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-   -   Making designs in 3 bead gourd stitch (http://forums.powwows.com/f99/making-designs-3-bead-gourd-stitch-7524/)

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:08 PM

Making designs in 3 bead gourd stitch
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Ok, there were quite a few folks asking about how to put patterns together in gourd stitch so I thought I would see what I could do to help folks get started. This thread will discuss making design for 3 bead drop gourd stitch. I am going to 'attempt' to explain how I determine what kind of patterns I can put on a piece based on what the total number of beads that are pulled off when starting this type of stitch. (i.e., if it is 54 beads around a piece then to start you would pull off 1/3, which is 18 beads. Now that 18 is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 or 18 so you can make patterns based on those numbers and your designs will come out even around the piece)

To start I am attaching an example of what line direction you can work in on 3 bead drop. Unlike 2 bead drop the lines coming out left and right are not at the same angle. the line to the left is at a much sharper angle than the one to the right. This is something to keep in mind about this particular style stitch.

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:12 PM

elements based on 1
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Now since our example was 18 beads around on each row and a pattern based on 1 is always a possible no matter how many around a piece is here is the next file with a few basic designs elements based on 1.

webscouter 01-09-2003 09:15 PM

I am so excited about this thread. Yea PowWowBum49.

I still have a digital camera for you to use if you need it. Just PM me if you would like to borrow it.

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:20 PM

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Ok the example of 18 also is divisible by 2 so here are a few design elements based on that number.

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:24 PM

elements based on 3
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Now the next number in the sequence of number that 18 is divisible by is 3 so here are a few elements for it.

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:28 PM

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Some of you also ask about making feather designs on a piece so here are feathers running in each of the 3 different directions possible. Keep in mind these can be enlarged and elongated but that will change the base number that they can be used in.

powwowbum49 01-09-2003 09:35 PM

More to come......
Next I will try to show how to put these different elements together to form designs but that will be another night cause I just ain't got the time tonight.

If you have questions feel free to ask or if you have things to add then just chime on in.

Hope this helps!

OLChemist 01-09-2003 09:47 PM

LOL. I've been writing the same thing up for my class. I was going to post my notes to the board but you beat me too it. And are doing ver nice job of it:)

If any of you board gurus have any idea on how to handle the logisitics of putting it somewhere do download, I have a WORD 97 file that can be printed for gourd stitch graph paper. This is an original I drew with a graphics program, so it isn't as nice as some of the commerical products but it is free.

What I find fascinating is the regional differences in the design elements.


powwowbum49 01-10-2003 01:50 AM

Thanks OLChemist I appreciate the cudo! Not sure how to post a downloadable file though I believe it can be done. What I am using to show these elements isn't a high dollar special program either, it is one of 3 files I made in MSPaint that is just plain graphpaper. Since it is in MSPaint I can use the tools there to color the bead areas and thus create the patterns on the puter and then just print them out or as in the case export it.

I have to agree about the regional differences and even more I notice personal styles that some beadworkers develop in gourd stitching and even their beadwork in general.

powwowbum49 01-10-2003 02:20 AM

basic info
Now before I post combinations of design elements let me explain some of the ways that I do a piece. Often I will measure the area that I plan on beading and then mark the center of the area. I start my initial row there and then work out in one direction to the end. At that point I turn the piece around and repeat the design out in the other direction. Now I do not do this every time, sometimes I just start at one end and work to the other, it really depends on what I am beading.

I tend to work in design elements of several base units into the same piece (assuming the piece is long enough to do so). I also often use fading techniques through a particular color shade in areas, like fading from a yellow to a burgundy with from 4 - 15 color changes in that fade depending on the area I have to work with, before I start the next design elements. Using bold color changes at the same time I am changing design elements is something I prefer to do in my gourd stitch work. Sometimes I have a primary background color for the whole piece, but more often I use a different background colors for different design element areas. I also try to coordinate designs on a piece, like a gourd rattle or a southern singers leaning stick, so that the designs in different areas of the piece are not completely different form the rest, this gives some continuity to the finished work.

alaskashadowwolf 01-10-2003 11:12 PM

PWB49, sorry to inturpt your very informative lesson but I have a question and maybe you were going to cover this later but I was afraid I'd forget. My father was telling me about beading uneven items like a natural piece of wood or a chair spindle, instead of a dowl. for dance sticks and fan handles. He was telling me you have to drop a bead or add a bead so the bead work follows the shape of the wood.
I know I'm just learning how to do peyote stitch, and this sounds pretty advanced. How do you do this?????:confused:

OLChemist 01-11-2003 01:04 AM

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At the risk of interrupting and taking away from your nice work... I'm going to comment that you can generate lots of nice design elements just from those shapes you demonstrated.

powwowbum49 01-11-2003 03:08 AM

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Your father is correct in that you sometimes do need to expand or contract your beadwork depending on what you are beading. I however am trying to address creating designs first and then later will discuss how design base numbers change during a piece when this expantion/contraction is needed and who to deal with that.


Thanks for adding those designs, that is exactly where I was going with the thread next. Below is an attachment that shows how you can combine elements to create a design. This design may, but probably will not, fill an entire piece but it can be incorporated as a part of the overall design. This design uses base 2 pattern through out.

powwowbum49 01-11-2003 03:14 AM

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Here is another combination of elements to form a design. This one uses a base one design (the top and bottom royal row) and the rest are base 3 type designs.

powwowbum49 01-11-2003 03:27 AM

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Now as OLChemist demonstrated you can take these different simple elements and expound on them to create more intricate and colorful designs. Here is another element that I sometimes incorporate into some of my works. I have showed how to create it in all 3 of the different directions of available in 3 bead drop.

OLChemist 01-13-2003 11:18 PM

At the risk on intruding again. Here are some more designs. The first is made with six base units.

OLChemist 01-13-2003 11:21 PM

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Opps, lost the file while previewing. Sorry.

OLChemist 01-13-2003 11:22 PM

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This one has five base units:

powwowbum49 01-14-2003 01:52 AM


Thank you OLChemist you are not intruding in the least, fell free to add what ever you want. I haven't had the time the last few days to work up some more designs so I really appreciate the posts.

powwowbum49 01-14-2003 02:32 AM

expantion and contraction
OK while I haven't been able to work up new designs I still can address the expansion and contraction question. ASW your father is right that basically all you are doing is adding or removing/skipping a bead when and where it is needed. I always try to do this along the same specific edge of the piece. Now as you do this you change the number of beads it will take to go around a piece so you have to adjust your design elements. Many folks like to do a solid color in these areas, especially if they will be doing it often as in on a fan handle. Another thing that some folks do is use a solid color on the sides of the piece where the expansion/contraction is and still make a design on the flat top and bottom areas. You just have to make sure you are using small elements so that a design element can be done before you add/subtract the next bead and change the base number thus messing up a larger pattern. It also helps to keep track of how many beads it is around a finished row after you have expanded/contract.

To go back to our example from earlier, the 1/3 we pulled off was 18 so if you have to add a bead to expand then you now 19 around a finished row. With this you go from being able to make patterns based on 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 18 to only being able to make pattern based on 1, 19. Now say the example piece is a fan handle and you are still expanding, the next bead added will make it 20 beads around the finished row. This now has pattern possibilities of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20. So now with that said if you are making a base 2 design coming up to the expansion bead then you might use a solid color after the expantion has been added (which would still be a base 1 design technically) until the next expansion bead is added. Then you can start the base 2 design element again, thus forming a design that goes all the way around the piece without having to use solid color fill areas on the sides of the piece.

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