Other than my sewing machine, these are the tools that I use. A self-healing cutting mat, a rotary cutter, a quilters ruler, a permanent black marker and a glue stick. And of course, an iron and ironing board.
The first thing I do, is to mark off my fabric. The center lines are where the fabrics will be sewn. It's also the sewing line. This tells me how far I can go with the beading. I piece my fabrics to the outside border. This is because the block will shift a bit when adding stitching and beading. It allows for that shifting and helps to give a little extra room for squaring off the block later.
Once you have your block marked, you can choose your fabrics:
These are the fabrics I used on my Marie Antoinette quilt. If you're like me, you have way more fabric than you'll ever use! I always seem to be like a chipmunk stocking up for Winter. Like I'll never find another piece of fabric, bead, button, piece of lace and so on, ever again! LOL!!
Anyway, choose your fabrics and cut 2 pieces to start with. I use what's called the "Sew & Flip" method.
Now, just sew your seam.
Flip the top piece open and press with your iron.
I will explain how I do curves in my next article. For now, turn your block to the backside. You'll be able to see the marker lines. Sew on the outside line all the way around the block. This holds the fabrics down along the outside edge.
Before stitching (and working on the back side of the block) run a basting stitch (by hand) on the inside line. That's how far you can take the beads! Don't put beads beyond the inside line.
I will write an article on preparing a block for finishing down the road. In the meantime, I thought anyone new to crazy quilting might find my process helpful. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I will gladly reply.