Free Brick Stitch Project – Crystal Radiance Brooch by Tina Koyama
Brick stitch will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first off-loom bead-weaving stitch that I taught myself when I first started learning how to bead. And whenever I want a project that takes me back to my "beginner's mind" for opening up new beading project possibilities, brick stitch is one of my favorite go-to beading techniques.
This classic Crystal Radiance brooch by Tina Koyama is one brick stitch beading project with lots of possibilities. Change up the seed bead colors, or swap out the bicones for a different bead shape, or maybe skip the pin back and add a small loop at the top for a pendant!
- 5 grams bronze size 15 seed beads
- 5 grams bronze size 11 cylinder beads
- 5 grams metallic green size 11 cylinder hex cut beads
- 5 grams bronze size 11 seed beads
- 5 grams gold size 8 hex cut seed beads
- 11 erinite satin 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones
- 11 jet nut 2x 6mm Swarovski crystal bicones
- 1 smoky quartz dorado 10mm Swarovski crystal round bead
- Pin back, 1 1/2"
- 6 lb. Fireline beading thread
- Size 12 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutter
Above: Figure 1
Below: Figure 2, attaching the pin back
Foundation: Use 6' of thread to string the 10mm crystal, leaving a 6" tail. Pass through the crystal again, wrapping the thread along the side of the crystal; repeat, wrapping the thread along the opposite side of the crystal. Pass through twice more so that two strands of thread are on each side of the crystal. Pull tight and tie a half hitch knot to stabilize the threads around the crystal. (Figure 1.)
Tips for increasing and decreasing:
You will need to work a different number of beads in each round to maintain a flat circle; where you place each increase or decrease is not important, as long as you spread them around the circumference fairly evenly. For example, if you know you will need to increase the round by four beads, you can place each increase about one-quarter of the way around. Bead counts are provided for this project; to figure your own counts for different beads, try counting the number of beads worked and the number of loops of thread remaining to plan placement of the remaining increases or decreases. With experience, you will know an increase is needed when the loop of thread for the next stitch seems longer than the others (or shorter, indicating the need for a decrease).
Brick stitch: Work brick stitch around the crystal, anchoring the first round to the foundation thread, and switching bead size for each round.
Round 1: String 2 size 11 cylinder beads and pass under the foundation thread and back through the last bead strung. String 1 size 11 cylinder and pass under the thread and back through the bead just strung; repeat all around for a total of 19 beads. Step up at the end of each round by passing down through the first bead and up through the last bead.
Round 2: String 2 size 11 seed beads; *pass under the loop between the next 2 beads of the previous round and back through the last bead strung. String 1 size 11 seed bead and repeat from * around, working 1 increase halfway around the circle (20 beads total).
Round 3: Use size 11 cylinder hex cut beads with 11 increases (31 total).
Round 4: Use size 11 seed beads with 1 decrease (30 total).
Round 5: Use size 8 hex cut beads with 2 decreases (28 total).
Round 6: Use size 11 seed beads with 12 increases (40 total).
Round 7: Use size 11 seed beads with 4 increases (44 total).
Round 8: Use size 11 cylinder hex cut beads with 15 increases (59 total).
Round 9: Use size 8 hex cut beads with 15 decreases (44 total).
Crystal picots: Tie a knot to secure the thread, then exit the top of a hex bead in the last round. *String 1 size 11 seed bead, one 4mm bicone, and 3 size 15 seed beads. Snug the beads close to the work, then pass back through the crystal. String 1 size 11 seed bead and pass down through the next hex bead. Pass up through the following hex bead and repeat from *, alternating 6mm and 4mm bicones. Tie a knot to secure the thread, then pass back through the beads to exit the sixth round.
Attach the pin back: Open the pin and center it on the back of the work above the center crystal. Weave through the beads to exit near a hole at one end of the pin back. String 3 size 11 seed beads and pass through the pin and to the right side of the beadwork. Pass through 1 or 2 beads and to the back of the work to exit the opposite side of the same pinhole. String 3 size 11 seed beads and pass through the same pinhole to the front of the work (Figure 2). Repeat to secure each hole of the pin back as needed to avoid exposing any bare thread. If the pin back feels wobbly, weave through the beads again to reinforce.
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Do you love brick stitch? What's your favorite way to use it? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us what you love (or don't) about brick stitch!