Pinwheel Flowers – Colours And Prints

 

I am making a quilt for my kitties using one of my old patterns, Pinwheel Flower.  I often get asked about how I choose colours for the blocks I make from my paper piecing patterns.  For me they are illustrations done in fabric, so most of the time it is very akin to how I paint.  I will try to show my selection process.

 

I use colours and prints together to create a certain style, mood, or even a season. 

 

 

 

 

I took this photo of a little purple larkspur flower during a hike.  I was looking for tiny little wild flowers for photography and my husband found this one for me.  As this photo was my intial inspiration, I chose green for the quilt background.

 

Most of the time though, the background is the last fabric I select.  No matter what the order is, I like the design of the block to stand out against the background colour and/or print.  If I don’t get the right contrast, I change out the fabrics until I am satisfied.

 

 

 

 

I wanted the flowers to pop against the background without being too bright. It was also important to have a balanced ratio of cool and warm colours.  From the very beginning, I was sure about the purple flower from my photo appearing in the quilt.

 

 

 

 

The other cool colour choice would be a shade of blue.  After trying out quite a few mid- to dark blues, I settled on this teal.  I adore that colour, but I don’t get to use it too often.  I also have only a little bit of it left, just enough for my little kitty quilt.

 

 

 

 

I love yellow flowers.  A vase full of yellow Chrysanthemums cheers me up immensely.  Unfortunately, yellow was not dark enough to provide enough contrast against the green, so I picked the next best – a burnt orange.

 

 

 

Pinwheel Flower pattern on Etsy

 

For the last colour, I looked to our garden for inspiration.  We have two wildflower plants with the brightest shade of red flowers blooming in our garden.  The whole plant looks like it is bursting into red fireworks.  That became the red flower in my quilt.

 

The idea for this block came from a combination of seeing a flower through my atelier window and a pinwheel block.  For sashing, it was going to be either white or cream fabric to represent the window frame.  Since the green I chose was a warmer green, I used a yellowish-cream for the sashing.

 

 

 

 

Once I finish selecting the colours, I start on the prints.  I think about what the quilt is supposed to represent.  That helps me decide on the style as well as giving the quilt a sense of coherence while I choose the prints.

When I show you the finished quilt, you will see why I used blender fabrics for this one.

 

-Soma

 

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

 

 

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Hop

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Welcome to the book hop for Modern Plus Sign Quilts authored by Cheryl and Paige.  Being a hard core paper piecing designer, I don’t get to play with traditional quilting.  I had been wanting to make a Plus Sign quilt for a while, so I was thrilled to have a chance to make one for this event. 

The book is full of beautiful quilt patterns, it was quite difficult to choose one. Ultimately though, I kept coming back to the one called Signature Plus due to the history behind this quilt.

 

 

Photo by C&T Publications

Cheryl’s post about the history of Signature Plus

 

You can also see a photo of the original Signature Plus quilt on that page.  It’s simply incredible.

 

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Yellow and grey is my favourite combination.  The colours represent my favourite seasons – autumn and winter.  I love yellow leaves on grey asphalt, nature mingling with man-made.  The colour choice was easy and I had my pattern.  The only question remaining was what to make.

 

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Tea is a very big deal in our home.  I have more tea at home than most tearooms.  On weekend afternoons, we read together over cups of tea.  Inspired by the various tea towels I have collected during our UK holidays, I decided to make a tea mat.

 

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I reversed the colours and made four matching coasters.  I quilted both with mostly vertical lines, crossed with very sparse horizontal lines to draw the eye in one direction, lending a sense of flow.  I also used a lighter yellow binding to stay with the colour palette while drawing focus to the Plus Signs.  The binding fabric has tiny little leaves, tea leaves if you will – a happy coincidence!

 

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The pattern was very easy to follow.  I used a small section of the Signature Plus quilt from the book to make the mat. 

One of the big advantages of this book is that it is full of patterns for both beginner and advanced quilter alike.  You can make a big or small quilt, or use part of the design for a small finish like I did.  Cheryl and Paige even included general instructions for all techniques used in this book.  It is a great introduction to Plus Sign quilts.

 

 

 

Signed copies of Modern Plus Sign Quilts can be purchased at –

Meadow Mist Design (Cheryl) Etsy Shop

Quilted Blooms (Paige) Etsy Shop

Can also be purchased @ amazon.com

 

I hope you get to make something from this book that you get to cherish or as a fabulous gift for someone else.  

 

 

Plus Sign Quilt - Tea Mat & Coasters In Yellow & Grey | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Many thanks to Cheryl and Paige for including me in this fun book hop.  I will be thinking about my friends when I use this tea mat and coasters during afternoon tea.  If it weren’t for them, it would have been forever before this paper piecing designer got to make her Plus quilt.

 

Thank you for visiting me!  Make sure to visit Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs and Paige @ Quilted Blooms for the full list of quilters who are participating in this book hop, and please also visit these wonderful quilters who are showing off their beautiful makes today –

 

Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod
Shelley @ The Carpenters Daughter Who Quilts

 

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.

 

 

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.