International Beading Week… July 29 – Aug 5

It’s International Beading Week!   

To celebrate, all the items in the Etsy Shop are 15% off this week!

I’d love to hear how you are going to celebrate… Maybe a trip to your local bead store, or taking a class to learn something new…  Share by leaving a comment below the post.  I’m going to have family visits, so not sure how much beading I’m going to get done.  But my plan is to finish some projects, start creating some new designs, and getting instructions/handouts ready for classes.

A reminder that the Fall 2018 Heart of Texas Bead Retreat is coming soon (September 20-23, 2018).  I’m looking forward to taking classes from Jean Power, Melanie Potter, and Amy Katz.  And don’t forget that Jennifer Stephens and I are teaching add-on classes for anyone attending the retreat.  Click on over to their website to see all the glorious projects!!!

Bead On…

Tips… Strong Patterns and Warped Squares

Recently, I’ve had some students mention that their Stars or Phoenix patterns didn’t look like mine.  They had followed the word chart from the graphical pattern, but when they joined, they looked different.  I wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that I work in a “counter-clockwise” direction and that my graphs and word charts are laid out that way.  (I usually add that disclaimer in all my graphic patterns.)  So, I beaded the two small squares below to look for differences.

This graphic pattern is from The Phoenix – Stripes; I followed the word chart for both.  The one on the left is done by beading “counter-clockwise”… notice where the thread exits… the one on the right was beaded “clock-wise”.   The only difference is that the pattern is reversed, but it is still intact (look at the vertical lines).

Square_compare

Since that wasn’t the reason for the distortion in the pattern, my next investigation brought me to how the squares are being joined, and that was the culprit!

The Stars are meant to be joined from center -> point -> center, and in my graphs and word charts, the center is where you step-up to begin the next row.  In the photo above, where the working threads are exiting will become the center of a Star.

Square_WrongWarp

For The Phoenix, the thread exits in the front, bottom herringbone corner after the step-up.   When you don’t position your square in the proper direction before joining, you end up with a kind of “mushy” stripe pattern as shown in the photo to the left.   If you follow the Assembly Instructions for joining, I don’t see how this would have happened, because the working thread would be in the proper position.  But, possibly a thread was ended before beginning the join, and the wrong end of the square was used.

So, my suggestion is to be sure to read through instructions, and position your squares appropriately when you are working with a graphical pattern.  That way, you won’t be surprised at the outcome!

I welcome any comments and suggestions on clarification that might be needed in my instructions…  Happy Beading!