She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

Barbara Blankenship © 2011

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As the staff discussed content for this issue of CQMagOnline we decided to include some articles relating to summer. Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, summertime reminds me of our sandy beaches and time spent searching for that one beautiful seashell. The most effective means of capturing their beauty just had to be bead embroidery.

As crazy quilters we all love the glitter and glamour of bead embroidery. Many stitches we’ve done with thread or ribbon can easily be done with beads and the results are amazing. Beading adds a different dimension to your handwork as well as a touch of sparkle and beauty to your finished block.

My seashell design can be found in the book entitled: Designer Bead Embroidery by Kenneth D. King. Although the book gives you the exact color and size of the beads I decided to choose from my stash and match as closely as I could to the author’s recommendations. I was very pleased with the results.

I chose a piece of ecru moiré and placed it into a small hoop.

Although I didn’t draw the design prior to beading, I would recommend you do that. I have a bad habit of counting beads in a design I like and estimating placement. If you aren’t comfortable with free handing your design, a pattern is included in this book.

Supplies I used:

  • Beading needle
  • Bead mat
  • Beading thread
  • #11 bronze/brown bead
  • #11 iridescent gold blend bead
  • 6mm pearls
  • 6mm crystal montees
  • off-white opalescent sequins
  • pale peach sequins brushed with purple alcohol ink

I used a Couching Stitch for adding the beads. You will work in the pearls and montees as indicated. Use a running stitch to add the sequins placing them all cup down.

Designer Bead Embroidery is an excellent book to have in your library. It includes architectural ornaments, filling designs, edges, borders, flowers, shells, insects, alphabet, zodiac signs, holiday motifs and music motifs. Each design includes a photograph, pattern illustration, and a list of stitches, beads needed, along with clear and concise instructions.

For those of you not comfortable with beading, the book also includes directions along with great illustrations for creating every stitch used in each design. There is also a complete bead index with photos of the beads needed for the designs. Key skills are fully explained, so whether you are a beginner or an advanced beader you will love the motifs and designs included in the 125 pages of this book.


Designer Bead Embroidery by Kenneth D. King
ISBN – 13:978-1-58923-272-3
Creative Publishing International

Sequins –

Montees – plus other online sites


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