From My Carolina Home

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


More Fun at the Fair

Going back to the the Expo Building at the State Fair while the judges tasted the offerings in the cooking competition, I wanted to search out the two quilts I hadn’t found on my previous visit, and get some better pictures.   Be My Carolina Neighbor was hanging with its second place ribbon.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The Scrap Dance Two Step in black was entered into the wall hanging category and won a third place.

NC Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I was really thrilled to find that the pumpkin and leaf quilted table topper from last year’s Autumn Jubilee won a first place as well as a Judge’s Choice ribbon in the crafts division table linens category!! In the interest of full disclosure, almost half of my entries did not win anything. Competition is pretty fierce, and that makes the ribbons won even more special.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

I wanted to show you this extraordinary quilt.  It won Best of Show, a gorgeous fan quilt pieced and hand quilted by Willoree Risley.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a close up of her outstanding work, ghosted fans that complete over four block in a Baptist Fan design with extra embellishment. This must have taken months to complete, something I just cannot do.  Unbelievably intricate and outstanding work!  Congratulations, Willoree, on a stunning quilt.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

I also want to let the quilter readers know, the Fat Quarter Shop is raising money for Hurricane Harvey relief with a special pattern called Healing Hearts.  Click on Fat Quarter Shop, hover over patterns/books and then click on the banner for Healing Hearts.  While you are there, check out the Flash Sale and the Precuts bargains to help you make your quilt.

Happy Cloud Quilt Batting by Fat Quarter Shop

(Affiliate links. 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 links!)

Fat Quarter Shop's Notion of the Month Sale

In the photography category, one of my photos got a third place ribbon in the category of State Fair photos. Amazingly, this one was a last minute substitution for one I decided wasn’t that interesting. Good decision, wasn’t it!!

NC Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

In the clothing category, my Jelly Roll Market Bag won a third place.  This is a free pattern I did for Moda, and is available for download at the Bake Shop.   Click on the sidebar link to get the pattern.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

There were more things to see and do every time we went. A street entertainer was playing a one-man band, with an assistant pulling his speakers behind. The Chicken and Waffle vendor is right behind him, and yes I did have one the first trip to the fair.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

The Davis building where the cooking competitions are held has all kinds of exhibits and vendors. The one on the dinosaurs was really impressive with animated figures.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

One last ribbon, this Moda project pillow won a second place in the Holiday Decorations category. I’ll show you how I embellished last year’s project when it gets a bit closer to the holidays.

NC Mountain State Fair 2017 at From My Carolina Home

Next time I’ll show you the first cooking competition, and share the recipe.  What are you working on now?



Reflections on an Early Morning

Sometimes I am up really early in the morning, and have the wonderful opportunity to witness the sunrise over the mountain to the east. There is just something about the light in the early morning that is different from evening. I’ve never been able to describe the difference, but I can see it. It somehow seems softer, more pure.

Early Morning 3

The torenia baskets seem to turn their faces to the morning light.

Early Morning 2

A view down the veranda. Quiet. Peaceful.  Only bird song breaks the silence.

Early Morning 7

Noticing the shadows of the railing on the flooring boards, a gentle breeze moves the leaf shadows ever so slightly.

Early Morning 1

Hot coffee and a cool morning, perfect to reflect on our many blessings, and enjoy the beauty of our little corner of the world.  It is also a great time to just think, and I have been doing some designing in these quiet hours too.  I will have a new quilt pattern for you soon.

Early Morning 4

The valley has a different look to the layers of hills and distant mountain ridge with the light from the east.  We face south so the east is to the left in this picture.

Early Morning 5

The bird feeder was seeing a lot of visitors on this day.

Early Morning 9

Here and there, dew drops had formed on flowers.

Early Morning 13

Interplay of light and shadow make interesting shapes.

Early Morning 14

I really liked the shadow on this lobelia trailing tendril, this may be a photo entry in the fair later this year.  The shapes are interesting, and the clear light made a sharp edged shadow.

Early Morning 17

Looking up, the clouds looked like flying visitors.

Early Morning 18

Light and shadow on the driveway down the mountain, in the golden morning.  Reminiscent of a time gone by, of a slower day, time to be still and breathe.

Early Morning 20

The blue jay calls, and the chickadees answer.  A titmouse, a wren and a nuthatch join the choir.  This is a morning for gratitude, for our lives, our freedom, our beautiful home and property, our family and friends, our many blessings.  Count your blessings today, and remember those who have protected our freedom.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day.



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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.  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.  Click on the Home page to see the latest posts on the blog.


Early April in the Garden

It is getting warmer now, and the garden seems to be coming to life again. All around the flowers are not as prolific this year due to a late freeze that did some damage to the buds. Still, the light pink azalea is producing blooms and the bumble bees are having a great time.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

As was the case last year, the white shows the most damage in the discoloration of the blooms. But I still love the white flowers.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Covering the tulips helped, and the pink ones are in full flower.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Dawn on a quiet morning, sunlight makes an interesting pattern on the ground from the leafless trees. This time of day is so peaceful.  Crisp mountain air, hot coffee, breathe.  Soon the trees will leaf out, and the mountain views to the east will be obscured until fall.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The azaleas in the circle are sparse, but the ones that are blooming are pretty. Several others haven’t started yet, and the dogwood is still dormant.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

A view down the drive from our home, more azaleas are coming out. It doesn’t seem like we will see the profusion of blooms all down the side of the meadow this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We have new visitors to the meadows and the back yard. This Eastern Towhee was scratching for food.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

His mate was nearby. She seemed to be more interested in bits of twigs and grass, and I am hoping that means she is building her nest nearby.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It seemed like this female cardinal might also have a nest in mind.  I hope so.  Her mate was in the rhododendron but I couldn’t get a good picture of him.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

We had a visit from a Northern Flicker as well.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another dawn, and a foggy morning over the valley. Looking out over the hushed silence of the morning, there was time to appreciate the beauty of our world.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Goldfinches wearing their brighter color jostled for position on the feeder.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The hostas are coming up strong, and soon will completely cover the bare ground around the tree.  My one little red tulip gallantly blooms all by itself.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The redbud is blooming, hosting a number of bees and butterflies.  I am hoping that the new growth coming from the bottom will fill in the bare spots.  DH has pruned it a bit severely to get the branches off the driveway.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Closer to the small blooms, the pink color is intense, and lots of buds have yet to open.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Another new visitor, I am not sure who this is. I don’t think it is Bert or Ernie as he acts differently. He puffs a lot and gobbles loudly, happy for a handout of whole grain bread. But he has been in a scuffle or two as his bedraggled tail attests.  But, how would I know?  He might just be acting differently because it is spring.  In any case, he is fun to watch.  And he seems to like the bread treat.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

It is surely spring when the robins appear.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

Small violas cover the mountainside behind the house, and sporadically in front.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

The white and purple one I planted in the garden came back this year.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

In the small clearing behind the garage, ajugas are blooming profusely, covering a large section. The pollinators like them too.

Early April in the Garden at From My Carolina Home

I’ve taken so many more pictures, but this is enough for now. I love sitting on the veranda and enjoying the quiet solitude of our place, the mountain views ever changing, nature ever evolving.  We still have a week to go before the last frost date, but I think it is safe now to do some gardening.  The forecast is for temps in the 70s all week, with lows in the 40s.  Time to begin hardening off the seedings in the basement.  Some are still alive, but some died for no good reason that I can tell.  Oh well, will see what happens when I get them replanted.

What’s going on in your garden?


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Autumn Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Last Saturday was our car club’s costume drive, and we had an absolute blast. Our club met up in Asheville, lots of us in funny costumes.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 3

We had a great turnout of cars and members.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 6

Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway was just surreal, the colors were so vibrant.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 31

I kept snapping off photos as we drove along.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 34

So gorgeous, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 35

We went through several tunnels.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 36

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 70

More beauty on the other side.  Vibrant reds and golds, bronze and rust.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 45

It was a grey day all day, not much sunshine so it was hard to get the colors on the wide mountain shot from the overlook where we stopped briefly.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 68

We stopped for lunch at the Little Switzerland Inn’s Chalet Restaurant. Good food and incredible view out the back.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 104

Gorgeous red leaves on the maples here.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 107

Here we are in a group photo. I’m third from the right in the blonde wig, holding my little dragon.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 119

More stunning color on the drive home.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 133

I took over 140 pictures, I promise I won’t show you all of them, LOL!!

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 144

Well, maybe just one more!

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 143

I love autumn!  We’ll get back to quilting next.


Fun at the Mountain Regional State Fair 2015

The Mountain Regional State Fair is in its last weekend, and it was a blast to both enter competitions and attend the fair.  This year I went twice, and yes I had to get a corn dog both times.   I enjoy so much about this annual event, the heritage crafts, the fun food (no I didn’t get a fried oreo, but I did think about it, LOL!), seeing all the winners in the giant pumpkin contest, and of course the wonderful quilts!

State Fair 2015 -35

I don’t ride these crazy things, but I do enjoy the chair lift that takes you over the whole fairgrounds.  That is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

State Fair 2015 -40

This year we got to the fair early on a grey day, just in time to see the rabbit competition.

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging 3

Did you know that the judging for these cute guys is more stringent than the average dog show?

State Fair 2015 - rabbit judging

They were cute lined up in their bins waiting for their turn.  I could have done a whole post just on these little guys.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits in bins

More waiting patiently for their competition, happily munching on hay.

State Fair 2015 - rabbits

We watched the llama competition too, the kids have to take them through an obstacle course.

State Fair 2015 - llama judging 2

No chickens this year, due to the state trying to limit the exposure to the bird flu.  We did see the little pigmy goats, adorable!

State Fair 2015 - 13 pigmy goats

The clogging competition was that day too, but I didn’t get any pictures.  I think I was just so captivated by the kids and how well they danced.  We went over to the competitions building to see the quilts after that.  I was thrilled to see a second place ribbon on my Sudoku quilt made of sewing fabrics. I already showed you the third place on my applique Spotted Hen, also in this picture.

State Fair 2015 - Sukoku

I have a new purse pattern that I’ll be publishing soon.  It won a ribbon too!  It has a beaded embellishment that is from the upholstery department in the home dec department of the local fabric store.

State Fair 2015 - Carole purse

I also received a second place on my Autumn Table Linens Set of table runner, 4 place mats, 4 napkins and 2 potholders, in the quilted crafts division. It was a real thrill to also receive the Judge’s Choice ribbon!

State Fair 2015 - Quilted linens Judges Choice

The real surprise was a first place ribbon in the amateur photography competition, in the category of Fair pictures from last year.  I had taken a photo of some of the vegetable competition with the quilts hanging overhead.

State Fair 2015 -Photo First

The quilts hanging from the ceiling were all spectacular. The winners were well deserved, beautifully pieced and quilted masterpieces.  A couple of my friends won in two categories, and I am thrilled for them.  The black modern quilt ended up oriented this way, and I liked it.  It was hard to get a good picture with the lighting.

State Fair 2015 - Quilt black 1

Back outside, we had to get some food. Chicken and waffle! My first time, and I liked it!

State Fair 2015 -Chicken and Waffles

We took the food to a table down the row and around a corner to hear Leon Jacobs, Jr. do his one man band. Always a treat to hear him play oldies and tell jokes. It is a fun show I like to see, if I can get there at the right time. He only plays a few times a day.

State Fair 2015 - Jacobs

After that, we hit the Heritage crafting area, where I bought some pottery (on both trips, LOL), and we got to watch the blacksmith in action making a metal leaf key ring.

State Fair 2015 - 27 Blacksmith

I took so many pictures! And we did so much more on those two visits than I can put into one post, things to see and do, the little newborn calves at the Mooternity ward, more competitions, beautiful woodworking and a chain saw artist. The floral competition was spectacular as we got there just after all those beautiful blooms were delivered for judging. So many gorgeous roses, orchids and more.

State Fair 2015 - Flowers

I’ll pick up all my entries on Monday, then on Wednesday take three quilts to Asheville for their quilt show coming up the first weekend in October.  Then I am done with shows until next year!  Three shows in less than 30 days is a lot of running around.  Plus it is another weekend of the Friends of the Library book sale, with box-of-books day next Friday.  I hope to get some time to sew in October!

Do you enter competitions in your local fair?  Do you go to the fair?


Grow Your Blog Event 2015

Hi, I’m so glad you stopped by!  Thank you for coming to see what my blog offers.  In a word, much!  But first, I want to thank Vicki at 2 Bags Full for hosting this blog hop party.  And I want to thank my regular readers for all their support over the past year.  I plan for this next year to bring as much fun and variety as the first year.  Click on the Grow Your Blog Button below to see all the blogs participating in this year’s event.

grow your blog 2015

I have been blogging for one year now, (it is my blogiversary tomorrow!), and I do enjoy sharing the many projects I do.   I think a blog should be a source of inspiration and learning for the reader, so I concentrate on content.  There are lots of tutorials here – just look in the upper right corner above the banner picture for categories of tutorials you can see.  I enjoy quilting, crafting, sewing, designing, cooking, reading, gardening, beading, wool work, stamping, photography and playing with my glue gun.  I go hiking in the warmer months in these beautiful North Carolina mountains, and share my best pictures with you.  Here’s a sample of what I have blogged over the past year –

I have quilted and sewn for many years, and each new project brings fresh excitement.  This past year, one of my quilts was accepted into the American Quilter’s Society show in Charlotte.  It was my first quilt accepted into a juried show!


I created several Quilting Tutorials for basic skills…


and a few more fun Quilting Projects.  I have a designer page on Fave Quilts too!


I created a few sewing projects


and crafting projects

Jars basket 2

My garden and veranda occupy a lot of my warmer weather attention.

Porch July 2014

I enjoy cooking, baking and creating new recipes.  This is Rustic Egg Bread.

Egg Bread 14

Try my Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup for a cold winter day.


Sometimes I do research on interesting foodie items, like this article on salt.


And sometimes, I’ll tell you about silly holidays with things you can do to celebrate, like National Donut Day.

Donuts 3

On holidays, I’ll show you my tablescapes, both formal and informal.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 6

Lunch table

In the fall, we go to the local Apple Festival every year, such fun!  We go to other local events too.


We enjoy hiking and exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, see our view from home on the header.


I read a lot too, and often post Book Reviews, sometimes with a Movie Review.

13th Glazed Murder garden Food12 QuiltAsYouGo elegance GoneGirlBookClubCookbook_09-06-11 Tim Gunn Th 101 Knifeskills BreadAlone

I have just so many interests, I have to write about all of them.  DH says I have a low threshold for boredom, so I have to have something going on all the time.  The variety of subjects keeps me interested, and allows me to work on more than one project at a time.  Coming soon are articles on sewing and serging, creating more fun projects with buttons and natural materials, and a series of small quilts for tabletop display, along with several new recipes, book reviews, and mountain living articles.  Check out the categories on the sidebar for more articles, projects, book reviews, recipes, and more.  Or click on the home button to see the last several posts.  If you like a variety of subjects, heavy on the quilting, crafting, cooking and reading, you’ll enjoy this blog.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will come again.


Clouds Over the Mountains

Sometimes it is really amazing how the view from our home changes.  I was sitting on the veranda, just enjoying the cooler air when I noticed how beautiful the clouds were over the mountains across the valley.  The sun was setting, rain had ended a short time before and the light was fantastic.  So, I ran inside to grab the camera and got this shot.


It was only a few minutes later that the clouds changed enough, so I thought I’d take a second picture.


The clouds were moving quickly and the shapes were changing.  I kept taking pictures.


As the sun went down, the color of the clouds became more pink and apricot.  Lovely!  This camera has a hard time with light behind the trees, but I was able to get a hint of the beauty of this evening even though the trees are now just shadows on the camera.  In real life you could still see the green of the trees.


Then this one.  Stunning.


As the sun set, the trees are in total shadow, and the color in the sky continued, turning purple.


The colors are coming out in the trees too.  These maple trees are nearer to the town, and are coming into a brilliant red.


I’ll have more as the autumn color progresses.  Enjoy the views!