Thursday, 31 January 2013

Time Out....For a Little Beading

Beading is such a zen thing to do.  A tiny plate of beads, a needle, some nylon thread and a strong light is all you need. 

I have an old black quilted jacket that's been around forever. It's just the thing for a windy spring day, the quilting keeps you warm but you don't feel bundled up.  I took it out of the closet a few weeks ago and noticed how tatty the cuffs had become. Too many years of resting them on the edges of tables, I suppose.

Hanging right next to the jacket was a black cotton shirt I never wear. I bought it at a secondhand shop because I liked the shape but when I put it on it just didn't sit right, it fell a little too long, making me seem wider at my widest point.  I put the shirt down on the bed to go to the thrift shop and realized it was a perfect match for the quilted jacket. In a trice I had cut the arms off the black shirt, made wide cuffs for the jacket and sewed them on by hand.

It looked a little odd since the new cuffs weren't quilted in the same diamond pattern as the jacket fabric.  I hung it back in the closet anyway, while I thought about what I'd do, maybe quilt over the new cuffs, or leave them plain, at least they didn't look frayed anymore.

An hour later in my studio I was sorting through some beads, looking for something in a dark green to work with a malachite necklace I have been putting together, when I  knocked a hank of beads off the wall. They were a lovely gunmetal grey and as I reached up to hang them back up I suddenly thought of the black jacket. What about some beading on the cuffs, in a pattern to compliment the quilting?

So, for the past two evenings I've been beading the cuffs.  The gunmetal gleams nicely against the black cotton.  I used some scotch tape to outline large diamond shapes and then basted the lines with bright yellow thread.  As I stitch in the beads I slowly pull out the basting thread a little at a time, so the diagonal lines don't wander too much.

It has been a nice break from online research and testing recipes for The Chocolate Gazette. Everyone needs a little down time now and then, this turned out to be perfect for me.

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