Mrs Bean Goes to Portland

Mrs Bean goes to Portland

We are on our way! Our little car, Mrs Bean, hitched up to the back of a 17 foot truck, is heading to the North West. Short hiatus on the blog posting while we drive over 3000 miles all the way across America from Clearwater, Florida to Portland, Oregon, our new home.

What a trip!

Chrysogonum Necklace

Chrysogonum, gold and green necklace - cubic right angle weave bead stitch. Made with seed beads, crystals, and glass pearls. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.Back in 2013 I took a Masterclass with Marcia deCoster, at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee. As you probably know, she is a right angle weave queen. Particularly cubic right angle weave.

She came up with a selection of components for us to play with. I particularly liked the geometric look of the curved piece and so went ahead and mirrored and stretched it, and made 2. Along with adding stripes – just for fun.

I do love the colors she chose for each kit. This olive and gold works together and makes for an elegant look. Adding in another of her components I finally designed this fancy necklace with fringe. It’s called Chrysogonum after a creeping ground flower nicknamed Gold and Green.





Close up of chrysogonum, gold and green necklace - cubic right angle weave bead stitch. Made with seed beads, crystals, and glass pearls. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.Here’s a close up of the focal point.












Clasp of chrysogonum, gold and green necklace - cubic right angle weave bead stitch. Made with seed beads, crystals, and glass pearls. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

This is a close up of the clasp which is made from another of Marcia’s component designs. The clasp conceals a snap for closure.



The necklace is made with seed beads, Swarovski crystals and pearls. It is around 19 inches long with an additional 6 inches of focal and fringe.

I made a bracelet to match:

Chrysogonum bracelet designed during Masterclass with Marcia DeCoster - seed beads and Swarovski crystals, cubic right angle weave. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Emerald and Tangerine colorflow necklace

Emerald and Tangerine Colorflow necklace - triple spiral beadweaving. Made with glass seed beads. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Finally I got around to posting this ombre necklace. It’s been showing itself off at a summer exhibition and I’ve just got it home. In fact, I’ve got a pile of beadwork back so there will be more goodies posted over the next few weeks.

This was made for a pantone color competition. We were given a choice of 3 swatches – all of which were a bit weird. But I rather fancied the emerald, tangerine, and I think, linen swatches. It’s quite a task finding beads with colors which will flow into each other. And then working out how to actually fit them together so they do flow. It’s easy to make a stripe but to blend, not so much.

I used a triple spiral and it made a thick cord. I just kept going until I came back around to the color I started with. The necklace ended up being around 3 foot long. So you can wear it lots of different ways. I mostly wear it knotted as shown above but you could wear it lariat style:

Emerald and Tangerine Colorflow necklace - triple spiral beadweaving. Made with glass seed beads. Shown as lariat. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke..

Or wrap it around your neck a couple of times.

You can see the color flow better in this picture:

Emerald and Tangerine Colorflow necklace - triple spiral beadweaving. Made with glass seed beads. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Weldon’s Practical Needlework – DeLuxe Edition

This arrived in my Inbox the other day and rather caught my eye. Weldon’s Practical Needlework Deluxe Edition from Interweave combines the first six volumes of the series into one collection.

Here’s the blurb which came with the email:

Packed full of useful articles for men, women, and children, cross-stitch patterns, designs for various stitches, Weldon’s Practical Needlework will surprise you with ingenious patterns which are still practical today.

Originally published during the Victorian era in England, Weldon’s Practical Needlework magazines focused on knit, crochet, patchwork, and other needlework.

This magazine offered women of the growing middle class a variety of technical instructions and projects for everyday clothing, baby items, and household goods. The magazine also contained instructions for oddities such as crocheted lampshades, knitted knee-warmers, and even leather flowers.

Now available as an extravagant boxed set, Weldon’s Practical Needlework: Deluxe Edition contains the first 6 volumes of the series. Each hard-cover volume of the series is comprised of 12 monthly issues. There are roughly 16 categories and over 2,000 projects included in this collection.

In addition to knit and crochet, the volumes contain a variety of decorative needlework: crewel, appliqué, cross-stitch, macramé, smocking, bead netting, and other lesser-known techniques.

This collection is a facsimile edition of the original Weldon’s Needlework. No edits or changes have been made to the original documents.

If you are a lover of history, then this collection will satisfy your historical curiosities of knitting, crocheting, and needleworking!

AND, you get a free EBook to go with it. – Weldon’s Practical Needlework: Deluxe Edition + Victorian Times eBook Bundle.

I love these types of things. It reminds me that what goes around, comes around. My mother gave me a slew of old knitting patterns years ago and some of the designs were just gorgeous. And utterly wearable today.

I’ll bet there are some ideas and designs in this collection you could fall in love with.

Hollis Chatelain – textile artist

Some years ago I was part of an art quilt group founded by Hollis Chatelain. Life and geography have intervened since then but in my mind I hold the quarterly meetings and the members as a wonderful memory. And am grateful for the friends I made.

Hollis found a technique and style suited to her need for political and environmental comment. Quilting isn’t usually associated with social matters. If quilting is mentioned most people’s knee jerk reaction is to say – “oh, I have a wedding ring quilt hand made by my grandmother, could you finish it for me?”. Or variations…….

There is a vast underground of mostly women artists (which is probably why we receive the above comments), who use a soft medium and speak about their world view. Be it social commentary, colour studies, cartoons, abstract, 3-D pieces, or any other known expression of creativity. And possibly unknown!

Enough of the serious stuff. This isn’t meant to be an essay on a particular art form. I want to introduce you to Hollis Chatelain’s work from my point of view.

She operates in three areas. Figurative, Abstract, and Nature. Because I am more of an abstract artist I have greater interest in her abstract work. I have the usual reaction of humans towards realistic depictions. If it’s not spot on it feels off, and therefore makes me withdraw from the work. This is known as the Uncanny Valley effect.

Denim Flow by Hollis Chatelain

Denim Flow by Hollis Chatelain

Of course, I immediately show a piece which isn’t something Hollis is known for. It’s one of her alternative methods of making quilts. But I just wanted to point out her use of colour and the title, which incorporates the word FLOW. And exactly describes the work.

African Doodles by Hollis Chatelain and unnamed Nigerian artist

African Doodles by Hollis Chatelain and unnamed Nigerian artist








This is a piece she made in 2013. It’s absolutely lovely. It uses complicated swirls and patterns from a painting by a Nigerian artist. Hollis bought the painting and translated it from paper to fabric. Once again, this is not what Hollis is known for but makes sense in her body of work as she is firmly connected to Africa.

The Change by Hollis Chatelain

The Change by Hollis Chatelain







This piece is created in Hollis’ known style and technique. It is a hand dye-painted, machine quilted, whole cloth quilt.

Her statement: “An area of natural forest the size of a soccer field is cut down every two seconds, estimates Greenpeace.

From lush trees and wildlife to barren fields and deserts, how long will it take before the change becomes irreparable?”

Can you imagine walking into a gallery and being faced with this huge work? it’s nearly 7 feet wide. Firstly you are drawn to the colour – she tends towards the monochromatic. Then your eye turns towards the left of the piece where the heavier and darker trees lie, and finally you mentally walk down the avenue of shady trees.

But the kicker comes when you naturally go closer to the work because you wonder – how on earth is this made?

Strikingly, the whole surface is stitched thread.

Finally, you read her statement. And think a little.

Who knows what goes on in the mind of an artist? People may question why Hollis works in fabric and thread when she is obviously an accomplished painter and photographer. My guess is; the things she wants to talk about are more forcefully brought to attention when a left field medium is used.

It might be a deliberately calculated choice to differentiate her work. It might be Hollis just likes working in fabric and thread.

But she sure gets attention whatever her rationale.


Jeana Kimball’s Foxglove Cottage betweens/quilting needles size 10

Jeana Kimball Foxglove Cottage betweens quilting needles size 10These English quilting needles are our replacement for the lovely Jean Lyle quilting needles.

This is a good standard size. They come bigger, and they come smaller, but this is the size most hand quilters use.

Having said that, I tend to use the smaller size 11. No idea why. I just do!

I like the way these Foxglove Cottage needles are packaged – in a little tube. There are 16 needles in the tube.

Stef Francis – Space Dyed Threads and Yarns

Silk texture yarn from Stef Francis

Silk texture yarn from Stef Francis

Much of my work incorporates hand quilting and stitching. Which means using as many gorgeous threads as possible.

Years ago, while wandering around the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandria Palace in London, I came across an array of bright colours. Stef Francis’ booth was utterly eye-catching. After nearly an hour of gathering, holding, feeling and gazing, several skeins of space dyed cotton came home with me to America. They hold a special place in my thread stash.

Any time I attended a show in England I would look for Stef’s booth and augment my collection – which is now a decent size!

Floral Fantasia kit from Stef Francis

Floral Fantasia kit from Stef Francis

Not only does she create mouth-watering yarns but she puts together kits. Everything comes in the kit: the fabric, threads, beads, sequins, and template.

This is Floral Fantasia – such lovely bright colours.









Fabric pack 6 from Stef Francis

Fabric pack 6 from Stef Francis

If you just want to play she has put together some co-ordinated fabric packs. This is fabric pack #6. Think what you could do with these?!




Flamenco by Stef Francis

Flamenco by Stef Francis





Not only does she sell lovely things but she creates her own artwork.

This is Flamenco. It is created with silk rods and gold leaf and hand stitched on silk noil.

Go look at her Gallery to see more beauties.