Photography, Paper Piecing And Painting Cards

Camera Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies
I was wondering the other day why I like paper piecing so much and I think I might have an answer.  My camera and I are inseparable.  Photography makes me more aware of my surroundings.  The small flower and the grand scenery that it is a part of, the colours of reflected lights, the motions or the stillness of a moment – I love to see them all through my lens.  Photography, in turn, also helps me with my painting.  Even the paintings I create from imagination have their roots in the life around me.

Soon after I discovered paper piecing, fabric became another medium for me for painting pictures.  I start with drawing my designs from scratch before turning them into patterns.  The patterns are like puzzles to me.  I enjoy the challenge of trying to define shapes with minimum amount of seam alignment.  I realised that paper piecing is the playground for all three things that I love so much – photography, painting and puzzles.

I could therefore hardly say no when a custom order for making this camera quilt pattern came along.  However, I ended up waiting this long to make my own block.  I like to take photos in the moody, grey light of stormy days.  The grey leaf fabric couldn’t have reflected that any better.  The dark colour is also very well suited for the travel bag I will be making with this block.

Many thanks to those who have purchased this pattern and shared the projects they made for their photographer friends and family.  Fields On Camera is available on Craftsy and Etsy.


Speaking of paintings, here’s my next set of index cards –

icad 2015 - Steampunk Wing Painting | Whims And Fancies

Steampunk Wings

icad 2015 - Night Sky Painting | Whims And Fancies

Nightscape – I love to watch the stars during camping trips.

icad 2015 - Violins Painting | Whims And Fancies

My Violins

icad 2015 - Steampunk Hot Air Balloon Painting | Whims And Fancies

Tell Them Stories

Stories have such power – pass them on!

icad 2015 - Solar Eclipse And Shuttle Endeavour Painting | Whims And Fancies

Solar eclipse viewed from our backyard

I was fortunate enough to see the flyby and transport of the Shuttle Endeavour to the museum.  I added a silhouette of her on the sun as a tribute to her glory days.

icad 2015 - Paper Cutting Tunnel Painting | Whims And Fancies

Paper Tunnel

I used a white pen to draw the lines after painting the background grey.

icad 2015 - Vineyard in autumn | Whims And Fancies

Vineyard in autumn

Painted from a photo I took last year

I tried some new techniques on these paintings.  After some trial and error, I think they turned out all right.

Happy Crafting,

Hot Days Of Summer

August Sunset | Whims And Fancies

Taken with my cell shortly after dinner at a pho place

The outside temperature has been around 40C (104F) lately and I am determined not to expose myself even a little bit to the hot sun.  The quilts are all put away.  Even my quilt-addicted kitties are rolling up their mini quilts so they can sit on the cool, bare surfaces.  Yes, they bundle up their quilts with their forepaws when they don’t want to use them.  Hot summer days are perfect for rummaging through photos.  I did exactly that and found a few that I would love to share.


Icad 2015 Drawing Discards | Whims And Fancies

This is a photo of all the bits and pieces of discarded index cards.  I had to restart quite a few of them because of mistakes and bad or unexpected results.  The fanned-out stack of cards on the right is where I practised drawing circles over and over until I could draw them without having the marker leaving a darker dot at the start and stop points.  I couldn’t bear to throw those cards away.  When I get frustrated of my ineptness, they serve as a reminder of the age-old saying – Practice Makes Perfect.


Cold Pour Soap | Whims And Fancies

Recently I got a set of lovely soap moulds along with a set of essential oils from my DH.  The oils make the house smell amazing while the soap cures.  Now I have enough moulds to make a double batch of soap.


Quilt And Cats | Whims And Fancies

I used the Panorama feature of my phone to take this picture.  I am at the bottom left corner, being pinned down by these two kitties.  I was positively cooking under the bulk of the quilt and two hairy cats.  No wonder it took me so long to finish hand-sewing the binding of the Greekness quilt!


Quilt And Cats | Whims And Fancies

This was a few months ago.  I couldn’t sleep, so I worked on the binding of the Castles In The Air quilt.  I was glad of his company in those wee hours of the night.


Halloween Wizard Tabby Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Charlie’s Adventure

This is my little bumbling gimpy kitty Charlie.  Last October I wrote a little Halloween adventure story about him along with a quilt I made for the Black Cat Crossing blog hop.  I wasn’t ready to share him, but since then, several people have asked me about this wizard cat quilt pattern.  Charlie is such a happy cat that it would be a shame not to share his happiness.  So he is now on my Etsy and Craftsy shops as THE Wizard Tabby Cat.  He made me capitalize the word “THE”!


Aran Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Aran Star on Etsy and Craftsy

Lastly, Fort Worth Fabric Studio featured my Aran Star pillow on their blog.  I am stoked!!

Thanks to my friends Susie and Lara, I entered this post to Pets On Quilts 2015

Pets On Quilts

I hope you enjoyed photo-rummaging with me.  If you are in the area of this extreme heatwave we are having, I hope you stay safe and cool.

Until next time,



To Hellenikon And Drawing Cards

Greek Letters Quilt Patterns | Whims And FanciesI got the name of this quilt, To Hellenikon or Greekness, from Herodotus.  The shared sense of identity among the ancient Greeks as described by him is perhaps the reason behind the everlasting legacy of the Greek civilization.  Its presence permeates almost everything I encounter from literature to science.  I got the idea of making a Greek alphabet quilt a couple of years ago.  Shortly after that I found myself designing these Greek letter quilt patterns like an addict and very soon I was finished.  Then we purchased a house, moved 400 miles and experienced a few unsavory events.  I had to shelve this quilt for a while, but earlier this year it was time to start working on it again.


Greek Alphabet Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I love to visit old, tranquil abbey ruins.  The colours of this quilt were drawn from the colours of Monks’ habits.  The khaki and brown seemed like perfect symbols for something old and hard-wearing.  I used the same set of fabrics for the letters, the shashing and the borders.  Only the binding is done with a different brown fabric.

As for the layout, I finally decided to mimic a page from an exercise book used by someone who is learning how to write .  That in turn dictated the horizontal quilting with cream coloured thread.  I tried a different design on the border but it looked too busy compared to the simple design of the rest of the quilt.  At the end I framed the “page” by quilting rectangles around the border with variegated thread.  I love quilting with variegated threads.  Now my idea of this quilt is finally a reality and ready for us to use!

Since many have asked, all the letter quilt patterns are individually available on my Craftsy shop.  I also have the set available on Craftsy and Etsy.  Thank you so much!!


I have a few more index card drawings to share this week –

Icad 2015 - Ice Cream | Whims And Fancies

Ice Cream On A Hot Summer’s Day

Icad 2015 - Shel Silverstein | Whims And Fancies

I express myself best in writing.  Pen and ink took the centre stage on this one, alongside my favourite poem by Shel Silverstein.

Icad 2015 - Broken Clock | Whims And Fancies

An Exploding Clock with its pieces floating away into nothingness

Icad 2015 - A Windy Autumn Day | Whims And Fancies

Even though wind has hijacked many of my umbrellas, I love a blustery autumn day.

Icad 2015 - Man Men | Whims And Fancies

My version of Mad Men – unplugged and mad with ideas!

Icad 2015 - On The Road In The Morning | Whims And Fancies

I love to drive during pre-dawn hours. A sense of independence engulfs me.

Icad 2015 - Self Portrait In The Forest | Whims And Fancies

Self-portrait – walking into the unknown most of the time

I played with different ideas on these but “movement” seems to have found its way into almost all of them.  Thank you for following me on the journeys of The Greekness quilt and the index card drawing projects.  Your encouraging words have been very motivating.

Happy Crafting,

Aran Star Pillow

Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And FanciesI am more than a little smitten by the intricate cable designs of Aran knitting.  Needless to say, I had to design an Aran Star as part of my knitting star quilt pattern set.  This was the first block I made with that background fabric and all was well.  Then I made the Fair Isle star block with the same background fabric, but scaled it to 94% by mistake.  By that time I was completely out of that fabric since I only had a fat quarter to begin with.

 Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And FanciesPattern on Etsy and Craftsy

I couldn’t use just the one block, the Fair Isle Star, with a different background on the mini.  So I remade both of the blocks with a completely different background and made pillows with the discarded blocks.  Quilting was a little tricky on this block.  I had to play with the lines quite a bit before I was happy with the design.


Quilted Pillows | Whims And Fancies

Orphan blocks make great pillow cases and they are easy to store too.  If I get tired of this set, I can always make new ones and change them out for a new look.  I set all the pillows on the corner of the day bed in my husband’s office, leaned against a body pillow.  I will make a more decorative cover for the big pillow, but this is already one step closer to making the home office a little more pleasant.  I like to spend time there as well, since my favourite bookshelf is in that room.  This way I have also made myself a very comfortable corner in that room to settle down with a book.  I have a quilt in the making for that bed, I will share the designs for it very soon.


Star Quilt Patterns | Whims And FanciesBehind Blue Eyes

Patterns on Etsy and Craftsy

The alternate stars  with the blue background actually worked a lot better on the mini.

Cat On Quilt | Whims And Fancies

I had to share this photo of Mr. Montague one more time.  His quilt is also on the same bed where the pillows are and he still loves to sleep on it.  So it all worked out really well in the end!



Fair Isle Star Pillow And Drawing Cards

Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Last year, during my attempt to learn a little about the history of knitting, I designed a few star quilt patterns that were inspired by traditional knitting patterns.  I had picked up a set of Grandma’s House fat quarters earlier, which I used to make these stars for a mini quilt.  Unfortunately, once I finished making this block, I realised that I had printed it at 94%.  So I had to remake this one for the mini and ended up with an orphan block.


Fair Isle Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

This year I am taking care of almost all my orphan blocks and some of them are being turned into pillows for the guest bed in my husband’s office.  Apart from making the office a pleasant place for him to work from, I also have a selfish reason for this.  My favourite bookshelf is in that room, so sometimes I like to read in there.  The guest bed will be much more comfortable with all the pillows in the back.  Once I had gotten over being upset at my own mistake, I knew that I would love to turn this Fair Isle star quilt block into a pillow.  I am working on the other matching pillow this week.


Here is another set of index card drawings from the icad project

Icad 2015 - Psychedelic Gravitational Wave | Whims And Fancies

Psychedelic Gravitational Waves

Icad 2015 - Alan Turin Code Breaker | Whims And Fancies

I made this card on June 23rd, which was Alan Turing’s birthday.  He has had a profound influence on me and his story makes me extremely sad.

Icad 2015 - Devils Postpile lava columns, California | Whims And Fancies

Devils Postpile lava columns, California
Drawn from a photo I took there

Icad 2015 - Dancing Neurons | Whims And Fancies

Dancing Neurons

Icad 2015 - Peacock feather | Whims And Fancies

Peacock feather – fractal-inspired

Icad 2015 - Transit of Venus, Voyage of the Endeavour with Captain Cook| Whims And Fancies

Transit of Venus, Voyage of the Endeavour with Captain Cook in 1769

We were lucky enough to witness the last Venus Transit live in 2012.

Icad 2015 - Solar prominence | Whims And Fancies

Solar prominence

While writing this post, I realised that this set of index card drawings is a bit science-biased!  It was definitely not planned that way.

Until next time,