First time stitching with seed beads

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First time stitching with seed beads

by Nicola Main » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:23 am

I'm currently working on a small project out of a magazine which has seed beads in it, so I've bought the beads (root beer 02023 lovely colour see photo below) and beading needles so was just wondering if anyone has any tips they can share for me as a beginner to stitching with beads. Thanks in advance, Nicola.

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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by Mabel Figworthy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:14 pm

hello Nicola, what a lovely shade of beads, you must be eager to start using them!

I use beads a lot and what I do depends on the project and the bead.

Needles: For size 11 seed beads like these you can usually get away with a size 28 tapestry needle, but you can also use special needles for beads. If you do, look for "(short) bead embroidery needles" rather than "beading needles" - the latter are very long and unwieldy!

Thread: I generally use one strand of stranded cotton, but if your work is going to be handled a lot you may want to use special beading thread which is usually a nylon-type thread I think, or use silk which is also very strong. But on the whole I've always found stranded cotton worked just fine.

Attaching them: I attach them with a single stitch, usuall a half cross stitch but sometimes a straight horizontal or vertical stitch depending on the effect I want. Some people use two strands and first do a half cross stitch through the bead, then the other half of the cross stitch with the two strands going either side of the bead sort of locking it in.

Colour: Usually I use thread in the colour of my fabric, but others prefer using a thread to match the beads. Try both on a scrap of fabric and see which you prefer!

Hope that gives you some ideas :-)
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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by Nicola Main » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:39 pm

Thanks Mabel very helpful! I'm used to doing a loop start so obviously couldn't do this with a single thread should I just do it with a knot? Also my chart shows the beads right on the holes of the Aida and not in the middle which I think is the norm. Bit confused with that :thinks:
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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by Mabel Figworthy » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:20 pm

You could do a loop start around your first bead: thread your needle as usual, pick up a bead, leave a loop at the far end of the bead and take the needle through it. Now go down the first hole that a bead needs to sit on.

To position beads on top of the holes rather than on a thread/block, come up in a hole, pick up a bead and go down the same hole. They tend to be a bit more wobbly but should be perfectly secure.
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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by Nicola Main » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:00 pm

Thanks so much Mabel will give that a go when I get to that stage :)
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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by wendywombat » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:28 pm

I've not used beads much, but reading Mabel's clear istructions you shouldn't go wrong.
I love the colour of those beads BTW. :whoop: And the name of the colour....root beer! That made me chuckle :lol:

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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by kandifloss » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:20 pm

Love the beads, great colour & name! Look forward to seeing them on your work :)

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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by karen4bells » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:46 pm

kandifloss wrote:Love the beads, great colour & name! Look forward to seeing them on your work :)

Kandi :rainbow:

I totally agree!! :D
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Re: First time stitching with seed beads

by DisneyStitcher » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:25 pm

If you are using 2 strands of cotton, you can also try this: as you come up on the first half of the stitch, thread the bead onto the tapestry needle and then finish the stitch as usual. Continue on that row and as you come back when your are completing the stitches, after you come up on the first part of the 2nd half of the stitch, split the two threads so that one goes on each side of the bead. When you pull down to complete the stitch, it will anchor the bead in place. I hope that description makes sense, it works very well for me. I always use threads that match the background that the bead will be on, I feel it makes the bead "pop" better.

I've never had to use a beading needle. I've been able to use both 24 and 28 tapestry needles with no problems. Check the needle before you get going and make sure it fits through the bead, especially the 24. If it doesn't try another needle, some seem to have slimmer eyes than others. Also, remember, the beads have slightly different holes too, if one doesn't fit, just try another.

Find a way to corral the beads so they don't drive you crazy. Some folks like dump a few on a terrycloth towel so they don't roll around. Others prefer to fish them out of the container with the needle tip. The important thing is not to spill the whole container down your chair - that is really, really, really annoying!

Good luck. You may find you like working with beads so much that you opt to replace all your french knots with beads. :wink:
 
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