Beaded Fabric Motifs

Stephanie Novatski 2004

Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-

Adding beaded motifs to your CQed item or block can add texture, interest and sparkle. Finding or creating that motif can sometimes be a challenge. I have found a variety of sources for these motifs: fabric prints, lace motifs, and printed silk images are among my favorites.

Fabric Prints:

There are so many beautiful fabric prints that would lend themselves to beading. You can choose to bead the entire motif, just outline it, or add selected highlights. Following is a picture of a flower from a piece of printed charmeuse. I applied Wonder under to the wrong side of the flower, cut it out on the edge of the gold line, and applied it to my CQ block. I then proceeded to cover the gold outline with gold beads using the beaded backstitch. Since this piece was to be used as a purse, I added extra security by adding a few extra small stitches every " on the wrong side. To do the beaded backstitch: bring needle to right side of fabric and load 3 beads. Push beads to fabric. Go into fabric at end of bead 3 and come up between beads 1 and 2. Go through beads 2 and 3 with needle and add three beads. Repeat as necessary.

Rather than fill in the entire flower, I added purple bead highlights and filled in the center with lavender beads. I used size 11 seed beads for this project.

Lace Motifs:

Hands painted Venetian lace motifs are a beautiful addition to any CQ project. To highlight them even more, why not add beads? The following lace flower was hand painted then applied to a patch. Size 11 Seed beads were added to highlight the shape and color of the flower, stem and leaves. Again, the beaded backstitch was used for the majority of the beads. The beads in the center of the flower were applied one at a time.

Printed Silk Images:

Last issue, Pat Winter showed you how to embellish a silk print using Silk Ribbon Embroidery. I also like to embellish silk prints with beads, especially a variety of beads along with other items such as sequins. This picture of a butterfly was embellished with size 11 seed beads, round sequins, and flower beads. The large beaded area on the wings was done with the beaded backstitch. The print was applied to the fabric the same as the fabric motif, using Wonder Under product. It was further enhanced with metallic cord.

Feeling ambition? How about creating your own design? The following designs were created from a picture of a butterfly. I printed out the butterfly to the size I wanted, covered it with tissue paper and traced the outline. I divided the wings into sections to add interest.

The Sketch:

Pin the tissue paper to your fabric and start beading. I started outlining the wing sections in size 11 seed beads using the beaded backstitch. Do one entire wing first. It is easier to duplicate the second wing by counting the beads used on the first. You may also find your beading takes on a life of its own as you try to follow the outline. This is a good thing! Don't be afraid to deviate. Once you have finished the outline, remove the tissue and fill in the wings. Try experimenting with different sizes and shapes of beads. Following are two examples using different beads but the same sketch.

This first butterfly was outlined in white pearl beads. The bottom of the upper wing was outlined with lavender pearl beads and the bottom wings are done in pink pearl beads. You can see the loops on the upper wing became elongated, and a loop from the bottom wing was eliminated. Once the tissue was removed, I experimented with different styles of beads and decided on the flowers, different sizes and shapes of pearls, round and seed. The body is a combination of different large, odd shaped beads.

This butterfly was outlined using larger seed beads-about 9-10. The bottom wings were filled in with leaf shaped beads. The top wing was filled in with different sizes of bicone shapes stacked with seed beads. Again the body is a couple odd shaped beads.

I hope these beaded motif methods piqued your creative juices. If you use any of these ideas, please send us a picture to post in our gallery.


Home - Articles  - Readers' Showcase  - Novices - Search-

Copyright 2002 - 2011, All Rights Reserved
Editor: Published by: Pretty Impressive Stuff