I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’m stitching the beaded forget-me-not flowers. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!
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HOW TO MAKE THE BEADED FORGET-ME-NOTS
I’ve been looking forward to stitching these cute little beaded forget-me-not flowers, as I love beads used with embroidery.
You’ll need to look at page 59 of the Inspirations magazine issue 95 for the diagrams about exactly how to do these – I tried to take photos of this process, but I didn’t have enough hands!!!
Before you start to make the beaded flowers, stitch the leaves, as it’s easier to do now, than after the flowers are in place (as is suggested in the instructions) – the leaves are simply individual Lazy daisy stitches in one strand of Anchor green 265 substitute.
The beaded forget-me-nots near the centre of the panel are what are referred to as ‘large’ sprays of flowers. These aren’t really ‘large’ in any sense of the word, but they are larger than the ‘small’ ones, if you see what I mean! The large ones use number 11 seed beads, and the small ones use tiny little number 15s. The large ones are placed near the centre of the panel. There are six of those, and ten of the small flowers, nearer to the top of the panel.
These are some of the ‘large’ ones, using two shades of blue, once completed:
I had to substitute almost all the beads from the supplies list in the magazine, as I couldn’t find the Matsuno bead brand anywhere, that were actually in stock. In the end, I used two shades of blue (AB Delica shade SB0063 and SB0243 beads, both bought from Spellbound Beads) plus a gold size 11 bead for the ‘large’ flowers, and a blue size 15 shade 353 plus a size 15 gold bead for the ‘small’ flowers. The blue shades looked virtually identical in the packets, but they do look different once stitched onto the fabric.
This is where the large flowers are used, on the panel:
The flowers are made by threading six blue beads onto fine thread (I used one strand of pale gold silk, as I wanted it to highlight the gold of the centre bead, but with hindsight I think a medium blue silk would have been better), using a betweens needle #10. Don’t knot the end of the thread first. Just hold the free end in your left hand close to your chest, with the beads on the thread held straight out in front of you. Then thread the needle through the first three beads again, to make a loop (easier said than done…). Resting all six beads on the index finger of your left hand while you do this helps. A bit. But not much.
Still holding the loose end of thread in your left hand, thread on a gold bead, and take the needle through the sixth bead, in the direction of the first bead on the ring, so that when you pull the thread tight, it should make a ring of beads, with the gold bead sitting in the middle of a ring of blue beads. Hopefully, the two thread ends are now close together between the sixth bead and the first bead. You can now tie a knot in the thread, place the beaded flower on your fabric, and use the thread end with the needle on to attach the flower to your fabric. Re-thread the needle with the second thread, and use that thread to couch down in between each of the blue beads, holding the ring in place neatly on the fabric. At this point, if your ‘flower’ didn’t look much like a flower, you can manipulate the beads a bit to pull them into shape.
Honestly, it’s easier to do than to describe!!
I found these quite time-consuming to do, but they really lift the design, once they’re done. The difference in size of the two types of flowers is subtle, but very pretty, and a typical Carolyn Pearce design feature!
Next week, I’ll be doing the berries at the base of the panel. How’s your stitching going?
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The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95. The publishers do sell a full materials pack (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping.
To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.
To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).
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