Take a Closer Look at Brick Stitch
Brick stitch is a great stitch for adding accents, edging or completely on its own as the star of the design. Brick stitch, like other stitches, comes in many flavors, including: flat, tubular, and circular. It can also be woven to create beaded shapes.
From Carol Cypher: “Sometimes called Comanche stitch, brick stitch has Native American origins. It looks like peyote stitch “turned on its ear.” In fact, the two very different stitches can produce nearly identical results. Examined side by side, the difference might be visible only where a bead is broken: in a peyote–stitched piece, thread would cross the hole, while in the brick-stitched piece, thread would travel down to and around another thread and then back up. Each new bead in brick stitch is woven onto the thread that bridges the beads in the adjoining row rather than the beads of the work.
New butterfly designs by Karen Parker not only combine her love for nature and color, these designs also make great use of brick stitch due to the nature of how butterfly wings are created and how beads stitch together in brick stitch.
From Karen Parker’s latest book, Brick-Stitching Nature: Charts for Beaded Butterflies, Dragonflies, and a HoneyBee, the basics: The most common way to begin brick stitch is by first working one ladder stitched row, but you can also start by using a two-row start, which is demonstrated below. Thanks to Jennifer VanBenschoten for sharing this helpful technique.
Use a comfortable length of thread to string 3 beads; pass back through the first bead strung (Fig. 1).
Pull firmly on the thread so the beads stack as shown (Fig. 2).
String 1 bead and pass up through the top-right bead (Fig. 3).
Pull firmly on the thread so the beads stack as shown (Fig. 4).
Continue in this manner across the first 2 rows of the pattern, always adding 1 bead at a time. Your piece will resemble Fig. 5.
Note: Each time you start a new brick-stitch row, you’ll add 2 beads. String 2 beads (these will be the first 2 beads of the new row), pass under the nearest connecting thread between 2 beads of the previous row, and pass back through the second bead just added (Fig. 6).
When you pass under the second connecting thread of the previous row, the new row will be indented half a bead’s width as shown in Fig. 7.
When you pass under the first connecting thread of the previous row, the new row will extend half a bead’s width over the previous row (Figs. 8 and 9).
To work the rest of the row, string 1 bead, pass under the next connecting thread of the previous row, and pass back through the bead just added (Fig. 10 ).
With the basics in hand, you can increase, decrease and do other things with brick stitch to create lots of different designs. Here are few designs that make great use of the stitch and its beauty.
Deco Deluxe, by Nancy Zellers, geometric brick stitch shapes connected using a beaded rope.
Hoopla!, by Beth Kraft. Not only a great use of brick stitch, thanks to the combo of beads and color, and some right-angle weave, this little ring would not only be fun to wear it would be fun to make!
Another peek at a butterfly by Karen Parker, from her new e-book.
Also drawing from nature, Kerrie Slade works flat and circular brick stitch to create her design, Periwinkle.
Have a favorite brick stitch design you’ve created? Please share it with us at BeadingDaily.com.
Happy brick stitching!