To Bead or Not To Bead

Posted by Susan Brittingham on 21 June 2016 | 0 Comments

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Hand beading can be a delightfully relaxing activity while adding beauty, sparkle and fun to your quilts. Beading can be elegant or it can frivolous but it always enhances your already wonderful quilts.

In "To Bead or Not to Bead", we look at a number of different beading stitches and fun fringes. One of my favorite techniques is to use patterned stitches to accent seams and edges.

We start with a backstitch, to lay in a horizontal line. I have used sequins and bugles.to bead or not to bead - backstitch

Next, we will make spokes. Above a sequin, backstitch a bugle bead and small contrasting seed bead perpendicular to the horizontal line.to bead or not to bead - making spokes

Next, come the diagonal spokes. Judging by eye, place each new spoke halfway between the horizontal and the vertical spokes you have already stitched. Do this on each side of the vertical spoke.

to bead or not to bead diagonal spokes

The first diagonal spoke

to bead or not to bead diagonal spokes

Pattern schematic: All the spokes can be on the same side of the center line or they can alternate, depending on the space you wish to fill.

Complete this process above every other sequin to create a repeating pattern.

to bead or not to bead - repeating pattern

By combining seed beads, sequins and bugle beads in different ways, you have an infinite number of possible patterns available.

 to bead or not to bead - an infinite number of possible patterns!


About To Bead or Not to Bead: Beads are everywhere these days, in all shapes, sizes and colors. The allure is irresistible, even when you have no idea how or when to bead. Susan will teach you the seed, quilting and lazy stitches, how to add beads to embroidery stitches and how to couch beads or to fill a space with them. All work is done by hand. You will also learn how to combine different types of beads and how to make fringe and beaded pins. By the end of this class, you will be able to bead clothes, quilts and accessories. Level: Starts at beginner and advances to intermediate by end of class. Read more...

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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