An Endeavourer – The Journey Begins

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

Speeding Through Space

 

A few months ago, after I came back from a holiday, a wonderful email from my dear friend Janine was awaiting me.  She talked about a new art quilt group called The Endeavourer, hosted by her and Catherine.  We are a group of 14, creating quilts that feature a chosen theme.  This quarter’s theme was Nature.

 

I love spending time under the open sky, hiking trails while looking for small hidden surprises.  I made quite a few nature-themed paintings last year, and I was looking for another creative angle.  I love the natural sciences, specially astronomy.  Looking at nature through science-coloured glasses gives me a deeper joy and that is what I wanted to use for inspiration.  I began sketching.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Wave Interference Double Slit Experiment by Thomas Young | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I have always had a keen interest in the properties of light.  This was my first sketch based on a double-slit experiment by Thomas Young. It demonstrates the dual nature of light.  The design was defined by simple shapes and limited colours.  That became the style for rest of the sketches.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Quantum Mechanics Atomic Orbital | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then I started going down the rabbit hole.  The dual nature of light sparked another sketch from my all-time favourite –  Quantum mechanics featuring atomic orbitals.  It is a function that calculates the probability of an electron’s position in a region around an atom’s nucleus.  I find the orbital shapes to be really pretty.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Turing Pattern Tiger Stripes | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Even after two drawings, I still continued sketching.  An English mathematician named Alan Turing wrote an article on patterns found in nature.   That and my love for tigers prompted this design.  I was pretty sure this was going to be the one.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Sea Stacks And Star Trails | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then last week it was raining here.  I was so deliriously happy that I cast aside all work and painted Sea Stacks with Star Trails.  I love the use of blue on this painting.

 

 

Science Inspired Art - Comet Speeding Through Space | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The markings from the Turing pattern and the colour blue from the sea stacks gave me my final drawing.  As I very hurriedly sketched this comet, I knew that I had my design.  I couldn’t believe I had not thought of this earlier.

 

 

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

 

The rest was easy!  I used converging variable-spaced straight line quilting from corner to corner to give it a sense of motion.  Once that was done, I started painting on the finished, quilted piece.

 

 

Comet Speeding Through Space - Art quilt inspired by nature and science. Quilted And Painted Fabric with Liquitex acrylic – Whims And Fancies

 

 

Painting on dark fabric required thicker paint.  I already had a set of acrylic paints at home.  Combining that with fabric medium, I slowly painted the comet on the quilted piece.  Nature is ever changing, ever moving, I believe a comet is a perfect representation of that.

 

 

Lunar Eclispe Montage January 31, 2018  Backyard Astronomy | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I will part with this lunar eclipse photo I took yesterday.  Nature inspires me to be creative every day.  As I made those different sketches, I got to explore different facets of nature.  I thought I’d share a little about my inspiration with you today.  I will write more about the making another day.

 

I feel like a true endeavourer.

 

 

The Endeavourers

 

Please visit my fellow Endeavourers for the quilts they made for this challenge.

Our Group Page – The Endeavourers

Catherine – http://www.knottedcotton.com
Janine – https://rainbowhare.com/
Nancy – http://www.patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com/
Carol – http://beadsandbirds.blogspot.com/
Barbara – https://theflashingscissors.blogspot.co.uk/
Ruth – http://benandcharlyscorner.blogspot.co.uk/
Gwen – https://textileranger.com/
Martha – www.weekenddoings.com
Julie – www.pinkdoxies.com
Maureen – https://josephinaballerina.com/
Tonia – http://allthingzsewn.blogspot.com
Kay – http://thecraftyyak.wordpress.com
Soma – http://www.whimsandfancies.com/
Fiona – http://celticthistlestitches.blogspot.co.uk/

 

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

Bramble Pillow

Scrappy Quilted Pillow | Whims And Fancies

 

 

My husband uses a small pillow on his chair for lumbar support.  The previous pillow was bought during my pre-sewing days and it definitely had seen better days.  Just like the cobbler’s children go barefoot, my husband continued to use the lumpy, torn pillow for months.  My ego also wouldn’t let me purchase a new pillow because I had dug my heels in about making the pillow myself.  So I made a commitment to make it before the holidays and started thinking about design ideas.

 

 

Bare Winter Trees Sunset East | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The window of my atelier faces the eastern sky, which, during sunset, takes on a lovely purple and pink hue called the Belt of Venus.  I love the inky black bare tree branches against that colour during winter months. 

 

 

Bare Winter Tree Sunset West | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Shortly after finishing work, I stopped at one of our west-facing windows to admire the sunset colours peering through the bare tree branches there too. 

 

 

Scrappy Quilted Pillow | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Then my eyes wandered over to the bookcases right beside the window.  The bare trees and the bookshelves gave me an idea for the pillow design.  I pulled out a few black and white tree-themed fabrics and a few scraps of textured solids.  I picked a textured grey for the background to keep a monochromatic look with splashes of colour from the solids.

 

 

Scrappy Quilted Pillow | Whims And Fancies

 

 

After cutting a few strips of the tree fabrics,  I made a few multicoloured, randomly-stitched stripes with the solid fabrics making them look like book spines.  I stitched them together with a few thin strips of grey background fabric in between and added a darker grey at the base.  It made the impression of a little bookshelf for the pillow front. 

I picked a shade of purple thread for the purple sky and varied the line spacing a little to add a little bit of interest.   If you are wondering, the spacing between the lines are 1/2″, 1/2″, 1/4″ and so on.

 

My dear husband never complains.  When I grumble about not getting enough done, he becomes my voice of reason and reminds me that there are only 24 hours in a day.  It felt great to make this for him.  I had to convince him to use it because he felt it should have been framed as wall art.  I am flattered!!

Happy sewing,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Holiday Happiness

Sun Bow | Whims And Fancies

 

It was a very good holiday.  It started with a 4-mile run/hike in the park after quite a few foot injuries over the last 12 months.  As I stopped for a breather, I looked up and was greeted by a beautiful sun bow which I have never seen before.  Even though my latest broken toe suffered a little after the run, it felt so good to be out there under the open sky again.

 

 

Annual Book Drive At Barnes And Noble | Whims And Fancies

 

We went to the Barnes And Noble bookstore for the annual children’s book drive. We have been doing this for over a decade now.  Every year, we happily browse through the children’s section to pick out books, then purchase them at the register and leave them there to be distributed amongst disadvantaged children.  I hope these books provide them an escape like they still do for me.

 

 

Sticky Toffy Pudding Nigella Lawson | Whims And Fancies

 

Once a year, I indulge the child in me by eating my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream – for breakfast.  I make it using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.

Imagine me sitting in my pyjamas, wearing fluffy house shoes, firing up the video game console with a bowl of this on my lap. 

 

 

Artists And Craftsman Art Supply | Whims And Fancies

 

We visited the Artists And Craftsman art supply store in San Francisco.  My husband waited very patiently with me while I browsed the shop.  During this first visit, I was elated to find so many of my favourite art supplies under the same roof.  Afterwards, we walked up to one of the many cafes in the area for a fabulous lunch ending with a decadent tiramisu.

 

 

Fabric basket | Whims And Fancies

 

I received a package from Kris.  The box was packed with sweet little things, beautiful fabrics, a hand-embroidered pincushion AND this lovely basket using penguin fabric.

I often paint sitting at the dining table. It gets great afternoon light.  Now I have this lovely basket to carry all my art supplies over from my atelier to the table.

 

 

Watercolour Paint Swatches | Whims And Fancies

 

New Year’s Eve, I started making paint swatches.  Approximately 7 hours later, after watching a few of our favourite movies and having a few small drinks, I finished painting all the swatches at 3:30 AM.  I made a total of 151 cards.

 

 

 

I also played with a few design ideas for new projects.  I am using very bold, minimalist graphics for this set.

 

 

Napa Woodland Hike | Whims And Fancies

 

The holiday concluded with a long hike on Saturday, followed by a mountain trail hike for my birthday on Sunday.  I had to nurse the injured foot, but that was not going to thwart me.  I suffer from severe acrophobia.  Mountain hikes are great for facing my fear.  My camera provides the distraction and my husband is the best companion.  The trail was exceptionally quiet that day and we had an exhilarating woodland hike.

 

My pre-holiday ennui has now disappeared.  I have a number of plans for the future.  Taking that next step is always daunting, but I feel ready to face that fear.  I can’t wait to share with you these new ideas.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

Winter Warmth

Old York street light with Sennelier watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Lately, my head has been full of plans for the future and a growing list of things to accomplish, matched only by my lackluster state of mind.  A few months ago, I took a photo of a street light while exploring the old city of York, and have wanted to paint this ever since.

On Tuesday, as I finally made myself put the paint-loaded brush to paper, the ease came back.  Painting the weathered stones and the walls was quite cathartic, and the warm light became the proverbial beacon.

 

Thank You for keeping me going with your lovely supportive words and personal emails sharing memories evoked by my work.

 

 

Tule Elk at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies

 

More photos from Pt. Reyes on A Day At The Sea Post

 

A few weeks ago we went back to Point Reyes National Seashore.  On our way back, we came across these Tule elks grazing right by the roadside. They were introduced back after their extirpation from this region in the 1850s.  Warms my heart to see them back in their natural habitat.

 

 

Tule elks at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies

 

Last rays of the setting sun

 

Harvest Hat Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I made a pair of mitts for my friend Kris before.  It was about time I made this matching hat for her.  This hat, along with a few other things made it out there on Monday.  She loves it and said the hat snuggles her ears too.  Perfect!

 

 

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

About the quilt in the Playing In The Rain post

 

I was happy to finish my Patronus quilt in July.  This Lego Harry Potter quilt is now keeping me warm during the winter nights.  I love reading my book snuggled under it with a mug of hot chocolate made lovingly by my husband.

 

Whims And Fancies patterns have raised a wonderful sum of approximately $1400 through different fundraisers this year.  That sum does not include the money I donated/will donate from the pattern sales.  Thank You so much for donating and purchasing the patterns.

 

 

Yosemite | Whims And Fancies

 

Yosemite And I – A post about why I love it there so much

 
We haven’t had much rain or snow here this year.  Instead, our beautiful California has been burning from north to south.  Snow-covered landscape has been scarce this year, as has the winter rain.

 

Colonial House quilt pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Post about a holiday in Kings Canyon inspired wall hanging

Pattern on Craftsy and Etsy

 

That photo I took of Yosemite reminded me of sitting by a large stone fireplace, sipping on a warm drink after a wonderful day out in the snow.  The parks here have common rooms with warm fires in large stone fireplaces.  We will not be going to the Sierra mountains this year, but that won’t stop me dreaming of my favourite place.

 

 

Black And White Sewing | Whims And Fancies

 

 

At home, looking out of the window at the bare trees and at the bookshelves beside the window gave me an idea for a small sewing project.

 

The time has come for my holiday hibernation away from the computer.  This year with everything that has been going on, I will need this time to gather myself more than ever.  Time to bask in the warmth that old man winter brings to me.  This comes in the guise of admiring my favourite star clusters during the long winter nights,  and walks wearing my favourite woolens during the days. 

Inside the home, long hours of video game playing with my husband has become a tradition.  I love to paint in the soft winter sunlight.  Ink and paper adventures await me, along with the prospect of a warm beverage, fireside and kitty cuddles. 

 

Happy Holidays, everyone!  I wish you a warm and safe holiday season full of wonder and magic!

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  They are great for inspiration, please pay a visit to some of them.