Oddly enough, the easiest way to start Brick Stitch is with a row of Ladder Stitch (so with this tutorial you get a "two for one").
1. To start, pass through two beads 3-4 times (leave a six inch tail) and pull the thread snug. Give the beads a nudge with your finger to get them to stand up, side by side, so that the holes run parallel to each other (rather then end to end).
2. String on bead #3. Circle around and pass through bead #2, then through bead #3 again.
3. Add bead #4. Circle around and pass through bead #3 and then through bead #4 again.
4. Continue in this way, adding a bead then circling around so that you connect it to the last bead until you have a six bead row. Try to keep the thread snug and your tension even, but the beads will wobble a little. They will straighten up later as you add brick stitch rows.
Now you begin Brick Stitch:
1. String on two beads. Turn, and pass the needle and thread underneath the "thread bridge" that connects the last two beads you added on your ladder stitch row. Pull it snug and use your finger to push the beads into the correct position (standing upright next to each other).Then take the needle up through the second of the two newly added beads. Pull it snug.
Notice that each of the beads is now connected by what I call a "thread bridge" that runs between the beads on top and bottom.
2. Slide on a single bead. Pass the needle under the next thread bridge (it doesn't matter if you go front to back, or back to front) and pull snug. Then pass the needle back up through the bead you just added.
3. Keep repeating Step 2 until the row is completed.
Notice that the last bead seems to end up a little short of the end. And the first bead of the row hangs off a little. Don't worry!This is the way it is supposed to be. That kind pattern is why it is called "Brick Stitch".
Be sure to tighten your stitches after every bead you add. It is much easier to do that than to try to tighten a whole loose row!
4. To begin the new row, add two beads, turn, and pass under the last thread bridge of the last row - just like in Step 1. Then finish the new row by repeating Step 2 over and over.
Whenever you start a new row you add two beads. All other times you only add one bead.
5. When the bead strip is done you will not see much thread at all. Weave the thread into the piece by circling through some of the beads (circle 3-4 times), then trim. No need to knot if you circle several times.
Weave in the tail at the start of the piece in the same way.
To end or hide the "tail": circle through the beads several times, then trim.
Hint: I usually start with about 1 1/2 yards of thread. Any longer and I get too many tangles.
(click on image to enlarge)
Here's a couple of embellished brick stitch pendants. One is a necklace and the other I used as a Christmas tree decoration. Brick stitch is the base.
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