My Stitch Along for December Week Four
I added beads to my block today, but not by hand. I used the sewing machine. I've done this before, in fact, I have instructions for how I sew these in one of my earliest patterns, A Second View.
To start with, I added orange beads to the corners. I threaded my machine with invisible nylon thread and used a size 60 needle, that way I knew it would fit through the hole in the bead. I also removed the foot from the machine. Normally I would use a hoop, but I didn't have one handy so I managed without. I recommend you do though as it keeps the fabric taut and you're less likely to break a needle.
I added three beads to each corner.
Next I added blue beads along the edge of the blue section. That was fun, I even took a video to show you how, but alas, when I went to edit it, I realized the camera was set a little high and you really couldn't see what I was doing. Of course, I discovered this after all the beads were attached.
I also added some clear beads around the center.
Here's how it looks with the beading complete. I realized at this point, I'd forgotten to put the borders on. I really should have added the beads last! I was just in too big of a hurry to add those beads...
I had decided on mitered corners for this project, of course, I hadn't made it an easy job by layering it first and adding the beads, but we'll see how it goes.
First I trimmed back the excess batting 1-1/4" from the last row of stitching. I cut border strips 2" wide from the purple dyed fabric. I chose the purple because it compliments the star in the center which is really the focus point.
I have to admit, mitering corners is a bit difficult with batting, but it actually worked out very well.
I quilted a white line to help tame the puckering caused by the inner stitching.... huh yes, the quilt is talking to me again.
Then I trimmed the border 3/5" outside the batting edge. I turned this edge over and stitch it down to the back. I didn't fold under the raw edge as it was going to get a bit bulky. Instead, I added a decorative stitch to the top to ensure the underside was captured and free from fraying. As a bonus, it actually helped flatten the border and reduce the puckering to nothing. It lays absolutely flat now.
And just because I did want to make a video of attaching the beads, I decided to add some small purple ones around the white line of stitching in the border. Can you see them?
Check out my video below and watch for the tips.
- start with a few tiny stitches close together to lock the threads
- 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.