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Thursday, March 5, 2015

And the beat (or bead!) goes on!

Making progress and nice to be working in a different color than brown on my beaded bird!  Hard to see but now I'm onto his belly....working in pale yellows/Topaz beads.
On my post about 'unbeading', I had some questions from Nancy that I thought I'd post about today.  And who knows...others might be curious or someone may have a better way to 'unbead'!

Nancy's questions were:  "Do you knot off fairly frequently in order to isolate a section so that you can unbead if you have to? Or how to you start and stop unbeading is what I'm asking I guess. What happens to the beads next door to the unbeaded section?"

So to answer the first question, no I don't knot off frequently.  I start by sewing 2-3 beads on at a time and secure with a back stitch...rather than reinvent the wheel by doing a demo or tutorial, you can search online for 'beaded back stitch' and find lots of video's or tutorials.  Or just go to this link on the Beading Daily web site.

After I've sewn a line of beads about 2" (using back stitch method) I take my thread back through the entire 2" of beads then I'll knot off and start adding new beads.   I  always take my thread back through the line of beads just to help straighten them out and secure them.  Sometimes I may couch a bead or two if the line got distorted....this is due to my fault inserting the needle too far to the right or left when I come out of the bead(s).

Nancy's 2nd question "how to you start and stop unbeading" is what I'm asking I guess. What happens to the beads next door to the unbeaded section?"

When it comes time to 'remove'or 'unbead', I just take my seam ripper or cut the threads in between the beads I want to remove.  Yep,  sometimes you might end up removing a bead or two you wanted to keep, but at this point, you're UNBEADING!  So what's another bead or two to add on again!  Put smiley face here!!!!  If you click on this picture to enlarge, you can see the threads to the right of the seam ripper from my 'unbeading'.  I cut these as close to the background as I can.

Because I back stitch and sew back through lines of my beads,  the beads "next door" to where I've removed will be stopped and held in place.  Yes, there are times where the 'row' may seem a little loose next to where I removed beads...but..when I start to add the new beads to an existing "line" (for example, just to the right of the red ball on the seam ripper),  I would start in about 1/2" to 3/4" of an inch back stitching through those existing beads, coming out the last bead and now start to add the removed beads.  When I finish adding the beads, then I come back through the entire row/line, which secures any beads that still might be loose.
I have 'unbeaded' just about every piece I've worked on at some point and haven't lost any beads yet! AND I do allow  my pieces to be 'rubbed' and touched, so they are handled quite a bit but so far so good!!  So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

If this is "clear as mud" and you need further explanation, please let me know!  If you have any suggestions of words of wisdom, do share!!!


  1. Aha! This was most helpful in understanding. Clicking on the close-up photo really shows it very well. Your camera got a very good shot for that. Looks like a great visit in your last post, and those painted fabrics are gorgeous.

  2. I love this bird -- the bead colors are outstanding!

  3. Not only is your beading fantastic I also love your "unbeading". Thank you for sharing your technique as it is very helpful. Your attention to details is extraordinary dear.


Had to put Word Verification back in! Getting strange messages!!!