Beadlepoint, Beadlepoint, Beadlepoint
Does this blog's title make you think, "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice"? Wondering what this has to do with beads? Well, for starters, Beadwork Senior Editor Jean Campbell and Editorial Director Danielle Fox brought me a few Beadlepoint Stitchable Phone Cases from the Tucson bead shows. Secondly, the technique that the cases require gets me thinking about old times (hence the reference to the 1980s movie).
Many of you might already know that I started at Interweave working for one of our sister publications, PieceWork magazine. In short, PieceWork exposes readers to the rich history behind needlecrafts, plus features many contemporary projects inspired by historical items.
Though I love many of the needlepoint pieces we've featured in PieceWork, I've never really spent much time needlepointing. As a child, I cross-stitched dozens of tree ornaments and presents for my grandparents, but needlepoint was never part of the mix. One of my grandmas had several stitched-plastic-canvas tissue-box covers (you know the kind I'm talking about), so looking back I'm surprised she didn't teach me.
So now that needlepoint's on my mind, what could be better than combining it with beads? The Beadlepoint cases, from The BeadSmith, inspired me to give the combination a try.
Here are a few tips I came across while working the first few rows of my design:
–Don't start your thread with a knot at the end, as you might pull it up through the holes in the back of the case. Instead, pass the needle up through the case from the back leaving a short tail, string 1 bead, pass back down through the case in an adjacent hole that's diagonal to the one just exited, and then knot the tail and working threads.
–To avoid gaps in the design and achieve the diagonal look that's signature of needlepoint, always stitch in the same direction, diagonally from one hole to the next. All of the bead holes will point the same direction.
–Chevron patterns are so popular right now, so I gave one a go here. However, the case comes with 2 cute designs: one with hearts and one with an owl. When working your own design on a lighter-colored case, I assume you could color it in using washable markers.
–I used permanent galvanized seed beads, thinking they might hold up better than unfinished glass beads in case the phone is dropped. The beads are from the "carnival multi perm. galvanized" mix from Beyond Beadery.
–You may have to occasionally flip the case over in order to find the correct hole to pass back up through. The holes on the back of the case are smaller than the holes on the front.
–A bead needs to sit over each crosshair of the grid, which takes a little time getting used to, so be patient with your first few rows. Also, these crosshairs can be hard to see, so be sure to have good lighting.
–If you need to travel from one side of the case to the next, pass under the threads on the back to avoid long thread loops. Also do this when trying off threads.
–The package says to use size 15° seed beads, but here I used size 11°s.
–When the beads fall out of line of the pattern, simply push them into shape. The following rows will hold them in place.
Now I have to confess that this case won't even fit my phone, but it's never too early to get started on a holiday gift!