Beading Time

Amador Valley Quilters had their quilt show last weekend. It was a fabulous show, with Alex Anderson as the featured artist and a special exhibit of Quilts of Valor projects. We also had members giving demonstrations of various techniques, and I demonstrated beading.

Me in yellow and blue for Boston

Me in yellow and blue for Boston

Beads can substitute for embroidery, and enhance bindings. They can be used to hide piecing or quilting errors, or can be scattered over the surface just because you’ve got them. I like to turn otherwise unusable jewelry into embellishments, too, and I lump that under beading when I’m giving a demonstration.

Being me, I have my beads squirreled away in many corners of the sewing room, some in containers with projects in various stages of completion. Pulling the stuff together for a demonstration requires me to paw through bins, boxes and stacks – which means I’ll get distracted and come up with another dozen or so projects before I remember what I’m doing. This year, I decided to turn that character flaw into a teaching moment. I brought a sample of the various sorting systems I have used over the years.

bead box A

bead box B

bead box C

This collection does not show how well they work, but illustrates how many choices there are and (I hope) serves as a warning to those who have a a tendency to buy these systems because they are so darned cute. I also hope it will encourage others to do what I have found impossible, namely develop an organizational system and stick with it. Of course, if I could have done that three years ago I wouldn’t have anything to write about in my blog, and that would be sad.

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