A Leafy Package

Maple Leaf Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Last week we had a couple of nights with clear skies and they were moonless nights too.  Naturally, I spent the extra time I had outside with the telescope.  I am glad I did, because since then it has been too cloudy or hazy for stargazing.  Now I am back indoors again tending to my other interests.  The night sky reminded me of the little swap Kris and I did recently from this Maple Leaf quilt pattern I drafted around autumn.  We talked about doing the swap last year and decided on no due dates and therefore, no pressure.  We would mail it to each other whenever we finished.

I wanted to add a little touch of whimsy to the leaf I made for her, so I added some blue to the autumnal orange.  There is a little creek that flows through the park in downtown Sonoma.  In Autumn, lots of ducks play in it alongside the floating leaves.  Every time a duck puts its head in the water, a set of concentric circles ripples through the water.  That’s what gave me the idea of quilting her mini with concentric circles.


Raw Honey Yellow Fingerless Mitts | Whims And Fancies

Raw Honey Fingerless Mitts, Pattern by Alicia Plummer

I also made these yellow mittens for her.  I was a little worried about the sizing but she said they fit her “like a glove”.  I also had no idea when I made them that they would match her coat too!  She had a long winter this year, so I sent a her a little California sunshine in the form of yellow mitts.  Ironically, it was raining very hard here when I was knitting them for her!


Sherlock Holmes - Must Be The Truth Drawing

Kris has a wonderful teenage son and I had to include something in the package for him. We share a few common interests and Sherlock Holmes is among them. I mentioned before how much I love the famous detective. Although I love the current Sherlock series from BBC, Basil Rathbone will always be my Sherlock Holmes. I regularly watch the movies and listen to the radio dramas starring him and Nigel Bruce, I adore them. I kept on thinking about how to draw a Sherlock Holmes sketch. It had to be old-school but timeless, and this is what I came up with.

I got a photo via email from Kris with this drawing framed on the young man’s desk.  I was so overwhelmed with joy that I was speechless!


Maple Leaf Mini Quilt From Kris | Whims And FanciesThis is the beautiful leaf I got from Kris. I have no words to describe how much I love this little quilt. As I took the leaf out of the package, my husband exclaimed, “Wow! It’s so you!!” I could be that leaf floating through space.  She also included a bunch of spacy blue fabric, charm packs, fun crafty stuff and my most favourite – the typewriter pad. I usually use sepia-coloured ink in my fountain pen, very fitting for the typewriter notebook, don’t you think?!! This was such a lovely package she put together for me. It was a perfect, wonderful, impromptu swap!


Sidewalk Cafe On Make Modern

Sidewalk Cafe Quilt Mugrug Pattern For Coffee | Whims And FanciesLate last year, I swore I would not digress and would concentrate on finishing my current projects.  Then I got an email from Kristy at Make Modern magazine.  I wrote back to her about my self-imposed restriction.  However, it is such a beautiful magazine and Kristy is so wonderful and understanding in her email replies, I kept on thinking about a quick project I could submit after all.

I consider myself more of a traveller than anything else.  One of my favourite things to do while travelling is to experience local food and watch life take place around me. I am also a tea and coffee addict, so cafe stops are a must for me.  Earlier I had made a preliminary sketch of this Sidewalk Cafe quilt pattern for the traveller and coffee lover in me.  I finished the design and presented it to Make Modern.  Now it is part of the March issue of Make Modern magazine along with full instructions for the mug rug and the templates to make the cafe quilt block.


Sidewalk Cafe Quilt Mugrug or Wall Hanging Pattern | Whims And Fancies

British motor racing green was what I was thinking of when I was choosing fabrics for this block.  I don’t even remember exactly when I started reading the Sherlock Holmes books as a child.  When I got ready to add the name of my sidewalk cafe, the street address of the world-famous detective’s residence was the first thing that came to my mind.  I used acrylic pencil and fabric medium to draw it.  Then I used a coffee swirl pattern to quilt the mini.  I can’t really decide if I want to use it as a mug rug or as a wall hanging.  Change out the fabrics and the names to make multiple blocks, then stitch them side by side to make a row of cafes – that would make a nice table runner too.


Stone Bridge Drawing | Whims And Fancies

I also often draw from the photos I take.  I really like to draw when my mind is in need of a little focus, and last weekend called for such an occasion.  I got lost in this stone bridge drawing for a little over two hours.  The drawing is still at a very early stage and it will probably take me another 4-5 such weekend sessions to finish drawing and inking this piece. Although I love doing my design work on the computer,  I enjoy the process of drawing on paper so much more.

Happy creating,

WIP, Stash And A Very Special Project

Oatmeal Pullover WIP | Whims And Fancies

There were too many things that I worked on earlier that I had to keep under wraps.  They were all competing for the show and tell this week, but the special project I worked on last year had to be the first one I shared.  I have been bitten by the flu bug pretty badly, so a lot of time has recently been spent sleeping, reading or a doing tiny bit of hand sewing.  I managed to finish knitting the body of my Oatmeal Pullover and started knitting one of the sleeves last weekend.  It’s really a breeze to knit. I will write a full pattern review once I am finished with it.

The biggest WIP of this week is the site redesign.  I am a very impatient patient, so I had to do something that would hold my attention.  I have been wanting to redesign the site for a while, so I took my laptop, got comfortable with some coffee and took the plunge.  I have the main site up and running, but still have a lot of tweaking left to do.


Fabric Stash | Whims And Fancies

I did a little bit of fabric shopping too, mostly online.  A couple more cuts are still coming in the mail.  Kris asked me to show them, so here is a quick snapshot of what I’ve got so far.  Earlier this year I went through my outstanding project list and made a list of fabrics I needed.  I am glad to say that all of these fabrics are for quilts waiting to be made.  No extraneous buying!


Have A Latte Coffee Bean Fabrics | Whims And Fancies

Have A Latte blog hop is coming up in April at Sew We Quilt and I just had to join.  It’s about coffee!  I am pretty sure that my blood is made up of about 80% caffeine, so how could I not join!  These two yards are for that blog hop.

EOD Emblem | Whims And FanciesI saved this very special project for the last.  Now and then I design custom patterns on request.  A few months ago I got an email from Mandy Shipman.  She has been working on a memorial quilt for fallen EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal or bomb squad) techs and she wanted to make a paper piecing block of the badge.  She was very willing to pay, but I really couldn’t accept money for this work.  All proceeds from this project will go to the warrior foundation.  This was the pattern I made for her based on the picture of the badge she emailed me.


EOD Emblem Quilt Block | Whims And Fancies

I usually don’t mention works for causes here, but I felt compelled to share this one.  Mandy sent me a picture of the finished block last week.  Unfortunately she had hand surgery, so her friend Susan McDuffie stitched this block together.  It was a very complicated design and although I tried to simplify it as much as I could, there were a lot of pieces.  Her piecing is absolutely fabulous.  It really made my day seeing this finished block.  They are going to put this block onto a quilt, I can’t wait to see it!

See you next week,

Twilight Star And A Nordic Quilt Layout

Twilight Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies
I drew this star quilt pattern some time last year. I remember making this block shortly after designing it, but then it got lost among the ever-growing list of projects. Last weekend, it resurfaced and moved up to the top of the list of quilts I want to make this year.

The idea for this star pattern came to me shortly after our Norway vacation. One of my long-time dreams was to go to Svalbard, Norway, and that happened in 2012.

Esmark Glacier, Svalbard, Norway | Whims And Fancies Esmark Glacier, Svalbard, Norway

We went to see the the Esmark glacier from there. The sharp edges of the ice formation and the colours of the glacier were the inspiration for this star. I imagine the aqua pieces in the block are breaking off and moving away from the middle. I made this one after I made the much simpler Morning Star. This star is a little more complicated, a little more adventurous, so I called it The Twilight Star.

Star Quilt Layout | Whims And Fancies

After I made that one block, I started thinking about making a quilt. I wanted to make a Nordic-style quilt, keeping the cool ice-colour palette from my original block. I used part of the original design from the star quilt block and drew a smaller border design. I also started varying the colours a little and this was the resulting layout:

Twilight Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I then expanded the quilt layout to make a larger quilt. I think I was having too much fun with the colours to stop at the small layout and was looking for an excuse to keep playing.

The pattern is now on my Etsy and Craftsy shop and includes the star and the border patterns along with colouring sheets for both patterns. The star quilt block is 10 inch x 10 inch and the border block is 10 inch x 4 inch.

Although I will be making mine by directly sewing on the paper, freezer paper piecing would work really well with one as well. It’s quite easy to sew triangles and rectangular pieces. I have almost all of the fabric I need to get started with this one.

Happy Quilting,

Castles In The Air

Castles Quilt Pattern

A couple of years ago, Ruth invited me to a wonky house swap on Flickr.  I was at a loss what to make because Ruth, Sil and Sandy are expert wonky house designers.  After a short while of thinking over many ideas, I decided to make 12 castles.  I have loved castles since I was a little child, reading about the brave men and women defending the stronghold.  I have quite often arranged our travel plans around cities with castles in them.  So it was an easy choice for me and my swap-mates loved the idea.  Along with the 4″ blocks that I made for them, I also made these 10″ blocks.

Castle Quilt Pattern

I found these three fabrics of different colours with foliage prints on them. I used the same white for the sashing and the binding, and other two for the two borders.  I was reading a short story at the time which may have influenced my choice of putting foliage around the castles.

I quilted the main part with a yellow variegated thread and the outer border with a teal variegated thread.  I didn’t want to add extra colour to the inner border, so I used a white thread for that one.

Castles Quilt Pattern

back of the quilt

Last weekend we drove up Napa Valley to the Culinary Institute Of America.  The college is in a magnificent stone building surrounded by lichen and moss-covered stone walls.  I knew I had to take my castle quilt there for a photo since the day I first clapped eyes on it.

Patterns On Etsy and Craftsy

Once we found a quiet spot my poor husband crouched down behind the quilt while holding it up for me.  I took at least 10-12 shots with a manual focus lens (a lengthy process) before I decided I didn’t like any of them.  So he found a way to anchor the quilt on the wall.  Although I said I didn’t like the photo, I decided to show the photo anyway!

Pink Magnolia

The campus of the Culinary Institue of America has many magnolia trees and all of them were in full bloom.  We walked around the campus for a little while, admiring these gorgeous flowers before driving to Calistoga, the neighbouring city nearby, for some pastry and coffee.  It was a perfect day!



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