Portfolio of older work

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Making Beads part 1

I know.  It is Wednesday, not Monday liked I promised, but it has been a hectic week!  I am finally starting to feel like I am on top of things .  Here is a tutorial on how I  made the chopsticks  on Dinner in Shanghai.  The tutorial for the fabric beads which are made very similarly, will be another day.

Here is Dinner in Shanghai. 

First, I had some cheap plastic straws. These will make the lightweight core of the chopsticks and help them keep a nice round shape.  My chopsticks needed to be longer than the straws so I used some masking tape to tape a couple of straws end to end.  I cut off the extra length I didn't need.

Second, I had a lovely silk scarf that I stamped and dyed and discharged and resisted and dyed (practice piece of waste material that seemed to work well for this project)  Of course, you can use a piece of material that you already like.  I cut the fabric to the length I wanted the chopsticks to be--a little longer than the straws-- and wide enough to roll around the straw a couple of times.

Next I sprayed the silk with adhesive.  Not that temporary adhesive you use for holding quilt layers together for basting.  I think it was 3M spray adhesive that I used.  It will be permanent if attached right away.  Of course, protect everything close by from over-spray!
Then you place the straw on one long side of the fabric and start rolling.  Because I started out with a silk scarf--or a piece of one--I made sure the long hemmed edge would be on the outside for a clean finish.

For my chopsticks, I formed one short end into points that were held together by the adhesive. The other short end--which I wanted to flare a bit--I had not sprayed.  That end I wrapped embroidery floss around and around and then tied a knot/bow.    The chopsticks are attached to the wallhanging by a gold metallic thread that I used to decoratively couch the chopsticks into place.  They are a bit stiff with the adhesive and the plastic straw but could be sewn through if you wanted.

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