Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beads and Bling for Faye

First, I have some news! I'm headed to Alaska next summer! I have teamed up with Quilt Retreats at Sea for a quilt cruise that will whet your appetite for breakfast! The theme for our cruise is "Breakfast at Sea" so be on the lookout for an original quilty project that involves fabulous batik "Snaps," "Crackers," and "Pops" from Hoffman California Fabrics. We launch from Seattle on July 11, 2014, and I simply can't wait! I hope you'll join me. Registration for the trip is officially open, and space is limited. Go sign up! It's something to look forward to for 2014! It'll be here before you know it!

Back here in 2013, are you interested in winning a copy of ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!? To celebrate all the blogging we did on the road to Portland, Oregon for Spring Quilt Market, The Taunton Press is giving away three copies of the book on the CraftStylish blog. You have to comment on this blog entry to win. Don't miss out  . . . you just have a few more days to comment.

And yet another big event happened this last week. My niece Karen--she's the one who is making her very first quilt over on the Quilting101 Blog--and her husband Josh welcomed a new baby girl on May 21st! Their first!

Everyone is doing great, including beautiful Faye Eloise (Isn't she a sweetie-pie!). I couldn't help making a little project for her--more on that below. Spoiler alert: Karen, if you are reading this, read no further until a package arrives in the mail from (your favorite) Aunt Joan!

On our trip across the country, from Syracuse to Portland a few weeks ago, you may recall that we stopped at several quilt shops along the way. On one of the stops I saw this little pattern from Macadoodles made up as a shop sample. Knowing my niece's baby was due some time in May, I just had to have it!

As soon as I received a call from my sister telling me that Faye had arrived, I started stitching. I made a few small modifications to the embroidery pattern. And, instead of placing the embroidery in a wooden frame, I decided to add some fabric borders and create a small quilt. Layered and quilted it simply.

Well one decision led to another, and before I knew it I added some fun lacy stitches to the border with pearl cotton, stitched through all layers of the quilt.

Then I started digging in my bead box and found some crystal beads that matched the fabrics and threads perfectly. Have you ever added beads to a quilt? It's very easy, here's how I did it . . .

First, I threaded an applique needle with beading thread (find this at beading specialty stores--it's a little sturdier for beads than cotton thread). To sew from one bead to the next, you can travel through the batting, or, I just traveled the thread along the back of the quilt, keeping my stitches somewhat tidy. Since this is a small wall-hanging, those travel threads won't catch on any toes like they might on a bigger quilt (Do you really want beads on anything but a wall-hanging?) Knot the beading thread, bury the knot in the quilt layers and pull the needle up from the back just to one side of where the bead will go (circled in red).

Pick up a single bead on the needle. . .

Then insert the needle straight down through the quilt layers on the other side of the bead. You can't see it because of my fingers, but the needle point is headed downward. I'm holding the needle eye.

Pull the needle up from the back at the same spot where you started (two photos ago with the red circle). This time my fingers are holding the pointy end of the needle.

Then thread the bead a second time, and insert the needle back into quilt on the other side of the bead. Travel through the batting or across the back to the next bead location and add the next bead.

I liked adding the crystal beads so much, that I decided to add some pearl-like beads along the binding. First I added the double-fold binding to the front of the quilt, as usual. But before sewing the folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt, I added the pearl beads at even intervals on the quilt front along the binding seam. The travel threads on the back were all covered up when I secured the binding to the back.

Instead of a sleeve for hanging, I added two miniature buttons at the top edge of the quilt, then tied a delicate ribbon from button to button for hanging.


Since Karen is a knitter (as well as a new quilter!) I thought a book of knitted Shawlettes (from The Taunton Press, of course!) would be a nice personal present for 'mom' for those small bits of personal project time (now more rare then ever!) that may come up from time to time. I know. . . she probably won't make any of the projects for about 21 years--there are so many cute baby things to make--but one can dream while flipping the pages!

Happy Stitching . . . and Beading!



  1. Oh, Joan, it came out beautiful!!! LOVE the little pearls along the binding. Lucky girl.

  2. What a great wall piece for the new little Faye Eloise! I too have a new granddaughter (first time grandma here!), Katelyn Marie born 4/3/13. Your little memento gives me an idea for a "first Christmas" ornament for Kate!

    1. Congrats Grandma!! I just love when one idea leads to another. You'll have to share some pictures when your idea comes to fruition!