After the past few days of work I might have a new criteria to determine, which focal stone (crystal, mineral or any other cabochon) is much more than ‘good enough’ to work with. Here’s the thing: I’m sure all of us have in our stash beads which we treasure more than usually. Some uniquely coloured semi-precious beads, hard to come by fire polished rounds, or as in my case this time, some pretty expensive and oh so beautiful Swarovski Element bicone beads in Turquoise 2xAB and Dark Red Coral. I ordered them from Perles and Co. several years ago, but unfortunately they don’t carry them any more.
Since at the moment I can’t replace them (and in case of the Dark Red Coral I’m not sure if I ever can), I was saving them for a pretty long time. A year or two, maybe even more. Always waiting for the perfect project, always thinking ‘meh, not this time.’ Until now, when in the span of only a week I used up all of my precious stash of them. The reason is the package of handmade, unique cabochons I got from Lenka Gondova and Lacka Repkova of L2Studio.
The cabochons I received were beautifully packaged: a solo red one in an embroidered little pack, the other four (two orange, a bronze and the nicest, in turquoise) within a square of felt cut in a special way. The openings hold the stones in place, and while they streghten the ‘one-of-a-kind’ feeling even more, they also protect the pieces. I received three different designs in various colours, and I chose to work with the one called ‘Sashiko’ at first. The red one on the picture above is responsible for mopping up my last pieces of the Dark Red Coral bicone beads, and the turquoise one ate up nearly all of the Turquoise 2xAb ones.
By the way according to Wikipedia the Japanese word “Sashiko (刺し子, literally “little stabs”) is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan. Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear or to repair worn places or tears with patches, this running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread.”
And finally, this is what I’ve made. The design of the cabochon recalling the little crosses of Sashiko embroidery inspired me to try a new stitch. Well, at least new for me. I’m a 100 % sure the stitch was invented before and I’m not the first to use it, since it’s quite simple, but I didn’t find any fancy name for it, so let’s call it Sashiko stitch, shall we? 🙂
I would like to walk you step-by-step through the process, so you can easily bezel your own Sashiko cabochon, too. (You can purchase the beautiful clay cabs here, directly from Lacka’s and Lenka’s Etsy shop. You can also win one of these beauties, just keep reading!!!) I will show you the steps on the second, turquoise – spring green version I’ve made. And if you would like to get one of these luxurious, handmade clay cabochons as a gift from L2Studio, fill in the form below and keep your fingers crossed! Also, please answer some question how do you like them – it will be a great help for the girls to continue making these beauties.
If you turn out to be the lucky one, you will receive a similar turquoise Sashiko cabochon to the one I used in the bead embroidery tutorial. We will randomly select a winner on 21 / 10 using random.org.
Sashiko cabochon beadwork tutorial
Would you like to get the tutorial in .pdf format? Click here, and become the member of the VIP Jewelry Maker Club! This is the number 4 tutorial you will get, after the Forget-me-not earrings, the Caleidoscope ring and the Priscilla beaded bead.
MATERIAL AND TOOLS YOU NEED:
- 1 x Shashiko cabochon from L2Studio in Turquoise blue
- 11/0 Miyuki Delica in Matte Opaque Light Olive Luster nr. DB0371 (C11)
- 15/0 Toho seed beads in Opaque Turquoise nr. 55 (R15A)
- 15/0 Miyuki seed beads in Metallic Dark Bronze nr. 457 (R15B)
- 11/0 Miyuki seed beads in Metallic Dark Bronze nr. 457 (R11)
- cca. 90 x 2 mm round pearls in Shiny Light Spring (P2A)
- cca. 30 x 2 mm round beads in Dark Bronze (P2B)
- cca. 30 x 3 mm Swarovski Elements bicone beads (article nr. 5328) in Turquoise 2xAB (BIC)
- Ultra Suede
- E-6000 glue
- 4 mm thick leather cord
- clasp for 4 mm thick cords
- leather for the backing
- leaf shaped O-T clasp (the leaf part of it)
- strong cutting pliers
- Fireline, needle, bead mat
1. Glue the cabochon on your bead embroidery foundation. I used Ultra Suede and industrial strength E-6000. The best way to apply this super strong glue is by a toothpick, so you don’t actually get in contact with it.
Wait until the glue dries a bit. I started to work after half an hour, but it dries completely in 4-6 hours.
2. Attach a row of C11 beads to the foundation around the cabochon. Make sure to get an even number.
3. Build up a peyote bezel around the cab from C11 and R15B beads, then string down through the beads and move down under the foundation.
4. Come up next to the bezel, and go through a C11 from the lowest row. Add 3x R15A, then go through the next bead in the same row, skipping the one next to the bead you just exited, which is part of the second row of the peyote bezel. Continue by adding groups of R15A beads all around. Finish by going down through the foundation.
5. The coming part explained through the next few steps were inspired by the Sashiko design itself. It’s similar to netting, but I attached the beads to the Ultra Suede in the meanwhile. This way I formed a pattern consisting of little V-shaped forms, building up to little crosses reminding us of the Sashiko embroidery.
So, how to do it?
Come up next to an R15A bead in the middle of a group and go through it. String C11 + R15B + C11, then go through the middle R15A from the next group. Go down through the fabric, and come up again before the R15A you just went through and string through it. You just attached it to the Ultra Suede. Continue all around the motif, then go down through the beading foundation.
6. Come up before an R15B bead. Go through it, then add C11 + R11 + C11. String through the R15A bead in the middle of the next V-shaped form, then attach it to the fabric, just like the R15B beads in the previous step.
Continue this way all around the Sashiko cabochon, then go down through the Ultra Suede.
7. Come up next to an R15B from step nr. 5. Go through the bead, then add R15A + P2A + R15B. Go through a C11 from the third row of the bezel (counting from the Ultra Suede). It doesn’t matter, in which direction you string through it. Add an R15B bead, then go back through the P2A and the R15A. Weave through the R15 you went through at the beginning of the step (in the same direction). Continue all around the motif, then go down through the fabric.
8. Come up before an R11 added in step nr. 6. Add the combination of C11 + P2B + C11 between the R11 beads, in the meanwhile attaching the R11 beads to the Ultra Suede.
9. Fill in BIC beads between the P2Bs. Go down through the embroidery foundation.
10. Fill in the combination of C11 + R11 + C11 between the Swarovski bicones.
11. Fill in R15B + P2A + R15B between the R11s added in the previous step. Attach the R11s to the Ultra Suede in the meanwhile.
12. Fill in picots of 3x R15A between the sequences added in the previous step.
13. Fill in C11 + R15B + C11 between the groups of beads added in the previous step.
14. Add C11 + P2A + C11 between the middle R15A beads from the picots added in step. nr. 12. In the meanwhile attach the R15As to the fabric. Go down through the Ultra Suede and tie a secure knot.
Cut around the motif leaving a cca. 1-2 mm part around the beads. Glue it to the leather, and cut the leather in the shape of the pendant, too. Secure the leather backing to the Ultra Suede bead embroidery foundation all around with tiny stitches. Secure your thread and cut off the remaining part.
15. Transform the clasp into a pendant holder! Brake off the loop with strong pliers. Don’t use your usual jewellery pliers, since they can get damaged. If you don’tmanage to brake it down entirely, smooth the piece with some sandpaper.
Glue the leaf on the back of the pendant. Make sure it’s aligned with the design of the Sashiko cabochon.
16. Make a stripe from the C11 beads using Peyote stitch. Start with 4 beads in a row, and continue until you have enough to hold the loop of the leaf and the leather cord, too. Close the Peyote stripe around the loop of the leaf into a ring.
17. String the leather cord through the Peyote stitched pendant holder, and glue the clasp on the ends. Since both the diameter of the leather cord and the hole of the clasp can be inconsistent, it may happen that you have to adjust the cord. You can cut off little pieces with a pair of sharp scissors or your cutting plier.
18. Your new necklace is ready. Congratulations!
Let me know how is it going, and don’t hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions or suggestions!
Have fun creating!
The pendants and the tutorials were made thanks to the generous gift of L2Studio. Thank you very much, Lenka and Lacka!
And dear beaders, here you can check out the hottest products from the kiln of L2Studio. These are only the newest, for the whole collection visit L2Studio on Etsy! Enjoy!