The Power of Beading Contest ends today (although you can still buy the pattern for my Awareness Pins here with all monies raised until September 30th going to charity) so it's time for a fresh start and a new project, although this one is also for charity.
Some of my fellow Etsy BeadWeavers team members have volunteered to take part in Jeanette Shanigan's 2009 Breast Cancer Donation Project - "Bead artists have the heart to take on breast cancer". Each year a theme is set, this time it's hearts, in 2007 it was butterflies and the 2008 theme was roses. Jeanette collects all donated beaded squares and stitches them into quilts which are then auctioned off at the Bead & Button show to raise money for charity.
I have spent the last week making four squares to donate to this wonderful project and it has been a lot of fun as well as a personal challenge. I started out by mulling over various heart related proverbs and sayings to see what images they would conjure up in my mind. When I began to think about it, I was amazed by just how many heart clichés there are, but I settled on three and set about experimenting with stitches to see which ones would be most suitable - I wanted each square to be different and have it's own little theme. I was only going to make three squares, but then I had another idea and made a fourth square "United Hearts" with a red and white heart on a blue background symbolizing 'the pond'!
I have never had to restrict the size of my beadwork before and as the rules state that each square must only be 1½ inches by 1½ inches, it took me quite a while to get the bead count of each square exactly right. The finished squares also have to be stitched to interfacing, ready to be sewn up into a quilt and this was the part I found most challenging as 'normal' sewing is beyond me - let's just say, you don't want to see the back of my squares!
So here they are shown from the top in the order that I made them; Ace of Hearts using Square stitch, Look into your Heart using Herringbone and a small acrylic mirror, Hearts and Flowers using two-drop Brick stitch, size 15 seed beads and a freshwater pearl and United Hearts using three-drop Brick stitch with a Square stitch heart attached.
Although it will be some time yet, I look forward to seeing the finished quilts and I hope they raise a substantial amount of money for the designated charities. In the meantime, I would love to hear what you think about my squares.