comments: 89


The edge of the roof and the sunset sky. I started my quilt yesterday. Log cabin. It's kind of a stash thing. I went through my cabinet and pulled out all the little folded up pieces of fabric that I liked. All different colors. Some from a lot of the things I've made in the past few years. There were probably twenty or twenty-five different fabrics. Then I cut a 2" strip from each, selvedge to selvedge. Then I threw them all in a big pile next to the sewing machine. Then I cut a stack of 3" squares for the center of each block, or the "hearths." (The "logs" get piled around the "hearth" in each block.) My style is to pick up strips randomly and just go. Haphazard, slap-it-together, as if I worry I'll get distracted and forget to finish it at all if I proceed with anything other than speed and reckless abandon. Quilts — all quilts, even little quilts — seem bigger than my attention span. I completed twelve blocks by late afternoon. I measured the back of the sofa and I need forty-eight blocks, total. It'll be, like, 60" by 80" or something. I think purchased throw blankets are always too small. I don't like elbows and toes poking out. Plus the doggie hogs half of the thing. (I have told you that our dog is seriously quilt-obsessed? Not kidding. It's almost weird. A quilt comes out and no matter where she is in the house she comes running and hurls herself toward it. I should find all of the pictures I've taken of her on quilts. It's really funny to see her expression once she is snuggled on a quilt. It's almost accusatory, like, "Why have you been keeping my quilt away from me all my life?")

Inside, just around dinnertime, I noticed that the light in the house had changed. Everything was pink. I ran outside. Sunsets are rare. Too many trees and hills and houses around to see them. Winter sunsets are really rare. Too overcast. But not last night. The rare sky was the exact color of all of my hearth blocks. How cool is that. I was really, really pleased.

I want to make the background on my quilt winter white. That's probably a bad idea (black dog/muddy dog) but I don't care. The other colors in it are grays and blues and aquas and mustard, and black gingham, and some pale pink and navy and dark brown, and I guess there is a bit of red maybe. Winter colors. Maybe there's some honey gold in there, too. Can't even remember.

Sometimes when I see people at the fabric store fussing carefully over their fabric choices when making a quilt, I wonder what it would be like to be them. There's something very touching about it. I feel moved whenever I see someone doing that. Trying so hard to get it — this little thing — right.


Erica Wells says: November 30, 2011 at 08:24 AM

Alicia, I ran out on the deck to take pictures of that beautiful sky last night too! It was indeed rare and wonderful. --erica

Ooooh it sounds wonderful! Can't wait to see it! My pups gravitate toward the quilts too! Even before they're actually sewed together! LOL Sam, our lab/retriever, always plops his big ol' self down in the center of whatever I have laid out to sew! Emmitt...our schnoodle, prefers burying himself under it first and then peeking out as if he's camping. Too cute! Enjoy your day! :o)

Beautiful,,and cant wait to see your quilt,,

In a world where it seems have have so little control, choosing the right fabric, or in my case yarn, brings me great satisfaction!

That photo is all sorts of lovely (and your quilt sounds lovely too.) I find the more I fuss over colors, the worse I feel. I made some spoon puppets for my daughter for her birthday this year, and couldn't get the colors just right. I finally went to my favorite scrap stash and just picked stuff I liked. They turned out funky, and way better than had I tried to go all matchy matchy.

My cats are the same, they sniff a quilt a mile off and throw themselves at it before it's on my lap. Looking forward to seeing your quilt emerge.
Hen x

debbie ailey says: November 30, 2011 at 08:52 AM

I didn't get to comment earlier. you are in my prayers and I believe that God has something in store for you even though it doesn't seem right. Hang in there, heal and know that we have been through a similar issue, but now have 2 grown adopted children and would still recommend private adoption for anyone. deb

Sounds lovely!

Saw that same sunset out the window of my studio last night. What a gift! You can see much more without the leaves on the trees. I was working on making Christmas stockings for the family with embroidered letters loosely adapted from your ABC sampler (which I am almost finished making), only the "A" is a tree, "O" a wreath, etc. You've been in my thoughts and prayers a lot lately.

Oh, that sunset. It looks like our sunrise this morning in Southern Minnesota. The light this time of year is so precious. I think of it all year long.

My cats love quilty things, too. There's hardly enough room under one for me once they all get their nests made. Adorable.

That makes me laugh: accusatory, corgi quilt-love. Goodness knows, that's exactly how I feel sometimes.

Hi! You have a very nice blog. Beautiful pictures and everything. Have a nice day!

So agree about choosing fabrics for quilts. I choose some colours that I like, some patterns that appeal to me and then just kind play with them. I'm a bit like that with choosing paint colours for walls too. I can't believe how much people obsess about the perfect colour. I get an idea for what I'm going for, and try a couple in that area to see how they react with the light and then go for it. Actually, I'm probably a bit like that in life as I don't believe in Perfection.

Oh, lovely thoughts.

Despite living in a house where fur is trying to stake a claim, I endorse your choice of winter white. My whites are putting up a good fight against the sneaky fur.

I am one who tries to get it right. I am doing much better in my old age :) I now just try to wing it more. I am usually much happier with the result.

Ohhhhh.......can hardly wait to see this quilt! You have the BEST color sense I have ever seen. My niece and I tried to replicate Arden's quilt and it's cute, she loves it but ARDEN'S. That made my heart sing. And the one for Japan. And.....well everything you sew, knit, create. You amaze Alicia. Keep strong as you carry on. We love hearing from you.

I can't wait to see the quilt. The colors sound delicious!

I used to me one of those people fussing endlessy over fabric. I'd get a cart and start putting bolts in and wander around holding up other bolts, putting back some, sometimes scrapping the whole thing and starting over. I always wondered how I looked to other people .... Now I've got a cupboard full of fabrics and I LOVE the challenge of not buying anything.

I just looked out my window and it's snowing here!!!

The colours sound beautiful and I love your description of how you prepared the fabrics for this quilt. I'm new to quilt making - first one completed a few weeks ago - so I will be watching and waiting to see how this one turns out. You make it sound so wonderfully simple! I am probably one of those anxious women at the store trying to match stuff and worrying unnecessarily about how it will turn out. So much so that it took me nearly 13 years to make the damn thing! Determined to loosen up a bit, and make a couple more.

You just helped me jump a hurdle. A dear friend just told me that her daughter is getting married soon. I always make a quilt for my friends' children, but this dear girl has several dogs, and I thought maybe the quilt would be pummeled and unappreciated. Your blog today made me think, "So what? It may just have a different audience!" For me it's the love in making it that is the gift. However, I needed your reminder!

Pink sky at night, shepherds delight... looks like you're in for a glorious clear skies day tomorrow.
Can't wait to see your quilt, photos please! :)

i wish i was your neighbor. of course, you would probably need to get an restraining order eventually because if not, i think i would just move into your house. :) i can't wait to see your quilt!!!

I also live in Portland and was struck by the sunset last night. I can't wait to see the quilt you are making. I love the hodgepodge of stash quilts, they always seem the most comfortable to me.

stash quilts feel more....'real' to me. ironically, I've never made one! my couch is white and all 4 pets get on it all the time! The pets are much more important than the couch, besides, you'll love the stories any stains keep with you long after the pets have moved on. <3

Can't wait to see the quilt! The colors sounds awesome. I just picked up my daisychain sampler from the framer. Merry Christmas to me!!! I'm so pleased with it.

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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




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.