Tag Archive | larger beads

Bead Embroidery Tools

  • 6” clear quilter’s ruler
  • Air-erasable or water soluble pen: to mark embroidery lines
  • Bead scoop or teaspoon: use for picking up beads
  • Bead thimble: to pick up beads
  • Bead threads: Silamide, Nymo
  • Fast2mark Embroidery Stencils (by C&T Publishing)
  • Gauge to measure larger beads
  • Magnifier to see those tiny treasures
  • Needles: beading long and short, small sharps, cotton darner
  • Needle gripper: to pull the needle through layers of fabric
  • Perle cotton: to sew buttons or charms in place
  • Pincushion
  • Scissors: fabric and embroidery
  • Segmented dish: to organize all your treasures
  • Sewing thread: to sew buttons in place
  • Small crochet hook or awl: use to take knots out of beading thread
  • Synthetic bead wax: use to condition thread
  • Thermal bead mat: use to keep beads from sliding around work surface
  • Thimble
  • Thread Zap II pen: to burn thread close to the knot

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

Bead Embroidery Basics

Beading Threads

Silamide and Nymo are the beading threads that I use for bead embroidery and bead woven stitches.

  • Choose a color that is neutral to the fabric and to the beads and embellishments.
  • Cut a 3 yard length for bead embroidery.
  • Cut 1 yard length for bead woven stitches.
  • When used for bead embroidery the thread is used double with a knotted tail.
  • When used for bead woven stitches, the thread is usually used single.

Beading Needles

Beading needles are fine and thin and are most commonly found in sizes 10-13 (the larger the number the larger the needle). I prefer the John James brand of needles. They come in both a short and long length. I prefer to use the long needles for both bead embroidery and bead woven stitches, but I find that most people choose what works for them.

Note: A small sharps needle can also be used, on seed beads 10° or larger.

Threading the Needle and Waxing

  1. Cut the end of the thread so that it is straight across.
  2. Cut the thread according to the suggestions above.
  3. Hold the end of the thread close to the eye of the needle and insert the thread an inch or so beyond the eye.
  4. If you are working with the thread doubled, fold the length in half, with the middle of the thread at the eye of the needle; match the tails together. Follow the remaining steps.
  5. Place the eye of the needle next to the wax; pull the thread firmly over the wax.
  6. Place the eye of the needle at your forefinger and close your thumb over the thread. Pull the thread through your fingers to merge the two threads together.
  7. Knot the ends together.

Note: The thread in bead woven stitches is not knotted, the thread is woven between the beads to secure the thread.

Tips on Waxing

The goal of waxing the thread is to keep the two threads together, but not to have so much wax that you have clumps in the thread which will end up on the fabric.

  • A clean “used” toothbrush can be brushed across the surface of the beads and to remove unwanted wax build up on the surface of the fabric.
  • If the thread does not stay together after the first pass through the wax, then re-wax the thread.
  • When removing the thread from the needle, cut the thread close to the eye then pull the threads out of the eye. This will prevent a wax build up in the eye of the needle.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

BEADS, Glorious Beads

The, beads, those tiny, shiny little treasures!

Types of Beads and Sizes

Seed Beads: round seed beads come in sizes 5° – 18°, some vintage beads can be found as small as 24°. These are used in bead embroidery, bead woven stitches, and beaded jewelry.

Triangle and 3-cut Beads: Triangular beads have 3 sides, and come in sizes 6° – 15°. Cut beads are round with one or several sides squared off, they come in sizes 8° – 15°. These can be used in the same ways that seed beads can be used.

Bugle Beads and Square Beads: Bugle beads are long and cylindrical, and come in sizes 2mm-20mm. Square beads have four sides and come in sizes 4° – 15°. These beads can be used in bead embroidery, bead woven, and beaded jewelry.

Larger Beads: Larger beads come in sizes 2mm and larger. These can be used in bead embroidery stitches, bead woven stitches, and beaded jewelry.

Embellishments

Charms: Charms come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. These can be used bead embroidery stitches, and beaded jewelry.

Buttons and More: Buttons can add that extra bit of sparkle, or create a special design element. Chips, discs, and pailettes can also be used to create interest. These can be used bead embroidery, and beaded jewelry.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.