A basic overview on how to work the design, and a step by step through it's progression.
 

DRAW IT OUT:
Using PENCIL like I said before, I use a mechanical pencil (just easier since it doesn't have to be sharpened and fits in the bead kit better)

I draw cross hairs more often than not so I can periodically check the way he material is shifting, You can use a magazine, postcard any thing SQUARE for this check.

You will from time to time have to redraw areas, don't fret it's normal. Especially in freestanding shapes like this. IF you DON'T do it everyone will know. So get used to the idea you WILL be doing touch ups to the design.

I hand draw, but you could use carbon paper, there is a line at art supply houses for fabric that washed out. Or you can hold the fabric to the window and have a black line drawing behind it against the cloth and trace the image on the front, this works really well if you don't have a lightbox.

This is 2.25" across.

 

 
 

BEGIN AT THE MIDDLE:
Always begin inthe middle, working out from the center. Tacking down (this first step) then couching (step three) as you go, I find this easier. Whatever works. But always from the center out.

Why? The fabric will do weird crap on you if you do it any other way, the pressure on the thread is such that it will pucker or even indent in smaller interior areas. Working from the middle out prevents this, as the cloth is pushed out, instead of cramped in.

 

 
 

You can tack down all at once, if you like, but do your your COUCHING from the the middle out.

Here, due to the design, I am basically doing that but also trying put down sections so the cloth pulls evenly.

On medallions couch EVERY crack, they need to be solid, but you may want your piece more flexible, experiment first.

I will say do EVERY crack on all exposed edges, but once in side you may only want to couch every OTHER crack, and areas that are not behaving, I wouldn't however go less then ever y 5 beads or so. Be sure to do a lacing stitch (which you can read about in the tutorial) so your beads have a connecting thread. It's a safety line.

     
 

I couch as I go, but you may want to just do the tacking down part all at once and couch at the same time.

I sometimes do this then I can take a project along on a trip or an event without having to take beads with me, (which can spill all over) just thread and needles.

But then I've done this a long time and am used to making these small award designs. I've made more willows than I can count
   
Copyright 2000 Jen Funk Segrest (Elspeth Grizel of Dunfort) http://www.medievalbeads.com