Hello... Help...

Q: I'm just starting to learn beading, and would like recommendation on some book titles to learn to bead on cloth and varieties of fabrics... I'm interested in using beads for embellishing and also amulet bags... any information would be appreciated.

A: The "Beads to Buckskins" series by 'Peggy Sue Henry' has instructions for beading on leather, and heavy fabrics. 'Wendy Conner', who wrote "The Best Little Beading Book", is supposed to be coming out with a book on bead embroidery. I don't know if it's been published yet. There are a lot of online sources for all sorts of beading: check out beadwork.about.com For a great, "off-loom weaving" book, get "Creative Bead Weaving", by 'Carol Wilcox Wells'. It has instructions for how to do most off-loom weaving, and includes a few amulet bag patterns. For books of just amulet bags, 'Suzanne Cooper' has several very nice ones. Also, look for books by 'Barbara Eden' & 'Sig Weaver' (sp?). I have 9 of the books - I don't remember what was in which book. A couple seemed to focus on loom work, including making a loom. Others have cabachon beading. Most, if not all, have pictures to bead on leather or fabric. At least one tells how to make an authentic Native American dress out of deer hides. You'll just have to look through what you have, and maybe try to find the ones you're missing.... What I remember was, for heavy leather, you need to prepunch holes and/or use a leather needle and couch down the beads. For softer/thinner leathers, you can use a sewing needle, but will need to make sure it will go through your beads if you plan to stitch through the beads; if the beads you want are too small, you'll have to couch down strings of them.