Book Review: Dimensional Bead Embroidery

A Reference Guide to Techniques by Jamie Cloud Eakin.

The work in this book is just stunning. And I really like how the material is organized and presented. Here’s why.

The book is divided into nine chapters. Chapter one covers the materials and tools needed for bead embroidery. As far as materials go, the skies the limit. So many different materials can be used in this type of beadwork. Very few tools are needed and none of them are expensive.

Chapter two shows you some basic techniques like tying different types of knots and how to center your work, if needed. Chapter three helps you get started designing your piece. I never really thought about it before, but the author makes the point that only very simple sewing skills are needed to do bead embroidery. Pair that up with the fact that only a few tools are needed and it’s a perfect way to enter the world of making seed bead jewelry.

Chapter four discusses some of the components that can be used in bead embroidery. Cabochons are perfect and used very often. But the author goes on to show how to use materials with an uneven back like a piece of uncut stone, shank button or rivoli crystal. There’s also a wonderfully creative section that shows how to use pendants in bead embroidery. I have to say I never considered this because pendants have holes in them, but the author covers several creative ways to handle the holes. This is just the type of information that helps you broaden the arena of materials you can use in bead embroidery projects. And then that’s followed by an equally creative section on how to use gemstone and other types of donuts in bead embroidery.

The next four chapters cover different stitches for covering the surface of the piece, stitches for making bezels, how to handle the edges of a bead embroidered piece and stitches that can be used to attach pieces of bead embroidery together.

Once I finished reading that huge wealth of information, really enough to have you on your way, I realized there was more. There were projects in the book too! Nine of them to be exact.

The book ends with a gallery section, descriptions of all of the many photographs, acknowledgements, and information about the author. I guess you can tell I am enthused by this book. Don’t let the elaborate, stunning photographs put you off. No matter where you are in your beading journey, if you want to try bead embroidery, you now have access to a fantastic teaching book to help you.

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