Sushi anyone?

This past week, I’ve gone all Japanese, and not just because I love sushi!  Sometime ago my husband bought me a book on Sashiko, a type of Japanese embroidery, and I bought some a couple of sashiko kits which I hadn’t started until this week.  One is a cushion and the other is for a tote bag. I thought the bag would be nice project to take to Knit ‘n Stitch, especially as one of the group members has done some sashiko and I could ask for help if I didn’t understand what to do.

It is actually easier than I thought it was going to be, especially using a pre-printed cloth kit and I’m really enjoying doing it.

Then today, Mum and I went to the Quilt Show at Westpoint, Exeter as we do every year. It’s a small show but I quite like that as it’s not too tiring.

As well as the usual stallholders, there is a quilt exhibition. I wasn’t wowed by the quilts this year to be honest, except for some by a quilter called Kay Bell. The quilting was amazing. All free motion machine quilting. It was pretty darn perfect. I took this close up photo of a quilt called Swooning. She used Camille Roskelley’s Swoon pattern for this quilt. I almost didn’t recognise it at first because the colour and fabric choices and quilting made it look so different.

free motion quilting

As far as purchases went, they were all Japanese related from a business called Japan Crafts. I bought some plain blue fabric for some more sashiko embroidery which Mum suggest I turn into a wall hanging with the patterned blue fabric forming a border. I also couldn’t resist a Japanese fabric charm pack and kit to make a traditional rice bag. The stallholder threw in a free pattern to make a larger bag too with the charm pack.

Japanese fabrics

Mum splashed out on a Parrs Reel Ruler kit. This is a new free motion quilting system with a special foot that fits most machines and a slotted ruler allows you to quickly and easily quilt your projects. You can get all sorts of different rulers to create different shapes. I’ve only had a quick play this afternoon, but I think with a bit of practice could really help us with our quilting.

Some quick sewing projects

I thought I would share a couple of small sewing projects that I have completed this past week.

First of all was this Lil Red doll made from a Moda Fabrics panel. Lil Red is a new collection of fabrics featuring Little Red Riding Hood.

The panel includes the doll, her shirt and cape, quilt, pillow and Mr Wolf. 
She was very quick to make and I enjoyed myself!

The second thing I made this week was a tote shopping bag which folds into a pouch.

This was a pattern my Mum devised a few years ago and I thought I would make a new bag using some of the new Aria fabric by Kate Spain. I love this fabric range and was dying to make something with it.

Yarn Bowl

My husband is lovely. 🙂

For Valentine’s Day this year he gave me a lovely yarn bowl which he’d made himself. It is fab and a perfect present because of the love and thought he put into it.

yarn-bowl

Ted

Teddy is finished and I’m so pleased with him 🙂

He’s knit with Sirdar Touch yarn, which is unbelievably soft. He mades Ted so cuddly. He’s quite a big ted actually, especially as I only did the small size too!

The pattern is a Sirdar pattern, which you can buy as a downloadable PDF if you want to make your own.

teddy

I’m now making him a tank top from a ball of the new Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Tonals yarn, an ideal way to see how this new yarn knits up I reckon.

Starting new projects for 2016

I’m terrible for starting new projects before I’ve finished other ones and I’ve got two new knitting projects on the needles.

This is a new yarn called Evie from Sublime and I’ve started knitting a top from the accompanying pattern book. The yarn is lovely and soft being 94% cotton and 6% nylon and is available in very summery colours.

I’ve also partly knitted a teddy bear using Sirdar Touch yarn. This is a yarn that came out just before Christmas and you would not believe how soft it is.

Mistletoe Lane Moda Love Mini Quilt

I love Moda’s Candy Packs – they are mini charm packs containing 42 2.5″ squares.  I find it very hard to resist slipping one or two into my stash every time we get a new set in at the shop.

I’ve used them to make a couple of different cushions in the past – one using the Sunnyside collection and one using Aspen Frost. However I had a spare Mistletoe Lane mini charm pack which the designer, Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, gave me and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. I didn’t want to make another cushion.

Then I came across a mini quilt which Anne Sutton had made with a Mistletoe Lane mini charm, as part of the Moda Love Blog Tour. This tour saw all the Moda fabric designers make something using the same quilt pattern and using either a layer cake, charm pack or mini charm. I just loved how it looked, so as the weather forecast was awful for this weekend and my husband was out with the boys on Friday night, I borrowed a sewing machine from work (my own is in storage in preparation for our house move) and got started.

clear-view-quilting-foot

This is the basic pattern – some half square triangles mixed with whole squares and obviously the larger the precut, the larger the quilt.

moda-love-quilt-pattern

It’s been quite a while since I did some quilting and it was nice to be able to complete the whole thing in the weekend. I still can’t get my machine quilting as smooth as I’d like, but I guess I just need to practise more. I must also remember to alter the stitch length to 3.0 as I forgot at first and had to unpick a lot of tiny stitches!

sewing-binding

mistletoe-lane-mini-quilt

You download the free instruction sheets here on the Moda website.

I make another one with a Canyon mini charm which is more summery 🙂

Vic’s Knits is 9 years old

Wow, 9 years ago my love of knitting sparked the launch of this blog!

Christmas was spent relaxing at home with my family. We’ve not really had any time off since last Christmas and it’s been a busy year what with with buying and renovating a new house that we have yet to move into, commitments at our church and running the business.

The shop has had its ups and down over the past 12 months but we are still going and there is much to consider as we move into 2016 and what direction the business should take. Sewing has definitely become more popular than knitting with our customers!

I think this is also reflected in my own craft life as well, because I received several sewing and patchwork books from my husband and Mum this year.

christmas 2016 books

I also got a Snoopy and Peanuts crochet kit. I have been a Snoopy fan since I was a child and now I really am going to have to get better at crochet!

I didn’t get many craft projects finished last year sadly. I have several quilt tops made but yet to be quilted. I only knitted a few things but I was pleased to publish my Trailing Leaves Poncho pattern.

I was so tired at the end of 2015. The last couple of weeks at work felt a bit of a chore and I couldn’t wait to close for the holidays. However, as I write this, I am feeling very positive and looking forward to the coming year. My brother gets married in May, we should be moving house and I really hope that we can get a holiday abroad this year. (We’ve not had a holiday since our honeymoon.)

I am definitely going to get at least one of my quilts finished too!!