From My Carolina Home

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


Be My Neighbor Quilt Along

The LQS here started a quilt along in January for the Moda Fabrics Be My Neighbor quilt.  The original publication of the block instructions were done late last year.  So, I decided to do this monthly meeting so I can keep up with a few friends.  The shop emailed me the first blocks, but I couldn’t even think about sewing for over a week.  Finally on the day before the meeting, I thought I should at least get one block done, so I pulled some scraps and got busy.

Neighbor Block One 2

This one takes some concentration as each block is different and has lots of pieces that are close in measurement. The background on this one has a 2-1/2-inch square and a 2-1/2 x 2-3/4-inch rectangle. So careful placement is essential. As I usually do anyway, I laid out the bits to be sure they were all in the right spots.

Neighbor Block One 3

Then I picked up adjoining pieces and sewed as many as I could chain style.

Neighbor Block One 4

Took all those the the ironing board, then laid out the block again.

Neighbor Block One 6

Pick up the pieces that could be done next, and chain pieced again until I ran out of bits.

Neighbor Block One 8

I kept going like this until the entire block was sewn.  I put a white on white lacy print in the ‘windows’ to look like lace curtains, but it was too subtle.

Neighbor Block One 10

When I got the block done, I thought ho-hum. I am doing what I always do, choosing the same colors I usually do. So, this block is going to become an orphan. I am going to re-sew another one in spring colors. The trees will become flowering trees instead of evergreens, and I bought some sky fabric in a pale blue Moda marbles with some white that looks like clouds.  One of the other ladies in the quilt-along group also brought up an interesting idea.  She added in a grass patch on either side of her tree, creating a “horizon”, which sets the tree into a landscape.  I liked the look of that too. So, now I am four blocks behind, but who cares! Quilting should always be fun. I have all the best intentions of keeping up, but I am not going to stress out if I am a bit behind.

The patterns are still available at Bear Creek Quilting online, in free downloads. Click on Be My Neighbor to get all the patterns if you’d like to quilt along too, or maybe to join in later.

Want to quilt along with this one?  What are you working on?


Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Begins!

Here we go!!  Gather your precut leftover charm packs and jelly rolls, fat quarters, end of bolts, and scraps for the next mystery in the Scrap Dance Series.  We are going to have a lot of fun putting together this next design, I am liking it a lot!! I do have one completely made, and another one in the works, and I like it so much I may have to do one.  I think you’ll want to do more than one, too.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Step One – Cut Fabric

I have given you five sizes to choose from, so you can do a little or a lot.  Use your rotary cutter and your cutting mat and cut the number of pieces for the size you choose.  Scraps should all be medium to dark in value.  The background works best if it is consistent, and I use white or ivory.  If you decide on a dark background, like black, be sure your scraps are bright or light for contrast.  As usual with my mysteries, it is important that the values of the scraps are consistent for the secondary designs to shine.

Fabric Scraps        Throw        Twin           Full           Queen         King

4-1/2″ Squares             12                 24                 30                 35                42

5″ Squares                     36                72                  90               106              126

5-3/4″ Squares             12                24                  30                  36               42

2-1/2×4-1/2 Strips       24                48                 60                 68                84


5″ Squares                      12                24                30                 34                 42

5-3/4″ Squares              12                24                30                 36                 42

2-1/2×4-1/2 Strips        24                48                60                 68                 84

Here’s all my precuts for the second Two-Step quilt, sure shortened the cutting time!  I am really pleased with the black, purple, green and gold for this one.


Additional background fabric and scraps will be needed late in the quilt assembly, but I can’t tell you exactly how much right now, as it will depend on a decision you make later in the mystery.  1-3 Fat quarters scraps, and perhaps 1/4-1/2 yard of background would likely be enough for the largest size, but I can’t tell you any more than that right now.  So if you buy yardage of background, get some extra.

Update January 31 – I know I don’t usually ask you to hold some fabric for later, but I promise you that you will love it.  So, please bear with me and just set aside a little bit extra – 1 to 3 fat quarters and 1/4-1/2 yard of background depending on the size you have chosen.  This part is entirely optional, you can skip it if you decide to later, but I think you’ll want to do it.

Here are the fabric scraps for the first one I put together.  Lots of ends of charm packs in this one.


Now, let’s Two-Step!

Match up the 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 strips of scraps and background.  Sew two strip units of scrap-background along the long edge.  Chain piece for speed.  Square to 4-1/2 inches square.


Here is a pdf of the January Two-Steps – cutting and first unit assembly – Two Step January Instructions

Button code for those who would like it for a sidebar –

<a title=”Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along” href=”; target=”_blank”><img src=”; alt=”Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along” width=”240″ height=”180″ /></a>

Post your pictures of your scrap colors and your progress on our  – Scrap Dance Mystery Flickr Group

The next steps will publish the third Friday of each month for 6-7 months.  Click on February Two Step for the next post!

Have fun!!  Will you Two-Step with us?


Scrap Dance Mystery #3 is Coming! Are You Ready to Two-Step?

The new design is done, the first quilt is made, and I am working on the second to be sure the pattern is correct.  Scrap Dance Mystery Two-Step will premier next Friday, with clues on the third Friday of every month.  I like this design a lot, and I  might even make a third one.  The pattern takes advantage of some precuts, so you can use some of those to reduce the amount of cutting if you have them.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

I hear the George Straight song ‘Ocean Front Property’ in my head every time I think of Two-Stepping! Here is a video of him singing live if you haven’t heard it, or if you want to hear it again.  It’s a great song!  For my international friends who may not be familiar with US geography, Arizona is land locked without an ocean shoreline, and the Golden Gate is a bridge in San Francisco.  The song is about a guy telling a big fib about not being in love.  It is a toe tapper, so enjoy it!

Scrap Dance Two-Step will last about 7 months, with plenty of time between posts to get your steps done.  I am very excited about this one, as I designed it to take advantage of pre-cuts to save you some cutting time if you have some in your scrap bin.  Of course, you can still use scraps and leftover bits as always if you don’t, you’ll just need to cut the sizes required. So, dig out those charm squares, jelly roll leftovers and fat quarters, and get ready to cut fabric next week.

I have updated the open Flickr group for this mystery. Click on Scrap Dance Mystery Group 2017 for the group, join us to share your progress from fabric selection to finished quilt, and every stage between!  This is the same group we used for Tango, and the original Scrap Dance, just updated for the new mystery.

Here’s a little logo button for you, it should link back to this post, and I’ll add a link here to the first post next week.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Scrap Dance Two-Step has started!  Click HERE for the first post!

Are you ready for a scrappy mystery quilt along?

Sharing the announcement post only, I will not be linking the individual steps.

Whoop Whoop Friday

Crazy Mom Quilts

Busy Hands Quilt Alongs Link Page

Show Off Saturday

Oh Scrap!

Main Crush Monday

Linky Tuesday Freemotion by the River

Let’s Bee Social

Needle and Thread Thursday

Seams to Be Sew



Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along – Block A

Update – This post series will be taken down on March 1, 2017.  The pattern is now published in my Craftsy store for the low introductory price of just $5.  Purchases fund the costs of the blog so I can continue to develop fun quilt alongs without resorting to ads.  The price will go up to its regular price of $8 on March 1.

Today will be Block A.  This is the star block that uses just a few HSTs and lots of squares.  If you are still making HSTs, this should give you some time to catch up. Lay out your squares and HSTs in the design shown.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Sew in rows.  Press the seam allowances in opposite directions – such as even rows left and odd rows right, or however you like – so the rows will nest nicely.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Press the row seams all in one direction, either up or down, doesn’t matter. This will allow nesting of the seams with Block B.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Make 18 for the quilt-along size quilt.


And, for those who have asked about the two color Christmas option, I have done the math for you.  Update – Thanks to Cheryl for catching that I colored the sample backwards to the instructions.  Here is how it should be.


Here are the cutting needs for that option.
Background 2-1/2 squares –   212
Background 3-inch squares –  174

Block A – reds
2-1/2 inch squares – 162
3-inch squares -72

Block B – greens
2-1/2 inch squares – 153
3-inch squares – 102

Don’t forget, upload pictures of your progress to our Flickr Group – Scrap Dance Waltz – I’ll do an update next week, then the next step Block B in a fortnight.

If you are just now finding this post, see this link for all the cutting instructions – Scrap Dance Waltz Let’s Begin!

Ready for the next step?  Click on Scrap Dance Waltz Block B.

Are you quilting along?  Are you scrappy or two color, or three color?


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



One Monthly Goal – November

My One Monthly Goal for November was only to get the red fabrics ready for cutting, and cut the pieces needed to begin.  At the time I made that goal, I had a red mess after washing the fabrics.  The color ran like crazy, and after I did the goal, I decided to wash them a second time.  With more color run, I thought the best thing would be to put the cutting on hold and order some Retayne.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I got the order mid-month, and reading the label I needed water at 140 degrees, plus I couldn’t use the washer as it is a low water top loader. Our water isn’t set that hot, so I added a dutch oven of boiling water to the half filled mud sink. Then I stirred in the Retayne and added the dry fabrics. I had to use some tongs as the water was too hot for my hands.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I set a timer, and went back to agitate the fabrics around every five minutes for the 20 minute total soak.  I kept having to add more water, and thus a bit more stabilizer, because the sink plug wouldn’t hold tight enough and the water kept leaking out.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I rinsed them in cold water, as the label says, and  the good news is that the rinse water was clear. Then, I threw them in the washing machine for a spin dry, re-rinse and spin again. Then into the dryer. Out came this mountain of reds, yet again needing pressing.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

One big motivation to get this done was using the reds in the current Scrap Dance Waltz quilt along.  So, I had to just get busy! This took a better part of a day to get to this point.

Red Fabrics for Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

After that, the cutting went fairly fast.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

I got started on the HSTs then remembered I needed to finish cutting the individual 2-1/2-inch squares, so I got busy again and finished up the cutting.

Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

The main thing is the goal was met. Scrap Dance Waltz continues on Wednesday!  Check out the beginning post HERE, you have time to catch up!

Linking up with One Monthly Goal.

Show Off Saturday

Oh Scrap!


Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along – Let’s Begin!

Update – This post series will be taken down on March 1, 2017.  The pattern is now published in my Craftsy store for the low introductory price of just $5.  Purchases fund the costs of the blog so I can continue to develop fun quilt alongs without resorting to ads.  The price will go up to its regular price of $8 on March 1.

Are you ready for a quilt along?  Since this isn’t a mystery, I thought we could do updates every two weeks and take 8-10 weeks.  I’ll give you lots of choices for sizes and finishing.  The quilt will be a two color (or scrappy) quilt with two blocks – 10 inch finished, set 5 x 7 with borders. The total size will be 62 x 82 with borders, or without borders 50 x 70.  Today we will cut fabrics and start our HSTs.


Fabric Requirements

Red/Color Fabrics – about 2-3/4 yards total for blocks
Ecru background – about 2-3/4 yards (includes first border)
Thin border – 1/2 yard
Outer border – 1 yard

Cutting instructions:
Cut the following for the quilt shown above – 18 of Block A and 17 of Block B.
Background 2-1/2 squares –   212
Background 3-inch squares –  174
Red/Color 2-1/2 inch squares –  315
Red/Color 3-inch squares –  174

For those that would like to make smaller or larger versions, here are the cutting requirements for the two blocks individually.

Block A – (multiply by the number you want to make)
Background 2-1/2 squares – 8
Background 3-inch squares – 4
Red/Color 2-1/2 inch squares – 9
Red/Color 3-inch squares -4

Block B – (multiply by the number you want to make)
Background 2-1/2 squares – 4
Background 3-inch squares – 6
Red/Color 2-1/2 inch squares – 9
Red/Color 3-inch squares – 6

Step One Sewing

Match the 3-inch background squares with the red/color 3-inch squares and make half square triangles.  Square up to 2-1/2 inches.  If you need a refresher on how I do mine, click on Chain Piecing Half Square Triangles.


Here is the schedule for posts.  When we get to Block B, I’ll do a pdf for you to keep.

Today – cutting and making HSTs
November 30 – Block A
December 14 – Block B
December 28 – Assembly and Borders
January 11 – Quilting and Finishing

You could do yours in Christmas colors too if you liked,  just make Block A in greens and Block B in reds.


Here is what you need for that option –
Background 2-1/2 squares –   212
Background 3-inch squares –  174

Block A – reds
2-1/2 inch squares – 162
3-inch squares -72

Block B – greens
2-1/2 inch squares – 153
3-inch squares – 102

I created a new Flickr group for anyone to share their photos of progress on this quilt along.  Click on Scrap Dance Waltz Quilt Along Flickr Group to add yours.  It is a public group, no approvals to join needed.  You need to have a Flickr account, which is free and easy to set up, then upload your pictures to your account and add them to the group.  It is fun to see all the progress, and we tend to comment on each other’s pictures, nice to get the conversation going between participants.  There is also a discussion board you can post to, and ask questions or talk about your progress along the way.

OK, time to get to the cutting boards and sewing machines!  Are you quilting along?  Just four or five blocks in a row would make a great Christmas table runner, or four in a square for a topper. Let me know if you are good with the schedule or if you want to accelerate the quilt-along so you can finish for Christmas.

Update – Block A is posted!

Sharing the first post only with…

Needle and Thread Thursday

Whoop Whoop!

Crazy Mom Quilts

Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She

Main Crush Monday