Beading and Handmade Quilts

Most of my working time is spent alone in my garage – so during my trunk show at Ornamentea everyone was fair game for me to launch into conversation with. I chatted with the staff as they worked and any customer willing to talk with me was welcome to stay as long as they wanted!

Two different customers introduced themselves as quilters who occasionally made jewelry on the side. It was interesting to compare quilting to beading. Here is the “short list” we devised, and for your visual delight, some quilt pendants for you to adore.

1) To achieve a well balanced and functional end product, quilting and beading both require some preplanning while leaving room for new ideas to spark and grow along the way.

2) For a beader, anything with a hole in it, can have a hole drilled into it, or looks like it can be wire wrapped goes onto the desk or into a box somewhere. Quilters save pieces of fabric in a manner that must warm the hearts of recyclers everywhere. Both groups of people struggle with storage and organization.

3) When you snuggle under a handmade quilt it warms your heart and body. When wearing a handmade piece of jewelry, it warms your soul.

4) Color combinations, balance of positive / negative spaces and repeating of patterns all contribute the visual look of the final piece. What does the piece say to the viewer? “Look at me! I am the main event…”, “While you are here, check me out, but just wait until you see the person / room I accompany…”, or “I’m here doing my not-flashy-job, but see how important my back up roll is.” There is an important roll in life for all these quilt and jewelry personalities.

5) Beaders and quilters all need to work within a budget, balancing high priced items with more moderately priced supporters. Most struggle with what to keep, what to sell and what to give away. Pricing dogs us all, while record keeping of techniques, costs and to-do lists shuffles to the bottom of all piles.
Leave a comment and tell us about your quilting / beading relationships!

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Shelley Nybakke
    October 12, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Enjoyed the story. My mom is an addicted quilter and I am an addicted beader. I’m forwarding the story to her immediately.

  2. Reply
    Elaine Ray
    October 13, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Thanks Shelley. By the way, I found out “That Old Blue House” whose quilted pendant is featured in this blog is in Green Valley, IL! A small town not too far from you and close to my home town. Again, it is a small, small world.

    Thanks for passing on the story,

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