Afternoon-Morning Quilt

comments: 112



















On Tuesday afternoon I felt the stirrings of a fit of restlessness. Usually when this happens it means that I'm on the verge of a creative tantrum. Thus it was that I found myself going to JoAnn Fabrics at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Also known as almost rush hour. Andy was home with napping Mimi, texting me to "take your time out there, honey." Ha! I scanned the quilting cottons as I approached, like an alpine skier at Rosa Khutor before the Super-G. [Horn blows!] I hit the aisles: Into my cart they flew, bolt after bolt, peach, pink, navy, olive, coral, lilac, pale mustard, cream. Groovy flowers, tiny flowers, gingham, whales. Elephants! A couple of solids, a couple of Little House on the Prairies. A couple of really?!?s. Eighth yards of most, quarters of a couple. Home by dinner, done, and done!

Apparently now my only shopping speed is lightning fast. This from the formerly slowest person on earth. Who used to be able to saunter the aisles at Goodwill for hours straight looking for the right tea pot without getting even slightly bored. No more, people. The next morning (Andy's day off) I was at the sewing machine by eight, drinking a smoothie so I wouldn't have to sit down to breakfast.

Oh, silly, silly lady. :)

I decided not to rotary cut anything — I literally took the 1/8-yard-cut-at-the-store strips, cut a couple of them into chunks (with scissors), cut one lengthwise into two skinny strips (eyeballed that), and then just started sewing strips together randomly. If you look at the photos you can kind of see how I did it. Sometimes I'd take a piece of a few sewn-together strips and cut off a few inches of it and sew it to another strip. When I had a few pieces I hung them all up on the sliding-glass door to see what I had. I didn't measure anything; I just kept sewing pieces together and trimming them a bit, or adding strips to get "blocks" that would match in length along one edge. Eventually I could kind of see how I could fit pieces together to make a big rectangle that would fill most of the door. And then I was done with the top by lunchtime.

Aw, it was so much fun. You have these ideas and not a lot of time, so you don't overthink it. And that can be really  liberating. If you're intimidated by the idea of making a quilt you should try one this way! My quilts are always simple and done pretty randomly, without patterns. I've never been one to belabor my fabric choices, for sure. I've always been a pretty intuitive and impulsive color picker. And I've never had the stamina (or the room) to lay a quilt out beforehand to see if everything is going to balance or match (except maybe for the Spring Rain quilt that I made a couple of years ago from that pattern I did on the computer; if you click on the links in that post's text you can see how that came together). That said, I don't know that I've ever made a quilt that I didn't look at immediately after finishing and wish I had done something different, added something, not added something. But before I can worry too much, the poor thing is put into service. Our quilts are so hardworking here. They've been sat on and under thousands of times and washed dozens. They've covered babies and cushioned dogs and been picked on by cats. They've been in the trunk of the car, on the front lawn, and at the beach. They've had formula spilled on them, tears cried on them, diapers changed on them, and feet running across them. We love our quilts but we do not coddle them; they earn their keep, like draft horses.

Now for the backing. And the binding. And the quilting. I want this to feel like a flowery, groovy, puff. Maybe two layers of batting. And some hand quilting, with big running stitches.Worked on my lap at the end of the night, when the house is warm and quiet.


Oh,I don't think I've ever slowed down since I had my babies either! And my youngest is in college now :) I still have trouble making myself eat a meal in a manner that allows me to actually taste the food!

ohh gorgeous, just mmmm. Wishing I could do this, but reckon I need a tutor, or more able other at least!

I love how two of the pictures you posted included the clock next to the window. As if we would doubt you when you tell us how speedy you are, there is the proof -- finished by 12:25


Oh, wow! I'm thinking of patchwork window coverings now. Great!

Now, see, you're making me feel like even I might be able to, some day, make a quilt. The importance of fabric selection, the painstaking measuring and rotary-cutting, the talk of bias and binding and batting has always given me the heebie jeebies before.

If I do ever make one, mine will definitely have elephants on it too!

Heather x

I have been a collector of fabric for a while now. You inspire me....I can feel that I am getting closer to actual quilting! Soon.

This is going to be just beautiful, Lady Alicia..Just like you!
Hope you folks have a lovely day full of
Snuggles, hot coffee & hand stitching

Too funny! I was going to leave a comment last night on your previous post stating how you've motivated me to finally get going on a quilt! Now this is a sign! ;-)

Love how yours is looking so far -- and love that bunting!

Wow, the quilt you put together looks amazingly like the one on my wall. Strips sewn together into bigger strips sewn to other strips.... It's very pretty, Alicia, you did great with the color selection. Rock on, Sunshine.

OH, how cute is Amelia? She is precious! Love your quilt making too, I must try one this way, not overthink it! xoxooxo

Oh! This is just what I needed to read to get going already! I've had stock piles of fabric for quilts for both my kids, but have been intimidated to start. The only "quilting" I have ever done was to take the top quilt my Nana had made from her housedresses and aprons from the 40s and 50s, and put a backing on it and tie in all the corners of the squares. It is pretty special, since it was made by the two of us over the span of about 60 years.
However, I really want to fully make some. I've been feeling the itch.
On another note...we have that woodland bunny, but much smaller. That one is huge! So cute!!

Wow Alicia I LOVE this one, the way you've blocked out the shapes big & small, the funky prints combined with more traditional & the colours are luscious. & yes Amelia is a doll, so sweet and getting to be such a big little girl. Much love to all xo

OMG, I want the quilt and the garlands ... and, yes, add please this framed illustration with little animals. Does anyone have the idea where to get it? It would be such a lovely present.

I wondered if a new quilt was happening with all that Pinterest pinning. :)

A post full of eye candy! And, oh, that umbrella!

Dreamy dreamy dreamy:-)

This idea of lightning speed shopping makes me giggle! And is SO SO true, though I had never thought about it in such a way. And even that fast shopping feels like a luxury sometimes! I love the way you made this quilt. I just recently made a trade on some work with a friend: she will make me a quilt out of my hoard of my grandmother's fabric, and I will handstitch her a scarf a la Alabama Chanin. I had thought that I would never find the motivation to make a quilt, but your technique here has definitely inspired me...

Ah yes! Mom speed. I have that: ON or off.

As always, I love your fabric choices! I fail to find anything so pretty while at Joann's.

Creative fun... Hurrah!
My last quilt came out deliciously light and lofty... For batting I used an Ikea comforter (a cheap thrill, actually). I cannot wait to make another.

When my kids were little, I used to ask for the gift of time. Come and watch them for an hour so I could sneak into the other room and quilt, stitch, or scrapbook. I think you can tell a mother by how fast the person eats their food. LOL

Your quilt looks great! I started hand quilting with perle cotton #8 within this last year and oh my gosh, I LOVE it. It certainly isn't the fastest way to finish a quilt but I love doing hand work. Something that will stay finished in a world full of laundry and running after kids, cooking meals, etc.

BTW, my 23 yr old daughter called me the other day to say she'd been reading your blog and, "That Amelia! She is adorable! I love the way Alicia dresses her, too.". :)

I like your "un" method!

Awww. You (and a few others) inspired me to sew my own quilts way back when, now I sell them on Etsy. But....I also started making a style of "wall art" through sewing which I sell retail now! Not going to go on about that here...but...
it's all suffice to say that you've inspired my business and it's growing along rather nicely and because of that, I'm able to work at home and be around for my kids. So, thank you for putting yourself out there, Alicia. For sharing your stuff. It's helped me, for sure, with inspiration in my own life and following my own dreams and others have felt the same, I am sure.

Faith proctor says: February 21, 2014 at 12:19 PM

That garland makes me drool, is it made of paper or felt? Love, love the quilt.

Oh so lovely and sweet ....

Hand quilting is my absolute favorite TV watching past-time and perle cotton #12 is my favorite quilting "thread." A little less chunky than #8 but still noticeable. I am itching to start something new now!

Mary Ann in Vermont says: February 21, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Amelia is just as precious as can be. I love everything about your new quilt...the colors, the patterns, and how it all comes together so sweetly. Please, do tell about the umbrella! And, don't forget to tell all about your garland, too! Love-love-love.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

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