Beading Basics with Christine Wheeler

Beading workshop April 2017 – Craft house, Perth

perth workshop beadingI have studiously avoided proper beading for a very long time.  I have occasionally attached beads to various pieces, with some trepidation. My beading is elementary at best, so I welcomed the opportunity to attend a ‘Basic Beading’  workshop presented
by Feltwest. Christine Wheeler was the tutor and has been interested in beads for decades. She once visited Ecole Lesage in Paris and spent some time receiving tuition from the women who embroider for Dior.

The workshop was techniques based rather than working on a particular project. We spent the day creating a sampler using different stitches to attach beads – a great tool for future reference. Christine showed us various tips and techniques that make working with beads a little easier. Ways to improve the durability of beaded work were also covered. She showed us a number of basic stitches, how to add height, texture and combine beads.
By the end of the day, I was a lot more confident about applying beads and came away with some new ideas too. Realising beads can be added to almost any kind of hand stitch is something I will explore further, sometime. For now,  I am thrilled to be able to actually thread a very small needle. I am even looking at my very dated sequin collection with new interest. Even ugly beads have their place it seems.

Just a few of Christine’s beading samples

The photos don’t so the samples justice. I find it hard to take decent photos of shiny things, especially on a black background. Nearly as bad as taking pictures of textiles under glass! I think beads complement felt really well as they are contrasting textures. Surface design and embellishment on finished felt is a bit different to other fabrics but I look forward to including beads in the repertoire.

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