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Free Beading Tutorial
freeform class

>Freeform Peyote

Let me begin by saying that this tutorial is only a hint of what is possible with "freeform". And because it is freeform, there are no rules or bounderies. You don't even have to just use Peyote. Several other stitches also work well in creating this style of beadwork. That said....go bead!

Begin by collecting your pallet of beads. Below I have shown a picture of the beads I have chosen to create this bracelet. This is only a guideline. I find that I will add or subtract some of the beads I have chosen as I work the piece.

For this project, I have chosen assorted colors of size 11, 15 & 8 Japanese seed beads, Delicas, size 6 & 8 Czech seed beads & a Miyuki Triangle. Plus assorted accent beads and a pretty Czech glass button for the clasp, my thread (size D Nymo) and size 12 beading needles. Again, the choice is yours, let your mind wander when you choose your beads. Have several sizes and shapes and colors, but not too many or it may just turn into a jumble.

OK...let's bead.
Start by threading your needle with a long but comfortable length of thread ( I use about 6 feet). String a stopper bead on the end and leave about 4-6" of thread on the end to weave back in later. Begin stringing the base row of your bracelet. 12 of this, 5 of that, 17 of those etc. ( a hint from Charley aka
BeadyBoop, she uses all the same size beads for her base row. She tells me that it keeps the piece from curling on her)

Now measure the bracelet around your wrist. You want it to be about 1/2 an inch bigger than you need. As you weave, it will shorten up. Do not make it too big tho, you can always add on, but what a pain it would be to shorten it.

Once you have a size that you are comfortable with, pick up a bead and begin your peyote.

I generally try and do 2 to 3 rows of Peyote, before I begin "messing around". If you look at the next picture, you will see also that I continue a color into the next color. If you just bead the purple bead on the purple beads, you will end up with stripes. If you continue a color into the next color, it begins to blend. This is very hard to explain, take a look at the next picture to see what I mean.

The picture above not only shows how to blend your beads, but also how and why to make a "bridge". The small dark purple beads are the first bridge. I was coming out of and going into Size 8 beads with small little size 15 beads. To make it fit better, I made a bridge. In otherwords, instead of continuing to peyote on that section of beads, I made a single strand of beads. I will go back later and add peyote to them also.

Just let yourself go at this point. Add a bridge of beads joining one section to another wherever you feel you want one. The more bridges you make, the more "open" the bracelet will look.

Here is a picture of my bracelet about half way done.

You can see a little better here where I have blended some of the colors, and also where I have begun to add some of my accent beads. If you want your bracelet to have a less "open" look, then wait to add your accent beads on top.

The next picture is the bracelet completed. I have not only added more accent beads, but I got a little creative with my bridges too. One of them is twisted. I did this by starting a bridge, but not connecting it to the other side. Then I did about 4 rows of Peyote, twisted it once, and then connected it to the bracelet.

I attach my button or bead for the closure first, then I make the loop on the other end of the bracelet. This way I can be sure of a good fit. If the bracelet is not long enough, I can make that loop of beads a little bigger to make it fit.

Below are a few of the things I do when I make these bracelets. They will hopefully inspire you to try new things too.

This is a close-up of a "bridge". You can leave it like it is, or add to it.

I do this alot with my bracelets, I like the look. And the color combos of course are endless. I make a long bridge with a size 8 bead, and then come back and wrap a strand of size 15 beads around it.

This is the beginning of a ruffle. Instead of stringing 1 bead in your Peyote, make it 3.(the purple beads)

Then on the next row, bead from point to point adding 5 beads (the gold ones). I have kept my tension very loose on this so it would lay flat on the scanner. If you pull it a bit tighter, you will see it ruffle.

These are little 3-bead picots. They add nice texture to the edges. Start by adding 3 (the teal ones) beads instead of 1 along the edge of your Peyote. Then position your thread so that it is coming out of the center bead in the 3-bead edge.

Now string on 3 beads (lilac) and pass your needle back thru the other side of the center bead. Little 3-bead picots. Work your needle back thru the beads until you are coming out of the center bead in the next point.

Here are two examples of how to attach your accent beads to the surface. Just come up thru your work, position your accent bead, add a seed bead, and then pass back thru your accent bead and into the beadwork, tacking it down. Do this several times to make sure it is secure.

Also, a hint about using Austrian Crystals. If you chose to use them as accent beads, make sure you have a seed bead on each side of the crystal. This will help keep your thread from rubbing against the hole of the crystal, which is very sharp. I also thread thru my crystals until I cannot get the needle thru any longer.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Beki =o)

This tutorial is protected by a Copyright 1998-2005 by Beki Haley
You must have my permission in writing
to distribute this tutorial in any form.
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