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embroidered beads lesson


embroidered bead
Here's an unusual method for making embroidered beads, as demonstrated by Colette.
Here's a step-by-step lesson that Colette was kind enough to share with us. 'To embroider cylindrical-shaped beads, I used pearl cotton thread, thin cardboard and a needle. I cut out a piece of thin cardboard, 0.8 inches wide by 1.6 inches long. Next, I made the piece of cardboard flexible enough so that it could be rolled up easily.
embroidered beads lesson
I then pushed my needle through the roll of cardboard, starting at the right-hand side, going from inside the roll towards the outside (the knot of the thread therefore remains hidden inside the cardboard roll. You must sew the two ends of the cardboard roll together to fix the roll in place). Working from right to left, I stitched using a blanket stitch: in fact, you simply have to push the needle through the cardboard (through just one thickness of cardboard) at regular intervals and bring it out through the loop created by the thread (photograph on right).
embroidered bead
Once I got to the far left-hand side of the piece of cardboard, I pushed the needle in once again, just like I'd done for the far right-hand side, through the two layers of cardboard, thus ensuring the cardboard roll shape for the embroidered bead stays firmly in place.
At the end of the 1st row, and for subsequent rows, once you reach the far right-hand side:
making a bead, step-by-step
I bring the thread back inside the cardboard roll before bringing it back out on the left-hand side and starting a row of stitches always going from left to right.
The next step consists in embroidering from left to right (to create a more regular pattern), making stitches as seen in the photograph, attaching them to the horizontal weft that has already been created.
making a bead out of embroidery thread
For the 1st row, I embroidered as many stitches as was necessary to provide an even cover for the entire length of the roll. I had to pass the needle twice into the spaces created by the 'loops' of the design. The design doesn't seem very even to begin with, but don't worry, it will become more so after two or three rows, by which time it will be firmly attached to the cardboard.
making a bead in cotton thread
To join together two lengths of thread, tie a knot so as to ensure that when the thread has gone from the right to the left inside the cardboard roll, the place where they join is hidden inside the tube.
making a bead out of embroidery thread
When the entire roll is covered in embroidery thread, fasten the last row you've completed to the first row by means of small running stitches.
making a bead out of embroidery thread
Finish the bead's sides with stitches identical to the last ones, adding them to each loop that touches the edge of the top of the cylinder shape, then make a second row to finish the side, embroidering upon just one loop in every two on the front edge of the cylinder shape. Pass the thread through the inside and bring it out at the other end to finish off in the same way. When the embroidering is finished and the thread is properly knotted to the last stitch, bring it through the bead again and cut off any surplus thread.
There you are, the bead is finished!
Colette, "My little fimo clay designs" » Thanks to Colette for this original way of making beads!