From My Carolina Home

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


Be My Neighbor – Quilting the Beast

After the flimsy was done, I measured the quilt.  It came out at 70 x 96 inches, quite the beast!  So now the decision was how to quilt it.  From the beginning, I wanted to do a cloud fill in the sky parts, and individual motifs and designs on each house.  I needed to decide as it affects the way it is loaded on the longarm, custom quilting gets loaded with the top edge pinned to the leader and quilted from the front of  the machine.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That, frankly, was an overwhelming idea at this point, with it being such a big quilt.  I could do that and just not finish for this year’s fair, after all there’s another fair next year.  But I just chickened out and decided on a pantograph. So, I need to load it crosswise, with the longer axis parallel to the leaders.  Pantographs are quilted from the back side of the frame.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

That decision affects how I would piece the backing as well, as it is best for the seams to run parallel to the bars. There was only one fabric in my stash for backing that had enough fabric on the bolt.  I needed 5-1/2 yards to get the required 4 inches all around for longarming.  I have a couple of wide backs in the stash, but their autumn look didn’t go with this quilt.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Now, what pantograph to choose? I pulled several from the basket to audition.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I eliminated three right off, as they were not dense enough for the look I wanted. So, these two were the choice. The flowers and leaves didn’t seem to be the right scale for the houses. So, I picked the one on the left below for its feather motif and fairly dense quilting design.  It is called Feelin’ Groovy designed by Michelle Wyman and Terri Watson for Heart and Soul Quilts sold by Willow Leaf Studio.  The width of the panto is 14 inches, so one pass quilts a lot of area.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing seam done, it was loaded with Warm and Natural batting. I folded up the bottom to check the square. Yippee, my borders are straight! Yes, I do this on my own quilts. I want to fix piecing or border issues before starting quilting. You can do the same with your quilts using the side of a bed.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

OK, getting there. Next choice, thread color. I auditioned lots of colors, I thought the greys would win, but they didn’t look as good on the houses as a brown tone.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The choice came down to these three.  I had an idea that the light variegated gold might look like sunlight in the sky, but it was too bright for the houses. Ultimately, I decided on the light brown Essentials thread for the top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And we’re off! Amazingly, the tension is perfect from the beginning.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The stitching stepped over the appliques easily. I was nervous about that.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I like the look on the lighter colors, adding a bit of pattern to the larger pieces on the houses.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

It disappeared on the busier prints and darker colors.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

The birdies did well too, another breath holding moment, or five, LOL!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Working my way down the quilt, all is going well. I left it for the evening, to pick up again the next day.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Starting again on day two of quilting, new bobbin and it is quilting nicely.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

And in a stroke of luck, the bobbin only ran out on the pebble fabric, so I could tie off and bury the threads and it didn’t show the starts and stops at all.  I did buy a side threading needle to make that easier.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Down to the bottom of the quilting (which is the side of the quilt top), still doing well. Whew!!

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Backing checked, no thread loop runs, all looks great, so off the frame it came.  Amazing!  No trouble at all.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is quilted. I was really afraid that it would be a pain since the piecing has been such a trial.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

But there it is, here’s the bottom half.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

All trimmed, and ready for the final touches. Binding is next, and football preseason is here, so I have handwork to do for a number of days. I need to do the binding, then add all the embellishments like buttons for bird eyes and some other things. After that, it will need a hanging sleeve and a label. At this point, I am ahead of schedule and will surely have enough time to finish in time to show it at the Mountain Regional State Fair.

Quilting Be My Neighbor at From My Carolina Home

Have you ever had a project that gave you as much trouble as this one has given me?

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  You can follow my blog in several ways, see the sidebar for email sign up or blog-reader links.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!


Finished or Not Friday

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?



Building a Brighter Year Quilt

Last fall during the Autumn Jubilee, quilter Diann won the prize of quilting a table topper.  She contacted me to ask if I would do a small quilt for a charity called Building a Brighter Year instead of her table topper.  This charity supports families with infants facing medical challenges and financial hardship in Colorado.  Of course, this was a no-brainer, I had to say yes to help this very worthy cause. She mailed it to me, and I set it up on the longarm with Warm and White cotton batting.

Diann's Quilt - Quilted by From My Carolina Home

Auditioning threads, there were several that looked nice. I decided on the brown on the left as it went well with the backing fabric she sent.  It is also polyester, so it adds a bit of shine to the work.  The bobbin has Bottom Line.

Diann's Quilt - Quilted by From My Carolina Home

Quilting it was fast, as it was small.

Diann's Quilt - Quilted by From My Carolina Home

I thought this sweet pantograph of hearts would look nice.

Diann's Quilt - Quilted by From My Carolina Home

The scale was good for a small quilt, giving a nice density to the quilting.

Diann's Quilt - Quilted by From My Carolina Home

I trimmed it for her, and shipped it back to her last week. She will add the binding, and then donate it to the charity for their silent auction, which will be in April. Thanks, Diann, for letting me participate with your charity! Her blog is Little Penguin Quilts, and I imagine she will show the finished quilt there when she gets it done.

Are you doing any charity sewing?



Let’s Bee Social

Crazy Mom Quilts

Oh Scrap!



Victorian Pastel Quilt

This was a beautiful quilt, and so pretty in the pastel pinks and purples.  I love this combination of colors.  The blocks are five sided log cabin style with at least a dozen different prints.  They were left for our local club’s program chair at our sew in and no one claimed credit.   The blocks were so pretty, and Marti set them on point with pale pink squares, and found a neat striped fabric for the border.  She wanted some kind of quilting that would show nicely in those pink blocks and I had the perfect thing.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Once again, the quilt is flat as can be even with all the bias edges in the setting design.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is the same one I used on my AQS jury accepted quilt 2 years ago at the national show.  It is called Plumeria Garden by designer Lisa Calle at Intelligent Quilting.  It takes up excess fabric nicely if there are waves in the piecing, but this wasn’t needed in a quilt constructed by Marti. Heaven to quilt. Loading it up, I auditioned thread colors, and decided on a sweet pink Essentials thread. As usual, I put Bottom Line in the bobbin. The batting is Warm and White donated by The Warm Company. I started the quilting, and rolled it to the next pass.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Remember how I always say that I learn something with every quilt? Well this one was no different. Sometimes it is an exercise in problem solving. This time, while quilting one pass, the laser light wasn’t firmly tightened, so it drifted during the quilting. What that left me with was gaps in only part of the quilting between passes.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Oh great, now what. I couldn’t quilt another pass of the pantograph because there wasn’t enough room between the two. and when I got to the other end, the pantographs fit together again.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

So, after a little thought, I decided on doing a bit of echo quilting, with a bit of the motif shapes as I could do them freehand. Whew! It doesn’t follow the pattern, but on a charity quilt, I am hoping that the similar density will camouflage the mistake.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

The pantograph looks wonderful in those large pale pink squares, lovely texture.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Once again, I marvel at how flat the joining points are between four blocks.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

I rotary cut the excess off after finishing the quilting.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

My favorite Slow Sunday stitching, putting on binding.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

All done, and ready to deliver.

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

I love these colors and this design. I am seriously thinking of making one for myself!

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Someone is going to be just delighted!

Victorian Purples on Point ~ From My Carolina Home

Have you made a quilt with a block like this?



WIP With Friends

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Whoop Whoop Friday

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Oh Scrap!

Main Crush Monday

Creativity Wednesday



Scrappy Project part 2

This morning, the sun is shining on the snow, but I am still not going anywhere. Here is the driveway with about 4 inches of snow left.  Nope, not going anywhere until more melting takes place.  The sun should make the road passable by late afternoon today, but too late to go to work.  Snow day to sew!

Jan 25th Snow in morning

When I left this project in the UFO stage, I had put together most of the scraps, and had this.  So, I worked on it a bit more over the weekend.

Scrappy Quilt Carrier | From My Carolina Home

I added some squares to the side of the other diamond block.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

A green fabric fills a space to match up with the width of the first piece.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The two pieces were joined together.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

So here is what I ended up with.  It looks like a hot mess right now, but I hope it will morph into something interesting.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Loading it on the longarm to quilt, there is some fullness in the piecing, naturally as I just pieced randomly without measuring.  So I’ll steam it a bit to try to smooth it out.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The colors suggest an autumn feel, so I put a leafy pantograph on it.  I chose one that is fairly dense to take up some of the fullness.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

This is the most difficult pantograph I have, called Luscious Leaves. It has a lot of intricate moves, going around some leaves, then going back and forth with changes in the direction of the stitching.  It is a bit hard to explain but the bottom line is, don’t get off line!

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Quilting proceeds nicely, no thread breaks, LOL!

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

I quilted right off the edge so it was fully quilted with out any bare spots on the edge.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The quilting did well over the seams, and there were a lot of those.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

The quilting is a bit more visible on the back.

Scrappy Project | From My Carolina Home

So, it is quilted and trimmed. Now, what to do with it? Part 3 is HERE.

Speaking of scraps, for those participating in the Scrap Dance Tango! Mystery Quilt Along, I would love to see more pictures of HSTs and colors on the Flickr group.  We have a lot of members, but not a lot of photos yet.  Our first update will be very soon, so upload your progress.

In the view this morning, fog is in the valley.

Fog in Valley, January 2016

DH put a bowl of food out for the ground feeders Saturday, and the juncos found it pretty fast.

Junco chowing down

Then the goldfinches took it over, even though they aren’t traditionally ground feeders.  I must have taken a hundred pictures over the weekend of the birds.  And made them more protein cakes to eat too.

Goldfinches in bowl

So, staying in one more day to work on UFOs. Do you have a UFO in progress?


A Quilting Project for Elizabeth House

I have been working on some quilts for a local hospice, Elizabeth House. I was part of a work party last month to get the tops put together, but unfortunately, the finishing kits were cut wrong.


The borders were too long for the short side, and not long enough for the long side. I measured them a couple of times to be sure, then just had to take a breath, and cut off the excess sewed on by the members at the work party. You can see a huge amount of excess fabric on this side.


I attached the excess to the other border strips and put them on the quilt top. Then I loaded it on the frame. I had to piece the backing. It took 7-1/2 yards of fabric!

EH backing

The other unfortunate thing, the donated batting was only 45 inches wide, so it had to be pieced as well.

EH batting cut

It was a lucky break that my friend Marti (who works at Elizabeth House) came by before I started quilting. She took a look at the quilt top and carefully tried to tell me that it was too big for EH to use.  I’m so glad she did, I would hate for all our members to put in all this effort if they were not going to be used. So, we had to cut off six inches of border all the way around.

EH on frame

The good news is we could attach that six inch wide border to the quilt tops made with just some sashing to make them bigger.

EH quilt3 - 2

I decided to quilt with a grey thread that would recede in the blocks and pop on that white background.

EH quilting 23

I started with this swirly design pantograph. I liked the way it looked with the angles on the blocks.

EH quilting

The drawback is every little wobble will show. Of course, I don’t plan to show you any of those wobbles!!

EH quilting 22

The grey thread does recede nicely on the blocks.

EH quilting 2

I finished quilting that one, and sent it off to be bound by another club member. I had another one to quilt, so it was loaded on the frame this past week. Slightly different block placement in this one, but substantially the same as the first one.

EH2 quilting on frame

I am quilting it with the same grey thread, and a different pantograph. This one is a trefoil design that overlaps on each pass.  I finished off the quilting on this one pretty quickly too.

EH2 quilting

The best part of doing binding is that you have a warm quilt on your legs when it is in the single digits outside with snow and sleet!

EH binding

The goal is for the quilts to be done and ready to deliver in March.  I think we will make it, with the help of a lot of friends at the quilt club.


Valentine Hearts Wall Hanging

I thought I’d bring this project forward from last year, since it uses the same hearts as the Hearts Around Table Topper.  When I showed it last February, there were only about a dozen people reading my blog, so most of you haven’t seen it, LOL!!


It is a bit bigger since I put three borders on this one, an ecru, then the sweet little rose print, then the outer cream background print.  The hearts float in the background on this one.  I quilted it with a pantograph of hearts.


To make this one, just follow the heart block directions for Hearts Around, orient them all the same way, then add a background sashing and border 2-1/2 inches wide.  The second border is a dense red print 1-1/2 inches wide (before sewing), and the third border is a sparse red print cut 3 inches wide.  It is bound in the same print as the outer border.  It finished at about 30 inches square.

Happy Quilting!  and Happy Valentine’s Day!



Val’s Tuesday Archives


Quilting Panels

I am never buying another panel. There, I said it.  I mean it.  Really.  I always have such a hard time deciding what to do with all the bits and pieces.  Do I sash them and fit them into a quilt?  Do I add them to other fabric for a tote bag like my Coffee Tote?  Well, this panel is the last one I have, and I decided to quilt all the bits and make a lot of little things.  I have had this thing for several years.  This year I am going to finish it up!  It is Autumn themed, so it is now or next year.

Autumn mulit quilting 2

I was going to load it as one piece, but I had the two Maple Leaf table runners to do too.  It wouldn’t fit as one piece, so I cut apart the individual motifs, and laid them out along the extra wide backing remnant in my stash.  What else are you going to do with a piece of fabric 108 inches wide but not that long?

Autumn mulit quilting 3

So, I loaded it all up.  In total there are two table runners, two wall hangings, four placemats, eight potholders and two hot mats.

Autumn mulit quilting 4

I began by stitching down all the edges close to the edge, so I can use a pantograph across several items without lifting up the edges.

Autumn mulit quilting 5

This pantograph is 14 inches wide, and I have loaded the items longways on the frame, so I can do 100 inches of panto in one pass. It is a dense leaf pattern called Luscious Leaves. It has a lot of turns and sewing in different directions, so it gives me good practice at moving the longarm. You can see how it works across several items at once.  The only problem was the length was more than one bobbin, so I kept running out of bobbin thread on every pass.  Annoying, but at least I was expecting it. (Update, now I use Bottom Line and get easily twice as much sewing out of every bobbin.)

Autumn mulit quilting 7

Of course, it meant I had to make 17 miles of binding, LOL, but that was OK.  It was a way to use up the striped print.

Border print

Other than cutting one out for a border on one of the Maple Leaf table runners, I could not figure out what else to do with it.  The wall hangings can also be used as table toppers, and the two lovely ladies that work at my office keeping everything running smoothly received them along with a matching potholder.


The rooster placemats will be used on the game table for breakfast and lunch.

Serging Napkins 10

The pilgrims look nice with them.

Pilgrim couple

Naturally the potholders will be used in the kitchen. Here was a happy accident, I sewed the binding on the wrong side of one.


Then found the hand work went a lot easier whipping it down on the front.


The eggs and chickens potholders can be used throughout the year.

Chicken Potholders

The best part is this panel is done, and parts have been gifted in time to use for the holiday.  The lovely autumn themed placemats and runners are being used this season.  Amazing, I actually got them finished this year!