If you have never tried a band sampler, now is the time, and I am talking about a “contemporary” band sampler. Typically a sampler is either historic in theme or is a variety of stitches for practice purposes. The difference is that “contemporary” is whatever you want to make it. It is your awesome, exclusive project. So get your Aida cloth, whatever fibers you want to use in whatever colors you want to use and let’s have some fun!
JAPANESE SEED BEADS
One of the things I love to incorporate in my work is beads, particularly glass beads, and one of my regular go-to picks are Japanese seed beads. Why? The quality is my primary reason.
The particular brand I use is Miyuki and it is the Delica 11/0 seed beads that work best for me. Why? They are known for their consistent size and larger hole and that makes them easier to work with. it also makes them lighter because of the larger hole so you get more by weight too.
I also discovered that you can easily use a size #28 tapestry needle with them so no special needles necessary. Two or three strands of floss will secure the beads fast and easily. They come in a LOT of beautiful colors and finishes which makes the little higher price easier to justify. When it comes to these wee wonders you truly get what you pay for! There are other excellent brands out there so find what works best for you. I almost left out the very best part, they work perfectly on 14 count Aida!
Stitching the Beads
If you can do a counted cross stitch you can stitch a bead on. They are EASY! There are two basic ways to stitch them, on a diagonal and straight up and down (vertical). The diagonal uses only a half stitch, that’s it, just use one leg of your cross stitch! A straight up vertical bead uses a complete cross stitch. The first leg will put the bead at the diagonal and the second leg will come up in the lower right corner and you will pull the needle through the bottom of the bead and then down through the Aida into the upper left corner. You will see that the bead has straightened itself out.
With the start of lovely May I have a hankering for sparkly paint, beads and pastel colors which reminds me of lovely macarons, yummy! I could not do this sampler without using paint and I decided on the Aladine i-Zink Diamond Paint in Pastel Rose (Pink). To see more information on this paint in my previous column check out this link! This is so easy to apply and sparkles like crazy! I only used one band of three rows because I didn’t want to overdo the bling (can you actually do that?!). You will notice that I started the green stitching but will finish it using something a little different and will show you next month when the finished sampler is ready.
There is no wrong way to do this and that is why I love ’em. Make a same sized band sampler for the four seasons; make them in Ombre colors; make them in linen fibers; make them in silk fibers; make them in wool; make them in all three! They make up beautifully and quickly so what is not to love?
WHAT THE HEY!
Want more flash in your stash? Kreinik recently introduced three new colors to their line. Buttercup 9591, Peony 9592 and Bluebonnet 9594 are debuting in their Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid and Medium #16 Braid (no #4 Braid currently). Info has it these are a tad bit thicker so you may want to use the next smaller size down than you normally do. Loving these new fibers!
Next month there will be the completed band sampler and I would love to hear from you what name I should give it. Be creative and original like I know you all are! We’ll also have a look at how to do a “Grunge” Band Sampler. (Did I really just make that bad pun?!) Have a marvelous Mother’s Day if you celebrate it and Keep Creating!
Debbie Monachella (aka Pear Blossom Designs because it is easier to spell) has been cross stitching and driving her family and friends bonkers with it for over 30 years. After 22 years, she retired from medical office work, and when she isn’t busy telling people where not to sit or step because of a lost needle, she enjoys making up her own cross stitch work, cross stitching, exploring cross stitch, blogging about cross stitch and riding with her husband of 39 years on their Harley motorcycle. They have two lovely daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one granddog named Hannah. She resides in her adopted state of Oklahoma.