Monday, January 25, 2010

Beading Tutorial: Classic Daisy Chain

Beadwoven Fruit and Flowers Made with Daisy Chain Stitch

There’s something wonderful and feminine about a delicate chain of tiny flowers. Whenever I see a white and yellow daisy chain necklace, I think of the poet Sappho, singing with friends and weaving flowers together in the warm Mediterranean sunshine. A strand of beaded daisies can brighten up any outfit with it’s springtime charm, and it never needs watering!

The basic daisy chain stitch is probably the simplest bead weaving technique ever created, and it is often taught to children in art class and at summer camp. Perhaps it is because of this that it is often over looked in the realm of serious beading. Although mastering the technique may be child’s play, once you know how to do it, you can incorporate it into even the most elaborate projects. It’s great for fringe and embellishment as well as making chains.

How to Stitch a Daisy Chain

To make a classic daisy chain, start by adding a stop bead to a comfortable length of beading thread. Pick up one bead, slide it down until there is about a 6 inch tail, and stitch back up through the bead to secure it.

How to Stitch a Daisy Chain

Next, pick up six white seed beads. Slide these down to the stop bead, then pass the needle up through the first bead added, moving towards the other five beads. Hold this first bead in place close to the stop bead as you gently pull the working thread snug. The beads should now form a tiny ring.

Pick up one yellow seed bead. Pass the needle up through the fourth white bead picked up in the previous step. To double check your thread path, count the white beads to make sure that there are two on either side of the first bead and the one you are stitching through.

Beaded Daisy Chain Tutorial

Gently pull the thread snug, and nudge the yellow bead into place at the centre of the ring of white beads. Tug the working thread to make sure that the daisy is secure.

Beaded Daisy Chain Variations

You can now repeat these steps and add a second daisy against the first, continuing on to make a tightly woven chain of flowers. To help distinguish each flower from the next, try using two or more sets of colors and alternate them with each new daisy.

Another variation is to add spacer beads between each flower like stems. Simply pick up one or more beads in a contrasting color before adding a new daisy. Make sure that the new flower is snug against the stem beads as you stitch to keep the tension even. You can also add accent beads or leaf fringe between daisies for lots of pretty texture.

Embellished Daisy Chain Necklace

Although the white and yellow flower is instantly recognized as a daisy, there are lots of other natural color combinations that you can use. Try using yellow and brown for Brown Eyed Susans, purple and yellow for violets, or pink and yellow for wild roses. The round shape of the daisy chain can also be used to make fruits or berries when all seven beads are the same color.

Daisy chain is a great technique to use when you need a quick project. You can use up leftover beads from other projects for an instant gratification necklace or bracelet. If you don’t shy away from the ordinary, you never know what you might come up with!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading


5 comments:

  1. Precious! Thanks so much for sharing..... great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully done and love your piled chain in the first photo - luscious color!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sooo love your posts...thankyou..;o)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the tutorial! I am having trouble getting the "pollen" bead to stay in the centre...any tips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you've made the stitch and nudged the bead into the space, press the daisy between your fingers as you pull the thread snug. Make sure to keep your tension firm when adding further stitches, so that the previous ones stay in place. If you're just starting out with daisy chain, it helps to add at least three 'stem' beads between the flowers, which gives you more room to work with and can help with tension.

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