Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Continuing the Beaded Cabochon

Okay, back to stitching on this cabochon to make it into a necklace...

Because it is too difficult to edge the cabochon properly with just the peyote bezel, I add a round of some other type of large(r) accent bead. For this piece, I chose a strand of grey freshwater pearls, because I thought they picked up the subtle colors in the cabochon rather nicely. To stitch them around the cabochon, I use a method I learned from Jamie Cloud Eakin: you string the beads around the cabochon and then stitch in between each one to hold it in place. I find that it works to create a very smooth, even row of accent beads, and it works great when I use it for other kinds of bead embroidery.

And this is what the back looks like after all the stitching is done. Can you even see all those tiny stitches from the bezel?

So, speaking of tiny stitches, the next step is to pick out a piece of Ultrasuede or Sensuede that matches the piece. I glue the cabochon down in the center, but I will leave the edges unglued so that it's easier to get the needle through the Stiff Stuff and the fabric. The edging is usually stitched using size 11 seed beads - I try not to use cylinder beads if I can help it, mainly because I just don't like the way that they look. The stitch I use for the edging is a variation on brick stitch, which is the first off-loom beadweaving stitch that I mastered all those years ago, and still remains one of my favorites.

And that is the back of the cabochon after the edging is complete! More tiny stitches.

A funny story about those tiny stitches: last summer, I did a big craft show down in Glens Falls through the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council, and I had a woman come up to my booth who started admiring the bead embroidered pendants and neckpieces I had on display. She turned one over to look at the back and asked me what kind of a machine I used to do the stitching. I wasn't sure I understood what she meant, so I told her that all my work was done by hand. She said, "Right, but what kind of machine do you use for the stitching on the back of the pieces?" Turns out she was a professional seamstress, and she was absolutely positive that I used some kind of sewing machine to get those stitches so tiny and even! I was totally flattered when she didn't believe me, and since I just happened to have a piece that I was working on at the show with me, I did a few stitches to show her my technique. She was absolutely amazed, and I felt pretty good about hearing those things from a professional seamstress.

So, next up, I will add the fringe and the strap, and I'll post the final pictures of the piece when I get it listed (for a very limited time) in my Etsy shop before it heads down to Houston, Texas for ApolloCon!

1 comment:

MissWeeza said...

THANK YOU! You see I am a very frustrated beader new to cabochon beading and was confused; When do I use the specific backings and how? In looking at just two pictures on your site, I knew...THANK YOU!