Product exploration

I’m not a big name dropper when it comes to quilt stuff. I use fabric lines and designers indiscriminately–probably anonymously would be a better word because I don’t care who makes it. I only buy fabric from quilt stores so I don’t worry about quality and I only buy stuff I like! When I started beading on my quilts, I started investigating different supports. Batting was first and it was fine for small areas of beading and ‘normal’ size beads (sizes 6 through 9 mostly).


Then I started adding big, chunky beads…heavy beads…lots of variety, lots of beads.


Waterfall 4


These pieces needed something a bit firmer to support the weight of those beads. I started looking at different interfacing products including DecorBond, Timtex, Fast-to-Fuse, Peltex, felt–different weights and thicknesses. They really all worked to some extent and I wasn’t unhappy with them. There just wasn’t one product that I felt I could ‘go to’ every time. I wouldn’t reject any of them out of hand.

interfacing pics1

This piece was made with felt as the ‘innards’ and was blocked and steamed to hang flat and square and looked great. It has been hanging here for several months, and every inch of ripple in the making has reappeared. Maybe 2 layers of felt would have been better.

I continue to look for something that is easy to get my beading needle through and firm enough to support the weight of my heavy bead choices. My current favorite is called Stiff Stuff. I think it was developed more for use in bags, totes, placemats, etc. It’s a pretty new product so I don’t have a project that has hung on the wall for months. And I’m not going to take a picture of it because it would be a white-on-white blob…it’s thicker, fluffier interfacing!

However, as I am beading with it, I’m loving it. My needle goes through it easily, it holds a knot well, it doesn’t shred or molt, and my heavier beads seem to like this amount of support. I only have a few small projects so far, but I’m going for a bigger one very soon. (Darn–I have some projects that have deadlines before I can start a big bead project!!)

I did both of these projects using it.

Spring Flower bead2    sm bead red flower

I didn’t want to wait forever before letting you know about this Stiff Stuff. You might have a project for which you are looking for a good interfacing and you might want to try this. Not even just beading, as I said, but my local experts recommend it highly for placemats and handbags.

Here’s a link to Joan Hawley’s Lazy Girl Designs. She developed the product and has a few other related products that you might want to learn about. I am not affiliated with Joan, by the way. I just happen to like this product!


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