Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I'm off to teach 3 days of classes at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show tomorrow.  This will be my 4th visit to the annual event which is held in Bloomington, IN.

In two classes, students will create samplers as they learn a huge variety of beading techniques, everything from the basic bead stitch to some fancy dimensional methods.

The final day I'm teaching Bead Embellished Wool Collage.   I love, love, love woolfelt and really enjoy sharing the techniques I've developed to work with this very forgiving material. It's fun, fast, and is such a good backdrop for my beadwork.

What's great is these methods work well with a variety of design styles.  My original inspirations were Penny Rugs......but of course I tweaked tradition and came up with my own designs which include beads and buttons.

Notice how the slightly smaller top layer is attached to the larger darker green backing??  The layers are beaded together.....raw edges left untouched....which is just fine since most felted wool won't unravel!

Now we can view a more contemporary approach.  Running Squared could be a wall hanging or a table runner.

Square and rectangle motifs are fused to the green background and machine blanket stitched with thread to match the color of each.  Appliqueing isn't really necessary, but I like the added texture the machine stitching provides.  Beads are scattered here and there to help the eye continue to travel.  Again, the backing is cut slightly larger than the top piece....the two pieces are attached with beading.

Circles Within  - The motifs are  fused, appliqued by machine, and then beaded.  A narrow green border was also applied to help frame the design.  This white wool didn't felt as well as I'd have liked.  So, because the edges raveled too much, the backing piece was cut the exact same size as the top, then.......right sides together.....I machine stitched around the piece....leaving an opening for turning.  This method wouldn't be appropriate for thick wool as the corners would become too bulky....but it's a good way to hide and secure the edges when necessary.

I hope to be bringing you reports during my travels.....assuming the hotel internet and my Mac play together well!

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