Forever (in) Amber

Lynn Schoeffler © 2008

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When I purchased this button, I thought it was a bee. However, the more I looked at it, the more it looked like a common housefly. Oh dear. A common housefly was not something I wanted to include on anyone’s gift or RR block, so it has languished in the button box for several years now.

As I started this project, there just happened to be a bag of amber seed beads on my work table; a nice little gift from my local bead store in acknowledgment of my continued support of their child’s college education, no doubt. So here I was with a housefly button and a bag of amber beads—who wouldn’t think of a bug preserved in a drop of amber for millennium!

This quick little bookmark would be a nice addition with the gift of a book for your favorite bluestocking.

For another how-to on inchies, take a look at Sue Bleiweiss’ CQMagOnline article "Simply Charming."

Basic Supplies:

  • Peltex or Lacy’s Stiff Stuff
  • Button
  • Fireline 6 lb. weight beading thread
  • Assorted seed beads
  • Assorted larger beads
  • Small square of fabric that coordinates with your bead color
  • Small square of ultrasuede
  • Fabric glue

For my bookmark, I cut a piece of Peltex about one and three fourths inch square. Glue a piece of color coordinated fabric on top of the Peltex with a fabric glue stick.

Because I wanted my button to lay very flat and as close as possible to the fabric, I cut the metal rim off with small wire cutters. The shank and the metal button back then fell off—so all I had left was the top of the button, which I glued to the fabric with E6000 glue.

I sewed on a few size eight and one size six accent beads, and a few green size eleven beads to indicate bits of leaf. Because I wanted a very textured look suggestive of a grainy piece of amber, I added concentric rings of rather unevenly sized and colored Czech seed beads.

To finish the inchie, I cut the Peltex down to a one-inch square size, carefully avoiding the beading threads. Cut the fabric down to a one and one fourth inch square, wrap it to the back of the Peltex square and glue.

Measure the length for your bookmark, about four inches longer than the length of the book, and cut a piece of Fireline double that measurement. Knot one thread of the Fireline only. Using a beading needle, anchor the thread to the bottom point of the Peltex on the back of the beaded square. Bring the needle and thread exactly through the point. Thread two or three larger beads. Bring the needle back up through these beads and into the Peltex again. Adjust the tension on the thread so that the fob beads lie straight. Knot the thread into the Peltex; do not cut the thread.

Make a few running stitches to the top point of the square. Bring the thread out right at the point, and begin beading with the size eleven seed beads. Don’t add any larger beads to the middle of the length; then add two or three of your choice at the end. Take the needle and thread back down through all of the seed beads until you come to the beaded square.

Knot the thread firmly on the Peltex on the back of the square.

Cut a one-inch square piece of ultrasuede; glue into place on the back of the beaded square. I glued a thin piece of trim onto the edges of the square, but you could also do a beaded border.

Ideas for inchies are endless—have fun!

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