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

Star Spiral Swatch Pattern Release

Greetings, all, and please enjoy the next free pattern release from our upcoming CGB Pattern Book, which is in final assembly right now. We will have another update tomorrow about books, workshops, and much more.

The Swatch is the easiest way to learn the Star Spiral, and once a few of these are completed not only will you have some terrific earrings, but you will have the confidence to start a longer spiral, having learned the progression, and gained some experience with Deconstruction.

Those who have experience with the Flat Star and snipping things off or apart should find this pattern easy. The pattern download links are at the end of this post.

This pattern was illustrated, formatted and structured for Curious Beginners, which means that anyone who has a grasp of how to geometric peyote stitch (which includes the placing of increases and decreases) should be able to follow it. We will be interested to hear how this goes for those of you just learning.

Please be sure you master the Flat Star before attempting the Star Spiral. Download that pattern here.

We included a quick two-page tutorial for how to whip up a Short Casting Spine from a peyote start, and it’s a perfect way to learn the Spine, if you haven’t, but even if you have a boxful of Spines, you might like to have a little short one in your toolbox, because it’s so much easier to cast little test swatches from.

Please share these patterns with anyone you like, but all we ask is that you share the link to this blog post (which has multiple direct download options) instead of copying and sharing the PDF files. In this way, we will have an awareness of how many people download the pattern, and the joy of watching it spread around the globe.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way, and especially to Susannah Thomson, Karen Beningfield, and Kathryn Shriver for their contributions. Please note that this is a draft pattern, and information has been drawn from several sections of our work to illustrate it – Edge Casting, Deconstruction, the Flat Star pattern and the concept of spiralling a pattern, so the pages that you see here will not be the same as the final pages in the books.

More soon; there is much going on right now and I have missed posting. By tomorrow we will have our Spring and Summer workshop schedule finalized, we’ll be putting the Pattern Book up for sale again, and we have some beautiful kits to add and several unique pieces from the history of the project will be offered for sale.

We welcome your comments, questions and feedback on the pattern. Have fun, and be sure to email me your Spiral Swatch photos or questions at


Short Spine Tutorial, two pages

Star Spiral Swatch Tutorial: High-resolution two-page book SPREADS

Star Spiral Swatch Tutorial: Low-resolution two-page book SPREADS

Star Spiral Swatch Tutorial: High-resolution PAGES for printing

Star Spiral Swatch Tutorial: Low-resolution PAGES for printing

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better.

2 comments on “Star Spiral Swatch Pattern Release

  1. wmjbr
    February 13, 2023

    Thank you so much for the great challenges to make the Star Spiral, I’ve already succeeded quite well thanks to the enormous help from you Kate

  2. Paulette Mazurek
    February 12, 2023

    These are fabulous as always! I always get excited about your emails and updates. I discuss with my friends and as President of a small Beading Organization, CABO. I also talk about CGB and add information to our Newsletter about your blog. Kathy King and Jennifer Halloran are in our organization and I think they went to your Retreat maybe a year ago. Small world…beading community..,
    At one time we had your earlier spine can’t remember the name, in 1 of our weekend in-person workshop, pre-COVID. I have Volume 1 and 2.

    Please keep me or add me to the list to buy All the new books coming out. Can’t wait to order!!

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This entry was posted on February 12, 2023 by .
February 2023
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