Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Time to Stitch 7!!

Today's the day! If you have never heard of the Time to Stitch challenges, you are in for a treat! The brainchild of Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller, the challenges are designed to push you out of your comfort zone (nicely!) and introduce you to some new stitches...or maybe some you have been avoiding....cough, cough...
This challenge is for Bead Embroidery. Sigh....something I have avoided for years people, just...years. See, I used to spend the summers with my aunt, who was an impulse shopper. She would find a sale, and buy, like, a couple of DOZEN of something. Well, one of the things she had oodles of was embroidery kits. Which fascinated me as a kid, and repelled me as an adult. So that was how I looked at BEAD embroidery.
Which was a huge mistake, but it was hard getting past it. And with as many awesome bead stitches as there are out there, why bother, right? Because as a beadweaver, we are a bit, um, OBSESSED with new projects. And bead embroidery is just gorgeous!
I've got a Pinterest board for it that I'm constantly adding to:

My problem is that I'm kind of a 'fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants' girl. And you do need to plan out your design. Well, I sat for several weeks, trying to figure out a design. When I finally decided on one, I glued my cab into place. And promptly decided I didn't like the shape. So I traced an adjustment on the backing, but part of the design I couldn't change, because of where I placed the cab. So I'm not very happy with the shape, it is asymmetrical, which can be good, but not for me on this project.
I was a very lucky recipient of one of Therese's cabs. This is mountain lace jasper. I love the subtle flow of color in it.
I am quite lucky that I had a fantastic resource to guide me during this journey...Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Eakin. I used several stitches from this book.

This is a twisted bezel. I really love the look of it, even if I didn't get it quite tight enough.

 The green matte beads are used in a picot or 'moss' stitch. I really like how textural it is, and such a great backdrop for the Picasso druks. 

 The purple section with the 2mm bicone crystals is where my freeform journey began. First, I made a cute circle around them. But then, when I was making the lines of purple and copper, I sort of filled in more, and it just kept morphing from there!

I am pleased with my journey into bead embroidery, the cab really inspired me. I definitely need to work more on the 'planning' part of things.

I started a kumihimo rope, and then about 10 inches in to it, decided it didn't work for the pieces. So I switched to a twisted raw, but I haven't quite finished it yet. I'll add the photo when it is complete.
 I am planning my next BE piece, so I'm calling this challenge a DEFINITE success! Thanks again, Therese and Christine, for a wonderful challenge!
Here is your list of participants, please go check out everyone's work. Blessings, Shirley

1.       Therese (Host)
2.       Christine  (Host)
3.       Amy
4.       Lola
5.       Lori F
6.       Kim
7.       Becky Pancake
8.       Karin G.
9.       Debbie (Kepi)
10.   LizE
11.   Maryanne
12.   Paula
14.   Wendy
15.   Janet
16.   Jasvanti
17.   Ginger
18.   Alicia
19.   Bobbie
20.   Shirley
21.   Sarah
22.   Cynthia
24.   Lizzie


  1. Yowza! I don't know where to begin Shirley!!! This piece is epic!! This is your first go? Wow - you've outdone yourself. I love the twisty bezel on the cab - so cool looking. This piece has so much great color and texture - I just love it. Your embroidery pinterest board is so inspiring. And thanks for the tip on the book!!

  2. oh wow! that is stunning Shirley!!!! Boy I hear you on 'crafts from childhood' LOL I think mine is macrame ... I can't look at it without thinking of a 60s plant holder - I can't count how many of those I made?! But so glad to see you were able to push past that and make this gorgeous cab focal!

  3. Very nice :-) I like the colours and the way you have created texture. Love the pretty bezel too :-)

  4. HUGE success! HUGE! As an avoider, I am in awe of what you boldy did here. The dimension to this piece -as well as your colors- really makes it for me. But the best parts are your bezel around Therese's cab and the mossy area! Love those details. That bezel is so incredibly interesting and gorgeous!
    More, Shirley, More!!!

    Thanks for being in the Hop :-)

  5. Hi Shirley,
    Beautiful piece the colors all go so well with each other and compliment the cab well. I love your design a little bit of asymmetrical is okay. I have Jamie's book also I love going to it for inspiration. I am so glad you stepped away from you comfort zone and joined in on this challenge and that you are going to do another one. Thank you for participating in ATTS 7 and I hope you will join us again for ATTS 8.

  6. You and I had similar problems getting started with Bead Embroidery. While I like to do certain types of planning ahead of time, I don't like to plan all of my stitches, or it reminds me too much of the cross stitch that was routinely foisted on my as a child by aunts whom I loved, but whom didn't understand that I wanted to create my own patterns!

    Well, I can say without a doubt looking at your piece that your found your own route into bead embroidery. A fantastic use of color; very organic and yet structured at the same time.

  7. Heck, yes, this is a success!! I'm so glad you got past the old experiences with other embroidery, because I think you've discovered something spectacular here. Your freeform, your choice of colors, everything combined to make a really special piece. As for planning, most of the time I start with a vague idea of where I want to go, but let the beads direct me as I go along. I wish all of my improvisations turned out as polished and perfectly balanced as this!

  8. Oh this is wonderful, your bead embroidery is a real success, I love the asymmetry and the colors, the textures, everything about it, that is great improvisation!

  9. Your work really compliments the cab. I see a whole landscape in your piece. Realty lovely.

  10. Your work really compliments the cab. I see a whole landscape in your piece. Realty lovely.

  11. Love your color choices, so earthy and rich and a perfect pairing with the cab. Beautiful piece!

  12. I love the piece you created Shirley! Not only did you stare down your bead embroidery "issues", but you did so asymmetrically! Impressive and beautiful!

  13. I agree your piece is a definite success! The colors are so earthy and I love the texture from the different types of beads you used. That moss stitch is awesome. I just love it too and it think it's a great way to add texture and fun to a piece. You are so right about Jamie Cloud Eakin. She was the inspiration for the very first piece I ever made and as soon as she publishes a new book, it's on my to-buy list. You did a fantastic job!

  14. I LOVE the twisted bezel. There is something about that grey I really like too. I hope the new chain idea works out for you. I'm on attempt two with my chain as well.

  15. Twisted cool! I really love where journey took you. The colors and freeform are just stunning. I love it! Thanks for sharing with us!

  16. Upon clicking on your blog link, I was gobsmacked...right in the face...with all of that lovely texture!!! I am a texture girl, after all! This is really beautiful, from the cab, to the design, and all of those wonderful colors!

  17. what a gorgeous piece! You used so many stitches, I just stuck to backstitch! Well done on such a great job and great to hear you are planning on doing more.

  18. I really like the texture of your piece...I will have to take a look at that book...the matte green beads speak to me that stitch. I have yet to dive into freeform....not that brave! Beautiful piece!!

  19. Your piece is sensational. The shape reminds me of a leaf. I have glued cabs down on small pieces of backing, changed my mind about what I wanted to do, cut the backing with some room around the cab, and then stitch it onto a larger piece of backing. So long as you cover up the little hump nobody is the wiser. The mountain lace jasper cab is very sweet and you treated it like a queen. For bead embroidery you can go free-form all the way. That's what I do for most of my pieces, just an idea swirling in my head and when I feel like it I start stitching beads down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm glad to know you are planning another piece! Can't wait to see what comes next!

  20. Awesome pendant. I love the cab you received from Therese.
    I love, really love the twisted stitch you used to frame the cab. I guess I will have to research it.
    Thanks for the beautiful eye candy.

  21. Ahhh Shirley I always love your pieces, and this is no exception. I've looked at Jamie's book a time or two and then put it back~there are so, so many to choose from~but I may definitely have to grab it. Love the different stitches in your piece. Wonderful job!

  22. Hi Shirley, Kudos to you for succeeding at bead embroidery. Your piece is wonderful. You did a great job. I am so glad that you are planning another piece. Jamie's book is the best in my opinion. She doesn't just give you a project. she gives you options at each stage and that teaches you to design not just copy.

  23. Wow!i love that stitch,I like the colors and the way you have created texture. keep it up

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