WIP Mash Up

comments: 121

So then. I have a bit of a list. A whirling, swirling to-do. It's all because (I'm convinced) Stacey (Wonder Assistant) and I finally took the time to clean my office very well. We emptied every nook and cranny. We didn't get rid of stuff as much as we thoroughly rearranged. It had been a few years since the last time. Remember how pretty my studio was then. I'm sobbingly happy to say it now basically looks exactly like that again. Even better, in fact, because I folded all of that fabric in the glass cabinet onto the comic book backer boards. That project, though it took a long time, was a righteous success for several reasons. 1) Obviously, it's much neater and more functional now — I can actually see what I have and that means I am using it like crazy. 2) I became intimately acquainted with those fabrics again, and that was kind of nice. I feel like I really know what's there now, and it is inspiring to feel in control of that pile. And 3) There's a lot less fabric there than I thought (believe it or not). Not, perhaps, in terms of numbers of prints. But certainly in terms of actual yardage. To be wrapped on a piece of backer board, a length of fabric needs to be about 18" or it won't really fit nicely around it. Many of the pieces in my Glass-Cabinet Stash are between 18" and a yard. Some are 2 yards. Very few are longer. A TON were less than 18" (and those are all folded into shoe holders from Target, now on my sewing table). Anyway, all of this was very, very satisfying and also revealed to me that I have more quilts, toys, and patchwork dresses in my future, because I am determined to use up this stash (even though it fits oh so perfectly now I almost can't bring myself to touch it. But only almost) and this stash is made of smallish pieces.



Okay. So, that's nice. Something else that's nice is that my dearest is now old enough to be in the studio with me. She watches Blue's Clues and Backyardigans on the computer, draws in her handy-dandy notebooks, eats an incredible number of bananas, sorts buttons into complicated rows, breaks a lot of colored pencils by smashing them, tip-down, as hard as she can, tries to get her hands on any marker or pen we accidentally leave lying around, "knits" (which means she takes yarn and wraps it around her hand or finger about two hundred times), sweeps, types, and generally keeps me very good company. This is a new development and it has been life-changing for me. For both of us, really. She's very proud to be "working" in here with me. I couldn't be happier.


The other day I said, "Are you going to learn to knit and sew when you grow up?" And she said, "Yeah. I'll do that for you."


[Insert wide-eyed emoji guy here.] Only if you want to, baby girl! Only if you want to, really! Wink.


I just want to squish her all day long. MWAH. I love you.

Now, projects. Do you like her sweater? Apparently I knit an entire sweater without mentioning it once or taking any progress photos. It still needs to be blocked, but, yum:



This is the Top-Down Garter Stitch Baby Jacket on Ravelry. My details (not many, sorry) are here.

I think I started that back in September. Or maybe it was after I'd finished the birthday quilt, in October. Regardless, I like to have easy projects for nighttime. Really easy. We wake up early around here (5:00 a.m., every morning, no matter the morning) and go to bed early — Amelia is asleep by 6:30 (since the time change) or 7:00 p.m. every night. That gives me about two hours of total and complete leisure time before I fall asleep. I get every single chore finished before I put Amelia to bed so that there is absolutely nothing left to do other than drink tea, watch TV, and knit/embroider/crochet. I like this schedule. A few weeks ago, I saw these lovely photos (I actually saw one first on Pinterest) and decided to make a blanket exactly like the one pictured (I just figured out her color scheme, chained 160 to start, and am simply doing V-stitch), using my fairly substantial stash of DK- and sport-weight yarn.


This will have a border like the one in the picture (white, I think, with blue, and black?) and is, ostensibly, for Amelia's future big-girl bed, which we've been talking about a lot around here and which I think will be this one, because those head- and foot-board panels are calling out to be wallpapered, aren't they? Cuteness. I told Amelia that when she goes potty only on the potty seat we can get rid of her changing table and crib, and then she can have a big-girl bed. She was very excited. The next day she told me, "When I get my big-girl bed, then I'll go potty on the potty seat!" Errrrrrr, um, no that's. . . . I did not see that coming. . . .

NEXT. Thanksgiving dress for Meems:


Blue gingham for the blouse, vintage calico (from Knittn' Kitten, I believe) for the pinafore. Probably the long version because I have such a soft spot for a long dress for the holidays. Interestingly, this blue gingham fabric (which is like a voile, super light) is on my work table in one of the photos in the studio re-do post I linked to above, from five years ago. I believe it was from Mill End Store. Will probably go for a brick-red ribbon on this. Eighty-five cents for a pattern back then. Wow.

For me, I've been making skirts like this:


This takes 2 yards of cotton calico, with extra for the patch pockets. It's gathered crosswise, from selvedge to selvedge, onto a 2" waistband with elastic in the back. It's pretty much the skirt I've been wanting for years and just never really got around to making for myself. I've made two so far (the other one was teal calicos), and wear them with some really soft cowl-neck sweaters  (I wear them tucked in) I got from Ann Taylor Loft, and really soft and wonderful over-the-knee socks from Sock Dreams. And a chunky clog. Good, classics-professor-at-the-grocery-store winter uniform. Hoop earrings. Another skirt planned in these fabrics:


I'll write a tutorial or pattern or something when I get some time. Really easy. (And by the way, that orange poppy fabric I just got last week at JoAnn's. The smaller brown calico was in the stash.)

NEXT. Amelia's nightgown and robe. She wanted both, and I just couldn't resist this pattern, or fabric (double-sided pre-quilted cotton, also from JoAnn's).


I'm not sure how she even knew what a bathrobe was. We don't wear them, but I may rethink that because:


Aaaaaaaaaagh!!!! I love it so much! It has a drawstring waist. I did the neck with binding using toothpaste blue vintage bias tape. I want one exactly like this for me. Mommy-and-me robes? Too Grey Gardens?

The nightgown (flannel, also from JoAnn's [yes, I used about four coupons there that day] with a vintage embroidered ribbon from I know not where) is from a vintage pattern, Simplicity 4719, and there are a couple more planned. Next is one out of this dotty grayish-blue.


I have a few more nightgown patterns, too. Just realizing now that she needs a new one for Santa Lucia. Last year's is so worn out it's dingy, and too small. This is a problem I relish.

NEXT. A winter sweater. And a swingy skirt (I need to adjust the waist, because it's too big). I don't have the pattern in front of me but I don't recommend it, either way (it was vintage). Next time I'll use the same formula I developed for my gathered skirts above. This one is kind of a circle skirt.


The sweater pattern is Trixie on Ravelry, and it's quite darling, though there are no projects to date, so I'm not sure what it looks like on. I'm making the 2-3T size in House of a la Mode Stunning Single Ply yarn in Candy Cane Lane. Love this yarn, and it's local, too, from Happy Knits, my happy place (and Amelia's, too):


Yay! Isn't it brilliant of them to have a play area? With chalkboard-painted walls? Oh my stars, how I love these guys she is drawing every single day. They are so cute. The arms? Or legs? Love.

What's next. Advent calendar. This goes closer to the top of the list. I don't want to be late with this.


This is the Advent calendar pattern from Purl. They have a kit, too, but I have a ton of felt I'm trying to use up. I did order their sequins and beads, though, just for something special. I've never really had an Advent calendar before. I think we had paper ones, with little windows, but they weren't a big tradition with us. Andy says this one is similar to the one he had growing up. I changed the pattern a bit and am adding Velcro dots to stick the little ornaments on the tree (instead of straight pins). I finished the number embroidery and added the dots yesterday, and it's cute. The dots look like snow.

Lastly but certainly not leastly, a Friendship Quilt based on a beautiful quilt that Lucy made.


I'm making this with my BFF for the past twenty-six years, Martha. She lives in Boston. We were college roommates, and sewed Laura Ashley dresses together waaaaaay back then in our little white cottage with the big blue table on 8-1/2 Avenue. She wore flats with hers, I wore Doc Martens. She has a wicked-awesome stash of rather proper '80s calicos. I have a mish-mash with mutt-like provenance. We're trading 30 or so 2" selvedge-to-selvedge-cut strips, then doing something like this with a mixture of our own and each other's strips:


Each little square on the grid represents 1.5". Colored rectangles are blocks of horizontal strips. I've been wanting to do a quilt like this since I re-pinned this one a long time ago. I really love my quilting Pinterest board. Sometimes I just look at it and feel generally extremely happy that someone invented quilts. They are so beautiful. This one is going to be special to me.

This post is very long.


I so love your long posts. Thanks for all the news and projects. I got some ideas from yours -- my family will have a brand new baby girl for Christmas this year and we are so very excited for her arrival. We call her Tuna 5 because the to-be mom had a series of cats as she grew up, four of them, named Tuna 1, Tuna 2, Tuna 3, and Tuna 4, and she and her hubby are keeping Baby Girl's name to themselves for now; hence, Tuna 5! I love the idea of a very special quilt. Haven't been able to find the book you got your pattern from for the Third Birthday quilt, but awesome ideas for our own. Thank you, Alicia, for your sharing.

Oh My Goodness. You. Are. Amazing. Thank you for sharing, I love it all.

janeray1940 says: November 10, 2015 at 03:41 PM

I love that skirt! Really looking forward to your upcoming tutorial, nudge nudge :)

Well, I must say you are amazingly inspirational with ALL your long list of makes! If I finish something every 6 months I'm doing good. :-) It's great that Mimi is making herself at home in your work space.. you can both do your own thing but share space.. nice. I put up some fun pix of Mt. Hood with snow in alpenglow yesterday. Quite the adventure.. I got kind of lost! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Ah but long is wonderful, especially when packed full with so many wonderful projects I don't know where to start! I love love love the idea of a shoe holder for the little bits of fabric and the backing boards for the rest, I keep meaning to do that to my fabric, especially as a chunk of it was inherited from my mother so I find it easy to forget what I have. And your planned patterns for Amelia are just adorable! If you haven't come across Purl Bee's gathered skirt for all ages I'd highly recommend it especially for precious little bits of fabric. I made matching but not matching skirts for my girls over the summer and they were their go to outfit, first out of the laundry basket every time :)

Years ago, you made some little ornaments or something that were like clothespin dolls (I think?) and sold bags of the leftover scraps. You should think about doing that again---quilt-as-you-go bags are all over the internet, and it would be fun to use someone else's scraps. (Someone else's scraps are ALWAYS more interesting than your own, whether the scraps are sock yarn, fabric, regular yarn, whatever.) You could sort them into little packages of fabrics that go together.

I used to make Blue's Clues! First job out of college, almost 20 years ago. And now my daughters, ages 3 and almost 2, are enjoying it, too. Very surreal. Nice to hear that Mimi likes it, too!

Oh, Alicia, my mom used to sew when I was little and she made us matching long nightgowns. They were a white flannel with a little blue flower. If I ever saw that fabric again I'd cry! I'm getting teary thinking of it now...
What you are doing is so special. Enjoy! Enjoy!

So much yummy goodness in this post--love seeing all the plans in progress. And I'm super impressed that you make yourself do all your chores before A goes to bed; I should do that--I would savor and enjoy my the-boys-are-in-bed-time a whole lot more!

Perfectly long.
While I want to point out every single one of the forty-two things I love about this post... I cannot stop myself from blurting: I Need That Skirt! Please! It's as though you're reading my mind. A skirt that's nicely finished up front, but kindly elasticized in the back?! Exactly what I've been wanting to create. Seriously. Gosh. Ok... the nightgowns, the tidied up room... You're *wip-ing* up good stuff, as usual, Alicia. I'm going to rummage through my stash for two yard pieces, skirt candidates, and then hold my breath for your tutorial! (Insert thankful-eager emoji, here)

Ooh! I want to make an advent calendar this year too! What a great idea!

Oh, what a treat to read of all your projects. Joy and happiness for the coming months.

sharon stanley says: November 10, 2015 at 04:42 PM

oh my goodness i am swooning at that quilt! and the skirt...you MUST take a pic of yourself in your whole outfit. i am dying to see it on with the sox and clogs. i may pull out my scissors and fabric. gotta see this. also, the advent calendar!!!!! wow. i am so inspired. i gotta go sit down. (wink)

Goodness, you've been one busy woman! So many lovelies here. We are currently building a workspace for me, and I loved seeing your office. The fabric in the shoe holders... brilliant! I'm looking forward to seeing the skirt tutorial.

Love your atelier..

I made white pinafores over blue ans white gingham dresses..long for my daughters:) over 35 yrs ago..and a felt Tree advent calendar w/ all the felt ornaments..now resides at our youngest daughter's home w/ her 3 boys..they last a lifetime Alicia:)I have the Velcro circles too on it!

I made the purl advent last year. It was such a fun project to do while watching holiday movies. I may have to steal your velcro idea, I didn't love the strait pins. I just finished their tiny tile quilt and it turned out beautiful.

This is the best post. Looking forward to seeing these finished...or coming along :) as well as that skirt tutorial!

This is the best post ever. I get so fired-up inspired by works-in-progress posts! Thank you! I love watching the ideas unfurl and become a reality. I am in the midst of a humongous crafting area clean out myself, so it is music to my ears to hear about somebody actually finishing theirs! Great work! You're amazing.

What a gift this post is. I want to make everything. realistically I might go so far as starting one. And the photo of Amelia looking directly at the camera is so sweet. I have button jars I set up just for my granddaughters. The older one used to make patterns and colour collections with them when she was younger. Now that I can be certain that Miss 3 won't eat the buttons, she enjoys making roads for little animals with them. Your crochet blanket has fantastic colours. It reminds me of the best licorice allsorts candies; like the wonderful pale-coloured ones with a nice tasty stripe of curly licorice in the middle. (google images of liquorice all sorts nz for the pastel ones)

Thank you for sharing so much. I love the long post, links, pictures, etc. The entire post just made me smile and giggle, especially when your sweet girl humbled all us mamas out there;)

My son also loves jabbing his colored pencils and markers as hard as he can on the point. What is up with that? Drives me bonkers...they are astoundingly savvy negotiators at such a young age. Sigh.

So happy for you, your renewed studio, and new time to work with your darling helper.

A long post but I loved every word.

Every time I read you posts about your sewing room and look at the pictures of past or up-coming projects, I just want to squeal with delight. They motivate me so much to go back to my sewing, and yet, I am so busy with my embroidery business, which makes me happy too.

Thanks for sharing your creative juices and your little one.

Oh man, so much inspiration! Let's see, I'm either going to wait patiently for you to do up the skirt pattern, or else I'm going to plunge ahead and carve up a bunch of nice fabric in a disastrous attempt to emulate it. "Classics professor at the grocery store" is pretty much the most perfect description in the world. I have clogs. I think I can rock this look...

Thank you, as always, for this window into your world. :)

Oh my word, that is a LIST! So many beautiful things to make, and The Backyardigans will be very helpful, for sure. An occupied toddler is a very happy thing :)

You're on fire! Loving everything you've made and are making. ✂️

Your outfit sounds wonderful. Do hope you'll share a photo of the finished ensemble. I live in my clogs all year round. 👞

I'm always impressed by Miss Em and her brilliant comments, "Yeah. I'll do that for you." You have taught her well. 🔔📚

Loving this weather, it's so invigorating! ☔️🍂🍁

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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 aliciapaulson.com