Last night I attended the first Embroiderer’s Guild of America meeting of the new year. With the new year, a few newly elected officers began their duties. One of the new officers is my friend Liz, who is in charge of Programs this year. As Program Director, Liz plans and conducts, you guessed it, a program for each meeting. Sandie was Program Director for the past three years, and she suggested that Liz take over the position in 2010. Liz started working with Sandie and began planning the 2010 projects towards the end of last year.
Last night Liz taught us how to make a beaded needle case. Basically, it is a small wooden needle case, about 2.5-inches high by 0.5-inches wide, that is covered with tubular peyote stitch beadwork. Liz designed a red, white, blue, and gold pattern that she named Americana. She wrote a wonderful set of detailed instructions with lots of diagrams showing how to do the peyote stitches and a color pattern illustrating the design.
The hardest part of the project is getting started. To get started, you string on the beads for the first two rows and then hold it around the needle case to test the size. It turns out that wooden needle cases vary in size. The size variation isn’t really noticeable when you look at them, which is fine if you are going to paint it or decorate it in some other manner, but when you are doing a beaded cover for the needle case, size matters. The cover needs to be just right; not too big and not too small. You can compensate for some size variations—if the wooden case is too big you can sand it down with #60 sandpaper, and if it’s too small, wrap the needle case with clear vinyl to increase the diameter a bit.
My wooden needle case was too big, as were many of them, so I had to sand mine down to size. It was about 3 beads (size 11 delicas) too wide. After I finished sanding, I started beading and managed to complete seven rows! After about the fourth row, I was beginning to get the rhythm of the peyote stitch and move along a little faster. Liz helped me with the tension on the initial rows, which formed a better base moving forward through the pattern. Next month, Liz will show us how to bead and attach the round top and bottom pieces of the needle case.
Here’s a link to an excellent video by Beth Murr of Until We Bead Again that shows how to do tubular peyote around a needlecase:
And here’s a link to Beth’s video that shows how to make and attach the circular piece at the top of the neeedlecase: