From My Carolina Home

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Be My Neighbor Block 10 and a Quilt Shop Visit

Moving on to Block 10, I feel like I am running out of choices for pastels.  I really don’t want to buy more fabric for this quilt, but I may have to.  A fat quarter or two wouldn’t hurt, would it?  There are still six more blocks after this one.  I knew I wanted a green house somewhere, as the house I remember most vividly from my growing up years was green.  I auditioned a few prints for the star in the center.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -1

I carefully cut all the pieces, double checking the dimensions.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -2

This one has another tree, so I began with the squares on the edges to make the branches, drawing the lines as instructed.  Once again, I used the orange tree fabric.  This used up the last of it, so I don’t know what I’ll do for the tree in the last row.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -3

As usual, I chain pieced as much as possible to speed up construction.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -4

Finishing up the tree, I started on the house. This one will be the green with the swirly print, with a purple star center. Once again, I divided the background on the tree to allow for a ground of flowers.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -6

I had a moment of dismay, thinking I had cut these wrong, but it really was OK. The squares were supposed to be a bit shorter than the rectangle to make the flying geese.  Whew!

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -7

I constructed the elements, then laid it out for sewing in rows, and pressing for nesting seams.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -8

At this point I was feeling pretty good about the construction…

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -9

until I sewed the two sides together and realized that one side was too short.  I wasn’t sure if the bottom piece or the top one was too short, but it was easiest to just replace the bottom.  So the streak continues, and I frogged out the offending piece.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -10

A new piece was cut and inserted.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -11

And now, the piecing of this block is done.  All the points are looking pretty sharp for a change, LOL!!

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -12

All that is left is the applique, and this time I will do a bluebird. I also reversed the direction, as I wanted at least one bird to face the other direction. I already have two facing to the left, so I made this one face to the right. This will be my slow stitching for Sunday.  I’ll add beads or buttons for eyes after the construction and quilting is done.

Be My Neighbor Block 10 -15

Last week on my quick trip to Chattanooga, I wanted to visit a couple of quilt shops and I found a fabulous and charming one that I want to share with you.

Chattanooga Quilts

I didn’t have much time, as we were on our way out of town, so at some point I need to go back.  I was enchanted by the ambiance the moment I stepped into it. Stuffed full of fabric and notions, just look at the lovely wood floors! Kim greeted me as soon as I entered the store.

Chattanooga Quilts

That is Kim behind the counter, the store owner. She graciously agreed to allow a few pictures so you could see her wonderful store.  It is beautifully laid out, with plenty of room for browsing, yet full of fabrics and goodies to see.  It has lovely vignettes with pretty lamps, vintage sewing items, antique clocks and more placed around the shop.

Chattanooga Quilts

Charming antiques and warm wood tones make a relaxed shopping experience. Mary Beth was also working that day, and I loved having a chance to talk with both ladies. Mary Beth has read this blog from time to time, and it was a thrill for me to meet a reader! I was having so much fun, and then we began talking about Be My Neighbor. Her shop is doing the quilt pattern in block-of-the-month meetings too. I explained my pebble fabric dilemma that you all have seen, and Kim had a fabric to show me. Smaller scale and more neutral rosy brown tones looked promising, so I got some.

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 1

Here it is with the block row, and I like it!  It has the smaller scale but more neutral tones that you all said would be the best compromise between the first two choices.

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 2

The color blends well with the roof fabrics, and the pastels on the houses. Thank you, Kim!

Be My Neighbor Pebble Fabric 3

I had a few minutes to chat, and see the blocks that are being done by the shop in the lovely classroom space. Just look at how they are embellishing the blocks with stitching and appliques. Lovely, and what a great idea for some of the more plain house sides.  The little scalloped curtains in the windows of this house block are just so cute, and what an inspired idea!

Chattanooga Quilts

I could have stayed for a long time, chatting with these two friendly ladies and browsing all the goodies in the shop, but DH was waiting in the car to get on the road home. But before I left, Kim treated me to a sneak peek of her design for the Row by Row event this summer. It is so cute, I may have to make the trip back during the event just to get the pattern. If you are in east Tennessee for a visit, be sure to visit Chattanooga Quilts, it is a delight.

Chattanooga Quilts

What are you working on now? Do you have a favorite out of town quilt shop you like to visit?


Slow Sunday Stitching



Modern Setting in Black – Part 3 – Question and Giveaway

So it is finally bound, and I thought I’d have permanent eye strain. It is bound in solid black, and yes, with black thread. Holy cow, am I glad it is finished!!  If you want to see it from the beginning click HERE.  I had to put two lamps next to my chair to see the binding as I went.  Are you still with me? Now I need your help.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I have two questions for you to answer, and there will be a drawing for a video as a prize. Just leave a comment with your opinion to be entered. The drawing will be random, so even if you don’t have an idea or opinion, you can still win. I have to put a sleeve on it for showing, and I am conflicted now about the orientation.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

The original idea was 4-3-2-1-2 coming down like a waterfall from the top left, with four down, then three down, then two down, then 1 at the bottom, and two next. But to me looking at it this way, do you read across instead of down into 3-3-2-1-1-2? Is that what you see, or do you see the waterfall? Call this way Option A.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

So, here it is with the other end up, Option B. Now it reads 2-1-1-2-3-3, or do you see 2-1-2-3-4?

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I asked the longarm ladies on the forum and got a mixed response. Some like the heavier block end at the bottom, saying it is more natural to put the larger grouping at the bottom. But others like it in the original waterfall setting, saying it is opposite of traditional so should be placed in a non-traditional way, more artistic expression.  And I need a name for the setting design.

So, which do you like better?  And what would you call the setting design?  Comment on setting name and/or which way it should hang to be entered to win this Public Broadcasting produced DVD on the Great American Quilt Revival. (Giveaway has been done). The Great American Quilt Revival is the story of how quilts came to be recognized as works of art and how the craft of quilting has exploded into popular culture. It has a one-hour show plus 45 minutes of bonus footage and interview. I don’t know if it will play in DVD players outside the US, I assume it to be Region 1, although it doesn’t say.  If you are international, I’ll send a book instead, so comment away!

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

Update – I have been thinking about this all day, responding to all the comments, and then got this brainstorm.  I think I  might call it Shooting Stars, the black being the night sky.  Or maybe Falling Stars.

If you don’t have an opinion on the questions, comment anyway, you’ll still be able to win the DVD if your number is chosen by the random number generator.  So, what do you think?


Modern Setting for Traditional BOM – Part 2

More stretching out of my comfort zone with the quilting on my modern setting for a batik quilt came with loading it up on the frame for quilting. The border, sashing, batting and backing are all black.  The batting is part polyester and part cotton, yet another new experience for me.  Plus I used Bottom Line thread in the bobbin for the first time.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

You cannot see where the top edge ends and where the batting comes out from under!!  Mercy!! How was I going to quilt this, daylight was essential, and not a rainy day I needed bright sunshine. I had the crazy idea to quilt it in black too.  NOT!!

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

Thank heavens for the great longarm quilters at the longarm quilter’s forum that talked me out of black, and into a softer brown/grey.

Black Modern quilting

I was happier with that color over the blocks, as it didn’t stand out on the medium tones.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

And it shows nicely on the black, but I knew every little bobble would show, so I had to be very careful and smooth in the movement of the longarm.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina HomeModern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

All finished and ready to be bound.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

More about this quilt next time, binding this beast is up next.  Black on black with black thread.

Part Three HERE


Val’s Tuesday Archive in January 2018



A Modern Setting for Traditional Block of the Month

Last year, I did a series of posts on a block of the month, all in batiks which was put on by a local quilt shop using patterns from the internet.  I decided that batik fabrics were not my cup of tea.  With the advice of friends, I did manage to get all the blocks done.  I had already stretched quite a bit out of my comfort zone just by using batiks and I decided to stretch a bit more.  If you’d like to work through all 12 blocks, click on the Category Block of the Month 2014, and you see all 12 posts.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I decided to use black as the sashing. That was different for me too.  That is black batting sitting behind the blocks.  I’ve never used that either.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

Using my quarter inch foot kept the seams consistent.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I pressed all the block seams toward the black sashing.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I sewed the blocks and sashings into strips, and then thought why not stretch a bit further and come up with a modern setting?

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

I had to use a black border too.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

So I added some plain black blocks, and thought about an asymmetrical placement. I was inspired by the waterfalls in our area, and thought the blocks could flow down like a waterfall.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

The batiks really pop against the black, and the idea began to take shape.

Modern Setting for Traditional BOM at From My Carolina Home

Waterfall setting, with the three blocks below like the rocks in the middle of a stream. I like the juxtaposition of modern to traditional. Next time, I’ll show you the quilting.  Click Here for Part Two.

Please do follow the links for parts 2 and 3, there was a lot more about the quilting.

Sharing at some of the linky parties on my link page, and in 2017…

Val’s Tuesday Archive



December Block of the Month 2014

Ever have one of those times where you just cannot get motivated to finish something? That is how I felt with this last block for the Block of the Month for 2014.  First of all, I did this local quilt store’s block of the month club so I could work with batiks and see what all the fuss was about. At the end of the year, I say meh. To make it more difficult, their choices in color and pattern have been haphazard, unfocused and obviously unplanned. This was very evident in the last block of the year. Without any thought to what has gone before, the staff decided to have the last one scream CHRISTMAS!!!!

BOM Dec 2014 fabrics

None of the other blocks have had any seasonal reference, and this one, so obviously holiday, really sticks out and not in a good way.   So, I’ll be changing the colors. I traded the red to a friend for this prettier gold.

Dec 2014 BOM 2

The pattern is Christmas Star from Quilt Blocks Galore.  So, looking at the block instructions given, and what now? Why on earth would you want to cut four squares of the same color, then sew them back together? Why not cut just one larger square? Naturally, the LQS didn’t give us a wide enough piece of the green fabric to do that, so now the green in the pattern will be gold, and the gold will be aqua. I just hope I can keep that straight, another reason I am writing instead of sewing, LOL!!

Dec 2014 BOM 4

OK, here is what to cut for this version.

Light Grey background
eight 3-inch squares
eight 2-1/2-inch squares
two 3-1/2-inch squares

one 4-1/2-inch square
four 3-inch squares
two 3-1/2-inch squares

four 3-1/2 inch squares cut in half to make 8 triangles
four 3-inch squares

Draw diagonal lines on the eight 3-inch grey squares, and the two 3-1/2 inch grey squares.

Dec 2014 BOM 3

Pair the 3-inch green/aqua squares with grey ones and sew 1/4-inch away from the diagonal lines. Pair the gold 3-inch squares with grey ones and sew 1/4-inch away from the diagonal lines.

Dec BOM 2014 - 4

Chain piecing helps save time.

Dec BOM 2014 - 5

Cut on the lines and press towards the color.

Dec BOM 2014 - 6

Pair the 3-1/2 inch grey squares with the gold and sew 1/4-inch away from the diagonal lines. Cut on the lines and press. Cut one more time to create 1/4-inch triangles.  Pair with the green triangles and sew.

Dec BOM 2014 - 7

Square all the component blocks up to 2/12 inches.

Dec BOM 2014 - 9

Using the tape on the square up ruler helps make cutting quicker and accurate.

Dec BOM 2014 - 10

Lay out all the HSTs and QST/HSTs in the manner given on the pattern.

Dec BOM 2014 - 12

Since I changed colors, I had to go to the original web page to see which colors went where at the corners and on the flying geese.  The quilt shop only gave us page one in black and white, another gripe.  The gold should be in the star points with the aqua in the corners.

Dec BOM 2014 - 11

I found it easier to make 4-patch units with this one, so I started by sewing the units in pairs.

Dec BOM 2014 - 13

Then I did the four patch units, laying out the block after the units were pressed.

Dec BOM 2014 - 14

Those little squares in the middle units were hard! I had to rip out and sew twice.  Another place where a square with two triangles sewn to it would have made more sense and be easier to get a nice point.

Dec BOM 2014 - 17

Then I put rows together.

Dec BOM 2014 - 15

Pressing after each stage, making sure the seams were opposite for nesting, here is the final block.

Dec BOM 2014 - 16

I am really glad this project is over.  I have an idea for setting, but at this point I am not sure it will get done anytime soon.  I am not a batik fan, and the thought of spending even more money on more batiks to finish just creams my corn.  Maybe later.  Or maybe it will just get slammed together for a charity quilt.  Decisions, decisions.

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November Block of the Month

This month the local quilt store gave us the Sunlight and Shadow block from Quilt Blocks Galore.  They decided that our quilt needed more green, so they chose a nice deep green batik to pair with the gold.

November 2014 BOM - 1

You’ll need mostly squares, with a few HSTs made from more squares.  As usual, I like the draw a line method of making HSTs, so I’ll go with that again.

Fabric Requirements

Dark (green) – four 3-1/2 inch squares, and two 3-7/8 inch squares

Medium (gold) – two 3-1/2 inch squares, and two 3-7/8 inch squares

Background – two 3-1/2 inch squares, and four 3-7/8 inch squares

November 2014 BOM - 2

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the background 3-7/8 inch squares.  Layer the four 3-7/8-inch background squares with the dark and medium color squares of the same size right sides together.

November 2014 BOM - 3

Sew a scant 1/4-inch away from the line on either side, chain piecing back up the other side.

November 2014 BOM - 4

November 2014 BOM - 5

Whoops, forgot to change to Aurifil thread!! Excuse me while I wind a bobbin and rethread. OK, now cut on the diagonal line.  Press and square up to 3-1/2 inches.

November 2014 BOM - 6

November 2014 BOM - 7

Lay out your block.

November 2014 BOM - 8

Sew in rows, pressing the seams opposite.

November 2014 BOM - 9

Sew the rows together.

November 2014 BOM - 10

Done!!  Are you following along with this BOM?  The last block is next month.  I am already starting to think about how I want to put them together.  I have an idea that I think will surprise you, but I need to get more fabric.  Imagine that!!


October Block of the Month

Continuing our batiks exploration with another block.  The local quilt store is picking the fabrics and patterns.  This month the pattern is Wyoming Valley, available on Quilt Blocks Galore.  The shop has chosen a dark purple with a red-orange accent.  The same grey background was given to us too.


As usual, I don’t like the instructions as given, the wiggling back and forth doesn’t work for me.  So, I’ll give the dimensions with chain piecing instructions.


So, first the cutting of the pieces.

Purple – cut eight rectangles 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches.

Grey – cut eight squares 2-7/8 inches, and twenty squares 2-1/2 inches.

Orange/Red – cut eight squares 2-7/8 inches.

Match up the orange/red with the grey 2-7/8 inch squares, draw a diagonal line on the grey.


Sew on both sides 1/4 inch away from the line.


Square up the HSTs to 2-1/2 inches.


Lay out the corner units, and sew each one. .


Isn’t chain sewing more fun!


Iron your seams opposing so they will nest


Lay out the center unit and sew.


Lay the 2-1/2 inch grey squares on opposite corners of the purple rectangles, with half going to the right and half to the left. Pin them so you don’t get them mixed up.


Sew on the line, chain piecing, being careful to lift the other square out of the way so you don’t sew over it.


Press and trim the excess. You should end up with four chevron units.


Lay them out with the other corner units and the center unit.


Sew in rows, pressing seams alternately.


And you’re done.


I’m not real thrilled with my points on the chevrons on this one. But, I don’t think I’ll frog them out! This BOM will end up as a giveaway quilt when I am done. Since I have never quilted a batik quilt, it will be a learning experience.  I am thinking of sashing it all in black.  Given the variety of colors, and the consistent grey background, I’m thinking it would help the blocks shine.

Wanna catch up with us?  Just click on the Block of the Month 2014 Category in the sidebar.  Thanks for quilting along!