an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

The CGB Pattern Library

It only took about five minutes of thinking about opening a Pattern Library to fall head-over-heels in love with the idea. It seems to solve every conundrum about how big the project has grown, helping not only to fit all of the beadwork I’ve photographed into my sparkling book pages but also to make people who enjoy working from patterns very, very happy.

If you don’t mind, let me tell you more about what I’m doing, and the expected shipping schedule for all of the new stuff.

Rick-Rack Bangle, Joan Diehl
Rick-Rack Bangle, Joan Diehl 

CGB Souvenir Calendar:  Done! I love it! It reflects both volumes, it has new stuff, it starts counting Human Time in March of 2014, and marches on for 20 months, loaded with excellent photos. It heads to the press with the New Year, and, unless anyone objects, the calendars will ship with the pre-ordered books in February. Apologies for not finishing it sooner, but really- it’s incredible. Lots of surprises.

If you want a calendar and haven’t ordered one, do it!  There will be very few extras, and they will not survive the Tucson Gem Shows.

CGB Volume I, Revised:   As mentioned earlier, I’m revising the first volume slightly and sending it to press with the new Volume II– there aren’t any major changes, but I want to add a few pages to the MRAW section, to make sure that everyone can really do it well, and of course I want to change the introduction to reflect the series. I’ll also replace the now pointless “Coming In Volume II” section with more glittering photos of Volume I projects.

A wrap bangle by Vee Pretorius

The reprint will be a semi-gloss printing, on 100# paper, in full colour, with a sea-blue spiral coil to match Volume II. Expected in February, exact date unknown. I’ve got a half-price special going for anyone who wants to update their shelf, and get both new books as a pretty little blue-bound set. Don’t worry about updating unless you want to- ALL of the added information will be here on the Book Blog and in the new eBook for free, when the revised edition begins shipping. But if you want to, click here.)

CGB Volume II:   Happily, Volume II is rocketing along to the finish line. Have you pre-ordered yet?  The final production of the second volume is greatly helped by the creation of the Pattern Library, which can house the fully stepped out patterns. Volume II will be stuffed from stem to stern with glittering photographs, complete with bead numbers and counts. Full access to the Pattern Library will be available at no charge to everyone who buys the book, with early access for those who pre-order. (If you forgot your password to the Specials page, it is in a letter that came attached to the “Thank you” email I sent to you when you ordered the book.)

Volume II is also expected in February, exact date unknown.

CGB Pattern Library:   What a great idea this is. Starting immediately, the Pattern Squad and I are going to begin building a digital library for CGB and CGB-inspired patterns. Each pattern designer will be fully credited, and there will be links with each pattern to a kit for the project, if there is one, and the designer’s web site and contact information. As soon as we have a set of book-format, fully tested patterns in there (just a week or so) we’ll open it to all Volume II pre-orders. And we’ll just keep adding and adding and adding to it, pattern after pattern after kit after kit. Why not?

If you have a CGB-inspired pattern that you would like to add to the library, please email and let me know. It will work much like Wikipedia- our main requirement is that you must publish it with us under a Creative Commons copyright, which means that you release it completely for other people to use in their own work. Their obligation in return is to link back to you if they sell, teach or publish work inspired by your contribution. If you’ve already contributed a piece to the books, you’ll hear from us shortly, asking you if you’d like to participate.

I think it will be a pretty great thing for everyone- we’ll point everyone who accesses the patterns directly at the designers, with great pleasure, and I’d imagine that there will be a steady stream of eyes on the patterns.

eBook/App/Kindle Versions:  In Spring, after books are shipped out, the Pattern Library will morph into an official digital edition-  including as an interactive App with video in the Apple Store. This commercial version will come free to everyone who pre-ordered. After pre-orders close in January, the digital versions will be sold separately on Amazon, Apple, etc.

Barbara Briggs Safari Cuff
The Safari Cuff, by Barbara Briggs, one of the many excellent CGB-inspired patterns and kits on the market.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

9 comments on “The CGB Pattern Library

    December 31, 2013

    Your work is so very incredible. I have been beading for 20 years, and I don’t get all that impressed any longer; but your work….OMG!!j It’s really beautiful, and your colors….

    • katemckinnon
      December 31, 2013

      Oh, thank you so much, but remember that there are many hands in the pieces on the site. I know you know that! So many incredible beaders… I am humbled every day I approach my beads, thinking of the stunning pieces that have flowed through my hands for the books.

  2. Patricia Wren
    December 30, 2013

    Just hope there will be an included or adjacent Gallery to include works that aren’t stepped out by the Patternly Talented… the Pattern Library sounds like the answer to all your frustrations of “where can I PUT all this gorgeous stuff?” and I for one expect to spend many hours perusing and drooling… never mind all the beading. Wonderful. This will keep me out of trouble (except with my bank balance) for the next ten years or so.

    Kate, you are what is known in other circles as an ENABLER. You also might seek work as ringmaster of a seven-ring circus. Piece o’cake.

  3. Alice Craddick
    December 29, 2013

    Wow, I feel like I just won the beading lottery. We are getting so much for the cost of volume II, one would have to be crazy to pass this up! Thanks again for all your hard work, and thanks to your wonderful family for sharing you with us.

  4. dbednarek
    December 29, 2013

    Do you still want the team to continue to bead up the patterns and give our input? ( as if I’m going to stop beading up the patterns…. )

  5. Carol Cady
    December 29, 2013


    Can’t wait to receive my Volume 11!!!

    Carol Cady

  6. BarbaraBriggsDesigns
    December 29, 2013

    Just ordered the Volume I reprint gloss addition…now I’ll have a copy on every floor of the house!

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