Sunday, January 18, 2009

Teaching Bead Embroidery ~ More from Baltimore Students!

bead embroidery by Barbara Meger, detail
Don't you just love it when we help each other to have a web presence?! The above detail and full picture below were taken by Susan Elliott (Plays With Needles)... so we have her to thank for being able to see this lovely work by Barbara Meger!

This is a continuation of my previous post with a few thoughts about teaching bead embroidery along with some more of the beautiful work by students from my class in Baltimore. I think it might be fun to try to list 7 things I love most about teaching bead embroidery... so here goes...
  1. Watching students get excited as they experience the connections between improvisational beading and their own creativity.
  2. Helping those who are blocked to take baby steps toward more confidence.
  3. Getting questions from students that help me to cover techniques and tips I might otherwise have forgotten to mention.
  4. Being stimulated by student work, by the endless ways they make the techniques, stitches, colors and beads their own.
  5. The challenge of providing a lot of new material in a short time in a clear way that most students can follow without getting behind or feeling frustrated.
  6. Seeing little light bulbs go off as students get it.
  7. Receiving pictures of finished work, especially projects that were started in class.

Yes, receiving pictures is a huge reward for teaching... better than the pay! My students in Baltimore have really taken to bead embroidery and now I have pictures from two more of them to show you.

As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic (here), several students chose to use the pattern for a little pouch that I call Emese's Bag. This is my original version of it, shown closed.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins,front of small beaded bag
The top flap opens to reveal a little pocket inside for keeping treasures safe.

bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, inside of beaded pouch
Here is Bobbi Pohl's version, started in class last fall.

beaded bag by Bobbi Pohl
Here is the pocket inside.

beaded bag by Bobbi Pohl, inside pocket
Here is how it looks on the beaded side when it is opened.

beaded bag by Bobbi Pohl, outside opened
Bobbi took to bead embroidery in a big way! Here is her next project, an evening bag. Isn't it scrumptious?!

Beaded evening bag by Bobbi Pohl
Here's a detail of the beaded flap (all pictures are click-to-enlarge)!

Beaded evening bag by Bobbi Pohl, detail of flap
bead embroidery by Barbara Meger
And you saw the teaser at the top of this post? Well here's the finished square of bead embroidery (above) by Barbara Meger. One thing that thrills me about this piece is that Barbara used it to practice and try out all of the techniques I covered in class, including couched-down twisted fringe, ruffles, beaded bezel, fans, surface fringes, bugle bead pathways and all the basic stitches!

bead embroidery by Carolyn Everley, Blue Crab
One more for your viewing pleasure! This is Blue Crab by Carolyn Everley. This is her second piece since the class. I'm guessing there's a lot more texture than is evident in the picture... but you can see the crab shell in the lower left corner, his/her blue arms with coral pinchers extending into exotic, undersea plantlife and his/her beady black eyes.

Way to go Bobbi, Barbara and Carolyn! I'm so proud of your accomplishments!


  1. Robin-These posts are so inspiring. It is wonderful to hear your continued enthusiasm about your teaching, students work, and your beading process! These pieces are so beautiful...

    I would love to make a sampler exploring the many techniques and, so far, I have not been brave enough, or possibly focused enough, to launch this exciting, expanding project idea on my own! I am tempted once again...Love, Camilla

  2. More and more eye-candy! There must be a nest of talented beaders in Baltimore. Plus they were so lucky to meet this great teacher, R.A.!


  3. It is wonderful to see how your students continued after the class. Wonderful for them to be able to take instruction from you in person; And for those of us that can follow the techniques in the books your have published and try them on our own.

    And Susan..thanks for the great pics.

  4. Beautiful work! I can see why you're proud of them!

  5. In both posts you have showed us beautiful work. I think it's very exciting and inspiring to see these pieces.

  6. I really like the handbag!

  7. I'm not surprised that your students' bags turned out so nicely. Yours is lovely.

  8. WoW WoW WoW - those are fabulous. Okay - we really need to do another class here... your photos make my latent beading desires itch! Looks like a very good result from a very excellent teacher!

  9. That handbag is elegant and very sophisticated for bead work!

  10. Robin -- I'm so glad you're enjoying our work as much as we're enjoying creating them. We have a regular crazy quilt group that is almost turning into a beading group since they're all so HOOKED!! Maybe the pendulum will shift back toward crazy quilting after Allie's visit ;) I'm glad we can still show you how much we appreciated your visit long after you've gone...

  11. Such beautiful work. I especially like that so many colors were used in most of the pieces. They just sing!

  12. What wonderful work your students did. I am envious and hope to take a class from you someday, will keep my eye out for one close to Arkansas. Thanks for encouraging all of us on our bead journey and for taking the time to oversee the BJP.

  13. Wow! What incredible patience & talent you have!

  14. Robin, Received my copies of your books today...can't wait to delve into them. Love the autographs too....thanks for your prompt mailing!

  15. Wow! Those are truly beautiful pieces! They are amazing!
    I would love to do work like that! I love "Plays With Needles"! I have her on my google reader so I can keep up with her posts! How fun to see her mentioned here.

    Thank you for entering my portion of the OWOH giveaway! Good luck to you! :)

  16. The beading on this page is lovely.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  17. Wow what incredible pieces of work! I love those pouches. That would be something different to do.

  18. Robin, Thank you so much for your comments this morning...always appreciated. As for my writing...I just "tell it like it is" and enjoy telling it.
    Our mutual friend, Brenda (of Brenco1 on this comment list) had to have emergency surgery due to detached retina on Friday. She will be out of commission on her monthly beading project for a bit and I know that is going to irk her greatly. Thank goodness she is doing well ! Thanks, again! Pat

  19. Well Yay! I'm all signed up for your Denver Class (as is a friend of mine from my crazy quilting group!). I'm so excited!
    So, I'll see you in denver in April!


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!