Travel Bag For Sweden

Camera Quiilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I was travelling in Sweden a few weeks ago.  Alongside all the travel preparation, I decided to make a bag only a few days before leaving.  I am a fairly light traveller and I always take a specific set of things in my hand bag in preparation for a long flight.   I wanted the bag to be just large enough to fit those items.  I knew I didn’t need a very complicated bag with lots of pockets.  I am not very advanced at sewing and I had to make this bag very quickly if I were to take it with me.  With all that in mind, I started looking for a simple bag pattern.


Camera Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Fields On Camera on Craftsy and Etsy

I was very excited to finish this block from my camera quilt pattern and I really wanted to use it for the bag.  I looked at a few bag patterns, but none of them were designed in a way that would enable me to use the camera block.  Most of the patterns were also too complicated for me to finish in the given time.  In the end, it was easier for me to write down the measurements and design my own bag rather than editing and retrofitting my needs onto an existing pattern.


Cross Body Bag With Zipper | Whims And Fancies

When I got around to the zipper, it was actually a lot easier to sew than I had expected.  I was going to use the outer blue fabric around the zipper, but not having any more of it, I ended up using the lining fabric instead.

When I attached the strap holders and rings to the bag, I stitched over them a few times for extra support.  I use cotton webbing for the loops as well as for the straps as they are much sturdier than cloth.  I used a set of silver strap hardware this time instead of my usual black.


Zippered Cross Body Travel Bag | Whims And Fancies

Earlier, when I made the bag for Dixie, I liked this blue fabric so much, I bought a little extra.  Since this bag would see rough use, I needed a dark shade of fabric.  The blue fabric was just right for that.

The bag has a large back pocket and two inside pockets, which is just right for me.  The bag proved not only extremely useful during the many long flights from San Francisco to Kiruna, it was wonderful for day trips in Sweden as well.  It even holds two big water bottles along with all the other necessities.


Abisko, Sweden | Whims And Fancies

Abisko, Sweden

As for Sweden, it is a very beautiful country.  We hired a car there and travelled extensively every day.  Before we knew, it was time to head back home again, wishing for one more day there.  If Lara and Mary are reading this post, I promise I haven’t forgotten about writing a full post about our trip to Sweden.  I am still sorting through photos, I took an overwhelming number of them!



Viking Penguin Olaf, Paintings And Eclipse

Viking Penguin Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I have had this idea of creating another penguin quilt pattern for months now.  I recently got a set of loose colour pencils and I desperately need to make a new pencil case.  That provided a perfect excuse to draw my little Viking Penguin Olaf.   Viking helmets didn’t really have those horns, but Olaf insisted that I put horns on his helmet.  Although I think he looks very cute, he thinks the horns make him look more formidable!

I couldn’t resist taking a short break from the stained glass flower blocks to make him.  The penguin pattern is for a 10″ block.  I scaled it down to make a 7″ block for my pencil case.  Originally I was going to give him a green vest, but the red looks so much better on him against the starry background.  Olaf is available on my Etsy and Craftsy stores if you want to make him for yourself.


Penguin Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Little Penguin Polaris on Etsy and Craftsy

Polaris and Olaf have become great friends already.  They are busy planning all sorts of mischief together.  In case you are wondering, they are both modelled after my cat Charlie.


Thank you for staying with me until the last set of cards from this set of 61 index card paintings.  Here are the last five –

icad 2015 Sunrise Painting | Whims And Fancies


I like to look toward the west during sunrise where the first rays of the sun light up the mountain ranges while the full moon sets behind them.


icad 2015 Affair Of The Hearts Painting | Whims And Fancies

An Affair Of Hearts


icad 2015 Edinburgh Tenement Painting | Whims And Fancies

Edinburgh Flat

I really like moss-covered stone buildings.


icad 2015 Explore other worlds | Whims And Fancies

Cross the boundary and explore other worlds


icad 2015 Telescope, Stars And Blake Painting | Whims And Fancies

I had to make this one as my final card.  I love William Blake’s work and I love the stars.  I see William Blake’s words come to life every time I look through my telescope.

I will share another post about the index card painting experience along with photos of all the cards together.   It has been a lot of fun sharing these cards with you.  Thank you again for your encouraging words.


I will leave you with a photo of the lunar eclipse I took last Sunday.  We are surrounded by mountain ranges, and there was also a thick layer of cloud right at the horizon.   The eclipse occurred right around sunset for us, so it was low in our sky.   I really wanted to see it during the maximum eclipse.  Just as I was losing hope, a faint, eclipsed moon showed up, shortly before the maximum eclipse and right above the cloud layer.


Lunar Eclipse 2015 | Whims And Fancies





Selenite Clematis And A Few More Drawings

Stained Glass Selenite Clematis Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I continue to sew the blocks for my stained glass flower quilt using the Downton Abbey fabrics.  I was looking up different varieties of dogwood flowers one day when I came across a picture of a four-petal white Clematis.  Right then I knew I had my next flower quilt pattern.

I wasn’t very sure about using the black fabric for the flower, but I really like it.  As I mentioned before, I am naming these flower patterns after my favourite minerals since these flowers look like they are made of crystal.  This one is named after the mineral Selenite, a simple but beautiful mineral.  Selenite Clematis is another fairly easy 12″ block.  It can be found on my Etsy and Craftsy stores.


Stained Glass Kyanite Iris Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Kyanite Iris from last week – pattern on Etsy and Craftsy


I am approaching the end of my index card paintings.  I have only one more set to show you after this one.  Without further ado –

icad 2015 - Snowdrop flower painting | Whims And Fancies



icad 2015 - Star trails painting | Whims And Fancies

Star trails on symmetry of colours

A Flickr friend called it “deconstructed ancient light”.


icad 2015 - Garden bench painting | Whims And Fancies



icad 2015 - Rain painting | Whims And Fancies



icad 2015 - Airmail painting | Whims And Fancies



icad 2015 - Hot air balloon painting | Whims And Fancies

Hot Air Balloon

Canson is a French paper manufacturing company owned by the Montgolfier family.  The Montgolfier brothers created the first hot air balloon.  This card was inspired by a painting of the first public demonstration.


icad 2015 - SS Great Britain ship's propellar painting | Whims And Fancies


Inspired by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain


I tried yet more new techniques on a few of these cards.  I learned so much about working with mixed media.  Thank you again for all your lovely supporting words!  I always enjoy knowing about your favourite ones.



Kyanite Iris And Drawing Cards

Stained Glass Kyanite Iris Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies
I joined the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014 to share the story of a quilt I made for my kitty when he suddenly fell ill.  I was lucky enough to win which got me a very nice gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop.  When I saw a set of Downton Abbey fat quarters, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them – a stained glass flower quilt.  As I continued to draw the flowers, they started to look as if they were made of crystals.  I love to study geology; therefore I decided to name the flowers after my favourite minerals.  This is Kyanite Iris.  I love irises and I think kyanite is a very beautiful mineral.

I am very excited to finally start working on this quilt.  There are three more flowers in this set and I can’t wait to share them with you.  Kyanite Iris a very easy 12″ flower quilt pattern, which is available on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.


While I continue to sew the flowers, I leave you with my next set of index card paintings –

Icad 2015 - Svalbard Painting | Whims And Fancies

Ta Vare Pa Svalbard = Take care of Svalbard

For me, the North will always be defined by Svalbard.  It is a frozen land of polar bears, devoid of trees, where glaciers and nature dominate over a small settlement of people.  I had the opportunity to visit Svalbard couple of years ago.  It was a fascinating experience and I loved it.  So I made a poster-style card for Svalbard.


Icad 2015 - Focusing through lens painting | Whims And Fancies

Focusing through the lens


Icad 2015 - Reading Painting | Whims And Fancies

This is my usual Saturday night.  My husband pointed out my apparently bad posture that I copied in the drawing :)


Icad 2015 - Summer 78 Painting | Whims And Fancies

Summer 78 by Yann Tiersen is one of my favourite pieces to play on the piano.  So I made an album cover for it.


Icad 2015 - My Hiking Boots Painting | Whims And Fancies

I really love to walk.  I never pack for a vacation without including my walking boots.


Icad 2015 - Northern Lights Painting | Whims And Fancies

Dancing Lights Of Aurora Borealis


Icad 2015 - James Bond Aston Martin Painting | Whims And Fancies

Black and White – Aston Martin


That’s all I have for today.  It has cooled down after the heat wave we had here recently and it started raining yesterday.  We are desperately hoping for more rain which will help our fire fighters immensely.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Until next time,


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,