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Bead-Dazzled: Add Detail and Sparkle to Your Fiberwork (Giveaway!)

What do the following little quilts–part of my self-imposed 30-Minute-a-Day Creativity Challenge –have in common?

Sedona Nights, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

Three Sisters, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

Cupid’s Arrow, 3″ x 5″, by Darra Williamson

If you guessed beads, take your seat at the head of the class!

As you can see, beads can play a starring role (the “prickles” on the cactus in Sedona Nights), add detail (the pear stems in Three Sisters), or even be used to tack down appliques or embellishment (the rickrack in Cupid’s Arrow). But that’s just the beginning.

I love to add beads to my projects, large and small, and over the years I’ve accumulated a number of books on the subject. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

Tracks, 5″ x 7″, by Mary Stori

Long Needle Pine, 9″ x 12″, by Mary Stori; note the tiny seed beads in the sprig and all around the little quilt’s edges.

Trade Winds, 7″ x 10″, by Mary Stori

Pussy Willows, 11″ x 19″, by Mary Stori

Small Trees, 14″ x 15″, by Mary Stori; again, note the beads on the edges.

Mary has written a number of books about beading and embellishment, and Beading Basics is one of my favorite go-tos when I need a tutorial or a shot of inspiration. Its 48 pages are packed with solid info, great how-to and photos, and loads of super ideas for incorporating beads into your work. I particularly love her clever techniques for fringed and other bead-bedecked finishings.

In addition to her books, Mary offers two other great resources to help you sharpen your skills and spark your creativity. Viewing her DVD, Mary Stori Teaches You Beading on Fabric, is like having her right there with you in your sewing room, walking you step by step through the beading process.

Her All-in-One Beading Buddy is a handy reference that you can tuck into your sewing basket, stash beside your favorite stitching spot, or slip into your purse for shopping and travel.