I started by finalizing my design. Since the gold and silver beads are proving either difficult or expensive to find I rearranged my design to have fewer of the feather motifs and made more of them smaller (I used three slightly different sizes to look more interesting). It's still going to require a lot of beads of course!
I then cut out the back pieces, figuring I should not start in the front, since that is what I will see the most when I'm wearing it. Hee. I used my master pattern to cut the panels then marked the seam allowance and trimmed it off. The way I would know exactly how far the beading should go.
I then marked the shape of the pattern onto a nice cotton (actually an old sheet) and cut a large enough piece to generously fit into my hoop before pinning and basting (first with basting stitches and then zig-zag along the edge) the damask on.
I then traced out the design pattern to tissue paper and pin-basted it to the panel. Finally I was ready to bead! I started with the gold, followed by the silver. I had almost enough silver to finish the panel - so close! Well you still get the affect. Once the gold and silver was finished I ripped off the tissue paper, with the help of my trusty tweezers.
I then began the more time consuming and monotonous task of filling in the green. My pace has since slowed to a crawl but it is looking lovely! I'm using a method I learned from Grisel at MedievalBeads.com. It's very sturdy and makes the beads lay wonderfully flat and even. I’d forgotten how time consuming it is though. Oh well! Here is the back panel as of this morning... Now I'm off to go work on it some more. This beading thing is so ADDICTING! Good thing as I have 8 panels about this size to work between now and CosCol. :P