Top 5 Favorite Stitches

Apr 5, 2010

So many beads, so little time!
Peyote. Right-angle weave. Netting. Herringbone. Square stitch. These five stitches rank highest in every survey, project commentary, and request we hear on Beading Daily and in our magazines. And these are just the basics—each technique has spins from the flat versions, including circular, tubular, multi-drop, spiral, and other dimensional variations.

What makes these stitches our favorites?
There are tons more stitches we love, of course. I've taught 24 different stitch lessons  for DoodleBeads and Beads, Baubles, and Jewels and have plenty more to go. But here's why I think these particular 5 stitches are so popular:

One of the first stitches most of us learn, peyote instructions abound, and it’s a relatively easy stitch to pick up. Peyote stitch has a history in Native American traditions. Try these Soft Bangles by Cathi Tessier if you’re new to peyote or just want to make something fun and fast.

Right-angle weave
It seems we love using crystals most of all in RAW, as it is often called. Maybe that’s why we love it—because it gives us such a great way to stitch something sparkly. Worked with either one- or two-needle variations, cubic versions are enticingly architectural. Learn the flat version first, as in Nancy Zellers’ RAW Crystal Cuff. 

Here’s a technique with centuries of ethnic heritage. In her Netted Diamonds collar, renowned Ukrainian beadweaver Maria Rypan shares a project rich in tradition, both in technique and the colorful pattern.

Also called Ndebele (say, en-deh-BELLY) this fast, flexible, and fluid stitch is named for the African tribe known for their colorful work in this technique. Easy to use with different sizes of beads, it’s fun to work flat, but it also makes dynamite tubular ropes, such as Nancy Cain’s Crystal Drop lariat. Her method to flare the ends makes it worth checking out this project!

Square stitch
Because square-stitched beads sit in aligned rows vertically and horizontally, it makes it easy to follow or create geometric patterns. In Turn It Over by Gabrielle Neijman, her pendant has different color patterns on each side, for a fun switcheroo to match your fashion style du jour.

Get 43 projects PLUS a DVD with 12 basic lessons!
We have tons of projects for you using just these 5 top stitches—43 favorite designs—and you can get them all in the special issue, Favorite Bead Stitches, from Beadwork magazine. PLUS, you get a copy of DoodleBeads with my tips on learning 12 basic stitches!

Like I said—so many beads, so little time!

Do you have a different fave stitch? Tell us about below.


Featured Products

Soft Bangles

Availability: In Stock
Was: $4.00
Sale: $2.80


Fast and easy even-count peyote bracelet


Crystal Cuff Bracelet

Availability: In Stock
Was: $4.00
Sale: $2.80


Combine crystals and right angle weave


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ChristinaV@4 wrote
on Apr 5, 2010 9:40 AM

Russian leaves stitch is one of mine, but of caurse is peyote but different. What ever I made with those leaves came out to my satisfaction. All five you mentioned are everyones favorites. Thank you for being there for us.


connie@146 wrote
on Apr 5, 2010 4:55 PM

My favorite is actually the Brick Stitch.  Probably because that is the first stitch I learned.  This year I have set a goal for myself to learn a new beading technique each month.  Beading Daily has been a huge help and inspiration in doing that.  You can see what I have done the first three months on my blog at  Peyote is going to be one of the next stitches I hope to learn.  I really enjoy your site!  Keep up the good work.  Thanks, Connie

Carrie Hicks wrote
on Apr 7, 2010 8:42 AM

Spiral rope is such an interesting stitch to work up.  I have used it with various size and types of beads jut to see how it turns out.  It will look like eveything from a simple rope to a porcupine to a jagged ice palace.  Love it.

Annita2 wrote
on Jan 17, 2011 3:13 PM

seems like I use the spiral rope more than anything so I guess it must be my favorite