Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Basic Stitch Tutorial - Brick Stitch

It's been some time since we had a Basic Stitch post so here we are with a brick stitch tutorial! In brick stitch, each bead is offset from the beads below, rather like a brick in a wall (hence the name). You can use any size bead for this stitch but you'll want to use beads that are fairly regular in size, to keep a straight line, and any of the Japanese seed beads are great for this. I'm using Toho size 11 seed beads here.

Start off with a ladder stitch base. If you're not familiar with ladder stitch we have a tutorial for you hereIf you'd prefer a thicker base to hold onto you can always make a two bead stack. I've made a one bead stack here. The length can be any number of beads but you'll want your thread to be coming out of the top of the last bead.

Pick up 2 seed beads and pass the needle under the thread that connects the two end beads on the ladder stitch base...




...and sew up through the last bead added. Pull the thread taut so that the two beads sit neatly side by side.




Now pick up 1 seed bead and pass the needle underneath the next thread. These connecting threads are also known as 'bridges' so that's what I'll refer to them from here on.




Sew up through the bead you just added...



Repeat the above step, adding 1 bead at a time, until you reach the end of the base and have no more bridges left.

To make this end of the brick stitch identical to the other you will have to add one more bead so pick up 1 bead and pass the needle under the same bridge that you just used and sew back up through the bead as before.



And that is your basic brick stitch!

Now there is the subject of increasing and decreasing with this stitch which you'll need to learn in order to complete a pattern. Depending on the pattern you have two choices on how to start and end your rows. 

If you start as I did at the beginning, by adding 2 beads onto the first bridge this will increase the edge by 1 bead...




If you keep doing this you'll have a diagonal shaped edge which you can see starting in the photo below...



But what if you don't need a diagonal edge? Easy! You pick up your 2 beads as usual but skip the first thread bridge and pass the needle under the second....




...and back up through the second bead...




But ugh, now my beads are wonky! Never mind, there's a trick for this. Sew down through the first bead...




...then up through the second bead...




And ooh look, nice neat beads! I do like it when my beads line up lol, but I guess you could skip this bit if you're not bothered ;)



Now when you get to the end of this row you can either stop at the last thread bridge to decrease the edge or add another bead to it if you need to increase the edge. 

Tips: You can use two or more beads to give your beadwork extra height, remember to pick up double at the start of your row. So if you use two beads per stitch then pick up four to start.

Notice how brick stitch looks exactly like peyote stitch when you rotate it? This means that you can use any peyote pattern for brick stitch (and vice versa), you just need to turn the pattern on it's side!

Here are some examples of finished brick stitch projects, all made by our very own Carol Passaro.


Carol's own design


Adapted from a pattern by Rita Sova


 Holly pattern by Threadabead


 Poppy by Kerrie Slade

3 comments:

Bead Queen said...

Fab tutorial liz. Thank you.

SallyAnderson said...

Love this. Do you have a PDF file of it that I could save.? I'd love to keep this! Thanks.

thecrimsonmoon said...

Thank you! No unfortunately I don't Sally, I wrote it straight on the blog.