val’s Tuesday Archives



Christmas Tablescapes and Quilted Table Toppers with King Tut Thread Giveaway

So, you won’t be setting a Christmas table for another six months, so why talk about tablescapes in July? Because now is the time to start searching for the things you might want to add to your collection, or sew up a table topper or runner. The table topper here is quilted and covers the entire top of the table.  I set my placemats and dishes on top of it.  It is the sampler quilt I showed a few days ago.  Quilted table toppers and runners make wonderful Christmas gifts for your friends and family.

Christmas Table 2014 - 2

Last year I wanted some forest green chargers for my tablescaping stash, and could not find any.  Not one.  No where.  Not even in the online stores, or auction sites.  I scoured the local thrift stores to no avail.  I did score some gold ones one year, and those just had to do.

Christmas Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

For thrift store junkies like me, you never know when you’ll come across something perfect. These paper napkins were 50 cents in the final markdown basket at the thrift store. The black background went perfectly with my holiday luncheon plates. The key is to keep your eyes open. The same thing applies to shopping at the discount stores, tag sales, and out of season sale tables.  Another idea, use those spreaders you never use at the breakfast table for butter or my Black Cherry Creme on Popovers.  Those little touches for your family will bring holiday cheer all season long.

Christmas Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

And keep your options open for small things that make a centerpiece interesting. Lots of small items together create a low display that guests can talk over and admire like these birdhouses and Santa figures.  I find more of these little Santa figures every year, just bought another one last week.  They are sitting on another quilted table topper.

Christmas Tablescape | From My Carolina Home

An integral part of most of my tablescapes are quilted runners or table toppers.  One I use over and over is the one shown in the picture below, a simple hexagonal shape with rings of alternating values and colors in red, green and ecru.

Christmas Hexagonal Table Topper 15

Dig out your Christmas fabrics and make this table topper before you need it. You can make it in all kinds of color combinations for all seasons. The pattern is free in my Craftsy store, link on the sidebar! While you are there, please take a look at my other patterns, your purchases help fund the postage for giveaways.

If you would like to do a runner, here is a link to the quilted runner I did last Christmas as a quilt-along.  Christmas Star Runner

Christmas Quilt Along finish

Another very simple runner can be made with Christmas fabric as the center surrounded by squares.  Cut a piece of focus fabric 8 inches x 32 inches.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

Cut 3-inch strips of red and green fabrics to coordinate with the print.  You’ll need two WOF strips.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

Sew the strips together, then cross cut 3-inches wide into two-square doublets. You’ll need to unpick a couple.  You’ll need 18 red squares and 18 green squares three inches each.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

Sew those together for a two color border. Two green squares and one red square were sewn together, then sewn to the ends. The side borders begin and end with red squares, 15 on each side.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

Quilting it is simple, with King Tut thread of course.  I cut the same red fabric into 2-1/2 inch strips for binding and stitched it in place.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

I had a nice Sunday stitching down the binding on the back while watching the football games last fall. The little runner covers the book table in the kitchen. Christmas cookbooks are set out with it, these from my Gooseberry Patch collection.

Christmas Quick Projects at From My Carolina Home

I finally did find some green chargers, they came the last week of June!  I’ll have them on the table this season.

SuperiorToday’s giveaway is sponsored by

Superior Threads!

I absolutely love King Tut threads, wonderful for quilting those table toppers and runners and your Christmas quilts.  The thread is strong, with a nice finish, and quilts beautifully through any kind of batting.  Superior is offering a prize of 4 spools of King Tut Thread along with a pack of Superior needles!  This giveaway is open to readers in the USA.   Superior Threads Education.  While you are there, if you wish, scroll to the bottom and sign up for their newsletter by looking for the box shown here in the bottom king-tut-selectionright corner.  Come back and comment on what you learned!   Screenshot 2016-06-23 22.09.30If you signed up for the newsletter, or you already subscribe, you can have a second entry, just leave a second comment saying you follow Superior.  Want a third entry?  Leave a comment if you follow my blog, and how you follow. Entries close on July 24th at noon, winners will be notified by email, and announced on the blog July 25th.

Drawing has been held and winner sent an email.  Thank you for entering!


Sharing with some of the parties on my link page, and

Celebrate and Decorate’s Celebrate Your Story Linky

Threading My Way 12 Days of Christmas Table Decor Challenge