Friday, November 6, 2009

Bead Weaving Tools and Supplies

It doesn't take too many tools to do beading like I have been doing with the tiny size 11 Delica beads. I did buy one book "Beaded Favors" by Jennie Might and it is the book where I found the pattern for the dogwood needle case I made. Am now working on beading another dogwood needle case but am making this one with pink flowers and a brown background. Will post a photo when I get it finished.

This book has a lot of different patterns for the beaded needle cases and also the little beaded neck pouches. There are several patterns I want to make on my list yet.

The first thing I do is scan my pattern into the computer, enlarge it and then flip it left to right. The reason I flip the pattern is that I am left handed and the diagonal line drawn onto the pattern to help to move up the pattern and keep your place is for a right handed person. (Beading for right handed people goes from right to left, the opposite for left handed people.) By flipping the pattern and printing it the design can be worked left handed and I can follow the "step ups" to the next row. I know this is confusing for those non-beaders - sorry.

I put the pattern on a metal sheet with a magnetized ruler and magnet strip. The ruler helps to keep my place on the pattern. The rows are numbered along the side every other row on the pattern. Of course the numbers are backwards since the pattern is flipped but still readable.

Another thing I do to my printed out pattern is mark each row of beads with either a (o) or (-). When working the pattern I lay a magnetized ruler along the line I am beading but can loose track of where I am but the little circles or dashes on the pattern make quick work of counting how many beads to use on that row and what colors. It is easy for my eyes to jump a line up and weave in the incorrect bead without these marks. This may be just a trait of this pattern since is seems to be a photograph of a piece of beaded work. I think if the pattern were just colored rectangles without all the shadows and highlights it would be easier to follow.

When beading while sitting my my easy chair I use an old lap board that was my daughter's when they were young. It has a foam bead filled pillow on the backside so it lays evenly on my lap and my beading pattern and other stuff don't fall or roll off.

Below are the rest of my supplies. I have beeswax to condition the thread, Silimide beading thread in natural and gray, small sharp scissors, needle threader and hemostat for breaking beads that are woven in the wrong place. I break the bead out and then weave the thread down to the missing bead and weave in the correct bead. I use a size 11 Sharp John James needle instead of a beading needle and so far it works just fine. The last thing on the table is a pair of Mag Glasses - more about them later.

The hooped fabric is a suede type fabric. As I am beading I pour a few beads out on it at a time and the fabric nap keeps the beads from rolling all around. After I finish beading with a certain color of beads I scoop them back up with a baby spoon I still had in my silverware drawer. There is a special tool you can buy to pick up beads but this works fine for me and it is small enough I can pour the beads back into the tube without spilling any.

OK, back to the clip on magnifying lenses. I purchased them a couple of years ago when I was in Paducah for the AQS show. I have used them for applique and for hand quilting my miniatures and now they are really handy for seeing what I am doing when I do the bead weaving. They are pretty nifty in that they clip over my regular glasses and I can look down through the magnifying part to bead and look over the top of them to take a look at the TV program I might be watching.

When I want full vision I can just flip them up and out of the way as they are hinged. Like I said they are very handy. These are 2x strength but want to find some that are 3x to make a little bigger holes on those beads.

Boy, these photos sure show my freckles - used to have more as a kid and also used to have bright red hair but time has faded the hair and most of the freckles over the years and most people now call me a blond. Of course there is some white hair around my temples too.
Well that does it - told you I didn't have too many special tools. Maybe I will find more things that are indispensable for beading as I do more beading projects. I know I am always a sucker for a new tool so that is a big possibility .

I have found that I can find lots of free patterns and finished projects to look at on the internet. Great inspiration! My friend has loaned me a few bead books and can see that my quilt book library might have to slide over a little to include some of these books too.


1 comment:

Geta Grama said...

It seems you have a new passion !


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