Textile Art

Ave Maris Stella: Waves

You can find the previous post about this project (which reveals that which is covered by the dish towel) here.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Oh wow. Look at that basted dish towel. Such carefully done stitches! A true work of art. I wonder what it’s for?

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Its purpose is to securely protect the upper part of the fabric (and the embroidery attached) from dust and dirt while I work on the lower part!

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

First I sewed on a lot of clear opalescent beads (got a huge bag at Joann’s a few years ago) in an improvised “wave crashing” pattern, using the changing colors of the base fabric as a guide.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

They are all attached singly, allowing them to look more scattered and also providing a bit more stability.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Next I added an assortment of white pearlescent beads, ivory and lavender glass pearls, and began couching down silver DMC thread with Mill Hill petite glass beads. I am using a size 9 between/quilting needle. It is tiny enough to go through every bead (even those petite ones) with no problems, and it is sturdier (and shorter) than “beading needles.”

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

When you are couching thread, you do not have to cut it! I just plunged it to the back and tied it off at the starting point, and am working straight off the spool. This is great for this metallic thread especially, because the ends fray very quickly when cut.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

So you can see here, the silver knot is the only silver thread on the back! (The back is pink, not blue, because for various reasons this lower section is actually three layers of fabric. In this case it worked out well because 1,000,000 beads can be heavy.)

When you want to move to a new section of fabric, but you don’t want to tie off your thread, you can wind it through other threads on the back. That way it is secure and you won’t risk snagging it on something later!

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Here is the big spiral. When I got to the center, I turned that thread right back around and couched it on the other side of the bead.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

The silver thread goes right.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

And the silver thread goes back left again.

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

Rebecca Elam--delphina rose

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