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Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part one

Sometimes you have to get more than just a little bit creative when adding a stone or other item to a piece of bead embroidery.  I have used wire wrapping many times to help secure a cabochon or donut (like in Orinoco Flow, below).

The wire gives you more places to catch a thread and stitch the odd-shaped item down. But this slab of amethyst crystals had me stumped for awhile.  Until I decided to create a cage for it that didn't actually wrap around it!

I'm going to share many of my steps with you over the next few weeks.  If you are a beginner to bead embroidery, please help yourself to a download of the first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  You will find step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, stack stitch, all the materials and tools, etc.

I can't give you an exact materials lists or exact measurements and details like that, but I've shared the techniques many many times, including in the chapter listed above.  Instead, I'll be concentrating on design decisions and some additional tips and tricks that made the construction of this piece easier than it looks.  Let's go!

1. Using a heavy gauge wire, I made a circle that would encompass the amethyst slab and added a fine wire design that I twisted together.  I left enough slack to account for the depth of the slab.

2. I stitched the wire cage down to the foundation fabric with a piece of interfacing underneath, which you'll see in the next image.  I added several rows of seed beads around the cage in back stitch.

3. Here is the back with the interfacing trimmed close to the rows of back stitch.  I drew the approximate shape that I wanted for the necklace on the back of the foundation fabric.  I don't always (or even usually) do this.

4. Using the drawn shape as a guide, I stitched around the outer border of my desired shape.

5. Here is the piece with a first round of stack stitch beads applied.  Note that the ones on top are generally smaller than the ones on the bottom.  Working in rounds like this helps to keep your beadwork balanced, by size, color, shape, and texture.

6. Here is the piece with all the stack stitches finished, and...

7. is the back so you can see the stitching pattern.

Next week, please join me for Part Two - the edging, and then for Part Three - the straps the following week!

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Cyndi, now that I see the slab of amethyst crystals in their raw form, this piece is absolutely amazing! The pictures can't do it justice. It's actually floating freeform in the "sling" you created, right? I can only imagine how beautiful it must look close up. Wow - you are the bead embroidery queen!
Cyndi L said…
You are so kind! It is floating in the sling, yes. I've been calling it a cage, but I like sling too :-)