Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Square Stitch

The next thing we learned in Mexico was the square stitch. We started out just making little bitty squares (I made this little one to give to Sam as a thank you but didn't think it was exciting enough to make it into a piece of jewellery and ended up pasting it in her guest book instead) and then graduated to bigger pieces to use as the base for bracelets. Once the bracelet is made, you can embellish the flat "fabric" as much as you want.

This turquoise bracelet is based on one of Kate's designs. As you make the base, you leave "windows" in the stitching and fill them in later with different beads (or, you could also leave them open and unadorned).

The look of her original piece was quite different than the way mine turned out - it was much more open, and the sections were more triangular shaped, with more obvious windows and a greater variety of colourful, funky beads for the embellishment. I was working with a very limited bead stash and in my piece, the added beads tend to fill in the window space as compared to Kate's original, in which the added beads were framed by the window portions to great effect. (Her bracelet can be found in her "Project Workbook", which is available for sale on her website).

Not that one way is better than the other. It's totally a matter of personal choice and one of the great things about beading - you can either copy someone else's design exactly or start with the same process and make it your own. There are any number of possible variations to be made. The look of the finished product depends on the size of the windows, the colour, type and size of both the beads you use for the base and those you add later, and the method of adding them.
Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased with the way mine turned out and the turquoise colours remind me of the ocean in the bay at Puerto Vallarta.

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