Tuesday 8 July 2014

Basic Stitch Tutorial - Brick Stitch

It's been some time since we had a Basic Stitch post so here we are with a brick stitch tutorial! In brick stitch, each bead is offset from the beads below, rather like a brick in a wall (hence the name). You can use any size bead for this stitch but you'll want to use beads that are fairly regular in size, to keep a straight line, and any of the Japanese seed beads are great for this. I'm using Toho size 11 seed beads here.

Start off with a ladder stitch base. If you're not familiar with ladder stitch we have a tutorial for you hereIf you'd prefer a thicker base to hold onto you can always make a two bead stack. I've made a one bead stack here. The length can be any number of beads but you'll want your thread to be coming out of the top of the last bead.

Pick up 2 seed beads and pass the needle under the thread that connects the two end beads on the ladder stitch base...

...and sew up through the last bead added. Pull the thread taut so that the two beads sit neatly side by side.

Now pick up 1 seed bead and pass the needle underneath the next thread. These connecting threads are also known as 'bridges' so that's what I'll refer to them from here on.

Sew up through the bead you just added...

Repeat the above step, adding 1 bead at a time, until you reach the end of the base and have no more bridges left.

To make this end of the brick stitch identical to the other you will have to add one more bead so pick up 1 bead and pass the needle under the same bridge that you just used and sew back up through the bead as before.

And that is your basic brick stitch!

Now there is the subject of increasing and decreasing with this stitch which you'll need to learn in order to complete a pattern. Depending on the pattern you have two choices on how to start and end your rows. 

If you start as I did at the beginning, by adding 2 beads onto the first bridge this will increase the edge by 1 bead...

If you keep doing this you'll have a diagonal shaped edge which you can see starting in the photo below...

But what if you don't need a diagonal edge? Easy! You pick up your 2 beads as usual but skip the first thread bridge and pass the needle under the second....

...and back up through the second bead...

But ugh, now my beads are wonky! Never mind, there's a trick for this. Sew down through the first bead...

...then up through the second bead...

And ooh look, nice neat beads! I do like it when my beads line up lol, but I guess you could skip this bit if you're not bothered ;)

Now when you get to the end of this row you can either stop at the last thread bridge to decrease the edge or add another bead to it if you need to increase the edge. 

Tips: You can use two or more beads to give your beadwork extra height, remember to pick up double at the start of your row. So if you use two beads per stitch then pick up four to start.

Notice how brick stitch looks exactly like peyote stitch when you rotate it? This means that you can use any peyote pattern for brick stitch (and vice versa), you just need to turn the pattern on it's side!

Here are some examples of finished brick stitch projects, all made by our very own Carol Passaro.

Carol's own design

Adapted from a pattern by Rita Sova

 Holly pattern by Threadabead

 Poppy by Kerrie Slade

Tuesday 1 July 2014

The July Challenge

We have something a little different for you as this month I'm handing over the reins for the July challenge to Catherine Chinoy! Over to you Catherine...

"Welcome to the July challenge, which departs from the usual colour themes, but will hopefully stretch your creativity just as much!

As I am a full time worker in a research laboratory, I love scientifically inspired art pieces. For this month, I would like you to choose a scientific subject, and interpret it either literally or in abstract form, and share your project and your inspiration with us.

I'd also like you to have completely free rein, but if anyone is struggling for ideas, then try typing in 'Scientific Discovery', 'History of Science', 'Famous Scientists', or Scientific Images' into your favourite search engine. Discoveries from any branch of Science, Technology, Mathematics and from any era are valid.

From Atoms to Astrophysics, Microbes to Ecosystems, Past to Present.... can't wait to see where inspiration leads you. "


How do I enter?
Simply email your photograph to Liz at ottbs@live.com
*** Please also include a few sentences describing your project ***

We're happy for you to post your photos on our Facebook group if you are a member but please make sure that you've also emailed your entry. Entries that have not been emailed will not be accepted. By submitting your entry via email you are giving the admin of Operation Tackle That Bead Stash permission to share your email address with the sponsor if you are the lucky winner. We take your privacy very seriously and will not share your email address with anyone else.

What can I make?
Anything as long as it involves beads! Any technique is accepted, from beadweaving and stringing to wire work and bead embroidery. We're sorry but any entries that do not include beads in some form or another will not be accepted. Your entry must be made especially for the challenge, to be fair on everyone who takes part please do not submit something that was made before July 1st 2014.

***Please remember that your entry MUST be a finished piece***

Does it have to be my own design?
No. We're happy for you to make something using a pattern from a book, magazine or tutorial but if you do please let us know the designer's name so that we can give them credit.

When is the deadline for entries?
The deadline is Midnight (in your time zone) on Thursday the 31st of July. The winner will be announced the following day.
Can I enter more than once?
You can make as many pieces as you like using the chosen theme. All entries will be shown here on the blog but you will only be entered into the draw once.

I'm not in the UK, can I still join in?
Yes of course! We welcome submissions from around the world so don't worry if you're not in the UK. Our sponsors have agreed to post prizes overseas so you can still enter and be eligible for the prize!

Any other questions?
If you have any questions at all about the challenge please email Liz at ottbs@live.com

The Prize

This month we have a guest sponsor, Chantal from Snoochy, who's offered this lovely Inspiration Kit which includes: 1 Star & Moon Pendant, 2 x Large Wooden Beads, 8 x Packets of Czech Glass Beads, 1 x Small Packet of Vintage Freshwater Pearls, 2 Metres of Waved Polyester Cord, Silver Jumprings and Silver Eyepins. All beautifully presented in a little black box!

Good luck everyone and happy beading!

The June Challenge - And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the June challenge, we hope you enjoyed playing with last month's colours of blue, green, orange and copper! The winner of the draw is at the bottom of the post but before that, take a look at all the wonderful entries...

Everyone's names went into the list randomizer at Random.org and the lucky beader who's name is at the top is...


Congratulations Jenny, you're the winner of the £15 voucher to spend at RB Beads!

A brand new challenge for July will be posted later on today so don't forget to pop back. Teaser: we have something a little different for you this month ;)