One characteristic of an African Helix Stitch are the raised beads or what is called “piping.”
The piping also creates the design for the African Helix stitch. You use a different color of bead for the piping and it will create that spiraling effect on the beadwork.
Using 2 colors of seed beads that we’ll name blue and green. Green will be the accent beads to represent the “piping.”
slide in 3 blue alternate with 1 green. Form a circle of seed beads by tying a knot. After tying a knot pass the thread again into the seed beads to strengthen the foundation and come out where you had the knot.
Coming out where the knot is, slide in 3 blue and 2 green. Pass the thread under and over the thread from your foundation after the green bead.
Repeat the previous pattern of weaving until you’ve gone all the way around the beadwork and ready to start a 2nd row.
For the 2nd row, similar to how you did the 1st row, slide in 3 blue and 2 green. Pass the thread under and over the thread after the blue bead from the 2nd row.
Continue with the pattern of weaving until you’ve gone all the way around the beadwork and ready to start 3rd row.
As you weave you will notice that a row of beads, the green beads will rise up and that is the piping. Finish your beadwork by passing back thru several seed beads and making half stitches.
African Helix Stitch is an easy stitch and I find it easier to build up the beadwork because you don’t have to pass the thread into the beads again. No need to use different sizes too to create a spiraling effect.
Now, like I always say, practice makes perfect so here’s a video tutorial with Karla Schaefer.
Have fun beading!
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