Soup and Sew

comments: 70
























Well, thank you. Thank you, thank you. What an incomparably lovely experience it was to read your kind comments (for Andy, too; I don't know if you know he reads every post, and every comment as well). Thank you so much! I took the quilt top and the batting and backing (yep, I embroidered a tag, as well; I'll show you that sometime, probably when I'm completely done with it all) over to Modern Domestic for the afternoon that same day last week and used their tables to lay it all out and pin the quilt sandwich together. That place is pretty rad; you can pay to use their space and equipment to get stuff like this done, and I'll never do it at home again. The tables were nice and tall and I spent hours pinning and my back did not hurt at all (mine at home is way too short — I absolutely need risers — all my stuff is too short for me, actually, including the kitchen counters). Anyway, I got it all pinned together, and got the front part of the binding sewn on, and now I'm hand quilting a few squares and stitching down a bit of binding every night. I have two more weeks. I'll definitely finish. I'm really happy.

Answers to some questions that came up:

Yes, I changed the October patch significantly. I kept the same girl, because I really did not want to lose any of the continuity of this amazing design, but added a simple birthday cake from another book by the same designer and some bunting.

As far as getting the book that these patterns are in, it is (sadly) out of print. I found mine easily on Etsy, but I'm guessing there aren't too many of them out there, I'm sorry. I don't really have any good advice about how to get your hands on a copy other than Googling the title or ISBN (in the previous post), or trawling eBay, Etsy, or other Japanese craft book sellers.

The top was pieced with strips of the salmon/silver background fabric. I think I did all the blocks going down with short strips between (to make three columns) and then added four long vertical strips to finish. For the back I used this 100% cotton gingham in gray. The salmon/silver background calico came from JoAnn's. As far as the rest of the fabrics used to make the calico frames, er. . . . I'm not great at keeping track of that kind of info. All of it was already cut into strips by me at some point, and kept in my big 2" strip scrap basket. I buy almost all of my fabric locally, at JoAnn's, Fabric Depot, and Mill End Store, and also at Knittn' Kitten. Some of my fabrics are Liberty of London Tana Lawn cottons, which I've been collecting for probably twenty years. I have never been good at keeping track of the names and designers of fabric, and I really am going to try to be better about that. But my stash has been accumulated over such a long period of time and from so many places that it just overwhelms me to try to keep it straight. (And also, for the people who have asked where I find most of the vintage patterns I use for Mimi's dresses, I just get them on Etsy or eBay, or at Goodwill or Knittn' Kitten when I see something I like. Eventually I'm sure I will sell my collection of vintage patterns but I don't really have time to do it right now. I like vintage patterns because they have already been cut out [most of the time] and you don't have to fight with multiple sizes and giant pieces of tissue paper, or printing and cutting and taping, etc. And of course I just like the styles better, too.)

Anyway, I was mostly just kidding about not letting Mimi use the quilt. She'll absolutely use it, but I will try to keep it nice. I will absolutely try to keep Clover and Bridget off of it (they are going to be bewildered, seriously — I've never tried to keep them off of anything in their lives). I'm definitely going to wash it cold with some of those color-catcher things. I've never been worried about dye in embroidery floss running before, and of course I did absolutely nothing to mitigate the possibility, but in that June block especially, oh shasta. That one's gonna be tough to imagine not running, honestly. . . . That umbrella is so solidly packed with red thread (against a white ground). Ugh. Oh well. That's life.

Anyway, once again. You guys. Thank you. Your enthusiasm made my day just so big and fun and bright. I truly appreciate your kindness and, just, I don't know how to explain it anymore, but all the thoughtfulness that goes into what you say. All of the things you said, the stories you offered, the kindness you shared, all of it has also gone into that quilt now. And I don't know, that makes me cry, too. It's just cool. Thank you.

So, there's a lot of soup up there. There's chicken with wild rice. There's black bean. There's Andy's chicken soup (we were sick). There's a loaf of bread, as well, but it was a just a loaf of frozen white from the grocery store, which, though it only weighed about an ounce (seriously, I actually laughed out loud when I picked it up) after it was baked, made kind of a nice turkey sandwich, I have to say. Also, there's a Halloween costume. It's Little Red Riding Hood's dress from Simplicity #2571. I know. I . . . yes, I already made part of a Halloween costume. I have no explanation.

***Her poncho; her dress; her sweater.


Kristen from MA says: September 29, 2015 at 12:17 PM

Alicia, how did you get such great shots of the moon?

(Hi Andy! **waves**)

You are an adorable family. Such a lucky, lucky child to get to belong to you and Andy. Your quilting is wonderful. So glad you are making a label. I've quilted for 35 years and yet to put a label on anything.But what a nice remembrance for the receiver to have your seal. Thank you for your wonderful blog. I always look forward to reading it and to see what's going on in your neck of the woods.

Soup has been bubbling in my crockpot over the last few days because I managed to catch the cold that half of our household members have been fighting off, and eating soup somehow seems to help the healing process. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I just posted my crockpot minestrone recipe and some photos of the moon taken with my little Panasonic Lumix on its automatic setting. My photos of the moon are so grainy because I do not know how to adjust the camera for different light conditions, which makes me appreciate your efforts all the more, because you capture such beautiful shots, Alicia!!! Thanks for posting. Wishing you and yours well :) xx

Each photo whispers Fall, family and a whole lot of love. The love you and Andy have for each other and the love you have of Miss Em & your fur babies. I always enjoy seeing Miss Clover Meadow. She makes me smile from ear to ear. ❤️
I so love shopping at Goodwill - you just never know what you'll find. That perfect pair of jeans, a basket to use as a mailbox (I found a lovely Langaberger at GW).
When our daughter lived here in Portland she introduced me to Knittin' Kitten. It's a fun place.
Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt. 😍
Hoping we receive more rain, soonest. ☔️

What an Autumnal post! Love the simmering soups and fall leaves. My favorite image is of Andy with a sleeping little girl and a cozy dog by his feet. So homey and love-filled. I made a big pot of ham hock and beans on Sunday and Dayle made the cornbread to go with it. Boy the house smells good with soup simmering on the stove. I gasped in delight at the dress you made.. you're really amazing. I think I need to go in search of some colorful leaves today. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Soup weather?
I am mustering all of my patience for the day just brisk enough to make and serve soup!
In the meantime, back to Pinning I go... with all of your lovely seasonal inspiration.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I posted about the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival yesterday, then the amazing dahlias at Swan Island Dahlia. Were you at OFFF when you got the photo of Mimi and the sheep? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

It's so fun to sew Halloween costumes. I cannot get over how cute Clover is! SO adorable, that pup!
Bring on the soups!

Lovely as always. That photo of the dress with the red gingham curtain is a scene from my own childhood. Mom dressed me as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween when I was eight, although in an outfit nowhere near as truly handmade as yours, :) and I grew up in a cozy world of her red gingham. ♥

Lovely, lovely! Thank you for all the info on your quilt and the sewing. The quilt really is so, so beautiful and I've been coming back again and again to admire it. I've got a little girl, too, so it's especially resonating with me. I love your words in the last post about your thoughts and feelings when making the quilt. I think a lot of crafters can relate! When I read those words I thought "that's what crafting at its best is about". I'm happy you found such a special project to experience all that and are sharing it with us!

I've been reading this for years and I've never once commented but now I must. Your blog brings me so much joy - your gorgeous photos, your beautiful work, your daughter who you capture so wonderfully in your photos. So much joy and happiness, and it's such a pleasure to read this. And this quilt - it's just divine. I could stare at it for hours. I'm in awe of what you have accomplished. Just beautiful.

Love the Soups . . .
I just made a Wild Rice Chicken Soup and it was truly the best soup ever!
My hubs gave me a double " thumbs up!"

Is "Little Miss Sweet" beginning to read . . . It wouldn't surprise me!
Love . . . over the moon . . . the quilt . . .
Oh My Goodness!

That soup looks so good. And Mimi in her poncho - I swoon! I'm getting started on Halloween costumes this weekend, but I think I'm going to leave, just one thing not quite done until the last minute, so the I get to wear something new excitement doesn't wear off before Halloween

You have a theme started for Halloween! You have to work on a wolf costume for you and a grandmother costume for Andy!!! I love it when I see a family dressed up. Although your darling girl maybe a bit too small for that theme. I wouldn't want her worried or frightened. ❤️

Fantastic moon photos, well done you. It was the middle of the night here (3am!) so I didn't get up and look. Wishing I did now. Love the Hallowe'en costume, you will be very glad you got a headstart on it later, it will fly round all too soon. Love the cabbage photo, so green and healthy. CJ xx

Your soups all look so delicious. I love cooking when it becomes fall. What a perfect little red riding hood dress! I love it so much I can't stand it. I have that same pattern because my daughter was little Bo Peep last year (and her bother a sheep). Her poncho looks so fabulous and timeless too.

Have you ever tried putting a sweet potato in your black bean soup or bean chili? It is really good.

The Halloween costume is really why I commented. It is beyond beautiful!! I cant wait to see it! The clown and witch on the pattern are also a just a little bit out of control. Can't she have two costumes this year? Haha! My boys 3 and 6, have picked a ghost and black cat. I'm pretty excited for those classics but torn about working out a ghost with eye holes that might migrate all over his head all night vs.face paint. I really don't think he will be a fan of either, but a ghost he must be.

I love that quilt. I know your little one will love it too. I've bookmarked all three soups to try. I tried the potato/kale/corn one you shared recently and it was superb! I'm already wanting to make it again. :-)

I love it when Clover gets in on the photos! I usually get my used books on I did a search under the authors name for the name you had listed and didn't come up with anything but it is a great resource and I have used it many times. Good luck on trying to keep the cat and dog off of the new quilt--it will probably be their favorite! Beautiful post as usual ☺.

I don't understand how you put fabrics together in such a unique way. The Halloween costume is killing me. If I put those fabrics together it would look like a hot mess. Your eye for this is amazing, Alicia!

That soup looks so delicious! I love soups for fall and winter months. So many choices to be had.

How great to have a place to go lay out a quilt and baste it together. I did that last night at home, on the floor, ugh!

I met up with my Mum and sister this weekend to go to Yarndale, a yarn festival in Yorkshire. My Mum who is a mainly a sewer and quilter was in awe of the beautiful quilt you've made for Mimi when I showed it to her. She is a very talented lady who always makes the costumes for my Rainbow (Daisy Girl Scouts in the US) sleepover each summer. This year the theme was fairy tales and she made Little Red Riding Hood costumes for the girls. Twelve Little Red Riding Hood capes and an assortment of different coloured gingham aprons. Not quite as fancy as the costume you've made but the girls loved them and they looked so cute with the decorated wicker baskets which they used to take home all their crafts, baking and goodies. I am sure that Mimi will look super cute in her outfit too.

I'm with Teresa - was that sheep above from the OFFF flock & Fiber show? You got some good moon shots too. Beautiful weather we are having now that it has cooled down some from those horrible 100' days we had all summer.
I haven't been to Knittin' Kitten in a few years. Might have to drag my sorry butt into Portland.
Looks like you have mastered soup making. We ate at the Thai restaurant on Sunday and they served my coconut soup in a soup tureen a bit like a bundt pan with a tea light in the bottom to keep the soup warm while I ate.
It's called a ""Hot Pot" Thai soup serving bowl with lid" if you do a google search. Way cool. I know you need one.

One of the things that makes your blog extra cozy is that you inspire others to share their stories in the comments like you're just one of their good friends. Well of course, you are interested in our little stories, too!! :) Thank you for creating that.

That poncho is adorable! As is the wearer of it!!

sharon stanley says: September 29, 2015 at 06:23 PM

that poncho. oh my goodness. i would like to comment on all the other fabulous photos, the soups, and clover, but i cannot because i am so enamored of the poncho. as a teen of the 70s, i think i had a similar one and now i am all nostalgic for platform shoes, happy leg pants and a poncho. that and i've been humming in-a-gadda-da-vida. it's not pretty. hi andy!

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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