Friday, October 11, 2013

The Quilted Bead


The other week, I went to bed trying to think of some new and fun ways to use up left over pieces of fabric and small bits of batting. 


Waste not, want not, is always a good motto, and one I think we quilters take to heart.


In the morning, as I was just coming out of sleep, these quilted beads popped into my head.


I have been mildly obsessed ever since.


Made from strips of fabric, batting and hand stitching, 
they are the smallest quilted items I have ever made, and I adore them.


This is the first batch I did. I began them with Japanese boro and Indian kantha in my mind... 
ragged and patched and lots of stitching. 


Each bead took between 1 to 1 1/2  hours to make. 
Don't let that small size fool you into thinking they are whipped out in minutes. 


No, this is slow stitching and a labor of love. 


However they were hard on my hands, 
which unfortunately are feeling increasingly arthritic on a daily basis.


This is the second batch I have been working on. 


Made from assorted Japanese fabrics, these each take about a half hour to complete and are a bit easier on my hands.


Almost everyday, I select a bead from either batch to go with whatever I am wearing, and string it onto a simple, ball chain. I like that throughout the day, wherever I am, I can reach up and touch the little quilted bead, and instantly connect with something meaningful to me. 


I find it rather, (or maybe, to some, oddly) comforting.


The weather is dreary, rainy and gray, (hence the rather gray photos) 
and I have no where to be today...


So, I'm going to sew some more beads.
Yay! 
(It's like eating potato chips, you simply cannot stop after just one)!

~~~~~~~~~~

Note: A Downloadable PDF Tutorial Pattern for my quilted Fabric Beads, is now available in my Etsy shop, here.

51 comments:

Krista said...

These are so incredibly cool. I can see how they'd take so much time. Honestly my mind is blown on how you do them!

Living to work - working to live said...

Wow - they are a labour of love. But very impressive.

Catherine said...

These have gone straight to the top of the list of things I wish I'd thought of. They are beautiful! I can completely understand why they would make you happy.

Maria Harrits said...

I just looooove your beads! Fantastic work.

Venus de Hilo said...

Love these! So beautiful and clever. And inspiring. Nice to know we're not crazy for saving small bits of batting and tiny fabric scraps. They are good for something... and it's something wonderful!

Rumi said...

Very clever and cool! I think that making a ring is another interesting idea. ant wait tomorrow to try.

The Inside Stori said...

Mildly obsessed?? Oh no...you've gone beyond that! But I LOVE them......I'm not sure if I hope this is catching or not!

Candied Fabrics said...

Love love LOVVEEEEEEEE these beads, they are SO YOU! :-)

I'm so sorry to hear your hands are suffering...make sure other folks do the stuff like scrubbing and carrying heavy grocery bags so you can save your hands for stitching pieces like these!!!!

Annie said...

These are so beautiful! I totally get how you love to connect. They are exquisite

kaiteM said...

Beautiful, colourful, lots of fun - could you tell me what size they are please. I've been obsessing with making paper beads for the last month or so, they are an inch or under.

jhenzel said...

Wow! They are so beautiful - I can see why they would be so addictive.

Victoria said...

Thanks, and glad you all like the beads! Me, too!

Kaite, they range in size from 1" to 1 3/4", but most are approx. 1 1/4" long.

Angie said...

Oh. My. Goodness I am head over heels in LOVE with these beads!!! What a fabulous idea and your fabrics and threads colors are GORgeous!!

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Your beads are fabulous! Like, Kaite I've been making paper beads, however I've recently had an urge to work on fabric ones as well. Probably not quite as intricate as yours, but you've given me a little push! Thanks!!

lindaroo said...

Oh, so tactile, so visually pleasing!

apiecefullife said...

Wow. I love them too.
I think you have started something BIG.

Tracy said...

Wow, art from scraps! So beautiful, just a shame they take so long to make and are so hard on your hands.

Penny Schine Gold said...

Love them! Might you be putting any for sale in your Etsy shop?

Nifty Quilts said...

Oh! The colors, the stitching, the originality! They are exquisite. I hope you'll make a whole necklace of them and wear it every day.

Victoria said...

Again, Thanks to each of you!

Penny, hoping to add some to my shop this upcoming week. Just waiting for sun to photograph and time to list!

Jan said...

Stunning! I love them all!!

dolores said...

FanFreakintastic!!! Oh goodness....the thought of having something so wonderfully tactile hanging around your neck to hold on to...sort of like a worry stone....what a comfort! Would love to buy some to maybe share with my friends!;)
Yes...sorry these are hard on your hands!

Helen said...

These are really beautiful Victoria - each one is a work of art. Love them to bits... thanks for sharing so many lovely photos of them - brightened up my day :-)

Gina said...

These are absolutely gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

They are gorgeous! Fabric precious gems!

Andrea, quilting in Minnesota

Arita said...

They are gorgeous. Tips on making them?

Byrd said...

Just beautiful! I thought I was working on some small stuff this week, but your's take the cake. The Japanese beads are simply wonderful. Lovely idea. Take care, Byrd

Diane J. Evans said...

These are yummy! Wouldn't they make great buttons on a hand-made sweater??!

Diane

Jenny M said...

Love all those colours & stitches. I would love to see them all in a tall glass container in the middle of a rustic table, so that from every angle of the room those jewel colours would be visible. Or strung on a long line to hang around my favourite room...they are soooo beautiful.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

These are absolutely gorgeous! What a great idea.

Wendy said...

they are so sweet. when I first saw them, I thought they were going to be handles for crochet hooks

Cheryl Arkison said...

Stunning. My brain can't comprehend how those are made, but I love them.

Camilla said...

These are so so beautiful! I'd love to know how you make them?

iHanna said...

Gray photos? BEAUTIFUL photos, beautiful awesome beads that totally inspires me and makes me want to create quilted beads the entire weekend. Thanks for sharing, I understand the slow process of embroidery, and you've done an awesome job with these!

misako mimoko said...

Gorgeous!! love them!!

Judy said...

These are so wonderful; such a beautiful sight scattered about. And Victoria, look after those hands! There's so much a talent in them - you need to be their curator. Can't wait to see what you do next.

sweetypie said...

wow, these are brilliant, love them to bits, please pleeeze tell us how to make them, I want to wear one too pleeeeeeze

Victoria said...

Thanks again to each of you! And for everyone who wants to know how I made them... one of these days I will do a PDF pattern as they are a multi-step process, and there are so many possible design variations... just don't have the time right now. However, I am starting to list a few in my shop, and plan to be adding more, (as well as some necklaces) in the days and weeks to come, so feel free to buy!! xoxo

CitricSugar said...

Victoria!! These are amazing! Oh my goodness - what beautiful handwork... Art. I've never seen anything like them.

RachelG said...

Oh, no!!! Not another obsession! They are fantastic.

Sujata Shah said...

Victoria!! I love your beads!! Also funny how you compare them with potato chips! These put a big smile on my face and so glad you are obsessed with what you do!

Anonymous said...

They are absolutely fantastic...love them n they look very complicated to me!

The Quilted Finish ph 02 63310084 said...

WOW!! They are delicious beads of colour ,texture and fun and a labour of true love,lol. The first thought I had after oohing over them was how fiddly and time consuming they would be to make. Oh, but they are gorgeous!

Jennifer Ward said...

Love these! The colors & textures are absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Patty S. said...

Oh, Victoria! You continue to amaze! These are so beautiful. Thanks for continuing your wonderful inspiration!

Anonymous said...

1 1/4 inches? They are amazing.

k

Linda said...

They are lovely!

Dominique said...

Very nice. I can totally see how they make you happy!

Candie said...

Wow! I knew there was a reason I couldn't let go of all those little pieces of fabric and batting! I have always done hand stitching since I was a child and recently within the last 5 years started quilting so this brings the best of both worlds together! Thanks for sharing something new and good luck with the hands! I have had surgery on both of mine so I know what you are going through! I don't regret my surgeries one bit though! They did me a world of good!

deemallon said...

I love the intense colors and loose lines of stitch! I can see why you're obsessed... must be tough to price with that amount of time invested.

Victoria said...

Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for all the great feedback!

Just wanted to let you know that there is now a downloadable PDF tutorial pattern, for my Quilted Fabric Beads, available in my Etsy shop. Check out the side bar on my blog, or go to the header under "Patterns" for links. xo