To Bead, Or not to Bead?

Alligator from the Great Northwest II
Great Northwestern Alligator II
Beaded ladder back
Beaded fringe
Beaded fringe

I have a project of which I am very fond.  My alligator.  So fond, I’ve made two different versions of it.  The Alligator from the Great Northwest was the first quilt that I ever entered into a national show (Paducah).  The center for this quilt was actually the first alligator I made, the second alligator was the first one I finished.

Now I have decided to enter Great Northwestern Alligator II into another show.  And I am wondering if it needs something extra.  But this is a tough choice because the entire point is to take inspiration from the art of Indians of the Great Northwest–which, by definition is a very primitive.  The quilt is heavily quilted, except for the lower fringe, which is unquilted.

I found some beads I thought might enhance it.  One option is to bead the “ladder back” of the alligator with some circular beads that I found.  The color in this beaded back photo is terrible.  The true red is really a rust red, and the blacks range from charcoal to black.  The beads are a lighter grey, but because of the oyster shell type finish, they have a somewhat rustic look.

Another option is to use the beads to add to the fringe.  The color in this photo is much more true.  A deeper red and the beads are actually slightly darker than they are “in real life”.  This would be a minimal approach.



2 thoughts on “To Bead, Or not to Bead?

  1. Love the beads. I like the second one best on the fringe. It enhances without detracting from the design. Which to me they do on the back.

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