Monday, November 11, 2013

Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone

I haven't added a jewelry book review in a while, but I have read a lot of them during that time.  Most recently, I have been reading and doing the projects from Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone.

If you've read my jewelry making blog or prior reviews, you know I mainly make wire and gemstone jewelry.  But I've always been fascinated by woven bead jewelry especially the lovely earrings by Miguel Ases that are becoming more popular.  I'd like to learn how to make something similar.  But, I'd also like to understand the stitches used in seed beading to help with my wire wrap work.

With that goal in mind, I purchased Seed Bead Stitching .  The book itself is not very substantial - soft cover and under 100 pages.  It is packed with stitching information and projects though.  The introduction and basics (supplies, tools and terminology) is delightfully short - only 6 pages with helpful pictures and all of the information I needed to get started.  It answered a lot of those nagging questions like what is the difference between the different types of seed beads, what type of thread can I use, do I need to wax the thread, and a few others.

In all, the book covers 7 stitches, which I assume are the basic seed bead stitches.  It covers Peyote Stitch, Brick Stitch, Right Angle Weave (RAW), Tri and Quad Stitches, Daisy Chain, Spiral Rope Stitch and Russian Stitches.  Just reading that list of stitches makes my head ache.  To be fair, I have already figured out how to do a basic peyote and brick stitch on my own and I have loved daisy chain since I'm a kid, so I'm determined not to be scared off.

I love the projects in this book!  It starts each chapter by introducing a stitch, explaining the diagramming of the stitch and provides several projects using the stitch.  Each of the projects covers the variations of the stitch.  There are also examples of the stitch used in projects (some explained, some not) throughout the chapter to motivate and inspire you.

The first project I made using the book is a peyote band bracelet.  The book gives instructions and the pattern for the bracelet, but they use black and white beads.  I decided to make it more of a quilt sampler by using colored cylinder beads.

After doing this project, I have a really good idea of 1) how to do basic even-count peyote stitch 2) how to create stripes and geometric patterns using peyote 3) how to read a peyote stitch bead chart and 4) why it is important to cull your beads (look for uneven ones) when using cylinder beads and peyote stitch.

I haven't decided how to finish the bracelet yet, but a variety of options, including making beaded toggles are provided in the book.

I will try to continue posting my projects from the book as I complete them.  So far, I love this book and highly recommend it to someone who is new to or only slightly familiar with seed bead stitching.

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