National Beading Week

NBW LogoFrom 25th July to 2nd August beaders will be getting stuck into projects for National Beading Week.

Bought to us by the Beadworkers Guild the incentive can help you find that mojo, try new things or get into beadwork for the first time.

The national beading week website has some great links to projects that you can take part in, my regular bead group, Barmy Bassingham Beaders, (it’s “that” half of the room that are the barmy lot, sometimes we do wonder what is going on.) will be running an extra session on 1st August at Aubourn Enterprise Centre. If you are local and interested you are welcome to come and meet us all.

One of the things that we will be doing is a secret bead along from Jean Power, she has created a pattern as a set of instructions where we receive a part of the project step by step each day throughout national beading week. The idea being that you have no idea what you are making until the last day when you put it all together.

Since Rivolis were the only thing I needed to buy for the project (I usually bezel my own lampwork cabochons) I spent a little while choosing a colour and settled on Tanzanite thinking that I would be able to easily make a colour combination with the rest of the beads I did have.

This morning I have spent probably longer than I should deciding which beads I am going to use. With a little help from my husband I picked out these;
seed beads, rivolis, delicas and all other types of beads ready for the secret bead along

  • Slate grey delicas
  • Matte black 11’s
  • Purple pearls
  • Teal bicones
  • Iris blue super duos
  • Iris gold 15’s
  • Iris blue 15’s

I’m a little undecided on the 15’s at the moment I’m not sure if I want to do them as all in the iris blue, all in the iris gold or split in half. This is probably the only disadvantage of not knowing what I’m making because I can’t visualise the colours in the finished piece. I’m quite attracted the iris gold though as it gives more of a contrast overall.

If you are interested in the secret bead along you can find the instructions on Jean’s website, the pattern is only £5.

Of course if you are completely new to beadweaving don’t feel left out by wondering how on earth you are supposed to make a start, here are some great free instructions on peyote stitch or if you are really serious about learning all the wonders of tiny beads you can join the guild for access to lots of stitch resources or get yourself an in depth book like Mastering Beadwork.

I’m off to make a start on the prep work now, are you taking part? what colours do you opt for?

 

Learning Tri-Quad Stitch

examples of tri-quad stitchLearning new skills and developing them is one of the most enjoyable parts of the creative process, closely related to the elation of a successfully completed project.
One of the things I wanted to do this year was develop my head weaving skills beyond peyote and herringbone stitch, while there is an awful lot you can do with those stitches after a while you do want to try something a little different.

While I was learning how to use Google+ (another learning curve for the year.) I happened to find a few beadweavers and I stumbled upon a lovely piece. I was also pleased to find that the artist behind the piece kept a blog and had a tutorial for the very stitch used in the design.

Tri-quad stitch by Eyekandy Creations

I like to make small samples of stitches and keep them for future reference with the instructions. The photo shows me making the first test. I had decided to use up some size 11 seed beads from my last project and picked out a few 4mm glass pearls for the dangles. My beading thread is fireline and a size 12 beading needle.
The instructions were very clear and the very handy hint of three up two down meant I didn’t have to look back at the instructions every time I started a new round. As you can see from the photos the first section turned out pretty well and then I had to add the larger beads in.
On the first one I had to un-thread the beads and go back because I had one to many beads over the top of the larger bead which made it a little slack. The tutorial mentioned you may have to decrease or increase the number of beads at that point dependant on the size of beads you were using.
I got to the end of the test piece with no problems. It did look to me that the tension was a little slack so I threaded back through the whole piece rather than just enough to secure the thread to tighten it up a bit. (I did make a little mistake when I was threading back through and bunched up the beads on the very end.)

tri-quad beadweaving finished sampleI did still think it still didn’t look right, either because of my tension or it was because I had used fireline which is a more rigid thread than nymo or ko so I made another test piece using nymo thread (which personally I’m not keen on but I wanted to see what difference it would make.
The result, I think the stitch certainly looks better. It’s more fluid, I can’t curve the one on fireline like this one as you can see in the picture and I am a lot happier with it, though if I was making a full piece I would favour the similar ko thread over nymo because the fibres don’t part as easily.
Working the stitch for the second time as well made me realise how well the instructions had sunk in. I was always checking with the first test piece. But once I had got to the first pearl second time around I didn’t need to check the instructions at all. I was also a lot more careful retracing the thread path to secure the stitch.

So there we have a new stitch. What do you think of it? and if you would like to have a go don’t forget to check out EyeKandy’s Blog.