This week we talked a bit about beading origins, and the cultures that influence our beadwork. If you draw some of your beading roots from Native American artwork, or Bohemianism, then you’ll want to add Potawatomi weave to your repertoire. This simple yet sturdy stitch contains a pattern that can be adapted to look just like a neat little row of daisies, and once you get it started, the steps are simple to remember. To get a traditional looking daisy chain, use a basic palette of opaque seed beads, or better yet, love beads.
To get the hang of this stitch, it can help to split your perception of the pattern three ways: the daisies, with a row of ‘leaves’ between each; a repeating pattern of 2- and 3-bead rows; and the actual thread path, which is also worked in a repeating 2-3 pattern. It sounds more complicated than it actually is - all you have to do is remember the correct sequence of bead colors to make the daisy pattern come through.
You’ll need at least 3 seed bead colors - for the petals, leaves, and pollen.
To weave a Potawatomi daisy chain:
Pick up 4 petal beads, and 1 pollen bead. Leaving a tail of 6 inches or more, stitch back through the first bead again, moving towards the tail thread. Pull snug to form a cluster of beads.
Pick up 2 petal beads, and stitch down through the last petal bead picked up in the first step. Pull snug, and you should have a tiny daisy!
To continue, pick up 1 leaf, 1 petal, and 1 leaf colored bead. Stitch up through the second petal bead picked up in the previous step - the one just above the bead your thread is exiting.
Pick up 1 leaf and 1 petal bead, and stitch down through the petal bead picked up in the previous step. Pull snug after each stitch, but don’t worry if the flowers don’t look perfect right away. With each new stitch, the previous row will get stronger and more even.
Pick up 2 petal and 1 pollen bead. Stitch up through the top petal bead in the work.
Pick up 2 petal beads, and stitch down through the second petal bead from the previous step, just below the pollen bead.
You'll see that once the first flower you stitch is complete, all of the steps will repeat with 2 and 3 beads picked up in each stitch, in the following pattern:
1 leaf, 1 petal, 1 leaf
1 leaf, 1 petal
2 petal, 1 pollen
Although Potawatomi stitch is a little more complex than the daisy chain we learn at summer camp, the results are worth it. The chain is sturdier, and the flowers are easier to distinguish with their leafy borders. Of course, you can skip the flower pattern and make a solid or striped chain as well! And, if you have a little time before Valentine’s day, you can combine two patterned chains to make a row of tiny hearts.
Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading
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