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Basic Beading : Brick Stitch Earrings

Recently I was asked for more in depth instructions on how to do brick stitch. The original pattern for the earrings in my example was posted here.

Large version of the pattern.

As you can see, I've marked the foundation row with red arrows. That's where we will start.
You will need:
Needles, I use size 12 sharp needles with Delica beads
Thread
Beads, I used Delicas for my example, in gunmetal and lt. mint satin.

There are 3 common methods for building a foundation ladder. The first one is really good for wider earrings because it's very stable, but it's got a lot of thread passes so it may not work with beads with smaller holes.
Instructions are based on the pattern above which has a 3 bead high foundation row. You'd change the bead counts according to how high your foundation row is.
String on 6 beads, and then pass your needle and thread down through the third, second, and first bead added.

Go back up through the fourth, fifth and sixth bead, add 3 more beads, and then go up the 3 beads of the previous row.

Back down through the 3 beads just added, add 3 more beads, and go down through the 3 beads from the previous row.


The second method is cross weaving with 2 needles.
Thread a needle on each end of your thread. Thread on 6 beads, and with the other needle, go through the second bead in the opposite direction of the first thread, pull snug and continue adding beads in that matter until your foundation is as wide as it's supposed to be.


The third method is the one I use the most often, Pamy Welborn taught it to me.
It's even count peyote, and it's very quick. Instead of starting with the beads in the foundation row, you follow the pattern starting at the row above it. You're making that row and the foundation row at the same time. So you start with the bead at the beginning of the row above the foundation row, and add the beads from the first two units on the foundation row, then go back up through the first bead added. Add the next bead for that row, and go down through the second set of 3 beads, add 3 beads, and back up through the 2nd bead on the top row. Continue adding beads until you have both rows done.


When the foundation row is done, it's time to start with the brick stitch, there are also a few methods for this. The 2 most common are virtually the same except for how they begin.
The first one, add the first two beads for the row you are working on, pass your needle and thread under the thread between the second and third columns of the foundation row, then back up through the bead, add the next bead on that row, pass the needle and thread under the thread between the third and fourth columns of beads and up through the bead just added. Continue until the end of the row.
Doing it this way doesn't leave thread showing, but I like my beads firmly in the right place, so I'll actually weave back through and stitch through the first bead and catch the thread under it, back up through the bead, then back through the second bead, back up through it, then add the third bead. It takes a bit more time, but I think it looks neater. However, you have to use beads that allow multiple thread passes to do that.

The second method is to add the first bead, and pass your needle and thread under the thread between the first and second columns of beads, then back up through the bead, and continue adding beads that way.That leaves thread showing on the outside, but if you use light colored thread, you can color the thread with water colors or markers to match the beads and it won't be very noticeable.


Of course, the last bead is always tricky. With this pattern, I was able to add my loop for the earring wire on top, and the fringe for the bottom bead. I used French wire bullion on the top for the loop.


A lot of earring patterns are triangles with fringe, so at this point, you'd weave back through to the foundation row and add fringe. This pattern was beaded on both sides of the foundation row, so I wove back through to the foundation row, and beaded the second side, then added fringe.
The accent beads in the fringe are faceted pearls I got as free beads in my last order from Pizazz Works.

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