Friday, June 5, 2015

A Time to Stitch 7

I was so excited when I actually saw the announcement for this round of A Time to Stitch! There were many times when I would have liked to join in, but missed the announcement.

Sadly, my best intentions were hijacked by a fall at work and a commitment which happens every year....but needs to come to fruition a bit earlier this year than it normally does.
In any case, I have done my best to finish, and although I didn't quiiiiiiite make it...I hope you'll all forgive! So, on to my (mostly) finished bead embroidery piece....
It still needs the edging finished and a clasp attached obviously, which I will finish next week. 

I learned a lot doing this!! This is a pattern by Sherry Serafini from Beadwork June/July 2011 which has been on my to-do list for...about four years! Hey, don't judge, it's a long to do list ;-)....

Things I loved:

1. Doing the bead embroidery many beady things, it's very zen; when you need something to do while you're watching TV or thinking through something else, bead embroidery is perfect. Some may find the repetitive nature boring...I didn't. I will definitely be doing this again, and in fact have an idea I'm working out as we speak. So, thanks, Therese and Christine, for involving me in a technique which I love!

2. The outer border on this this particular case, the black and brass line enclosing the ripples...I will definitely use this again, I love the look of is raised a bit from the rest because the beads are larger, and looks like a twisted bead rope.

3. Working on the backing...I used Lacy's Stiff Stuff and really like it. Being able to make markings on the backing to guide your embroidery I found very helpful as I am somewhat *cough* AR. It also helps me to not get carried away and find myself with a belt instead of a bracelet *g*. Next time, I will colour the backing somehow so it doesn't show through the beading. In the (closeup) picture it is quite apparent, not so much in real life. 

Things I didn't love:

1. Proportions...I'm not sure what Sherry was thinking here; I followed the specifics of sizes in the pattern, but the cabochon is completely out of proportion with the size of the bracelet in my opinion. It is much too large, and next time, I would definitely use a smaller cabochon, likely 15-20 mm. (This one is >25 mm). The 4mm pearl rounds used as the centres of the ripples are also mis-proportioned...they stick up way too far from the size 15 beaded background for my liking. Next time, I would go with 3 mm pearls instead.

2. Coloring...just because I'm crazy like that, I wanted to work in a colorway that is not my usual. I am very much a colorist, and choosing the colors is 75% of the fun for me. These I think are a "miss". I would have to play around with coloring the ripples themselves, but I haven't had time to create alternatives just yet. Next time I would definitely make several variations of the ripple before stitching it finally down, to see which works best. I think it's not the colors themselves here, as it is their placement that bothers me.

Would love to know what y'all think!

3. The lines of dividing 15's between the pearls around the cabochon...although there are EXACTLY the same number of 15's in each round, some of them are "falling away" from the top of the work, so that the thread shows. I'm not sure what's causing this, but it is unsightly and bugging the crap out of me! Ideas? Solutions?

However, 10 years from now when I'm an expert at this *g* it'll be a good "first piece" to show where I started out!

I'm excited to see what the other participants have created...I hope you'll visit them all to see!

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
25.   Samantha
26.   Sally
27.   Niki
28.   Karen W.


  1. Lori ~ I am overwhelmingly impressed if this is first time embroidery project for you!!! I wouldn't have that kind of courage! This is beautiful! As much as I enjoy looking at the piece, I love your thought on the whole process. I cannot add much on thoughts, as my first attempt was much "lighter" than yours. But I do see what you mean that the focal could stand some shrinking. Thanks for showing us this beautiful piece of yours (and Sherry's) and sharing your thoughts on the process and for being in the Hop! We appreciate that!

    1. Thanks Christine...looking forward to seeing what the next version brings! :-)

  2. well wow! your first piece? sheesh that is amazing! And honestly it is just beautiful and I bet it will be gorgeous to slip on when you're done! bead on!

  3. Hi! This is so pretty. It's going to look even more stunning when it's finished. Lovely!

  4. You did an awesome job on your first piece, I made this bracelet as well and although there was lots I loved I have to agree the cab seemed too large, that being said I do love your cab and think it looks stunning with your color way . I think you are being your own worst critic, the bead work you have done is perfect. This will be a stunning piece when done. Great job!

  5. This is just lovely - hooray for finally having a reason to tackle embroidery! I've always been a little leery of patterns for bead embroidery, because the wonkiness of the bead sizes can so easily make things turn our differently from the original, but you worked through the challenges really well. Now that you've dipped your toe into bead embroidery, you're going to have a blast taking it and making it your own. (And your comment about ending up with a belt instead of a bracelet made me giggle - it is easy to get carried away, isn't it?) Really nice work!

  6. Wow, if this is your first piece, I definitely want to see the future ones, I like everything about it, I've had it on my to-do list for a while too, but I think it will have to wait a little longer… Your version is beautiful.

  7. Hi Lori -- I love your piece and have a funny story to share. I really like that Sherry Serafini pattern and started it about two years ago. But it is still in my unfinished pile and you are farther along than I am. I just was bored to tears beading around all those little pearls. I love the look of it, just not the doing. But it is a terrific design and you have done an awesome job with it! Maybe we can finish them at the same time! :-)

  8. I think you picked the perfect pattern for your cab. At least in my view, this looks very wearable and a sign you should keep on with another piece. ;-)

  9. I think you picked the perfect pattern for your cab. At least in my view, this looks very wearable and a sign you should keep on with another piece. ;-)

  10. I actually love both the proportions and the colours. Yes, they are more muted and earthy, but they go very well together. As for the proportions, I really, really love the size of the cab against the cuff edge. Wonderful job!

  11. Lori, sorry to hear about your fall at work - im still dealing with the repercussions of my own fall and can totally sympathize with how it can derail you.

    Even with that, you made great progress on your bead woven cuff (I wont tell you how often my challenge pieces are still in-process when the hop day arrives). This is the second variant I've seen on this pattern today, and it's really interesting to see the variations. I really like your color choices and appreciate your write up of what worked and what didn't. As for the problems with the 15s, I probably wouldn't worry about exact bead counts, but would add what was necessary to fit. But that's the freeformer in me coming out. :) Great work.

  12. Brava Lori! I think this piece is fantastic!! I've had my eye on that tutorial is well (and don't even get me started on my to-do list!!haha), and I appreciate hearing your list of pros and cons!! Great job!

  13. Hi Lori,
    Your cuff is already a beauty and will be absolutely stunning when you are finished with it. I love the focal cab that you chose to use it is very pretty. I had some of the same problems when I did mine a few years ago with the 15's going around the 4mm pearls and about the backing showing through, but the person that has the cuff now has no complaints about it at all, and that is all that maters in the end. Thank you for participating in ATTS 7 and I hope you will join us for ATTS 8.

    1. Glad to hear it's just not me with the 15's Therese! I like Karen's idea of just adding what is necessary regardless of the count, and would likely do that next time I try bezelling in that way. Hope to see you definitely for ATTS8!

  14. So impressive for a first piece. Bravo! I like the cab size being large, it has a bit of a "watch" feel. The ripples lead the eye outward, and so the size of the focal helps draw your eye back in to the center. I'm not sure why you can see a bit of thread on some rows of your 15's (between the pearls around the cab). Could there have been a difference in spaces between the pearls and maybe the rows of 15's not tugged snuggly? I'm not sure there is much you can do about it now. Honestly I didn't notice it until you pointed it out and I enlarged the photo. This might be a case of it's all you see but nobody else notices it :-) I hope you continue on the bead embroidery path, you have had an amazing start!

    1. Good point re the 15's Liz, that could indeed be it.

  15. What a lovely piece you created, I can only imagine the time it must have taken to do all those ripples!

  16. You have been busy! I too found that I needed to color my backing...I think there are options for that. The pattern is beautiful and I hope you enjoy wearing your piece....what an accomplishment! The focal bead really stands out and I love that!!

  17. Hi Lori, I think that your bracelet is lovely. Kudos to you for doing something on your to-do-list. For a first embroidered piece you did an excellent job. Next time before you start the embroidery color the backing with magic markers. I think you will be happier with the outcome.I think that you see the flaws much more than someone else will.

    1. Permanent markers, Becky? Or Crayola-type ones? Any chance you could amplify on how you choose the background colour when there are different bead colours involved?

  18. Great job on a 'first piece'...One would never know. It's gorgeous.

  19. wow, what a fabulous first piece! I think it looks great.


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