Friday’s Favorites is all about the free-form peyote stitch. The peyote stitch is a traditional stitch used by Native Americans in a ceremonial ritual. There is some controversy in using the name of this stitch in beadwork today, but because I have no alternative word, I use it here with care.
The stitch is formed after a row of stitches are added onto the needle and thread; the stitching is then reversed with one bead added onto the needle and passed through a bead in the original row; additional beads are added in this manner. In the free-form stitch beads are added at random in singles or quantities creating a flowing organic form. The beads used are seed beads of all sizes (4-15 in my case), square, triangles, Czech glass beads, buttons, pearls, semi precious beads and basically anything with a hole in it.
Winter Solstice was created using the free-form stitch adding and lengthening as needed. Here I have incorporated fresh water pearls, vintage shell and glass buttons, and vintage glass sew-throughs with vintage and new seed beads.
Here is a close-up of the center, showing you the variety of pearls, glass buttons, glass sew-throughs and seed beads. The light blue beads (almost gray) are vintage beads found in the Hudson Bay area, they are over 200 years old.
Summer’s By the Sea was created using the same techniques as above, incorporating shells that I had found on Catalina Island as well as on the beaches of Southern California. Here I have incorporated vintage glass beads, vintage glass charms, abalone beads and chips, fresh water pearls along with the vintage and new glass seed beads.
Here is a close-up of the wonderful button shells that I found on Catalina Island.
This is a close-up view of the Jeweled Pi bracelets, which is one of the patterns that I teach and sell. I have incorporated large Pi or shell discs, along with buttons, jade pieces, fresh water pearls, semi precious stones, and seed beads of different sizes.
This necklace is from my Entwined Roses class, which incorporates ribbon worked flowers and leaves and the free-form peyote stitch. This class and the Entwined Treasures class both use silk cord and rayon cords as a base for the neck-piece. The flowers, buttons and beads are stitched on and around the base of cords which give a certain amount of stability and help to defray any tension problems that can arise when stitching without a base.
This is a close-up view of the center, showing you the ribbon worked flowers that lay amongst the bead-work and buttons.
This is a close-up of my Woodland Elf necklace, which uses the Entwined Roses pattern. This is a wonderful collection of treasures: tiny sea urchins, vintage troca shell whistle buttons, fresh water pearls, jade charms, ra ku buttons, bronze charms from Big Sur, a dyed gourd, shell flowers….. and more.
This is a close-up view of the Beadazzled Somemore class and pattern that I teach. The free-form stitch is attached to the fabric at intervals, and then stitched using the same techniques as a regular peyote stitch.
The Ocean River’s Bracelet uses the same concept as the Beadazzled Somemore, using a ribbon base to work the free-form stitch onto. This is a class that is on the current Winter Schedule for Joggles.com.
When all is said and done I enjoy using this stitch both in the structured and unstructured forms, both having their merits in history and style. Happy day to you, enjoy what you do and make everyday count. Christen
wow Christen – these pieces are AMAZING!!!!
As you know, Christen, I love freeform beadwork. Your’s is just fabulous! Thanks for sharing all these beautiful pieces.
Each of these creations takes my breath away Christen!!! WOWEE! You are VERY talented! I have never tried beading like that, you certainly make it look tempting!
Your work is spectacular!
Oh my goodness what a visual feast! Your work is stunning and very inspiring.
These are beautiful and inspiring. I’ll be trying a few pieces of my own. You are very talented.
Christen – these pieces are absolutely stunning!
Thank you Debra, I really enjoy working with this stitch; the freedom and versatility gives the piece such an organic feeling. ~Christen