Monday, May 1, 2017

The Art of Beading

How many of you think beading is tedious?  This bug shape is from our Beetles pattern I punch needled the blue and green threads to a piece of white cotton, and then added the beads and then appliqued it onto the sleeve of a white wool jacket.  The hairy legs are small bugle beads.  I made this around 2006 when I was testing out alternative techniques to applique.  I eventually gave up punch needle because my left wrist started to hurt, holding the hoop that held the cotton taut.  I own a Morgan hoop now, but the other issue was that it just took too long to see a finished result.  Needle Felted Applique goes faster, filling in an area.

I started doing needle felted applique in 2007 when I found the tool that I use now: Clovers pink felting tool with three needles.  My first felted quilt/pattern was the Crazy Sheep. and it was started as  machine applique quilt and grew into felting and there are even some beads on the quilt in the centers of the flowers in the crazy quilting.

The trick to making the beading go faster is to string 6 beads on the desired location, go down with the needle into the fabric then come up between the 3rd and 4th bead and couch the bead string so it doesn't move (sew a stitch over the 6 bead string to anchor it).  I outlined areas around the head and eyes this way.  In other places I used three beads in a row (on the wing covers).  I can bead without much concentration, in ront of the TV for instance.  I use the arty side of my brain to choose bead colors and textures.  So I am watching a show and keeping my hands busy.  Women are good at multi-tasking.

The jacket fabric is wool yarn sewn to a base.  The yarn is not woven or knitted.  I had seen this fabric in a store window in Australia when we were doing shows there.  When I saw it on sale here in the US there was hesitation.  The jacket had my name on it.  When it get too dirty, I think I will dye it.  The art of beading 

You've got to start or you'll never get better...

One of my customers is getting paralyzed with starting...spending a lot of time collecting fabrics, rovings instead of diving in on her project.  Here is what I shared with her to get her off the dime:

You just need to get started and work a little bit every day.  If something doesn't work, it isn't failure, it is a learning experience.  Felting is quite easy to change.  You can cut areas away, pull off the felting, cover up something you don't like and don't forget, the most important guide: it doesn't have to be PERFECT!!  Art is a progression.  I am never satisfied, I could always do it better...The NEXT piece will be better,  but you have to get over fussing and actually DO something today.  or you will never get to being better tomorrow.