Rainbow Bright

comments: 74




















I've been busy with some fabric and some bloomers and some dresses. Now at least Amelia has something to wear. I definitely don't. I should probably make something for myself one of these days. Instead I made honey-mustard chicken and rosemary potatoes, which was very good. Loving that whole put-the-skillet-in-the-oven thing. Finally I'm getting to the chicken!

After I sewed several things, there literally was no more room in the scrap basket. The scrap basket is enormous. It's about two feet tall and two feet in diameter, I think. I've had it in my office for . . . sixteen years now. Both Bridget and Violet used to sleep in the scrap basket when it wasn't overflowing. Once I started pulling scraps out of it I swear it was like one of those vacuum-packed storage bags, and it basically expanded to about twice its volume once the pressure was lifted. Slightly appalling. I threw half of it on the floor and started pulling out only the scraps I wanted for a new quilt (which I didn't plan to make until one second before — yet another SQMI [Spontaneous Quilt-Making Incident] — I can't count how many I've had now — I'm just wild like that I guess). I stood at the (newly lifted with bed risers) cutting table and ironing board and pressed and rotary-cut a big pile of scraps into rectangles. I had no specific sizes — I just cut everything into the biggest rectangle that I could get out of the crazy-cut scrap. When I had a big pile, I started sewing pieces together a lot like you do with log cabin blocks — I'd stitch one piece to another, then trim the longer one right at the sewing machine with a pair of scissors. When I had a few pieces put together, I'd press it and then trim it into another rectangle with the rotary cutter. It was amazing how out-of-square the "block" would get after a few seams. But I'd just keep squaring it a bit. Eventually, I had four or five big patched rectangles and then I stitched those together to make a long strip. I did all of this in an afternoon while my sister was standing in the studio talking with me. I was barely paying attention to what I was doing, and there's a lesson for me. I like this as much as any quilt I've ever made (so far). Not sure if it will be smallish, for Amelia's pending big-girl bed or really enormous, for our king-size bed. The last time I made one for that bed was four years ago (named, I was delighted and surprised to see — I didn't remember this! — the Spring Rain quilt). That was epic. It's a pretty cool feeling to make a quilt out of only scraps. Our foremothers would be laughing at that statement, I know.


Those bloomers are the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!! When I see your cute dresses, I want to pull my sewing machine out, but it's probably more likely that I will make those rosemary potatoes!

sharon stanley says: March 09, 2016 at 10:41 AM

so inspired! you have a real color pallet of your own that has such charm...the idea of making a quilt always intimidates me but i've just recenlty pinned some pretty ones using strips/rectangles, so not i am inspired to actually do the work, not just look at it!

Alicia, this process would the best workshop! I would totally sign up for it and be so happy to have a little guidance in making my first quilt. Plus we could swap scraps with each other!

I agree! A course on making your first quilt would be a great idea.
Love all the dresses and bloomers.
The chicken dish - heavenly.

Loving the bloomers. Those should definitely be a fad. Such cute fabrics, as always. Happy nearly Spring!

I love your SQM process! Every time you do a quilt making post I tell myself I am going to start one. Then I add all the fabrics to my virtual basket, see how much they all cost, then close the browser! I need more scraps clearly😄

It IS lovely to make quilts that way! lovely pictures! I still need to do the skillet to oven trick! looks lovely! God keep you all well!

You're an inspiration, for sure. How many moms can't get anything done because they have kids? You seem to take things in stride much like I remember my mother and grandmother doing. Home making and sewing didn't stop because we were around. We played with our toys or scraps of whatever they were were working on (piecrust rolled up in cinnamon and sugar and baked with the pie or doll dresses from scraps for home sewing). Thanks for letting me peek into your pretty world.

Dana Laviano (@NieveandEstrellas) says: March 09, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Hi ALicia,
Can you tell me what stitch or pattern your crochet work is? It's lovely!
Thank you.

Gorgeous dresses and awesome quilt-in-progress! Your Amelia is such a treasure and she is going to love looking back at all of the memories you capture here. Someday I hope to have my own little one to sew for. :)

When I saw that scrap basket, I almost thought it was the trash, and I got a little queasy. So glad to see you put it to good use :)

Ideas! And inspiration!
And threads that cross...
I almost dread feeling the least bit inspired to start a quilt, {which I already am inspired to do, so it's too late} because I have so many projects in varying degrees of incomplete... but goodness, that quilt top is looking splendid. And something more... My daughter was sketching last night, a picture I had to post on my blog, because I love it so. Now she's asking if we can sew her some dresses inspired by her drawings. I know when she's sees Amelia's new dresses she will be smitten, as they are so much like the dresses she's been imagining for herself. {I hope these sentences read as well as they sound in my head. That chicken dish is draining the blood from my brain and sending me into a low blood sugar state of ditzyness, and desire.}

Would to see the back of the dresses!

I'm currently making a block of the month quilt out of only scraps and I'm loving seeing all of the girls dress fabrics make a reappearance and offcuts from a quilt I made my mother and a giraffe cube I made when my eldest was only a bump - it's so much fun and somehow stops you overthinking it all!

You are so productive, it amazes me. I remember when my girl was younger and I was busier as a homemaker and homeschooler, I was oddly more productive too. Perhaps its something to do with momentum. But I never made anything as beautiful or skillful as your clothing, quilts, toys, meals ... oh, to be so clever!

I love your photography. Where does your talent end?????

Man, oh man, does that chicken dish look GOOD! We are in a temporary apartment until we move in to our new house next week and I cannot wait to cook a meal again! That recipe is going to be one of the first things I try. That crochet project you're working on is so incredibly lovely! I keep trying to crochet but cannot get the hang of turning the row at the right time. all of my projects have an hourglass shape. LOL

this post makes me grin. I love the idea of random quilting like this, but I have so much trouble making it happen. I find myself going over and over it - seeking symmetry. this inspires me to try again.

ooh! I will definitely try that recipe. Just last night I prepared a very simple Jacques Pepin recipe from the NYTimes for mustard chicken. It was delicious! I recommend it.

I have made my nieces many quilts , costumes and some clothes. I saved a piece from each project, made 1 inch paper pieced hexagons into flowers and appliquéd the flowers onto a backround (b & w polka dots ) it is now being made into a memory quilt. all the flowers are hand pieced then easily machine appliqued onto squares.
I have also thrown in a few cotton dress scraps -- It is a memory quilt that I love --- your scraps from the pretty dresses would certainly make a great memory quilt

the quilt is for me but, I am pretty sure one of the nieces is going to say-- I really like this, can I have it.
I can't say no

In all seriousness, how do you find the time and energy to do all the sewing, crafting, etc? I really need some pointers on how one can squish it all in during the day. I love to see your photos.

Your work is amazing! I am always in awe of all the cute dresses you whip up for your girlie.
Your quilts are always so pretty too.

Could it be? Yes, certainly it has to be… Oh my goodness it is.....a quilt!


Loving the inspiration.

The dresses and bloomers are adorable! Your work is indeed lovely! Wonder what fabric is that in the third photo. Yummy chicken dish! Love star stitch and yours looks lovely with those soothing colors. Alicia I was wondering what water-erase pencil and chalk pencil you would recommend. I was thinking about making the fox I got from you. I went to Amazon to buy the pencils but the reviews left me confused.

Those dresses are gorgeous. Amelia is the luckiest little lady! I can hardly wait to see the end result of your scrap quilt. It looks amazing already. You are something else!! Thank you also for the recipe. Looks delicious.

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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