Beading Artistry for Quilts: Basic Stitches & Embellishments Add Texture & Drama Thom Atkins (2012)
Last month I had an idea that I might want to do some bead work on my crazy quilt square, so before I left Colorado for Thanksgiving, I ran to the library for a beading book, and read it cover to cover on the plane. Beading Artistry for Quilts is a stunningly beautiful book with clear and concise directions for fastening beads to fabric. Thom Atkins describes just 4 basic stitches (seed stitch, back stitch, couching, and lazy stitch) along with some fancy edgings and fringe directions. The magic of this book though is not the stitch directions, but the inspiration he provides. The photos of his work and the process by which he is inspired is fascinating and works well with my own creative process. For example, I like that he sometimes simply embellishes the fabric he is working on, while other times, he lets the beads drive the design. His detailed, yet casual approach to beading, makes it so much less scary than other beading books I've looked at that teach you how to create specific things and require you to have certain beads. Just looking at the photos of the quilts he has embellished has inspired me to try to use beads in new ways. I know, for example, after seeing one of his mermaid quilts that I will be beading seaweed onto my crazy quilt, and I can't wait to try. The basic instructions are just enough to make me feel confident that I can use beads exciting ways, and his folksy description of how to do a beaded bezel, takes a lot of fear out of that prospect as well. It is a great book for beginners like me.
To see many of the quilts he depicts in the book, as well as additional inspiration, check out Atkins' website. His work is magnificent.