Have A Latte With Travel Bags

Shoulder Hand Bags With Coffee Pattern | Whims And Fancies
Black Coffee and lattes flow pretty freely in our home.  A few years ago, we got a cappuccino machine and my husband slowly perfected the art of making lattes, cappuccinos and espressos at home.  I drink pretty light black coffee, but my espresso drinks would keep a spoon upright.  I have a pretty big selection of tea too.  There’s of course also chai latte.  I love them so much more than carbonated drinks.  No wonder I perked up when I saw this blog hop theme!


Crossbody Hand Bag With Coffee Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Coffee Chemistry on Etsy and Craftsy

This Coffee Chemistry block had been collecting dust in my cabinet for a while.  That’s the caffeine molecule found in coffee and tea.  I knew I wanted to make a bag with this block from the very beginning, but the perfect coordinating fabric eluded me until I found the coffee bean fabric.  When the fabric arrived, I worked out a pattern for crossbody bags, which I am very fond of.  The pale green coffee bean fabric compliments my green block so well.  I added the blue zipper for a little punch of colour against the brown adjustable strap.


Crossbody Hand Bag With Coffee Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I also added a back pocket along with an inside pocket. I’m hoping for a trip to Sweden in the very near future.  Coincidentally, the book fits perfectly in the back pocket.  I have been using this bag since the day I made it.


Shoulder Hand Bags With Coffee Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Coffee Meter on Etsy and Craftsy

I also needed to make a bag that was a little larger than the green Coffee Chemistry bag.  Last week I was feeling very sleepy all the time due to combined doses of allergy and cold medicines.  As the coffee in my cup diminished, so did my energy level.  Mimicking that, I drew a Coffee Meter quilt pattern.  I then promptly proceeded to make the block followed by the bag, using a cream version of the coffee bean fabric this time.  I love the yellow-orange zipper against the grey strap, it is one of my favourite colour combinations.  I also added a set of grey buttons, which I had handy, at the base of the straps.


Shoulder Hand Bags With Coffee Pattern | Whims And FanciesThere is extra room in the back pocket, even after I put my iPad in there.  I don’t carry very large bags, this one is a perfect size for day trips and air travel.  Along with my usual content, I can easily carry a couple of books, a water bottle, my sketchbook etc. in this one.


Shoulder Hand Bags With Coffee Pattern | Whims And Fancies

The Sweden guide book tells me that Fika or “to have coffee” is a very integral part of the Swedish culture.  I am excitedly looking forward to exploring that culture.  These are my first self-designed bags and they are definitely going to come along with me.


Have A Latte Blog HopI am so glad to have found these coffee bean fabrics by Clothworks.  I wouldn’t have known about them unless Sew We Stitch came up with the idea for this Have A Latte blog hop.  It was calling my name loud enough to be heard clear across the country!  Joan from Moose Stash Quilting is a topnotch organiser too.  Thanks to them, my little coffee quilt blocks are now made into bags!

These fellow craft-percolators are joining me on the blog hop today, have a wonderful time visiting them!!

Whims and Fancies (that’s me)

Impromptu Sewing – Coffee Meter

Coffee Quilt Pattern | Whims And FanciesI love the bright-coloured wildflowers of Spring.  In Southern California the season is short and I used to make the most of it by taking day trips to see them.  Sadly, due to extreme hay fever, the beauty of wildflowers has been all lost on me since I moved to Northern California.  Although I love to be outside A LOT, I now have to restrict myself to the indoors during Spring as much as possible, even with constant medication.  On top of this, I also got a bad cold (again!!) with a sore throat last week.  The cold and the allergy medicines together are making me so sleepy and that I am constantly feeling like a drained battery.

Coffee Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Coffee Meter on Etsy and Craftsy

So I have been depending on caffeine more than ever to get anything done.  A drained laptop battery gave me the idea for this Coffee Meter quilt pattern.  I promptly drew it, drafted the pattern and made the block.  The block makes me giggle, probably because I always overwork my laptop which is also in need of a new battery.  The poor thing runs out of juice so quickly, now I know how it feels!


Have A Latte Blog Hop

Have A Latte blog hop is coming up next week.  Perfect timing!  Of course, I am making something for the blog hop that uses this block.


Coffee Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I am dusting off the old Coffee Chemistry block for the blog hop as well.  Remember this one?

Lunar Eclipse April 4th, 2015

Getting up in the middle of the night to watch and take photos of the recent lunar eclipse probably increased the need for coffee even more!

Happy Caffeinating…I mean Sewing!

Behind Blue Eyes

Star Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

I will start with a little background story to this quilt.  A few years ago while I was volunteering at a shelter, Mr. Montague Wilberforce joined our little band.  At the time he was a sick, stressed-out, untrusting, biting middle-aged man.  However, over months of care and a lot of patience, he became a healthy, relaxed and loving gentleman who now purrs all the time.  He also likes nothing better than to spend a lot of his day with me.

Star Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

Except, there is the little factor of a gigantic Maine Coon boy named Mr. Tuffleberry who has been spending his days with me while I work since he was a tiny little kitten.  He does not like to share his bed.  So Mr. Montague comes by now and then in between his romps around the house to cuddle and sleep on my lap for a while.  Since he loves to be very close to his humans without being on the lap the whole time, he spends the rest of the day with my husband in the next room while he works.


Star Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

I really love quilting for my kitties.  I made the 2014 Pantone Challenge quilt for Mr. Tuffleberry while he was recovering from a surgery.  Now it was time to make a personal quilt for Mr. Montague as well.


Star Quilt Patterns | Whims And FanciesMy knitting stars quilt patterns – Aran, Argyle, Vale and Fair Isle

Patterns on Etsy and Craftsy

I had made these vintage-themed star quilt blocks last year.  Having read up on the history of British knitting, I based these patterns on traditional knitting designs.  I made the Argyle and Vale stars first from a set of Grandma’s House fat quarters, and then a mistake led me to making the Fair Isle Star and the Aran Star with different background colours.  I found a perfect Fleur-de-lis grey-cream fabric for the sashing, and I used it for the backing too.  Originally I wanted to hand quilt this, but I am a very slow hand quilter and it would have taken forever.  At the end I decided to machine quilt it with a crisscross diagonal quilting pattern using a green variegated thread and bound the quilt with Kona Chocolate.


Cat Quilt | Whims And Fancies

Now my beautiful blue-eyed boy Monty has a quilt made specially for him that he lounges on and I can chalk up another finish.


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!


Update – I got a few requests for the leaf pattern, it’s available on Etsy and Craftsy.

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,


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