Thursday, June 22, 2017

Scrappy Hoop Art Tutorial!

When I see projects that use pieces of scrap fabric, you can believe that I take notice.  And if they are super easy... I definitely take notice!  I decided to share a quick little tutorial with you on this super fun and fast Hoop Art project!  

The supplies you will need are:

sewing machine
fabric scraps of all widths, but at least 12 inches in length
quilt batting, about 13 inches square
fabric scrap about 13 inches square for the backing
buttons, rick rack, lace, pompoms or any other trim and accessories
glue gun
ten inch wooden embroidery hoop (or the size of your choosing)

Cut your fabric scraps into varying widths and about 12 inches in length.  The widths should be no wider than 2 inches.  I used seven different fabrics on mine.  

Lay out your fabric strips in a pattern that is pleasing to you and then sew them right sides together until you have them all sewn together.  Press the back with all the seams going in the same direction and then press the front so that it lays flat.  

Make a quilt sandwich by layering your square fabric backing (right side down) and then your quilt batting and finally your sewn strips (right side up).  

Pin your layers together so they keep things smooth and even.

Quilt your fabric by sewing a 1/4 inch away from each of the seams. 

Lay your wooden hoop on top of your little mini quilt and experiment with different buttons and trim pieces until you get the look you are happy with.  You can use a glue gun to attach your buttons and trim or you can sew them on.   Get creative and have fun.  (Notice that I used some of the selvedge from MaryJanes Caravan Roundup fabric line and look how cute it is!)

Once all your buttons and trim pieces are attached, place your little quilt in the hoop, tighten it up tight and then trim off the excess fabric.  

Finish your Hoop Art by glueing pompoms to the outer edge of the wooden hoop.  (Or feel free to finish it in some other way.) 

Your simple project is finished and ready to hang!

  If any of you follow me on Instagram (@redfeedsack) you know that I've been teaching a Summer Quilting Camp to five girls!  It has taken a tremendous amount of my time with prep work between classes as well as teaching the class.  But guess what?  Each of the girls made a quilt from start to finish and I am so beyond proud of them I can hardly contain myself.  The above picture is the five quilts completely finished by each of the girls.  I am eager to share the whole story with you!  Watch for it next week!  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cranberry Orange Bread... Good Anytime!

I woke up this morning with a craving for Cranberry Orange bread!  It is one of my favorite quick breads to make; so easy and so delicious.  Obviously it is really wonderful around Thanksgiving and Christmas time; but seriously, I love it all year!  I buy cranberries when they are inexpensive during the holidays and throw them in my freezer and they always taste fresh!  

Since I couldn't manage to get the craving to pass (smile!) I decided the best thing to do was just make the bread.  I thought since I am WAY overdue on a blog post, this would be a great thing to share with you today!    Here we go.... 

In a large mixing bowl place:
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix with a whisk.

Whisk together:
2 beaten eggs
1 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons hot water

Make a well in your flour and pour the egg and orange juice mixture into the well.  

Grate the peel from one orange and add to the dough mixture.  

Mix the flour mixture and egg mixture together with a large spoon.  Don't be concerned if all the flour isn't mixed in.  This is a stiff batter.

Add to the batter:
2 cup raw whole cranberries

Gently mix in the cranberries until all the flour is incorporated.

Grease and flour two loaf pans and spoon half the batter into each pan  The batter will not pour.  It is very thick and very stiff.  

Generously sprinkle raw sugar crystals over the batter in each pan.  

Lots of sugar crystals are very good!!!  

Bake one hour at 325 degrees until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  These loaves of bread will not rise more than a few inches.  Remove from pans and let them cool.  

Slice, butter and serve when warm!

Or my favorite? Butter the slices, broil under a broiler just until bread is lightly toasted and eat for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or snack.  Or just whenever you are craving it!

This bread will freeze excellent!  

For my printable recipe, click here and enjoy!  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Cutest Little Pig!

This darling little pig moved into my sewing room today!  I've been on the look-out for a sweet little vintage animal planter for a fun little pin cushion project and this darling little pig was just the one!  I though I'd share the project - it's easy and such a great gift for someone.  Or to brighten up your sewing room!

You will need:
Vintage ceramic planter (found on eBay or antique store)
Fabric scrap
Small felt scrap
Needle and thread
Pillow stuffing
Glue Gun

Cut your fabric scrap into a large circle and hand sew a gathering stitch around the edge of your fabric circle.

Pull the thread, forming a pocket.

Stuff the little pocket with pillow stuffing and close the pocket by pulling the thread tight and tying a knot to keep it closed.

Take the small piece of felt, cut it into a circle and glue that on to the little pocket to close off the opening nicely.

Set aside the little pin cushion and run a bead of hot glue along the top of the planter.  

Quickly stick your pin cushion in the hole and you're done!

I just think this little pig pincushion is the sweetest little addition to my sewing room!  

Happy Sewing and Crafting, friends!  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Always Tacos! Even Shrimp!

I recently shared a picture on FB and IG of my lunch on a cold dreary day... shrimp tacos.  I had numerous comments, private messages and even emails asking if I would share my recipe.  I don't really have a recipe.  This is one of those things that many  years ago on the quest to make the "perfect" shrimp taco I came up with this.  It has been a hit in my family ever since.   So, today because it sounded good, I made more shrimp tacos and here's my little tutorial for you!

Start out with your ingredients which are:

1 ripe mango, diced
2 cups shredded cabbage 
Plenty of large raw (frozen) shrimp, peel on (you'll need four shrimp per taco)
1/2 cup coleslaw dressing 

And... last but definitely not least.... 

corn tortillas (do NOT buy the pre-cooked shells)

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive and 1 tablespoon of butter in a stainless steel skillet.

Add your peeled, washed and dried shrimp to the skillet.

Cook just a very few short minutes until the shrimp is very lightly pink.  It is okay if some of the shrimp are not fully pink yet.  Put a lid on the pan and remove from the burner.   (Do NOT overcook the shrimp.  They will get rubbery and will lose their flavor.)

Add the dressing to your cabbage mix.  I like my cabbage to be well moist with the dressing but definitely don't use as much as you would in making coleslaw.  You don't want it to over-power the shrimp and mango flavor.  Set aside.

Place oil in a hot cast iron skillet.  (Use vegetable oil, grape seed oil, or coconut oil.  NOT olive oil.)  Place a tortilla in the oil and let it fry on one side until the tortilla bubbles up a tiny bit.  This will only take 10 - 15 seconds in a hot skillet.   

Using a couple forks, fold the tortilla in half and let it fry on each side for a few more seconds.  Watch it closely, you don't want it to burn.  

Remove your tortilla from the skillet to a paper towel lined plate and turn it upside down to drain all the oil out of the tortilla.   

Once you've fried all your tortillas (approximately 3 - 4 per person), line up your ingredients and get ready to stuff your shells!

Open up your taco shell and place four shrimp inside.  (I usually cut one of them in half just to make it fit more uniformly, but you don't have to!)

Add a heaping tablespoon of lightly dressed cabbage mix.

Then a generous tablespoon of diced mango.

And there you have it.  Perfect shrimp tacos!  (And yes.  I can eat four of them!)

Happy eating!  I hope you enjoy them!