Adventures in Bead Embroidery

I love bead embroidery. I started beading about 14 or so years ago and I gave up a few other interests once the whole beading thing took hold. Beading offered the opportunity to change focus without looking like I had lost focus. I have strung beads, made my own beads, hammered a variety of metals, and have tried to incorporate all that I have learned into the pieces I make.

I often hear that bead embroidery is too hard, not so! I learned the basics and experimented. I still have one of the first pieces I made and I share it with the beaders that come to learn from me. You gotta start somewhere and the only way to get better at anything is to practice, practice, practice (I’m sounding like my mother).

You might be wondering what a student of bead embroidery will learn from a somewhat seasoned stitcher…

  • The Basics – There are a couple of basic stitches, what you do with them is what is going to make the piece unique.
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Backstitch a row of beads for starters. 
  • Size Does Matter – Bigger beads will give you a chunky look. I prefer the smallest bead I can get a needle and thread through to get the detail I’m looking for.
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Add a variety of beads to give the piece texture and lots of interest.
  • Color. Work with what you know. If you like purple, use it. Too often a stitcher¬†forces themselves to work outside their color comfort zone and aren’t happy with the result. How could you be if you don’t really like the colors you’re working with.
  • Mistake? It probably isn’t but if it bugs you, embellish over it.

Basically, enjoy the process. This isn’t instant gratification jewelry but the result is worth the effort.

Start pondering your next project. I’m off to work on mine. Come back and visit soon to see a work and progress.

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