Monday, 27 February 2012

Stumpwork Blackberry Slip

Hi!  Today I finally had a go at creating a simple beaded berry slip and, as I took photos of the whole process, I thought you'd enjoy sharing it with me.  I decided to have a go at a blackberry as you can get a few more colours of bead in the berry than with a raspberry, but this process will work just as well for plainer red berries too.  You don't need to use all the different colours I did, I just thought it would be fun to do so. Even as few as one single shade of bead will work out just fine.  Here are the six packs of Mill Hill seed beads ready to use:

First, mount a piece of fabric to which you will stitch your beads into a small hoop.  You really should use a colour of fabric that will blend in with the beads (black would have been ideal here) and you'll see why later on.  For photographic purposes, a light background is helpful though.

Thread a beading needle with an appropriate colour of sewing thread - I used black this time - and begin to stitch down your beads.  Make sure they stand up on end (not taking the securing thread back down into the fabric too close to the bead helps), and adjust them with your left thumb if they try to sit flat (assuming you're right-handed, that is.  If not, then swap over if it works best for you that way).

Continue until you have a closely packed gathering of beads slightly larger than the area you want to cover on your main fabric.

Stitch a circle of running stitches all around the edge, a couple of millimetres (that's about 1/10 of an inch) from the edge of the beading, but don't secure the last stitch yet.

Then cut out the berry about the same distance from the stitches on their outside.  Here there is slightly too much fabric for this size of berry, so I had to trim some more off.

Pull on the thread to gather up the whole  berry and secure on the back.  Here you can see me using the thread to neaten in any loose edges of the fabric that would otherwise stick out and show.

Here's the completed beadwork all ready to be attached to the main piece.

I still had the gathering thread attached at this point and used it to begin sewing the berry down.  This can be quite tricky and regular slip stitch may not be convenient here.  You'll need to make sure you can really manoeuvre your main fabric frame in order to get the berry secured.  Don't be afraid to take the securing thread up above the first row of beads if need be.  It looks fine.  See how your stitches lie and take it from there.

Here's the berry stitched down totally, but showing that you can never pack your beads closely enough and really should use a fabric that won't show so clearly through the beading!!  Whoops!  But, as I said above, it was better for tutorial photographic purposes, so all is not lost.=)

Here you can see me beginning on the second of the sepals, working with #12 pearl cotton in an needle-based open-based picot (another time for that one, but I'm sure you can find a tutorial somewhere if you can't wait!!!LOL)

And here's the finished berry:

I think it'll pass for a first attempt, don't you?  If you do a much larger berry, then you can stuff it with a little toy stuffing/fibre fill during the attaching process to make sure it sits up well.

During this process I learned quite a bit, not the least of which was the importance of using a suitable colour fabric to hold the beads!  I tried drizzle stitch for the sepals, but boy is that one hard stitch to master!  I need to have another go, and to do that one in #8 pearl cotton as #12 is really too fine for that.  I also learned that, yes, I would use some more useful greens in #12 and plan to get an order in soon!

Next time I want to have a go at berries worked directly onto the fabric over something like felt padding and also tiny berries with no padding at all.  Will report back when those are done too.

© Elizabeth Braun 2012


Sparklyjools said...

Lovely - (it would make a sweet brooch too!) Another excellent post/tute!

Rachel said...

Very clear - and while a darker fabric would be better for the real thing, white is altogether better for demonstrations!

Maggi said...

Great tutorial. That blackberry looks real enough to eat.

Lakshmi said...

Thank you Elizabeth for the clean and clear tutorial..from your turorial I got another idea..if it works well I will let you know..

Veronica said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I've never attempt stumpwork before but it's always nice to learn something new.


M said...

Lovely tutorial and the berry looks so realistic.

Faith said...

Sometimes the support for the berry bits show in a real berry... and it's a white/ecru/palest green color. Yours looks like a fine berry to me.

crazyQstitcher said...

Thanks for posting the tutorial Elizabeth. The berry is lifelike and the sepals so neat.

I will try to make a berry as I have at least half of the beads shown.

letslearnembroidery said...

Great work!

Isabelle said...

thank for this so interisting step-by-step


I have been wanting to make bead berries for ages after seeing some at an Embroiderers Guild Exhibition. Thank you so much Elizabeth for showing us how to make them. Your berries really do look good enough to eat. Marion x

Perlendistel said...

Du sprichst Deutsch? Das ist ja toll =)
Oja London war toll! Ich hätte am liebsten in jedem einzelnen Museum eine ganze Woche verbracht und überall waren Menschen die Englisch sprechen ;D
Ich mag deinen Blog und werde mich noch etwas umsehen, hoffentlich komme ich demnächst mal wieder dazu etwas zu sticken. Dabei werden mir deine schönen Anleitungen bestimmt helfen :)

Viele Grüße

Lakshmi said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I have tries few berries with your clear instructions. Please have a look..Thank you

Mahalakshmi said...

I was looking through the net for Stump work which I am crazy about.I am happy I bumped into your blog.Lovely tutorials.Thank you so much.

jkf0718 said...

I just lost what I began to write--very sorry! I write to thank you for the marvelous instructions, and I write to inquire about a particular type of thread pictured in the photo above your instructions. I returned to school, don't have access to stores for supplies as I once did.

about midway down in above photo, the r. hand side, there is a type of floss I would like to ask you about. From left to right there is a spool of orange, yellow, purple thread of what I would call "ribbon floss". this "ribbon floss" appears again at the very bottom of the photo, on green fabric, in the colors of forest green and blue.I

Am I at all correct--is this ribbon floss? Is this the correct name? I believe DMC used to make this. It was about $3 a tube for just yards and yards of this rayon floss. Could you tell me the manufacturer, if it is available online--to your knowledge? Do you have an approximate cost, how many yards are wrapped around the hard, cardboard tube?

I do thank you for your time and help.


Jean K.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Hi Jean! It's so annoying when Blogger eats your comments, isn't it?

Assuming you're referring to the blog header, no that's not any sort of ribbon floss. It's Pipers Floss Silk, a fine gauge embroidery silk about the same thickness as sewing thread. :)

Google Pipers Silk and you'll find their mail order. It's a British company and I think each cop is just over £1 (so about $1.50), but I haven't bought any for a while, so am not sure of current prices.

Hope that helps! :)

Michelleb said...

Can I ask what size Mill Hill beads you use in your blackberries? They are lovely. X

Elizabeth Braun said...

Hi Michelle! Sorry to take forever to reply. I need to get comments emailed to me....

I used regular sized seed beads. Hope that helps! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. A friend asked me if my blackberry was real!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree!