Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 11 Beaded Tribute

On Friday night, as I watched a 9/11 documentary, I finished my first square-stitch cuff bracelet, a design showing the Manhattan skyline with the Twin Towers still intact. 

I first saw the pattern, by a wonderful designer named Irene Landaw, in the June 2008 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  When I saw the Twin Towers in this pattern, I immediately knew that I had to make it--even though I had no idea at the time what the square stitch was.  Irene told me that she finished stitching her bracelet a month before the Towers came down.  The pattern was so popular that it will be included in a book that Bead & Button is publishing in 2011.  Irene has another pattern being published in the upcoming December/January issue of Beadworks.

In June of 2008 I had just begun to learn about bead weaving and all of the stitches seemed incredibly complicated to me.  Nevertheless, I was determined to learn how to make this bracelet, so I went to a bead shop and asked one of the clerks to help me choose the beads.  For whatever reason, she picked out iridescent beads for me.  If I had been a little more knowledgeable I might have held out for plain beads.  I'm so glad I didn't because I love the shimmering colors that I see in the bracelet now when the light hits it certain ways.

I put the beads and the pattern aside, waiting for a time when I knew how to do the illusive square stitch.  This past June my husband, the dog, and I went to our summer cottage for a long weekend and there was no room in the car for my usual trunk of beading or painting supplies.  But there was room for the Manhattan skyline bracelet supplies.

After two years of bead weaving, I was no longer so intimidated.  I went to the back of the magazine and tried out the generic square stitch instructions.  It was surprisingly easy!  I started the bracelet. 

Three months, about 25 hours of work, and almost 3000 beads later, I've completed the bracelet.  The first photo above is how the bracelet looks when the light is flat.  The second photo shows the shimmering pinks, purples, and blues that appear when the light hits it a certain way.

This bracelet is the most special piece of jewelry that I have ever made. 

God bless the souls who were lost on September 11, 2001 and the people who worked so hard to rescue them.


  1. Stunning! The photo with the lights on it hitting the irridiscent beads looks like the Manhattan skyline at night! Shimmery and full of sparkling lights.

  2. Thank you, Cherie. That's exactly what I thought when I looked at all those shimmering colors. It was a happy accident, though, because I tried to buy plain beads. Lucky for me, the store only had iridescent ones.