Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

**The Giveaway is closed. Thank you for all who entered – the winners will be announced within the next day!**

**WINNERS!!! Stephanie (from the Quarter Inch) and Little House on the Dairy – Congratulations ladies!!!

Today is Giveaway Day (well – the start of giveaway week anyway)!

This is our first time participating in this giveaway and we are SOOO excited!

We have our first two patterns almost ready to be uploaded to our Etsy store so we are going to do two giveaways!
The first giveaway will be our George Washington Flag Quilt Pattern (can do a pdf version or a printed version – your choice!) along with some navy fabrics to get you started and the cream fabric for the stars.
blue and cream for washington flag quilt     washington flag sample quilt

*The quilt shown is the sample that was used for the pattern.  The quilt is not a part of the giveaway.
The second giveaway will be our Charming Cake Quilt Pattern and two V & Co. Color Me Happy mini charm packs to get you started with fabrics for the quilt.
color me happy mini charms     charming cake sample quilt

*The quilt shown is the sample that was used for the pattern.  The quilt is not a part of the giveaway.
There will be a few little goodies added to each package when we mail them!

Now – to enter – comment on this post with your favorite sewing tip/trick or your favorite quilt pattern.
Remember that the giveaways all close on May 16th at 5 pm (PST). The winner will be announced between then and Saturday evening on the blog – we will e-mail the winners as well!

Good luck and make sure you check out Sew Mama Sew for some other amazing giveaways this week!


What have we been up to?

It has been too long since I made a real blog post – things have been a bit crazy here – one of those seasons where you know you are burning the candle at both ends, but there is an end in sight!  My husband and I have a weekend getaway scheduled for June (this little vacation is long over due – over 3 years since our last one!), so we just have a few more weeks of craziness!  Things that have been keeping us and mom busy:

(Sorry for the dark photos – clearly mom and I create at night and then take our pics when there is no sunlight….we need to have an outdoor photo shoot one of these days now that it is getting warmer!)

1. Working on getting started building our new home – sooo excited and a bit nervous all at the same time!

2. Our little nugget turns 1 in a month…so I have been working on birthday invites and party plans – thankful for Pinterest!  Pretty happy with our invites and I was able to continue my tradition of some kind of rhyme – “Hungry for some birthday fun? JD is turning one! Crawl on over for lots of fun!”  I bought two of the fabric panels, but I haven’t made them in to anything yet – pretty sure I know what I am going to do so I will post pics once I finish them 🙂

invite cropped     very hungry caterpillar panel 1

3. Projects for our first festival – pouches are on the agenda for this weekend along with finishing up the Bartholomeow’s Reef Quilt 🙂

bartholomeows reef 1     jellyrolljam

4. Getting our first wholesale fabric orders together – we will have some special offers for precuts and some custom cut bundles soon!  The picture below is a sneak peak of a few of the bolts we got 🙂

Fabric Order

5. Filling orders

Baby Bird Quilt 1    Baby Bird Quilt cropped     flannel minky owl cropped     pink fabric pull

6. Finishing up my first two quilt patterns (anyone interested in pattern testing the second one???)

george washington flag angled pic     april showers throw

We did get to spend some time with family for Easter.  Mom and I went to her local quilt stores and got some fabrics for upcoming projects (there are two alphabet quilts in the future – hopefully done by the fall but if not Christmas!)  Loved the Moda Spell it With Fabric Blog Hop and can’t wait to make my own version of the Alphabet Quilt for some special little ones!  Of course we also bought a few more quilt patterns too….because we didn’t already have enough on our wish list 🙂  I love that we can share of love of all things crafty together!

byrds     Family Easter Sunday 2014


We hope you had a wonderful Easter!




Binding Tutorials

Binding – Machine or Hand???

Check out the fancy binding stitch!

Check out the fancy binding stitch!

I have too many projects on my list to do my binding by hand and I have also convinced mom that it is ok to not bind all of her quilts by hand – especially the quilts that little ones will play with as they may be a little more rough with them.  I know my boys definitely fit the phrase “bull in the china shop” so we need the extra strength here at my house!  My mom makes the mitered corners look so easy – mine I think are so-so but I figure that will come with more time (she does have a good 30 or so years on me in the experience part).  There are a ton of different tutorials out there – these are a few that I have found helpful and I hope you do to!  Happy Quilting!!

Pat Sloan’s Binding Tutorial

Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Co Binding Tutorial

Fat Quarter Shop Binding Tutorial

Cluck Cluck Sew Binding Tutuorial

Crazy Mom Quilts Binding Tutorial (by hand)

Mommy’s Nap Time Binding Tutorial

Hand sewn binding

Hand sewn binding

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am enjoying a sinus infection – complete with losing my voice!  This no voice thing will be quite interesting with a 3 year old and an almost 9 month old!  Also, we are snowed in – this however, doesn’t bother me – an excuse to watch some movies and snuggle on the couch, along with time to sew, and I suppose do some laundry and other cleaning.  I am sure I will have to venture out with MJ in a little and let him play in the snow at least for a few minutes!

There are many projects going on here at our house – we are doing a small renovation in the boys bathroom, I am working on two quilt patterns (my first ones!!), I am mid-way through the first sample for one of the patterns, and I have another tutorial coming for you using fleece!

Pattern 2 Pattern 1

These pictures are from working on my patterns – the right one was especially fun since I was a high school math teacher before our boys were born.  I definitely enjoyed working with geometric constructions again!

In all of this though, I decided that I needed to take a small break and make this adorable mug rug – after all, I am drinking a LOT of hot tea right now, trying to soothe my throat!

Heart Mug Rug

You can find the tutorial at The Peony Teacup.  Since I don’t have an Accuquilt Go (yet – thinking this may be on my wish list but they were on sale on Black Friday this past year, so I will be waiting for a good sale!), these are my edits:

Mug Rug

*Need 8 half square triangles (HST), 2 print squares, 2 basic squares

Cutting for heart:

  • Cut 4 – 3 1/4 in squares from your print
  • Cut 4 – 3 1/4 in squares from your basic
  • Cut 2 – 2 1/2 in squares from your print
  • Cut 2 – 2 1/2 in squares from your basic


For your HSTs – take your 4 basic squares and mark on the back of them with a Quilter’s Magic Wand – I got mine at our local quilt store but if yours doesn’t carry them, you could order online – I LOVE it!  If you don’t have one – you can draw your diagonal from corner to corner and then sew 1/4 in seams on either side of your line.  I love this tool because it helps you to be very accurate.  Once you basic squares are marked – lay them on top of your print squares (right sides together – RST) and sew.  Then cut to make your HSTs.  Press your seams open and layout your pattern.

Follow the Peony Teacup tutorial for how to sew your squares together.

For the border, I measured my sides and then cut 1 1/4 in strips for the short sides and sew those on first.  Then press and measure so you can cut the fabric for your longer sides.  Sew those on and then press seams open.

Then I followed the rest of the instructions from the original tutorial.

**I looked at some of the other binding methods in the link they provided and decided to try one of the ones I found – I was definitely not a fan – I would follow her directions or if you are going to hand sew the binding then stitch it on to the front first and wrap to back and do your hand stitching.

Here are some fun Valentine crafts from our preschool group this past week in case you have some little ones and are looking for some inspiration:

Heart Tree Shape Robot

The heart tree was a craft from another mom and the robot idea was from Church House Collection – I added more shapes to him to go with our shape review for math.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!  I am off to sew and make an awesome peanut butter and chocolate ice cream cake for my Valentine!

A Hand of Hope Blankets

I wanted to share something that is near and dear to my heart.

I have started making flannel receiving blankets for the Moms working with A Hand of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center.  A few blankets have already been sent down and there is a stack of flannel in my sewing room just waiting to be made in to blankets.  If there is anyone in the NC area who would like to donate blankets, please let me know!  Also – I would like to challenge everyone who can sew to make a blanket or several for your local pregnancy resource center or shelter for women.  These blankets are something small, but it is a handmade gift that lets these Moms know that someone cares about them and their baby and that they are special.

These are a few of our blankies - I forgot to take a picture of the ones I sent.

These are a few of our blankies – I forgot to take a picture of the ones I sent.

My little guy enjoying one of his blankets.

My little guy enjoying one of his blankets.

You can check out the A Hand of Hope Facebook page as well and see some of the beautiful babies that have recently been born 🙂

Spectacular Spinach Dip

**Name is courtesy of my husband 🙂

I have worked on this recipe over the last 6 years – trying different ingredients and different amounts.  I love my final recipe – in fact, most days I have it for lunch and our 3 year old LOVES it too!  I am not one who usually measures things out exactly, but I made sure to measure things today in order to share this recipe.  It is a forgiving recipe – if you use a little more or less – it will still turn out great!


Spinach Dip Ingredients

  • 16 oz Frozen chopped spinach – thaw ahead (*you can use fresh if you would prefer – it does change the taste a little, but it still tastes great)
  • 8 oz Softened 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 C Plain greek yogurt
  • 1 to 1 1/4 C Mild white cheddar cheese (*I prefer Organic Valley – the taste is amazing!)
  • Heaping spoon minced garlic or 3 cloves
  • 1/2 teas dill weed
  • 1/4 teas salt
  • 1/4 teas pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Thaw spinach and squeeze out any extra water.  If you forget to thaw the spinach completely, you can get away with using it partially frozen.  Once we had our second son, I realized that I tend to forget to thaw the spinach more than an hour before I want to make the dip, so I tried it and it still works for me 🙂


  • Mix the softened cream cheese and Greek yogurt with a blender until combined well.

Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt Mixed cream cheese and yogurt

  • Add in garlic, dill weed, salt, pepper, cheese, and spinach and stir till evenly mixed.

Spinach Dip Mixed Dip

  • Place in baking dish – I usually use an 8×8 pan, but you could use any square, round, or small rectangular dish.

Spinach Dip

  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes – till top is golden and dip is heated through.

Completed Dip

Then enjoy!  I love to eat it with Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips, but any chip, cracker, or even veggies works well!

Yummy Dip

Lovey Dovey Quilt

After the last quilt top I made, I decided it was time to work with a lot of color…I must have more of my mom in me than I thought 🙂  I had several fabric selections to choose from, but I picked the Lovey Dovey layer cake (by Doodlebug Designs for Riley Blake Designs) I purchased from The Fat Quarter Shop during her 12 Days of Christmas sale (*as of 1/23/14 she is out of the layer cakes).  This fabric has birds in it, which means it goes to the top of my list anyway!

Lovey Dove Layer Cake

I decided to use a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew – the Easy Bake Pattern.  I love her patterns and blog – you should check out her Christmas quilt from this past Christmas using her Bizzy Kid Pattern.  I have purchased that pattern and plan to make the boys a Christmas quilt this year!

Back to the quilt – once I selected the fabrics I wanted from the layer cake, I decided I wanted to add some more of the turquoise color in with my choices from the Lovey Dovey collection.  This pattern goes together so easily – making this quilt top was very relaxing!

Chain Piecing Lovey Dovey Quilt Lovey Dovey Quilt Layout

Once the top was together, I had to decide on the border colors.  Surprisingly, my husband weighed in to help me choose.  This is funny, because while we were dating my best friend and I were scrapbooking and debating on which shade of tan to use – to which he told us there wasn’t a difference… but there was – something that happens when two ‘perfectionists’ are working on craft projects together! 🙂  Back to the borders – I went with a small white border and then a larger pink border…I do love pink!

Lovey Dovey finished quilt top Close up of Lovey Dovey

Now, I am on to two new projects: Everything Baby Blankets for Hand of Hope and Zippered Pouches (my first attempt with the zipper foot – wish me luck – Mom’s advice was to watch my fingers…)