Friday, May 20, 2016

Beading and Embellishing the Naked Ladies



All day long I thought I could just run inside, and get this post written. All day long, it was one thing after the next, and it turned out very prolific. I spent some time playing on Instagram with @gogokim and #missingmarket. Quilt Market is going on right now, and there are lots of us living vicariously through the feeds from those there. Oh, to be...or not, but it does look glamorous and fun. We're still having our fun together on Instagram. I'm PINKDOXIES. Look me up.


One thing that came up while I was posting was that I have a lot of passions other than fabric, and one is gardening. I think it was natural that a flower was the focus of this piece, and looking back, all my art quilts have been about plants. Hmm. Yesterday I spent the day dogsitting, and while I was stuck in the house, I stitched and beaded.


Between you and me, I am not too critical of my beading method. This was my first try at adding beads of any kind to a project, and just getting them stitched on was my goal. I had a variety of shapes to try, and each had its own learning curve. One big dilemma I had was not having seen many examples of beaded quilts beforehand. Was I adding to many or too few? I really wasn't sure.


Here I added some seed beads to one side, but wasn't thrilled with them. Either I need to add some to the other bud, or maybe remove them. I densely quilted the background with perle cotton allowing the buds and flower pop forward.


These polymer clay beads, which remind me of pooca beads, made great craters in the moon. I think just a few metallic beads would help it, too. I haven't decided if some hand stitching in the rings of the moon might add or detract.


 I fell in love with the blue and aqua glass beads that were thinner to string than a piece of dry thin spaghetti. I positioned a few stars diagonally across the piece. I think it helps to carry the eye in the direction of where the flower is 'looking'. 



I have it hanging on the kitchen wall right now so I can look at it often. I don't think it's done, but I'm trying to be very careful not to over bling it. I think the beads need to be balanced, and the bottom has none so far. I'm debated about some wonderful polished stone beads I have, and whether they might add or detract. So far, the embellishment has been the hardest. 

Have you used beads in an art quilt before? Any suggestions you want to give me? I'm all ears.

22 comments:

  1. The beads add some depth to the design. I agree that you probably need to add some beads to the other bud, it looks a bit bare in comparison. Naked Ladies is looking great.

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    1. Kate, this new area is so interesting. We jokingly call it bedazzling here as I'm sitting sewing. But bling is beautiful, and really adds to the overall effect. Yes, the ladies will no longer be truly naked, will they?

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  2. Your little quilt has lots of wow-factor! I love those blue beads! I think you could add some "stones"
    to the bottom. I like to lay the quilt down and sprinkle beads on a project letting them fall where they may and then sewing them there. It gives a more random (natural) look to the finished project, and I can get a feel for the outcome. Regardless, the beads on the quilt are perfect!

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I have been trying to do that, but the incidence of having all the beads fall out of place while stitching is pretty high. I've tried marking the spots with chalk, and it's somewhat better. Being able to sew them on without turning the thread to the back is ideal, but not always practical. I positively have to work on a table top, and then very carefully? Do you have any tricks?

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  3. You have a great start on beading your quilt. I have been beading them for quite a while now and there are tons of pictures on my blog, if you want to see some examples. You can go from just a few for a little sparkle to tons for a bog, over-the-top finish, decided just by what you like! I love beading on quilts so I'm thrilled to see someone else take it up. Have fun with it!!! https://quirksltd.wordpress.com/

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    1. For those of you who read the comments, Kathy has a beautiful blog with tons of beading ideas! It's worth strolling through her posts for sure.

      Thank you, Kathy!

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  4. What a wonderful little quilt! Love how you have added the beading. The Moon is awesome!

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    1. Thank you! I'm still not sure there should be something grey up there, but I'm far from done.

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  5. Lovely art quilt--I have only embellished with bead on a crazy Quilt project I did last year...I always think more is better after doing that one...great work hugs,Julierose

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    1. I just finished another one last night, and know when I went to bed I wasn't sure at all I had done right by it. It looked better the next morning to me. I think, too, that too little may be a problem rather than too much. Thanks so much!

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  6. You keep making this better and better! I have never embellished a quilt with anything, but yours is looking fantastic!

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    1. Another vice I can introduce to my friends. ; ) Jayne, I started with just a few beads from the store, and soon found I needed more. The second trip was obscene, but I justified it at half price plus a coupon. Now I have to use them!

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  7. This is piece is getting better all the time I think you need more beads.

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    1. I think you're right, Cindy. I think a lot more beads!

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  8. I've only embellished one quilt - a wall hanging - so I can't give any advise, but I'm liking what I see in yours.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. Wouldn't this be sweet on a Second Chance Quilt?

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  9. Oh, I don't think there are too many beads! they always tell me I need more...more......more

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    1. And I think you are right. Also, I'm justifying the additional beads I just bought to add to the sky. ; ) Thanks!

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  10. I love the "craters" on the moon!

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    1. Thank you! It was a dilemma whether or not to FMQ them or just bead. Still not sure.

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  11. Your beading complements the design very well. Personally, I would add some smaller stars in the sky. Some stones on the ground could work well too, just a couple. I have used seed beads for sparks on my Firebird quilt, and also sequins for snow in a little winter quilt.

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    1. Good idea, Lena. I found some slightly different sized beads for it after you made the suggestion. Also, the stones, I found, come in both a darker and lighter color. I'm all for trying things out to see how they go, but doubt one could add too many. I'm more concerned with getting the balance right I think.

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It's always enlightening to hear your thoughts or suggestions. I try to respond in a timely manner, but admit life is very full here! I will return comments online if it's of general interest, but offline if a personal response is more appropriate. Give me a shout with anything urgent at julie@pinkdoxies.com, and I'll try to get right back with you. While I believe in free speech, spamming will not be tolerated, and as in all our interactions, speak kindly.

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Julie