Squares Plus Quilt Remade

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I had a brand new fun pattern written, fabric pulled, pattern pieces cut, and ready to be sewed.  Then, I broke my toes.   So, now I have to take a break for at least a few days.  I needed to finish sewing the binding on this quilt, so that’s exactly what I did, with my foot propped up on the sofa.  These blocks got a fresh new setting and are the focus of today’s story.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Last September, I finished making this quilt for my kitty.  He kept on using it happily, but I HATED it!  Yes, I truly hated that green sashing.  I thought the green dulled those bright beautiful colours of the blocks.  I refused to lay that quilt out for my cat.  So finally, before I went on holiday, I started remaking the quilt.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Time was short.  Instead of taking the whole quilt apart, I started at the seams that joined the blocks to the sashing.  I unpicked the stitches until the blocks came free.  Since I am a fairly light quilter, I was able to pull the blocks out during one afternoon.  Patience is required for the process though, good thing I like to listen to stories while I work.  Some day I will pull out the yellow backing for use in an another project.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Squares Plus on Etsy and Craftsy

 

Of course, the blocks were not as crisp as when they were new.  They also shrunk a bit during multiple washes.  After trimming them to be of the same size, pressing them with a hot iron and steam made them good to be used again.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

This time I used plain white Kona cotton for the sashing to bring out the bright colours of the quilt blocks.  I did somewhat of a grid quilting.  It’s not a perfect grid, but it’s not random either.  The pale sea green thread is almost the same colour as the block background.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern - Grid Quilting | Whims And Fancies

 

I found this steel-grey-blue in my stash for the backing.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern - Binding Tips | Whims And Fancies

 

To keep it light and airy, I used the same fabric for the binding that I used for the block background.  By the way, if you use pins for binding, I highly recommend binding clips.  Clover clips are even better.  I only have one set of those at the moment, I will definitely get more in the future.

 

Squares Plus Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Squares Plus on Etsy and Craftsy

 

The Squares Plus idea started with my wanting to make a plus quilt.  I also wanted to add a little twist to the traditional plus blocks.  While fiddling with the design, I added the little squares on top of the plus sign.  That became my Squares Plus pattern.  This beginner-friendly and scrap-happy pattern is on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

 

So here’s the newly-finished Squares Plus quilt for my kitty.  Not that he would know the difference, but I am certainly much happier to lay it out now.

My kitties use their quilts a lot.  If there is not already a quilt on one of their usual sleeping places because I have taken it away to wash, they sit and wait patiently, right beside the spot.  They continue to look at me until I lay a quilt down for them.  Smart, huh?!!

 

Happy Sewing,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

Comments (34)

My Orange Tabby

Striped Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I have done it!  I have reached that elusive finish for this mini.  Once I had finished the block early last year, I went through many ideas of quilting this little one, but nothing really stuck.  At one point I even finished drawing swirls on the block, cut the backing and the batting, but it never made it to the machine.  The problem is the colour of my cat.

 

My Orange Maine Coon Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

You already know that I love my big old orange cat, my constant companion and shadow.  This mini is special because I modeled it after him. 

 

Striped Tabby Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I used the orange swirly fabric that I love and the black fabric that I had left over from another quilt.  Orange cats are mostly associated with Halloween.  Add a black background and you have a quintessential Halloween project. 

Except, that was far from being my intention.  I added the black background because of my love for the night sky.  The picture I wanted to paint was one where my cat and I would sit by the window and cherish that outer world

 

Striped Tabby Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Striped Tabby Cat on Etsy and Craftsy

 

Month after month I looked at the block and put it away for lack of a good idea.  Swirls would just add to the Halloween picture that I did not want to create.  Finally one day it came to me – I wanted to try matchstick quilting.  It would echo the stripes on the kitty too.  Seemed like a perfect solution.

 

Matchstick Quilting On Cat Quilt | Whims And Fancies

 

Since this was my first time doing matchstick quilting, I wanted to err on the side of caution.  So I worked up to lines that are 1/4″ apart and stopped there.  I felt that was perfect.  I used a variegated thread which gave it an additional fun effect.

 

Quilt Facing / Binding | Whims And Fancies

 

I faced the quilt to give it more of an art canvas look.  Since almost all of my quilts are paper pieced art quilts, I will be using facing more often instead of binding going forward.

 

Striped Kitty Cat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

In the end, all that waiting paid off.  I let the project guide me to the finish line and I am very happy for it.  I love the mini, almost as much as I love my kitty!

 

The 14″ Striped Tabby Cat quilt pattern is on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.  The stripes are completely optional, as is the window.  You can fussy cut a piece for the window or leave it out completely.

 

Autumnal Equinox is tomorrow.  Perfect time to place this mini on the wall of my atelier where my kitty and I spend the day together working.  Knowing me, it will end up staying there forever.

Happy Quilting,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with Patty on One Monthly Goal.  Great monthly linky party for finishing those WIPs.

 

I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

Comments (50)

Sketchbook – July 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Beach Huts Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Beach Huts At Sunset

 

After a fairly rough summer, my husband and I were able to take a long holiday to recharge and finally celebrate our 25th anniversary, which was in July.  Considering it is September and I have not shared the sketchbook pages from July yet, it became an easy choice, besting all the finishes and WIP-s I amassed during that time.  I have been experimenting with different watercolours alongside markers and exploring new subject matter as well.

We have been having heatwaves, which might explain why my sketchbook is filled with cold weather paintings.  I started the July sketches with the colourful beach huts of Northumberland basking in the sunset colours by the cool water.

 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Dance Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Dance

 

Dance is not a theme that comes easily to me, so I picked it specially to push myself a little.  I started sketching the figures and slowly it became a dream sequence.  I am not much into poetry, but there are a few poets that I like.   The words of W. B. Yeats seemed to befit this piece, so I added them with a silver pen.  I did take the liberty to change the context a little.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Birch Trees In Snow Schmincke Horadam Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Birch Trees In The Snow

 

I love walking in the snow.  Everything gets so quiet that you can almost hear yourself breathe.  The white birch tree grove standing tall invites me to explore a little further into the woods.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Dala Horse Winsor Newton Ink Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

Dala Horse

 

This was another experimental piece.  I was going to paint a folk-art piece, but the painting had a different intention.  My Dala horse decided to take on the grunge colours instead.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Bridge Daniel Smith Perylene Green Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

The Bridge

 

My Pride And Prejudice friends will recognise this bridge, I am sure of it. My personal addition was the Willow Tree.  Perylene Green is one of my favourite colours, and the colour was perfect for this scene. 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Windmills Sennelier Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Windmills From Sweden

 

When we travelled across Sweden, we came across an area dotted with windmills, relics from days gone by.  It really pleases me that they are protected and hopefully will continue to stand tall for many a year to come.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Canoe Prismacolour Marker And Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

La Belle Discordia

 

If I had a canoe, I imagine it would have its own mind and take me places where I dare not go.  The idea for the painting came from the canoes I saw in Lake District, England.

 

Previous Sketchbook Pages

June 2017

 

Squares Plus Grid WIP | Whims And Fancies

 

On the sewing side, I am continuing to finish a few WIP-s.  This mini is almost finished, only the binding needs to be stitched on.  I enjoy hand stitching the binding, so hopefully, now that things have settled down here a little, I will be able to work on it while listening to a favourite story.

I am glad to have these distractions given the current situation everywhere.  Hopefully you are able to enjoy a bit of creative time too.

Stay safe,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

Comments (26)

Chasing The Shadow – Eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Diamond Ring | Whims And Fancies

 

Diamond Ring – heralding Totality

 

Today I want to share something with you that is extremely special to me – our eclipse journey which I started planning two years ago.  It was two years ago that I called the hotel in the tiny little town of John Day, Oregon to reserve a room for the two of us for last weekend.  John Day lay in the path of totality, so we wouldn’t have to drive any further once we got there to see the total solar eclipse.

 

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads | Whims And Fancies

 

Baily’s Beads – Sunlight rushing in between moon’s craters

 

This was our first total solar eclipse.  I have photographed a couple of partial ones before, but those were nothing compared to the sun being completely obscured by the moon.  I knew I had to capture this event with my camera and telescope. 

So, on Friday afternoon we started our 592-mile / 10-hour journey northbound to chase the moon’s shadow for the first time in our lives.  We both love to drive, and the scenery was fabulous.  At any other time, I would have stopped and taken a LOT of photos along the way, but my mind was focused on one and only one thing this time.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Baily's Beads With Prominence | Whims And Fancies

 

Close up of Baily’s Beads – bright sunlight filtering through the rough edges of the craters on the moon

Solar Prominences – Activity on the solar surface shown in red

 

I knew going in that I would be able to either view and enjoy the eclipse or take photos.  I chose photos.  Totality would last only 2 minutes at our location and I had to finish taking a series of photos within that time.  Immediately after, the solar filter would need to be placed back in front of the telescope before the sun would emerge again, so my eyes and my optics would not be left permanently damaged.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Earthshine | Whims And Fancies

 

Couldn’t pass up a chance of capturing the lunar surface covering the sun

 

We spent Sunday at the hotel.  We were lucky enough to be able to park our car right in front of our room.  The car powered my telescope’s motorized mount so it could continue to track the sun once I had everything set up and aligned correctly.  We spent the morning making sure the setup worked from that location.  The afternoon was spent rehearsing the set of exposures I would be taking.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 Totality | Whims And Fancies

 

Totality

 

One last rehearsal Monday morning and I was set.  I started watching and recording the partial eclipse from the very beginning.  As the moon proceeded to cover the majority of the sun, the light started dimming quite significantly and the temperature dropped noticeably as well.  I felt a chill in the air and we experienced late twilight in the middle of an otherwise very sunny morning.  

Right then, the alarm went off on the phone to tell us to remove the solar filter and start clicking.  The race against time had begun!  It felt like the two minutes were over even before the countdown started.  I didn’t get a chance to look up at the sky, but I also knew I would be very sad if I didn’t take the photos.

 

Art Supply Zipper Bag | Whims And Fancies

 

Needless to say, I didn’t get to paint or sew much.  Before the trip, I did manage to make a small bag using the yellow newspaper fabric that my dear friend Kris sent me.  I made it to carry my tiny little paint palette and my sketchbook.  Remember the round pencil cases I made in this Sketchbook 2017 post?  Now I have a matching art supply bag.  I took them with me, but unfortunately they stayed in my backpack.  I know one of the August sketchbook entries will be of the eclipse.

 

Solar Eclipse 2017 | Whims And Fancies

 

Total Solar Eclipse – Beginning To End

 

My husband helped me rehearse the photography sequence more than a dozen times, and talked to curious strangers while I was setting up my telescope so I could keep my concentration.  Most importantly, he sacrificed his viewing experience to remove and replace the solar filter on time, to call the photo settings out loud and to shine a red light on the camera so I could shoot uninterrupted. 

This was my first try at taking photos of totality and I really could not have done this without him.  I wish we had a few more seconds so he could have enjoyed it a bit longer. I owe him another eclipse journey.

 

I anticipated this for so long, now I am a bit sad that it’s over.  As happy as I am with the photos, I also wish that I spent time experiencing the totality with my own eyes.  Shakespeare said it best –  “For man is a giddy thing and this is my conclusion“.

Thank You for listening!
-Soma

 

I am also linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.   They are fun to visit and great source for new inspirations.

 

Comments (34)