Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Encrusted Bead Edging

Several lovely people have left questions on my blog asking me how I did the edging on my January piece, which is photographed there.

I call the technique encrusted bead edging, and I sort of made it up.  I am a self-taught bead embroiderer and I muddled my way through books, magazines and experimentation.  I am under no illusion whatsoever that I invented this technique, just that I worked it out for myself and use it all the time.  If anyone knows who did invent it, I would love to know that so that I can (a) acknowledge them publicly) and (b) thank them!!!  I came up with it when I got frustrated with trying out instructions for a 'proper' picot edging.

In case anyone else is interested I have posted instructions on how I do it.  I will try to take photographs or something later because it is easier to show than to explain.  And it is VERY easy, perfect for the slapdash beader like me!

leave a little gap between the edge of the Stiff Stuff (or whatever beading foundation I am using) and the main beading, then when I;m finished the beading I stick it down to the ultrasuede or whatever cut to the same size.  (Actually I stick it down and trim around when it's dry). 

Then I pick up about five or six seed beads at a time (depending on the size of the gap and the size of the beads) and loop it over the back, coming back up through the front.  It;s like doing a loosish overcasting stitch.  Sometimes you have to experiment with the exact numbers of beads, and if you don't leave a perfectly even gap, which I don't, some loops will take more beads than others.  I usually use a mixture of the beads I have used in the work, to pull all the colours/textures together, but there is no reason not to do it all in just one colour, or whatever really.
It's a fairly random procedure that produces a finish I rather like.