Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Embroidery Stitches - in beads

One of my beading goals for this year has been to learn new beaded embroidery stitches.  To this end I purchased the book "Embeadery" by Margaret Ball.  In this book the author demonstrates traditional embroidery stiches using beads.  Because my focus is encrusted beading, I was especially interested in the stitches which 'cover the background' - those stitches where none of the backing shows through. 

What fun this has been -- to be able to add to my repertoire of stitches and learn new skills along the way.  A friend and I got together and using this book made up a couple of sample pages.  This was an excellent way for me to practice (without doing it on a 'real' piece of beadwork) and to find out which stitches would serve my purposes (for there are many, many stitches in this book).

We chose a stitch and then beaded it until we had figured it out.  In my opinon there are two things that could have made this book easier to use.  One - spiral binding so that the pages would lie flat.  I have to put something heavy on one side of the pages to hold the book in place as I read the directions and practice the stitch.  Two -the color pictures of the finished stitches are all together in one section - at the end of the beading instructions - it would have helped a lot to have a color picture beside each example rather than having to flip back and forth to make sure your sample looks like it should.  But - for ideas and instruction this book is wonderful.  So far I have used the shaded satin stitch and the half pekinese (one of my all time favorite stitches) in my March BJP and am using several other new-to-me stitches in a figure that I am presently working on.

Constantly learning is one of the true delights of life -- yes sometimes its scary, yes sometimes it doesn't work out the way I thought it would, yes, sometimes it takes extra time -- but when I'm done, when I've mastered a new skill or acquired new tools to use its thrilling.

"Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers." - Mignon McLaughlin


  1. i have Margaret's book (and blog about it often). It's a wonderful book. Also, I took my book (as I do with most of my fiber/art books) to Staples and had them put a sprial binding on it. cost under $5 and works great!!

  2. Oh my gosh what a great idea. I didn't know you could do that - I've got another book that I'd like to do that for also. Thanks for the tip.


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