Friday, 11 December 2015

Bead Journal Project 2016

I've just been accepted onto the Bead Journal Project 2016. This is a group started in 2007 by Robin Atkins  where members commit to producing a piece of work which includes beads once a month. Ideally each piece should say something personal about that month.

I can't wait for January to get started - quite literally, so I've started.

Here are January, February and March lined up ready for beading.

They look like little coasters!

To begin with I had lots of grand ideas about how I was going to link the twelve pieces and I started to think about colour schemes for the year but then I thought that wouldn't be so much of a journal - more or a year long project that was planned all in one go - so then I stopped planning. Even so, the bit I dislike most about bead quilting is preparing then finishing the material. This is really down to laziness as I have to get the sewing machine out then pack everything away again afterwards. So I thought I would just prepare the first three months' pieces. I already knew what I wanted for January and I can pretty much predict how I will feel in February (glum and longing for the sun) and March (starting to warm up a bit) so it didn't feel like cheating to do a bit of preparation.

The BJP suggest that you make your pieces all the same size so I settled on 4" squares with rounded corners - small and manageable. Then I made up a few more rules just for me. I decided that I would only use fabric dyed, painted or designed  by myself. I've got so many bits of fabric I've dyed etc that it seemed a good way to get some of them used. I also decided that I would include at least one button on every piece, just because I can.

I wanted to keep it simple and decided not to bind them. Instead I sewed them right sides together with some brownish dyed cotton for backing (I've go an awful lot of brownish dyed materiel - if you've read any of my posts on natural dying you will know that most of them came out brown!) Then I glue-basted a bit of quilt wadding to the back and turned the whole thing in the right way. I'll slip stitch the gaps when I get round to them.

I've also cut out all the backs and pieces of wadding ready for the rest of the year, and have a card template ready to cut the front fabric when I choose it each month.

You can see I use a 'window' template rather than a solid one. It makes it easier to lay on the fabric and move it around till you get the exact bit of fabric you want showing in the window. A solid template covers up the fabric and it's difficult to see what you're getting.

I will now wait till January to begin as I'm in the middle of something else at the moment but I'm dead excited about the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you have a good start on the BJP. It is so fun and I hope you enjoy it.