Monday, February 2, 2015


well, yes, progress... on several fronts
not on all though - i'm still sickly

despite brain fog and general lethargy i am managing to accomplish a few things here and there

today i completed this little guy... an embroidered, quilted, tiny zip pouch designed by yoko saito

love, love, love
i am keeping this one

i did what she did and embroidered something different on each side
one featuring this busy little bee

here he is before the hand-quilting

and below is the little garden, the other side...

the embroidery took very little time
the piecing next to none

 the layering and basting?
quick as well

the hand-quilting, a little longer

maybe five hours, start to finish, maybe only four...

a grid behind the bee, countering the grid of the honeycomb - interesting how they don't compete at all
i wasn't so sure at first but love it now

the quilting around the flowers is entirely random, some lines echoed, others, going off in a tangent
like wind in the weeds

it's not been easy experimenting with random things
every so often i have to go back to orderly

like the cross-hatching on the bottom strip - love that!

putting it together was the real test

first the binding on the top edges, then the zipper, by hand
the instructions in her books are sketchy at best - they tell you right at the beginning the author assumes a certain level of skill and competence


well, not here, not when it comes to zippers

i let memories of sewing dresses for school dances wash over me... how to sew in an invisible zipper, basting, tacking, pinning, doing once, doing twice

two hours later my five inch zipper was in, zipping as should be, no stitches visible, all lines straight

the rest was a cake walk

 it was worth every stitch, every minute

and i learned i'd far rather sew in a zipper by hand than by machine
i've discovered a new-found love for hand construction

imagine that?

i'm on a mission to perfect my technique now - to make even the most difficult stitching neat, tidy and straight
to learn couture techniques that i can adapt to making pouches and bags
it's going to take a lot of practice but i don't mind that

and after i had the joy of finishing this, i had the great fun of writing another list of 25 and choosing my next five projects 

this is my fourth time with this system and i love it
the anticipation of writing the list is a wonderful thing, as is the writing itself
such a field of possibilities

paring it down to five is equally wonderful
it makes me pause and really think hard about what it is i want to spend time on, knowing it will be completed, has to be, before i can move on

balancing between quick and simple and intricate and interesting
i've found i'm clearing up things that have been hanging around and i'm finally choosing long-awaited ones

how i keep creativity going, and allow myself a little freedom, is that one of the five is always the choice to work on something i've begun from an online class

something from an experimental sampling perspective - it gives me a little freedom to play and there is not the "finished" requirement for these items
and it works

and i love it...


Createology said...

I am so sorry you are not feeling well. So many people are sickly now. Your work is without a doubt incredibly intricate and uber special. The way you create is amazing. This little pouch is unique and delicately beautiful. The bee and garden really speak to its organic qualities of being handsewn and the fabrics you have selected. Brilliant work of art dear...

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi, Jillayne...
Seems I stopped in to visit at the perfect time. I'm a huge fan of Yoko Saito and your tiny pouch is simply wonderful!

Each tiny stitch and all the planning that went into it. It's nice to know that you enjoy the hand sewing for the zipper. I'm intrigued.

I have a few of Yoko's books and am now inspired to create something from them very soon.

Happy February, Jillayne.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Jillayne ~ I do hope you are feeling much better soon.

This little zippered pouch is really lovely. You did a fantastic job.

Every time I visit here, I go away inspired, wanting to keep learning and stitching.

Thank you ~ FlowerLady

karen said...

you're sick? Booooo...I hope you feel better soon. Your pouch is gorgeous, I am a little afraid of zips so admire yours a lot!! As for couture sewing, I have a book.....all I do is drool on it though, I guess I should try and learn from it too.

Marj Talbot said...

This little bag is very very nice - I love the way you stitch everything - it's always so well done. I especially love the bottom cross-hatch stitching. You certainly are the best at hand stitching - so straight and so neat and so even - I can only dream. Thanks tons for sharing such a lovely project - take care and get well.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Everything about this little pouch just sings! The fabrics, embroidery and quilting all compliment and enhance each other. I have always heard the quilting should follow stitching or shapes but the quilting on the honeycomb/bee follows no such rules and is beautiful. What an adventure this artist has taken you on and we love seeing it all!
Feel better soon,

Magpie's Mumblings said...

So sorry that you're still feeling yuck. It's an awful disease that's going around and I'm so sorry that you succumbed. On the bright side - just look at what you've accomplished! This little pouch is exquisite - I love it and I can see why you would want to keep it. As for hand sewing zippers - well. Umm. Kudos!!!!

FredaB said...

Beautiful little pouch and love the different types of quilting on it. I must look up Yoko Saito and look for her books.

Great job kiddo.


Dorthe said...

What a most beautiful work, dear Jillayne ,
oh so lovely embroidered with the garden and sweet bee- I love how you chosed the different fabrics ,and your quilting, a most adorable piece, to surely be kept for yourself !!
Hugs, Dorthe

Rachel said...

I'm so glad you gave your bee a garden!

janie krig said...

Fine and Beautiful! I'm sick too, allergies, hope you feel better.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Jillayne, I hope you will be feeling better soon. My hubby has bronchitis and it just wants to hang on and on.

Love your darling bag and the sweet bee looks like he is on his way to the other side for the little garden.
Yes, this is a keeper and so very cute.
You do such wonderful work and this design in a treasure.

Get well wishes come your way dear one!

Diane Kelsey said...

Such a dream purse to make and use. Hope you feel better soon xx

Deb said...

Beautiful job the pouch turned out lovely, I hope you are soon feeling better.