Some of you already have the winter storm inviting itself to your home. I hope the warm colours of the last vestiges of Autumn in this post brings you a little bit of comfort. It’s always a pleasure for me to share blocks and projects made by others using my quilt patterns. Quite by chance I came across this stunning quilted music bag made by Gwen. Not only is her piecing of the piano block beyond perfect, she picked the perfect accompanying fabrics too. They add a beautiful touch of movement and sophistication to the bag. The golden-yellow music notes fabric is so tangibly warm. She made this bag to carry the music for her piano lessons. I play the piano too and this bag is such an inspiration! I am in awe! You can see more photos of this bag on her blog.
Another surprise awaited me when I saw this violin block made by Katrin. I would have never thought of using those colours for a violin, they make it so bohemian! It’s gorgeous and I love it! The colours of the violin are also scattered like confetti in the background fabric of the block. I play only classical music on the violin, but Katrin’s violin block is making me want to play something risque and new!!
I think music and autumn are a match made in heaven. In my mind I can very easily interweave music and the movement of leaves in the autumn breeze so I was only too happy to show you the beautiful musical instruments along with these leaves made by Kris. She has been making these spontaneous maple leaves and I love seeing them. It’s like finding the perfect leaves during a walk and you know you have to bring them back home with you. Perfect for keeping in the treasure box. Aren’t they beautiful?!
Over the previous months I have collected quite a few projects from others. I created a Made By Others page so these projects have a forever home. Many thanks to all of you for giving me permission to share your work.
These works have inspired me to work on new patterns. Aside from that and sewing the binding on a queen size quilt, I am working on these mitts with leaf patterns in them. This is my first project with double-pointed needles and these are my first mitts. I am knitting them slowly to avoid making mistakes. So far it’s going really well. Hopefully pretty soon I will have something homemade to keep my hands warm. Wish me luck!
More From Whims And Fancies
It was really overcast a couple of days ago. For some strange reason, the cloudy, cool weather gave me a huge urge to bake. I gave in and became a mad baking lady. I kicked off the baking session with these easy scones. We treated ourselves to a couple of warm ones that afternoon with butter and jam. I sometimes like to eat them with just butter and sprinkled sugar.
Once the scones came out of the oven, I prepped a peach crumble. Since I am allergic to all fruits with pits and cores, I can only eat canned peaches. First I drained the syrup from the peaches and added shredded coconut and sugar. Then I prepared the crumble, added some coconut to that as well and then into the oven it went at 375F for 30 minutes. If I could, I would add coconut to everything! I almost wanted to skip dinner and go straight to dessert that night!
Last but certainly not least, I baked three loaves of bread. I really love homemade bread, but I haven’t been able to bake for a while because I had been a bit under the weather. Since I am feeling a lot better now, I just had to bake bread. Once I had made up my mind, there was no going back. This bread is really not that hard to make, just a lot of waiting around. Since I was puttering around the kitchen anyway, the timing was perfect. I love the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through the house.
After I finished all that baking, I felt like Charlie in this picture. By the way, this is the reason why this quilt is still not finished. I partially hand quilted it. Every time I got up for five minutes, he was on it, sleeping. I finally finished the quilting last week and I am feverishly hand sewing the binding now. It is a queen size quilt, so there’s a lot of binding to sew. Currently this is the only quilt I am working on. Since I am not touching anything else until it’s finished, hopefully I will be able to show it here very soon.
It’s not all his fault though, for my not finishing the quilt, I must share part of the blame. Puffy clouds and cool weather have been inviting me to go play outside, and I must heed their call. I have been out and about with my camera a lot lately. This is our first year here in the Napa Valley. My friend Kris and I have been talking about “leaf peeping” and that’s exactly what I did while exploring the area. Fall is like a second spring, only all the leaves turn into blooms. I thought I’d share some of my favourite photos here.
Napa Valley Vineyard
Napa Valley Vineyard
I had no idea that grape leaves change colour too.
Afternoon sunlit leaves
Looks like red blooms – it’s spring in fall
Soft leaves under my feet
Dark, overcast clouds or puffy white clouds, I am happy to be able entertain myself on all occasions!
More From Whims And Fancies
Old stained-glass window panes set in stone-grey abbey walls bordered with red tapestries were the inspiration for my Flowers Of The United Kingdom wall hanging. That was the original name because the flowers are the Scottish Thistle, the Welsh Daffodil, the Irish Flax and the English Rose. I started working on this wall hanging with the Scottish Thistle in February of 2013 and slowly worked my way through the other three blocks. The flower quilt patterns took me some time to draw exactly the way I envisioned them.
Patterns – Craftsy and Etsy
As you can tell, they all share some design elements. I also added some extra details on each side of the flowers, but they can easily be substituted with a single piece of fabric for simplicity. Each central flower block is 6.5″ x 8.5″ with seam allowance and the overall block measures 10″ x 10″. Some of you may remember my showing these finished blocks last year. Then I got stuck at how to quilt this wall hanging and it sat unattended in the cupboard until very recently.
One day I was reading in the living room and it started raining outside. As I saw the the raindrops falling and splashing, I had my quilting motif. I drew a set of 0.5″-spaced concentric circles and cut them out with my small rotary cutter. I used them as templates to draw out every single circle before I started quilting them.
Once I finished quilting the wall hanging, the name Raindrops On Flowers sounded so much better.
I took my time with every single part of this project until it felt right to me and I am so happy that I did. I have never hung any picture over our bed because we live in California and I am afraid that it might fall and injure us during an earthquake. After experiencing an M6 earthquake in August, I was very happy about my decision. That very day of the earthquake I had finished painting our bedroom a shade of light buttery-yellow and a mossy green accent colour on the bed-wall. Now I have the perfect wall hanging for that wall.
As my friend Susie said so aptly shortly after the earthquake, “I can’t help but think that this quilt that you are finishing, reminds me of nature and beauty… with earthquake shocks moving through them…”
More From Whims And Fancies
Last week I showed this pillow very briefly and I mentioned sharing more about it this week. It was a very last-minute project, so time was of the essence Aside from the time it took me to do the hand quilting, it took me almost no time to put this pillow together. I know you have plenty of scraps lying around and I hope to inspire you to make one for yourself once I show you how I made mine.
This pillowcase fits a 16″ pillow form. The top itself finishes at 16.5″ square. However, it will shrink a little because of the quilting. My finished case is 15.0″ all around, which makes it look nice and fluffy.
All seam allowances are 0.25″. I included measurements for all the pieces in the respective sections.
I cut 14 times 2.5″ squares for the very top part. If you have mini charm packs, they work really well too.
Since I was using my scraps, I used this 2.5″ square ruler to cut my square pieces. I used masking tape to cover 0.25″ on each side. That way I could see exactly what would show after I finished stitching the sides.
Once I had my squares, I joined two vertical pieces together for each column and then joined the columns to each other. That way I had to line up only the one point in the middle of each set of four squares.
The final measurement of that piece is 4.5″ x 14.5″.
Next, I cut a 1.75” x 14.5” piece of the border fabric and stitched it to the strip made of the finished squares. This is a very scrappy pillow, so I used the same piece of fabric as I used for the border to add a little coherence to the whole piece. I also chose a solid fabric for the same reason.
The middle scrappy stripe was next. For this one, I took any scrap that was at least 3″ in length and sewed it at random width to the next scrap until the whole strip was 14.5″ inches long. Then I trimmed the whole strip to be 2.75″ wide.
The final measurement of this piece is 2.75″ x 14.5″. I stitched this piece to the first finished piece made of the squares and the solid strip.
To balance out all the scraps at the top, I used an uncut piece of fabric for the following part. You can use anything you like for here – an unused embroidered piece, a section of your favourite fabric, etc.
The measurement of this uncut piece is 6.5″ x 14.5″. I stitched this uncut piece to the first two pieces.
All the pieces put together made a 14.5″ square.
I wanted the patchwork part of the pillow to take up as much space as possible, so I sewed a very narrow 1.0″ border around it.
I cut two 1.5″ x 14.5″ pieces of the border fabric and stitched them on each side of the finished 14.5″ square. After that I sewed a 1.5″ x 16.5″ piece of the border fabric on the top and bottom.
The finished piece with the borders was a 16.5″ square.
Note – If you want the pillow case to be a little loose, then you might want to cut the border strips to be 2.0″ instead of 1.5″.
I hand quilted all the patchwork areas including the bottom panel. I really wanted the quilting to stand out, so I used ecru DMC Perle to quilt large stitches. I outlined the squares and quilted a bunting shape for the middle scrappy part.
My most favourite part is the quilting on the bottom piece. I drew the leaves and the path of the wind freehand with water soluble marker and quilted using that as a guide.
Once all the hand quilting was done, I used my walking foot to quilt the middle solid piece by sewing two intersecting curving lines.
Finally, I went around the border and free motion quilted tiny leaves joined by curved lines. Since I don’t usually FMQ, quilting those leaves in that tiny area was not that easy for me!
This really was a last-minute quick finish for the Black Cat Crossing blog hop. Keeping time in mind, I decided to finish this pillow with an envelope back rather than investing any more time on a zippered back. I also thought of adding a binding, but then discarded the idea because it looked too busy. The narrow border already looks like pseudo-binding.
I can see myself making more seasonal pillows with this design. I can even match the quilting on the feature fabric at the bottom with the seasonal theme. There are so many possibilities!
More From Whims And Fancies
This is Charlie. Contrary to everyone’s belief, he has a sweet tooth that would rival anyone. He would do anything to get a lick of ice-cream, watermelon, sweetened cream, or anything else sweet you can think of.
One day he learned that on All Hallows Eve, if he puts on a wizard’s hat and a bow tie and sits very very quietly amongst the Jack-O-Lanterns, magic leaves will come and carry him to the land of the Seven Sisters who would give him lots and lots of sweets to eat. So he came to me and asked if I would make a hat and a bow tie for him. I was happy to oblige.
As the evening approached, he wore his starry hat and bow tie, smartly walked outside, sat down in the pumpkin patch and waited very patiently.
Charlie has a very bossy sister and two very clueless brothers. Although they keep a respectable distance from each other, they all love to play with Charlie. His sister specially loves Charlie and keeps a wary eye on him at all times. Charlie excitedly told her all about his plan. She didn’t really believe him, but she was not about to let him sit outside all alone either. Who knows what peril would befall her brother! She was also not going to leave the other two out of sight, because then she would have to spend the rest of the night looking for all of them if they got lost. So the bossy sister pushed the disgruntled brothers out the door and all of them surreptitiously waited a little distance away from little Charlie as the sun sank below the horizon.
They waited and waited and waited some more. Then, when everything had gone quiet, when all the kids had gone home after their Treat-Or-Trick runs and the Jack-O-Lanterns were about to go out, they heard a rustle and a swoosh. Suddenly off they went, all four of them, carried away on gigantic leaves! These were no ordinary leaves, of course! On each one of them, a different adventure waited for the little kitties. They stayed together, hopped around and rolled from leaf to leaf, played and had amazing fun.
All this time, while they were busy playing, the leaves carried them onward and upward to the Seven Sisters. By the time the little kitties got there, they were exhausted. They sat in the midst of stars and each had their favourite food to eat while watching the Jack-O-Lantern-lit Earth turning down below. Charlie had his most favourite sweets to eat that day and nobody was going to stop him. Slowly as the night got deeper, they fell asleep on top of each other and they were carried gently and silently back down to earth, down to their soft, warm beds.
My first-ever visit to a Pumpkin Patch
When I got my fabrics for the Black Cat Crossing blog hop, I knew I had to make something special with the set. That’s when I started drawing, creating the layout, and designing the patterns for Charlie’s Adventure. The Maywood Studio fabrics were absolutely perfect for recreating the story and I definitely had just as much fun as my little kitties. Charlie was all right with sharing the story with all of you as long as he and his beloved Papa could have the quilt.
At the last minute I also decided to make this little quilted pillow from the scraps. I specially fell in love with the orange scene fabric and I really wanted to showcase it. I will share more detail about the pillow next week along with its measurements so you can make one too.
Charlie sat here and supervised as I was writing the story. Actually, he was trying to convince me to give him some sweet treats. He was very disappointed when that didn’t work, “Nobody at home ever gives me anything!” So he went off to bed to dream about his special All Hallows Eve adventure while snoozing with his pumpkin. Supposedly the pumpkin gives him sweet dreams. He wanted me to wish all of you a Very Happy Halloween!
As for me, I really love Halloween. Needless to say, my ears perked up when I learned about this blog hop. I wrote to Wicked Windy right away so I could participate. In the meantime, Mdm Samm from Sew We Quilt arranged for Maywood Studio to sponsor this event. The Black Cat Crossing fabric line is a delight to work with and I could really let my imagination flow with the prints. Many many thanks to all of them for letting me be a kid again and have so much fun on my most favourite holiday!
My fellow Black Cat Crossing hoppers today can’t wait for you to visit them as well. They are waiting to show you the lovely creations they have all concocted. Enjoy the show!
Whims and Fancies (that’s me)
I am off to enjoy a little more October magic!
More From Whims And Fancies