During the Fall, I found these wild sunflowers and wanted to record myself doing a flower study and design the French beaded flower on the spot.
Step 1: Flower Study
I start out by drawing approximately where the flowers and leaves go. Then I pick apart the petals and leaves and notate how many petals there are. Next, I trace the petals and leaves for future reference. I can’t always come up with a design right away and having the references can help me design the flower if I decide to come back to it at a later time.
Step 2: Coming up with the shape
The next step is to come up with the general shape of the flower. It was a pretty basic shape so I got it on the first go.
Step 3: Technique
With the petals, I made the petals using the basic frame technique. However, I know that with such a delicate flower, the stem would get very bulky if I made 13 petals the traditional way. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to use the technique I developed called the “continuous split basic” technique to get the least amount of wires possible.
You can make all 13 petals on one continuous wire, however, the top basic wire could get ridiculously long if you do that. When I design French beaded flowers, I always think about the “user” experience. Most people following the pattern instructions would probably not like such a long top wire.
The solution is to divide the whole flower into two units and then combine them together by twisting the adjacent wires together.
I generally make beaded flowers with size 11 seed beads. There are lots of colors, finishes, and brands to select from. However, after I made the flower, I find that it’s a bit big and reducing the rows of the basic frame doesn’t look great. That’s when I decided that I need to go with size 15 seed beads. The size 15 seed beads give the beaded flower a much more delicate look. I increased the basic row so that it’s the same in length as the flower made with size 11s but kept the rows the same at 5 rows.
I’ve set aside the project for now as I’m working on my second book. Yay! Another UFO (Unfinished Object) in my drawer. lol
Preliminary pattern: As this is not a finished pattern, you may need to play around with wire lengths for the top basic wires on the CSB. I do not have the exact lengths like I do normally with my regular book and pdf patterns. If you make this and would like to update us on the exact lengths of the top wires, send me an email or leave me a comment.
FLOWER A – Size 11 seed beads on 24 gauge wire
Flower Unit A: Seven 5 row RT PB 10-bead CSB with 5 petals on the top basic wire and two petals on the split basic – I’m guessing the top basic wire can be about 15 inches.
Flower Unit B: Seven 5 row RT PB 10-bead CSB with 5 petals on the top basic wire and two petals on the split basic – approx. top basic wire 15 inches (38.1 cm)
Center: Fifteen 16-bead CL (7 yellow, 2 brown, 7 yellow) Note: Though this is a bit too big. You may want to scale down to 12 bead loops at (5 yellow, 2 brown, 5 yellow)
FLOWER B – Size 15 seed bead on 26 gauge wire
Flower Unit A: Seven 5 row RT PB 20-bead CSB with 5 petals on the top basic wire and two petals on the split basic – I’m guessing the top basic wire can be about 15 inches (38.1 cm).
Flower Unit B: Seven 5 row RT PB 20-bead CSB with 5 petals on the top basic wire and two petals on the split basic – approx. top basic wire 15 inches (38.1 cm).
Center: Fifteen 14-bead CL (6 yellow, 2 brown, 6 yellow)
The rest of the units are used for both flowers:
FLOWER A & B UNITS: the rest of the units are used for both flowers using size 11 green seed beads on 24 gauge green wire
Calyx: Five 10-bead double CWL – I simplified the calyx quite a bit here. In the final version, I will most likely make some fringe loops.
Leaf A: 15-BB PT PB, after 3rd & 5th row, 3 top bead-addition, after 7th row, 5 top-bead addition – 9 rows
Leaf B: 25-BB PT PB, after 3rd & 5th row, 3 top bead-addition, after 6th row, 4 bottom bead-addition, after 7th row: 4 top bead addition
Note: When you are making the basic frame, put 4 beads in the basic loop. When making the bottom bead-addition, twist the wires underneath the 4 beads to create twisted wires for the rest of the rows.
If you like this type of content, you may also like these from real to beaded flowers: