01 of 06
Circular Brick Stitch Around A Top Drilled Drop Bead
Circular brick stitch is one of my all time favorite stitches. Once you have the basic circular brick stitch technique down, it is fun to try using the stitch around other beads. The technique is the same as long the bead is center drilled. This project is a slight variation because it uses a top drilled drop bead.
Because the bead hole is across the top tip of the drop, it is more challenging to get the bead thread to stay on the sides of the bead.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Surround the Top of the Bead with Thread
Beading around a top drilled bead works best with a teardrop bead that has a wide flat edge or that is a round drop (i.e. even all the way around so the thread can't slip off the edges). The link above is to the bead that I am using.
Start by making a loop of thread around the tip of the bead. Leave at least a 6 inch tail.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Loop the Thread Around the Bottom of the Bead
Repeat the process on the bottom of the bead. I always like to have a two thread wide base since it make the thread less likely to pull out of place while I am stitching, so I go around the top and base a second time.
I have also found through trial and error that the thread base stays tighter if you go around the top (smaller side) of the bead first. I guess it is because this makes a tighter loop that is less likely to loosen while you are stitching.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Stitch the First Round of Brick Stitch Around the Bottom of the Teardrop
Begin stitching around the bead with brick stitch. I am using pretty large 4mm cube beads. I like to experiment with different shapes. The larger beads are harder to get to fit and sit flat against the center bead though - so I would not use anything larger than 4mm.
I find it easiest to do the base of the drop bead first because the beads are less likely to slide on the top of the teardrop shape. Unlike the round bead, when you are using a teardrop, the thread is very likely to slide off the side of the bead. You just need to do your best to keep it in place. After the first round is in place, everything is easy.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Starting the Second Round of Brick Stitch Around a Teardrop Bead
Once the first round is complete, beading subsquent rounds is just like any other circular brick stitch project. Add two beads for the first stitch and go through the thread bridge from the first row. Continue the rest of the round by adding one bead at a time. When in doubt about whether or not there is room for one more bead - remember less is better (or be prepared to try it and take it out).
In my case, I am adding a picot edge on the second round, so there is an extra 11/0 bead that forms the decorative edge on each stitch.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Completing your Brick Stitch Pendant
When you are using a large center bead like in this project, it is best to use larger beads around the outside too. The second round of beads on my pendant are 8/0 round beads and 11/0 round beads on the picot edge. One unusual trait of this technique around a top drilled bead is that the beading is not attached on the bottom. Using a stiff thread like FireLine for this project helps keep the beadwork from being floppy and moving out of place from around the bead. Another option is to use a little crazy glue to attach the base threads to the bead when you are done to keep them from moving out of place.
If you are wondering why I am so fascinating with brick stitch, it is because of all of the lovely designs that can be made with it. Check out my pinterest board of Miguel Ases jewelry designs that are mostly made with brick stitch for some ideas.