Unique Embroidery: Bead Your Own Coral Tide Pool! | Eleanor Pigman | Skillshare

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Unique Embroidery: Bead Your Own Coral Tide Pool!

teacher avatar Eleanor Pigman, Contemporary Bead Embroidery

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Preview


    • 3.

      Project Overview & Materials


    • 4.

      The Couching Stitch


    • 5.

      The Stacking Stitch


    • 6.

      The Peyote Stitch


    • 7.

      Incorporating Pearls


    • 8.



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About This Class

Hello! My class will introduce you to various bead embroidery stitches to create your own 3x3 inch coral tide pool abstract beaded piece. This class will cover 4 embroidery stitches: freeform peyote, stacking, the incorporation of pearls, and couching. We will explore the use of various bead sizes to create dimension, as well as the power of shading with beads, creating texture and movement and the incorporation of fabric and paper within bead work.

We’ll also discuss how to stimulate creativity and find inspiration to keep making unique art pieces.

No prior knowledge is needed to enroll. This is an excellent introduction class as well as a great class for advanced beaders to push their creativity to a new dimension. Anyone interested in stitching, pushing the limits of a medium, and for people like me who like to think outside the box will enjoy the next 40 minutes!

I’ll be right there beside you to give feedback, support and of course my favorite fun!

Let’s do this!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Eleanor Pigman

Contemporary Bead Embroidery


"I have always been interested in transforming traditional craft"

Before Eleanor started making arts with beads she was primarily a watercolor artist. She fell in love with the world of beading after doing an apprenticeship with a jewelry designer, the shop closed and she inherited thousands of seed beads. She was then faced with the task of turning these beads into art.

Her work began with portraits and then moved into the marine world. She states "the medium is limitless and I love to try to create the impossible". After being published and receiving a congressional honor for "Keeping Hope Alive Through Art" she began to push the medium even further.

Eleanor's work is all embroidered by hand with thread, needle, on felt with beads. She combines several di... See full profile

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1. Introduction: What really excites me is when someone sees one of my pieces and they think to themselves, How in the world did she make this? Hi, I'm Eleanor, and I'm a bead embroidery artist. I love bead embroidery for many reasons. It's very therapeutic. It's limitless and what you can create. About two years ago, I quit my day job and started doing this full time, and now I have a Siris of classes that I teach from California to Florida. Often I don't even know what I'm beating. I just see an image of the fish that gets me excited. And then I'll become obsessed with trying to recreate this fish in the most beautiful, natural way, working a little bit here, working a little here until it all kind of comes together like a puzzle. This is a beginner's class as well as advanced. Everyone will benefit from this class in terms of pushing the medium and thinking outside of the box. I love working with students, helping them push their creativity. I want you to feel the amazing development of putting all these stitches together and really watching it come alive. I look forward to building more classes and us making some really amazing art together 2. Class Preview: today's class, we're gonna be learning various embroidery stitches to create your own three by three inch beat embroidered piece. We're going to be going over the freeform pay OD bustle, stacking, couching and the incorporation of pearls. I'm gonna talk about ways to manipulate materials to create movement and depth shading were even gonna incorporate fabric and paper into RB piece. Today if you want to see some more of my work, I have a Facebook page in which I host my works in progress. People get really excited to kind of watch these pieces come alive. So, just like you would do in the Project gallery, I post step by step. I also have an INSTAGRAM account as well as a Twitter and a website. Eleanor Pickman dot squarespace dot com, which will show you all of my work and is basically my gallery. I love watching people look at thes abstraction pieces and try to figure out how they were formed. Just like what you're gonna learn today and kind of wanting to touch and engage with these tiny little tide pools and also seeing people's reactions to what is this is this coral is this tide pools. Is this just all these colors coming together? I'm gonna show you from the very beginning of threading your needle into creating this abstraction piece. It's gonna be fun. Let's begin. 3. Project Overview & Materials: today's class project will be creating this three by three inch BP's, encompassing all of the four stitches that we're gonna learn in this class. To make it easier. We've broken it down into smaller delivery bols, such as uploading your progress in the Project gallery. Other students and I want to see her progress and your creativity. I want to give feedback in support, so let's begin. I just wanted to go over a few materials. You're gonna need paintbrush. This is Pelon. It's an interfacing that you can buy it by the yard, and it's basically stiffened. Felt. This is size be beat embroidery thread. This is a bead embroidery needle. It's a very small needle, specific for bead embroidery that can go through the smallest of beads, scissors, pencil and mod podge. This is a sealer that I use on all of my beadwork. I put it on the back and on the top for a sheen as well. A security. Here we have the four bead sizes. We have the size 15. It's the smallest. We have a size 11 a size eight in a size six thes air, the basic sizes that you need to understand as you incorporate them in your piece. I have developed a kit for you to create this three by three inch piece. The reason I did that is because if you look at the materials list, it's a lot of materials and you would get huge tubes of beads. This kit is more economical as well as has all the different colors, all the different beads that you need to create this piece. It's got fabric needle thread. I highly recommend buying the kit just to get you going to give you a sense of the various materials and to save yourself a little bit of money. 4. The Couching Stitch: Okay, The sketch first, I want to share with you one of my Pinterest boards, which is a compilation of line drawings. This is where I'd like you to look, all of these drawings establish movement. This is where we're headed. We don't need to stick to our sketch, but it's at least a starting point. How do you want your piece to move? So now that we've looked at our sketches on Pinterest and we know which direction we're going ahead, we're gonna start our sketch. I've created a three by three inch box where I know I'll be beating within. And now I'm just gonna create some lines as my guide. And again we don't need to completely stay in our line drawing. But this is at least really good starting point. This helps us establish the movement and the directions that the beads are going to go in. The first stitch we're gonna learn today is the couching stitch. I have my beating needle. I have my beating thread and now we're going to thread the needle. Some people use threat er's or wider hold needles. There's no rush. So take your time. We're gonna not at the end of our thread, and then we're going to come up at the very base of our felt and we're ready to go. I have the beads from the kit and I'm just gonna Sprinkle a few out and kind of have my palette of colors to work with, and they're going to run everywhere. But that's part of the fun of it. So couching. So what we're going to dio is we're going to pick up one, 23 four little guys thes air the size 15 and then we're gonna pick up the next shade, which is in Aqua. Let's do eight of these, and we're gonna put them all based down on the felt We're gonna do our first stitch. So I'm letting it be a little bit flexible here, and I'm going to kind of hold it to where I want it to be. So when a little curvature so I'm gonna go down right where I want it to curve, bring your needle through the felt. I'm gonna push it up a little bit with my thumb just to keep that curve come back through halfway. So then we can secure them down and then we're going to go back through. Don't feel scared to kind of push the beads around to create whatever circle line you want . So we're going to keep extending this line. The next shade is kind of a darker blue 15. So I'm gonna pick up six of these little guys and I'm gonna continue the curvature of my line. So it's curving a little bit more going down where I want it to end, going to kind of push it around with my finger, come back through half of the stitch. You guys were running away from me, and now we've secured that down. Now, in order to create dimension, it's really important to use different shades of color and different size beads. So now I'm gonna pick up some bigger beads, which is Theis size 11 light blue. And this is gonna look like our line is kind of growing back through, halfway manipulated with your finger. If you're trying to make a curve or something and then back through and there you have it, that's the beginning of couching. I'm going to show you one more variation of the bead sizes and then we'll move on Okay, Next, I'm going to bring out my little white packet. This has every single different size of beads known to man. We've got the 68 11 and 15. So right against this couching stitch that we did, we're going to do another couching stitch. But we're going to use all of the different size beads to create that depth, that dimension. So first, we're going to scoop up. You can always put your beads in a little tin like this. If it's easier for you to scoop than just pick up, that's what I do. So I've picked up to 467 15 Forgot my Elevens. I'm going to pick up three Elevens and then five. It's you can see how we're getting from smaller to bigger just gradually and then we're gonna throw those big guys on the sexes. We're gonna bring it back down to the felt just like we did before. And we're just going to kind of play with it falling up against this, this other couching stitch we're gonna land where we want to land, and then I'm gonna use my finger just to kind of establish where that line is going to go, and I'm gonna come up half way and secure it down. Couch Adam, it's fun. When you make these lines kind of increased in size and then decreased and you can see what we're doing right here. I'm gonna show you one more quick couching technique and then we'll move on. Okay, Now we're gonna dio this pink lines thes air all couched. So I'm gonna add a little bit to my sketch here just so I know what kind of direction I'm going in. And this couching stitch is the same as this one, but we're just doing long lines and we're changing the shades of color. So I have my pink beads from the kit gonna dump some out and bring my needle right over to that section. So I'm in a pick up the smallest speed and the lightest shade, and that's the pink going to do about five or six, and then the next speed is kind of a pale pink. That's a size 11 and I'm gonna pick up five. And now I'm gonna see how much room I have, So I still have quite a bit of room, so I'm gonna pick up a few more of those 11. And now to the deepest color. Looks like we have room for two more. Bring it all the way down a stitch in where you want to end Come back up half way and then security by going back through now I'm gonna introduce all these stitches to you. And then after the stitches are introduced, I'll work on building the peace up. 5. The Stacking Stitch: Okay, Next, we're going to do the stacking stitch. So will kind of work off this line here. And as you can see, we're gonna use the whites to stack. So you've got your thread needle, you're ready to go. We're gonna come up where we want to do. Our first stacking and stacking is simply placing one larger bead under a smaller beat. So we're going to start by picking up one of those size sixes and a 15 and we're gonna bring it all the way down. You're gonna miss that 15 and you're gonna go straight through the six. And by missing that top bead, it stays right in place. So we're just going to continue stacking for a little while so you can kind of get the feeling of it. I love stacking different size beads together, especially these white ones, and it kind of gives it a bit of a coral effect. So now I'm in a decrease in size to continue that fluctuation, to create movement and texture and then keep decreasing if you feel like it. And there you have it. So what I think I'd like to do is maybe stop here and build up that section and then we'll go to the other kind of stacking. So I built up this little white section a little bit, So then we can kind of play around with just stacking the same beads and creating kind of a patch of color. So I've got my greens and my light blues, and we're going to do the same thing. We're gonna pick up the larger bead, which is the green, and then put the little blue on top, bring it down and go through that green Miss the blue. And it's nice to kind of contrast thes sections of the same stitch over and over with the same beads against something like the whites where there's different sizes. It will make it pop out more. So now I'm gonna spend some time filling in this little section, and I'm just going to show you one more stacking technique where we use different colors on the bottom. Okay, just to finish up the stacking part, I just wanted to show you this section here of the pinks and the way we've created Dimension here is just changing the color underneath the size 15 white to create shading. So there's a little section here which I'm going to replicate. Oh, and as you can see here, I finished off this spot, and it's a nice contrast to the variation of the whites. These little pockets of color and texture really make the peace come alive. So I'm gonna pick up the darker shade pink 11 with the white on top and just continue stacking. Pull that string taught. If you feel like it's not kind of standing up straight, and the closer together, the better, I think with these particular ones. And now I'm in a change the bottom bead to that next shade of pink with the white on top. And there we have it. So feel free to build that up a little bit, or we can just go through all the stitches, learn them, and then we can just build it up together. 6. The Peyote Stitch: So the next stitch we're going to do is this freeform peyote stitch. This is a stitch that people typically in search stones into for maybe a pendant necklace or bracelet. But today, what we're gonna do is we're gonna insert fabric and paper in it to make it kind of look like a little coral pops. So I've got my thread my needle with No, not at the end. I'm going to scoop up my bead since I dislike picking them up one by one. This way, you really don't need Teoh. Use your eyes and I'm gonna pick up about 12. Yep. I'm gonna hold these beads. I'm gonna bring them all the way down to the tail, maybe leave an inch or two and go back through to create a circle. So what we're gonna do to build up this stitch is we're gonna put one bead in between every beat in this circle. So wherever your thread has left off, you're gonna pick up your first bead, and then you're going to go through every single bead where your threads left off. You're gonna go right in between and we're creating the base for the peyote so you can kind of see how one is kind of popping out. And that's that bead that we're putting in. Keep going round and round. And as you go around, you're gonna feel this little circle becoming kind of firmer and firmer. - Okay , so we've come to the end, and now you can see that there's one bead higher than the next one. So instead of going through, every single bead like the last row were only going to go through the ones that are popping up. So I'm gonna pick up a bead, and this next one's popping up right here. So I'm gonna go through, can see how we're starting to build our circle. So the next one I'm going to go through is this one that's popping. And if you can't see which ones popping, it's really not gonna affect your circle too much. So don't be hard on yourself. It's gonna circle up and create this three dimensional formation. Anyway, as long as you just keep going around and around, you can kind of see what's happening and pull that string taut if you need to. Don't be afraid to tug, - can we're starting round two of the peyote a stitch. And I can feel already that my stitches, it's going to start curving this wife something to flip it just to make it easier for me. As you pull on that thread, it's really going to start taking formation right there. We have it. You can see that it's a few layers. It's kind of our little circle, and now we need to decide where we're gonna put it down. So I think here's a good spot, especially in terms of the peace we're gonna make. So put it down wherever you want it, and then go directly down through where that thread is coming out of your piece kind of hold it straight and come back through kind of secure it down. And maybe one or two places in the way you do that is you're just gonna go through one of the beads on the side doesn't need a lot of support because we'll use some of the mod podge and there we have it. So I'm gonna make a couple of these and place them down, and then we can insert some fabric in them. Okay, So, as you see, I made some more of our little buzz ALS, and I put them on the felt. And now we're gonna insert some fabric and paper. So these watches came from the kit. Of course, you can use whatever fabric paper you want to do. And what I do is I kind of eyeball the size of the circle and then kind of just make them fit in. So I'm gonna cut out what I think's gonna fit. We might need to play around a little bit and we're too big, so I'm gonna just skim off a little bit, lay it in there, use my scissor, just kind of precedent. And now we're going to go to the next circle, going to use this pretty aqua paper that wants to small for that one. So I'm gonna could squeeze it in this next one. Don't be afraid to kind of push down. We're gonna usar mod podge to secure everything. Uses other fabrics, watch. Let's see if we can make it fit in that medium size one. And if it comes out a little bit, you know doesn't bother me, it actually makes it look a little bit more three dimensional. once you get the mod podge on, push it in that hole. Now that one's not gonna fit. So I'm gonna trim off a little bit. Get in there. There we go. That one really looks good. Hey, one more to go, and then we'll put on the mod podge. Well, now that we've gotten the pieces of fabric into the little buzz ALS, we're gonna fill it up with mod podge and a little bit of water on your brush. Don't be afraid to use too much. It's going to dry, clear. But just one generous coating usually does it. And after it dries will be able to trim off all these little pieces of thread. We're gonna close up our mod podge so it doesn't go anywhere. And now we're going to move on to pearls. 7. Incorporating Pearls: and now we're gonna move on to pearls. So I've got my little bag of pearls here in a forum out, huh? And we've got a little section here we can fill in, as you can see by over here. And basically the way you're gonna put these down is one by one. So I'm gonna take the smallest pearl and then kind of increase in sizes. So we're pushing it all the way down to the edge of our felt, and then we're just going to stitch it right back down, and that pearl will flip. So then it's just laying flat. Go right next to it, come through the felt pick up the next size, push it all the way down, and then we're gonna go right back them. Keep increasing the size of your pearls to give it that dimension. Pull it taut if they're kind of not coming close to each other. There are many, many different sized pearls. They have really tiny ones that I love. And it's really fun to kind of cluster them up. So there we have it. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm in a spend time working on this piece in building it up and you guys can kind of see how I'm going to balance out the sections by working in one section for a little while and then in another section. - Okay , we finished. So this is the one that I've been working on. And this is the sample. So now we're going to take the mod podge, and we are going to do a coating on the back and on the front. You can use any size brush for this, but the big ones sometimes a little bit easier. So we're just gonna nice light coating again to just give it that finished feel and for security, get in those little holes again and then on the back. And just make sure that every stitch just has a little bit on it, and then it shouldn't take too long to dry. If you're in a rush again, throat in the sunshine. But otherwise, maybe about 40 minutes. Congratulations. We've finished our first bead piece 8. Outro: We did it. We finished our peace. It looks beautiful. I cannot wait to see your progression as well as your finished product uploaded on the project gallery. I want to give support, feedback, encouragement, and so do the other students in the class. It's been so fun to put this class together and work with you guys. I look forward to building more classes and us making some really amazing art together. Thank you so much. See you soon.