Take a Closer Look at Brick Stitch

Shamrock pin, brick stitch, by Dustin Wedekind

Shamrock pin, brick stitch, by Dustin Wedekind

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.

Brick Stitching Nature: Charts for Beaded Butterflies, Dragonflies, and a Honeybee, by Karen Parker

Brick Stitching Nature: Charts for Beaded Butterflies, Dragonflies, and a Honeybee, by Karen Parker

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.

Two-Row Start
Use a comfortable length of thread to string 3 beads; pass back through the first bead strung (Fig. 1).

Birck stitch basics, figure 1

Pull firmly on the thread so the beads stack as shown (Fig. 2).

Brick stitch basics, figure 2

String 1 bead and pass up through the top-right bead (Fig. 3).

Brick stitch basics, figure 3

Pull firmly on the thread so the beads stack as shown (Fig. 4).

Brick stitch basics, figure 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.

Brick stitch basics, figure 5

Working Brick-Stitch

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).

Brick stitch basics, figure 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.

Brick stitch basics, figure 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).

Brick stitch basics, figure 8

Brick stitch basics, figure 9

Brick stitch basics, figure 10To 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, brick stitch bracelet, by Nancy Zellers

Deco Deluxe, brick stitch bracelet, by Nancy Zellers

Deco Deluxe, by Nancy Zellers, geometric brick stitch shapes connected using a beaded rope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoopla!, right-angle weave and brick stitch rings, by Beth Kraft

Hoopla!, right-angle weave and brick stitch rings, by Beth Kraft

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!

Emerald Green Swallowtail butterfly, brick stitch design, by Karen Parker

Emerald Green Swallowtail butterfly, brick stitch design, by Karen Parker

Another peek at a butterfly by Karen Parker, from her new e-book.

"Periwinkle" choker, chain of flat and circular brick stitch, by Kerrie Slade

“Periwinkle” choker, chain of flat and circular brick stitch, by Kerrie Slade

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!

blue_tammy

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