All about bead options

Thinking about the next steps on current projects and looking at my bead options…it’s hard to decide!

This turquoise and gray piece is high on my list of “want-to-get-finished” pieces, but I can’t seem to narrow down my options. Maybe that just means I haven’t found the right one yet!

Big circles–fit the theme, but that’s about it.

Two colors, arc and straight line–still lacking.

Big circles and piles of turquoise above the horizontal bar….

Turquoise below the bar…

None of the combinations I’ve tried–and there are combos that I haven’t shown you–strike that ‘just right’ feeling with me. I have to find more or different or a better combination before I start the beading on this one.

So I moved on to the next one. I’ve started beading this one, with tiny beads meant to solidify the design a bit.

You can’t even tell there are beads on it, they are so small!

I think some wilder additions are called for, rather than tiny/same to tame the design!

Can’t say I don’t have plenty from which to choose. It’s the choice making that I need help with. Usually lots of time and concentrating on what I am doing will solve my issues, so I need to listen to my own advice and get concentrating!

Hope some inspiration flies in the window for me, too!

Is it done?

There are not nearly as many beads on this piece as I had first imagined that it needed. Actually, I started out with the idea of beads in the circles and then arcing outward.

As soon as I did that, I questioned it! I continued for a while and then took that arc out. I put beads in every circle, randomly.

I cogitated for a while and added some beads as outlines of the big thread circles.

Better–but is it enough?

And will it bother everyone who looks at this that the top is not one circle but two arcs on different circles?

Or shall I call it done and get it trimmed and mounted on a canvas?

Back to beads–hooray!

One triangle piece is done with the stitching, but there may have been a better way. I used #3 perle cotton and a running stitch and it looks the way I expected it to, so there’s that. It was very hard to get the needle through, even using one that was plenty large enough for the size of the thread. My fingers are very sore! However, with the dark color on the dark background, it’s a bit hard to see.

If I had couched the thread down, there would have been a solid line of thread and perhaps that would have shown up more. Did not want anything blatant, though, so I’m okay with it as is.

And now I will be adding beads…yummmmm! I think the title of it came to me while I was selecting them…The Sunny Side of the Mountain.

Not certain exactly where or in what pattern I will be applying these beads, but the bright colors seem just right. It seems as though it’s been just about forever since I’ve done any beading and I’m excited to get at it again!

There is something wrong with me!

Self-control is becoming a foreign concept in my life. I’ve been trying NOT to buy fabric, with the goal of using only what I have created or altered. Not so much doing that with beads!

I love the local bead store here in Deland Kathryn’s Beads and Baubles. I stopped in last week and bought these…beads-feb-2017

I love finding unique beads.

Today I had to stop in again and couldn’t resist these!

beads-feb-24

Maybe not quite as unique, but they sure are pretty! Glad they are closed on Sunday and Monday…limits my opportunities to indulge my obsession before we come home.

Gosh, I sure do love beads!

Slow progress

This week is particularly busy for me, so I haven’t done much textile work at all. I had a few minutes today so I finally got my triangle quilt basted and ready for quilting. Let me give you a quick look at how I do it in my studio.

I actually had to clear everything off of my cutting table…that’s a big job! I did NOT clean up the floor all around the table!! This one is not a large quilt, so I laid it out lengthwise. If it had been any longer, it would have been better to drape the layers in the other direction. If you don’t have a large table like I do, this works fine on one of those folding tables and if you have room for two of those, you are golden!

basting-1

I center the quilt on the table and roll back the top and then the batting. I spray the glue just on the exposed backing that is on the top of the table.

basting-2

Then I unroll the batting and smooth it over the sprayed backing. I spray that batting and unroll the top and smooth it over the batting. The quilt gets scooted over and the process is repeated until I reach the edge of the quilt. Baaaaack to the center and do the same for the other side of the quilt. I also then flip the whole thing over to make sure there are no big pleats or wrinkles on the back. I like to let a freshly basted quilt sit at least overnight before I start quilting it. I can’t swear that it keeps the needle from gumming up, but I also haven’t had any gummed-up needles this way!

As always with spray baste, try to keep your area well-ventilated. I run a fan close to the floor, just to keep the air moving. There is always going to be overspray, whenever you use anything sprayed from a can. You can cover all the surrounding surfaces with plastic, newspapers or an old sheet, which is washed and re-used or you can plan on scrubbing the floor. Nothing is better than another; you just have to be prepared to deal with overspray.

I also tried to use up every last bit of the scrap pile this came from and I came pretty darned close. These two little pieces are ready to stitch on and I’m really feeling withdrawal from lack of beads, so these must be beaded!

scrap-triangle-small-2

scrap-triangle-small-1

You might recognize these as the pieces I used to demonstrate putting faced holes in blocks. I still have two blocks and a few scraps, but I’m tired of this bunch of stuff. It’s going to be the start of the pile that goes to live somewhere else. Every little bit that goes away is a plus for me now.

Of course, when I stopped in to the quilt store today for a sewing machine needle, two yards of fabric also had to come home with me…but I’m going to use it at a workshop this weekend, I swear!

Looking forward to a real slowdown after this weekend. Only have to prep for two Florida engagements and that’s mostly my ‘regular’ stuff. There could be a major hand stitching overindulgence coming up!

 

Felted Christmas ornaments

Judy Coates Perez was a guest teacher a couple of years ago at our guild. She is best known for paint and ink techniques and she is a wonderful artist. She recently had a wonderful blog post…which I am sharing with you.

She uses wool yarn and roving to create beautiful felted Christmas ornaments and anyone who loves to do handwork will surely love to try these!

12ornaments

The link to her blog is HERE and you owe it to yourself to check it out!

xmas-tree-felted-orn

These look like so much fun!

I tried it–let me show you what I did!

According to Judy’s instructions, you make the felted balls with roving and stuff it all in old panty hose

ball-felting-1

run it through the washer and dryer and then you are ready to embellish!

ball-felting-2

Using templates for leaf shapes, I got a few pieces of felt ready to add to the felted balls.

ball-felting-7 ball-felting-6 ball-felting-4 ball-felting-3

Embroidery and beading added, this is the first ornament I completed.

felted-ornament-1 felted-ornament-2

Aaaaaand…it was fun, but not the favorite technique I’ve ever learned. However, I’ve seen a few ornaments that were needle felted and I want to try that, too! It is the season, after all!