Sunday, May 24, 2015

Geranium Trio {Feel the Love}

I am always impressed when I use a Made by Rae pattern, and the Geranium Dress was no exception. With a house full of boys, it took me a while to purchase and use this particular pattern, but now I'm wondering why on earth I waited so long.  It's really such a perfect little dress and now I can whip one up in less than two hours, so it makes a nice gift.

Trio of geranium dresses

The first one I made is in Lotus Pond fabric and size 12-18 months for a very special first birthday!

My first, but definitely not my last, #geraniumdress in size 12-18 for a special baby's first birthday (just needs buttons).  #Lotuspondfabric

Then I had to make my little niece one in the 6-12 month size using some hoarded Heather Ross bicycles.  Ignore the weird green tint on this photo.

I had to make a #geraniumdress for my niece, too.  In #heatherross courtesy of @oneygirl50

And finally, this morning I made one in size 3T for a little friend's birthday party that the boys are going to today.  I adore the way the Heather Bailey Pop fabric looks on this dress, but, oh, I am so sad I pretty much used it all now!  Isn't that always the way it is with fabric?  It sits for so long, waiting to be used, and then you wish you had bought more!  I'm trying to use up the hoarded fabric, but it isn't easy!

I might need a #geraniumdress intervention - these are addictive!  And also easier than going to target for a birthday present!

I think one of my favorite things about this pattern is that it looks so nice inside.  Thanks to the lined bodice and beautifully finished seams, it looks very professional.


And buttons on the back!  I'm getting better after three sets, but still room for improvement.  I probably should have tried to find  a reference for how long to make buttonholes vs. size of button, but I have it pretty much figured out now.  Initially I feared making the buttonholes to large to stay closed, so that on the first dress I couldn't get the buttons through their holes.  Luckily, I just used smaller buttons and eventually by dress three had figured it out well enough.  

Back view

Farewell, sweet dresses!  I kind of wanted to keep them, but that would just be silly.  They will all be with their new owners soon, and I hope they bring a smile to a few faces.  That really is the point, after all, isn't it?  All that fabric buying and hoarding and work?  You just want someone to feel the love and smile.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April Stitching

It's been a while since I've had any sewing news on the blog so I thought I'd give you a quick update. This is what my design wall looks like:

Here's what is #onmydesignwall - #haveyourselfaquiltylittlechristmas   Quilt top #fancyfoxquilt   Lone scrappybearpaw   #steampunk blocks and my march #havendgs #dogoodstitches random! Now show me what's on yours!

Yes, that is my sampler from Lori Holt's Quilty Little Christmas, still no borders.  Maybe it will be finished for Christmas 2016, I mean, really, what's the point working on it now?!  Everything else on the "design wall"(batting secured to the playroom wall with thumbtacks - fancy!) is totally random except the do. Good Stitches blocks on the bottom from my tutorial.  I can't wait to get my last four and turn them into a quilt.

Next to it are some of Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Foxes.  Funny story, I made these in the mountains, on a weekend getaway with some awesome girls.  They originally looked like this:

#fancyfox is going to be a pillow - these were fun but not quite enough fun for a whole quilt!

I had all these extra pieces cut and I assumed I read the cutting directions wrong since I wasn't making a whole quilt worth of blocks.  I thought they weren't as cute as they originally seemed but didn't think about it for too long, then we checked instagram and realized a funny conversation had taken place in the comments.  Things like "is there a reason you decided to leave off the foreheads?" or "did you need to shrink the blocks to fit a pillow so you left out a piece?"  Um, no - just late night sewing.  We had a good laugh and then I had a good hour with the seam ripper, ugh!!!!  

I've mainly been busy with bee blocks.  These are Stash Sewciety blocks for Lisa from March:

Also some arrows for @ohsewlola #stashsewciety

And Stash Sewciety blocks for Carlie for April:

April block 2 in black for @csduhon #stashsewciety

April block 1 for @csduhon navy #stashsewciety

And Haven Circle do. Good Stitches blocks for April:

Amsterdam blocks for #havendgs ������

In addition to bee blocks, I've also been working on swaps and gifts.  A few of us from Circle 7 decided to do a birthday swap, and this is one of the little extras I made for Amy Gibson.  It was copied from Heidi's post.

I hope @fabricmutt doesn't mind I copied her tiny patchwork coaster idea, as the little chef from #lightheartedfabric was begging to be made into one

And I did manage to sneak in one little bit of selfish sewing, a set of voile pillowcases using the super easy hot dog method.

Pair of voile pillowcases for extra sweet dreams - now To wash so I can sleep on them tonight ��

ahhh, they are so dreamy to sleep on. 

Well, that ended up being a longer catch up than I thought.  Sorry if you follow me on IG and have seen everything before.  I have a few big finishes coming up that I'll get out the "real camera" for and have a proper blog post soon!  Ta ta for now, lovely readers!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Broccoli Rabe Pasta Bake {A Nello's Sauce Recipe}

 Our last couple of Produce Box deliveries have contained one of our very favorite spring vegetables, broccoli rabe (also called rapini).  This is very exciting for us as it means we get to make broccoli rabe pasta!  My husband really wants me to make the Philly style porks sandwiches, but this recipe is so good and we crave it's unique taste so much, that we've made it three times this spring.  My old recipe is made so much quicker and easier (and tastier!) using Nello's Sauce.  This is easy enough for a weekday dinner but impressive enough to serve for guests.  Also a great meal to serve a crowd, just make a few pans!

1/2 lb pasta (penne, cavatappi, fusilli, farfalle or shells are all good choices)
1 jar Nello's Sauce 
1 bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped into 2-3 inch segments
1 lb italian ground sausage 
4 oz mozzarella cheese ball

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add salt and pasta.  Cook until 2 minutes before pasta is al dente and add the broccoli rabe.  Enjoy the beautiful green color and wonderful smell of the blanched broccoli rabe! Drain in colander and add to a large 9x12 baking dish.

Meanwhile cook the sausage in a large saute pan until no longer pink, crumbling it with a wooden spoon.  Add to the broccoli rabe/pasta mixture in the baking pan.  Add the jar of Nello's Sauce and stir well.  Top with thin slices of the mozzarella ball.

Bake until mozzarella is bubbling and starting to turn golden around the edges.  Enjoy!

*In breaking news, Nello's Sauce will be available in an additional 106 Whole Foods Markets by June!  Find a retailer near you HERE!

**I was not paid for this post, but I was given Nello's Sauce.  All opinons expressed are my own.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stuffed Peppers {A Nello's Sauce Recipe}

Stuffed peppers

Stuffed Peppers alla Nello's Sauce

If you need an easy dinner to warm you up this weekend, this will be perfect!

6-8 large bell peppers
1 yellow onion, diced 
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry wild rice mix
1 pound ground pork sausage*
1 small jar Nello's Sauce (I used the marinara, but if the kids were not eating, I would have loved to try it with the Hot & Spicy!)
1/4 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
* you could use any type of meat but we recently bought a share of a pig from a local rancher, so we used pork and the sausage gave a great flavor.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  

2.  Cook the rice according to package directions.  I found a great mix at Trader Joe's that had black barley and radish seeds.

3.  Chop the top inch or two off of the bell peppers.  Reserve the tops and dice up any of the flesh.  Scoop out the seeds so you have a nice cup for your stuffing.  When the water is boiling add the pepper cups and let them cook about 5 minutes.  Drain them and set them in a baking pan.

3. Heat a teaspoon of oil (coconut or olive oil) in a large saute pan and and add the diced onions and bell peppers.  Cook about 5 minutes and add the garlic.  Cook another minute and add the meat.  Cook until no longer pink then add the Nello's Sauce and rice.  Mix thoroughly.

4.  Scoop the meat/rice mixture into the pepper cups in the baking dish.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese evenly over the peppers and bake for 10 minutes or until bubbling.  Enjoy!

+ Full Disclosure: I was not paid for this post, but I did receive Nello's Sauce in exchange for posting some recipes.  You can read more about this partnership here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Framed Floral {Block Tutorial}

March is my month to be a quilter for Haven Circle of do. Good Stitches.  I love how fun it is to plan the quilt and pick a block for everyone to make.  That might be the part I love most about quilting, aside from picking fabric!

I think this is going to be our #havendgs block for march

Can you tell I've been dreaming of spring?  I sketched a simple block and figured out the measurements of the borders.


If you would like to make a block you will need three different fabrics: floral, near solid and low volume/white background.
Here are the cutting directions to make a 12.5" block*:
3.5" Square - floral
(2)1.5 x 3.5" and (2) 1.5 x 5.5" rectangles of near solid
(2) 2 x 5.5" and (2) 2 x 8.5" rectangles of white
(2) 1.5 x 8.5" and (2) 1.5 x 10.5" rectangles of floral
(2) 2.5 x 10.5" and (2) 2.5 x 13" rectangles of white*

*This will actually make a slightly larger 13" square, but I thought it was better to trim off a little excess white than to end up shy of 12.5" square.  

DGS march block

I put the strips together courthouse-step style.  As in I started at the center and joined the top and bottom strips and then the side, rather than in a clockwise fashion, like a log cabin block.  I definitely recommend pressing and a little starch between each frame to keep a nice square.

March block #havendgs #dogoodstitches

If you make any blocks, I'd love for you to add them to the Petit Lyons flickr pool!

Have a great Thursday! xo, Courtney

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

4th Blogiversary {Giveaway}

Today I'm celebrating my 4 Year Blogiversary and 1000 followers on Instagram with a fun giveaway!

I'm celebrating my Blogiversary and 1000 IG followers with a giveaway of all my favorite things: gnome socks, #patchworkplease, low volume/texty FQ bundle, @barij notepad, 100 liberty 2.5" mini charms and the latest stitch magazine.  To enter leave a comm

You could win two pairs of gnome socks (knee and low cut), a Bari J weekly task pad, a copy of Ayumi's amazing book Patchwork Please, a low volume/texty fat quarter bundle, 100+ 2.5" mini charms in Liberty of London Tana Lawn and the latest issue of stitch magazine!

To enter just leave a comment and tell me how you follow (if your email address is not linked to your profile, you better add that too), and/or comment/follow on IG.   Best of luck.
I'll pick a winner later this week.

Thank you all for following me all these years, or just recently,  and for continuing to keep up when the posts have been few and far between!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

KCW {Day 2}

Sean took a nap today and so I continued my kids clothes week challenge streak!  Two days, woohoo!

#kidsclothesweek day 2 lizzy house mice on bikes with chambray and red gingham flannel. Have I mentioned I like @annamariahorner #quickchangetrousers  pattern? ��

Another pair of Quick Change Trousers (from Anna Maria Horner's book New Beginnings).  Today's trousers feature the mint mice on bikes print from Lizzy House with chambray on the outside and flannel inside.  On this pair I didn't bother making the cute rear panel in a contrasting fabric for the B side. Since I never end up reversing them, I figured I would save a few minutes cutting and sewing that part.

Quick change trousers action shot

And I caught a few shots of Sean modeling the pair I made yesterday.  He's doing his favorite thing - moving large rocks around the yard while grunting and saying "big!" a lot.  He cracks me up.  

Quick change trousers action shot

I actually cut a little frog from the orange flannel dots to applique on to a t shirt, but I didn't get to that today.  Maybe tomorrow.  This is all I really had planned for the week.  I have some quilting bees and swaps I need to work on, so  we will see what tomorrow brings!