From My Carolina Home

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Scrap Dance Two Step March

How’s your mystery going so far, are you caught up and ready for the next step?  I really get a big kick out of seeing all the different color combinations, and choices for backgrounds.  There are some new posts in the Flickr group with really interesting quarter-square triangle units, such diversity!  I can hardly wait to tell you the rest of the steps so I can see the finishes of these wonderful quilts.  But, I’ll just have to have patience, not my strong suit, LOL!

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Match the 5″ background squares with an equal number of 5-inch scrap squares for your chosen size.  Draw lines on the back of the lighter square on the diagonal.

I have found it easier to actually draw the sewing line 1/4-inch away from the center line (that I do not draw), so I draw 2 lines on each square.

If you are using another method, make as many of these units as you have 5-inch background squares in your chosen size cutting instructions.  Chain stitch the units.

Cut apart and press to the darker side.

Now let’s Two-Step!  Take the remaining 5″ color scraps, make two color HSTs.  Pair up the squares with as much contrast as you can with color or value.

Cut apart and press to the darker side.  Square all HST units to 4-1/2 inches.

And that’s the Two-Step for March.  PDF – Two Step March  Don’t forget to share your progress in the Scrap Dance Flickr group.  If you missed any steps, or you are just now finding this post, click on the category of 2017 Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step on the sidebar to see all the posts for the mystery.

So, how’s your Two-Step coming along?  Or, how’s your progress on your current project?







Two Stepping March Update

Lots of progress photos have been shared on Flickr, if you are quilting along I hope you will share your progress too!  Click on Scrap Dance Mystery Group to see the current and past mystery quilts.  Of course, you all know I made two quilts, one controlled scraps, and the other completely scrappy.


Edy John is using black as her background. She has the January unit here ….

Two Step 1

and she shared her February QST unit the day it posted! Wow, she is fast! And I love the black!

Two-Step/ Step 2

Mary began with her first two-step unit.

Playing with Scraps

She set aside time on the day of the February release and got 48 of that unit done that day too.

Step 2 of the Scrap Dance Two step

Carolyn is using lovely blues for her scrappys, and a light background.

P 1 Two step

Lindi’s colors are so interesting, will be wonderful in neutrals!  I think she is making this for her daughter in law.  These colors have an elegance to them.


Witch Stitch (I’m sorry, I don’t know your name) has some really pretty fabrics too.

My 24

Sally has a wonderful fabric selection.

Two-Step Fabric Selection

Marsha is also doing a black background, with wonderful batik brights!

Marsha Day - Part 1

and here are her QSTs she made with her companion angle tool. You know, I don’t care if you follow my way to do the QSTs or use your own, just make the number you need.

Two Step Clue 2 QSTs

Of course, you all know, I adore Elaine’s autumn colors!

Number 2 Two Step mystery quilt with oranges, avacado greens and browns.

Here are her QSTs.

Scrap Dance Two Step... second month done for quilt #1 . On to March. Thanks Carole

And she is doing a second quilt in these colors!

From My Carolina Home.Scrap Dance Two step #2 quilt using all types of scraps. Storing pieces until.March. thank you Carole Carter.

Kristi has a beautiful array of colors and prints…


and made great progress on her QSTs.


Tammie is using a red print for her background, how interesting this will be!!


Here are her QSTs.


Susan has another idea for her Two-Step, all blues. It reminds me of the ocean.

Step one and step two blocks all finished.

It isn’t too late to join in, Laura finished her step one just a few days ago.

Two Step Step 1

It is such a thrill for me to see all these different interpretations of my ideas.  I cannot tell you how much fun I have with all your shares.  Please continue to upload your progress photos, and if you haven’t done so yet, it is easy and free!  Just create a Flickr account, upload your photos and add them to the group.  Be sure they are set to public, not private, so they can be shared here on the blog.  It is the same group I have been using for all the mystery quilts, so you can look back to previous year’s photos too.  The group url is – and I look forward to seeing all your progress.  Plus, you can still upload finish pictures of previous mystery quilt-alongs to the same group.  Jeannine just shared her original Scrap Dance Mystery finish, love her colors and borders!  Great job, and the quilting looks perfect too.


There are also discussion groups connected with each Flickr group where you can ask questions, and most of the participants will comment on the photos.  It is a really fun way to connect with others doing the mystery.


Are you Two-Stepping with us?


Scrap Dance Waltz – Trunk Show!

Doing one more update on Scrap Dance Waltz, to show you some wonderful finishes in lots of colorways!  I had such fun designing this quilt, and I now have the red and cream quilt I have wanted for some time.


One of the great things about doing quilt-alongs is seeing what other people do with the same design.  The color choices and borders make a quilt unique, and I’d like to share a few that were shared on our Flickr group for the quilt along.  These are new shares since the last update.

Needled Mom did hers in blue and white, and I like her border choice with small squares of scrappy blues.

Scrap Dance Waltz

Ila did two quilts in low volume prints. She realized halfway through that her blocks in the quilt on the left had two patches reversed. The quilt on the right is consistent with the pattern. Still, they are both beautiful and both have that circular secondary pattern, it is just stronger on the one on the right.  I am sure the sisters are thrilled.


Brenda did hers in two prints, I think she is going to use this as a Christmas quilt.  Beautiful fabrics, and lots of perfect points!


And here are a few you may have seen before, but newer readers may not have seen.

Tanya sewed her quilt with a wonderful grey background and lots of bright scraps.  This pattern really does chew up the scrap bin.

IMG_0360 2

Susan did a lullaby size in lovely blue and white.

Scrap Dance Waltz top finished, piecing the back now.

And Cheryl did a red and green Christmas theme.

Waltz Tango 2

Here’s one of Elaine’s two quilt flimsys, this one with a yellow border.


I hope all these participants who showed their finished flimsy will upload a photo of the quilted finish. I’d also love to see more, if anyone else that hasn’t shared up to now would like to share.  Please be sure that your pictures are set to public when adding to the Flickr group.  In the meantime, here’s the link to the pattern on Craftsy for purchase at the intro price of just $5 –Scrap Dance Waltz on Craftsy! Thank you to all who have purchased any of my patterns!!  Today is the last day today for introductory pricing on the Scrap Dance Waltz pattern.  Tomorrow, March 1, it will go to a regular price of $8, so you can save $3 by getting it today.

And for those who are Scrap Dancing with our Two Step Mystery, be sure to share your progress on the Scrap Dance Mystery Flickr Group.  I plan to show some progress photos of that one soon.

One more quilt along in progress now is the Be My Neighbor quilt along, for those who would rather know what the final quilt looks like.  Join in the fun starting HERE, yes you have time to catch up!

What are you working on now?



Needle and Thread Thursday


Scrap Dance Two Step February

Here we are with the second post for Scrap Dance Two-Step!   I hope you are having fun!  If you are just finding this quilt-along, you can catch up with January’s cutting and first sewing steps. The best part of a scrappy quilt along is you have nothing to lose!  Get a new quilt by just using up leftovers, and bits in the scrap bins!  Now that you have seen January, you know that each month will have two steps to complete.  Last month was cutting and sewing the first unit.  This month we do a two-step unit.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Step One – For your chosen size, match all the 5-3/4-inch background squares with an equal number of the 5-3/4-inch scrap squares.  Draw lines on the background squares, either one in the center (and sew 1/4-inch away on both sides), or this way – two sewing lines 1/4-inch away from the center.  I have found it easier to stay accurate with this method.


Sew on the lines (or on either side of a center line).  Cut apart down the center between the sewing lines to form half square triangles (HSTs), do not square!  Press toward the scrappy side.


Now, let’s Two-Step!   Using the HST units you just made, draw sewing lines perpendicular to the seam line on half of the units.


Pair them together again with the other half unmarked HSTs, with the scrappy sides matched to background and nesting the seams. Try to mix up medium and dark values on the scraps.


Sew on the lines (or on either side of a center line).


Cut apart down the center between the sewing lines to form quarter-square triangle (QST) units.


Press seam toward one side, which one doesn’t matter.  Then, square to 4-1/2 inches.


February unit – quarter square triangles.


That’s it for February!  Here’s your downloadable pdf –  Two Step February pdf . Click on March Two Step for the next step!

George Strait once again, with Fool Hearted Memory for your Two-Stepping fun!

Are you Two-Stepping with us?  Or sewing something else?  For country fan readers, what’s your favorite Two-Stepping song?


Finishing Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

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.

Picking up where we left off last time, the center section with all the piecing was the next part quilted.  Not surprisingly, it took the most time and care, mainly because I cannot watch the needle while quilting, I have to watch the laser light on the pattern.  This means I have to mark the end stops on the pantograph carefully and set up some wheel stops on the frame to keep from quilting into the border.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

One of my tricks is to use a C-clamp tightened down on the rail to keep the machine from going any further than I want it to go.

Quilting Tango 10 C clamp

Beginning at the top, I placed the base line of the pantograph partial pass to line up with the seam of the border, so I could quilt just the half-pass and keep the seam line straight. Then I did one full pattern pass. So far so good.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

I quilted the pantograph rows until I had less than one row’s width left to do.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

So, how did I get that last row done? Using the paper pattern trick. I use Golden Threads paper for this, as it is very thin, you can see through it, and quilt through it. I start with laying a piece on the quilt totally covering the area that still needs quilting.  I mark the areas I have already quilted to give me some registration lines.  I also mark the edges of the borders to know what area I have to stay in.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Then, I picked up the paper and laid it over the pantograph on the table, lining up the registration marks I had made on the paper, following the lines of the previous sewing line. Using a marker, I drew the partial pantograph pattern on the paper, in one continuous line, making sure I didn’t go over the seam line, rounding off some places to make a smooth sewing line.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Then I pinned it to the quilt top, making sure the seam line marking matched the border seam line, and the registration marks were on the previous sewing line.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Now, quilting from the front of the machine, I stitched through the paper along the line I drew.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

In some places I had to add a start-stop with a shorter line to fill out some partial spaces.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Then I tore away the paper, picking out the little bits in the tight areas with tweezers.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

When the pantograph center section was done and cleaned up, I quilted freehand ribbon candy in the rose print border.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Then I cleaned up all the water-soluble pen markings with Sew Clean. I got this pinpoint dabber at Quilter’s Apothecary, so I just wet the markings and not big sections of the quilt to erase them.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Quilting completed, and ready for the binding to be applied.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Now working on the binding while parked in my chair.  Doing some handwork keeps me from being too bored while I am not able to get up and go as usual.  I’ll do some finish pictures when it is all done.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

The wool batting is lightweight and warm.  It is a higher loft, so fluffier and gives more of a puffy look around the quilting. I like the overall effect, but next time I’ll try just quilting from one end of a quilt to the other like I usually quilt a pantograph.

So for now, I’ll be slow stitching the binding on by hand, still watching movies, and taking it easy.  Thank you again for all your emails and well wishes in the comments.  I think I am over the worst now, and on the way back to normal.

If you are just finding this post, you can see the whole quilt from the beginning, start HERE.  The posts in this series will remain up until the end of February for you to see.  After that the pdfs will be taken down, and the pattern will go to regular price in my Craftsy store. Or you can download the entire pattern at its introductory price in February in my Craftsy store – HERE.

What are you working on?  Have you ever used wool batting?



Slow Stitching Sunday

Oh, Scrap!

Whoop Whoop Friday

Needle and Thread Thursday



Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Scrap Dance Waltz quilting had to wait for delivery of the variegated thread, and it came last week.  I had already loaded the quilt with wool batting onto the longarm.  I didn’t show you all this pic when I loaded it, the snow is on the ground outside the windows. It was a bit maddening to have snow days to sew, and then not have the thread I really wanted. So it sat like this for almost two weeks, waiting for the King Tut Rubiyah red variegated thread to arrive.  I used a burgundy red Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

Now all that was needed was to decide on a plan and begin. I wanted to do a semi-custom quilting, with a pantograph of a feather design in the center, and freehand borders.  I began by stitching the top edge down, and quickly realized the high loft was going to make the stabilizing more of an effort.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz ~ From My Carolina Home

I also was going to stitch in the ditch on all three borders before beginning quilting to ensure that it stayed straight. The high loft really made the layers puff. Not sure I like this, but it is way too late to change it now.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

I went ahead with the piano keys quilting in the outer border.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

I did those all the way around and completed the SID on the inner borders.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

I wanted a bit of a loopy loop going in opposite directions on the inner border.  To do that with even spaces, I used the adding machine tape trick because it is easier than working out the math. Lay out a piece of adding machine tape along the border you want to mark. Cut it the exact length you need to stitch. Pick it up and fold it in half, then in half again, and again, and keep going until you get the interval you like.  Crease the folds hard so you can see them when the paper is unfolded again.

Paper folding

Then lay it on the quilt, pin it in place and use a water soluable marker to mark the fold points, alternating between the inside seam and the outside seam.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Now sew your loops, alternating the orientation.  Some of you may wonder why I did this part second, and I don’t have an answer for that.  It was just what I felt like doing at the time.  Maybe I was in freehand mode, and not quite ready to deal with the center.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Even though I know better, I thought I’d just improvise the corner. Not a good idea. This mess got ripped out, then the stitch path was re-drawn with the marker and re-sewn.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Go all the way around the border, using as much of the adding tape as needed. I used the same long piece for all four sides, just marking where I needed to stop, and this time marking the corner stitch paths too.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

I was very surprised to see the center of the quilt develop all this extra fullness at the bottom as I worked on the borders. After some experimenting, I realized that the wool batting was grabbing the fabric underneath the top bar and the pressure of that bar was pushing it to the bottom.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

To fix that, I released the quilt between the leaders and raised the top bar each time I advanced the quilt once I began working on the center section. Then it appeared that the twice washed backing was going to stretch too. So, rerolling helped that as well. I still had to use the trick of stuffing some batting under the leader here and there to keep it straight.  Part of that backing slackness on the sides is due to loading it with the selvedge edges on the sides.  Usually I pin the selvedges to the leaders, but the quilting design worked out better oriented the other way.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

Redistributing the fullness each time, I set up the longarm with stops on both ends to quilt the center pantograph with this feathery design.  Some of the fullness in the center got my Best Press and steam treatment.

Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz

There was more to that process, and I’ll share it next time. At this point I was under a lot of pressure to get it completely quilted and the binding put on so I would have some handwork to do while I recovered from the oral surgery this past Tuesday. I want to thank you all for your well wishes in comments and emails.  The procedure went well, but recovery is slow and I still can’t do much yet, dealing with pain and pain meds.  I’ll try to get back to responding to all your comments, but forgive me if I take a while or miss one.

The quilting is done, click on Finishing Quilting Scrap Dance Waltz.

One last bit of business for today, the giveaway winner of the Eiffel Tower statue from the Romantic Tables for Two post on Monday was drawn last night. The winner is Lynne S, who wrote “Our most romantic dinner was at a little hole-in-the-wall place in Biloxi, MS, called The Steak Pit. They only had about 8 tables, and we were newly in the military, so we didn’t have much money. They, however, treated us like royalty, and we had the best candlelit steak dinner we’ve ever shared. They even managed to make our “steak for two” medium-well for hubby and medium-rare for me — all one steak! Thank you for prompting me to this memory!”

Romantic Dinner for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Congratulations, Lynne! I have sent you an email.

What are you working on now?



Crazy Mom Quilts

Main Crush Monday


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?