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Davy Jones's Lock - a bead embroidered piece of salvage

Not available for sale...sorry!

We went to Bermuda not too long ago with friends, partly to celebrate big-number anniversaries and partly to celebrate big-number birthdays.  It was a glorious week: beautiful weather, pink sand beaches, no agenda.  Loved it loved it loved it!

Each time I go to a significant place, I like to find at least one item that I can use in a "souvenir piece" that I make and keep.  Funny enough, I just showed you one last week that has taken me years to get around to turning into a pendant, my Petroglyph pin/pendant.  

So when I found this piece of salvage, I fell in love, even though it was a bit bigger and heavier than I usually use.  It's a metal keyhole, probably from someone's trunk, that's about 2 1/2 inches high, and covered with a lovely patina in front and deep deep corrosion in the back.  There was no flat back to this one!

It was so deeply rounded in the back that I pulled out a trick that I developed to use with an ammonite many years ago.  I thought you might like the instructions for one way to deal with a piece like this that is super deep.  Here goes!  If you want to see pictures of how this technique works, click on the link for the ammonite piece.

Cut a piece of thick felt (mine is 3/8") to serve as a foundation, and cut a hole in the felt to nestle in the thickest part of the object.  Add a back stitched row to the felt around your object, and bezel it with peyote stitch or whatever other stitch you like.  I've added some extra bead pathways across the top for additional security.  I also cut a hole in the felt to accommodate the key hole, which I decided to leave open.

Cut a piece of foundation fabric larger than the size of the felt, as big as you want your finished piece to be.  I added one row of size 11/0 seed beads in back stitch just outside the whole bezel (the dark blue beads), stitching through both the felt and the new foundation fabric.  It was a pain in the neck to do because of how thick the felt was, but it's only one row!

Cut the felt, but not the foundation, about 1/8 to 3/8 inch away from the bezel.

The next two outline rows were added in brick stitch, still with size 11/0 beads, anchoring the threads in between the beads in the previous back stitched row.  Follow that with a brick stitched row of size 8/0 seed beads, again anchoring around the threads of the previous row, and finally, finish with a brick stitched row of size 6/0 seed beads.  This brick stitched "surround" will easily drape and cover over the raw edge of the felt, and now you can attach it to the other foundation fabric.

Clip the foundation fabric just a tiny bit beyond the outer edge of the last row of brick stitch.

To do the edging, cut a piece of backing fabric exactly even with the top foundation fabric and stick them together with a piece of double-sided tape or a dab of glue.  Using size 8/0 seed beads, add edging brick stitch all around the edges, stitching through both pieces of fabric, and -- this is important! -- catching the threads running between the last row of brick stitch added in step 5.

I used size 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads and some drop beads to add a short stack stitch to each edging bead.

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Adding a bead embroidered frame to a pin is super simple, but there are lots of other items that you can use for your embroidery that may not be able to be bezeled in such a straight-forward way. My e-book Arm Candy shows how to upcycle, attach, and integrate just about anything to your own mixed media bead embroidery work.

Copyright 2019 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.