Sun Spots

comments: 132


















Spring sunshine. It's so nice. We had such a nice weekend! Short but very sweet. Amelia adores her grandparents who held and played with her non-stop for three days straight. So sweet. Andy made corned beef and cabbage for us. He's the most non-Irish Irish person I know. We listen to Irish music the entire month of March. There is a lot of Pogues and Flogging Molly playing. He makes corned beef and cabbage in my dad's old cast-iron pot every year. He buys us all shamrock swag. I love how much he loves things.

Remember the quilt I started for Amelia a few weeks back? I had it finished by BumbleBee Quilting and picked it up on Saturday morning. I absolutely love it! The way I did this was ridiculously easy. I bought many (I'd have to count how many, but maybe thirty or more?) 1/8 yard pieces of random fabrics from several different local fabric stores. I just picked stuff that I liked. I had no particular color scheme in mind, but I wanted it to feel sweet and subtle and mellow and pretty. My colors wound up being peaches, pinks, inky blues like her eyes, pale grays, vanilla creams, aquas, a few saffron yellows, a few nutmeg browns, an orchid. Most of the prints are tiny calicos, small polka dots, tiny ginghams, and a few baby animals mixed in. To make it, I trimmed the 1/8-yard strips to 4" wide, trimmed off the selvedges, and then cut the strips randomly into rectangles. The rectangle lengths weren't measured. Then I started sewing the short ends of the rectangles together until I had a pieced strip that was vaguely 54" long (I put two pieces of tape on my sewing table, which is just a bit longer than 54", and just laid the strip out between the tape pieces to measure it). I sewed the strips together until the quilt top was about 54" across, and then I trimmed the pieced edges until they were all even. It was so fast. Only half the measuring. I am definitely going to make another one for her bed with the leftoever fabric (this one is more of a throw). Rectangles go so much faster than squares. I don't have much time to do stuff like this anymore, so fast is key! And I also think the rectangles let the fabric print show better, which I've always wanted in my quilts. There are so many beautiful fabrics out there. If the pieces are too small you just can't see the fabric prints, you know? I love looking at the individual patches in quilts, picking out favorites. I love how dated the patches get, timestamping the quilt even without a label.

My darling peachy-pink girl! I love how she loves everything, too. She just loves everything. She inspires me. Every moment. She's teaching me.


Seriously Alicia, sometimes I just want to move right in to your home. I won't take up much space and I won't stay long, but what a beautiful home you've created. It overflows with love and joy. Thank you for sharing it always with just as much joy in your pictures and words.

When the quilt square said, "love, Mommy" The room tilted a little bit. So happy for you to be able to say that for reals.

I have been following Amelia's progress on your blog since she came to live with you...and love it. My first grandson is going to be born at the end of May and it is twenty five years since my youngest was born. It is a joy to see her grow and the beautiful things you make for her and your household. I really agree with your comments about quilts..they are really time capsules with no need for a date stamp!

oh sure, just whip up a quilt! uh huh! i love amelia's little "piggies" what is it about their little round diaper bottoms and bare feet as they roll around on the floor. bare babies feet and her hands splayed on her board book. oh that took my breath away. just like my children when they were little. their big big girls and boy now. sigh . . . such a lovely quilt. one day when i grow up i will quilt too but i must say your rectangles make me very happy! a "subway" tile quilt. that makes me very happy. blessings

missjenny says: March 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM

So lovely and lively and life-giving. You're both in your element, Miss Alicia! And Clover M and puss of course, too!

Blessings x

Hi. How I love to visit your place here in cyber world. Today's pictures are extremely beautiful with the sunlight sneaking in through your windows. I particularly like the one with the pink flowers on the table... So cozy and homey.
And Amelia's new quilt is adorable. Love the colors and patterns that you mix. You make it sound so simple... But to make a balanced color theme like this can be a challenge, I know. Very nice. I have never worked with rectangles before. I am inspired ( once again!!! ) to give it a go. Pinch those rosy baby cheeks gently from me. She is a real princess your little one.
Happy Wednesday
My Rose Valley

whatever the weather, your home always looks like the most cosy and welcoming place on earth.

love that you've stitched in messages. I have done that too. Not as neatly or beautifully as you! I made a few little felt toys and games for my girl when she was tiny, and made sure I stitched a message and the date on the back :O) it's a nice thing to do. makes homemade even more special.

such beautiful pictures and the quilt is so lovely, the quilting complements it perfectly! I'd like to try something similar sometime.

sue collins says: March 13, 2013 at 01:57 AM

Your posts always bring sunshine to any day....thankyou.



Donna Bell says: March 13, 2013 at 03:27 AM

Your quilt made me smile. It's really pretty just like Amelia. They complement each other.

I wish I had time to finish my projects for my granddaughter but babysitting her is really slowing me down. I don't have the energy of a young mom so kudos to you. Oh well, maybe when she's in school I can get something done. Meanwhile, I will live vicariously through your completed projects, ha ha!


It's so true Alicia: children raise parents, without a doubt. Chasing the sunshine, that's what I'm doing with my little people each day (and the cat! he and I have to argue over who gets to sit in that patch of sun). Come on Spring, we need you! ~Hannah

You don't happen to know the maker and name of that navy blue print with the big red/pink roses, do you? I've been looking for something like that exactly and haven't found it!!

Deb Miner says: March 13, 2013 at 03:54 AM

You are the one bright spot in my day! Your photos are lovely, your posts uplifting and inspiring! Whenever I need a bit of cheering up on a challenging day, your blog picks me up. Thank you for sharing.

I love that quilt! I really need to find a local shop to finish my quilts as nicely!
Lookee Amelia with her book! So precious!
Happy St. Patrick's Day! We will be taking my grand nephews to the parade and then having a traditional Irish dinner with Guinness Cupcakes topped with espresso frosting (YUM!)

Thank you so much for brightening my days!!! I love to read your story and see the beautiful pictures. You make me smile.
Love the quilt idea!!!
Happy March to all of you!!

The blossom on the cherry tree through your window looks beautiful! I love the shot of little one reading her book.

Auntie Allyn says: March 13, 2013 at 05:09 AM

Nicely done on the quilt! I'm a longtime quilter, and I truly believe that the simplest patterns often turn out the best . . . as you noted, they allow the fabric to stand out. My Maggie Rabbit pattern was waiting for me when I returned from a week-long trip; I planned to save it for my upcoming vacation next week, but I decided to cut it out and take a stitch or two . . . well, I've finished the head and upper body portion and the ears already, so I'm not sure I'll have a whole lot left to take with me! The pattern is well written and nicely packaged, and I'm very pleased with my purchase!

It's a lovely quilt for a lovely baby :)
I totally agree with you about the way they love everything, everyday is a lesson with them :)Lovely babies, mine is teething and we are having a bit of a bad nights.

Have a great day!

Lluisa x

Kathy, FRANCE says: March 13, 2013 at 05:13 AM

Hi Alicia, another lovely post! Amelia is coming on so well - she's just beautiful!! I love her little 'Jane Austin' neck-warmer, what a great idea for a little one - a 'proper' scarf wouldn't stay in place on a baby - I just love it!!

I have a UFO quilt worked in the same sort of style as your beautiful one - but the rectangles go sideways on mine - if you know what I mean - the long sides joined and then the strips joined by their short sides, with a strip of sashing between the rows! like a ladder effect - but the oblongs are different widths(does that make sense) anyway it's all in Kaffe Fasset fabrics and you've given me the 'umph' to get it finished!!thanks!

Can I just say a word on corned beed for readers on this side of the Atlantic? my husband's Aunt Edna, who left the UK as a young woman and lived in America for the rest of her life, used to make this for St.Patrick's and when she first mentioned it to me, my reaction was probably what most Brits' would've been - corned beef comes in an oblong tin with it's own little key!!!lol But for those who don't know it's a beef brisket that has been brined and marinaded in spices!! In the US you can buy it already prepared in this way!! I just thought I'd clear that up for those who maybe were thinking there was canned corned beef in the bottom of Andy's casserole!! lol

I totally agree with the rectangles! I started cutting out a similar pattern about five years ago (!) and never sewed it together... maybe I should look into having someone do that for me also. (I always say this:) You have a superior color sense, so your "random" picking of fabrics is just fabulous together. As for Amelia... I think it's like that for the rest of your life! I absolutely loved every single age of my daughter and now at 16, she's still fascinating me and I learn so much! You will have an awesome relationship because you pay attention and appreciate it all. I'm looking forward to when Amelia starts to understand how special her Mommy and Daddy are!

I was thinking about that quilt just the other day, wondering if you had finished it. I absolutely love the colours/prints you chose and the style. It is definitely my kind of quilt. I am in awe of some of the quilts I see people make, with complicated patterns, but really they are not for me. I agree with you, simple is the way to go - it's good to let the fabric sing. oh and the bit about getting someone else to do the whole quilting part, that REALLY appeals!

Beautiful Quilt ...yes those little beings are our best teachers and continue to teach us everyday . They even show us what we don't want to see ;-) sometimes. It is such a gift !

St. Party's day is huge around here as both my parent's Birhday is the 17 th and both are names Pat!

Sweet quilt! I love it. I might have to try it. Amelia is so sweet as well. You take such great pictures! I wish I can do that to keep precious moments for my kids...

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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