Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Native American Bead Embroidery

Hats off the the skilled bead embroiderers of the many Native American Tribes. My already great admiration for them has just multiplied about 100 percent. I'm working on my first authentic Native American bead embroidery project and am finding that I suddenly have 2 left hands! I've done a little bead embroidery the European way which is a modified back stitch, but the couching method used by Native Americans is much more difficult for me. In spite of the fact that I don't laugh at myself easily, I must present a hilarious picture trying to learn this simple stitch.

I got as far as "stamp your design on the material and place it in a hoop. Thread two needles and tie the ends of the threads together. Pass the needle threaded with the bead carrier thread from the back of the material to the front. Load enough beads on the bead carrier thread to go around the outline of the design" without any trouble at all, but when I started actually trying to couch the beads, my bead carrier thread managed to somehow get underneath the work and tangled in the couching thread.

I solved this dilemma as shown in the picture by passing my bead carrier needle through the material at the start of the design and wrapping the extra thread around it. ROFL

As you can see, I'm also having a little trouble getting the beads to lie in a nice smooth line.

More on this when I'm able to quit laughing enough to finish at least a portion of this project.


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