Pulling Together

comments: 74











Things of Summer










Oh, where do the days go? They slide away, they slide away. It's been three months since our stay-home order went into effect. It's felt long and also short, since the days are all so similar they really do run together. I've been having a rough time of it lately. We've gotten out to the woods and the river a bit, and that has been wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I would like to go all the time. I love everything about the river. I love stopping at Jimmy John's [edited: won't be going to Jimmy John's after what you guys have just told me — ugh, thank you, I had no idea] and picking up sandwiches right on the edge of town. I love the drive into the country, past Christmas tree farms and billowing foxglove groves. I love the smell of the woods and stopping the car for a mama deer and three babies. I love watching Amelia play with her toys in the sand. I love watching raptors circle endlessly over the river. I love reading in my chair. I love when Andy and Amelia go on adventures. I love the sound of the water. I want to go all the time. I can't wait to go back. My nerves feel better for it, for sure.

I hope you are all well and hanging in there!

Amelia is currently in the bathtub. I gave her a can of shaving cream and said go for it. She's hooting and hollering in there right now. She just asked me for another can (no). She's spent most of the day in her underpants, watching Inspector Gadget in the office and eating water chestnuts out of a can with a fork. It's over 90 degrees outside and sunny, without a breeze in sight. I watered the garden at about 8:30 a.m. and then shot right back into the AC. Andy is back at work today for the first time in maybe a week. But we'll pay for that now, all that glorious time off; I think he is working seven days out of the next nine days. Twelve-hour shifts. An hour bus commute on either side. That's rough, though he never, ever lets it show. But we miss him when he's not here.

We stopped at the plant nursery yesterday to pick up some shade annuals for the porch and then we went to the library to pick up the book (Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid) I had placed on hold last winter. They are finally doing hold pick-ups at the library. They meet you at the front door; there there's a table blocking the entrance, and they slide the book to you on a tray. Sigh. I can't say I enjoyed being out at all, though I had been excited to go. We were only gone an hour or two. But I was so relieved to be home, back under my tree, watching Andy plant the impatiens and Amelia whack at the lawn with a croquet mallet. I guess I'll stick to the river for a while.

I have started a new Sawtooth Star quilt for myself, but I have not worked on it too much. It will be eight blocks each of ten different star combos, made of my precious calicos and hand-dyed (by me) muslin. It will be a king-size quilt that I will line with an Ikea comforter (turn and burn method [layer batting, top, then bottom; stitch around all sizes leaving an opening to turn, turn then stitch opening closed], then I'll tie it). I like my quilts to be just thin, puffy comforters now. I've decided I really don't like binding and I don't like machine-quilting — it all makes the quilt too stiff, in my opinion. I'm going back to puffballs tied with #5 perle cotton. I made one for my sister's birthday present (see first picture). Stay tuned, we'll see if I get this thing for myself finished. A precision quilter I am not, though I did buy a fancy Flying Geese ruler, and that is helping very much.

Amelia and I baked a blueberry–cream cheese babka, an Earl Grey cake (the recipe I used doesn't seem to be available any more), and a rhubarb custard pie. Today we are going to make Orange Julius popsicles and chicken tacos.

I have finished my design for Things of Summer (digital screen shot is above) and the printed patterns have arrived (though I haven't opened the box yet; fingers crossed that all is well in there), so I will start putting kits together next week, and it will be on sale soon!

What are you favorite historical fiction movies, like big, epic ones? Or series? I am so in the mood for that. I've been watching absolute garbage TV lately. I do love it so!!!


It isn’t for everyone (Amelia especially), but I love the series Spartacus. It is really graphic in many ways, though. Something much gentler and mentioned by someone else is Larkrise to Candleford. I watched that when I had a bad flu. I have also watched Poldark. Neither is historical but they are period pieces. Perhaps get ready for Hamilton when it’s released on Disney +. I didn’t consider myself a huge musical theatre person but became obsessed with it last year. Was lucky enough to see it in Chicago - hands down best evening of the year and one of the best of my life. It will have one F-word in it and thus be rated PG13 but I know kids love it. Soundtrack has 3 F-words.

That babka looks INSANE. I'm still building up kitchen gear after having the bare minimum for a while (living in a trailer), but I may have to get loaf pans like right now. Yes it looks delicious but more than that it's just beautiful.

The last historical series I watched was Rebellion (on Netflix), about the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Ireland. It's not a happy story (heaven forbid) but I didn't know anything about those events (other than having heard a couple of people's names before) so it was eye-opening.

One favorite of mine is Turn: Washington's Spies (it was on AMC and is now on Netflix). It's about a spy ring on Long Island during the Revolutionary War. The whole cast is insanely good and it's fun while also being suspenseful and interesting. Over the course of the series they kind of move the pieces around so that hardly anybody is totally evil or totally good. I like Turn partly because it has a sense of fun and a decent helping of compelling drama while also being this suspenseful spy story that's maybe a little serious due to the historical aspect.

Kristen from MA says: June 24, 2020 at 12:05 PM

Thank you for going to work, Andy. You're a real life hero.

Adrienne says: June 24, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Oh wow, I can't wait for that summer pattern! It just screams summer joy and summer contentment. I love it.

I visit this site often for a new post (seriously no pressure, your site, your pace) because I just love your photos so much. Of course I love to catch up on what you are up to but I realized seeing it today what it is that is so wonderful. You have an amazing gift in capturing peacefulness and coziness in your photos. I could just look at them for hours, they immediately transport me to a good and cozy place. And wow do I and I am sure most of us need that as much as possible. So thank you, thank you.

I am trying to come up with historical series or movie and of course as soon as it is put out there I forget every movie ever watched. I could watch the TV series "The Crown" over and over and over again. Best I have for today.

If you can find I,Cornelius it’s worth watching. I watched it almost 10 years ago (and it was old then) but it was fascinating and I spent a lot of time googling the various characters to see if they really had behaved as awfully as the show described.

If you are looking for something gentle then Jam for Jerusalem is perfect. I think it has another name in the US.

Lovely, peaceful images. Thank you for sharing!
Have you watched Schitt's Creek yet? Funny, quirky show :)

Heather Johnson says: June 24, 2020 at 04:26 PM

If you haven't watched Call the Midwife yet, I would highly recommend that. (Whole series is on Netflix.) Also--Granchester. Up until the latest season I have thoroughly enjoyed it....I think that one is Amazon Prime.

Have you ever watched the movie called "This Beautiful Fantastic"? I highly recommend it. It is a sweet, modern day fairy tale....a perfect respite from all the hard things going on in the world right now.

Everything about this seems so divine. We are in deep winter here in Australia and I live in one of the coldest cities. Not enjoying it at all. Orange popsicles and paddle pools just make me yearn for summer without all the smoke we had this year!

Once Upon a Time in America
Lawrence Of Arabia

Granted these are heavy movies, but they are epic

Have you read "A Town Like Alice"? It has been made into a mini series which you might enjoy.

tracy mchugh says: June 25, 2020 at 06:33 AM

dear, dear Alicia,
your posts give me such joy and comfort. thank for each one!!
and i feel that you are a very principled person, so just wanted you to know that the 'jimmy john' owners are proud of their involvement in trophy hunting...killing giraffes, posing with their foot on the horribly dead neck; and other confined animals who never have a chance. this is a 'sport' indulged in by the very wealthy (trump family) and bragged about. a more despicable pastime is hard to imagine.
therefore i venture to guess that your money will be better spent elsewhere. and as our weird world continues to evolve, we can only pray that people finding their enjoyment in destructive ways will come to an epiphany. life is so precious. we have responsibilities-
my deepest regards to you and your family.
tracy mchugh

It has been forever since I have stopped by ... and left a comment.
I do stop by, not always commenting.
I must say, you are STILL one of my favorites.
Love your stories, always remembering your early journeys.
Little Miss Amelia is a little girl, oh my she is precious.
And you . . . momma STILL bake and quilt and cross stitch
and sew and read and go to the river and love life and your family .
Beautiful photos, love visiting, love your happy.

I'm a longtime reader (and fellow PNW mom) and I just love your blog! I have even since the "mom" part of the equation wasn't true for me. A few posts back you mentioned working on a craft inspired by Jenny Linsky, and I must admit I'll be haunting your blog for word of it. They're such good books, and my daughter is currently very into them, as was I as a kid. Happy summer!

I love the quiet & sheer gentleness of Enchanted April, the 1995 Persuasion with Amanda Root (so romantic! Root is the perfect mixture of frail & steel! the cast is so dreamy!), and Cold Comfort Farm for pure ridiculous.

I don't know whether they count as "historical movies," but I love them.

"I wish I had a river..."
Your posts give me an escape to soothing places.
Thank you.

Did your post get cut off at the end?

Beautiful summer days...the things you cook and bake are always so beautiful. My food never looks that pretty!

My library is now doing hold pick ups in the same way yours is. Like you, I don't much like being out in public during this Coronavirus - it's very disconcerting. I want to wander in the library and in stores, like Amelia mentioned. Bless her sweet little heart.

Lynn Marie says: June 25, 2020 at 12:37 PM

Certainly was great to see your pictures and hear about your life. It is wonderful to peek in on someone else's existence when yours has become so monotonous with staying at home all the time. Summer certainly makes it so much more bearable though. I need a river getaway by my house. ☺

Love all of your posts, but have to say, "Thank you" for getting on board regarding Jimmy John's. I have not eaten there in over 5 years, it is something I am proud to say that I have stuck with it and if everyone in the room is eating it from work, for free, I will not be!

I hope you continue to have a great summer! <3

Nicki Franklin says: June 25, 2020 at 02:26 PM

I don't usually read comments on blogs but had to see what Jimmy John (Johnny Jim?) is up to. And then everyone is recommending TV and books. I feel like I missed something - did you ask us for recommendations? I am super confused but wanted to say that I have been reading and enjoying Laura Purcell lately. And just love This Is Us. Which is not historical but binge-worthy. X

Babette's Feast is such a beautiful, calm film, little dialogue but the cinematography is stunning. I love Yes with Mussolini, The Enchanted April, A Good Year, The Hundred Foot Journey, all gentle, pastoral films. Someone else mentioned Detectorists - my go-to happy place where not much happens (unless you count finding buried treasure) but there is gentle humour and good friendship.

For listening rather than watching a BBC radio comedy called Cabin Pressure - I don't know if you'll be able to find it anywhere, but gentle, clever and very, very funny.
The BBC 'Persuasion'with Amanda Root is very lovely.

Maryellen says: June 26, 2020 at 03:59 PM

I do wish the next season of The Crown would release soon! I normally am not a military movie fan, but must agree that Gettysburg (and the iconic “Bayonets!!!!!!” scene) is so well done and entertaining. It is based on the excellent book, “Killer Angels”, which is told in alternating voices in each chapter. Two darker murder mysteries but well worth the time are “Unforgotten” (PBS) and Broadchurch (now on Netlflix).

On a separate note, I thought you’d enjoy this blogger/sewer’s commitment to recreating her favorite Swedish-American American Girl’s wardrobe. https://www.starsandfield.com/thekirstenproject

Cat McKenzie says: June 26, 2020 at 05:01 PM

Hi Alicia,
Your post made me smile and feel calm and happy as always. Your river trip sounds perfect, it looks like the same spot you always visit and it looks so summery. Today is so hot, just right for some reading in the hammock. I just finished The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, it's a new book and her first published. It was soothing and well written, I splurged and bought it online as an ebook.
I highly recommend "Beechan House" for a historical drama, it's on OPB and if you are a contributor you can view it on "OPB Passport". Thanks for always sharing your world with us.

The Durrells in Corfu!! LOVE! I actually cried at the end of the series finale because I was so sad it was over (but I immediately started watching the show from the beginning).

I love that you included paper lanterns in your cross stitch design. And I hope you all are healthy and well. ❤️

I'm so in love with your Sawtooth Star quilt and fabrics! I'm thinking maybe I can make one with the fabrics from one of your Cozy quilt kits I purchased awhile ago. :)

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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




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.