October 01, 2008

"Sunrise" - My First Embroidered Cuff





I finally finished my first embroidered cuff. I planned to make a rather geometric pattern, but when I started working I was drawn to a freer pattern. I worked on one section at a time, without much planning. (Some photos of the work in progress are here and here).
To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the result. It didn't come out the way I saw it in my mind.
BUT, I got a lot of satisfactory by the fact that I managed to finish it, and more important – I have learned a few important things about bead embroidery and gained some experience. I've learned a few things about myself, too; One is that I need to be more patient and stay positive when dealing with unexpected major problems in my work (and stop to scare my family with my frustration screams..) Another one is to really accept a compromise when I decide to make one, and not think about it over and over again after it has already been done; To practice a lot more, just as I did when I taught myself beadweaving- to start with small projects and progress gradually (did I mention patience?...;) So, all in all, it's an accomplishment for me, regardless the imaginative cuff I had in my mind… :)

I finished the body a while ago, but then faced the challenge of sewing it to a genuine leather backing - it was so hard to pass the needle through the leather - my size 10 beading needle was not good for this (I actually broke two of them by trying).
I had to use a special thick needle for leather works. The thick needle did pass trough the leather (though not easily), but it was too thick to pass even trough 6/0 seed beads holes. So I had to take separate steps: first connect the two materials and then stitch rows of beads to cover the connecting points. Step 1 caused my fingers to feel numb for a few days. I didn't succeed in using a thimble to help me push the needle through the leather, so I used my bare fingers. I still have this ugly distortion on my thumb – it is now acts as a reminder for me, to find and buy Ultrasuede in a few colors for my next embroidery works… Step 2, the diagonal rows on the edges, actually added about 15 mm to the final width of the cuff. I didn't plan to make a 2.4 inch (6 cm) wide cuff, but I couldn't think of another way to finish it. And I just had to finish it! ;)

22 comments:

  1. I can't tell you how sincerely impressed I am by this, Smadar. It's beautiful. I think working through the leather backing would have caused me to give up...you are definitely more persistent than I would have been :D and the results were obviously worth the dent in your poor finger (mine hurt just thinking about it!). Please don't let this be your last excursion into bead embroidering!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it turned out just gorgeous. I think I would also have given up at the finger-denting stage- good for you for persisting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can sympathize with your woes:) But even if it didn't turn out wuite as you saw it, it's a stunning piece! I'm glad you finished it and hope it goes to a good home soon!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not sure what the image in your head was but the actual cuff turned out fantastic!
    The experience and learning is all part of the journey. =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Smadar - the cuff is beautiful! I know how painful it is to stitch onto leather - but the results were well-worth it! You've chosen a gorgeous clasp to finish it off, too. That's always the most difficult aspect for me - finding the wider clasps. Wonderful job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it looks fabulous!

    Oh, and your comment about killing your hands reminded me of the simple tool that saved my hands. Here is an old blog post that talks about it:

    http://magscrafts.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-favorite-sewing-tool.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks so much, everyone! I think that when it comes to beading, it's like we women having labor - after we see our little new born, we immediately forget all the pain we had to go through..:D
    I am planning to start working on a new embroidered work soon! (although I think it would be a smaller project..) :)

    Maggie, thanks for your comment and for the tip - I am definitely going to use my Tupperware rubber next time

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is absolutely stunning!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you, broadway and christelle! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS...stunning piece!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I truly believe it was a hard job to do it. But the result worths it!!! It is fantastic, you should be proud of it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Smadar! I was waiting for the result very much, since you showed us the work in progress. I knew it will be beautiful - but the result is even more overwhelming then I imagined! Congratulation on your birthay, Smadar, and congratulation on this amazing jewel too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you bizsuterie and Erika! Your warm compliments makes me feel ever prouder about it :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very nice!!!!

    Also, I just opened my Etsy shop! I will have to check out yours... Hope all is well! :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. i feel you pain!!! but wow! it is GORGEOUS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your bracelet ist wonderful! I like it very much! And the colors are also very beautiful!
    Many greetings,
    Nicki

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you LB, Triz and Nikie!

    LB, good luck with your new shop!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Amazing!! I love it! I wish I had patience and fantasy to do such a beautiful piece!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much, babra :) You have some amazing works yourself!

    ReplyDelete