an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
This neat star pattern uses geometric peyote stitch with two alternating increase/decrease progressions – the Triangle Increase (also known as the Herringbone Increase) and the Hexagon Decrease (a three-round slow progression) in the valleys. We have a simple chart for you plus a fully illustrated pattern and blank graphs for colouring.
Note: our Test Patterns have lists of corrections/suggestions at the bottom of the pattern page. See below and make a note on your printout. When we think we’ve caught everything, we’ll finalize the pages for the books.
Combining these two progressions to make a flat star is not a new idea, but it was new to us. It seems to be one of those fundamental arrangements that appears in people’s hands when they are asking just the right sorts of questions. I am not personally familiar with what others have done with this idea, but I know that there have been many interpretations over the years. We hope you enjoy our own.
From this single basic pattern, over the next weeks we’ll take you into the Star Spiral (which will teach you the Casting Spine as well) and Starflowers, the advanced Reverse Starflower, and then a series of cycles and morphing surfaces. We’re releasing the main patterns in this chapter for free to everyone, because this is a fundamental idea and fundamental ideas belong to everyone.
We were given this pattern by English beader Susannah Thomson, who found it while fooling around with geometric peyote. She created a Star Spiral from a Spine and several other interesting variations on the Flat Star and sent the lot to us in a little box, which blew our minds (and blew up our schedule) when we opened it.
I hope you enjoy playing with the series of Star patterns while we finish up the ten thousand small details required to get to press with our basket full of books. All of our progress in all things is due to the work of every person who has participated, or even wished us well. What a collection we have for you!
Have fun with this, if you’ve never seen it before, and we will be available to help with people’s questions with each of the patterns here on the blog and also on social media. There are some blank graphs included for other shapes, such as a butterfly and a Starflower with rounded petals – we’ll show you how we do these over the coming weeks. The most intense variation Kathryn Shriver created is definitely the Reverse Starflower, and we’ll be releasing that pattern next.
It may be advanced, but we hope that our chapter is well-built enough to carry others forward as well. Start with the Flat Star, and have fun! The Stars and Starflowers make fantastic components, and we’ve had fun with layered coat brooches, earrings and rings.
Beadwork in the Flat Star pattern by Kathryn Shriver, Susannah Thomson and Karen Beningfield, illustrations (including blank graphs) by Karen Beningfield. Please mention these artists if you use or republish their work.
Download the PDF of the introductory Flat Star Pattern here:
SPREADS (best for digital viewing):
SINGLE PAGES (best for printing):
SINGLE PAGES : SMALLER FILE for older computers or full phones
Step 10 should read 2B, C, 2B
I have Vol I and Vol II. Am excitedly waiting for III and Pattern Book release!!!
Been waiting for this! Thank you so much!! Looking forward to what’s next and the final book(s).
Have fun and be sure and let me know what you think.
Stopped doing beadwork for a number of years, because i got lyme disease during all my travels round the globe. I am hoping to start up again and am very encouraged to see that there are exciting new patterns to work with. And it turned out there was a very important reason totally unrelated to beadwork that was behind my move to Tucson. Tucson has one of the best pilates physical therapists in the world and she is teaching me to stand up straight! I am only afraid she will move away too. But I did notice the Boston winters must have gotten to you too after a while. They are really something with that cold wind and snow and ice coming in from the west hitting the bay, circling round and hitting you from the other direction. Sort of like a description of one of the beadwork spirals. There are so many wonderful places to live all over the world.
Realized I said nothing about the actual pattern. Well, I’ll have to start beading it and see how it feels
🤣 Had to laugh…bury your beads in the backyard.
Thanks for your inspiring letter this morning. And thanks for your persistence and tenacity to see this project through. I was signed up to bead with you and the Tucson team in 2016 when my mother was hospitalized I had to go back to Pennsylvania for a time. I have always been so sad I missed such an incredible opportunity. I’m going to try beading a slinky star soon….after the three other projects ahead of it! Thanks again, Kate!
Linda! I hope you will come to Savannah and bead with us here. We have worked hard to make the house pandemic-safe and we will be welcoming retreats and workshops again soon. It will be amazing to bead with people like you who go way back with us… what a thing to look forward to. I will post a list of dates in the shop this week, and I’ll make sure you get the message.
Ahhh. Thank you. I’ll see what I can do.
Grazie davvero! Un meraviglioso regalo di Natale!❤
Thank you Kate…just what I need…additions to the long list of beading things to try!! At least we won’t get bored. I admore your tenacity and application to see this through.
I laugh and say that if I had known what was coming I would have buried my beads in the backyard or a distant forest ten years ago. But I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything. Hugs to you, Jane.
Thank you so much!💓
Muchas gracias…Felices fiestas…
WOW! Thank you! Can’t wait to try this!
Thank you so much, a wonderful gift😍❤
Grazie grazie grazie! Anna Anselmi da Bari, Italia
This is so gorgeous – I can’t wait to start a Star and learn this increase/decrease development!
Thank you so much for this fabulous pattern. I think I could probably spend the next 10 years (at least) working my way through all the CGB findings. You and the team have been extraordinary and provided a much-needed spark of joy during the “COVID years”. Thank you for all you have done (and are doing).
Kind regards from Melbourne, Australia – Fiona White.
This is so much how I feel. After putting in 12 years now studying it all, I feel that although I have successfully answered the questions I came in with, it is only scratching the surface of the deep connections and information that are contained in the work. Thank you for your comment and for your participation, Fiona, because the depth could never have been reached by one person, especially me as I knew so little about geometric beadwork when I started having questions. This work belongs to us all, which is just the best thing ever.
Love everything you do! Will you please remind me if I pre ordered the book? Thank you. Risa Diamond
We will be diving into the order database as soon as the print files are ready; we have declared ourselves unmovable until that happens! But the good news is that everyone with any kind of pre-order at all will be given a choice of what they want in their package; people can add and subtract (in addition to books we will have bead kits, retreats and workshops) based on their current interests. We will be back with you soon and thank you so much for your email.
People who did not pre-order will be able to buy the books when they come out, or from our shop as soon as we submit the files to the press. I haven’t wanted to take in any more deposits until we were sure of when we were finishing. Best, Kate
Absolutely lovely, Thank you so much!
Thank you so much ! 😍
Thanks so much 💕👩🦼
Gifts galore !! Thank you, Kate.
OMG! Thank you!!! This is the best holiday gift:) You are so kind and generous. I can’t wait to get started. With gratitude, Nancy
There is a box pattern I purchased a few years ago that uses the flat star as a base.
Yes I think there are several flat star patterns out there – I am not sure how they are all made. Did your pattern alternate herringbone and hexagon progressions as well?
Yes it’s identical. It’s actually her design of the box sides that are unique. Can’t wait for the other designs. Keep up the good work.
Thank you so much. This is something I have been interested in trying for a long while!