Drops of Dreaminess

comments: 99


Wow, I did something other than crochet or cat-croon. I also found a space in our house that wasn't blue already. I saw this idea at the Purl Bee via Amy and Amanda and thought it was darling, and would be perfect in our sort of whimsical, patchworky downstairs hallway.

I ordered several Liberty cottons from Purl Patchwork. To me, there is no more beautiful fabric. I love calico lawn the way most people love chocolate. I don't love chocolate, but if I did, I would think that lawn, especially calico lawn, is like the truffle of the chocolate world — so luscious and wonderful it can only be consumed in nibbles. I cannot personally conceive of anything so wonderful as a whole dress in cotton lawn. (Though I had one once, one that I made in college, from fabric bought at a Amish fabric store in Kalona, Iowa. I sold the dress for $5 at my garage sale before I moved to Portland, along with about fifteen other of my homemade dresses. THAT WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA. I hardly ever let myself think about it. That dress in particular was so gorgeous. It was dark gray with lilac-colored flowers and felt like a summer nightgown. Actually, let's not think about it.)


I even went to the Liberty of London store once. It was in 1990, and November, early evening, and they were lighting the Christmas lights on Regent Street that night — I think there was a parade? It was the most beautiful thing. I never wanted to leave London, really. I weaved my way across the road to the Liberty store. I found a chair in the store on the second floor and just sat in it. For about half an hour. From the windows I could see the street and the lights. The fabric was so expensive, and I was living on Nanaimo bars and coffee as it was. I was 21. I didn't know anything about fabric other than JoAnn's and that amazing store in Kalona where we'd gone on a school field trip. I don't know what it was called or if it's still there. They had Liberty lawn, but didn't have electric light so after you bought your fabrics and took them outside, you would see that you'd actually bought gray instead of green. But it didn't matter. It was all so pretty.


These are scrapbook papers that I put in a bunch of inexpensive frames at the bottom of the stairs a few years ago. It was meant to be temporary — we've intended to do a bunch of little canvases, invite our friends over and set out paint, glitter, and glue and let them have at it, but I forgot to make that happen once I put these up. Maybe someday. There are a few more hallway pictures here, going further up the stairs. I like the hallway. Please don't ask me what color it is because I don't know. I don't really keep track of my paint colors. There is no particular paint that I like; I just get the urge and stop at the nearest paint store and pick out a chip. I rarely test or do the things you are supposed to do when painting, so believe me, you don't want my advice. And photos do make color look SO different. I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw my own paint colors in print and was shocked at the difference between the real thing and the printed thing.

Hallway4_2Thanks for the idea, Purl girls! They've created a lovely tutorial here. I didn't glue my fabrics in, just in case I wanted to change them out; I cut the edges of the bird print too soon, too. It clearly needs to be tightened, but there's almost nothing to grab and pull. Oh well, what can you do. I don't want to cut into any more of this precious stuff. I just want to hoard it, folded in precious, butterfly-wing-thin stacks.


lovely... and me too on the chocolate.
I know the manuf. of all that pretty paper.
I love paper the way others love fabric.
Pretty pretty paper.

Lovely and sweet. Great selections!

I love Liberty of London, too! I once used a fabric of theirs in a mother-daughter dress combo - it was a lovely and delicate lavender-lilac-pink floral of the lightest lawn. I no longer have the dresses but I still have a piece of the fabric hoarded somewhere.

When I used to live in Portland I remember they usually had a selection of Liberty lawn prints at Josephine's Dry Goods downtown. I used to go there just to feel 'em, because I couldn't justify buying it with my very primitive sewing skills. I also liked to fuss over the buttons there. A girl could dream...

I *heart* your style - you're so amazing! All of your photos spur so much creativity, I love reading your blog!!

This is a fun idea. I am so totally out of wall space myself I have now moved to using my outside walls!

Okay, everyone else is talking about the fabrics, but I'm curious where you got the scrapbook papers and where you found frames for them. Tell me more!

you could tack your bird to some thin-ish plain white fabric, and pull *that* taut, bringing the bird with it....


this is just a delightful idea!!

Once again you've been a little oasis in my day.Your photos are always so beautiful, such great light & colors. It's inspired me to figure out how to work my digital camera & got some okay pics of the garden and my newest treasure - a lovely old rag doll from the local fleamarket. She's currently got short hair & pants on ( kind of a tom-boy!)but maybe she needs a liberty print dress.

I've always loved Liberty fabric. When I was in the Peace Corps in Fiji during the 1980's, we could buy Liberty fabric seconds for about $3.00/meter. You did have to inspect the piece for rips and major misprintings. I bought as much as I could on my Peace Corps budget, made a few blouses, but gave most of it away to sewing friends when I came back to the U.S. (sigh)

I went back to Fiji about 10 years later and visited the store, but they no longer carried any kind of fabric.

I lived in London in 1990 and can vividly remember that first christmas there - the lights, the bustle on the street and the gorgeousness that was Liberty of London - oh and the cold - coming from Sydney that was a bit of a shock. I returned to London in November 2006 and it was even better (no recession!) and Liberty was my favourite store of all (so different to the franchise high street thing)- so very beautiful ...

Oh my are they beautiful! The turquoise flowers with the red/orange flowers are my favorite, and the ones in the link, ahh, gorgeous fabrics too!
Great job, I think I must try this!

I just love your pictures, they brighten my day!

Gorgeous! Can't wait to try it myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

Wow! What a great idea to display fabric...you have such wonderful color combinations in your home!

oh, i *love* that idea! what a beautiful way to brighten up the walls. you are so seriously clever. i heart your work and your blog and your ideas.

Love the fabrics, but also the scrapbook papers in frames - very cute idea!

thank you thank you thank you for the reminder of Nanaimo bars! Oh how I forgot about those and oh, how I loved them! They were a university student staple when I lived in New Brunswick. Now I must find a recipe so that I can sink my teeth into that yummy memory.

Looks beautiful! I love it going up the stairs like that...

Oh I love those! Very cheerful!
God bless :)

Oh Alicia, thanks for sharing this with us! It looks lovely. I'm filing this idea away for future reference. I'm only just now getting to the stage where I have scraps of fabric - odds and ends from projects - and they would look so pretty grouped together like this. I also MUST get to Purl Patchwork. I can't believe I've never been there. My wallet is saying 'stay away!' but it's only a matter of time... (PS - Today was my LAST DAY at my job. New one starts Monday!)

Ok, so, finally de-lurking. I was in Kolona Iowa this summer, as a part of a grand honeymoon road-trip. We had gone to that part of Iowa to see Riverside, the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, but found that Riverside had no hotels, and ended up driving to Kolona to stay the night at the Pull'r Inn Hotel, named for the founders love of tractor pulls. The point of this increasingly long story is, we drove through the little Amish market-type section of town, but it was after five, and everything was closed, but I do believe I saw a quilting shop. We meant to return the next morning, but forgot in our hurry to get back to Riverside, and then Iowa City and Moline. Knowing I was that close to Liberty fabrics.... I may never forgive myself. Or, I might drive back.

Maybe it was Ellen's Sewing Center. That's been in Kalona for a while, if I remember correctly. I've never been to Ellen's - I didn't become interested in fabric until after I left SE IA.

I love your idear with the paper from the craft store. . . I think I may feel about bead stores the way you feel about fabric stores. . . I can linger in a bead store for hours. . . so long as I don't have my checkbook with me!

catherine says: April 04, 2007 at 05:43 PM

hi alicia - what a lovely idea - as for the bird print - what if you sewed an edging onto the fabric circle to give you something to grab onto while you pull it taut in the hoop - just an idea - catherine

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com