Next on the Agenda…

Teaching beading classes may seem a bit above my level, being such a new beader, but practice teaches so much. And, as you have seen, I’ve attached quite a few beads since this obsession started! I had a great time when I taught the basic beading on quilts before Christmas, and basics are very easy to teach and to learn. This time, I want to teach stacks and fringes and I really want to share with you how I go about creating a lesson like this.

Started with simple stacks.

When I taught the basics, using Christmas trees, I worked out some of the kinks. There was a good possibility that I would be teaching non-quilters how to bead on quilts, so I needed to figure out a good, quick, pre-quilted foundation for each student kit. Fusing the design piece to the background was the first step, but it was hard to figure how many because I was offering several different designs. (Glad I made extras, though, because the students wanted to make more at home! Hooray!) This time, I’m only offering one design, and even that isn’t a shape design, but a square with a design drawn on it, fused to a background. The square started out at 8″ and when I began beading, I saw that it would take tons of beads and tons of time, so back to the drawing board–making the whole project a bit smaller and easier for students to finish.

Decided on using Fireline thread, rather than the red Nymo.

It’s easier to bead if you don’t have to worry about how your threads look on the back, so each quilted piece will have a backing added for a nice looking finish. I tried batting alone, batting with a fusible interfacing lining, batting with fabric lining, felt and ultra suede. For the Christmas trees, I ended up using the batting with fabric lining and I have since decided that it was a little bit of overkill for the small amount of beads we added. The batting with the interfacing would have been plenty sturdy enough and still show the quilting.

For this little heart project, I decided to incorporate the “batting” as part of the design. I’m using felt for a background behind the little fabric square and will finish with another layer of felt and a bit of quilting after the beading is done. Two reasons for this–the design has room to quilt the layers together after beading and the felt does not need a formal edge finish, which is not part of what I am teaching. Hopefully, this will make it easier for non-quilters to participate and envision themselves finishing the project.

Of course, knowing me, you will expect that I couldn’t use traditional Valentine fabrics for a class taught near that date. We will use a variety of pink and red beads, but, as you can see, the felt is charcoal and the fabric square is taupe, beige and gray. A little longer shelf life than a Valentine, but could be a Valentine for someone!!!

So there you have look at my design process:

Design   Size   Fabric   Background   Beads   Backing   Finishing

Nothing to it, right? Hush, now–don’t tell that to everyone or I would never have a class to teach!

Here’s the finished sample and I give you full permission to make one of your own, but I’d love it if you were near enough to take the class with me. Meeting and getting to know my students is a joyful experience for me and I’d love to meet you!


5 thoughts on “Next on the Agenda…

    • Class on beading…Feb. 11, Bead Box, Tecumseh MI…how’s that? I started out with just a few beads, too, and now I go completely nuts with them! Two best resources I know are Beading on Fabric by Larkin Van Horn and DVD Bead It Like You Mean It by Lyric Kinard. Hooray for beads!!!!


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