The second book in the Bead Book and Bounce challenge set by the OTTBS group is Diane Fitzgerald’s The Beaded Garden – a colourful book of beaded flowers.
The Beaded Garden features an array of beautiful designs which are certainly tempting to the beader who wants to recreate a colourful piece of nature. There are some helpful notes on constructing flowers and individual flower parts and leaves, and the beading basics section has clear instructions on the basic stitches used (including how to increase and decrease), as well as how to join edges and overlap petals together.
I think this book could be improved though, by including more visual instructions and diagrams and by specifying the actual size of the finished flower.
For this challenge, I chose the Poppy… a flower that I’ve always liked. From the photo of the Poppy on page 53, I also believed that it would lay fairly flat and would therefore be ideal to attach to a brooch back. How wrong could I be?
I followed the Poppy instructions exactly as printed, and can only say that this was an extremely frustrating exercise. My first attempt resulted in a Poppy that did not lay flat like the picture and with a circular petal that was not large enough to wrap around my covered button centre. After re-reading the instructions (did I do something wrong?), I opted to start again.
Finally, after some experimentation I created the Poppy that I wanted on my third attempt.
My Poppy loosely follows Diane Fitzgerald’s instructions in The Beaded Garden – it is brick stitch and I have increased the rows (but not according to the written instructions), and I created not one wrap-around petal, but three separate petals which I stitched together.
I’m happy with how it turned out — finally.