Adding 'Bling' to a quilt

magothyrivergirlAugust 25, 2011

Has anyone added beads or sparkly 'bling' to a quilt meant to be used and washed?

I want to add something - sparingly - teeney-tiny sparkly beads to give the illusion of snow falling. I would sew them on, but it is for a quilt to be used and washed and treasured. Yes or no. Is washing the issue?

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Beads are great on a wall hanging but I think they are tough on a quilt to be used and washed. Just an opinion, though!
Another option may be the iron on flat metal dots you can get at Michael's (and probably other places). They stick like crazy and because they are flat they don't catch on anything and they don't hurt when you lay on them. (I'm kind of a princess-and-the-pea woman.) I've had some of those metal circles on a pair of jeans for well over a year and they haven't come lose yet. FYI - the iron on 'jewels' don't stick quite as securely but they do pretty good too.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Shiny stuff and "bling" is not cozy and soft, IMO. I wouldn't be adding it a quilt that you hope will be used next to someone's skin. 'Course I'm an anti-bling person, myself.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:22AM
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I only embellish wall hangings so can't help you there. But, I did find out the hard way to always add it AFTER the quilting.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Okay - no bling - thanks for bringing me back to reality.
Good point about adding beads after quilting!!!! I was just trying out some decorative stitches - did not like it!

I don't even like it when my sheets get all wrinkly!
The quilt is for a teenager - she likes bling!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:49AM
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At the quilt show I was at a few months ago, there were a lot of quilts with "bling" on them. Some just and little, others with a lot. The booth that was selling the tool and stones was a favorite with my daughter (8 yr old), so we bought a kit. I haven't done a quilt with stones yet, but she has put stones on almost all of her shirts (and one of mine :-) )! They are very small rhinestones and wash very well. These have some sort of glue on the back and when heated, attach to the fabric. The tool looks like a soldering iron.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 11:53AM
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I have several shirts that have sequins or beads on them and they wash fine and are washed much more frequently than a quilt would be.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:03PM
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I agree adding bling to wall hanging but not to a quilt. I saw on here someone was going to place some on childs quilt. Please stop and think of SAFETY. Little children tend to put everything in their mouth,as for older who would like to lay on that stuff.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I sewed sparkly buttons in the center of flowers on a lap quilt (for another teen that loves bling!) she uses it a lot and it washes and line drys well.
The bling is not next to the skin (usually lol) and a teen is old enough for it not to be a safety issue.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Rosa- I was considering small buttons - I would need teeey ones. I actually saw some snowflake buttons on line.

Maybe I could find some washable sequins and sew a few on.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:29PM
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I don't want to get the thread off-track, but as far as USED and WASHED ... I understand all the points made here about beads etc being generally unsuitable for a quilt that is meant to be used ... but what about the washing aspect? Lets say a more decorative type quilt or wall hanging that was not going to be USED ... would beads be ok even though the quilt still needs to be washed every so often? Would you want to sew each bead separately for sturdiness, or could you have strings of beads and still wash it effectively? Could you machine wash?

I'm sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I have been thinking of adding decorative beads to a quilt and have been wondering if it would work as well ... mine just seems to be a more decorative quilt and less likely to be used (especially by children) than the original question ...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:54PM
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cziga - good questions! Not off topic at all -

So talk about beads and such while I play with Irene for awhile :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:36PM
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If the beads are tiny and sewn on very well, it might be ok. I have never tried to add any bling, but have used glow in the dark thread. There are some sparkly threads that might work well.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:55PM
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I'm still voting for the iron-on bling. Just make them small.

And I love Beverly's idea to bling it up with GitD thread or metallic thread. I've used both and love the effect.

Go for it!


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:19AM
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I've 'tied' a quilt with buttons before. It takes a longer time then just tying it! And a lot of the old crazy quilts have beautiful 'bling'. I say, bling away! You won't know until you try!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 2:36PM
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These are a few of my snow globes that I wanted to add some teeney bling to the tan-ish area around the snow people.
Sorry, the lighting is bad - storming, but I still have power!

I am going to use a machine trapunto technique on the snow globe and stand, so the bling needs to be teeney if I do it. I tried some metallic thread & also a few decorative stitches, but I did not like it. The snoglobe part is about 5.5" - I fussy cut them from fabric and raw edge machine appliqued.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Your globes are adorable!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Would some little iridescent beads work? Those globes are really cute!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:02PM
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Just found this article

Here is a link that might be useful: beading on quilts

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Karlene- great article - that's what I wanted to do - just a few scattered in each to give an illusion.
Thank you!
weather is getting really bad here - amazed we still have power. We lose it often - for days- this project gives me something else to think about.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 6:29PM
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I have never done it on a lg. quilt but can't see a reason not to if seed beads were used and sewn on securely by hand. I think the snow globes call for them. I think the idea of crystal or aroura bead would be prefect. Hope you let us see what you decide.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:02PM
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I have no experience with the beads available today. please point me in the right direction - seed beads, aroura beads-
Clothing has beads and they are washable.
I am using washable wool in the trapunto of the globes, and will recommend a delicate cycle or hand wash - her mom will follow the washing instructions I recommend.
I don't want anything big - just teeny
Point in the right direction
I have Joanns - big beading dept ---and also a Michaels.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:15AM
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I had a lot of fun looking on-line yesterday about beading or embellishing a quilt - there is a lot of info out there!

This is a link to another forums discussion on beading and I found it interesting to read down through the comments/information. There is one from 'snowplow3840' that is about half way down the page where she discusses what kind of beads she used - thought it might help steer you in the right direction and what type of bead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beading on Quilts thread

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:39PM
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Seed beads should be available at Michaels or JoAnnes. They are ususal glass and found in the crafting sections. Crystal are clear and aroura irridestent. They are about a ml. in size and need hand sewing to be secure. I have used them when doing wall hangings and other craft items that I used to sell. I believe they would wash fine and have seen art quilts with them.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:58PM
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Seed beads wash without any problems. All beads do as long as they aren't wood or clay. Anything glass or acrylic will be fine. Remember to purchase a very fine needle if you are going to be working with seed beads! A regular needle won't fit through the tiny hole.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:18AM
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Thank you all very much for doing the research for me - and making the suggestions - I had looked online, but I wasn't using the right terminology to get what I needed. Everyone on this forum is so helpful ---and I still do not have power from IRENE the Sea (B)- witch--can ya tell I am a bit tired of this??? So you have helped me in my time of need - powering Fiber box & modem to get internet on a gas powered generator - now that is scary- I'm sure in the do not do this-it may ruin your equipment:)

A few more questions- will the beads say seed beads?
Is there a special knot to use to sew an individual bead on?
I will not be sewing them in a line - I don't think - just randomly - like sparkly snow falling.
Thank you!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:20AM
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- They are called seed beads. Some are called Delica - it's a brand but so common that some people call them by the name (like Kleenex).
- No special knot but I would recommend knotting each one. You don't have to cut the thread each time though if you can run it through the batting and not through the backing.
- I still think you should look at the iron on crystals! The 2mm size would be perfect for 'snow'. You can buy the special tool but an iron works fine.

Seed beads with silver:

Seed Beads with silver, if you need lots of them:

Hot fix crystals:

Hope that helps! Check out Fire Mountain Gems for lots of on-line bead shopping. Your local Joann's or Michael's will have all this stuff too.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 2:41PM
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I should have included a link to Fire Mountain. They are not the absolute cheapest jewelry making site on-line but they have a huge product list. I've been buying from them for years and have never been disappointed. Good customer service too. If nothing else, their website and catalog will give you great ideas!

I've been making jewelry for as long as I've been quilting so if there's anything I can help with, don't hesitate to ask or send me an email.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Mountain Gems

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 3:12PM
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I wanna make jewelry! Too little time while I am still working (which I should be - but can't - I am too scared to operate that computer on the generator.

I originally looked at Hot fix crystals online-is that the iron on you are talking about? The Hot Fix crystals is what got me started on this kick for these snow people! Iron on would be wonderful. -2mm thanks for telling me the size.

A few years ago, I needed a dress for a wedding, and cut thru JC Penney at the mall & this cheap black dress with this cute sheer embroidered jacket caught my eye. I had bever bought clothes at Pennys - I think it was $17.00!
It fit - I bought it - then hand sewed little crystal beads on all the embroidery for days - changed the buttons and it looked expensive. I have worn the dress and jacket separately at different dressy functions - I had forgotten about sewing those beads. they did require a very thin needle.

Fire Mountain Gems looks very informative. Thank you so much.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 5:08PM
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