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Cowboy Boot Pattern- shaped brick stitch
Recently in a bead chat, someone asked what was the best stitch to learn first. A few of the beaders in the chat said brick stitch. I posted the link for my brick stitch tutorial. Someone in the chat who came to beading comparatively recently commented that she hadn't ever tried beading with a foundation row that wide before. The idea was fairly new to her. She had the benefit of the people who broke out of the triangle mold for brick stitch before she ever started it.
Triangle earrings are still one of the easiest things to learn to bead. But brick stitch has enough structure to it because of the thread passes that it's wonderful for shaped pieces like the pin above. I designed this country-western themed set for a friend who is cowboy crazy.
The pin was made with the boot pattern on the right hand side. To work this kind of pattern, if you haven't tried it before, isn't very different from working a triangle pattern. You start by finding the widest solid row of beads.
Because the peyote method of starting won't work on the end of the row where the spur is, you'll want to ladder those beads. Plan your beading by looking at your pattern. Leave a long enough tail to weave in when you start your beadwork. So on this pattern, the best way to start if you're using the peyote strip method to do the foundation row is the right hand side. So you'd ladder the first two beads, then peyote the row above it and the foundation row to the other side. Work the bottom of the boot first, from toe to heel, weaving back through the foundation row where the gap is to do the heel and the bottom of the spur.
The reason to do it that way is because the top of the boot is right over the heel, so it's less beads to have to weave through to do the top half of the boot. Weave through and do the rest of the boot.
The top bead, instead of being brick stitched into place is on it's side so there is less thread showing.
After you finish a shaped pattern, sometimes they aren't quite stiff enough. There are many methods to stiffen beadwork. Some call for passing a thin beading needle through the beadwork then cutting off the ends and letting that wire support it. Generally what I do is cover the back of the beadwork with a coat of clear nail polish and let dry. In this case, since I sewed a pin back directly to the beadwork, I used the nailpolish only on the toe of the boot. The pin back is a 1 inch back that's aligned vertically, point down.
For my example I used Delica size 11 beads; silver lined butterscotch,chestnut transparent,bright sterling, and opaque black.
Barbara Elbe's book, Beaded Images II: Intricate Beaded Jewelry Using Brick Stitch
has wonderful shaped brick stitch patterns.
Affiliate links in an article provide extra income to me personally. I provide them both as a service and as a way to help fund my own book addiction.
I have a small collection of sweet treat patterns for earrings available on Etsy, $5.00 USD for 5 patterns.
Content copyright © 2014 by Shala Kerrigan. All rights reserved.
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