Today’s beading lesson is…

Outlining–creating a nice, smooth curve–not as easy as I thought it would be. There is, of course, more than one way of doing this, but I have chosen to use a backstitch. It feels like I’ve done about 20 miles of outlining on this piece and I still make errors.

Part of the problem is that I’m beading on an already quilted piece, scrunched up as I work, so the surface is not nice and smooth. The ideal technique is to thread on your beads, snug them up to the previously set beads and insert your needle straight down.

Bead lesson3

When you are holding that scrunched up, quilted piece, often at a weird angle to reach the center of the quilt, you sometimes lift the beads a little and your needle gets off target.

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For me, it’s usually too close to the previous beads and that results in beads sticking up and not laying nicely in a smooth row. A smidge too much thread is better!

Bead lesson1

Sometimes it looks worse while you are working on it. When you smooth out your piece, the lines smooth out, too! If they don’t, there are a couple of solutions. You can get out your pliers and crush a bead or two to give the others more room to lay flat. You can take out your beading and re-do it more carefully. Or you can leave it alone and live with it. That’s my choice on this piece, because in the overall picture, it’s not really that noticeable!

But when you get those nice smooth lines…

Bead lesson2