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.
(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.