My Stitch Along for December Week Four

Posted by Ruth on 27 December 2015 | 1 Comments
This content belongs to Arbee Designs.


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.

orange beads in corner sections

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.

blue bead edging

I also added some clear beads around the center.

clear beads around 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...

all beads added before borders added

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.

mitered borders added with white stitching

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.

quilt finished with decorative stitching

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?

quilt finished with additional beading on border 

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.  

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  • Wow! You make it look easy sewing on beads. Just need a 60 needle and some beads. Thanks

    Posted by Gin, 23/01/2016 7:39am (6 years ago)

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