One of my co-workers, Erin, recently learned how to do bead embroidery and made a piece you may have seen us feature on Facebook. Today’s tips on starting an embroidery project come from what Erin learned when making this amazing necklace!
A great way to start a bead embroidery piece is to make a map of your project. Erin used felt as her backing material and began by drawing the general shape of her necklace on it and then sketching the locations for the focal stones. Placing your focals first lets you build the rest of your design around these points! Once her focals were firmly attached with beaded bezels, Erin drew the rest of her design on the felt backing.
The map of your project doesn’t have to be exact, especially if you’re working with irregularly shaped beads like seed beads or fire polished crystals. Instead of forcing her beads into a rigid design, Erin used her map as a general guideline didn’t worry if her beads strayed a little off of her pattern. Bead embroidery can be very organic and it helped Erin, an experienced painter, to think of it as “painting with beads.”
Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen