Bead Weaving: Old and New Combine for a Rich Beaded Pattern Collection
It’s fun looking through old archives, isn’t it? Cleaning out a family member’s attic may reveal facts about relatives who served in a war. Special photos and memorabilia provide clues about ancestors and the lives they lived. Old newspaper articles reveal details from historic events.
ABOVE: Getty Images/Mark Boster
The National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., houses artifacts from America’s past: the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Civil War records, Japanese surrender documents from World War II, and journals from polar expeditions, to name just a few. According to the National Archives web site, there are approximately 10 billion pages of textual records; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural drawings; 25 million photos and graphics; 400,000 video and sound recordings; and the list goes on. Visitors to the archives are fortunate to get a glimpse into America’s rich history.
Earlier this year, the Beadwork editorial staff compiled content for the twentieth-anniversary issue of Beadwork. We started by looking through all of the past issues — talk about archives! What interesting covers, contests, articles, and projects surfaced! Have a peek at what we found by reading the special feature in the October/November 2017 issue. Find even more fun material on the supplemental blog post here.
During this process, we pulled together a collection of some of our favorite projects from the past twenty years, available for download in the Beadwork Editors’ Choice ebook. Here’s why we think you’ll want to make all of the beaded projects in this varied assortment of patterns:
Paisley Parade Necklace, by Jayashree Paramesh
You love working with peyote and herringbone stitches, right? Whether or not you’re a fan of paisley print on clothing, you’ll love combining these two stitches. Together they form gorgeous petal and paisley components. Stitch the components together to form a striking necklace design that’s sure to turn heads.
Fire-Polished Star Flower, by Arelene Baker
We love this versatile brooch from a 2004 issue. The pattern can easily be adapted to make smaller versions as hair clips or as a focal on a beaded strap.
Shimmering Fans Earrings, by Csilla Csirmaz
While these earrings already emit plenty of sparkle, kick up the shine factor by adding more crystals to the edges of the fans.
Zipper Cuff, by Jeanne Barta Craine
This cuff combines seed beads and drop beads with actual zippers in a freeform fashion—what a fun way to get started with bead embroidery! Try to mimic the artist’s pattern, or go rogue and stitch your own abstract design.
Cat’s-Eye Collar, by Alice Kharon
Though this collar has an almost regal look, it’s quick and easy to stitch up. Use a combination of right-angle weave and circular peyote stitch to frame the reflective cat’s-eye beads.
Right-Angle Weave Layers, by Judi Wood
A simple base layer of right-angle weave is embellished with another layer of right-angle weave and silver spacer beads. Combined, they form a dimensional design with a southwest look.
Woven Star Clusters, by Lisa Norris
These clusters are fun to make using right-angle weave. The artist includes several variations as suggestions for one large focal, three smaller ones, or joining a series of florets into a bracelet or necklace design.
Hummingbirds & Trumpet Vine Cuff, by Mary J. Tafoya
Use odd-count peyote stitch with Delicas to work up this charming flower and hummingbird pattern. Finish by anchoring the beadwork to an ultrasuede/metal cuff base.
Simplicity Necklace, by Rachel Sim
Use a variation of flat spiral stitch to make these gorgeous crystal components. Use your components to create a pair of earrings or join into a sparkly bracelet or necklace.
Rising Phoenix Earrings, by Penny Dixon
The legend of the phoenix is a favorite among some of our staff members, so it’s easy to see why these sensational earrings made our “favorites” list. Enjoy the challenge of creating the cubic right-angle-weave strips and adding beaded-bead drops for the perfect finishing touch.
No matter which project you start with, you’ll have fun stitching up some of our favorite projects from the Beadwork archives!
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