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Beading Q And A: Seed Bead Stitching (7/13/2011)

2011 July 13

Helen asks…

Finishing off seed bead jewelry thread?

I have been making seed bead jewelry for a while and the only problem I have is when I add more thread I can’t find a way to get rid of the ends. I’ve tried burning it off and it either clumps and looks ugly or it burns the beads, and I’ve tried just stitching the ends into earlier rows of my project and they always come loose and I end up cutting them off. I’m looking at selling these and I can’t have these things happening. Is there any kind of thread I could use that would seal off if I burn it or technique I could use to get rid of the ends? Thank you!

BeadGal answers:

According to what bead stitch you are doing, you may need to make sure you “cross” your thread over itself when you weave it in, like with peyote stitch and herringbone/ndebele stitch. Some other stitches are more open and it is harder for  a weave to catch. You need to try 2-3 half-hitch knots as you are weaving your thread through your work. Then cut your thread very close to the last knot. Here’s a video that may help you:

Another thread you can try to use is Fireline, which is actually fishing line. It is sold in small spools in bead stores, but you can also buy it in larger spools in sporting good stores, or discount stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, etc., in their sporting goods section. It is sold in “poundage” and most beading projects use 6# or 8#. The small the number, the thinner the line. You can tie half-hitch knots with it also, but be careful that you don’t pull so tight that you cut through the line you are tying the knot around. If you have a thread burner, Fireline cuts very cleanly with it.

You can also try to put a little glue on the end of the thread before you weave it into your project to hide the ends. You may also want to put a little glue on the final knot.

Lisa asks…

Introduction to beadwork?

I would like to know how to bead different stitches in simple format –  learn techniques step by step with diagrams.

BeadGal answers:

Check out this website; there are lots of articles designed for the beginner beader.

Betty asks…

Technique of embellishing a painted needlepoint canvas vs covering with stitches? What do you think? Any tips?

I like to do needlepoint and have gotten pretty good at it, and collected so many beautiful painted canvases and unusual threads. I’ve always filled the whole picture in with various types of stitches, but sometimes it seems like it might look better to just ‘decorate’ some of the areas with fancy threads and beads – because the canvas itself looks nice, or because certain shapes in the design might get slightly distorted if completely covered. I wonder if anyone has experimented this way, and how it would look, or if there are any websites with examples and ideas?

BeadGal answers:

Dimensions Kits has a line of craft kits based on your idea. They provide a picture, and some yarn, and a chart to show where to put the decorative stitches. It is a very time honored method of decorating fabric. Accent stitchery has its origins back in ancient times when people had only small amount of wool or yarn to work with. Using accent stitches can be very beautiful. Go for it.

Carol asks…

Can you help me with my hemp necklace dilemma?

Well I just recently purchased a glass bead that was specially blown for me from this merchant. It is a pretty glass spiral pendant with rainbow colored hues throughout it. The colors do not move in the same order as the rainbow, but have a fairly random order to it. It’s very soft colored and pretty – also is two inches long.

I decided to use a double stitch spiral hemp technique pattern on a natural colored hemp to form the hemp necklace, but what I am not sure of is whether or not to have additional beads on the necklace. If so, then I am not sure what color bead. The pendant is fairly big – the size of an average male’s pinky finger.

So what do you think I should do? Add other beads? If so, what kind and color. And if not then why not? Thanks a bunch.

BeadGal answers:


Something that colorful would be fine on it’s own but if you want to add more beads solid colors that match the rainbow colors would be fine. Just add like one or two more on either side of the large one. I wouldn’t add too much because if this one bead is big and colorful it may stand out a little bit better and it will look good like that. Play around with the colors before you add them on kind of line them up a bit to see what they might look like together off of the necklace, then when you like the way it will look add them on. I hope your project turns out nice! Good luck!!

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