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.

 

 

Make Art – Fountain Pen

Fountain Pen Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Fountain Pen pattern on Etsy

 

Fountain pens and I go a long way back.  The school I attended focused very much on penmanship.  We were only allowed the use of pencils until we reached Third Year.  After that, we were to use fountain pens only and told to steer clear of ball point pens.  I still remember the anticipation of getting my very first fountain pen.  Since that first day of my third year in primary school, I have only ever used fountain pens for writing.

 

 

Quill Pen Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Quill Pen pattern on Etsy

 

A few months ago, I started to create a Make Art quilt pattern series starting with this quill pen and ink bottle.

 

 

Fountain Pen Quilt Pattern & Shel Silverstein | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I express myself best in writing.  So, not surprisingly, I decided to make a fountain pen quilt pattern next. 

I have had many a pen, but the Pelican pen given to me by my husband, is my workhorse.  I would be lost without it.  I adore the scratching sound it makes on paper.  I now prefer to use sepia ink over black.  I also have a soft spot for indigo, a very dark blue ink.

I love my pen so much that I made this little card featuring my pen, sepia ink and parchment paper featuring one of the Shel Silverstein poems I really like.

 

 

City Of Oxford Watercolour Bookmark | Whims And Fancies

 

 

A few nights ago, I started painting a bookmark featuring the city of Oxford, England.  Thinking of the colleges there set the perfect mood for sewing the pen.

 

 

Fountain Pen Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Fountain Pen pattern on Etsy

 

The fountain pen stitched up quite quickly.  Teal is one of my favourite shades.  I am keeping the background same for all of my Make Art blocks in case I decide to make a quilt with them.  Just like the Quill Pen quilt pattern, this one is also 12″.  The Fountain Pen pattern is now available on my Etsy shop.

Shortly after I finished sewing the last seam, my husband, who also uses fountain pens, laid claim to the block.  You might also have someone in your life who would appreciate a gift featuring this writing instrument which represents the lost art of penmanship in the digital age.

-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

 

Old York Street Light On Etsy

 

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!

 

 

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

Colonial House pattern on 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.

 

 

Make Art

 

Quill Pen pattern on Etsy

 

I love to play with many things, and it all starts with sketching a concept.  Even with all the electronic devices available at my fingertips, ink, pen and paper are still my favourite tools, and not just for painting.  When I am playing a musical instrument, I quite often scribble on my sheet music too.  I have a very difficult time passing up on pens and inks, resulting in a drawer full of ink bottles accompanied by wooden calligraphy pens, glass pens, fountain pens and quill pens.

One day, the sight of a quill pen and a bottle of ink on my table sparked the idea of a Make-Art-themed wall hanging.  This quill pen and ink bottle is the first in a series of Make Art quilt patterns, available on Etsy.

 

That also got me thinking about the myriad ways of making art.  Many thanks to the makers of these blocks for letting me share some of them here.

 

 

Piano Quilt Pattern. Block made by carwashcat101 | Whims And Fancies

Piano by carwashcat101

Piano Quilt Pattern. Block made by carwashcat101 | Whims And Fancies

Piano by carwashcat101

 

Music is a very powerful and emotional form of art.  It has definitely played a big part in my life, which prompted me to make a whole set of musical instrument quilt patterns. carwashcat101 shared these photos of the beautiful pianos she made from my pattern.  She plans to make another one in green.

 

 

Music Notes Quilt Pattern. Block made by featheredneststudio | Whims And Fancies

Music Notes by featheredneststudio

Music Notes Quilt Pattern. Blocks made by craftyquilter | Whims And Fancies

Music Notes by craftyquilter

 

The musicians fill music notes with emotion as they bring the notes to life through their instruments.   Music Notes was one of the very first patterns I wrote.  featheredneststudio and craftyquilter made these wonderful blocks from it.

 

 

FREADOM Read Books Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by Elizabeth Plantz | Whims And Fancies

Freadom by Elizabeth Plantz

FREADOM Read Books Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by Elizabeth Plantz | Whims And Fancies

Freadom by Elizabeth Plantz

 

Where would I be without books!  So much power tucked away between pages artfully written by the authors.  Elizabeth Plantz, a member of the ALA biblioquilters,  made these two wall hangings for an auction using the FREADOM pattern. That auction raised $620 in scholarship funds from the sale of the minis.

 

 

Bear Cub Quilt Pattern. Pillow made by Elisabeth | Whims And Fancies

Bear Cub by Elisabeth

Autumn Leaves Quilt Pattern. Table runner made by Elisabeth | Whims And Fancies

Leaves by Elisabeth

 

Nature herself makes art all the time, always unique, a constant source of inspiration.  Elisabeth’s bear cub is definitely one of a kind, as is her Autumn Leaves table runner.

 

 

SLR Camera Quilt Pattern. Block made by scrapmaster01 | Whims And Fancies

Camera by scrapmaster01

SLR Camera Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by fabricker | Whims And Fancies

Camera by fabricker

 

I can’t even begin to express my feelings about photography in words.  It is an intrinsic part of me now.  As cameras have become more ubiquitous, we use them to make art everyday while capturing life around us.  Scrapmaster01 and fabricker made these amazing cameras using my Fields On Camera pattern.

 

 

Make Art - Feather Quill quilt pattern with ink bottle | Whims And Fancies

 

Quill Pen pattern on Etsy

 

These examples of creativity got me excited about designing the Make Art quilt patterns.   I am very happy with this first one.  This quill pen quilt pattern makes a 6″ x 12″ block and is fairly easy to sew.  It is now available on my Etsy shop.  I think it would make a wonderful gift for an artist in your life.

All the other patterns are available on my shop.

Art is all around us, a force that magically moves us, and emotionally affects us.  This pattern is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to share more with you.

-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!