Pinwheel Vanes

Half Square Triangle Pinwheel Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


A couple of months ago my dear little cat Montague had to spend a week at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital.  I worked on this quilt for him while he was away.  Once he was back home, he was to sleep alone at night for a couple of weeks.  Since he loves to sleep with us, he was more than a little lonely.  He also loves quilts, and I had this quilt ready on his bed to make him feel comfortable.


Half Square Triangle Pinwheel Paper Piecing Pattern | Whims And Fancies


I love wind turbines, that’s what gave me the idea for this quilt block.  It’s my version of a pinwheel quilt pattern with a little twist.  These are some of the fabrics I purchased when I first started quilting/sewing.  They were perfect for this project.  Because of the sashing, I didn’t have to align any seams on these blocks, which made for a very quick finish.


Half Square Triangle Pinwheel Paper Piecing Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Along with using the walking foot for quilting, I also tried a little bit of free motion quilting on this one.  I wanted a sense of motion on the vanes, so I added light, curved-line quilting on them as if they were moving in counter-clockwise direction.  Then I added wavy lines in the sashing for wind.


Half Square Triangle Pinwheel Paper Piecing Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Pinwheel Vanes on Etsy and Craftsy

One day I will make a larger quilt from this pattern.  As I was playing with colours, I came up with a few colourways.  Orange-yellow-grey is my favourite combination and the blue one is inspired by my love for the night sky.   I believe I was thinking of trees and lakes when I coloured the blue-green one.  Gradients are always fun in any colour, I drew up an aqua-teal one!


A few notes about the pattern – 

It is NOT a true HST block.  However, along with the paper piecing pattern, I included instructions for making the blocks using HST-s as well.

Measurements and templates are provided if you wish to precut fabric for the paper piecing blocks.

It’s a scrap and 5″ charm-pack-friendly block.  Instructions are included to make both 10.0″ and 8.0″ blocks. The 8.0″ blocks can be made from 5.0″ charm packs.


Half Square Triangle Pinwheel Paper Piecing Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Here is a photo of Montague on his quilt after he came back home.  It has been a couple of months since his treatment.  He is doing extremely well, happy, healthy and joined up with the rest of the family.  Thank you for all your well wishes!!


Crafted Applique Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Nancy A for winning Lara’s Crafted Applique book!  I will email you soon.  I know you will enjoy Lara’s book very much!


Coming Soon

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Along

I have a list of the blocks already.  As soon as I finish figuring out the details, I will post about it.  I am so excited, I just had to share it here already!

Happy Sewing,


Linking up to the linky parties on my sidebar.  They are great for finding new inspiration.


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Crafted Applique And Giveaway


Crafted Applique

Photo by Lara Buccella

Welcome to my spot for the Crafted Applique Blog Hop.  I am a very committed paper piecing pattern designer who never seriously thought of doing appliqué.  However, when your wonderful friend has a published book about a new applique technique and includes you in her celebration, you just have to give it a try!  Once I got my copy from Lara, I read through the first chapter where Lara explains her method in full detail.  She also compares and contrasts different products, which I found very helpful.


Umbrella Applique | Whims And Fancies

Since it was my first-ever applique, I drew up an easy design that I could try Lara’s new method on.  I changed my mind a few times about the background fabric, but, thanks to her method, it was very easy to transfer the applique from one fabric onto another.


Umbrella Applique | Whims And Fancies

Crafted applique is a no-frayed-edges method, and the pieces stayed pliable without the use of fusible interfacing.  It enabled me to use a really thin piece for the umbrella handle.  I was able to top-stitch the pieces easily.


Crafted Applique

Photo by Lara Buccella

Lara also included seven really wonderful projects in this book along with the applique patterns.  I love the one on the cover – “Hello Mr. Ranger, Sir!”


Crafted Applique Book

Intrigued?  Get Crafted Applique on Amazon

Lara is offering a copy of the book for a giveaway to all blog hop participants, but I had already purchased an additional copy from Amazon as soon as it became available.  I wanted to support my friend’s first book publishing venture and offer a giveaway to my readers.  (We are saving Lara’s giveaway copy for a future event here at Whims And Fancies)

Please leave a comment here and you will be entered in the giveaway.  I will announce the winner on the 19th of May.

For more chances to win a copy of this book during this month-long celebration, visit Lara’s blog Buzzin’ Bumble for the full schedule.  You might also want to visit her site to get her new free pattern – “Call Me, Maybe”.


Good luck!


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Wandering Camera – May Linky Party

Camera And Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


Welcome to the month of May Wandering Camera linky party.  Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your photos.  Not only is it a lot of fun seeing the photos, I really enjoy reading about them too.

April was such a busy month for me that toward the end I was ready to sleep in for 20+ hours straight if I could.  My allergies have gotten much worse too and unfortunately, they are going to stay that way until the end of summer.  However, there are pockets of time when the allergy is not as bad and I can go outside armed with medication.  I will take limited time outside over none-at-all any day.  So far I have kept up with taking one photo per day. Currently I am at 121 out of 366.


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


1. Door of an abandoned building

2. Scarlet Pimpernel

3. Lichen draped on tree branches

4. My painted woodlands bookmark


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


5. Lupine

6. Fountain pen and sepia ink – my favourite

7. Persian Speedwell

8. Charlie – sleeping behind drapes


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


9. Yellow And Blue

10. Native Wildflower Expo – got a few plants for our garden from there

11. Lovely day at the park

12. Purple Douglas Iris


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


13. Ready to plant

14. A tree from Beyond Borders Fair Trade

15. Close-up of the tree

16. First flowers from one of the new plants


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


17. New red leaves on roses

18. Mr. Treestone loves his paper bags

19. My new Brown Betty with my old, most favourite tea mug

20. A perfect spot


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


21. Clouds rolling in at sunset

22. Montague enjoys rain as much as I do

23. The Dancing Wind

24. Playing with Inktense pencils, making a colour chart


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


25. Cactus bloom

26. Bouquet

27. Storm clouds out of nowhere

28. First plums


Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies


29. Riverfront

30. Light arches



I want to very quickly mention Lara’s book – Crafted Appliqué.  You can find the full schedule of the book tour blog hop at her website Buzzin’ Bumble.  My day is the 14th of May.  I have all the supplies to work on my project and I am super excited to try out her method of appliqué.



Now, on to talking about Aperture.  A well-exposed (well-lit) photo is supported by three pillars – ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.  I covered the topic of ISO in March.  Aperture is the F number – a number on your camera prefixed by the letter F.

I will omit the technical details on aperture and try to explain the basic goals of aperture settings.


Setting Aperture

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


Amount Of Light

Aperture determines the amount of light entering your camera.  A lower number equals more light and that lets you use a faster shutter speed.  So in really low-light situations you can set your aperture to a lower number to get a higher shutter speed.  That way you can take photos without a stand or photograph a moving subject in low light.



Aperture also determines the area of sharpness of your photo. Think of looking at the centre of a photo. The lower the aperture number, the less area around the centre will be in focus.

If you want to focus on a face or a flower only at the centre and not the background, you will want to set the aperture to a lower number. As you increase the F number, more area surrounding the centre is going to come into focus.


Aperture And ISO

Here’s the caveat – since higher aperture number lets less light in, it will also decrease your shutter speed.

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 would enable you to set the aperture to a higher number while keeping a fast enough shutter speed to obtain a well-exposed photo.


This sounds like a lot, but start playing with the Aperture values and you will see the difference.  Photography is very hands-on.  More you play, more you will see the difference.  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 2nd of June. If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!

I am also linking up on Photo Friday and Fun Friday Favourites along with other linky parties on my sidebar.

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The Dancing Wind

Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Like the unpredictable wind, The Dancing Wind mini quilt turned out to be nothing like the quilt I had originally envisioned.  I usually have a very good idea of the direction of my work starting from pattern writing all the way to the binding.  Then, once in a while,  a project comes along where it changes itself every step of the way.  Over the years, I have learned to give in and let it take me for a ride.  I love it when that happens, the unexpected turn is always exciting!


One Monthly Goal LinkUp 2016 | Whims And Fancies

This finished mini was my project for April and I am very happy to be able to link this post up on One Monthly Goal link-up.


Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

  Kitty Love

The change started with the pattern.  I made this quilt using the Morning Star pattern.  It belongs to my beloved orange kitty.  I completely redesigned the pattern this month.


Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


The pattern is now renamed to Pinwheel Star because it combines the pinwheel quilt pattern inset within a star quilt pattern.  I named it that not just because it is a combination of Pinwheels and Stars, but also after the Pinwheel Galaxy.

The updated Pinwheel Star pattern is a set of two patterns which can be used to create at least four different blocks.  The pattern is on my Etsy And Craftsy shops.  Once the pattern redesigning was done, I started working on my blocks.


Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


When I thought of this quilt a couple of years ago, I had in mind a more industrial theme.  However, as I was putting the blocks together, I kept thinking about rivers flowing with meltwater at the edge of growing woods.  So I put my unfinished blocks aside, swapped the off-white fabric for a dazzling white fabric and restarted.


Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Once I finished the quilt-top, I started thinking about the quilting design.  I was walking in the park one afternoon and saw the tall grass swaying in the wind.  That gave me the idea for the wavy line quilting in the middle as if the gentle wind is flowing through the woodland.  The wind grew more dynamic playing on the waters.  Once it reached the snow, it swirled and turned with the careless nature of the wild.

These ideas meant that I would have to set my walking foot aside and dive full-on into the world of FMQ, another deviation from the original plan.  I am new to FMQ so it took a lot of work, but in the end I surfaced with a quilt that I love.


Pinwheel Star Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Robert Frost is one of my favourite poets and The Dancing Wind reminds me of

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


See you next Thursday, May 5th, for Wandering Camera.

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And FanciesWandering Camera


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Bobcat In The Woods

Bobcat quilt pattern, Big cat quilt pattern | Whims And Fancies


I love cats and that includes big cats too.  In March I got a request for a bobcat quilt pattern for a school mascot and accepted it right away.  I wanted to give my block a stylized feel, so instead of using fabrics that would resemble fur, I focused mostly on just the colours.

The pattern is for a 16″ block.  It has only a few seam alignment points, which makes the block easy to sew regardless of how complicated it looks.

The pattern also includes alternate sections without the stripes.  That eliminates a lot of piecing and, in turn, a lot of sections.  It is an intermediate-advanced pattern because of all the details.  This large cat quilt pattern is available on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

I really love how it turned out.  I am not sure yet if I am going to incorporate the block as part of a quilt or make a wall hanging with it.  Since I can easily imagine those markings on a kitty-cat, this block will always represent a cat to me.


Perylene Green Daniel Smith | Whims And Fancies


I have been playing with the colour green this month.  We are always in need of bookmarks.  I found a scrap of watercolour paper in the perfect shape of a bookmark on my shelf.  After an exhausting Saturday, I painted these trees using Daniel Smith’s beautiful Perylene Green.  I have been using the bookmark ever since.


Wildflower Expo Skyline Park Napa, CA | Whims And Fancies


Last weekend was the wildflower expo.  Unfortunately, for various reasons we couldn’t make it there on Saturday when they would have had more plants.  We went there on the cool and drizzly Sunday morning after breakfast.  They still had a wide variety of local plants for sale.  Although most of the plants were too young to have blooming flowers, there was a lot of information available and a group of very knowledgeable hosts to help educate us.


Wildflower Expo Skyline Park, Napa, CA | Whims And Fancies

These are the plants that came home with us.


Deep Purple Douglas Iris | Whims And Fancies


One of them is a Douglas Iris.  I spotted this flower on one of the plants and that was immediately followed by the plant being in my little cart.

Other than sewing, painting and planning the garden, I have been updating my website a little.  I added “Free To Imagine” as a tag line.  I also created a new template for my pattern files so they have a better look and feel.  It was a busy week, but the stolen moments of art gave me much-needed balance.

Happy Crafting,

Linking up to the linky parties on my sidebar.  They are great for finding new inspiration.


Comments (24)