Experienced Third Place Winner

Debbie Reed 2005

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My husband is a Christian Pastor, and that is what has brought us to Japan two years ago. I went crazy about three years ago when we went to the Philippines for a year as missionaries, and I could not take my Bernina with me. (my email address - i miss my bernina - tells of my sewing sorrows!)

But as the saying goes, when life gives you scraps, make quilts. Not having my fancy sewing machine forced me to concentrate on handwork and now I love, love, love it. Since arriving in Japan, I acquired a basic sewing machine to piece on, and now I enjoy the handwork more than the machine work.

I printed the silkie myself on my computer using a vintage postcard.

(I am writing this at a internet cafe, and I am so excited, I think I may have to go home and look at the item again to tell you more about it. ha ha)

I used size 5 perle cotton on the back seams for a visual punch without too much effort. I crocheted the leaves on the one seam and beaded flowers using MOP drop beads and seed beads. That seam was the most fun.

I used cotton fabrics, because I needed a bag I would use and not just finish as a showpiece. If I used my fancy fabrics, it may have sat in a drawer because I would have been afraid to ruin it. Most of the fabrics were purchased in Japan, including the reproduction embroidered cottons.

Here in Japan they make quilted bags for EVERYTHING, but I had to design my own to get exactly what I wanted. I am not a big fan of putting in zippers, but this was really simple, once I figured out the measurements. I do a lot of hand sewing in the car -- almost daily, and this little bag fits the bill. I put it inside of another larger tote bag, but I can pull it out and set it on my lap and sew on a portable project.

Debbie Reed in Japan

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