RJR Blog Hop! Skip! Jump! Quilt

Well here’s something a little different, my very first quilt! When RJR Fabrics approached me about participating in their Cotton Supreme Solids Blog Hop, my immediate thought was I don’t really quilt… but that thought was cut short when I realized I really need to start if I ever want to use up my fabric scraps. Plus, the parent company of Cotton & Steel is automatically a winner in my book so I jumped at the chance and said yes please!


At first I had grand ideas for complicated vintage patterns and fancy free-motion quilting but then I reminded myself I was working on my very first quilt, on a deadline, and maybe I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself for once in my life. So I scrapped all my grand schemes (no pun intended) and turned to a sewing/quilting book in my library, Sew Red. You might remember this book from another project that graced this blog way back in April 2013, and how funny that I mentioned this particular quilt in that post as a project I’d like to make in the future. Well, it only took me a year and a half but I finally made it!


This is the Hop! Skip! Jump! quilt pattern by Denyse Schmidt, who happens to be one of my favorite fabric designers. Before I thought about which supreme solids to use with this pattern, I dumped all my scraps onto the floor and started pulling a few favorites that were big enough to work with. The ones I reached for first were the leftovers from my Cotton & Steel Mustang shirt, which I then started to coordinate with other prints that would pair nicely, and THEN I turned to the Supreme Solids swatch book to pick some colors that would bridge any gaps and pull all the prints together. I posted a photo on instagram of this process.


The RJR Cotton Supreme Solids I picked were French Vanilla #9617-111, Tiffany Box #9617-291, Peridot #9617-342, Rio #9617-311, Riviera #9617-274, and Hot Pink #9617-217 (courtesy of RJR Fabrics).


I followed the pattern in the book to a T, but had to skip the muslin foundation blocks since I didn’t have enough muslin. Instead I just cut one foundation block to use as a guide, but used my cutting mat to measure the final size of my quilt block instead of cutting the foundation block down as well. The top came together really quickly and I enjoyed the free hand cutting and “wing it” style of building the blocks. It was a nice, stress-free break from garment sewing!


I wasn’t entirely sure what to do for the backing, but after watching a free class on Craftsy I found some inspiration and learned how to lay out the back and the batting. I used pins to sandwich everything together, but in the future I’d like to try the spray adhesive method. I did the simplest thing I could think of for the actual quilting part and stitched everything together by just following the white strips in a sort of lightening bolt pattern. I used varying seam allowances and had no real set plan as I worked but I think it really compliments the free hand style of the blocks.


I was having my doubts with mixing so many colors and prints but the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids really brought my entire quilt together! I highly recommend this type of pattern to anyone who’s brand new to quilting. There’s really not a lot of room for human error so your finished product is bound to be really successful! My mitered corners are a bit of an eye sore but I picked a busy print for the binding so you can’t even tell.

luckylucille_rjr_blog_hop_quilt8(That’s my William modeling the quilt for me. Thanks, Wil!)

Lucille is convinced that this is not actually my first quilt, but is in fact a nice snuggly new thing for her to wrap up in. Which, let’s face it. It is exactly that.


I know this is practically blasphemous in the quilting world, but I used my machine to attach the binding. Sorry, I guess that’s just the garment sewer in me and I’m not about to start hand stitching it any time soon ;)


I’m so proud of my first quilt! A huge thanks to RJR for finally giving me the push to start quilting, and for providing the beautiful solid fabrics to pull my love of crazy mixed prints together. Check out all the other awesome RJR blog hop projects, here!

Do you do any quilting? I think I might be hooked!



BONUS GIVEAWAY!! (NOW CLOSED) RJR Fabrics is giving away one fat quarter fabric bundle of all the solids I used in my quilt! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below (using your first name and a valid email address) and mention you’d like to win! :) The giveaway will close and I’ll randomly draw one winner on Friday, September 19th 2014 (For US and Canadian residents only this time, I’m sorry).


merry happy joyus etc

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Mine was filled with eating way too many cookies (there’s no such thing actually), taking too many photos of Lucille (also no such thing), spending time with my family, and purposefully not picking up present boxes to see how many cats I could catch. Sounds like a pretty perfect Christmas if you ask me.


Lucille looks guilty here because she was caught red handed at the Cat Box Buffet and was unsure if Santa Paws would still bring her presents. She’s definitely not on the naughty list, but I still think Santa should have brought her a new tooth brush instead of a Petco giftcard.




I was really bad this year and spent a lot of time sewing my Archer button-up shirt instead of sewing Christmas presents. I tried to sneak in some last minute rush sewing on Christmas Eve but, as you can probably guess, I finished nothing. Oh well. You don’t need to use Christmas as an excuse to give gifts to the ones you love, right? Right.

Speaking of my Archer project, I’ve made some progress and it’s nearly finished! In fact, it would have been finished by now except it was amateur hour at Lucky Lucille Headquarters and I sewed a perfectly set-in sleeve on inside-out. Not once. But TWO TIMES! This is why you don’t sew late in poor lighting with fabric that doesn’t have an obvious right and wrong side. I wish I could use the excuse that I hit the Eggnog too hard that evening but I don’t drink much else besides coffee, and that wasn’t helping me either.


I also made things infinitely more hard on myself by being too lazy to turn on my laptop and follow the actual Archer instructions. If I had done that, I would know that Jen eases the sleeve into the shoulder and then stitches up the sleeve seam and side seam in one step. You’d think I’d be better at following directions by now but uh, …yeah.


The good news is my button hole foot and I are on speaking terms again! I’m happy to report I had not one problem with it this time. At least not with the standard button hole. I haven’t tried the rounded end ones since “the incident“.


Again, I made things infinitely harder on myself by altering the original collar to a 1940’s collar and then attempting to keep the yoke facing. I’m almost too embarrassed to share the state of the inside of my Archer, because it’s not too pretty after hand basting the yoke facing in place and then top stitching it from the outside. But! It does look nice on the outside so who cares about the inside, right? (Uhg. I do. Who am I kidding.) I know it doesn’t look that bad (I’m not showing you the BAD side), I just know I could have done a much more tidy job and it’s bugging me that I didn’t.


Once I get the sleeves in I just need to hem it and sew on the buttons, then it’s finished! Just in time to wrap up Archer Appreciation Month. I might even attempt some decorative saddle stitching around the collar and cuffs to compliment the brown buttons. We’ll see. I’m eager to finish so I can move on and get serious about sewing for 2014! I have A LOT of goals.



Red, White, and Blue


Happy Independence Day, America! Lucille and I are feeling awfully patriotic today and decided to flash some red, white, and blue on our walk around town.


We chose a quiet little spot far, far away from any crazy festivities and stopped to take a few photos and sniff around. Lucille even humored me by wearing a matching vintage scarf. She puts up with so much lol ;)


The dress I’m wearing is my most recent sewing project that I finished up on Monday night. It’s made from an amazing organic cotton sateen (sent to me by the kind folks at Organic Cotton Plus) and I can’t wait to share a full review of it. Spoiler alert: this fabric is easily the most amazing stuff I’ve ever laid hands on. Seriously, it’s that good. I love the versatility of this dress because it has the potential to be quite formal (you’ll see!), but just as easily works for a casual walk around town.






Living in a rural college town is awesome because it becomes a ghost town in the summer. You could literally lay down in the middle of the street and not be bothered. That’s my kind of living!


It’s been so hot and muggy for the majority of the summer thus far, leaving us with little interest in staying outdoors for very long, even when there are neat things to explore. Lucille and I don’t tolerate the heat well. We need a good rain so badly, though I don’t suppose tonight would be the most welcome night for it on account of the fireworks and all. Aren’t fireworks the best?!

Recently I found out I’m a Daughter of The American Revolution, on both maternal and paternal sides of my family, so I’m pretty much as American as they come. My country isn’t perfect but we certainly have a lot of things to be proud of and thankful for, and I’m happy to call the good ol’ U.S. of A. my home. Small Town, U.S.A. actually …very small.


Happy 4th of July!

Rochelle and Lucille


Gatsby Inspired


Here’s my dress created for Erin’s Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge, inspired by this 1920’s sewing pattern that I stumbled upon via a google search. Sadly, the pattern sold years ago so I was left to try and recreate the dress on my own.


Luckily I had taken advantage of one of those $0.99 pattern sale days at Jo-Ann’s and frivolously purchased a million patterns that I don’t even want, like, or need (I’ve gotten better with that, let me tell you), so I had something to help me recreate the main body and belt of the dress. The sleeves and neckline I drafted myself.


Don’t ask me how I actually put this dress together because I swear I don’t know. I had a small moment of epiphany induced brilliance that turned me into a complete sewing cyborg and allowed me to sew this dress from start to finish in one go. No directions. No mistakes. …I may have actually been temporarily possessed because there’s no logical explanation for how I managed to pull this off with no plan. The sewing Gods were on my side I guess.


I squeezed this dress out of the most insanely small piece of stash fabric, which is some sort of partially stretchy polyester blend suiting. I think I had about a yard and a half  to work with. In order to lay out my front and back pieces on the fold, I had to  bring both salvages to the inside fold line and create two new fold lines pointing to the outside. It just barely worked out. All of the materials used for this dress were in my stash for so long that I feel like this dress was free!


I’ve always been a huge fan of the flapper movement and I love this article about how The Great Gatsby portrays women of the era all wrong. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard awesome things about it when you accept the fact that it’s not historically accurate. I’m hoping to see it this weekend. Have you seen it? What did you think?



Oh, and of course I had to take some photos with Lucille since there’s been an unacceptable lack of her adorable face around here lately!


Caught her mid yawn lol.


Lucille is generally a really lazy dog, but sometimes being outside summons her inner spaz. She was just standing around and then all of the sudden she started digging furiously and rubbing her face in the grass haha! What a dork.



Blur face dog! That’s how you can tell she was having fun :)


Hope you’re having a great weekend!



Adventures In Home Dec Sewing

Lately I’ve been having some trouble sleeping, and I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Lucille hogging the bed more so than usual (lol), but I’m sure another big part of it is I just haven’t felt happy with the bedroom since we moved. The sheets were old and mismatched, I don’t like our curtains, there’s a lack of furniture, etc. …it just never really felt like a place I wanted to hang out or relax in. So yesterday I woke up on a mission to change that.

featuredI had originally planned to make curtains for my sewing space with this fabric, but the longer it sat in my stash the longer I wanted to actually wear it (it would make the cutest dress!). So then I was thinking, if I make a Duvet cover I can make something for my home and it will end up touching my skin… That’s close enough to wearing it, right? Sure!

Now, I’ve never made a Duvet cover before, so it was mildly stupid of me to attempt this project without direction or a pattern, but I figured it’s essentially just a big rectangle so how hard could it really be…

homemade duvet

I used a flat sheet as the template and the backside of this Duvet, which just left the top part up to me to work out. I had intended to make the whole top out of the bird print but didn’t have enough to make it work on its own. I had to get a little inventive by adding the two white panels in between but I actually love the way it turned out!


I had to do a bit of math to figure out how to cut the pieces, but it wasn’t too difficult. I should mention that math and I are not friends unless crafting is involved. My brain processes pictures, not numbers. So I wrote myself a little visual map and then did a bit of division to make my drawing become a reality. Rather than walk you through the hot mess that is “my brain on math”, I’ll just give you the measurements in case you want to try and make one of these yourself.

Full/Queen size sheet = 96″ tall by 81″ wide
Print fabric (cut 6) = 25″ tall by 41.5″ wide
Solid fabric (cut 4) = 13″ tall by 41.5″ wide
(about 4 yards of print fabric and 2 yards of solid)

Use a half inch seam allowance.

Sew 2 print pieces together at the center to make a 25″ by 82″ wide strip (you will end up with 3 of these strips)
sew 2 solid pieces together at the center to make a 13″ by 82″ wide strip (you will end up with 2 of these strips)

Sew all the strips together and Voila! You have a Duvet top! Now you just have to sew the duvet top to the sheet and install a zipper at the bottom seam.

(That math was right, right?)


Ideally, the longer the zipper the easier it will be to insert your blanket into the Duvet. A 22″ zipper was the longest size I had in my stash so I just went with that and it works fine.

After I made the Duvet I had to whip up a little throw pillow cover to match!


I think I worked about 4-6 hours on these projects all together. It would have gone so much more quickly if I didn’t have to waste a bunch of time figuring out just how I was going to pull this off. Really you’re just sewing a bunch of straight seams so it’s not difficult, it’s just awkward! Hats off to quilters for working with such mass amounts of fabric like this all the time! I felt like I was drowning at my sewing machine!! Haha!


It’s funny because Lucille would NOT sit on the new Duvet cover until I practically picked her up and put her on it. I don’t know if it’s because it smells brand new (I’m bad and didn’t pre-wash anything) or if it’s because I was trying to line things up and work things out on the bed earlier in the day so she knew she couldn’t get on it. As you can see, what ever the issue was, she got over it ;)

The bird fabric is from Jo-Ann’s, and the typewriter fabric is from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining collection. Don’t be upset, but both of these prints are from older collections and are now quite hard to find. Sorry for the tease!


Well, I have to say, the bedroom now finally feels like a room of my own and one that I’d like to be in. Mission accomplished!
Have you ever made anything for your home to make it feel more you?