Logo Making
Bead Embroidery

Samples Part I
Beadwork May/June 2000
Return to Sampler Main Page

I have eliminated the Navigation Bar
on this page so that you can
make your own personal copy.
Just return to the Main Sampler Page
to move around Beadwrangler's.
Embroidery requires a fabric backing. Bead embroidery bulks up and requires working stitches differently than thread stitches. All beads are not uniform and every stitch will not line up exactly as thread stitches. Fourteen count fabric works with 11/0 and Delica beads, however bead size variations require some adaptation to the stitches. The counted fabric needs each cut edge whip stitched to prevent raveling or apply Fray Stop to the edges. Stitch each row of bead embroidery separately. If there’s a mistake in one row, it will be easy to correct without redoing the whole sample. The counted fabric I used has a smooth and a rough side. I used the smooth side for the bead embroidery. Plan for 29 stitches down and 26 stitches across for the bead embroidery area. The counted fabric I used has 29 stitches down and 27 across, leaving one extra blank stitch on one side or the other of each sample. Each fabric sample measures approximately 2 1/8" long by 1 " wide; this does not include the whip stitched edges.

General Instructions

Thread the embroidery needle with thick thread, double it, about 40" putting  20" on each side. Make a knot in the end and cut off the excess thread. Take the needle through the counted fabric from the back to front, at the top left or right edge, beginning in the 2nd stitch from the top. Make sure the thread is taut and take the needle from the front to back over the top of the fabric and back through the next stitch: making a loop around the edge of the fabric, continue to the end. Then turn the piece to the back side, pull the needle through all the stitches to the other end and cut off the excess thread.

For each row of beads in each sample, thread the beading/sharps needle with beading thread, double it, about 40" placing 20" on each side. Make a knot in the end and cut off the excess thread ends. Knots are not used in most thread embroidery, however, when stitching with beads the thread requires knots at the beginning and ending of stitch rows to keep the beads from pulling loose. Use Fray Stop on the knot to make sure it does not come loose. I use a disposable lighter on my beading thread ends. Each time a row is finished, make a knot, cut off the excess thread and begin the next row with new thread. Pull the thread taut after each stitch. Each time beads are strung onto the fabric, take the needle through to the back side, pull the thread taut. By alternating the bead colors, the thread path is easy to identify. Each count begins in the stitch following the last bead stitched.

Lighter Trick      Keep about " loose thread at the end of the knot. Let the heat, not the flame, burn the thread ends. Soon as the thread ignites, it will burn down towards the knot. Blow out the flame on the thread before it reaches the knot, the heat from the burnt ends will make a little bead on the knot. Take care not to singe the counted fabric. This is a Joyce Scott trick. Adults should be in charge of the lighter trick.

Terms

Stitches Tiny holes run the length and width of counted fabric forming a grid of small squares. Count from one hole to the next (one small square) as a stitch; this is extremely important when counting. If you hold the fabric up to the light: the tiny holes will be obvious.
AKA Stands for "Also Known As"; additional names identifying the stitch being worked.

Materials

Notions

Czech Bead Colors

Delica Bead Colors


Bead Chain Stitch
AKA:  Loop, Tambour and Point de Chainette stitch.

There are 20 beads in each chain; each chain is worked into the next chain. There are 5 bead chains in each row down and 7 rows across. Each time a bead chain is made, it should line up with the previous chain in that row.

Bead Chain Stitch - Czech Bead Chain Stitch - Delica
Czech Delica

Bead Chain Stitch Sampler Instructions

Embroidery Chain Stitch Illustration Begin in the top left corner. Take the needle from the back to the front in the 1st stitch below the hand stitching. String 20 beads, color 1, take the needle back through the fabric in the next adjacent stitch. Count down 5 additional stitches from first bead chain and bring the needle back through the front inside the bead chain just made. String 20 beads, color 2, take the needle back into the fabric in the adjacent stitch. Now the 2nd bead chain is sticking out of the first one. Count down 5 additional stitches from the last bead chain and make the next chain with 20 beads, color 3. Continue alternating the bead colors for each chain, counting down 5 additional stitches each time. When the last chain is made, take the needle from the back to the front, counting down 6 additional stitches for Delicas and 7 additional stitches for Czech beads. Take the needle around the bottom of the bead chain between the two middle beads and back into the fabric. Knot the thread on the back of the fabric. Put new thread on the needle. For the next row, start back at the top, bring the needle through the 3rd stitch to the right of the first bead chain and continue alternating bead colors. This is a good filler stitch.

Bead Cross Stitch
AKA:  Sampler, Berlin and Pint de Marque stitch.

There are 2 bead stitches, each worked in a diagonal line, the 2nd bead stitch crossing the first.  String 7 beads for the 1st stitch and 8 for the 2nd , allowing for the width of the 2nd bead stitch to cross the first.  There are 5 bead cross stitches down in each row and 4 rows across.

Bead Cross Stitch - Czech Bead Cross Stitch - Delica
Czech Delica

Bead Cross Stitch Sampler Instructions

Embroidery Cross Stitch Illustration Begin at the top left corner. Count down 5 stitches from the top, bring the needle through to the front left side, string 7 beads, color 1, take the needle up 5 stitches and to the right 5 stitches. Take the needle through to the back. Bring the needle back through the top left, 1st stitch, string 8 beads, color 2, take the needle down 5 stitches and to the right 5 stitches. Begin the next stitch 6 additional stitches down from the last bead stitched on the left side. Work down, repeat the stitch beginning with color 3, then color 1; continue alternating bead colors. For the next row, start back at the top 3rd stitch across from the last bead stitched in the first row and 5 stitches down.

Bead Fern Stitch
AKA:  Flat and Line stitch

There are 3 straight stitches, 3 beads in each, worked with one vertical and two joining at angles; making a middle stem and 1 branch off each stem side.  There are 5 rows across, each row alternating in direction.  There are 9 main stems and 9 branches on each stem side for both bead types.

Bead Fern Stitch - Czech Bead Fern Stitch - Delica
Czech Delica

Bead Fern Stitch Sampler Instructions

Fern Stitch 1
First Stem
Fern Stitch 2
First Branch
Begin in bottom left corner. Bring the needle from the back to the front, above the hand stitching and across through the 4th stitch from the left side. String 3 beads, color 1, place the beads flat along the stitches, then take the needle directly through the fabric. Bring the needle back to the front, above and close to the last bead in the stem.
String 3 beads, color 2, count 2 additional stitches up from the last bead in the stem and 2 stitches to the left, take the needle through.
Fern Stitch 3
Second Branch
Fern Stitch 4
Second Stem
From the back, count 4 stitches across, which is 2 stitches to the right and up 2 stitches from the last bead in the stem, color 1, bring the needle through to the front. String 3 beads, color 3, bring the needle above and close to the last stem bead.
Take the needle through the fabric. Bring the needle back to the front, close to the last bead in the stem again. String 3 color 1 beads and repeat the process.
Fern Stitch 5 Fern Stitch 6
Make each stem color 1 and alternate with the branch on the left color 2 and the branch on the right color 3. For the next row, work from the top to bottom, reverse, start 5 additional stitches to the left of the last bead stem, the 9th stitch.
Stems are in rows 4, 9, 14,19 & 24.

Conclusion

These are sample guides, use them as a reference and experiment with each stitch, bringing rows closer or farther apart, freeform or no rows. Try working these same stitches without counted fabric. Experiment with embellishing three dimensional forms such as dolls and purses. Try turning the fern shape so it looks more undulating and not uniform. Make cross stitches here and there on ultrasuede or leather. Use chains as fillers for embellishment. Try different bead color configurations


Resources For Stitches

How To Embroider, Vol. IV, The National Needlecraft Resource Library, The National Needlework Association, Inc., 1990

The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia by Jan Eaton, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., Quarto Publishing Ltd., London, 1986

One Hundred Embroidery Stitches, Coats & Clark’s Book No. 150-B, Norwalk, CT, 1979

The Complete Encyclopedia of Stitchery, by Mildred Graves, Ryan, Doubleday, Inc., & Co., Garden City, NY, 1979

The Beader’s Companion by Judith Durant & Jean Campbell, 1998, Interweave Press, Loveland, CO, 1998

Guide to Slanted Stitches by Mira Silverstein, David McKay Company, Inc., NY, 1977

Beaded Bags & More edited by Jules & Kaethe Kliot, Lacis Publications, Berkeley, CA,1998

Embroidery with Beads by Angela Thompson, B.. Batsford Ltd., London, 1987

Return to Sampler Main Page