Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Happens When You Plant a Seed Bead?

What Happens When You Plant A Seed Bead?
       You grow a most beautiful art quilt!!!

We had a Friday Class that was hosted by the Swamp Fox Quilters and featured the wonderfully talented Jo Ann Amidon who taught us how to embellish our quilts and turn them into art quilts. If you would like to see a website on art quilts try this one out: Art Quilts Society Website .

Jo Ann Amidon was a gentle quiet teacher who made us feel very relaxed and unpressurized. However you will see in some of the pictures that our eyes have kind of a glazed over look. This is because after  several hours of hunching over finding tiny beads, threaded into a tiny needle and then sewing them on to a sampler or quilts, our eyes began to film over. 
     There are different sizes of Seed Beads;
 one of the most common beads that are used to embellish quilts, dolls, and clothes. There were several sizes and varieties of beads given to us as our class kit to choose and pick up from our "Bead Soup"
        When I first started, I was using the wrong size because I actually couldn't distinguish the number 6 beads from the number 8 beads seed beads at first in the mixture of the Bead Soup. We used number 6's and number 8's. These number 8 beads will line up in a straighter line because they butt up against each other.  Who Knew? 
Who could find them?
The needles we used were number 9 and number 10 sharps. A Needle threader would not go into the hole without breaking. My beading partner Graham, whose eyes are still young threaded all my needles, bless her heart. I did manage to thread one needle by myself and there was a general celebration. Graham recommended a No. 8 crewel needle which has a slightly elongated hole and easier to thread.

This is Carolyn, Susan, Elaine (who is hidden) and Francis all concentrating on their beading.
Jo Ann went around helping everyone. After several hours of work this is what our hoop looked like. I wrote my notes next to the beads. Notice the tiny handwritten notes. That is unusual. Usually I write real big so I can see easily, it was just that everything seemed extra small that day.

Hoop 1 Morning Efforts
  This is my first hoop which took all morning to do.  We learned how to make Straight Lines, Curved Lines, Spirals, Fringes, Moss Stitch, Basket weave, Accent Beads, Branching and Fans.  At the ending of this segment is a list of books Jo Ann recommended.
Jo Ann said one of the places she took her inspiration from was from Embroidery Stitches. She said that any Embroidery Stitch can be adapted for use with beading techniques. Many of the pieces she showed had crewel embroidery as well.

We learned how to combine the beading
stitches and how to augment our
quilts by looking at her beautiful
embellished art works.

Peggy working on her hoop.

Jan  working on her hoop

After we finished our hoops,
we had the opportunity to work on our quilts or
a quilt sample that Jo Ann gave us.
This is Graham's beautiful Crazy Quilt that she has been working on for several years.
She was excited about all the new techniques we learned and said it would improve her work.
I think her work is just gorgeous.

Closeup of
Graham's flowers

Buttons and Flowers

Graham added a scissor and thread

This was a large flower that Graham beaded on her quilt.  Jo Ann had a very interesting technique as well.  She would bead a piece of material and then put it on a covered button which would give it added relief.  One of the techniques that Jo Ann used that I found fascinating was to feature large cabochons, (polished stones) in her art quilts and then use wool or thread to fasten them on her piece. If you can imagine how some jewelry makers used metal to hold their cabochons in place, that's what Jo Ann did with thread.

This link will take you to a free Tutorial on Wire Wrapped Cabochons.
Potpourri of beads, buttons,
embroidery stitches, Flores,
Graham uses the lace as inspiration
for placing the beads.

Karen Preston brought her Sea Shell quilt to work on.

Karen told us all about a great new product called Pilot® FriXion® Erasable Gel Pen.  The markings will disappear if heat is applied like a blow dryer. If you want the markings back. put your quilt in the Freezer. ( I believe that is what I heard her say - Who Knew?).
This product is available from office supply places : 
Karen Preston added beads and sequins to her quilt. The starfish is star studded.

Jo Ann recommended these three books if you could only order 3.

Van Horn, Larkin Jean, Beading on Fabric, Interweave Press 2006
Eha, Nancy Bead Creative like Crazy, Creative Visions Press 2009
Eha, Nancy, Bead Creative Art Quilts, Creative Visions press, 2006

Bead Source Recommendations made by Jo Ann Amidon

Blissful Beads. Linda Bruce, Lexington, SC  803-760-8821

Jo Ann graciously allowed me to take some pictures but requested that her work would not be posted on the Internet. I asked her as I was taking her picture with the sunflowers ... if I could put it on my blog and she said yes.

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