Spring 2024: Google ended its email subscription service in 2021. I believe I've found a replacement, but haven't had time to test it. I have been stitching a little bit here and there and have some posts ready for when the email subscription is active again. Fingers crossed, I'll have time to rouse this blog out of its dormancy sometime this year.

14 May 2019

Wild Child: Mostly Tamed

I have finished the embroidered part of Wild Child. It's taken longer than I thought, but due to other restrictions on my time I haven't had a lot of opportunities to stitch over the last year.

In the last episode, there were just a few outlines and a bit of green filling left. The majority of the remaining work was the black beaded filling throughout the entire piece, lots and lots of filling!

Embroidering the black beaded background with black beads and also showing the bead holder with the beads. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

I finished off the final leaf outlines:

Beading koma loaded with green beads as final green outlines are couched down. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

The green leaves at the top were filled with single beads. I filled them more densely than their counterparts along the sides of the purse. I wanted a little more weight at the top.

Adding the beaded filling on the last two green leaves at the top of Wild Child. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

The last two little partial blue circles were completed and then it was back to the black filling.

The top of Wild Child showing all outlines complete and black beaded filling underway. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

The black filling, which is called para, consists mostly of pairs of black beads stitched like seed stitch. (I added a few single beads here and there when necessary.) At one point, I considered not doing the black filling, but I'm glad I did. The black beads make the black of the background deeper and create more contrast with the lighter colours of the design. However, I can't say I enjoyed stitching the filling. It was more like a necessary evil to stitch black beads on a black background with black threads...usually at night. Thank goodness for good lighting and magnification!

Part of the black beaded background waiting to be couched. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

After adding the black beads, I went back and couched between each pair which took quite a while. I'm happy it's done and it looks great.

Bottom portion of Wild Child with all black bead couching complete. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

I learned so much from this project. It was interesting, challenging, and ultimately very satisfying. Along with all the Japanese bead embroidery techniques I was able to try, I enjoyed figuring out the various changes I made to the original design, especially the shaded embroidery parts.

As a reminder, here's the original version of Wild Child:

Original version of Wild Child designed by Mary Alice Sinton

Here's my take on Wild Child (click on the image for a much larger version). I'm very pleased with the results.

Front of Margaret Cobleigh's version of Wild Child completed. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

I like both versions. Neither is better than the other, they're just different. I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't get to do the beaded veins in the original, but the temptation to add shading was too strong!

I am going to set the purse aside for a while. I tend to get burned out on projects that have a lot of repetition. In a few months or so, I'll return and do the final construction, but it's finished enough for now. Wild Child and I need a break from each other!

Koji agrees. He's worn himself out helping me.

Siamese cat (Koji) laying on back with paws outstretched in the sun. He's celebrating this part of the completion of Wild Child.


  1. Lol ! Koji ! Wow ! You are so patient to sew on all those teeny tiny beads...but it has definitely been worth it . Your purse is just fabulous ! :) Debbie x

    1. I don't know if 'patient' is quite the right word. I'm not a very patient person! :-) It took strong discipline to stitch all those black beads, but it was worth it. This has turned out to be a pretty special piece of embroidery. I'm looking forward to seeing it as an actual purse and really finished, just not right now.

  2. I would probably have skipped the black beads but they do give it an added depth and richness. I'd love to see the completed purse. I can imagine it as the perfect accessory at a special evening event.