Beadpoint: Beautiful Bead Stitching on Canvas, Anna Benson, Sterling Publications, 2002, $27.95, ISBN: 0-48725-08939
A couple of weeks ago I was at a shop which specializes in seed beads, Out on a Whim. As I looked at their wall of seed beads I kept thinking how cool it would be to do needlepoint using them. And as if God had just heard my prayers, the next day I found this brand new book on just that subject.
Beadpoint is a wonderful introduction to the idea of doing a piece of needlepoint entirely in beads. Benson is clearly aware of both the possibilities and restrictions of the medium. Her book has tons of pictures in the introductory chapters showing you exactly how to attach the beads (even what it looks like on the back), the color and luster choices in seed beads and even very clear explanations of the different types of beads.
She is aware of what works and what doesn’t for needlepoint with beads and gives you good advice. If you follow her suggestions for choices of beads, you will do successful project from the start.
She has also worked out, which is a huge help in trying this technique, which type of bead fits on which canvas. So if, for example, all you can find is No. 11 seed beads (the most common type), you will know to use 14 interlock canvas.
Beading on canvas was extremely popular in Victorian days, especially in conjunction with wool backgrounds, and one of the projects is similar in feel. But virtually all the projects have a bright contemporary style which makes them not your Grandmother’s
needlepoint. There are button covers, ornaments of various kinds (I love the vest the best), a wonderful beaded collar for a dress, mirror backs, box tops, and a lovely Japanese-inspired picture. The projects really give a clear picture of the possibilities.
Each project is accompanied by a clear photo of the finished project, a chart in color, and a material list which often has the colors of beads pictured so you can match your beads to the photos. Instructions are very complete and include information about finishing, which is important in such a new application of needlepoint.
In venturing into new territory for needlepoint, this is a great book, and in creating wonderful contemporary designs, Benson has done a marvelous job on all counts.
Now with those tapestry point beading needles, I’m ready to go!