Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tips, tips, we want your tips!

For our new website we are creating a Faqs page. One of the features will be bead embroidery tips.

What are your best tips?

What have you learned about bead embroidery that you'd like to share?
What do you bead on?
What is your favorite thread and needle?
How do you get your ideas?
What would you do differently?
What tip did someone share with you that made a difference in your beadwork?

And, of course, any other suggestion that you would like to share.


Brenda said...

My favorite tip was from Morwyn, she told how she colored her backing with colored markers. I have been doing it ever since. It really helps when you are adding black beads on a white cloth. If you color the cloth first all the spaces are not so glaringly obvious. Thanks Morwyn!

The bad Liz said...

I'll agree with the colouring the fabric. Also, work with the largest needles (size, not length) that your beads will allow.

I bead on plain old interfacing material - the heaviest weight that my local sewing store sells.

Another would be that if you don't like a piece, don't be afraid to stop and start over again. I HATE my December piece. I am seriously considering making it a do-over, I dislike it that much.

abeadlady said...

Another option for a colored backround is using EZFelt. It comes in many colors and you can usually find it at Michaels or JoAnns.

I have also covered my Pelon 70 with fabric of various kinds. Also used a handmade paper to cover it.

I use Pony needles and Fireline, both smoke and crystal. If the crystal shows, it can be touched up with Sharpies.


KrispiS said...

I bead on commercially prepared photo fabric that I print out of my computer ink jet printer. I find that this is quite perfect in terms of weight. I leave the paper backing on it while I bead, and then depending on the purpose of the block, I either leave it on permanently or remove the parts I can, to allow the fabric to be fabric. The brand of photo fabric prepared that I use is called "Ink Jet Printing" (you can choose cotton or silk and in different sizes) and it is by Jacquard. It is readily available from Dick Blick Art Supplies. It is cheaper than other brands, and I far prefer it! Some of the others are stiff when printed, or run when they get wet. I have been very pleased with this brand, and regularly use it in quilt dedications in my other life.
As far as needles, I use the largest beading needle that will comfortably fit through the beads I am using, and still allow me to go back through at least twice.
I use Nymo nylon thread, and have found that it is quite strong and easy to use.

Timaree said...

Too many variables confuse me till I forget something and it glares out from my project so for simplicity's sake plus ease of use I bought 2 cones of nymo in white - size D and Size 0. That is all I have used for beading on my pages. I guess I beaded on very dark fabric I would buy a black cone but the white seems to have worked quite well so far. Even if it shows occasionally, it's the same color showing on all of my pieces so I don't really mind.

Brenda said...

I have another one, as you can tell I have learned a lot!
My next journal I am going to construct the journal first, then bead the pages. Even though my pages are all done (caught up) I still have the massive job of finishing each page, adding backing, making the cover, connecting all the pages. I don't think that is the fun part, the beading was the fun part.
So next time I have all that done first, then I just bead and add in the pages!

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Timme said...

Bead where you are. That's my best tip. Take beads with you and bead when you can when every you can and you get a lot done. Good luck!

a2susan said...

I love all your tips. Thank you for sharing them. I'm hoping for more and then will put them on the FAQS page of the new website.

Lois2037 said...

Nymo thread on the cone is very different from the little spools. The spools fray a lot. The spools are designed to go through industrial sewing machines, so the thread is very smooth and very rarely frays.

I often really, really dislike a piece when I'm in the middle of working on it. Most of the time, I just keep going, knowing that the beads themselves are beautiful, and generally everything comes out okay. That being said, if you just can't stand it, go ahead and rip out and start over. You will feel all the better for it.

It is not cheating to color the thread or fabric that shows with markers. These little "mistakes" will just disappear!

I'm not sure how I get my ideas. Sometimes I just think of a theme I want to explore. Sometimes an idea will come to me as I'm beading. Keeping the month I'm working on in mind, and everything that happened in that month, has been helpful, too. In some way or other, those things that happened will work their way into the page.

I usually bead with Nymo B or D and a size 12 John James sharps needle. sometimes I will use Pony needles, size 11, if I need a longer needle. I like to bead on a fabric with a backing of acid free interleaving paper, but I also like Lacy's Stiff Stuff, which I paint on if I want a specific color background, or interfacing. Sometimes I will use a quilting or embroidery frame to support my fabric. Anything that will allow me to embroider with beads comfortably, that's what I like!

The best tip I've ever gotten, well... there are actually two of them: 1) Just Do It! 2) Pick a bead that you love and sew it down, then go from there. Together, these really help me get unstuck, or get started. Thanks, Robin!

If I could do anything differently, I think I would live a less stresssful and eventful life. However, life is life. I think next year I may work smaller, but I've discovered that the piece will find it's own appropriate size, regardless of my plans.