Monday, 23 May 2016

Chapter 8 : Beads

 Reading the comments of others about these beading tasks I recognise their surprise at enjoying getting to grips with this type of work.  There's something exacting about it: the mere threading of such fine needles until you discover those with the very clever collapsible eye, though they're not suitable for every task.
I marked the area to test out each idea making it I thought quite small (4cm x 4cm), though in many cases I reduced and reduced it again.  I tested out shapes, sizes and colours of beads in combination, many I rejected as too clumsy or unsubtle, discovering on the way that tiny mauve seed bead with a gold core was indispensable.
The samples were stitched on calico and hopefully show a balance of both structured and free.

My samples then are as follows:

Key to Beading Sampler

     Row 1
1. Graduated lengths of dark grey shiny bugle beads to create a spiral.
2. Grey straight bugle beads (as above) arranged in alternating lines with multi-faceted oval crystal          beads.
3.  Tiny spiral in matte grey-brown seed beads.
4.  Brown medium and tiny mauve seed beads worked densely in rows.
5.  Bugle beads as in (1) worked in four pointed stars to create a diamond pattern.
6.  Stitched diamond pattern studded with small silvery beads and the tiny mauve seed beads.

     Row 2
7.  Rows of clear sequins threaded and arranged in alternating directions.
8.  No beads, but knotted wire in plastic randomly arranged.
9.  Bronze and grey shiny seed beads densely, but randomly arranged.
10.Oval copper sequins (the hole at one end) stitched so that they pivot and created a raised irregular        surface.
11.Circular and oval rings paired and stitched randomly, anchored with a tiny mauve seed bead.
12.Clear sequins topped with small brass cupped sequins and tiny mauve seed bead arranged in rows      and stitched with metallic bronze thread.
13.Dark grey bugle beads threaded with tufts of ice-blue floss and arranged in rows alternately with         groupings of metallic grey seed beads.
14.Oval copper sequins acting as a leaf shape and enhanced with stitching in metallic brown-black.

      Row 3
15.Parcels of long twisted gold and shorter grey bugle beads couched in position with thick soft gold        thread.
16.Groups of three brass cupped sequins interspersed with loops of mauve seed beads.
17.Rows of grey metallic bugle beads a brass cup sequin and mauve been attached to each end.
18.Chevrons of gold bugle beads.
19a,Dark grey bugle beads attached as towers with ice-blue thread.
19bTiny gold sequins arranged in rows and couched with a cross in metallic brown thread.
20.Clear large beads topped with tiny mauve seed beads and couched with three double thickness            stitches.

      Row 4
21.Spirals of small brass cupped sequins face downwards with self-dyed silk organza seed stitched on      top, then beaded with mauve seed beads.
22.Double holed grey oval beads applied in rows with brown metallic thread.
23.Grey beads as in 22 topped with two mauve seed beads and edged with metallic grey bugle beads.
24.Curves of metallic grey bugle beads alternating with curves of mauve seed beads.
25.Rows of a range of different beads from the selection.
26.Double holed clear oval beads stitched to create beetles.

Beading Sampler

I decided to mount the beading sampler on a piece of foam board covered in polyester fleece.  I then beaded three edges in the same way, initially a long grey bugle bead followed by a medium sized brown bead.  In a row behind this I stitched loops of five mauve seed beads, as is shown below.

Beaded Edging -- top and two sides

The sampler's lower edge shows a range of fringing ideas:

B. Lines of grey bugle and brown seed beads arranged in various ways with loops of mauve seed              beads to finish.
C. Three lines of mauve seed beads with a gold bugle beads, sequin and double holed oval to finish.
D. Single line of mauve beads, grey bugle bead, clear sequin, finished with a brass cup sequin and yet      another mauve bead.
E. Continuous edging alternating large clear seed bead and grey bugle bead.

Beaded Edging - lower edge

A final word on mounting: in spit of, I thought, very careful measuring and cutting it is difficult to be really accurate.  I also found spacing the beads for the edges needed a combination of measuring and eye.

This is complete, and yet when the edging was half stitched I wanted to add some sort of border as a bridge between the density of the centre and the lightness of the edging.  Unfortunately I'd stitched through so many of the calico layers and though I might damage the sampler if I started unpicking. What I had in mind was to allow the little bead beetles to scurry amongst the copper leaves with trailing foliage (26 and 14).  Maybe there will be time to test out the idea, certainly it was something that needed careful planning and well before the mounting stage.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely rich beaded sample! It makes me think of a sample for costumes for a mediaeval or Tudor play.