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Bead quilling

Use an old paper quilling technique to create a new look.

Beadquilling

Paper quilling is a centuries-old process in which thin strips of paper are wound tightly and fashioned into intricate designs. Square stitch strips mimic the look of paper quilling. Incorporating crystal pearls adds classic style to this versatile and interesting design.

SUPPLIES

Large circles, small circles, and scrolls
Each unit uses approximately:

  • 3 6 m crystal pearls (per scroll)
  • 2–3 g size 11/0 Japanese cylinder beads
  • 2–3 g size 15/0 seed beads
  • nylon beading thread, size B
  • beading needles, #12

INSTRUCTIONS

BeadquillingPhotoA
Photo A

Circles

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of thread, pick up two cylinders, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Working in square stitch, make a strip two cylinders wide and six rows long. Work a square stitch thread path to connect the first and last rows, forming a ring.

 

2. Working off the first ring of square stitch, make a strip two cylinders wide and 12 rows long (PHOTO A)

BeadquillingPhotoB
Photo B
BeadquillingPhotoC
Photo C

3. Wrap the strip around the ring, and connect the first and last rows (PHOTO B). Secure the two rings by sewing through a stack of cylinders in the outer ring, an adjacent stack of cylinders in the inner ring, and again through the stack of cylinders in the outer ring. Repeat around the rings, and exit a stack of cylinders in the outer ring.

 

4. To make a small circle, make a third strip two cylinders wide and 18 rows long. Repeat step 3 to connect it to the two-ring circle. To make a large circle, continue adding rings until you have a total of seven rings. Increase each beadwork strip by six rows of cylinders. 

 

5. Sew back through the beadwork to exit a stack of cylinders in the first ring. Pick up three 15/0 seed beads, and sew through an adjacent stack of cylinders in the second ring. Sew through the first stack of cylinders again and the first 15/0 picked up (PHOTO C). Pick up two 15/0s, and sew through the next stack of cylinders in the second ring. Continue to add a picot embellishment to the first two rings, picking up two or three 15/0s. Then embellish the next two sets of rings, leaving the last ring open.

 

6. Secure the tail in the beadwork with a few half-hitch knots, and trim. Save the working thread to connect the circle to the scrolls. 

 

7. Repeat steps 1–6 to make the desired number of circles.

 
BeadquillingPhotoD
Photo D

Scrolls

1. On 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread, pick up two cylinders, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Working in square stitch, make a strip two cylinders wide and 32 rows long. 

 

2. Exit the strip between the cylinders in the second row from the working thread. Pick up a pearl, sew through a cylinder in the ninth row, then sew through both cylinders in the eighth row. Sew through the other cylinder in the ninth row. Sew back through the pearl and the other cylinder in the second row (PHOTO D). Retrace the thread path to secure the pearl.

3. Sew through both cylinders in the next three rows and one cylinder in the following row, exiting the beadwork on the opposite side of the first pearl. Pick up a pearl, and sew through a cylinder in the 20th row, making sure the pearl sits on the opposite side of the strip. Secure the pearl as before. 

 

BeadquillingPhotoE
Photo E

4. Sew through the rows to exit a cylinder in the 24th row, pick up a pearl, and sew through a cylinder in the 31st row (PHOTO E). Secure the pearl as before. Sewing through both cylinders in each row again, exit the cylinders in the 24th row. 

 
BeadquillingPhotoF
Photo F
BeadquillingPhotoG
Photo G

5. Sew through both cylinders in the ninth row, and through both cylinders in the 24th row again (PHOTO F). Sew through both cylinders in the 25th row, both cylinders in the eighth row, and both  cylinders in the 25th row again. Don’t trim the threads; you will use them to connect the scroll to a circle. 

Make the desired number of large and small circles and scrolls. Connect them using the remaining threads (PHOTO G) to make a pendant, brooch, bracelet, or design of your choice.

 
Beadquillingcuffs
Bead quilling cuffs

Editor’s note: I used 10/0 Toho Treasures to make the circles and scrolls used in the cuffs. The slight difference in size made a large difference in the time it took to make them. These worked up rather quickly. I stitched the circles and scrolls together in a straight strip, sewed it to a strip of Ultrasuede, then stitched another Ultrasuede strip to the first, enclosing a 1-in. (2.5 cm) brass cuff inside. 


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