Bead embroidery works in progress, March 2020

Bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020I went into self-quarantine on March 1, and the first two weeks were HARDCORE BEAD EMBROIDERY.

Like, my most hardcore deep dive into beads and pearls and crystals EVER.

Opalescent bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020The first piece I put a quick forty hours of stitching into is an opalescent colors patchwork of applique and vinyl.

I used a commercial applique in shades of pale blue and lavender on tulle as a base.

Opalescent bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020 detail 1I added scraps of pink iridescent vinyl left over from last month’s Fairy Rainbow Unicorn crown project, and then when my glitter and holographic vinyl shipment (The Last Art Supplies) arrived from the UK, I added some bits of blue and lavender textured iridescent pvc.

Opalescent bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020 detail 1I stitch the wavy scraps of pvc onto the back of the piece in a patchwork, using colored and metallic thread. The beads and rhinestones are from my stash, some 20 years ago old.

Sickle Moon bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020Then I decided to do something gothy, in the second week of March.

Back when I still thought I’d be going to some glamourous Weimar Berlin 1920s themed parties later this year. (Spoiler: as an immunocompromised person with asthma, I probably won’t go to an event again until there’s an effective treatment, a passive immunity shot made from antibodies, or a vaccine.)

Sickle Moon bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020I had the idea of a sickle moon, with antique pearl buttons and anthracite rhinestuds. The base is a commercial wristwarmer or fingerless glove with embroidered applique on it. I cut it open, both to make it easier to work on and because I have quite large bones and will need to add a gusset to it anyway.

Jewel color bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020 2The third big bead embroidery project this month was jewel tones.

Why do we call dark purples, blues, greens and reds “jewel tones”? I don’t know, since obvs jewels come in all colors. Anyway, I found a beautiful piece of flowered velvet while digging through stashes, and used it as a base, with a purple applique left over from my Bisexual Pride corset project a couple years ago. Jewel color bead embroidery WIP by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020I added some petrol-colored (that’s the UK/European term for dark teal or peacock blue) velvet, some scraps of dark blue glitter vinyl, and some purple iridescent PVC. An additional piece of tulle (galaxy glitter tulle, as seen in the Big Gay Rainbow Dino-Witch!) holds everything down. I trimmed it back in an organic way in some places, to get different amounts of shine from the vinyls. In some places I also colored the light tulle with a blue Sharpie, where I wanted the blue vinyl to come through more.

patchwork tulle embroidery diagram by Suzanne ForbesSince this is hard to explain, I made one of my signature Bad Diagrams. I hope it helps a little?

All three of these pieces will eventually be sewn into wrist cuffs. I’m often photographed at events from over my shoulder, as I draw, and I had the idea it would be cool to be wearing something spectacular on that hand!

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