Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies


Welcome to the Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along.  I love Lego!  I have bins and bins full of them along with the ones I have on display.  I usually set up my Lego Hogsmeade Village alongside the Hogwarts Castle every September.


A big part of me lives within the pages of my books and I love the friends I make there.  That’s how I came across Harry Potter.  I am not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, so you won’t catch me jumping on any of the new Potter bandwagons.  I didn’t even try to acquire tickets for the new play, even though I will be in England this year.  However, I like the stories told within the seven books very much.  As I finish reading the words “All was well”, I imagine a happy future for all my friends.


Lego Harry Potter | Whims And Fancies


Then, a few years ago, my husband got me the Lego Harry Potter video game to cheer me up.  Since then the game has become a form of “Patronus” for me.  I didn’t quilt at the time, but I wanted to make a Lego Harry Potter quilt ever since I learnt how to make patterns.  As I was playing this game during the holidays last December, the idea came flooding back.  As I make my quilt, I would love for you to join me on this quilt along.




Since this quilt is going to be the embodiment of happiness, there will be no dark magic blocks.

The patterns are paper pieced.

I will release 2 patterns per month, a total of 12 blocks. 

I added breaks in between for us to catch up.  It allows me a little breathing room as well.


Pattern Download Information


Unfortunately I will have to put some restrictions around the pattern downloads.  After the Doctor Who QAL, I had to chase down people who were selling products made from our patterns, convince them of their wrongdoing and try to get them to unlist their products from their Etsy shops.  That was extremely unsavoury.

I still really want to share these patterns with you while trying to minimize the chance of that happening again.  Therefore:

  • I will publish the patterns on the last Thursday of every month and you will have 2 days to download the patterns.
  • The download link will be removed permanently on Saturday morning.

I am extremely sorry about this.  Pattern writing takes a tremendous amount of time and this is the only way I can share the patterns while minimizing others exploiting them.  I hope you understand.

The patterns are for personal use only.


Schedule For Patterns And Breaks


July 28th, 2016 – 2 blocks

August 25th, 2016 – 2 blocks

September – Break

October 27th, 2016 – 2 blocks

November 24th, 2016 – 2 blocks

December – Break

January 26th, 2017 – 2 blocks

February 23rd – 2 blocks

March – Quilt Top Layout

April – Quilt Top Linky Party


Sharing your work


If you are on Facebook, you can join the group Pictures With Paper Piecing and share your blocks there.

You can also share them on this Flickr group.

Additionally, I will be hosting linky parties here for you to show off your finished blocks.




Harry Potter Quilt Along Fabric Giveaway | Whims And Fancies


As a thank you for reading my blog, I want to do a little celebratory giveaway.  My giveaways are for my readers only.  If you are a subscriber, leave a comment here to be entered in the giveaway.  For additional chances, spread the word about this QAL on any social media or your blog and leave one comment per share.  I will choose a winner on July 14th.


Badge And Link


Here is a little badge for you to share on your page.  You can either save the image or copy and paste the text in the box below to share on your website –


Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along | Whims And Fancies


With everything that is happening around us, I think we can use a bit of laughter and happiness.  Lets do this quilt along together!

Happy Quilting,


Comments (29)

TGIFF – Floating At Dawn

Hot Air Balloons Napa California | Whims And Fancies


Welcome to TGIFF!  I have been linking up and following TGIFF for months, and it feels wonderful to host the event here.

I live in the heart of wine country in Northern California where balloon rides are quite common.  In the early morning, when we go out running at one of our local parks, we can see them rising up one by one.

Of course, I had my trusty camera with me to take a few photos of the balloons dotting the sky.


Hot Air Balloons Napa California | Whims And Fancies


Floating toward the rising sun


Hot Air Balloons Napa California | Whims And Fancies


Pretty much all of my quilt patterns are inspired by life around me, and photography is a huge part of that.  As you know, I love it enough to be taking one photo for every day of the year.  I am hosting the monthly Wandering Camera event around that.  I also love to paint those pictures with paper piecing.  Once I had taken these photos, I just had to make a hot air balloon quilt pattern.


Hot Air Balloons Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


I started off with one large balloon above the mountains for a vertical  wall hanging.  Then I decided to add another, smaller balloon in the distance.


Hot Air Balloons Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


I played with a few colourways after drawing the initial design.


Hot Air Balloons Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

  Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

I am outside around dawn so I can run in the cool morning air.  That’s why I chose an early morning theme in the end.

After picking out a pale pink fabric for the sky, I got a bright red fabric for the up-close balloon and a faded blue for the one further away.


  Hot Air Balloons Quilt Pattern With Wavy Quilting | Whims And Fancies


At that time the distant mountains in the east are still in the shades of greys and blues.  We call them “Misty Mountains” and we hope never to encounter any nasty creatures.  I randomly quilted zigzag lines around them.

For the sky, the quilting had to be a wavy air stream.  ( I have gotten a little addicted to wavy quilting ever since I quilted The Dancing Wind that way. )

I was a little stumped about the binding.  Finally I ended up using a starry sky fabric, as if the dawn is spreading out into the surrounding dark sky.


Hot Air Balloons Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

The two balloons and the mountains are standalone pieces in the pattern.  They can therefore be made individually for different projects, or together.  I drew the mountains in a way that I could make multiple copies and join them together to get one continuous piece.  The whole piece was very easy and quick to sew.  The pattern is on my Etsy and Craftsy shops if you would like to get a copy for yourself.


Floating At Dawn finishes at 24″ x 20″.  The design was completely inspired by photography.  I am not a morning person, so this will serve as a good reminder to get up and enjoy the morning hours.


Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along


A quick reminder –  Please make sure to stop by next Thursday for the Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along introductory post.  I have finished working on the details and the giveaways.


That’s it for me today!  I am excited to see what wonderful finishes you have for us to ooh and aah over!!

Please link up your finishes and make sure to link back to TGIFF so others can come and enjoy the lovely finishes.  Also visit each other and spread some comment love and enjoy the show!


I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens along with with other linky parties on my sidebar.

Comments (25)

Playful Pieces

Cello watercolour with Schemincke Horadam paint | Whims And Fancies


This was supposed to be a painting of a violin, not a cello. Actually, it’s not the right depiction of a cello either. Going against all my instincts, I didn’t fuss with the shape. I made it somewhat symmetrical so I could start playing with my new paint.

My husband recently gave me one of the best sets of watercolour paints.  The new paper I used didn’t work very well with the heavy wash, but I had fun watching the paints flow into each other on wet paper, followed by the salt creating a mottling pattern when contacting the wet paint.

The painting will be tucked away in a box within the next few days, but for the moment it can bask in the glory and virtue of play time.


Violin Drawing In Prismacolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies


I drew this one for my icad project on an index card last year using Prismacolor pencils.  I think I will paint another violin using acrylic.


Fingerless Mitts | Whims And Fancies


I finally have a finish to link up on my lovely friend Janine’s Wool On Sundays. I have unravelled this pair of mitts more times than I care to remember. Finally, I decided that the Eye of Partridge stitch worked well with this yarn. Since I got the idea from Et Frais, I bought the pattern to support the designer even though I didn’t follow it. I played with the thumb area until I was happy with it.

These mitts are nothing special, but they will add colour to the still chilly, grey mornings around me.


Morning hike in the mist | Whims And Fancies


When I go out around dawn, it’s overcast most days around here with extremely low light. It always looks great around me, but capturing that low-lit atmosphere in photography is quite another matter. So I take many photos, toss out several, and learn in the process. The mist was being very elusive; this was the best I could capture that morning.


Tall Grass Husk | Whims And Fancies


I like tall, dry grass, but I am finding it to be tricky to capture in a photo. It either ends up looking like a giant mess or just background noise. Still, I kept on taking photos hoping to find an angle or composition that would work.

One day, my perseverance paid off. The morning dew was still on them, backlit by the rising sun.


Sunburst Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


I love the One Monthly Goal link-up since it commits me to playing with a previously-forgotten project. My goal for this month is to make this sunburst star block. I can then use it on another project that I have in mind, which will require a bit of playing around with size and fabric.


All the pieces in this post are results of playing.  You see, I grew up under the doctrine that every piece of work has to be great.  Although “Practice makes perfect” was preached regularly, the emphasis was always on creating the best on the first try.  Over time, the word “practice” got associated with “failure” in my head.

As I got older, I turned practice into playtime, be it maths, science, programming or art.  Without the pressure of perfection, I started having fun.  That enticed me to play more and I got better.

So I will keep blowing raspberries at those voices in my head that are telling me I am wasting my time and continue to play. I urge you to do same if you were subjected to the same doctrine growing up!

Happy Playing,


I am also linking up on Photo FridayLife Through Lens, Through My Lens and Our World Tuesday  along with with other linky parties on my sidebar.


Comments (19)

Summer Events And Finishes

Summer Quilting Events | Whims And Fancies


This June and July will be full of events, either hosted here or I am participating.

  • First off, I am hosting my first TGIFF in a couple of weeks, on June 24th.  For that, I am working on a wall hanging with a brand new design.
  • The very next week, on June 30th, I will be announcing details of the Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along.  There will be giveaways too!
  • Then it will be time for the July Wandering Camera Linky Party hosted right here on the first Thursday in July.  That’s July 7th.  If you use cameras other than cell phone, you probably don’t want to miss this one.
  • The Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along commences shortly thereafter.


In between all this, I am also working on custom patterns!  Full Schedule, but I am excited about all of them.  I hope you will be joining me.


While I continue to work, let me share these beautiful pieces that were made from my patterns –


Bobcat Big Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Bobcat on Etsy and Craftsy


I posted about this bobcat pattern a couple of months ago.  I designed the pattern for Mandy.  She emailed me this photo of the finished wall hanging that she made for her son.  She quilted it with little paws.  I think it’s beautiful!


Viking Penguin Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Viking Penguin Olaf on Etsy and Craftsy


Amanda from This Mom Quilts made this Viking Penguin for her father!  What a fun gift!  Love the circlular quilting!


Dalek Doctor Who Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Jo from Create The Point made this fabulous Dalek pillow!  This is a very advanced pattern and she really did a great job with it!


I took a few minutes to share these with you, now it’s back to my desk again.

Have a lovely weekend,


Comments (17)

Wandering Camera – June Linky Party

Camera And Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


Welcome to June’s Wandering Camera linky party. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your photos.  I love photography, so it’s a lot of fun to see and read about what everyone sees through the lens.

In my attempt to be outside and continue to take photos, I had to make a change in May.  I am not a morning person, so asking me to get up at 5:15 AM regularly will likely result in a disaster of some sort.  However, with the approaching summer it is getting too hot for me to be outside in the afternoon.  So I am up before dawn to go to the park for running at daybreak.  I may moan and groan to get out of the bed, but one look at the misty landscape around me with the Sun trying to break through the night’s cloud layer brings a big smile on my face.  Every time!!

However, just as I was starting to get used to going out in the mornings, I had to put a skidding halt to it during the last week of May.  I am taking care of a kitty post-surgery (not Montague).  So, photos had to be taken mostly around the house during those days.

Hope you enjoy this month’s collection of photos.  They are, as usual, in chronological order.


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


1. Mustard flowers

2. Peacock stationery from Florence, collected during my first-ever overseas trip

3. I love Magnolia flowers, the petals are so fragrant

4. Balloons overhead


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


5. Sunrise through dark clouds

6. The only glimpse of the pink setting Sun during the whole day

7. Raindrops on grass – looks more like an alien sea-creature

8. Star Thistle is not nearly as pretty as Cotton Thistle, but I still love the colour


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


9. A glimpse of red

10. Kitty paws are cute, huge tufted Maine Coon paws are even cuter

11. It’s starting to turn yellow and brown around here

12. Misty morning


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


13. 18-year-old whisky, may all Friday the13ths be this good

14. Red-winged blackbirds by the river

15. River trail, lined with mustard blooms

16. Green Teasel, I had only spotted the dried ones until now


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


17. Knitted sweaters doubling as kitty bed for Charlie

18. Hot air balloon catching the first ray of sunlight

19. Rising sun lighting up the misty grounds

20. Homemade soap at last


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


21. Blissfully sunbathing, unaware of the upcoming surgery

22. I love red in nature

23. And yellow flowers

24. Lovely jasmines


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


25. Time for travel planning

26. New Zinnia

27. Comforting – warm colours and they remind me of my grandmother

28. One of these is unlike the others


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


29. “Are you done yet? I would like to close my eyes!!”  I love those blue eyes!

30. Too hot to be outside, so playing with paint inside

31.  Addicted to thyme, it’s human catnip for me!


Squares And Plus Quilt | Whims And Fancies


Apparently all the yellows and reds from this month’s photos seeped into other things.  I had wanted to make this quilt in a completely different colourway.  However, the urge of using red and yellow was too strong, so I gave in at the end.  Funny how sometimes your surroundings affect your creative mood so much!


Shutter Speed

I had mentioned in last month’s post that a well-exposed photo is a combination of three settings – ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. I covered the topic of ISO in March and Aperture in May.  Lets talk about the last factor – Shutter Speed.


Setting Shutter Speed

You will need a camera with either M (Completely Manual) or Tv (Time Value Priority) mode to set the Shutter Speed manually. In M mode you can set both Aperture and Shutter speed yourself. In Tv mode you only get to set the shutter speed. Based on your setting, the camera sets the Aperture to get a well-exposed photo.


Amount Of Light

You probably already know this – More light equals faster shutter speed, much more conducive to taking any photo.  When there is less ambient light, you will have to keep the shutter open longer.  Taking a photo with longer shutter speed is usually much harder to do without a stand.


Still Vs. Moving Objects

Shutter speed becomes less important with still objects.  If you are taking a photo of a building or a mountain, you can leave the shutter open for a long time on a stand and not worry about blurring since neither object is moving.

With moving objects shutter speed becomes a bit more important.  The longer the shutter stays open, more blurry the moving object is going to be.  For example, when I was taking wildflower photos during windy days, I had to keep my shutter speed at least at 1/250 sec.   The moving flowers became too blurry otherwise.   You will notice that when you take photos of indoor events, people always end up being blurry.


Aperture, ISO And Shutter Speed

If you remember from my post about aperture, it determines the sharpness of the photos as well as the brightness.  Higher aperture gives you sharper photos but reduces light and vice versa.

In situations where you want sharp pictures AND your shutter speed is not fast enough, you will need to set your ISO to a higher number. That will enable you to set the aperture to a higher number while keeping a fast enough shutter speed to obtain a well-exposed photo.


A Little Trick

This one requires you to relax and needs a bit of practice.  if your shutter speed is still low even after setting the ISO and aperture, you can do this to take a halfway decent photo –

Relax your shoulder and arms and as you are breathing out slowly, press the shutter release button to take the picture.  I find myself being much more stable as I am breathing out. I sway too much when I try to hold my breath.   Of course this doesn’t work when the shutter speed is closer to a full second, but most times I can still manage to take a photo without a stand.


Image Stabilizer

A lot of point-and-shoot cameras and lenses come with image stabilization now-a-days.  This helps a lot with taking photos in low-light situations.  So if you are shopping for a camera or lens, you may want to keep that in mind.


Keep playing with your camera settings and you will see the difference.  Change the shutter speed around and take photos, note how the photos get darker and lighter.  As I said before, photography is very hands-on.  I hope this encourages you to experiment with the manual settings on your camera a little more.


Now it’s your turn to share your photo posts. I always look forward to seeing them. Every photo is special because it suspends a moment and everyone sees the world around us differently! So don’t compare and contrast, just have fun and see the world that only your eyes can see!


Badge to share on your post and website

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month. The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome. You can also write a new post to link up. Please do not link up posts that are older than the previous month, they will be removed.

Please make sure to include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up. You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

Spread a little encouragement amongst each other.

I will leave the link-up open for two weeks.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that will run on the first Thursday of every month. The next post and link-up will be on the 7th of July. If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!


I am also linking up on Photo Friday, Our World Tuesday, Life Through Lens and Through My Lens along with other linky parties on my sidebar.

Comments (24)