Warm Little Things

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I had my handwriting analyzed when I was twenty-four. One of the (many) things it told me was that I was not spontaneous. This is true. I'm plodding. My one spontaneous act seems to be to start making a quilt at the exact time that I have lots of other things going on. It's really weird. It must be some sort of reflex. It's like just all of a sudden if I have all of five minutes to myself I walk, zombielike, to the rotary cutter and start slicing away at stacks of fabric. Before I know it, I have a basketful. In this case, I cut 2"-wide strips of dozens — I don't know how many — tons — way more than I needed — of the cutest, sweetest fabrics in my stash, to make a little quilt for my cutest-sweetest. Creams, pinks, blues, flowers, bunnies, dots. Tiny rosebuds and little elephants. Hedgehogs and purple cherries. Polka-dots (which she calls "bubbles") and baby cats (which she calls "ah-ahs").

Do you know how to make a log cabin quilt? It's a wonderful thing. My friend Susan taught me how to do it. It's so easy. I don't do it exactly clockwise. I just do it randomly. It might be clockwise, but it might not be. I just go. When the blocks are done, you add the blue strips, horizontally between blocks and then a long strip of vertical "logs" with 2" squares at each intersection. I used wool batting, and then a grayish polka-dot flannel for the back. Cream-colored cotton with little lavender dots for the binding (which is done by machine and by hand). This one I'm going to tie (which is how I did this one and this one [and this is just plain funny]). I don't always tie them; sometimes I have them professionally finished. But I want to tie this one. I like how soft and floppy they are when you tie them.

We also made cinnamon baked doughnuts. They were delish. Ish. Maybe too much vanilla? Is that possible? Two teaspoons of vanilla is a lot. I think next time I'll leave out the vanilla and leave out the cinnamon in the batter. (I always leave out the nutmeg, in everything but bechamel. I don't like it in anything else.) The doughnuts were a little too . . . something. I can't put my finger on it. Almost perfect, though. The concept, in general, worked very nicely!

Been making soups, too. Will tell you about that, too. Thank you again for the inspiration! Still getting everything pinned!

***If you eat as many Mandarin oranges as we do you can simmer the peels with a few cloves and cardamom pods (and some cinnamon sticks, whatever you like) in a bit of water on a back burner throughout the day (don't forget about it; add more water as needed). It makes the house smell really wonderful.

71 comments

I'll buy your left over scraps! I always love it when you make a new quilt. Such pretty fabrics -- love it. serious about scraps.

I love how the new quilt is in Amelia's "palette". So lovely and feminine and so much like all of her lovely little sweaters and dresses. Is it a Christmas gift? What are you going to use to tie the quilt? Wool?

I would be in big trouble with that plate of scrumptious looking donuts.
Love the quilt. You make everything look so easy.
Enjoy your week-end.

Alicia, the photos in this post are just gorgeous, even more so than usual! Thanks for the warm and peaceful images.

I know what you mean. I also have a lot of projects going on, yet I decided to start making a quilt and it jumped to the front of the queue. There must be something extra special about quilts that they can take precedence over other things. Especially when it is for someone we love.

Now I want a donut!

Your quilt is just precious. I love log cabin quilts they are among my favorites. And I totally know what you mean about cutting out a quilt when that is the last thing in the world you should be doing, but sometimes you just can't fight the calling. Wink wink.

She is always the highlight:) Her hais is so much like my girls hair..:)

Alicia..did you use the mini donut? Or full size pan?

Who makes Madam's boots? They are the cutest things. I love her whole look.

Amelia is just precious in that sweet dress you crocheted. It is one of my favorites that you've made. The doughnuts look good enough to eat through the computer screen!

Trudy got skunked last night. She's been bathed a half dozen times, but you can still smell it. I think I'll simmer some clementine peels and cloves! The quilt looks beautiful!

Oh that quilt..love

That quilt is so darling and cozy looking! The donuts look very yummy, two teaspoons of vanilla does sound like a lot. My family does like nutmeg in our Christmas Sugar cookies. That has become a Christmas tradition for their taste buds. Your little one is so cute! What an exciting time of the year for her,,and you! Enjoy! :)
xox...Gloria

Here are my top 3 soups!
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/carrot-soup-with-tahini-and-crisped-chickpeas/
http://www.marthastewart.com/343553/autumn-minestrone-soup
and Turkish Red Lentil "Bride" Soup, which I have changed from wherever I originally saw it, but this link should serve you well. I always include paprika and hot pepper: http://medcookingalaska.blogspot.com/2008/01/recipe-red-lentil-and-bulgur-soup-with.html

Mimi looks like she's enjoying the new weather too.. I bet you are so excited for this Christmas, she will really be understanding the whole magic of it all. I want donuts! My DIL made some yummy muffins today which will be my next post. Today I did one of the snow out here on our farm. We're enjoying cozying up by the fire. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

What a beautiful quilt! I am inspired, and afraid!!! at the same time :-D Your doughnuts look exactly like they're supposed to, according to the recipe link ... I always admire that. I'm going to give them a go, I don't have a doughnut pan though so they're going to be muffin-ish in appearance (and thus nothing like the given recipe, woe) :-)

Now I want a doughnut. They look so good.

This is a special season for warm little things, isn't it, Alicia. When our power was off for four hours the other day I tried making tea by putting my teapot over a tea light. My tea was weak and not overly hot, but warming none the less :) My 28 month old granddaughter warmed my heart the other day when she brought me a book to read then took another book for herself and climbed into the leather recliner opposite my chair so she could "read" her book. I got a bit of a video of her interacting with the book. She debated whether to pretend to eat a butterfly, but kindly decided, "no eat butterfly." Then turning a page she announced with great excitement, "Ducks, Gamma!!!" Indeed she was looking at 100 of them! Wonderful, warming, precious times, yes? xx

i'm not sure how you manage to take the most mundane everyday items and make them look fantastic, but you do. i'm not sure how your photos of food can make me hungry even as i have just eaten a delicious piece of pumpkin pie with real whipped cream, but you can. i'm not sure how you can whip up a log cabin quilt like i'd sew on a button, but you have. i'm not sure how you make autumn even more beautiful than it already is, but you somehow manage. i'm not sure how you don't spend all day kissing that sweet little muff, but.....well, you probably don't. what a delightful thing it is to see your blog on a cold, dark friday night.

Your posts are always a treat and this is no exception. Your beautiful daughter, the scenery and your home pictures are all wonderful. Like a mini-vacation.

i use the very same doughnut recipe, but I decrease the milk to 1 cup, and I add a grated apple. I dip the bottoms in cinnamon sugar and make a brown butter icing. The icing is what makes it. Well that and the crunchy cinnamon sugar on the bottom. Yum. O.

Mmm doughnuts and quilting! Your pictures just ooze snugliness in the best possible way. I love your log cabin, I think it's the complete randomness that makes log cabins work - I've tried a couple of times but mine were always too planned and they looked all wrong as a result, although seeing yours I'm thinking I might have to give it a whirl one more time - after I finish the birthday quilt for my littlest girl which I am determined to get done in time!

One of my goals for the year was to "make a quilt". I still haven't and I'm running out of time. Thanks for posting Susan's link, I just watched the video and seems much less scary now! Over the years that I have been reading your blog your quilt posts have been some of my favourites. I love your process, it seems so relaxed and much more me than having lots of rules to adhere to. I get all inspired, to the point of picking out fabrics, but would then discover I don't have this or that...excuses! I think I might have everything I need now, wish me luck...

That sounds wonderful, the donuts, using the orange peel ( I'm going to try it for sure) and I love, love, love the quilt. My daughter is graduating this year and I have been thinking about making a quilt for her to take with her to college. . . Not decided which one yet.

Those pictures really calmed me today, and I feel very much like eating a cookie or a donut right now. Beautiful. Thank you.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

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

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Photography

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.