Monday, 1 February 2016

And the bead keeps going on and on... Fabric squares

As I have done in past years, I will be doing a fabric bead project on alternate months. So, for 2016, square fabric bits are what I will sew beads to.

At first I did a bit of sampling to work out what size to cut the fabric. I was looking for several things.
- I wanted to cut down on the time I was spending on this part of the bead project. Although I enjoyed doing the little booklet/cross shaped pieces, they did take up quite a bit of time.

- I wanted something simpler altogether (although I did consider going a bit too far with these!) Not just for the time scale, but also so they would be easier to consider as embellishments for garments or something.

- I wanted to use a black on black fabric (in this case, black on very dark grey) after having used white on white fabric last year. My thinking is this: they will be easier to use as a set if I have, for instance, yellow beads on white and yellow beads on black.

Here is the fabric I am using.

- I wanted something that was simple to fold up to hide raw edges. Yes, this sort of thing could be done - for instance making little tiny Suffolk Puffs - but it would be a bit too fiddly to even get it to the point where beads could be sewn to it.

So, I decided to go back to the technique from 2014 where I folded in the sides to hide the raw edges. And as I mentioned above, I worked out a plan to end up with a square shape. This way I could go around the edges and then do something in the centre.
The left one in this sample set ends up 2cm square. The one on the right ends up 1.5cm square and the top one is 1cm square.
The 'big' one could work, but when you are talking seed beads, it would take more work in the centre to make it look right. The 'little' one basically was tooo little to handle!
So, the just right one is what I settled on.

This is what they look like. (Keep in mind this is 1.5cm square!) One side and the other.
I had considered just adding to the centre of one side. But I found it was easier to do a continuous thread path if I beaded 2 sides; then stop at the corner to go across the centre. Then go across the centre of the back side to the same corner. Then carry on beading the remaining 2 sides. Then tie off.

Or at least that is what I think will work for making these. I haven't timed them, as I will get quicker as time goes on. But already they take far less time than the fabric ones from 2015. Just right to get going in the morning and then getting on with something else.

As you see, I have started with yellow. Yellow is the one colour I have the least variety for, so use it for the shortest month. February isn't as short as usual, but still.

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