Articles: An Introduction to Bead Embroidery Techniques
I always apply any cabochons I want to use first. Apply a very small amount of glue to the center back the main cabochon, spread it around evenly, and place it onto the center of your Stiff Stuff. This holds the cab in place as you work. Try to avoid letting the glue seep out the sides, as this can make it difficult to pass your needle through once the glue has dried. Now, let the glue dry a little bit. This is also a great time to go ahead and draw out any more of the pattern you might want. Nearly all the bead embroidery I do is done with the following version of the back stitch.
BEAD EMBROIDERY, BACKSTITCH
Thread your needle with an arm's length of beading thread, then knot the end. While holding the cab and fabric firmly between your thumb and forefinger, push the needle up through the fabric using the edge of the cab as your guide. Make a baby stitch to secure it. To stitch a line of beads, come up through the fabric from the wrong side. String 3 or 4 beads. Stretch the bead thread along the line where the beads will go, and go through the fabric right after the third bead. Come up through the fabric between the second and third beads and go through the third (and fourth) bead again. String 3 or 4 more beads and repeat. For a tighter stitch, string only 2 beads at a time. Go all the way around the cab. This is the base row.
BEAD EMBROIDERY, SEED STITCH
Bring the needle up and pick up a single bead (I like using the droplets for this stitch). Go back down through the fabric just a hair away from where you came up.
BEAD EMBROIDERY, LAZY STITCH
Bring the needle up through the fabric, pick up a series of size-11 beads or a bugle bead. Lay them flat along whatever line you are, making sure they lie taut and flat, and go down through fabric at the end of that row.
TECHNIQUE - PICOT
Picot stitch is a great way to finish off the edge of bead embroidery so you don't see the cut edge(s) of fabric. Picot also looks great in 15/0 beads. Before Set Up for the 3-Bead Picot Stitch - thread on 3 beads. You will use three beads to set up the pattern just this time. The middle bead will sit up above the 2 side beads on either side. Let the beads fall to the bottom of thread and rest on the Stiff Stuff edge. Move needle over one bead width and pass needle from the back, a whisper in from the edge and through to the front edge. Now, pass the needle up through the last bead (bead #3) from its bottom hole through bead to the top. This is important - the thread must be coming out between beads #3 and #2, pointing towards bead #2.
From now on you will only thread on 2 beads each time you create a bead picot. You will simply thread on 2 beads and make another small stitch that is one bead width away, bringing needle through from back to front edge. Now bring needle up through the last bead towards the one you added beforehand, and tug thread to set beads into position.
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