Very Impulsive Lately

comments: 29













A sunbreak! Aw, sunshine. It's very cold outside. I'm scrambling to get caught up. Last week got away from me. I'm working to get my February pattern finished and I owe you a tutorial on wrapping canvas. Those are coming. I have a cross-stitch kit coming, too. Very impulsive lately. Today, it's clean the house, do school, wrangle homework, go to ballet, get dinner, get to bed on time. Amelia's been going to bed too late and getting up too late. It was a lazy weekend and I could've used a few more days of it. I started crocheting a blanket for myself. And then I became obsessed with finding this old pink cutter quilt we have had for twenty years but now cannot find. Andy and I both looked absolutely everywhere for it. It's gone. I wouldn't have thrown it away but it's disappeared. I wanted to cut it up and make some Valentine's hearts for Amelia with it. When I couldn't find it I laid in bed in my nightgown under a heating pad and a cup of coffee and surfed eBay for cutter quilts in the early morning hours. All way too expensive. I got nothing. I pulled some old quilt blocks I made at the beginning of lockdown out of my cabinet. I was stunned to see them, as I had absolutely no memory of making them. There were two sets of Sawtooth Stars in two different sizes. I tried to figure out what quilt pattern I had used that wanted two different sizes of these stars. I couldn't figure it out. Eventually I realized that although they looked similar, the big ones were for a Little Miss Sawtooth Star quilt that I never finished (and don't intend to). The little stars were for a quilt I was going to make for the king-size bed. I decided to re-think it. I made a schematic on graph paper where I set them all on-point and planned to make sort of a checkerboard with stars and solid square blocks, alternating. But on point. Then I dug through my scrap basket, and my scrap tower, and my boxes of fabric. I cut 88 squares out of scraps and stash. Then I thought about the mountains of fabric I still have. I have a lot of fabric. So much of it is just so pretty. It just all looked so pretty together. Then I thought, in all my free time, I would make some quilts to sell. They would be toddler and throw and twin sizes. I would stuff them with Ikea comforters and tie them as I do, so they are puffy and light and squishy and warm. I started looking at quilts on Pinterest. I started thinking about how I don't like flat quilts that use cotton batting and have binding and are just generally over-quilted. I mean, this is just my opinion. But so many quilts are over-quilted to the point where they're sort of turned into . . . cardstock. So flat, so much stitching. So much stitching! I don't like that. I want a "quilt" that's a cream puff. A pouf-ball. A blob. A squishbag. A pavlova. A meringue. A cloud cake. I want them stuffed with fluff and turned (no binding) and tied. So I think I'm gonna do that. In all my spare time. I want to. Comforters for comfort.

Oh! And I wanted to show you these two ice dancing videos if you haven't seen them. Michael Parsons and Caroline Green at Four Continents and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue at Nationals. So incredibly creative and inspiring and moving. I've watched the Hubbell and Donohue vid four times (the first time I saw it it was live) and I cried every single time. Excited for the Olympics.


Evelyn McElroy says: January 24, 2022 at 12:08 PM

Oh, my goodness! Suddenly I can imagine Amelia as a teenager! That photo of her! Makes me realize how time flies. I knew it, but suddenly I felt it.

The photo with the softie dolls and animals is so cute! Is there a pattern for the cape?

katie brumbelow says: January 24, 2022 at 01:16 PM

My mother made me a quilt when she was pregnant with me. It's been on my bed since I graduated college and now resides on my side of the bed. My husband calls it "wet cardboard". He always says "get that wet cardboard off my side of the bed". so! I totally get what you mean about so much stitching in quilts! Your way sounds so lovely. to stuff a squishy thing in to make it so cozy.

Yes, Yes, Yes to puffy quilts. All in!

PS- Amelia looks like such a grown up big kid at the desk, it was slightly shocking, amazing, a little sad. I love the independence that comes with aging, but it is so hard to see at the same time. I have a 15 year old so it is extra sad with the younger kids when mine is so old. But they insist on getting older every year...

Your sawtooth stars are just...oh, man. They look perfect. I am someone who can't ever seem to get my patchwork corners to line up and am in awe of people who can.

I agree with Evelyn. That photo of Amelia is so grown-up. Like, whoosh! Teenager. Where did all the years go?

My mother (now 86) made every one of her 8 grandchildren a quilt for their H.S. graduation and lots of other sewing projects. They were all machine pieced, but every one was always hand quilted (potholders and placemats and table toppers too!). She called machine quilted quilts “cardboard quilts”, so I had to chuckle when I read this post. The first quilt she ever made - a lovely log cabin in shades of blue - is exactly like you describe, soft and puffy (although it is bound) and is a comfort to her now in her assisted living home room! Enjoy your posts and evocative pictures!

I have a thoery that machine quilted quilts are the ones that get squished down and become all cardboardy. Which is why I now hand-quilt even though sometimes it takes forverrrr. My grandma also had the same theory, so maybe I learned that from her. The early quilts had to have all those stitches or the batting would poke through and get all shifty, but the battings now available don't tend to do that so we can do less quilting on them. We like ours drapey and cozy. 😍
PS. I love that you still blog the same way you always have. 💓

I love this post, everything about it. Gosh I wish I was your next door neighbor. I agree with you totally about quilts.
Time is going by too fast. BUT you are so lucky to have a record of it all as you do. My “girl’ is now 38 and how I wish I had all that you have to now look back on.

Carol Barclay says: January 25, 2022 at 08:06 AM

I was enchanted with all of the descriptors that you used to describe your ideal quilt!

It's none of my business, but may I suggest that you see if you can encourage Amelia not to sit on her folded leg. Check with your doc, or a PT, but I would hate to have her set herself up for knee problems. It may be as simple as offering her a (quilted) cushion to sit on! Also, I believe that the urge to sit that way is sometimes brought on by an uneven pelvis.

Pleases know that I make these suggestions with no medical training, but with the experience of over 25 years of coping with the effects of uneven leg lengths. And I send them in love, as well!

Oh my goodness! I just watched Madison and Zachary's performance, incredible!!! And, yes, I cried.... I don't think I've ever seen two skaters that are so in sinc and graceful. I have to get hold of my emotions before I watch the first couple you listed.
I think your sawtooth stars are lovely. I'm looking forward to the finished quilt.

Donna@AllThingsMing says: January 25, 2022 at 11:38 AM

Oh Alicia I’m so on board about over quilting too! To me a quilt is like the one in A Little Princess with Shirley Temple…Big and fluffy and puffy with an amazing assortment of fabrics to snuggle under and i always want a little touch of satin too. Yes I too have been extremely impulsive…i just want to make all the things.
Much love to you my friend 😘

That's so funny, I hate puffy quilts and comforters; I feel like I'm being smothered. Give me a low-loft batting every time!

The sawtooth squares are lovely, I can't want to see the finished quilt. Even if it is puffy :P

Jean Stein says: January 25, 2022 at 04:56 PM

Are you still making something quilty and heart-shaped for Valentine's Day? or did you change your mind? I'm just teasing, because quilts for me are such long-haul projects. My triangles are terrible, so I'm doing a Bitcoin quilt that seems manageable, and the cutting isn't too strenuous. Plus you can cut some, sew some, and cut some more. Good luck with your huge plans, and thanks once again for making me smile.

Ohhh, I love this post so much. I feel your frustration over the elusive pink cutter quilt as I have an old linen and lace cutter tablecloth that I have not been able to find since we moved 15 years ago. I’ve also found sewing projects that I’ve begun but have absolutely no memory of working on them. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one! Excited for the February embroidery pattern. Oh yeah, at first glance I thought that your cat was on a hanging lamp fixture until I realized she was on an upstairs ledge/banister looking downward 😆. She’s a character.

Dolores Tanner says: January 25, 2022 at 07:37 PM

That Hubbel and Donahue beautiful... i started liking ice dancing with Torval and Dean, best ever... love watching those old clips on utube...

Catalinakel says: January 26, 2022 at 07:36 AM

Cream Puff Quilts! Cloud Cake Quilts! Another business born out of desperation. One of the gifts of Covid, for me, has been these impulsive go-afters let's call them. Last year I realized I wanted to make a goal to use up all my fabric and plethora of art supplies BEFORE I DIE. I turned 62 (began my 63rd year is how I see it) in late December. So many gifts Covid has brought, but life for me still sucks a lot because my pod is whoever rings me up at the library and grocery store, and the two almost four year olds I nanny. So I'm dangerously alone, but also learning how to keep myself from going over the edge (thanks to a few far away friends who are willing to facetime with me regularly.) We're going to begin the valentine making today, as I want to fill our world with hearts. And the Morning Glory Cake from The Smitten Kitchen has become a life partner for me, but only because I've tweaked it(molasses instead of sugar=iron and trace minerals; ripe bartlett pears full of juice grate very easily, so always one of those, an apple, a carrot and this week those tart dried cherries from Trader Joe's; walnuts, too except I think perhaps I need to stay away from walnuts and almonds, as they may be showing my age gastronomically speaking) so it qualifies as nearly perfectly healthy food. Thanks for sharing more. I have been looking forward to each of these beautiful stories from your world. We got several hours of sun yesterday here in Seattle, and it threw our whole schedule off, as we spent way more time at the park than is usual. And last night as I enjoyed the final bit of purple sunset while waiting for the bus, I thought I smelled Spring. All good things to you, and, honestly, impulsivity keeps us young and free, no?

Hi there,

I had to comment because your post was so wonderful about puffy quilts!

I loved your poetic description. I guess writing poetry is another one of your many talents.

Warm wishes to you and yours (including all your followers) for the New Year!!!

I can’t stop thinking about how much I (a non-quilting person) want a puffy quilt like what you described!

I love puffy quilts, too. I imagine they will go quickly if you make some to sell. What a treat!!

Lindsey Ingoldby says: January 27, 2022 at 12:31 PM

Oh dear! I like quilts to be well quilted. Not tied. Sorry, but that feels to me as if they are not quite finished. Each to their own as in most things in life. None of this matters except to the individual and then not too much. Let’s cheer on Spring. The flowers arrive and we know that we have survived winter. Again.

Is that a sequin jacket Amelia had on the back of her chair? The eight year old me is very envious of that is the case😂
I am with you on the quilts. I feel some quilts are technically amazing but i wouldn't want them in my home, too fussy and not cosy enough.

I cannot tell you how much I love this blog! I have just made my first quilt for myself and it is as stiff as cardboard! All hand sewn and hand quilted. An improv quilt, using fabrics I already had and old clothing too. And I love it! But my cat will run straight to the puffy quilt! I do love a puffy quilt, especially in winter.

When I saw the quilt squares, I was impressed with how much more motivation you have at the moment than I do. Then I read the early Covid explanation and it all made so much sense.

Also, I just feel Amelia growing up so fast in these pictures. My little girl will be 9 this spring. It’s just flying!

I know you want us to think that the quilt thing is a bad idea but it sounds perfect to me! I think I will do this in my spare time too! I have some squares like yours sitting in a cupboard.... and you are exactly right about the unappealing cardboardy overstitched versions. Poufy is best.

You are hilarious! "Cardstock!"....oh, and "free time". You mentioned that twice, I think.
Be well friend! Annie in New Hampshire

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

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