Nancy Eha’s Beaded Dragonfly and Beaded Sashiko Class

Last week’s post detailed ways to expand your art, and named classes as one resource. This is one class story.

When I signed up for The Japanese Scroll with Beaded Dragonfly and Beaded Sashiko hosted online by Interweave I hoped to discover one or two new embellishment techniques for beading.

Instead, I added a strong foundation to what I thought I knew about bead embroidery on fabric.

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, layout prior to sewing Dragonfly scroll

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, layout prior to sewing Dragonfly scroll

Imagine a one minute video explaining how to lay beads on a three dimensional shape. Consider a detailed step-by-step description (followed by a video) of how to lay, pin, baste and sew batting to a project. Who knew that painter’s tape would curl?

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll

Not only are these essential steps for someone who has never quilted, Nancy is clear and thorough without condescending. You feel as if it is the most natural thing in the world to go ahead.

The quilt process is new to me, even though I sewed years ago. The terminology, the tools and the ideas, while overwhelming in total, were easy to understand and execute, thanks to Nancy’s class. I coupled my sewing machine (which required a tuneup because it had not been on in a few years) and fabric with my beading skills.

In the learning process, I also expanded my sense of color, values and design. Because of Nancy’s presentation, I changed my materials and design entirely.

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll, value exercise

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, material selection for Dragonfly scroll, value exercise

Although it required more than one trip to the fabric store, because my class was online, I had the time and freedom to experiment. As the realization dawned this project was bigger than I’d expected, I slowed down and gave myself time to absorb the information. In fact, I took the entire month of December off.

At this time in the project, I realized with horror I’d yet to put one bead on.

As a certified online instructor, I have growing respect and interest in the mechanics of online presentation. Nancy Eha sets a high standard, one I aspire to. In her online class she offers:

  • tactful suggestions and throughtful responses to student comments
  • seamless integration of video and picture examples
  • detailed step-by-step directions both written and verbal to accommodate a variety of learners
  • an ability to accommodate both advanced and new learners

Color me a fan!

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beaded Dragonfly and Sashiko embroidery

©2015 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beaded Dragonfly and Sashiko embroidery

I am now putting the finishing touches on my scroll. (See, I have yet to remove all of the paper under my sashiko embroidery at the bottom.) My next learning experience will be “birthing” the project. As I understand it, that’s the term for putting the back on and turning it right side out.

Was this class perfect? Almost! I did wonder about resources Nancy might recommend to learn more about sashiko embroidery. She advised the class to “Google it.” Given her level of knowledge, I’m especially interested in where she finds information.

If you choose a guide for beaded creative expression, choose Nancy Eha, the Beading Queen.

What class will you use to expand your art?

(Disclosure: The Interweave class, Japanese Scroll with Beaded Dragonfly and Beaded Sashiko will be offered again. Nancy’s next Interweave workshop is Seed Bead Botany, which I plan to enjoy. Nancy has also agreed to be interviewed for my blog.)