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#636288 10/12/10 11:05 PM
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What beading projects will you be working on this winter?

Winter is a great time to cozy in and get out your beads and all those little tools, trays, and accessories to start on your Native American projects.

I am working on a pipe bag in lane stitch. The front of the bag is a lovely design that is a copy of an 1869 Sioux design. It has taken me a long time to get to a point where it is beginning to look like something, because this is the first time I have ever done lane stitch.

When I finish the front I may put a design on the back. Not sure yet what that will be. When I sew the bag up, I will put a zipper edge trim on the seam (right) side.

I would love to hear about your projects.


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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Here is a picture of the design on my pipe bag. I am not very experienced yet in doing this stitch and have never made a pipe bag before -- so it is not very good compared to the fine stitching I have seen on Native American pieces. It is a great learning experience for me though.


Last edited by Phyllis, Native American; 10/12/10 11:33 PM.

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It's BEAUTIFUL! Did you have a picture of the inspiration piece to work from? I have a few books I turn to for pattern inspiration, but I've also used cross-stitch patterns for loomwork. There is special paper for plotting bead designs that's more accurate than using graph paper or cross-stitch patterns. But with loomwork and careful bead sizing, the graph paper has worked fine and it's what I have on hand.


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Thank you, lcp. The picture I used for a model is in a book I wrote a review on:
David Dean's Beading in Native American Tradition page 111.

In the book, Dean provides special bead graph plans which can be copied and used to work out the design wanted. It is a very useful tool.

I drew the design on graph paper then did careful bead counting. The bottom step pattern is my own idea inspired by a walk I took in the desert where I received a vision.

Last edited by Phyllis, Native American; 10/13/10 12:56 PM.

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Phyllis Doyle Burns
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It is beautiful Phyllis!


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Thank you, Conniem.


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I have so many unfinished items to address, but there are 2 very special ones with priority. A beaded belt for my husband and another for my Chief. I was looking for a photo last night and stumbled on the design I had done for the Tribe. It incorporates some aspects of our history. The river and the name of the school in our little swamp community, Four Pines.

Fairly certain, I have most, if not all the beads needed. I've never made anything using the "inset" method. The loomwork is attached to a leather base strip. The top strip of leather has a cut out to reveal the beads and is sewn to the base leather around the outer edges and the cut out.

Has anyone done something similar? I'm so slow with the loom, I want to protect the beads as best I can. I have a few smaller loom pieces suitable for bracelets and plenty of leather. I think I'll start with a smaller piece for my 1st attempt. Any and all tips appreciated!

Last edited by lcp012586; 10/14/10 12:35 PM.

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I have never worked on a loom. Beetle has and seems quite knowledgeable about it.

Your project sounds very nice. I like the idea of incorporating your history into the design. That makes it so special.

Too bad we cannot all get together and have a bead swap. I finally found some dark blue seed beads for my next project. I really need to make those medicine bags! I have had a lot of requests for them. But, first - finish my pipe bag.

Has anyone done zipper edge trim? It looks fairly easy but I got confused when I practice the stitch.

Last edited by Phyllis, Native American; 10/14/10 06:34 PM.

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Icp The only tip I can offer is to be sure to place all required holes into your leather before you start piecing it all together so that you do not have to rip out and start over repeatedly...aka plan that baby out carefully.


per aspera ad astra: Through rough ways to the stars...

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Thanks Wendy! Last year I finally broke down and bought one of those spring loaded leather punches. A vendor friend had recommended it, but only had 1, which he promptly sold to my daughter. I finally got one from another vendor and it has been a blessing for shawl work too. Using it was the only way I was able to complete my daughter's dance shawl in 4 days last year.

I have a half hide with a lovely mahogany finish. It's upholstery grade, but I think it will work, doubled. With a conical head on the spring loaded punch, the holes close up for a nice hand sewn look. So I'll have to punch, stitch, punch, stitch. I might cheat a bit with a little leather cement between the layers to keep the strips aligned. I have a traditional heart when it comes to NA crafting, so that feels a bit like cheating. Last week, as I held and stitched the ribbon on my husband's shirt, several people commented, "If our ancestors had Magic Bond, they WOULD have used it!"


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