The Best Strawberry Bread Ever!

 

 

Warm strawberry goodness sounds pretty good right about now! A friend suggested I share this recipe with y’all again – just in case you’d missed it the first time (2 years ago)! I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this one, it makes Winter a little more “bearable” by giving you a taste of Spring – something we could all use right about now!    😉  

This is some of the moistest, most amazing Strawberry Bread you will ever eat. Smothered with a Cream Cheese spread, it is a little slice of Heaven – and you don’t even have to use fresh strawberries to make it! Good eats at any time of day – breakfast, snack, dessert – doesn’t matter! Just be sure to stash it where it’s not in open view when you are not around – otherwise it will be all gone when you come back for seconds!!  😉 

Very easy to make with only a few ingredients required, and about an hour of your time, makes this a quick and scrumptous treat!

Shady’s Southern Strawberry Bread

*Makes 2 Loaves

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

2 sticks butter

1  1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs – lightly beaten

1 cup strawberry jam or preserves

1 cup sour cream

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Line 2 loaf pans with wax paper and set aside. You can trim the paper down to fit the pans better – just make sure that you leave enough “overhang” to be able to grasp and  lift the loafs out of the pans when they are done!

In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar and eggs together.

In second mixing bowl, fold sour cream into jam.

In third mixing bowl sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together.

Now, add the flour mixture  ( 1/3rd at a time)  to the butter mixture while alternating with the jam mixture while mixing on LOW speed.

Now fold in the lemon extract and the vanilla with a spoon.

Pour into wax paper lined loaf pans – dividing batter evenly between pans, and place in preheated oven at 325 degrees on middle rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour. (Don’t worry – the wax paper WON”T burn, and it IS necessary for the success of this bread)  

While bread is baking make Cream Cheese Spread – if desired:

Cream Cheese Spread

1 pkg (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

 1/2 cup powdered sugar (can up this to 3/4 cup if sweeter, thicker spread desired)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all together on Med-High speed until well blended. Place in fridge until ready to use. (Please forgive my stained bowl – it’s around 17 years old and has been well-used)  🙂 

Now – when baking time is done, insert a toothpick into the centers of the loaves and check for doneness – it will come out clean when they are done. Remove loaves from oven, set pans on trivets or wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then lift loaves out of pan by wax paper.

Peel off wax paper, slice loaves into hunks about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, spread with Cream Cheese spread (if desired – if not butter or plain is yummy too)!!

However – BEWARE – a hand will “magically” appear and snatch the first plate of strawberry goodness away before you even get done plating it all up!!

Guard the rest of the loaf wisely young grasshopper, guard it wisely!!!!

Enjoy!!  🙂 

Shady

 

 

 

K.I.S.S. Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial

Hey’ Y’all!

Would you care to join me in some of my middle-of-the-night-maddness inspiration????

You would?!

Awesome!

I woke up at about 3am this morning (not unusual), and an idea immediately struck (very unusual)!

Normally, morning coffee is required for any ideas to start percolating in my mind – but, this morning was different. God put an idea/pattern into my head almost before it was even off the pillow! So, being the “good student”, I grabbed a pen and paper, and started writing the pattern out while waiting for my coffee to brew. I then grabbed a cup and started making (and documenting for you) the pattern I now had on paper.

In about 30 minutes, or so, I was done and am now going to share with you my crazy “4am tutorial”.    😉    

Wanna see?

Okay kids, grab a pen and paper and follow along! You’ll want to make one of these for your own machine – and one for all of your sewing buddies too! (Think Birthdays, Christmas, etc…..)

Here it is…..

The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) Sewing Machine Cover

 

All you need:

1 Fat Quarter   (18 1/2 inch x 22  1/2 inch cut of fabric) that you love too much to cut up

1/4 yard of coordinating fabric (for border strips)

72 inches (or 2 – 36 inch pieces) of cute ribbon 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide

sewing machine

ruler, cutting implements, thread (I used contrasting thread so you could see my stitching), pins

 

STEP 1 )   Select your favorite fabric Fat Quarter  (18 1/2″ x 22 1/2″ cut of fabric)

 

Step 2)   Select coordinating Border Fabric, and Ribbon. Cut two 3 foot long pieces of ribbon and set aside.

 

Step 3 )    Now, cut 2 strips of border fabric @ 3″ x 26  1/2″ ; and 2 strips of border fabric @ 3″ x 18  1/2″

 

Step 4 )   Fold short Top and Bottom strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides of fabric together and finger press to crease. (see photo below)

 

Step 5 )   Pin these strips to the Top and Bottom of Fat Quarter – right side of Fat Quarter fabric facing up.

 

Step 6 )  Sew Top and Bottom strip on to Fat Quarter using a 1/4′ seam allowance. Then press seams towards the Fat Quarter center.

 

Step 7)  Now, take the long remaining Side Border strips (right side of fabric face down) and fold the short ends of the strip up 1/4 inch, and then fold 1/4 inch again to encase raw edge inside this endfold. (see next 2 photos below)

 

7a)   Now pin this fold to hold it in place and MOST IMPORTANTLY

Step 8 )   Place this border strip against the side of the Fat Quarter (see photo below) where you will be attaching it to. Check your strip length, and adjust it to fit by adjusting the tightness/width of your endfolds (photo above). These strips must match up perfectly in length!!    🙂   

 

8a )   Once the lengths match, sew those endfolds down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

 

Step 9  )   Now lay the border strips on the Fat Quarter edge where you will be joining them (right sides of fabric together).

 

9a )   Finger press strips in half lengthwise and crease.

 

9b  )   Open strip back up to expose crease mark.

 

9c  )  Lay 1 length of cut ribbon on strip, right next to crease mark, making sure it extends evenly out past ends of strip.

 

9d  )  Tack ribbon temporarily with a pin to hold in place in center of length of border strip.

 

9e  )   Fold length of border strip back up now to completely encase length of ribbon (below photo)

 

9f  )   And pin border strip in place

 

Step 10  )   Sew side border strips down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Press seams towards Fat Quarter center.

TA-DA!!!!

Now place cover over your sewing machine, and draw up ribbons on each end and tie together to secure!

Try not to wake up the Natives…..

Because THEY WILL find the ribbons….. even if you hide them under the extension table……

and untie them for you…….

Isn’t it cute?!? (The machine cover – trust me – Horatio already knows he is cute! LOL)

Hey – If I can do this while still half asleep – then anyone can!!!!     😉    

Now, if you do not have “Sewing Room Assistants Supervisors” like I do, that’s okay! You’ll just be able to finish this project all that much more quickly than I did – possibly less than the 30 minutes it took me! Although, actually being awake first might help too!    😉   

This would not only make a good quick gifty project – it would also make a good childs project to introduce them to 1/4 inch seams/fabric selection, or a quick Quilt Club Individual Project for a way to use up those Fat Quarters!

If you decide to make one (or several) of these, let me know – and include a photo. I would love to see what you do/come up with!!

Have a great day!!

Shady    🙂

Spray Basting Your Quilts Tutorial

First off – Disclaimer alert!!!

I am NOT the worlds leading expert in the proper “approved/perfect” Spray Basting methods as set down by the “Quilt Police”. I am a self-taught quilter who specializes in the “make-do with what you’ve got”, totally unorthodox method of “save money/save time” quilting. I do what “works” for me – and if my method of doing things “works” for you, or if you can tweak them so that they work even better for you – then I am honored to share them with you.    😉    

That said –  here is the fastest, most efficient/easy way to secure your quilt sandwich that I have ever found! Basting Spray!!!!

I LOVE Basting Spray!!!

Why???

 Answer:  Because it is the ONLY method I have tried over the years that keeps ANYTHING/EVERYTHING  in the quilt sandwich from moving/puckering when I am pushing/twisting/turning/shoving/man-handling my quilt sandwich thru my dinky domestic home sewing machine for topquilting!!!! It also cuts my basting time way down!! How far down? I can securely Spray Baste a large quilt in under 30 minutes!!! Other methods (listed below) can take you HOURS!! I can better use that time doing something/anything else!!

Other benefits of Spray Basting:  There are no blood drops on your quilt top from pricked fingers (a given every time) from Pin Basting. There are no little plastic tacks (100’s of them!!!) to find, snip and remove from Tack Basting (think of the plastic thing that holds tags on new clothes at the store, and shrink them to 1/2 inch long for those of you unfamiliar with this method), not to mention the holes that they leave in your fabric!! There are no Basting Thread Stitches to make ALLOVER your quilt – and then search and remove from underneath all of your precious Topstitching/Topquilting (and DON’T snip and remove the wrong thread!!).

The Basting Spray holds securely for several weeks (important if you can only work on the quilt for a few stolen minutes at a time) and when I’m done – it washes right out, and you will never even know it was ever there! Pretty awesome huh?!? I think so. And since they are my (until gifting) quilts, that is all that matters!   🙂   

Now – how do you Spray Baste a quilt? I Spray Baste a quilt like so:

First – you need to gather your supplies:

Quilt Top, Batting, and Backing fabric.

1 can of Basting Spray (there are a couple of varieties out there – I recommend/use  Sullivan’s Basting Spray)

1 roll of Painters Tape (you know – the blue stuff, any width is okay) The reason I use Painters Tape is because it temporarily sticks to anything – but will not pull/distort your fabric – or leave any residue behind!! You will see what I mean shortly    😉   

Scissors (to trim off any excess Batting or Backing Fabric after basting)

A length of 3″ diameter PVC pipe (clean/new), or Carpet Roll Tube (the cardboard core that they roll the carpet up on).  These are both available at your local home improvement store – the PVC costs, the carpet tube is free. If you  happen to know any Construction Workers, you can possibly obtain either one of these things from them for free as well since they usually have “throw-away” pieces/leftovers from jobs they are working on.    🙂    Have them cut you a piece of either material in the size you will need. I keep a 6′ length for crib/throw size quilts, and a 8′ length for twin/double/queen size quilts. You want the tube to be at least a few inches longer than the width of the quilt you are working on. The 6′ tube stores nicely under the bed, the 8′ tube stores upright in the back corner of the closet, out-of-the-way!

You will also need to find an open floor space (I use my back deck outside – in good weather, and the living room floor in inclimate weather).

Step #1 – Lay out, and tape down (wrong side of fabric UP) your Backing Fabric. Smooth out any wrinkles as you go. ( Ignore the furniture in the pict – I moved them out of my way later, but since it was so windy that day, I used them to help hold the fabric down while I taped it in place)    🙂     

Step #2 – Lay out your Batting on top of the Backing Fabric and center it where you want it.

Step #3 – Fold your Batting in half (lengthwise – top to bottom), then fold it this way again. Now fold it into a quarter by folding it in half widthwise (left to right). Remember –  as you UNFOLD it, it will lay out flat on the Backing Fabric. (If you are working with a Full or Queen size quilt you may want to fold it top-bottom three times, since you only want to be spraying 3 foot sections of Batting at a time)

Step #4 – Grab your can of Spray Baste and spray the exposed batting (never spray the fabric – just the Batting) that you are about to flip over onto the Backing Fabric as you unfold the Batting.

Lay that piece over onto the fabric – bringing the whole piece of batting with you that was underneath the part you just sprayed (you still have to spray what was touching the Backing Fabric).

Spray the newly exposed piece of Batting that was brought up from the bottom, and lay it back down. Now, spray and unfold the newly exposed area of Batting, continuing this routine until entire piece of Batting has been sprayed and layed out flat. Then run your hands over to smooth out any wrinkles and reposition as needed.

Step #5 – Lay out your Quilt Top (right side up) on top of the Batting and center it. Smooth out any wrinkles. Lay your tube or pipe on top of the Quilt Top, at either the top or the bottom edge of the fabric. (pict 5a below)

 Now tape the edge of the Quilt Top fabric to the pipe/tube to hold it while you roll it up. (pict 5b below) That tape is about to be your third hand!! (NOW you understand what I ment by I like this tape for no pulling/distorting/residue!!)    🙂   

Step #6 – Roll the fabric up onto the tube.

When top is completely rolled-up, tape the exposed edge in a spot or two just to hold it while you roll the tube OFF of the Batting to spray the starting point for securing your Quilt Top. (pict 6b below)

Step #7 – Spray the Batting all the way across the top edge in a 1 foot wide swath (where you will start unrolling your fabric tube); position your tube, remove tape, and start slowly unrolling – just to the bottom edge of where you sprayed the Basting Spray. Now, spray the next 1 foot wide section and unroll some more. Continue this pattern until you have unrolled the entire Quilt Top off of the tube. Smooth out any wrinkles (although you really won’t have any – THAT is what the tube is for!! Wrinkle Prevention!!).

Ta Dah!!!!

Step #8 – Since you will NOT be sending this out to a Longarmer for Topquilting, take your scissors and trim off any un-necessary Batting or Backing Fabric (watch out – its sticky!). 

*I tend to bring my Backing Fabric around to the front, miter the corners, and bind my quilts with it instead of Bias Binding (THAT”S a whole other tutorial – maybe, we’ll see)    😉   

Guess What?!? You just Spray Basted your first quilt!!! Woo Hoo! Now see, that wasn’t so hard after all! And the best part – No sore, bloody fingers!

Now for the fun part – go grab some of these…..

Or some of these…….

And start Topquilting/Thread Painting to your heart’s content!

Or, you can just go grab a beverage, take a break, and pat yourself on the back because you tried something new – and succeeded.   😉   

Good Job!!

🙂