How Did You Learn How to Bead?

I still remember what inspired me to really learn how to bead. After years of failed attempts at learning how to make wire jewelry and do wire wrapping, my mother gave me a pair of bead embroidered and brick stitch earrings. They were made in a Native American style with leather and tiny seed beads (probably a size 15 or maybe even a size 13), and it was love at first sight. I knew I had to learn how to bead using these off-loom beading stitches!But learning how to bead wasn’t going to be as easy as it sounded. I lived in a very rural part of upstate New York, where there were only two local bead shops within 50 miles of my home, and one of them didn’t even sell seed beads. Information about beading on the internet was scarce, and difficult to find. Instead, I turned to books, magazines like Beadwork magazine, and whatever videos I could find to learn more about how to bead with seed beads and a needle and thread.

So I spent most of my free time when I wasn’t working or studying for my degree poring over beading books, deciphering diagrams and instructions, and most importantly, sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor in front of the television with a dozen or so containers of seed beads spread out in front of me, practicing my thread paths. It was a delightful, if maybe a little bit lonely, way to learn how to bead, and in just a couple of months, I had mastered most of the off-loom beading stitches like brick stitch, right-angle weave, herringbone stitch, square stitch, beaded netting, and even spiral rope.Peyote stitch, however, eluded me. I made one tiny amulet bag using cylinder beads and peyote stitch at the beginning of my beading adventures, but then found myself unable to recreate the thread path successfully. No matter what I did, or how I tried, I could not get the hang of stitching with peyote stitch. For a while, I made all of my amulet bags in brick stitch and just turned them on their sides.

Then one afternoon, a wrong turn coming home from school led me to an as-of-yet-undiscovered local bead shop, where I quickly signed up for a series of beginner’s beading classes. I was in heaven! Every week, my instructor, Fran, would present us with a delightful new project, including another tiny peyote stitch amulet bag. This time, with her wonderful instruction, I nailed it. I had learned how to do peyote stitch!

In the years since those beginner’s beading classes, I’ve gone on to learn how to do all kinds of variations on peyote stitch: tubular, circular, flat, odd-count, even-count, even three-dimensional.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do peyote stitch, now you can master this essential off-loom bead-weaving stitch when you register for the Peyote Stitch Power Session, hosted by Jean Cox Campbell, Melinda Barta, and me! The three of us want to help you learn how to do peyote stitch in this live, interactive online course. You’ll have access to instruction on how to do flat even-count and odd-count peyote stitch, how to make increases and decreases, basic shaping techniques, tubular peyote stitch, and even how to do basic edging and embellishment. Best of all, you’ll be able to ask questions and have them answered by me, Jean, and Melinda, as well as your fellow students!

This unique online learning experience begins on Thursday, May 28, 2015, so make sure you register today to save your seat for the Peyote Stitch Power Session, and let us help you learn all you need to know about beading with peyote stitch.

Do you remember what first inspired you to learn how to bead? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your stories with us!

Bead Happy,


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