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Beading Artistry for Quilts: Basic Stitches & Embellishments Add Texture & Drama Paperback – October 16, 2012
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... I love patchwork, beadwork, and I love handwork, and Tom Atkins marries all 3 of these techniques together in his book. Thom shows various beading techniques and example after example of how simple beading can elevate a printed piece of cloth into art. The instructions are easy to follow and it's nothing short of divine inspiration for me between each cover. There is literally nothing that I don't love about this book. Atkins' work is breathtaking and, by its very nature, inspires me to elevate my art and dare to try new things. This book is staying in my library forever and ever. (Mark Lipinski Diplo: Towards more inclusive and effective diplomacy)
By using beads and simple stitches, you can add drama and texture to any project, whether it is a traditional quilt or an art quilt. The author will teach you about tools, supplies, techniques and bead selection. Dozens of images will inspire you to create your own beaded masterpiece. An added bonus is a tutorial on creating beaded bezels.
(Quilter's Delight, 9/15/12)
This has got to be my favorite book in this selection because I have always used a lot of beads and sequins in my work and this book is bead heaven! Thom adds stunning texture and life-like details to quilts and pictures by using basic beading stitches. This is a comprehensive guide to bead selection and the use of the proper tools, plus a bonus tutorial on how to create a beaded bezel. This is a visual feast and certainly one book I will definitely include in my collection.
(Fabrications Quilting For You, February/March 2013)
This is packed with lots of information to set you on your embellishing journey. Beads can add sparkle, a focal point, and enhance the shapes and lines of your work. Included is a guide to supplies (both beads and tools), stitches and techniques, so you can choose exactly the right approach to give the effect you are striving for. Often a project needs extra dimension or added stitches to make it feel finished and here you have a resource to drawn on. Even if you don't think beading is for you, the beautiful photos you see as you leaf through the pages will have you reaching for the book for colour and design inspiration. (Down Under Textiles, 28)
About the Author
Thom Atkins is an award-winning quilter who learned to sew as a child on his grandmother's treadle sewing machine. Later in life, his sister taught him about bead embroidery on fabric. He has worked in a variety of art disciplines from illustrating to stained glass to silversmithing and more. Thom lives in Santa Cruz, California.
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Vibrant, Colorful, Sparkling: Atkins' luminous palette begins on the cover and does not let up until the final page.
Exceptional, Exotic, Exquisite, Thrilling: This is beading fusion like we've rarely seen outside of museums.
Incomparable, Unprecedented, Rare, Superlative: Atkins' unique background, skills, and abundant passion result in staggeringly unique artwork.
That's just about the photos; the text itself is imbued with Atkins' friendly and humble style. (But back to the photos, I have to point out there are 29 pages (29!!) pages of gallery photos at the end of the book, several with both full and close-up shots.) Atkins also gifts us with a "Bonus Feature" on creating a beaded bezel using cabochons. Throughout, Atkins shares his experience gracefully and enthusiastically; he is clearly an artist of supreme caliber. Somehow he manages to impart a feeling of accessibility and kinship, despite the very advanced level of beading presented here.
Instructions, techniques, and tips are plentiful: stretch the thread before beading, know your bead vendor and ask questions about their bead quality, how to make special fringes and picot edge stitches, how to accommodate different hole placements, combining couching with other stitches, how beading is effected by environmental factors, and much, much more. Atkins also freely mentions specific brand names when suggesting various tools and notions, such as Terrifically Tacky Tape 1/2 Inch
You might want to know that while Atkins provides a great deal of information about beads and fabric, this is *not* a straight how-to project book. By this I mean there are no project designs with specific step-by-step instructions that will get you from his finished concept to your own look-alike piece. Beading Artistry utilizes more of a generalist "look what you can do" approach, full of wisdom, insight, and inspiration.
Prepare to use your own plethora of adjectives when you peruse and study Beading Artistry For Quilts; you might even need a thesaurus.
This is not a project book. Instead, there's a discussion of supplies and tools, followed by an explanation of the four bead embroidery stitches that form the basis for all of the author's beaded work, as well as variations on each stitch. Even if you've never attached a single bead to fabric before, the instructions are clear enough for you to understand and get started.
Once the basics are covered, the author shows how he's applied them in his work. Well-drawn diagrams and copious close-up photos illustrate each design concept.
The writing is down-to-earth and infused with the author's gentle humor. And -- I must admit it -- there's a special spot in my heart for anyone who learned to sew on his grandmother's treadle sewing machine (as I did -- and I still have the machine).
Experienced beaders will recognize that this book barely scratches the surface of beading techniques, but that's not really what this particular book is all about. It's much more about the marriage of beads to fabric, and the design considerations involved in finding the perfect balance between the two in any particular art quilt. Although you can certainly learn some technique from this book, it's much more of a concept book than a technique book. Advanced beading (and bead embroidery, and quilting) techniques can be found in many other excellent books. This one is more of a springboard for your own creativity.
I have had it a couple weeks and the first day I was looking for something, anything to bead because I was hit with inspiration and creative energy. Ever since I have taken it everywhere (even camping) in case I have a moment to look through it agian. Thom is a fabulous artist, the pictures are wonderful. You will not be dissapointed unless you are hoping for actual project to do. He provides info on various techniques and lots of visual inspiration, it is up to you to use his knowledge to create your own art.