Monday, January 16, 2023

Black and White Princess Check

I haven't written on my blog since July... I think that it's because I had to remain silent about too many things - beading for Preciosa Ornella, for the Muserie workshop and this project, which all took an awful lot lot of time.

It is hard to keep secret so many things you love. For this project, I also would have loved to vent while making it, because many things went wrong. But first the reveal - I'll explain more about the making of this piece below. 

I am really happy and proud to present to you my "Princess Check" pouch, that you will find in the Beadworkers Guild Journal this month. 


Princess Check pouch and bracelet, earrings with houndstooth motif and
beaded bead with random motif and tassel


I made the bracelet and earrings with Miyuki seed beads, the pouch with Toho seed beads, and I would warmly recommend Matubo seed beads, for the more consistent the beads, the better.

It's been a long time since I made something with the Diamond Weave, here the Waffle Weave technique -  variation 7a on page 129 in the Diamond Weave book. I had the obsession of making a Prince of Wales-inspired beaded fabric ever since I designed the "Hello Sweetie" bracelet for it (page 131), but my heart and hands were not able. 

Also, if the houndstooth pattern is rather easy, the full Princess Check pattern is more difficult, because it changes nearly all the time.

Princess Check pouch with matching bracelet

When the delightful "micro crystals" hit the market, and the theme of the Journal being "Black and White", I knew that I had to make it. Photos do not show how beautifully these tiny faceted crystals sparkle. I knew right on that it would be the perfect bead for the "overcheck" in this beaded fabric. It was difficult to not make a colored overcheck (it is really calling for it). I hope that you will make one with beautiful emerald or ruby crystals. 

I started by drawing the diagrams. I had to start these over several times according to the evolution of the proect. I started beading on the 7th of August, right after the International Beading Week events. I love to BOTB (bead on the balcony) in the Summer.


But things did not work the way I expected. I had to rethink the  entire making of the beaded fabric, to have a beautiful drape.

I made a short video to show how very supple, soft, and delightful to touch this beaded fabric can be, and how the small crystals shine.




My friends know that I make 15 mistakes in 14 rows of beadwork with motifs. Fortunately it is super easy to unbead DW. I made a short video to show that too. It really makes a difference for me. I have a degree in frog stitch, hahaha.



I wish that I had made purses with fabric before trying this with beads, but alas. I often learn things the hard way. This pouch was initially meant to become a purse, but the purse frame that I had bought not only needed many more side panels to open properly, it also was not available anymore when I searched for it again. 


Purse with metallic frame


So I had to find another option and together with the lovely editor of the Journal, Rowena Henderson, a pouch was decided. Any pouch can be used. You don't have to make it exactly the same size - the project allows to add more columns and of course more rows to the fabric. Less is possible too, of course. What is certain is that if I made a handmade silk pouch for the inside, it is because I had finished the beadwork already. I highly recommend simply adding your beadwork to a readymade pouch. You can cover anything with a fabric like this, even home decor.


HRH Edward VII

This project is dedicated to the British monarch who my muse - Eddie -  is named after: Edward VII. He was a real trendsetter, and he adopted the existing Glen Check for leisure wear, altering it with an overcheck. It is named "Prince of Wales" after him and not his grandson, as is believed by many. The latter, however, contributed to making it an immensely popular weave and ever since, princes and other remarkable people sport it with elegance, always.


The beaded bead with tassel are a free project by Preciosa Ornela. I love how it conferes a luxurious look to the whole. It is also fun to make.

I hope to be back soon with news about my Muserie designs.

Unitl then, happy beading to all!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome!