Olivine Tulip And Sweden

Olivine Tulip Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Purchase Olivine Tulip Pattern


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 in my shop.



Kyanite Iris Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies


Purchase Kyanite Iris Pattern



Selenite Clematis Flower Quilt Pattern


Purchase Selenite Clematis Pattern


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






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Tree Paintings And Sweden

Eclipse Tree Ink Painting | Whims And Fancies


Trees are a lot of fun to draw.  I don’t have to think much, I simply let the lines dictate my drawing.  This is another tree I painted on a bookmark.  I was going to do a watercolour wash and make it a daytime painting.  Then I saw the bottle of orange ink on my desk and ended up drawing an eclipsed moon.  Once I finished painting the background with a recently-acquired blue ink, it became a completely different painting than my original intention.

A few weeks ago I mentioned about our trip to Sweden and I promised to share more.  Special thanks to Lara and Mary for encouraging me to write about this journey.  Before I begin, here is a little summary –

12 days ( includes 3 days for plane travel )

1500 miles

22 cities

1111 photos

It will take me a couple of months to go though all the photos.  However, I have the photos sorted enough to share a skeletal version of the trip.  So here we go –


Kiruna Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

I am addicted to the North and I longed to see the Swedish Lapland.  That’s what took my husband and me to the mining town of Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden.  It was a very long journey from Northern California to Kiruna and there was the dreaded jet lag.  We stumbled outside for some dinner and spotted the glowing sky.  Neither one of us had ever seen an Aurora before.  Our tired brains took a little time to realise what we were looking at.  Still not really believing our eyes, I looked up the aurora watch sites for nightly activity.  Surely enough, it was an Aurora Borealis.  A mild storm, but a storm nevertheless.  We hurriedly ate our dinner, bundled up with ample clothing to stay warm and headed out to find a dark spot armed with camera and stand.

Kiruna Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

This is the whole of Kiruna airport.  There is a small Hertz centre off to the side where we got our pre-reserved car.


Kiruna Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

Kiruna mine at night


Abisko Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

After a long rest and a lot of coffee, we headed out next morning to explore the Swedish Lapland in our car.  We drove up to the Norway border on a beautiful road that stretched through lakes, mountains and wilderness as far as the eye could see.  We stopped whenever we found parking, walking closer to the lakes, taking in the cold, desolate beauty of a generally wintry land.


Abisko Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

It was September, but it was frigid already and storm clouds were looming.  It poured the next day as we were leaving the Lapland.


Kiruna Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

We wondered if we would be able to see the aurora one more time before we had to leave Kiruna.  We got lucky.  The northern sky cleared enough for us to get another glimpse of the aurora and it was breathtaking.


Arvidsjaur Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

We started our southbound journey the next day.  After a nice lunch at Arvidsjaur we went to see the Sami Church Village.  A group of people were playing treasure hunt in the open park.


Arvidsjaur Sweden Lapland | Whims And Fancies

The colours on some of these logs are so beautiful, I couldn’t resist taking a few detail photos.


Bla Vagen Sweden | Whims And Fancies

We spent the late afternoon driving through the famous Swedish Blå Vagen, the Blue Road.


Bla Vagen Sweden | Whims And Fancies

The road goes through long, beautiful lakes on both sides.  We took a break to enjoy the sunset.  It was late when we got to Umeå, where we spent the night before continuing southwards.

Hope you enjoyed the first part of our journey through Sweden.

Until next time,


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