Project of the Week: Bee’s Knees Pin, part 2

Welcome back to our bead embroidered pin series. Last week, we discussed what materials we are using and how to get started. If you need a refresher about last week’s post, click here. We also discussed a bit about designing our pin and the possibilities of what we can do.

This week, we’re going to do the bead embroidery portion and use a couple of different – but easy – stitches. We’ll also look at considerations to create an interesting design effect. So, let’s get started!

Now that our cabochon is securely glued to the foundation, it’s time to add some beads. To frame the cab, we’re doing to do back stitch to create rows of beads. For our first row, I’m using size 8/0 seed beads. The larger beads will help fill in the side of the cabochon.

Pull about a wingspan of thread and thread your needle. Place a quilters knot at the end of the thread. Stitch up from the back, exiting your needle close to the cabochon. It doesn’t matter where you start; this row will go completely around the cab.

Pick-up four size 8/0 beads and lay them along the cabochon.
Stitch down where the fourth bead is.
Stitch back up two beads back (so that you’re coming up in the middle).
Stitch through the two existing beads in the direction you want to go (I changed direction and am stitching to the left).
Pick-up another four beads and lay them down. Stitch down where the fourth bead ends.
Stitch up two beads back and go through the two existing beads in the direction you’re beading. Repeat around the cabochon.
When you reach the beginning, determine how many beads are needed to fill the gap.
Stitch through two beads at the beginning and down to the back.

Start your next row, this time using size 11/0 seed beads. Note where I’m starting.
Pick-up five size 11/0 beads and stitch down at the end of the fifth bead.
Stitch up two or three beads back and go through the existing beads in the direction you’re beading. Continue this sequence.
Remember the original drawing? I’ve left a gap in the second row to accommodate the flowers. Finish the row by stitching down. By the way, that black dot at the top of my piece helps me remember which way is up!

At this point, I want to add a couple of flowers to help define the space. Stitch back up where you want your first flower.
Pick-up a flower bead (so that you’re coming out of the top of the flower) and a size 11/0 bead. Stitch back down the flower bead and through the foundation.
Add a couple of more flowers bunching them up.

Start a third row of back stitch using size 11/0 seed beads and ending where row 2 ends.
At this point you can fill in the space with more flowers.
You can fill any gaps with ‘stalks’ of beads. Pick up four or five beads, skip the last bead and stitch down the remaining beads. This called a ‘stacked stitch’ and the same way we added the flowers. Don’t be afraid to overlap the cabochon with flowers and ‘stalks’. Breaking an edge or a boundary adds to the piece’s interest.
Flowers in place.

As you’ve done before, stitch the outside row using size 8/0 seed beads. At this point you can determine if you want to add additional flowers or rows of beads.
Decide where you want your hummingbird to be. As it is a bead, stitch through the hole with several passes to hold it in place. Note that I’ve again broken the boundary of the outer row of beads. As it also sits on top of the beads, balancing the texture and visual weight of the flowers.

Next week we’ll finish our Bee’s Knees Pin with an ultra suede backing and you’ll learn how to edge the piece with seed beads!

Components for the pin:
Trio of Bees, Celestial Gold, cabochon
White GoodFelt beading foundation or Lucy’s Stiff Stuff
Hummingbird bead
E600 Glue
Beading needle
5x7mm Flare Cup Flowers, Green Whisper, Blue Lumi Luster, and Opaque Purple Lumi
Row 1 seed beads: Semi-Glazed Blue Turquoise Rainbow, size 8/0
Row 2 seed beads: Galvanized Dark Seafoam (DC), size 11/0
Row 3 seed beads: I pulled them from my stash, but Galvanized Light Mauve (PF), size 11/0 is very close
Row 4 seed beads: Hybrid Polychrome Olive Mauve, size 8/0
9″ Ultra Suede, Topiary
Thread for beading: Miyuki Beading Thread, Green Mint
Thread for edging (colour matched): Toho One-G Beading Thread, Green
1.25″ pin back, silvertone
Remember, make the pin your own with colours that suit you and your wardrobe!

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