Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Chapter 8. Beads.

In this chapter I collected many different types of beads within my colour scheme [turquoise and red / orange]. I had beads of many different materials, shapes and sizes in my stocks and enjoyed searching seeds and pips and re-discovered a beautiful shell necklace given to me by my Aunt [ throw aways are my treasures].

I sourced glass and ceramic seed beads and bugle beads, pearl beads of many types plus others of irregular shapes. I dyed the seeds and pips and shells to fit in with my colour scheme [very satisfying]

002bead types key

I forgot to add these bugle beads in the photo above:


Sewing beads on and making a bead sampler:

For this I chose a piece of my dyed cotton and backed it with muslin to support the weight of the beading and stretched this in my embroidery hoop to support the sampler as I worked [I didn’t appreciate the value of this until my bead sampler was complete and removed from the embroidery hoop and was surprised at the weight]. I used a strong sewing thread – one of each colour to add a contrast – and drew each length of thread through a piece of bees wax which served to toughen it. I used a very fine needle to ensure easy threading through the tiny lumen of  some of the beads

I worked across the fabric in the hoop introducing different beads and  patterns / methods of application. It was fascinating to see just how many different ways of working came up.  I’ve posted the sampler below and placed a key alongside it:


sampler key2sampler text

I’ve added a reference for shisha below taken from Embroidery Techniques from East and West by Munni Srivastava from which I reminded myself of the wonderful shisha stitch with which to apply the mirrors. I then outlined the shishas with chain stitch with which I trapped the shisha under a piece of net.

shisha workings ref

I realise that I haven’t marked the shisha on the key and these can be seen at the centre bottom and just to the left.

Beads as edging:


I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and loved the sparkling spangly look and feel of the glass and ceramic  beads. As mentioned earlier I relished the rustic effect of the painted seeds and silky lustre of the shells.

Time spent: approx 19.5 hours

Expenses: 2 packs sequins £2.78, 2 packs seed beads £2.78, bees wax £1.99


  1. Lovely, rich bead sample Carrie and I love your bead fringing. Beautiful colours too.

  2. Love your bead sampler Carrie - I really enjoyed this chapter too.

  3. What a lovely bead sampler, Carrie. Hope you're doing fine