From My Carolina Home

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


Preparing for the Mountain Regional State Fair

Turn-in day for entries into the Mountain Regional State Fair is Monday, and I am getting all my entries ready. I have decided to enter 14 crafting, quilting and photography competitions this year. This means getting hanging sleeves on the larger quilts, and labels on all the entries. Scrap Dance Two Step is finished up with a permanent sleeve, in black to coordinate with the backing.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

Having this blog is really helpful to remember what I made in the time frame eligible for entry. I didn’t think I had that many quilts and wall hangings to enter, then I remembered Autumn Jubilee from last year! Here is the mini-quilt from that event.

Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along ~ From My Carolina Home

I am working hard on the autumn inspired quilt along for this year, look for the fun to begin in October.  There are already some fantastic prizes committed by some fabulous sponsors.  Click on the Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar to see all the fun from last year.  (Smart phone users, the sidebar is at the bottom below the comments.)  The table topper can go into the Table Linens category.

So I gave it a label.  This is my handwork focus this weekend, labels and sleeves.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

The ‘Be My Carolina Neighbor’ quilt will be entered too, in the Mixed Techniques Quilt category as it has both piecing and applique along with the button embellishments.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

So, it gets a label and a temporary sleeve.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I have a tutorial on doing temporary sleeves HERE. I hand whip them on with a large stitch that is easy to take out, and arrange them so there are no raw edges of seams showing.  Folding back the overage makes the sleeve useful for almost any size finished quilt.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

More labels are sewn on for my Patriotic Scrap Dance Tango, (patriotic pattern is a free bonus with the Scrap Dance Tango pattern) and Scrap Dance Two Step.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I decided to show Magnolia Attic Windows too, so it also needed a temporary sleeve.

Magnolia Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I’ll be entering five photography categories, plus Scrap Dance Waltz will be in the quilting competition.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

My wool penny rug from Autumn Jubilee 2016 will be entered into a needlework category. Yes, there will be another design for this year’s event.

Autumn Jubilee Stitch Along Wool Applique ~ From My Carolina Home

Competition is fierce at this fair!  I really enjoy seeing all the entries.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I have a fall wreath for that craft competition, and this year for the first time, I am entering two cooking contests.  I have to make the recipe and deliver the food on the assigned days for evening judging.  I’ll be there in the evening on Tuesday September 12 and Thursday September 14 with my efforts.  I am entering the Egg contest and the Blueberry contest.  Yes, I will share the results with you!  This is going to be fun, and I cannot wait!

Do you enter competitions at your local or state fair?

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

(This is an affiliate link. By clicking on the link and making a purchase, I may earn a small commission to help support the costs of my blog.  You can use your existing account with Fat Quarter Shop to shop.  Thank you for using my link!)


Crazy Mom Quilts




Christmas Card Crafting

Before you start taking down all the holiday stuff, I needed to get in this post on what to do with some of the Christmas Cards you have. There are some interesting ideas on the internet, including one of ornaments made of circles folded this way and that, angels made by cutting out a pattern, and other things, but all that was a bit complicated for right now. Maybe I can save some cards out and try those later, but for today, I wanted to show some quick ideas that don’t need a lot of prep.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

First, do you have any gift bags around with store names on them?

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Use a cut-out from a Christmas card to cover the logo. Now you have gift bag you can re-use.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I had this tri-fold card. I cut the middle into strips, and  I’ll use the front on a gift bag.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

I cut a long, thin strip with the candies, then put it through the embosser to give it some interesting texture.  It took two runs to get all of the strip embossed.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Mounting the strip on a white background, I have a lovely bookmark to add to a book gift next year.  Or to use myself now.  I usually have multiple books going at once, and there are lots of recipes in cookbooks I bookmark to make later.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

I stamped the word ‘friendship’ on the back. You could put any sentiment you like there.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

The next card was narrow and wide, so I cut out the motif in the middle.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

It was wide enough for two bookmarks, this time with ‘Thank You’ on the back.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

This card had a beautiful sentiment inside, so I carefully cut it out leaving space all around.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Punch a hole in the upper left corner and thread a pretty ribbon through. Now you have a gorgeous gift tag for a special gift next year, with plenty of space for a To and From.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

This card had a lot of potential, so I challenged myself to get the most out of it.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Begin with cutting the front side of the card away from the back side.  Then keep cutting bookmark and gift tag shapes.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Ten bookmarks and gift tags from one card! The inside had a nice green border which I turned into an accent stripe.  Stamping flowers on some means I have gift tags for birthdays or other gifts.   I mounted the sentiment inside on a piece of cardstock, which will make a nice bookmark for DH.  I punched holes in the gift tags to add ribbons.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

For the Smile bookmark, I stamped the word on the beige section then punched a hole in the center top. I threaded a ribbon through the hole as it made it a bit fancier.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

With this next card, I saw a lot of opportunities to use my punches.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

The trees, deer, and snowflakes made cute elements for a hand crafted card next year.  Using the ornament punch, I centered a snowflake, punched out the shape, then mounted it on a bit of solid red cut from another card for a place card.  Using the scalloped circle punch, pretty elements of pine boughs will dress up a hand made card next year.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

And lastly, sometimes you get a card that is just so cute, it needs to be a permanent addition to the decor. In that case, frame it.  These dogs are just precious in their Christmas pageant.

Christmas Card Crafting ~ From My Carolina Home

Somewhere I have one of Airedale dogs singing into microphones with Christmas sweaters on.  It is beyond cute, and I am absolutely certain I would never throw it away. I really need to find that before all the Christmas decoration boxes are packed up, and frame it so I don’t lose it.

So, don’t throw away those cards!  Recycle them into other projects.  And know that you can recycle any kind of card, so keep the birthday and anniversary cards, Easter and Halloween, and any other card you receive.  Bookmarks, gift tags, place cards and new cards can be quickly made from recycled cards.

Have you recycled cards into other projects?



Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes

Celebrate and Decorate

Brag About It

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Share Your Cup

Vintage Charm



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



Autumn Jubilee Wrap Up

Today will wrap up the Autumn Jubilee event, but read to the end for a sneak preview of the next big Mystery!  I have loved seeing all the progress photos on Flicker.  The colors chosen and the projects made are just wonderful.  Once again, I’d like to thank all my favorite companies for their participation in providing giveaways for readers.


Giveaway drawing winners



Aurifil winner Nancy at Joy For Grace blog, new follower using a blog reader.

Connecting Threads winner of the mini conthrdspumpkinquilt stand and topper is Vicki H, blog reader subscriber.FatQuarterShop-300x300

The winner of the Fat Quarter Shop $25 gift certificate is Danice G, email subscriber.

backside_fabrics_logo_addtm Back Side Fabrics $30 gift certificate winner is Val at Val’s Quilting Studio, blog reader subscriber.


paisleyposies Stampin Up Paisleys and Posies bundle winner is Margaret N, email subscriber.

Magnet King – winners of the craft kits are Mary C and Pat T.

From My Carolina Home – The random number generator gave me this picture on our Autumn Jubilee Flickr group, quilting winner – Diann B!   Diann may have finished this mini-quilt, but she wins quilting of a table topper.


Congratulations to all the winners!!  Yes, there will be more events like this one next year.

Now, for the preview!  I have been sewing like crazy on next year’s mystery quilt.  The design is done, one throw size quilt top is pieced, and at the moment it is on the quilting frame.  I do like the design, and I think it is a good scrappy look.  I am planning to make another larger one to check the measurements.  The sneak preview is this – the design will take advantage of jelly roll strips, charm packs and layer cakes, along with some fat quarters. So, take advantage of the clearance sales on those precuts and you’ll have a big head start on the mystery.  I just ordered three clearance charm packs for the 5 inch squares I’ll need for the larger size, and save cutting time.

I have another new design coming up next week using jelly roll leftovers.  It will be a very fast project using just 9 jelly roll strips, so dig out those strips, or cut some WOF strips 2-1/2 inches in width to quilt along with a project that can be finished in an afternoon.  Plus, the red two tone quilt is in the design process and I think will be a quilt along too.

Did you have fun with Autumn Jubilee?  Please join me in thanking all the wonderful sponsors of this event.


Pine Cone Candle Wreath

Last year we had a tree fall in the forest on our property, and part of it landed on the driveway. So, no choice but to cut it up and move it. It was a black locust, which is really nice hardwood. So, in exchange for giving the wood to our wood-worker neighbor, he was asked to slice some discs from the trunk for me. He was happy to do this, and I got about 6 wood slices.  I let them sit in the garage for a couple of months to totally dry out.  Four of them had a fairly even slice, and I set to cleaning them.  I decided not to sand them smooth, I like the rustic look to them.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

I used a stiff brush to knock off any bark that was loose, and all the dirt in the crevasses. I scrubbed the cut surfaces too, to be sure any sawdust was gone. Then I tried a spray varnish.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

This didn’t seem to work well, the porous wood just soaked it up. So, I scoured around in the basement and found some varnish that was a matte finish. This is just what I wanted, not shiny. So, using a foam brush, I put on three coats on both sides, making sure to get all the bark well covered. Allow the wood slices to dry thoroughly.  If you don’t have a tree to cut up, these are available online and at a couple of the big box craft supply stores.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

Next I got out my supply of pine cones, and picked out several that were about the same size.  I have a huge basket of pine cones, some from friends, and some from estate sales. The pine cones were chosen by how solid the base appeared. Any stem remaining was cut off with plier cutters.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

Six pine cones made a nice ring around the edge of the wood slice.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

Once all the pine cones were attached with hot glue, the spaces between were filled in with sweet gum balls. Our back yard is full of these little things.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

To make it easier for the sweet gum balls to be attached with hot glue, I trimmed off part of one side with scissors.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

Acorns are added between the sweet gum balls and the pine cones to fill in the small spaces remaining.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

All done, and I added just a bit of hot glue between the pine cones where they overlap just for stability.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

I added a tall candle to the center.  Red or Green candles could be used for Christmas, but for now I am going with an Autumn color.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I entered it into the Mountain State Fair, and won a blue first place ribbon for the category of Crafts Using Natural Materials. It was exciting that it was selected to show in the cases.

Pine Cone Ring Candle Holder ~ From My Carolina Home

This will be a centerpiece for a rustic tablescape I have planned for later in the year. The crackle glass votive candle holder fits well too.  It is a pretty leaf design with autumn colors. I have three and they come out every year at this time.

Pine Cone Candle Wreath ~ From My Carolina Home

I like this a lot.  Our home is being bombarded with acorns right now. Seems like just as soon as DH gets them swept up and thrown into the woods for the squirrels, the trees drop a whole new load.  You do have to watch your head right now, it is easy to get beaned by one.  So, I think I need a couple more crafts to use up more acorns.

Pine Cone Candle Wreath ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you like to craft with pine cones?  Share your pine cone crafts with us on our Autumn Jubilee Flickr group.


My blog is a variety of subjects, quilting and sewing, tablescapes and recipes, book reviews and hand stitching, crafting and mountain living. I love to have new followers, too! See the buttons on the sidebar to follow by your favorite method. If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, Pinterest, a blog hop or link up, please stay a bit and have a look around, my tutorials are gathered at the top in pages to make them easy to find, and the categories on the sidebar will gather posts in any subject for you. Lots of fun is had here, and I invite you to follow with any of your favorite methods, see the sidebar for ways to follow. My fourth mystery quilt is in the planning stage, and will begin in January 2018. Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.

Are you a quilter too? See my Christmas Hexagonal Table Topper free pattern!

Christmas Hexagonal Table Topper 15


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






More Fun at the NC Mountain State Fair

More fun at the NC Mountain State Fair began with the crafting competitions. I worked so long on this set of crewel ornaments last fall, and was thrilled to find them hanging in the crafting competition area with a red second place ribbon.

State Fair 2016 - crewel ornaments

This was baby animals day, and we were lucky to get to the Mooternity Ward mere moments after the birth of this adorable little guy. Mom was busily licking him clean, and he was struggling to stand just a few minutes later. We were told that the little ones usually manage to stand between 30 minutes and 2 hours after birth.

State Fair 2016 - mooternity 4

These cute little piglets looked like they had been having fun running around and now exhausted, all piled up asleep together. They are just a couple of weeks old.

State Fair Livestock 2016 piglets

The chicks were hatching in the warming incubator, and you could watch them pecking out of their shells. The color in this picture is red from the lights so I hope you can see this little guy newly emerged from his shell and still wet, blinking hard at the light.

State Fair 2016 - chick just hatched

Then when they were up and dry, they were moved over to the larger pen.

State Fair Livestock 2016 chicks

It looked like rain for part of the day, but it was much cooler than it has been so we didn’t mind. These pictures were taken while riding the sky trans, about the only ride I will do there.  This is the best way to take the trip, with the mountains in the distance.

State Fair 2016 - 1

It is such a colorful view!

State Fair 2016 - 3

Do you mind if I toot my own horn just a bit more? The Quilted Art Project took a second place in mixed media.  I was really happy as this project took months to complete, just working on it here and there as I found time to sit still over the summer.

State Fair 2016 - art project

The Christmas Wool Penny rug from the Christmas in July event won a second place ribbon.  Pattern is free HERE.

State Fair 2016 - wool penny rug

My original pattern the Charleston Bag won a third place. That pattern is available in my Craftsy store, Charleston Bag Pattern.

State Fair 2016 Charleston bag

My pin woven purse got a second place. The pattern is free on the Moda Bake Shop site, Pin Woven Jelly Roll Tote.

State Fair 2016 - pin woven purse

Whew, it was a lot of walking and looking.  We did enjoy a couple of shows, one was an acrobat troupe that was fantastic, and the second trip we saw a magic show.  Yes, I did get a Chicken and Waffle again one day, and the other day had a corn dog.  Fair food is just part of the experience, isn’t it?  If you missed the first post on the fair, see it HERE, with the livestock exhibit and more of my ribbons (toot, toot!).

Do you go to your state fair?


Take Me Away!