Sunday, January 8, 2017

When Beads Go Bad-Substitute!

Recently I obtained a used copy of the instructions for Gay Ann Roger's Queen Elizabeth 1 heart.  Gay Ann's hearts are usually sold with a bead and threads kit but of course since someone already stitched this, they weren't included with my design.  So I had to improvise, using what I had here in my stash.    For comparison purposes, here is the Queen Elizabeth 1 heart, stitched beautifully by Beth as Gay Ann intended, using Gay Ann's threads and beads.  Click on the photograph for a good look.

My heart is not nearly as elegant!  After all, the pulled work wouldn't pull on Congress cloth so I abandoned pulled work for gathered Flair.  I cannot replicate the necklace exactly, either, since the beads I have here are not the same sizes or shapes.  So I tried to improvise.

My Heart, with Wonky Central Necklace Area

You can see the start of my necklace above.  Beads are wiggly things in general but I found it very hard to keep mine straight.  The sizes weren't quite right and even though I went through all the beads several times and backstitched around them, they still are not quite straight.  Part of this is because my new eyes after cataract surgery don't do close work perfectly.  (Dazor lamp here I come!)  Part is also due to the fact that I was hurrying.  I'd heard from various folks that the necklace was the hardest part of the whole design anyway.  I believe them.  So what to do?  Keep trying?

Nope, I have a Secret Weapon which you see on the right side of the heart, just sitting there.  That, my friends, is a Sundance Golden Square #BDS-MA006A.  It is from Sundance's new line of Metallic Accents!  You can see most of them here, although the Golden Squares aren't shown yet.

My Heart After Sundance Came to the Rescue

Looks a lot better now, doesn't it?  Golden Squares cover an area about 5 threads high and 5 wide on 18 count needlepoint canvas.  My heart is on Congress cloth, where the Golden Squares cover an area a bit more than 6 threads high and wide.  There's a lot more to do to finish this necklace and then I need to do the second pearl necklace but now I feel a lot better about how it looks.

The moral of the story is that when beads go bad, you can sometimes find a great substitute for your look.

By the way, there is good news for those who love Gay Ann Roger's varied heart designs.  She is stitching more for her traditional February sale.  Keep an eye on her website for news about the sale dates. Gay Ann only has 2-3 sales a year since she needs time to stitch.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright January 7, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.