If you are a beader who loves beads not just for the jewelry that it can create, but for the sheer beauty – the very beadiness – of them, then you’ve probably spent at least a little time experimenting with a variety of bead inspired craft projects. Whether strung, sewn, glued or stitched, beads have a versatility that is unmatched by any other medium.
In Creative Quilting with Beadstextile artist Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader has compiled a wonderful assortment of quilting projects with gorgeous bead embellishments. A quick flip through the pages offers a wealth of inspiration to anyone who loves to combine beads with color and texture. There are over 20 projects in all, with designs by artists such as Julia Donaldson, Larkin Jean Van Horn, and Sarah Ann Smith.
The basics section covers everything you need to know about the materials you’ll need to try out the projects, including tips for conditioning thread and setting up your workspace. There are brief explanations of machine quilting and hand embroidery techniques – to master a complete project you’ll want to be familiar with the basics of operating a sewing machine. Even without these skills, the projects are a wealth of inspiration.
The project pages include templates and full color photographs of finished designs, with clear step-by-step instructions. More than just blankets, quilting combined with beads to make a variety of beautiful keepsakes such as magnets, pillows, art dolls, and wall hangings. Each piece uses beads to tell a story or capture an idea.
If you’re having a craving for some mixed media creativity, or want to bust your stash in new ways, look for Creative Quilting with Beads at your public library.