Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beading with Diane Fitzgerald

Diane Fitzgerald is to the beading world as white is to rice.

As a bead collector, jewelry designer and author, her work has provided me with loads of inspiration and enjoyment.


Because Diane is also very good at writing instructions, I have spent many hours over many years making her designs before getting the chance to meet her on Monday.

Together with my Embroiderers' Guild, we gathered to learn how to make these cornerless cubes in Diane's new design...the Moorish Tile necklace...



Believe it or not, they are all the same bead made from the exact same pattern made to look different by changing the colors. Take another look.  Brilliant, right?

Each bead is made from 6 squares and 8 triangles...



And when you put them all together, they form this nifty cube.  I started another colorway just so I could see what would happen with the pattern...



The finished cube ends up being around an inch.  I don't plan on continuing to make them this size but have ordered some size 15 delicas to see what happens when I make them tinier.

Diane's books are some of my favorites on my bookshelf.  As a collagist, I am always on the  lookout for methods of engineering textiles and beads in my work.  Diane is a master at sculpting and working with beads to make all methods of different shapes...stars, cubes, netting, charms, and flowers...


When I mentioned my Scotland trip, she reminded of the beaded thistle that was included in her book of flowers.

OH the flowers!



By far, the book I use most is The Beaded Garden: Creating Flowers with Beads and Thread.  If it's not on your bookshelf, it should be...

Or if you can't afford to do that, hunt it down through your local library.  There are oodles of beaded flowers and leaves that you can use in your needlework projects.  My crazy quilt group and I have made many, many flowers from this book and have had a ball doing it.

Here's a bitty rose I made for Radiance, a bead journal project...



And here are some bellflowers I made during Summer Charm School in 2009...



Diane has a new book coming out in November titled Shaped Beadwork & Beyond: Dimensional Jewelry in Peyote Stitch which includes the pattern for the Moorish tile bead and lots more.  She had an advance copy for us to preview and the book is a total winner.  There are patterns for starfish, stars and temari ball-inspired beaded beads to name just a few.

If you can't wait that long, you can visit Diane's website to purchase a few of the patterns before the book comes out.  Take a moment to check out her articles that have appeared in publication.  She has uploaded them all in .pdf format so you can download them for free.  There's a wealth of information there and it doesn't cost a dime.

Happy bead dreaming everyone.  See you next time.

14 comments:

Marsha said...

Beautiful! I hope you are going to make the thistle. It looks unique. I think I hear it calling you....

Allison Aller said...

Your fingers are attaining great knowledge, Susan!

Suztats said...

That thistle looks amazing, and wouldn't it be perfect on the cover of a book about your Scotland trip?
I love to bead, too, but have 'put it aside' for the most part, as I'm busy with my stitching......but it looks like so much fun! Maybe I'll get back to it one of these days......thanks for the eye candy.

cucki said...

so beautiful x

Lilli said...

Ooo, WOW! I love her books! So lovely...))))

Mary Ann said...

I hope you make the thistle too...it looks beautiful:)

Rachel said...

To borrow a word from my nieces - "Awesome!"
These are really very intriguing, and offer so much scope for experimentation...

Cath said...

What a great opportunity to learn from a talented designer. I might have a go at those corner-less cubes myself. Loved your pumpkin cuff - especially the cute mouse :-)

flyingbeader said...

Her Beaded Garden is by far my favorite book

Miriam said...

What a wonderful opportunity to learn from Diane in person!
Looking forward to seeing the beads you make from the size 15 delicas.
I love the blue bell flowers.

margaret said...

some wonderful beading here

Teresa said...

More wonderful beading. What a beautiful piece they will make.

Createology said...

I always learn so much from your posts Susan Dear. These beaded beads and flowers are exquisite. That beaded Thistle on your Scotland Trip Journal would be the icing on the cake. I am off to visit Diane's site. Blissful Beading...

Catherine said...

Beautiful work!

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