I received an email from a blog reader complimenting me on my beading and asking for help getting started. I quickly pulled together some information for her, and then I thought, wow, what a shame that I can’t share this with other people who might find it useful. Duh . . .
So, if you’re interested in learning to bead on fabric, here’s a quick rundown of some resources (note: I’m sure there are lots of other great books, classes, web sites, etc. to help people learn to bead, so please feel free to suggest those in comments, if you like). I’ve pasted the email here with a few revisions.
Hi [Interested Beader]:
I learned to bead by taking a class at Quilt University (http://quiltuniversity.com) called "To Bead or Not to Bead." Quilt U has very reasonable classes with lots of great information, and I've learned a lot from them. Susan Brittingham teaches this class, and she's a great instructor, but I don't think she's teaching it again until January.
If you want to get a book rather than take a class, I would recommend Beading on Fabric by Larkin Van Horn. You can read a little about it here: http://www.larkinart.com/shopping/bof/beading_on_fabric_book.html, but it's cheaper to buy it from Amazon. My local library also has that book, so you might check yours, too, to see what beading books they have.
I also found a great DVD at my library called "Mary Stori Teaches You Beading on Fabric." You can see a little preview on YouTube.
I actually started beading before I took a class or read a book. I bought some beading thread (Nymo D is what I use; don't use regular thread, since glass beads can cut it and your beads may eventually fall off; however, you can use dental floss, I've heard), some beading needles (these are very long, thin needles, but you can also use quilting or appliqué needles) and some beads. Then, I looked up beading on the Internet.
I wasn't very good at beading until I took the class and practiced a lot, but it was pretty easy to get started.
I just "Googled" beading on fabric and ran across these .pdf files that might help you get started:
You'll probably find a lot of other information, too, if you look around on the Internet.
I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any questions, and good luck with beading! It really is a lot of fun.
P.S.: I also just ran across the site Beading Daily. It has tons of information and resources on all types of beading and bead-making.
P.S.S.: To see previous blog posts about my beading, look over the right under "labels" and click "beading."