Tag Archive | seed beads

Recycled Blue Jeans and Denim Fabric

JEANS, when did you get your first pair? I grew up wanting to be the “ballerina” in Elton John’s song “Blue Jean Baby”. I can hear you singing, “can’t you see her, tiny dancer in the sand”.

In high school I embroidered jeans and work-shirts for friends and family. In fact the reason that I now wear a thimble while stitching is from being poked so much by working on the heavy jean fabric. I have recycled a pair or two (that did not fit anymore), and used them in various projects. I also like to work with denim fabric (sold by the yard), because it provides a nice firm base to work on.

“Blue Jean Baby” is stitched onto a pant leg, from a pair of old jeans. I removed the pocket first, and used it and the pocket from the other leg in the examples below. I appliqued a lace heart, and many hand made flowers into the heart vase. I added vintage and new beads into the centers of the flowers. I embroidered ribbon down the side edges using traditional embroidery stitches. The little cat (made from a quilt from 1880’s) was a gift that came along with an eBay purchase, and Marcia Marcantonio is the creator. Thank you Marcia, I think that your gift is quite at home here.

“Butterflies and Snapdragons” (a pocket from the pants), was featured in my book Ribbonwork Gardens, by C&T Publishing. The middle embroidery was worked on another portion of the jeans. “Flower Child” (a pocket from the pants), was featured in my book Ribbonwork Flowers, by C&T Publishing.

These two pieces begin with the same pair of jeans (cut from the other pant leg), and one of my favorite fabrics, the vintage floral print that the hearts are cut from. The heart shapes are bordered by a dyed leaf trim, and are surrounded by silk ribbonwork flowers and leaves, and silk ribbon embroidery.

“Country Hearts” Wall Hanging was featured in my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing. Each square was cut from the same pair of jeans, and I used the vintage rickrack trim to cover the raw seams. The embroidery stitches are worked in perle cotton threads. The embellishments include vintage tatted lace, ribbonwork flowers, vintage buttons, and glass beads.

“Denim and Dresden” is featured in my book, Creative Stitching, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing. I used jean fabric for the base of the piece, and I think that it compliments the vintage feed sack fabric so nicely. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton, cotton floss, and vintage tatting threads. The embellishments include yo-yo’s and vintage buttons.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

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

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.

By the Shore

I love the sea, the shore, and collecting treasures along the sand, rocks, and tide pools. Growing up in Southern California is a gift that I treasure every minute of the day. Here are some examples of my interpretations of this life.

Sea Urchins
Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins, were made from synthetic felt, one embellished with mother-of-perle buttons, and glass beads; the other embroidered with hand-dyed perle cotton from Artfabriks, with a vintage brown muscle button in the center. Scattered amongst the sea urchins are a group of carved, vintage abalone buttons. This piece and the one below it, can be seen in my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary.

Tidal Pool Rocks was a piece that I created, intending to add found objects, and other small embroideries. The rocks are made from synthetic felt, and are embroidered with a variety of solid and variegated perle cotton threads. The small bits of “sea ephemera” were created from ribbons, felt, and floral stamens. A ribbon trim poses as kelp, with found shells and starfish skeletons sprinkled around the rocks.

Tidal Pools

Tidal Pools was a piece that I created for my book, Beaded Embroidery Stitching. The felt base for this piece and the rocks above are based on the “Blowing Bubbles” project in that book. The base is made from synthetic felt, and is embroidered and embellished with seed and larger glass beads, miniature sea urchins made from silk bias ribbon, found shells, vintage buttons, charms, sequins, dentalium shells, fresh water pearls, coral beads, and abalone chips.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

National BUTTON WEEK Day 5!!!

Here are a few images of more buttons!

These are a few wall hangings that I have made using buttons. These are all featured in The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

Bouncing Button Balloons

This wall hanging is randomly strip pieced with scraps of silk, moire, and bengaline fabrics, with accents of vintage lace fabric. Their are vintage celluloid buttons with a few fabric buttons mixed in. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton and seed beads.

Rustic Door

For this piece I choose batik fabrics that varied from rust to brown. I found these wonderful blue buffed celluloid buttons, which I paired with brass buttons, buckles and both vintage and new keys. The rust and vintage blue ribbons just keep the colors flowing.

Lady Bird 2

This piece started with a crazy pieced base of cotton prints, I added in lace and ribbon as accents. The embroidery is worked with perle cotton and cotton threads. The embellishments include vintage and new buttons, ribbonwork vignettes and garden tools.

Mystic Twilight

The base of this piece started with strip-pieced batik fabrics, that were machine quilted to resemble the wood grain of a fence. I chose clear glass buttons in a variety of sizes for the flower centers, and clear painted back buttons for the accents. The embroidery is worked in both perle cotton and cotton floss, with beads added in for accents.

The Village Sleeps Tonight

The base of this piece is synthetic felt, the pre-cut houses are made from a rayon/wool blend felt that was a gift from Barbara at Joggles.com. I added in a dyed rick rack border, and stitched the details with both solid and variegated perle cotton #8. The buttons are all new, except for the four large buttons in the corners, and the one in middle of the center house.

Hope that you enjoyed looking! Happy stitching! ~Christen

Beaded Embroidery Stitching Blog Tour

I am proud to announce that my book on bead embroidery and bead weaving is HERE! Within the 160 pages of Beaded Embroidery Stitching you will find information on the types of beads and embellishments that you can use in the 125 bead-embroidery and bead-woven stitches. There are over eight projects, ranging from beginning to advanced, including wallhangings, a sewing caddy, jewelry, and more. I have included additional inspiration for each project, showing a different color way, or a different take on the design, and a gallery section for more ideas.

There are some amazingly talented people that are participating in this tour. I want to thank each and every one of them for agreeing to participate in the launch of my new book.

Please visit their blogs to read what they have to say, and for a chance to win an ebook of Beaded Embroidery Stitching.

Happy Stitching to you all!

Enjoy~ Christen

Treated and Textured Reticule: class/tutorial

Treated and Textured Reticule: 3 lessons/$40.00

textured and treated reticuleThis class is full of cool techniques; it will be hard to decide which one is your favorite! First you will stitch your fabric, shrinking it and manipulating it into a textural base. Next you will create a mesh of specialty threads and covered tendrils or branches. Embellishments and embroidery will include hand applied rayon cord, needlelace, shisha mirrors, and beading. Directions will be given to make a four-sided purse; however you could use your own pattern to make a pillow or wall hanging the choice is yours.

Skill Level Intermediate: sewing machine, embroidery and beading knowledge needed.

Lesson 1: This class is all about the textures! You will learn how to create crinkled and crunched portions into your fabric sections. Next you will create textures in other areas with single and twin needle stitching.

Lesson 2: This class is all about specialty threads and yarns. First you will make a mesh that can be cut and used as appliquéd sections. Then you will turn ordinary yarn into a tendril or vine. These will be assembled onto the textured fabric sections from Lesson 1 with additional bits of rayon cording and bobbin stitching.

Lesson 3: This class is all about the embellishments. Needle lace embroidery, raised and textured stitches, shisha mirrors and bead embellishments will be combined with the previous techniques to create a unique reticule.

Class Information

These classes can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list will be sent out. The lessons will begin one week after the purchase of the class, unless otherwise stated. You will receive an email with the lesson attached. The following lesson/s will arrive one week after the previous lesson.

A high speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching,

~Christen

 

Talisman Dangles (earrings): class/tutorial

Talisman Dangles (earrings): 1 lesson/$15.00

talisman dangle earringsThese charming earrings can be created in a few hours, with just a few beads, charms and other components. They don’t require a huge investment, nor do they require a great deal of skill. All they require is the desire to make something beautiful and they are a perfect project for that last minute gift!

Skill Level Beginning: some beading skills needed.

Class Information

These classes can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list will be sent out. The lessons will begin one week after the purchase of the class, unless otherwise stated. You will receive an email with the lesson attached. The following lesson/s will arrive one week after the previous lesson.

A high speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching,

~Christen

Ocean Rivers: class/tutorial

Ocean Rivers: 4 lessons/ $45.00

ocean rivers braceletThis class will teach you a little bit about the freedom of expression the “free form peyote stitch” can bring to your technical repertoire. The launching point of your bracelet and your creative explosion will start with a simple grosgrain ribbon, a small collection of buttons, a variety of seed beads in several sizes and colors combined with a few small treasures. Bring your imagination and creative spirit….

Skill Level Intermediate: beading knowledge needed

Lesson One: You will cut and prep the ribbon base; we will talk about setting up your beads; learn about focal placement and the stitching the buttons in place; then create your first tidal currents.

Lesson Two: We will explore the basic peyote stitch; changing from between bead sizes within the current; making connections and creating more tidal currents; and adding in new thread.

Lesson Three: We will cover creating waves along the outer reaches of the bracelet; stitching in the tidal pool treasures such as larger beads, sequins and chips with single bead stoppers, cascades and picots.

Lesson Four: Finishing touches: stitching the button and closure loop; stitching the beaded shell edging; and barnacle extras.

Class Information

These classes can be purchased at any time, there is no set schedule. The class can be ordered by contacting Christen: thestoreonthecorner@gmail.com. She will send you an invoice through PayPal.

Once the class is paid for, the supply list will be sent out. The lessons will begin one week after the purchase of the class, unless otherwise stated. You will receive an email with the lesson attached. The following lesson/s will arrive one week after the previous lesson.

A high speed internet connection is recommended, and you must have basic computer and internet skills. You will need to be able know how to download and save a document to your computer’s hard drive, open it and print out a copy.

You can contact Christen with any questions pertaining to the class/class information throughout the length of the class.

Class fees will not be refunded.

Happy Stitching,

~Christen