Posts filed in: August 2008

Early August Glow

comments: 62


Last night at the farm the light was so pretty.


We listened to the Avett Brothers on the way out, and ran into our friend Shelly. These two always stand like this when they're together.


We got some kettle corn, corn on the cob, and Ranier cherries that were sweet as candy. (All three of those things were sweet as candy, actually.)


We played backgammon on our blanket and Andy had a hissy because he lost.


I let him He trounced me on the second game. And then I announced we were packing everything up and going home.


There was no connection between the two events.

I don't think.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

Star Sighting. Almost.

comments: 131


I bought a few handled baskets at Marshall's (my very favorite store) this summer, and they had pretty cotton liners in them. It reminded me that I'd been wanting to line this big basket shoulder bag that I got from Land's End last summer. So I made this calico liner a few weeks ago. The dog's leash is hanging up there for a sort of scale, but still, the basket is about eighteen inches tall and however many inches wide, and I now take it with me everywhere, for groceries, or any kind of shopping where I can use it instead of taking a plastic bag. The liner splits into these separate little flaps to go around the handles, but otherwise it's just a solid liner inside. Good. Cool. Keep reading, this gets better.

So. Though I usually use a big plastic box, I stuffed all my orders into the bag the other day and took it to the post office for the first time. The post office was, for only the second time (and the first time at this particular location), empty. Empty. EMPTY.

You know how my head starts spinning around on my neck when that happens. And no, I have no idea why this phenomenon sends me into such a state. I cannot explain it.

I raced to the front of the non-existent line, looking around wildly, and exclaimed to the three post office clerks, "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!! There is no one here! I am the only one here! Wow wow wow!" I hefted my bag, bulging with dozens of Precious-Bundle padded envelopes, onto the counter and managed to say, between exclaimations, that everything was already labeled and ready to go, as usual (I do this almost every week, so they are used to me). The post office clerk, my favorite guy — early 60s, loves jazz, very nice hair — took the bag and promptly and dramatically turned it upside down and dumped the contents into one of those big, wheeled, canvas P.O. bins. Out flew all of my packages — as well as the fabric liner, several pens and pencils, my Taco del Mar punch card, the mail I'd just picked up from my P.O. box, a dog bone, my sunglasses, and three Super Plus tampons. I apologized. Other customers had since arrived. My clerk was diving repeatedly into the big canvas bin to fetch my tampons and punch card out of it. It should have been embarrassing, but I was still jabbering away excitedly about being first in line. Suddenly I heard a familiar voice say to another P.O. clerk:

"Thank ya very kindly, ma'am."

And out of the corner of my eye I saw a tall, thin guy in jeans and a jean jacket walking away.

Then my P.O. clerk said, "That was Sam Elliott!!!"

"Yeah, he comes in here all the time! His mom lives in Parkrose!"
"Oh man, I love Sam Elliott! He's in one of my favorite movies!"
"Which movie?"
" . . . "
"Wow, Sam Elliott. . . . Cool."

Okay, it didn't get that much better. But you have to admit, Sam Elliott is pretty cool. It was almost awesome.

Storytime in the Afternoon

comments: 72


Reading, on the porch, with Clover Meadow.


People walk by and laugh to see us sitting together, me with my back against that big pillow and my knees up over the puppers, feet resting on the arm of the bench.


"I'm really not getting what's so funny about it. I love to read with Mommy."

Love to read with you, too, baby girl.

Lemoncello Quilt

comments: 134

I think I've made six full- or queen-size patchwork quilts in the past twenty years. All of them are made of squares or rectangles, very simple. The squares just call to me. I doubt I'll ever make any other kind of quilt. I never say never, but I just doubt it.

I hadn't made a quilt in several years, when suddenly, two summers ago, I had the urge. So it started here, with fabric, and the question, "Why can't the world be like the fabric store?" Which is something I'm still wondering about.


I finished the top pretty quickly . . .


. . . but I totally pooped out when it came time to finish it. The top sat, folded on alone on the shelf, for two years until Thursday, when I had the urge to finish it. I don't know why I have been so darn industrious lately, right? I've finished more stuff for myself in the past month than I have in a year or more. Very weird. I'm power-crafting on a personal level.


On Sunday, I finished it! Yippee! I put some new pillowcases on the pillows to celebrate (the blues are vintage, the pinks are Target, and please check my FAQ page for info on paint colors and slippers and stuff like that). Then I smoothed the quilt out on the bed.


I backed it with pale-yellow-with-gold-dots cotton, and bound it with a sort of terra-cotta orange calico, with tiny yellow-ish flowers. I tied it every four inches (the quilt is 22 by 23 four-inch squares) with six strands of bright red embroidery floss. I absolutely love terra-cotta with red, like a potted geranium.


So, there's this moment when you're making a quilt, the best moment: the one where you take it out of the dryer. It is the best feeling. Please make yourself a quilt, just so you can hug that warm, puckered softness to your chest and feel very accomplished and proud.


Because finishing a quilt doesn't feel like anything else. I don't really know how to describe it. It's kind of a major undertaking. I know that, by quilting standards, the quilts I like couldn't be simpler or less sophisticated, but honestly, no matter how you slice it (literally) — it's a big, big project. When I see really fancy quilts on the blogs or at the fabric store or at the fair, I literally stand pigeon-toed and in complete awe, because if you've ever finished one, you know that, well . . . they don't make themselves.


It helps to remember that the finishing part — making the quilt sandwich, getting it all laid out, pinning it all together, basting the edges, attaching the binding (which I purchased — and by the way, does anyone know of a good source for pre-cut cotton quilt binding, not the packaged stuff but the stuff on the spool?), flipping it over and stitching it down by hand, then tying, tying, tying, tying . . .


. . . tying, tying, tying . . .


— takes as long as finishing the front, if not longer. At least, that's how long it takes me.


But it's worth it. I think I'll make some more. Can you have too many? Don't think so.

A test, to see how long you've been reading this blog:

comments: 63


If you remember this quilt, raise your hand.

[Hint hint.]

Sunday morning update: I finished it yesterday! Finally. More photos coming soon. (This one was taken at about 6 a.m. with the light from the new windows. But I'll put it on the bed today. :-)

Thank you for all the nice comments about the valance!

comments: 47

Now I'm doing the bookshelf curtain to coordinate.


And someone's getting real, real bored with all of this.


Not me, but someone.

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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.