The July Swatch of the Month demonstrates one of our popular beaded embroidery techniques, the Satin Stars design. This technique is highlighted in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, where you can view an in-depth fabric map of the embroidery. Use the Satin Stars design to add embellishment using either an allover or placement technique, as it works well in both small and large quantities.

An enlargeable version of this stencil can be found on page 128 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design or you can download a version from our Maker Supplies + Stencils page. Transfer the stencil to your fabric using the stenciling method of choice.

Begin working the smaller star shapes first. You will fill the “arms” of each small star using a satin stitch, adding one seed bead or chop bead to each stitch. (See page 84 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for more information on the satin stitch.) Next, you will work a beaded backstitch – adding one bugle bead to each stitch – around the inner circle of each small star shape. Fill the center circle of the small stars with full chop or seed beading.

Once the small stars have been completed, begin working the larger star shapes.  Work a beaded backstitch around the outer edges of the “arms”. Fill the arms (the space between the beaded backstitch and the inner circle) with full chop or seed beading. On each small round dot – the space between each star’s arms – add one sequin. We have secured each sequin in place with a single seed bead.

We recommend using a single strand of Button Craft thread when adding beads and sequins, as doubling your thread makes it more likely to tangle. Make sure you secure each thread with at least two double knots. We have also found that millinery needles work well when beading, as they are slender enough to accommodate the small holes in your beads.


2 – 10” x 16” cotton jersey fabric swatches
Button Craft thread
Bugle beads
Chop or Seed beads

Basic sewing supplies: needles, embroidery scissors, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for instructions on beading and embroidery stitches

You can also opt to purchase a membership to our Swatch of the Month Club. Each month of 2014, you will receive a package with the supplies necessary to complete a unique swatch, each demonstrating one of our favorite embroidery techniques. Join at any point in the 2014 calendar year and receive swatches from all prior months.

Visit our Journal for instructions on past months’ swatch techniques.

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – Black
Stencil – Stars
Treatment – Beaded embroidery
Button Craft thread – Black #2
Bead type – Bugle, seed, and chop beads
Bead color – Black
Sequins – Black

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