When I started learning bead embroidery, I looked at many bead embroidery projects in their beginning stage.
Whether we’re making a pendant or a component for a bead embroidered project, it is very common, that many of us start with a stiff rectangular piece of backing and a cabochon placed to the middle of it. The smaller the piece of backing, the easier it is to embroider.
However, some factors usually distract me from the quality of my embroidery stitches and design ideas.
One of such annoying things is corners. Yes, the corners of the backing.
Unless you are making a rectangular pendant or element, there is no reason why you should keep the shape of your backing material strictly rectangular. The thread, no matter how long is it, tends to wrap around one of the corners and stay there. If its color exactly matches the backing, there is a risk to miss the loop and continue stitching without fixing the thread.
There is a simple solution to this small, but annoying problem: cut corners!
By rounding the shape of your backing material, you will avoid thread loops.
Of course, there might be other elements in your bead embroidery, that might become an obstacle for a thread, like in this pendant I was making with a metal fish as the focal point of a composition. The tail and the head of the fish, the pearls that raised way above the surface, they all got in the way of the thread.
So if I could make any minor changes to my work process, I would cut corners before I get tired of fixing those unwanted loops of thread wrapping around the corners.
Occasionally, I make rectangular pendants and I cannot avoid corners. However, most of the time, I can. For example, in one of these bead embroidered pendants, I had to keep the rectangular shape of the backing, but even in that case I could cut out a larger piece of backing and work with a more convenient shape of it by cutting the corners. Now I value comfort over frugality.
If you are curious, what happened to the fish pendant, you may see the finished Salema pendant here.
Happy beading and bead embroidering!