My Favorite Bead-weaving Stitches, And How I Use Them
So many bead-weaving stitches, so little time! Just when I think I've found my favorite bead-weaving stitch or technique, another one grabs my attention with a new twist or a variation. But time and time again, I find myself coming back to these three basic off-loom bead-weaving stitches for most of my beaded jewelry designs.
Peyote Stitch. For me, peyote stitch was the hardest off-loom bead-weaving stitch to learn. I had successfully taught myself how to bead with brick stitch, herringbone stitch, right-angle weave, and spiral rope, but when it came to peyote stitch, I had some kind of beader's brain block going on! Thankfully, I found a beginner's class at a local bead shop, and the very patient teacher had me doing tubular peyote stitch in no time.
My first peyote stitch projects were all beaded amulet bags or beaded needle cases, but soon after mastering tubular peyote stitch, I discovered that I could use this beading stitch for creating cabochon bezels! For me, this was a game-changer: I quickly became obsessed with making beaded cabochon projects, and after 14 years, I still have a healthy supply of both handmade and gemstone cabochons that will surely last me for many more years to come.
Right-angle Weave. I was introduced to right-angle weave in its tubular form through a pair of beaded Christmas wreath earrings. I picked it up right away and discovered that this versatile off-loom bead-weaving stitch could be used for dozens of different beaded jewelry design ideas! Soon after learning the flat version of this stitch, I created a v-shaped collar for a good friend of mine, with a deep blue agate set in the center as a focal point. I was hooked!
Lately, my favorite way to use right-angle weave is as a base for intricate (or not-so-intricate) beaded embellishments. I love to stitch it using pressed glass druks or Czech fire polished beads, and then add embellishments like crystal rivolis, vintage Czech glass stones, or freshwater pearls.
I also discovered that right-angle weave makes a wonderful beaded bezel for cabochons of unusual shape, size and thickness. Combining right-angle weave with peyote stitch makes for some creative beaded cabochon bezel projects!
Herringbone Stitch. My first attempts at herringbone stitch were, in all honesty, a complete disaster. Initially, I just didn't like to work herringbone stitch because I had a difficult time using it to design projects. Then I tried my first twisted herringbone stitch rope project, and I discovered what I was born to do with herringbone stitch. The beauty in making an easy herringbone stitch rope is how it can also work as a simple but elegant stand-alone necklace: no further embellishment needed! Of course, these ropes are also the perfect complement to a beaded cabochon pendant. Together, they create one stunning beaded necklace!
Of course, once I mastered the art of flat herringbone stitch, I also discovered how much fun it is to create shapes just by using a range of seed bead sizes.
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What are your go-to stitches? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us!