There are several ways to work berries, so I'm having a go at a few and sharing them. This time we're going to be looking at creating a beaded berry with felt padding, which is worked all in one piece and means there's no need to be creating fiddly little slips!!
Here are the red beads all set out ready to work with. I've really enjoyed the chance to get my bead collection into use. I've finally got several packs that have been waiting for their turn open and been able to see how well (or badly) they fit in for certain elements. That's always fun, isn't it? In this case, the four packs on the right hand of the photo were good. The two on the far left were either too dark or not translucent enough for the desired effect.
You start out by stab-stitching a small circle or oval of felt to the main fabric. Here I've used a piece of grey to get things started, partly to preserve my red for when it was needed and partly as it was a denser felt, easier to work with than the red.
Once the padding is in place, begin to stitch down the beads. I worked in a fairly random manner, selecting beads from the pack just as my hand went to them - so no deliberation about it. Here you can see how one is rather too dark and one too opaque and almost orangey, so I didn't use any more of either.
Keeping working until you've densely covered the whole felt pad with red (or black, if you want to create a blackberry - or deep red for a boysenberry.....) beads.
And this is the back of the fabric. You may be able to see an indent where the firm stitching down of the beads has pulled the fabric up a bit. I doubt this will be a problem, but, if anyone has any more detailed information on this, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll update.=) I still have MUCH to learn and am willing for readers to teach me too.
Here's the finished berry, very much larger than 'life', completed with my first successful drizzle stitches. I actually found those quite hard and gave up on them when I tried for the last tute, but I managed them this time. They're worked in #8 pearl cotton here and, yes, I know, they still need some work!=)
I hope you've all enjoyed this pair of tutorials and have found them interesting and that they've inspired you to have a go. Smaller berries can be made by sewing down fewer beads directly onto the fabric and, of course, you can also work them in French Knots and not use beads at all. If you do have a go at one or more berries, please leave a comment with a link so I can admire your achievements.
© Elizabeth Braun 2012