Thursday, April 21, 2011

Felting and Lutradur 3

Continuing on from yesterday,
Here are my colour samples for the rocks
On the left are three browns, a dark and medium shade and a red brown.  These will form most of the rocks.  On the right are two shades of a warm grey (pinkish rather than blueish) which will form the rock highlights and the foam over the rocks.
 I used a wide zig zag, both open and closed (satin stitch) over the rocks, using the darker colours first, then adding highlights on the left of the rocks with the lighter colours.

Finally, I added beading to the foreground sand.
You can see here the selection of beads I used, mostly clear seed beads, but with some coloured and some larger beads.
Before beading,  I  loaded monofilament in both upper and lower feeds and put in a size 60 needle (A size 70 will work for most seed beads, but not all). The machine is still set for free motion, and if you are using a darning foot, you need to remove it.
Beading is done in a hoop with the foot lever down, but no foot attached.
I add beads to the hoop one at a time.  If you add more, they will jiggle all over the place as you stitch.  In the above picture I have picked up a bead on a very fine stilletto.
 Before picking up the bead, I hand turn the sewing machine so the needle is about  a half a centimetre or and eigth of an inch above the surface (enough room for the needle to clear the bead) and on it's way down.
Above, you can see I have placed the bead close to where I am going to put it.
Now, I hand turn the needle, slightly moving the hoop if needed, so that the needle goes into the bead, but not yet through it, or touching the work surface.
At this point, I can move the hoop and position the bead wherever I want using the needle.
When it is in the correct position,  I use the foot pedal and make three to five stitches, the first one or two inside the bead and the rest outside.
The bead is attached and this is repeated for each bead.

This seems, complicated, but after a bit of practice, you will be doing it quite quickly.  In reality is is only slightly faster than doing it by hand, but I find it more efficient, and there are less threads on the back of the work.
HINT:  Always hand turn the needle into the bead.  You will find that you can manouever the bead to standing if it is on it's side and move it where you want it easily, more importantly, hand turning also helps to weed out the misformed beads, because if the bead is too small, you will feel that the needle is not fitting, and be able to remove the bead before the bead cracks, the needle breaks, or the thread breaks, all of which will happen if you use the motor to sew into a too small bead.
 Above, I have added a few clear beads to the top of the wave crests.
And here are the beads in the sand area at the bottom.  I have mixed these beads to give an impression of a pebbly shore.
And here is the landscape at the end of the embroidery and beading.  You could just frame your work like this, but next week I will show you a quick way to layer and quilt it.


  1. Thanks for sharing your techniques! I've avoided using small beads in my work because I've considered them needing a lot of fine hand stitching. I will consider them in the future and try the machine!

  2. Love your work. I haven't done much felting or threadwork lately but thanks for the inspiration.
    What I have done you can catch on my blog.. It is very addictive once I get at it


Conversation is important to me. I appreciate all my readers, If you comment, I will reply if an address in available and will visit your blog if that is listed. I do not use word captcha, so, cannot allow comments from anonymous users