Beady things on the hoop!

Beady things on the hoop!

photo of contemporary hand embroidery including beads, sequins on desk

I have been playing with what Jerry calls my “Beady things”. I simply think of it as contemporary embroidery. The best description I can think of is heavily embellished contemporary embroidery or hoop art but Jerry insists on Beady things. So, in our house, that is what we call them. Anyway, no matter the name — I have another piece to share with you today.

For this beady thing design, I started off with a piece of hand-dyed tea towel linen which I backed with interfacing. I added a small piece of purple silk which comes from sari ribbon. Sari ribbon is great stuff, as it is always silk and often embellished which can act as a jumping-off spot in your design. This piece is a deep purple so where you see purple that is the sari ribbon. Next, I lay down some punchinella or sequin waste. I had bits that had been kicking around a while so I used it to create another layer. (click on the image below to see a larger version)

close detail of beads,sequins and hand embroidery

Once I had 2 ‘layers’ ie the sequin waste and the sari ribbon, I chose the 3 ‘feature’ beads. These are mainly used to draw the eye around the piece. I added larger turquoise beads and domed gold sequins next followed by bugle beads. I then added heishi beads, seed beads, and sequins.

side angle view of contemporary hand embroidery including beads, sequins

Here is a side view of the project. I am still playing with stacking beads as some of the sequins are sitting on upright bugle beads. The raised bumpy bits that you can see up the back and to the rear right were fun to do. The close-up below shows you how they were made. They are loops of gold sequins, then a purple bead, gold sequin then a purple bead. This pattern continues 5 or 6 times until I take the thread back into the fabric to form a loop.

close detail of sequin bead loops
Bead embroidery hoop art

I have been asked what these disks are for. You can view these beady things as little projects that can become hoop art and as such make a very personal gift. Or I may attach them all to a panel. I am not sure what they will become yet.

The main stitches I used for this are French Knots and Bullion Knots (Follow the links to tutorials). Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed seeing my latest beady thing.

stitched beads,sequins and hand embroidery

Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. My thread twisties are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.

These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape. Twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.

You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.


  1. I second the book idea. Sharon, the peeks we got of your beady things in Creative Stitches just weren’t enough. It doesn’t have to be a Large book after all! Hahaha…

      1. Hi Sharon,
        I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to push. I wanted you to understand how deserving I think your work is. I apologize for not expressing myself clearly. I think your works are wonderful and totally enjoy what you share with us.

  2. I’m not sure what I would do with something like this other than to sit and stare at it in awe. It’s stunning, and such creativity continues to evade me.


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