Free-hand Embroidery and Beading
It always amuses me how one blog post leads to another. My recent post about how to make a knitting needle case sparked some added interest among quilters as the beading on the cover caught their eye. It's not something I teach in my free online class, just merely an extra feature added because I liked the effect!
Adding little touches like this makes a project unique. It's a bit like embroidery - not the kind stitched out by an embroidery machine (although that can work too).... I'm meaning, the type created by free motion on your machine or that you create by hand. Adding a little unique element here or there, or creating a whole border is a lot of fun on applique or patchwork quilts.
"Array of Color" demonstrates how an embroidered butterfly brings this quilt together (free instructions for this free-motion butterfly here)
"A Second View" definitely highlights a fun border technique with both beading and embroidery.
Is it easy to create? If you can free-motion quilt or applique, then yes, you're 95% of the way there. If not, it could well be time to start practicing this skill. It's not as difficult as it might seem.
What fun would it be to add a ladybug to your next quilt!
or a spider....
or some beading even such as on this dandelion.
And of course, beading can simply be an embellishment on a quilt like in this art quilt.
All of which can be done with free-motion stitching. Yes, I have to admit, the beading by machine is a tad tricky but if you want to give it a try, here are some tips and a short video to demonstrate. This technique is done without a presser foot, but do remember to lower the presser foot lever to ensure the tension is correct.
- start with a few tiny stitches close together to lock the threads (repeat at the end)
- use a stiletto or Quick Unpick to push the bead near the needle
- use the handwheel to position the point of the needle in the bead
- use the point of the needle to move the bead into the correct position
- do one or two stitches into the bead, then do two more small stitches to the side of the bead
- stitch on to where the next bead will be added and do another couple of small stitches before adding the next bead
- Warning: Keep your fingers well away from the needle - if they need to get close, take your foot off the foot pedal.
If you are interested, all these critters and more are available in my "Picturesque Botanical or Aquarium Scene" (currently 10% off). I can help you make any little critter you want!
A Second View Quilt Pattern: Machine embroidery and beads create the border of flora and fauna around this typical New Zealand scene
Array of Color Quilt Pattern: Strips make up an easy to assemble background with large applique flowers arranged around it
Picturesque Botanical or Aquarium Scene: Make an aquarium or a cottage garden, embellishing both by hand and machine in this 4 lesson online workshop
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