It takes practice to master a new bead weaving stitch. Each time I learn a new Technique I make a 1-2 inch sample piece of bead weaving. Making these swatches helps me learn something new without committing to creating an entire piece of jewelry. I often use bigger beads that I would normally choose, like a Size 6 Round Japanese Seed Bead, so it’s easier to see which step I’m at and identify the inevitable beginner mistakes. Swatching is also a great way to use up leftover beads!
If I get on a roll a swatch can develop into a complete piece of jewelry, but I usually just add the completed swatch to my bulletin board. Keeping a swatch board means I have a quick visual reference for all of the techniques I’ve tried. It makes it easier to choose a stitch for a new project or can serve as a quick reminder for why I’ve been avoiding a particular Technique!
Can you name all the sample stitches on my swatch board?