Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #32: African Helix

I don't think I have ever done African Helix stitch before, but after my first few rows it seemed familiar and comfortable. It is a another stitch like Brick Stitch where the support comes from the thread not the beads. I made several samples and a bracelet for this week. I enjoyed learning this stitch, but don't think it will replace my go-to's for ropes. 

       

I noticed that the beads used for this stitch vary the look of it. For my samples I tried 11's and even did a little section with bugles. I really liked the way that this stitch looks with Czech glass seeds (the kind that come on hanks). The blue and tri colored pieces are made with these seeds. I wish I had started my bracelet with them, but I am happy with how much sparkle and texture the bracelet has!


While it wasn't difficult to do, understanding the instructions was the hardest part of this stitch. I learned that the direction that the thread is looped makes a huge difference in the way the beads lay and not all tutorials teach the same path. I am not sure which is the "traditional" way to do the stitch, but looping over made a better rope when I did it. It is also important to start this stitch with support in the middle. To make my samples I used a wooden barbecue skewer and made my rope with three sides instead of the four that the tutorials suggest.  Fusion Beads has a picture tutorial on how to, but the pictures aren't clear that the thread goes OVER the next thread not up and under. Karla Kam from Auntie's beads has a video on YouTube that shows the thread path that I found works that best. I did construct all of my pieces on my skewer, though I found that after 10 or so rows it wasn't necessary.

Next week I am covering the "Carolina Spiral" another stitch that makes a spiral rope. It is one that I accidentally made while trying to make a Russian spiral. 

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet 😀

Coming weeks: 

October 19th: Carolina Spiral

October 26th: Tubular Herringbone with 2 Holed beads

November 2nd: Warped Peyote Squares/stars



Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #31: Fringe

Fringe! Honestly I don't often make things with fringe. I do like the way it looks and the unlimited combinations of beads that can be used to make awesome fringe.  Here are a pair of earrings I wear occasionally that I came across while searching for my twisted fringe earrings. 


To show how I make fringe I added a simple drop fringe on the piece from last week as an example. I am not 100% on the bricks since there is a hole not filled and it bothers me, but not enough not to use it as my example ;)


First thing about fringe is that Fireline doesn't work well, it is too stiff. This is one of the few times I don't use it! I use Nymo D in the little bobbins (because that is what I have a bunch of and it comes in multiple colors). Any beading thread that drapes well and matches will work.


To add fringe I usually start in the middle of the piece that I want to add it to. I then pick a length of beads that I think is good for the longest part of the piece. For example I used about 3/4 of the length of the cab as my basis on how long the longest part should be not including the brick I added as the "weight" bead at the bottom.

  

I then add additional rows of fringe on one side reducing the number of beads I pick up for the strand by the same number every time. For this one my middle fringe has 18 seedbeads, one brick and then one more seed that I skipped over to make the brick lay right. 


The next row has 16 seedbeads then a brick and a seed. Then 14, 12, 10, 8 and 6 for the remaining rows.

After I have made one side and am sure that it is what I want it to look like, I weave my thread over to the other side and repeat.


Beadaholique has a YouTube video on how to make beaded fringe. There are also a bunch of videos that combine a brick stitch base and fringe to make cute earrings! 

In addition to the simple fringe there are variations of fringe, one of my favorites being twisted fringe. Of course when I went to look I couldn't find both of these earrings -here is the lone twisted fringe earring I could find. I attached the fringe to a Peyote donut. I blogged about 3D Peyote shapes back in April FYI! 


I learned how to create twisted fringe from Jamie Cloud Eakin's video on YouTube. You might remember that I mentioned her last week in my bead embroidery post. I would say she is an expert on fringe and bead embroidery! She has multiple books on both! You can find more about her and her books on her website, on her blog, and on her YouTube channel. 

Next week I will be covering African Helix stitch, something I have never done before. :) 

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet 😀

Coming weeks: 

October 12th: African Helix

October 19th: Carolina Spiral

October 26th: Tubular Herringbone with 2 Holed beads


Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, September 28, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #30: Bead Embroidery

There is an enormous amount of information and a wide variety of styles when it comes to Bead Embroidery. I usually use it for showcasing the beauty of cabochons. If you have seen my Etsy shop or Facebook page you might know I have a current obsession with Lisa Peters Art Cabs (one of which I should have used for this tutorial, but didn't). I actually used a pretty Ocean Jasper Cab for my example piece, it reminded me of nature and fall! Nancy Dale from the group I mentioned last week was nice enough to remind me that there isn't a wrong way to do bead embroidery so I am going to go with that in mind and show you how I did it, with a few good links here and there from others! Here is the cab I embroidered for this week:

I start my bead embroidery with a cab of some kind glued to a beadable substrate. I use Pellon Ultra firm stabilizer that I can get easily at fabric and craft stores. I have found it comes in black and white. The white can be dyed or colored to match- to get a good match for the color of the beads I am using and to fill gaps where it shows through I use Sharpies. I have heard/read that Lacy's Stiff Stuff is a great substrate to use, and it is featured in the videos I suggest, but I have always found it seems to be expensive compared to what I use. See my disclaimer, but for something you are covering up, why pay a premium?! Now on to the example pictures!

Here is my Ocean Jasper cab glued to black Pellon (please forgive the cat fur, that is an unavoidable thing in my house).

For this example I used size 11 seed beads and back stitched around the cab.
Firemountain Gems has a picture tutorial showing how to backstitch and Beadaholique has a video. The important thing to remember, that I still have to remind myself, is to make sure you stitch down an even number of beads, otherwise a second row of Peyote won't work!
  

I added the second row with Peyote to start create the bezel around the cab, Potomac Bead Company has a video that shows how to add this row (the adding of the row starts about 4:45 in). Adding this row is the same as doing even count Peyote just around in a circle.
  

For this cab I needed to add another row. Thinner cabs might require less rows, or a row of smaller beads like 15's. Larger/thicker cabs might need a bunch of rows to create a good looking bezel- each cab is different!

For this example cab I added one more Peyote row and tried to be fancy and go every other bead for a zig-zag effect like this cab which is for sale in my Etsy shop. Instead I ended up with a sort of top half zigzag, bottom half straight peyote look. I liked it enough to keep going and kept it. This is part of the fun of Bead Embroidery for me, finding out where I am going as I get there! :)

    

For the next row I tried something new and used some Czech two holed brick beads as a surrounding row. This row is added in the same way as the back stitch row only I used bricks and 11's instead of all 11's.


I then added 3mm beads in between the outside holes of the brick beads. I adapted the back stitch and tacked the outside beads down to the Pellon as I went. This is only one way to do it- sometimes I string all the beads then go back and tack them down from the underside. As Nancy said, there is not a wrong way! I did have to adapt this row- If you look closely at the sides you can see that the 3mm beads wouldn't fit in between all of the bricks so I left them out on both sides. As long as it turns out symmetrical I like it!


I decided that I liked the way the bricks framed the cab and tacked them all down to the Pellon. Then I brought the remaining thread up through so that when I trimed the edge it didn't get cut off.

Beadaholique has a video showing how to trim around and attach the backing. The most important part of this step is to be careful not to clip the threads from previous stitches and make sure that the shape you end up with is smooth.
    

For this cab I used a neutral leather as the backing. This is my backing of choice since I have a bunch of it. The area I live in has a grand history of furniture making, so I have been lucky to find a good amount of scrap leather at yard sales and thrift stores.
  

Where I disagree with the video is on the application of the glue. I use E6000 (in a well ventilated area) because it is durable and long lasting. I also don't spread it with my finger :) I do agree that the glue should not go all the way to the edge, it makes adding the edge nearly impossible if you have to pass through dried glue everytime. Most cabs I make get set aside for a day or two at this point for some airing out and glue curing time.

  

After the glue is dry I add the edging. The edging is what sandwiches the Pellon and the backing and covers where they meet. Jamie Cloud Eakin has a YouTube video that shows how to do the edging I used on this cab. I call it Brick Stitch edging since it is done in basically the same way as brick stitch. She has several good videos about bead embroidery, I would suggest checking them out if interested!

  

I didn't add a bail or any finishing to this cab because I am going to use it again for next week and add some fringe to it! See you then!


*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet 😀

Coming weeks: 

October 5th: Fringe

October 12th: African Helix

October 19th: Carolina Spiral (something different)



Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #29: Flat Chenille

Flat Chenille stitch is a quick and cute stitch. I should have done this post right after tubular Chenille and right before Pondo stitch. That would have made sense but required planning :) All the way back in March I covered tubular Chenille stitch and this week I am covering the same stitch, only flat.


My flat Chenille bracelet is similar to my Pondo bracelet but has matte black 8's and turquoise colored 11's. I also (because it was already on the needle) used crystal Fireline. The thread really shows in the picture though it isn't that bad in person.

For the second time my weekly post matches up with Nancy Dale's beady prompt. I suppose great beady minds think alike :) Find her prompt in the Facebook group NEDbeads Monthly Beading Prompts and on Nancy's blog if you are interested in what she and others are doing with Chenille stitch!

Her suggestion of where to learn Flat Chenille is the same as where I was going to suggest. Chenille stitch by Jean Cox on Interweave has a picture tutorial that clearly represents how this stitch is done. There are also several videos on YouTube, but none that stuck out to me as "the one"

In my post about Pondo stitch  I mentioned Gwen Fisher's charts and blog about related bead stitches. This would also be a good reference for understanding flat Chenille.

Next week I am going to cover what I do and call Bead Embroidery.  I am self taught and have learned everything I do from reading and trial and error- so many errors. Fair warning I most likely do things "the wrong way".* It will be an adventure!


*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet 😀

Coming weeks: 

September 28th: Bead Embroidery

October 5th: Fringe

October 12th: African Helix




Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth