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

Butterfly Assemblies

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Advanced beaders and/or Warped Hex Masters, would you like to play with our Butterfly Assemblies?  We would LOVE to see what you make, and we look forward to including your best Butterflies in the book (and an exhibit we’re getting ready for MIT).
Join us, and design a butterfly of your own! It can stand alone, or be part of a BatCycle.
Click the image to download a printable PDF.
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Butterfly Assembly Spread
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Please note that Warped Hexes should only be attempted after one is proficient with Flat Peyote Triangles, Warped Squares, and Warped Pentagons. They are all the same, essentially, but each one has one more Increase to manage. To do six, you simply have to know where the beads must go, because they cannot tell you. There is no luck involved, sadly, only knowledge and determination, a gentle hand and a decent tension. Good luck!

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.

11 comments on “Butterfly Assemblies

  1. Robin Davison-Fleury
    February 12, 2019

    I hate to sound like a dummy, but I’ve done a lot of warped squares. I need clarification on the first increase–is it the three bead increase, then herringbone? on both the warped pentagon and hexagon? Or can you point me to instructions for either?

    • katemckinnon
      February 13, 2019

      Hi there!
      It depends on if you want them to lie flat or be Warped. For a Warped Pentagon or Hexagon, start with either 5 or 6 beads in a circle, and do 2-bead increases on every one, just like a Triangle. The forms will rapidly take a warp, just like the squares.

  2. Ina Hascher
    May 13, 2018

    Woood love to knowhow hoe to sew the three butterfly parts yo a cycle.

  3. Paola Olivieri
    May 9, 2018

    Grazie molto per questo secondo pdf. Paola


  4. Karen Norgard
    May 3, 2018

    Hi Kate,

    I have a couple ideas to run by you. Two specific ones:

    1. The Butterfly Project I don’t know if I have shared with you the project I am doing called The Butterfly Project. It involves alumni (my past students), the Coastal Bead Society, The Batey Girls and one of my beaded dress sculptures. I designed a butterfly brooch my students took to the Dominican Republic where they teach it to The Batey Girls (we’ve been doing similar things for a few years helping to build houses for the poor). Batey Girls are women who have been sold into unwanted marriages, victims of sex trafficking. While I have been creating one of my beaded dress sculptures, with support and making from The Coastal Bead Society, the Batey Girls have made numerous blue butterfly brooches that will land on and be sold off the dress.

    Here is an Article:

    Here is a TV spot:

    I think with CGB doing the butterfly assemblies there might be room for us to collaborate or build a show together. any thoughts or interest?

    2. Regarding your work on kaleidocycles: Just to keep you in the loop: I taught a workshop (while Suzanne Golden was here) which will result in 3 kaleidocycles for an exhibition “Water” in Wisconsin May 2019. Additionally, I will have about two weeks with SCAD students where we will dive into geometrics. I’m wondering if work from these groups would be of interest to you to consider for publication?

    As always I send you all my best,

    The work is amazing – such beauty and inspiration –

    Love, Sam

    • katemckinnon
      May 4, 2018

      It all sounds fantastic, Sam, I would love to see your Butterflies and of course participate/contribute to any exhibit etc.

  5. Dominique moreau
    May 3, 2018

    Thanks a lot!! so lovely!!

  6. BarbaraBriggsDesigns
    May 2, 2018

    Kate, I’m not getting the geometry…rather than four triangles and two warped hexagons, I just see six triangles. What am I missing here?

  7. anzacheryl
    May 2, 2018

    Kate, is there anything else that describes warped Hexes? I have done lots of warped squares but just looking at this diagram I cannot “see” how it is done. do you start out with 6 and build out? that is what I am thinking, but since I don’t have beads out to experiment I am trying to envision. you are tempting me – I just pulled together all the beads to do the heron, but after seeing this…….

    • katemckinnon
      May 3, 2018

      Yes, a Warped Hexagon is a 6-bead start, with 6 increases placed between each bead, and then it’s *just* regular circular peyote with herringbone increases. Just like a Triangle or a Warped Square, or a Warped Pentagon. I would try 5 before 6, just to work up to it!

  8. dorismurphy
    May 2, 2018

    Thank you for providing such clear instructions. Although I am a beginner and will not be doing this, I can appreciate all the thought and time spent developing these instructions. And thank you for helping us here at Seed Beads and More.

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