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Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Happy Little Bag

I am close to releasing the first set of Butterfly Bag bead embroidery projects and tutorials! If all goes according to plan, I will post a few of them next weekend in my Etsy shop.  

Carl walked past my bench yesterday as I was finishing up my original sample and said, "That's a Happy Little Bag!"  I loved the Bob Ross reference, and so this sample has a name!

Making this little bag, helped me figure out what might constitute a good size, shape, and expedited construction.  I carried it around with me over the last couple weeks, unfinished, just to test how it worked and felt, and I have made several design improvements as I worked my way along.

This idea grew out of wanting to pass along something I have enjoyed in the past.  I began using fabric applique about 10 years ago in my dancewear, and the idea translated really well to bead embroidery.

A little history...   Among of my first projects along this line was my "Falling" vest.  If you want to read more about this project, you can do that here

And after this, I made my Urban Safari Coat, again done with applique, and the same yummy quilted Dupioni Silk.  This was a competition piece for Battle of the Beadsmith, and if you like, your can find more pictures here, and read about the construction and beading process here.

I have to confess, the idea of creating clothing in all sizes imaginable was overwhelming.  So instead I decided upon a "wearable" handbag to serve as my offering to you to try out this technique.

I am planning a release for next weekend (June 19-20),  and will continue to make these for a while, as long as there in interest, I have stamina, and until I use up the fabric I have for the purpose.  I have gold, silver, and limited bronze and celadon silk.

First release will be bags made up in gold silk, with the two versions of the tutorial.  One will include instructions and approximate charts for two options, a Monarch butterfly and a Fantasy butterfly, based on the applique.

Here is my sample for these two options, and I will assemble kits for these.

There will also be a couple different applique options, and a minimal guide tutorial for those who are experienced bead embroiderers and would like to try filling the printed lines with beads of their choosing. You are also free to add anything else of your want; flowers, scrollwork, or filling the ditch in the quilted fabric with beads as below.

So if you enjoy bead embroidery, or are interested in a gateway to the craft,
stay tuned for a more detailed blogpost, and keep an eye on my Etsy shop next weekend!


  1. This work is exceptional and offers so many possibilities.
    - Eva Maria

    1. Thanks Eva Maria! I agree. The possibilities are endless!