Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You know this is all an experiment—right?

Back to those little beaded thingies. Most of you seemed to agree that cutting a couple of them into smaller pieces was a good idea. A couple of you didn't. Del thought the purple/blue one no longer had room to "breathe." I can see that. What bothered me more about all of them was what happened to the corners when I put the facings on them. Those little rounded corners and whoop-y edges are not really too noticeable on a big piece, but really ugly on the little ones. See what I mean?

I would prefer squarer corners and straighter edges. so I picked out the stitching and,as long as I had it all undone, I added back some "breathing" room that isn't as busy and distracting as the original pieced strips.

A teeny little, unobtrusive binding made the edges and corners more to my liking. It is mounted on a piece of gray mat board on top of black.

This green piece needed some editing and better corners too.

This one has a blanket-stitched edge. I am working on some really tiny ones right now with an unfinished edge. I think all are an improvement over the facing.

It is all an experiment. Even if I ruin a few in the process I will figure out what works best eventually, I think. Tonight I beaded my way through "So You Think You Can Dance." The piece looked awful, so I cut all the beads off and will start over with it tomorrow.

Here was a cool, successful experiment. Last week I bought a little string of copper-plated beads in McMinnville, hoping I could treat them so they would not be so bright and maybe even acquire a little verdigris patina. I took about half and spread them out on a saucer with a little white vinegar and left them overnight. Voila! Excellent patina. The originals are on the left and the patinated ones loose on the right.


I like them so much better. Half the fun is the experiment. Remember—my word for this year is "Discover."


  1. Yes, much better! The rounded corners didn't bother me until you pointed them out. :) I do like the binding and the buttonhole treatment. I am amazed at the copper beads! I love the patina. They have so much more character now. Woo Hoo!

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiments. I love the patina you got on those beads!

  3. These are just little gems. I love your experiments. Amazing transformation on copper beads and all for the better. Are you voting on "Dance"? I can't bear to choose; they are all so amazing.

  4. The copper ,which I like even when shiny, is lovely after the acid. I understand about the experimenting. Yesterday I took a sander(power tools are so empowering) to a painting. Not sure that what I did made it great, but then again, it wasn't good the way it was. Experimentation can be a little scary, but how else can one break out of that comfort zone?
    I agree about the breathing room. Good advice, good decision.

  5. I have always hated the way corners could go so wrong looking so easily. It may be one of the reasons I got out of the textile business altogether. Glad to see you are finding ways to deal with that.

    And I love the patina on the beads -- I never would have thought of such a thing. Experimenting is exciting and worthwhile, even while it means some errors while going through trials. Much better than my staring at my corners in despair:-)

  6. A tip from the dressmaking world for corners that are pointy and not rounded...collars and facings.
    It seems counterintuitive, but you get sharper corners if you don't sew to the point and pivot.

    Instead of turning the corner with a pivot like an L. go up to the corner and as you approach, reduce the stitch length...and just before you would pivot, instead turn slightly. Then take 2 or 3 stitches across, turn take a few more stitches along the new side and increase the stitch length again.
    You can actually do it without the increase and decrease if you aren't working with a longer stitch length altogether.
    As you are experimenting, maybe you can try that.
    Sandy in the UK

  7. Oh, yes, better corners with the tiny binding. Besides it LOOKS so cool with itty bitty binding. The green version is a real cutie, too.