Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beading Wrap-up

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Thought I'd wrap up our conversation on Beading. So far we've talked about Stitch Beading and Bricked Beading. Today we will talk about some other Beading techniques you might want to use on your needlepoint.

Let's begin with Messy Beading. I first heard about this from another needlepoint teacher, Julia Snyder. I'd like to show you how I do Messy Beading. The general concept is to add multiple beads at a time per stitch. Permission given to add the Beads in a random fashion; pile them on, if you wish.

When I was stitching this flower on the "Flowers in a Vase" canvas (ND 311),  I wanted a "ring" of beads at the outer edge of the flower center. I was going for a 3D effect and decided to try Messy Beading. I used size 11 Seed Beads and added 3 Beads at a time per stitch. I really liked the look. Thank you, Julia for your endless creativity.

Messy Beading example
"Flowers in a Vase" (ND 311)

Next let's talk about Piggyback Beading. It is when you have one Bead stacked on top of another Bead. The larger Bead is on the bottom and the smaller Bead is on top... going along for the ride.

When I was stitching the "Lotus Squared" canvas by Zecca (ZE 134), I used the Piggyback Beading technique for the Red Dots. I used size 6 Bead for the bottom Bead and size 11 Bead for the top Bead. What a great way to take deal with dots; letting the Beads do all the heavy lifting.

Piggyback Beading example
"Lotus Squared" (Zecca  ZE134)

Next let's talk about String Beading. This technique can have both ends attached to the canvas or one end attached with the other end loose.

I used the "both ends" secured when I laid down a string of Beads on top of a Ribbon for some extra decoration.

String Beading - secured example
"Lotus Squared" (Zecca  ZE134)

I used the "one end" secured when I made a Tassel with Beads on my "Nutcrackers Christmas Stocking" (Shelly Tribbey CS17). Notice how you can use a combination of Beads (Bugle Beads and Seed Beads).

String Beading - one end secured example
"Nutcrackers Christmas Stocking"
(Shelly Tribbey CS17)

Throw on a Bicone Crystal Bead and call me happy. 😊

Next up: Lasso Beading.  I use the Lasso Beading Technique when there is a single Bead standing all by itself.

Last technique I'd like to mention is the Stacked Beads. This is what I did on the "Sunflower and Berries" (ND 309). You bring the needle up where you want the stack. Add the Beads that make up the stack. Take the needle and thread back down through all Beads (except the top Bead) and give a little tug to make the stack stand up. 

Stacked Beads example
"Sunflower and Berries" (ND 309)

But wait.. there's more. You can add a Bead whenever there is a Tent Stitch. You can use a Bead to attach a Sequin. You can use Beads when making Jessicas. The possibilities are endless.  πŸ˜Š

My last helpful hint is to secure (on the backside of the canvas) the beaded technique before you move to another area. We want to make sure the Beads don't get loose!

Well, that's all for now. Time to see what's for lunch. 

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bricked Beading (aka Beaded Brick Stitch) with Robin

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Hello fellow Bead-niks. 😊

How was your week? I've been writing stitch guides for my upcoming Canvas Enhancement class next month at Quail Run Needlework in Scottsdale, AZ; September 23-26, 2017.

Look at these fun canvases!

upcoming new Stitch Guides by Robin King

The artists are Quail Run Designs, Susan Roberts Needlepoint (artist, Ashley Dillon), Maggie Co. (artist, Karla Gerard), Tapestry Fair (artist, Pat Scheurich), Nenah Stone, NeedleDeeva, Julia's Needleworks (artist, Peter Ashe), Winnetka Designs, and Shorebird Designs (artist, Kathryn Molineux).

I still have these 3 canvases to work on this week; artists include Trubey Designs, Quail Run Designs, and Birds of a Feather.

"Iris" by Trubey Designs
Stitch Guide by Robin King

"Bright Cactus" by Quail Run Designs
Stitch Guide by Robin King

"Bon Voyage" by Birds of a Feather
Stitch Guide by Robin King

As always, these stitch guides will be available from me after the class (September 23-26, 2017). You can email me for any information including wholesale inquiries at

Last week's topic, Stitch Beading with Robin, was a success. The Needlepoint Study Hall blog had 2300 viewers. Wow and thank you! 😊

Today, let's continue with another type of Beading called Bricked Beading or Brick Beading. You might even call it Beaded Brick. Either way is good with me.

Long time followers of this blog might remember an earlier episode (April 8, 2010) about Beaded Brick Stitch. You can step into the Way-Back Machine to read about the link I've provided.  But, we will discuss it again because it is such an interesting technique.

First, let's understand the concept: you are doing the Brick Stitch using Beads instead of Thread.

You will follow the Brick Stitch pathway adding a Bead one stitch at a time. Generally speaking, you will want to use slightly larger beads compared to the canvas mesh you are using (for example, a size 11 Seed Beads on an 18 mesh canvas) so the Bead sits over the hole. You will still use one long strand Beading Thread doubled in the needle.

Then, all you need to do is to Bead. Become one with your zen spirit and watch the pattern develop. Here are some examples of Bricked Beading from my stitch guides.

Beaded Brick stitch Red, Pink Hearts
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Jolly Nutcrackers • dede Ogden

Beaded Brick stitch Pumpkin Face
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Floating Cat Pumpkin Balloon
 Kirk & Bradley • KB115 

Beaded Brick stitch Apple
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Gone Fishin' • Annie Lane • 0151
model stitched by Dwana McKee, Dallas, TX

Wanna know something cool? You can also use Triangle Japanese Seed Beads for your Beaded Brick stitch. I used them for some of the Skull Heads on the "Head Games" stitch guide; artist Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon/ Fleur, SG-13-032. Very effective!

Beaded Brick technique Skull
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Head Games • Sandra Gilmore • SG-13-032
model stitched by Sheilah King, Atlanta, GA

Triangle Beads very effective!
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Head Games • Sandra Gilmore • SG-13-032
model stitched by Sheilah King, Atlanta, GA

Hmmm...looking at my remaining Quail Run stitch guides... I'm thinking some of the blooms on the "Bright Cactus" might be fun in the Beaded Brick technique.

Well, that's all for now. Onward for the rest of our Sunday. Have a good week. Tell your friends about Needlepoint Study Hall. I'm back! 😊  See you next Sunday.

Until then... Hugs!  Robin

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stitch Beading with Robin

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Regular scheduled blogging does take some prep work. Mainly, to come up with something to say each week. I put this question out to my Facebook friends...
Trying to stay on my weekly Sunday blogging schedule on Needlepoint Study Hall. Any needlepoint topics, ideas, concepts, themes you'd like to me cover? Since I'm hoping to maintain a consistent schedule, the more suggestions the merrier. I will send my needlepoint stitch collection PDF to the topic winner(s). You will get your name listed in the blog, too. Many thanks in advance! 
I had some wonderful responses and many asked about Beading.

As it turns out, I do have some specific steps I use when Beading which I often share with my classes. And since we are in Needlepoint Study Hall, I'd like to share them with you, too.

So today's topic is Stitch Beading... Robin King style.

First of all, let it be said that if you are already an excellent Beader and/or already have a technique which works for you, please stick with the one who brought you to the dance. I am not wanting to change anyone's techniques which are working for them.

I'm offering some helpful hints for those who haven't Beaded or those who do Bead but can't get the Beads to line up or stay straight in place.

Generally speaking when we add Beads to our needlepoint, we will want them to be in the same direction as the Basketweave stitch which leans to the right (/).

In order to accomplish that feat, your Beading thread will go in the direction of Florida to Seattle. Here are some helpful diagrams for those of us who are visual learners.

Geography and a Beading lesson?
Who knew!!

Your beading travel path goes
from Florida to Seattle.

We want the Bead to lean in (/) direction.

You will want to use 2 ply Beading Thread. I like to use the size 10 Beading Needles. I use one long strand Beading Thread to go thru the eye of the needle. Then I pull the 2 ends together and tie one knot. This gives me the Thread Doubled in the Needle effect.

You will want to tug on your Beading Thread to help get the "stretch" out of it prior to using. You can also use Beeswax on your Beading Thread. There are many options of Beading Threads. You can use the colorful Superlon Nylon Beading Thread and/or the Crystal Fireline Beading Thread (great when working with Swarovski Crystals). Again, I'm not trying to change your dance partner... just showing what works good for me.

Colorful Superlon Beading Thread

Crystal Fireline Beading Thread

Now we are ready to start Beading. Gulp! (It's OK. I'm here with you.)

Stitch Beading places the Bead
across each intersection.

I tried many different beading pathways (some without much success), and finally went line by line; working my stitches across in rows going from the right side to the left side of the canvas. Each time going from Florida to Seattle. 

It all went great... until the last Bead in the row was added. He turned into the drunken sailor who didn't follow the others; the wonkiest in the line of well-behaved Beads!

😬 What was happening? Why me!! Oh, I'll never bead again. Yes. Those words filled my head and made me run away from future Beading opportunities. But then, I became a Teacher. 😊  I needed to solve my problem so I could help others. 

πŸ’‘enter The Pinhead stitch... or you might know it as the Pin Stitch.

Pinhead Stitch,
your needlepoint BFF

The Pinhead Stitch is something every Needlepointer needs to know. If you don't know about it, that's OK. I'm the See One, Do One, Teach One gal, and will bring you into the Club. We will do a quick introduction about the Pinhead Stitch today and I will continue on its merits next week. (Sweet! We have another blog topic.)

The Pinhead Stitch can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal and it goes across 1 canvas thread/intersection.

How does the Pinhead Stitch help me get my drunken sailor inline with the other Beads? A well-behaved Bead is all about not having extra rope (aka Beading Thread). Loose tension is the demise of all Beading; we want to avoid floppy and wonky.

Remember, I said I did my Beading from Right to Left. The mojo was working and I needed to stick with the sequence. 

Here we go...
But the distance traveled from Left back to Right gave the Beading Thread a chance to get loose.

Danger, Will Robinson!
So after each "end" Bead, I did a vertical Pinhead Stitch directly below the Bead. 

Keeping the end Bead on a short leash.
Then I did more vertical Pinhead Stitches along the same line working towards my next starting point. 

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.
Ready to begin the next row.

Pinhead Stitch is your BFF.

Travel with the Pinhead Stitch.

Are we already on row 3? Sweet.

Look how nice they are behaving.

Pinhead Stitch.

Work it back to the beginning.

Beading is fun!

Just a few more things to mention. I tug with force as I bring my Beading Thread up to the front of the canvas (as well as down to the back of the canvas) to make sure it didn't get knotted or jumbled on the hidden side. Nothing worse than turning your canvas over and seeing a hitch in your get-along. I don't let go of the Beading Thread: I keep tension on the Beading Thread as I pass from above to below the canvas. Also, I "flick" the Bead onto the top of the canvas intersection to put it in its place. 

Understand, I've dissected these actions into mili seconds. Beading is rhythmic and very zen. 

Well, that's all for now. I hope this has been helpful for those needing an assist. Like I said, I'm here for you.

Many thanks to Michelle H., Ada H., Patricia W., and Ellen D. who all asked about Beading. I hope this helps.

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Instant Pot means more time for Needlepoint

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

When I'm on deadlines, the domestic goddess within me takes a break. All hands on deck to get the stitch guides done and me on the airplane... dusting and vacuuming can wait for another day.

Cooking is another time interrupter. Turkey Sandwiches are the quick fix. Chinese take out or Whole Foods hot bar are my go-to when I have entered the "not cooking" zone.

We've all faced this same dilemma: lose track of time while in our Needlepoint world, and then someone asks..."What's for dinner?"

I have discovered a wonderful kitchen helper... the Instant Pot. My sister Kathy has one and she showed me its merits when I was visiting the family last year.

The Instant Pot is a duo 7-in-1 multi-use programmable Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker. I have the 6-Quart, but it also comes in 8-Quart capacity. I got mine from Amazon. Here's the Instant Pot link.

Instant Pot
Programmable touch pads

There's no need to fear the Instant Pot. Yes, it's a pressure cooker, but those hissing-spinning-jiggly-valve stove top pressure cookers from our youth are long gone. We've entered the 21st century and speed is our trusty companion.   

There are cookbooks to help you thru the learning curve as well as an Instant Pot Community on Facebook. Quite a few foodie bloggers are now incorporating Instant Pot recipes.

There's even an App for that! I use this App on my iPad. There is an Android App, too. 
Instant Pot App on iTunes
Download iOS App here
Instant Pot App on Google Play
Download Android App here

Here are some links to the recipes I have used with great results and fanfare...

So with all that newly found time... I was able to chart more stitches. Lucky me... lucky you. 😊

MSD  Trellis
inspired by the one and only Melissa Shirley

Framed Diamonds with Bead Center
a diamond pattern with some extra pizzazz

Well, that's all for now. Going to make some Spaghetti sauce in the IP. Dinner will be ready in an Instant!

Until the next time... HUGS!  Robin