Hello there, lovely!
I’m so happy to have you here with me today. It’s a wonderful day for stitching in my neck of the woods – drizzly and cool. Fall is definitely in the air. Last time, we chatted about stitching the grass on my “Tuscaloosa” canvas and today, it’s all about the beads!
That’s right – it’s time to add some bling!
Have you ever done any beading on your needlepoint projects? It’s actually not nearly as hard as it might seem. But it’s super-important to have the right tools and materials. So, what are they?
First, of course, is the beads.
Glass seed beads are what I most often use on my needlepoint – and they’re what you’ll likely find in your local needlework shop.
They come in a variety of sizes, but size 11 and size 14 are the most common. I recommend using size 11 on 13/14 mesh needlepoint canvas and size 14 on 18 mesh canvas.
Here’s a handy little tip – the smaller the bead, the smaller the mesh canvas you should use it on.
And beads are just like tapestry needles and needlepoint canvas – the larger the number that’s assigned to the item, the smaller (or finer) it actually is.
For example, size 24 tapestry needles are smaller than size 22 tapestry needles and 18 mesh needlepoint canvas is finer than 13 mesh canvas. Sooo – size 14 seed beads are smaller than size 11 seed beads. Make sense? Terrific!
Moving right along…
you’ll also need beading thread. The thread should be fine enough to easily glide through your beads more than once. Why’s that? Some of the beading techniques require you to make multiple passes through each bead to secure it to your canvas.
Nymo waxed nylon thread is made especially for seed beads, but you can also use silk or cotton embroidery floss. Be sure and “pop” or pull the Nymo thread tautly after you cut it to relax the kinks. That’ll also ensure that your beads will lay more smoothly on the canvas. If you decide to use cotton thread, I recommend running it through a cake of beeswax before you begin stitching. It’s a whole lot easier to work with if you’ll just do that one little thing. 😉
And, of course, you’ll need beading needles.
Beads have tiny little holes, so you’ll need to use beading needles instead of standard tapestry needles. Beading needles are quite slender and the eye is typically the same diameter as the shaft, so you don’t have to worry about that pesky eye not fitting through your beads.
Beading needles come in a variety of sizes and lengths, but my all-time favorite is the size 10 Bohin beading needle. Here’s a picture for you.
Definitely one of the hardest things about using beads on your needlepoint projects is keeping them under control. My go-to gadget for corralling the little buggers is actually one that I made.
Here’s a picture of my portable bead case…
I’m going to bead the word “Tuscaloosa” on my canvas. Here’s a picture of it BB (before beads).
I’m using the “lasso” technique to secure the beads to my canvas. Here’s a picture of my canvas with the bead stitching in progress.
After I finish beading “Tuscaloosa”, all I’ll have left to do is stitch that little cloud in Wisper and finish up Denny Chimes. Then, I can check this project off my list.
Be sure and keep an eye on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page for a “grand finale” picture – before I send my ornament off to the finisher.
And if you’re looking for the best place to find terrific needlepoint tutorials, click here to check out Serendipi-TV, the official YouTube channel for Serendipity Needleworks. Be sure and subscribe so you don’t miss anything. 😉
Until next week, happy stitching!