Olivine Tulip And Sweden

Olivine Tulip Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Olivine Tulip pattern on Etsy

 

A real quick quilting update before I dive into the next part of our Sweden journey.  I’m  not sure if you remember that a couple of months ago I started working on a stained-glass-themed quilt using Downton Abbey fabrics.  I was very surprised to win the Pantone Quilt Challenge, 2014 with a quilt I made for my kitty when he was ill.  I got a gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop which I finally used to purchase this beautiful set of fabrics.

I designed a set of four stained-glass-themed flower quilt patterns.  Since I love geology and they started looking very much like crystal flowers, I decided to name them after my favourite minerals.

I made a tulip for the third flower as I like them even more than I like roses.  I named this block after a beautiful green mineral – Olivine Tulip. 

 

It is a very easy 12″ flower quilt pattern, which is available on my Etsy shop.

 

 

Kyanite Iris Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Kyanite Iris pattern on Etsy

 

 

Selenite Clematis Flower Quilt Pattern

 

Selenite Clematis pattern on Etsy

 

These are the other two flowers from the series that I have already finished making.  They are also 12″ blocks.

 

Now lets go off to Sweden again.  Last time I paused our journey while overnighting at Umeå.

 

 

Umea Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

This was a quick photo of the town centre that I took before heading out.  Umeå has birch trees planted on every street, hence it is often called the City Of Birch Trees.  It was a long day of driving.  We stopped at a few a places, enjoying the scenery on the way to the destination.

 

 

High Coast Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Around midday we reached Höga Kusten (High Coast) and had a delicious fish lunch by the sea-side.  It was a beautiful sunny day, actually a bit on the warm side.

 

 

Nordingra High Coast Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

In the afternoon, before heading out of the High Coast area, we stopped at a pretty little town by the water called Nordingrå.

 

 

Hudiksvall Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We had been on the road for a while already and a break was needed.  As we were passing by Hudiksvall,  I remembered about the old warehouses there.  We turned into the harbour and walked around a little.

 

 

Hudiksvall Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The sun was already setting and we still had a few hours of driving ahead of us.

 

 

Falun Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Next morning we woke up in Falun.  The city is in the Dalarna region, home of the Dala horses.  We wanted to see the now retired copper mine called Falu Gruva.  We had pre-purchased our tickets for a guided underground tour already, but we still got there a little early.  We spent the extra time at the exhibits in the surrounding historic buildings.

 

 

Falun Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The guided tour was incredible.  After donning raincoats and helmets, we started our descent into the mine with our very knowledgeable tour guide.  At one point during the tour, he turned off the single source of light in the mine.  I have spent a fair amount of dark nights outside, but it is really never completely dark. There is always at least starlight.  The darkness in the mine was so complete and engulfing that I felt claustrophobic.  I don’t think I will ever forget that.  Imagine the people working down there and sometimes getting trapped!

 

 

Falun Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Afterwards I wanted to see the old houses painted in Falun Rödfärg, Falun Red.  The lady at the desk marked a couple of old neighbourhoods on the map for us.  One of them was right across the street from the mine.  The workers from the mine lived here before.

We had other plans for the day, but we were having so much fun exploring around the mine that we decided to spend the day there.  I got a little tin of Falun red paint and a couple of little dala horses that I can paint myself.  I also wanted to buy a souvenir Dala horse and it had to be from the Dalarna region.  We had just enough time to stop by the tourist office to purchase a horse for myself and a beautiful mug each for my husband and our wonderful pet-sitter.

It was time to head out of Falun and drive off to Stockholm.  Hope you will be joining me next time too!

 

 

Previous Sweden Travel Story

Kiruna To Umeå

 

-Soma

 

 

Knitting Snapshots

Knitting WIPs | Whims And Fancies

 

Last week did not afford me any opportunity to sit at the sewing table for any length of time required to work on any project.  We live in a much cooler place now and I need to make a few more quilts.  I am working on them, just not at the moment.  I need to keep my hands busy, and knitting needles are perfect for filling in those small waiting moments.  With cooler weather approaching, I have been seeing a lot of knitting projects around, which has been motivating me to knit.  So I decided to indulge my craving by working on three knitting projects simultaneously.

 

Whisky Barrel Pullover | Whims And Fancies

Gamekeeper Pullover

This is a pullover I am making for my husband.  The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn but I am making it with dk.  I had to do A LOT of swatching.  After some trial and error, I got the sizing right.  I am almost at the point where I separate out the sleeves.

 

Live Long And Prosper Mitts | Whims And Fancies

Slipstream Mitts

Knitting round and round is kind of boring, specially on a large size pullover.  Enter mitts.  This is the Live Long And Prosper yarn from Lorna’s Laces.  This yarn is quite busy and it took me a long time to find a pattern that would actually show it well.  Unlike the pullover, this one needs all my attention.  So watching TV while knitting this pair is not an option for me.

 

Harvest Mitts | Whims And Fancies

Harvest Date Mitts

Since I have one mind-numbingly boring project and the other one is an attention-seeker, I needed a third one that would be somewhere in between.  I made this pair of mitts before in an orange yarn.  It’s a really fun and quick pattern and I love this yellow yarn.

 

Yarns | Whims And Fancies

 

My husband went out to get a hair cut last Saturday and stopped by the yarn store.  This is what he brought back home!  Lucky me!  More handmade knits!

 

Charlie Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

In midst of all the crazyness, I got a new camera.  I am very fond of Canon cameras.  This is another Canon, so I found all the settings very quickly.  Now it’s time to play and test out different settings.  Charlie, of course, gets to be my model!  Here he is waiting for us to finish breakfast so he can have a few drops of milk.  Staring down does work by the way!

 

Online Trunk Quilt Show | Whims And Fancies

Trunk Full Of Quilts – An Online Quilt Trunk Show

Read The Introductory Post

I am also all set for the online trunk show next week.  Since posting about it last week, I have heard back from Fat Quarter Shop and they are also sponsoring the event, so that means more prizes to give away!  If you haven’t heard about the Trunk Full Of Quilts event, it’s an online quilt trunk show hosted here at Whims And Fancies starting next week.  Hope you will join me!

Until then,
-Soma

 

Photography, Paper Piecing And Painting Cards

Camera Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies
 

Fields On Camera pattern on Etsy

 

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 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,
-Soma

 

 

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Two Of My Favourite Ladies

Pride And Prejudice Embroidery Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Pride And Prejudice – Fools In Love embroidery pattern on Etsy

 

There are too many women from the stories that I love to list here.  I love the character of Ms. Elizabeth Bennet so much that I found myself needing to draw this Pride and Prejudice embroidery pattern.

 

 

Pride And Prejudice Embroidery Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I used wash-off stabilizer for the first time on this piece.  It leaves a tiny bit of starchiness after washing, which gives the whole piece a wonderful finish.  I used DMC perle 8 for the first time too, a navy thread.  I used three different stitches for varying thickness: chain stitch, stem stitch and back stitch, with chain stitch being one of my favourites.  I really love how it turned out.  At the moment I am not exactly sure what I will do with this block.  I may come up with a few more designs to make a small Pride And Prejudice quilt.

 

 

Doctor Who Rose Tyler Doomsday Mitts

 

 

This one is for Ms. Rose Tyler.  The tenth Doctor and Rose had such a sad ending.  I don’t watch it too often since it leaves me in a daze every time I watch it.  It always seems that happy and sad endings walk along side by side.

 

I wanted to make these mitts ever since the very first time I saw the episode.  The extent of my knowledge of knitting back then was basic cast on, cast off, purl and knit.  Since then I have learned how to make fingerless mitts, and from there I jumped straight into cable.  I am happy to say that once I started knitting the second mitt, I was already able to knit without looking at the pattern file anymore.  I love this pair of gloves so much!  I added an extra diamond to cover my palm a little better.  They not only keep my hands warm, they also make me feel warm and comfortable in a very nostalgic way.  This pattern by Christina Slattery can be found on Ravelry.

 

 

Pink Flowers | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My ageless cactus plant blooms only once a year.  Just for a couple of days all the flowers burst open together like a fireworks finale.  Every year the display is more spectacular than the year before.  The flowers are very much like these ladies I love so much, rare and beautiful.

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,
-Soma