Going Round in Circles with Circular Brick Stitch

Jul 18, 2013

Of all the variations that can be worked with brick stitch, circular brick stitch is one of my favorites for making unique components and even beaded mandalas for things like bracelets, earrings, pendants, and even delicate beaded necklaces. Circular brick stitch, in contrast to tubular brick stitch, implies that the beadwork is created so that it creates a flat circle instead of a three-dimensional hollow tube.

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There are two types of circular brick stitch: concentric and spiral. While most beaders intend to work in concentric circular brick stitch with a distinct start and end to each round, it's easy to make a mistake and end up working in spiral brick stitch! Try working both types, and you'll see the difference and learn how to avoid ending up going round in circles when you're trying to work in circular brick stitch. (Unless that's what you want to do!)

Concentric Circular Brick Stitch

Don't be put off by the difficult-sounding name of concentric circular brick stitch. All it means is that each round in this form of brick stitch has a distinct beginning and end, making it easier to count rounds and create geometric designs.

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On a comfortable length of beading thread, make a ladder of 3 beads. Make sure that your thread creates a bridge on the top of each bead, as pictures.

I like to use 3mm round glass druks as my center beads for this technique, because they create a nice little pattern in the center of my circular brick stitch piece. You can also increase the number of beads and change the type of beads, depending on what you want to do with your finished piece of brick stitch.

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Pick up two seed beads, and add them the way you usually would when working in brick stitch. You'll have to make a few increases as you work around the threads in order to keep the beadwork flat.

At the end of the round, join the first and last beads together.

brick-stitch-projects If you're not using colored Fireline and don't want your threads showing on the outside of your finished piece of concentric circular brick stitch, you can add a round of picots or other embellishments to your piece.

 

Spiral Circular Brick Stitch

In spiral circular brick stitch, you'll work in a continuous spiral, starting from the center and moving out and around. To get started, make a ladder of three beads as your center point. Just like in concentric circular brick stitch, you can change the type and number of beads used for that initial ring, depending on what you want to do with your finished piece of beadwork.

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To begin the brick stitch spiral, add just one bead instead of two like you did for the concentric brick stitch. This will leave a thread showing on the outside edge of that first bead. If you don't like the way the thread looks showing on the outside edge of that first bead, you can use colored beading thread or use a permanent marker to color it so that it blends in.

Continue adding beads using brick stitch along the threads in the usual manner, adding increases here and there in order to keep your beadwork flat.

When you get back to that first bead, add your next bead to the thread showing on the outside of the first bead you added, and keep stitching. It's as easy as that!

brick-stitch-projects As your work spirals around, you can add beads of different sizes and shapes. Working in spiral circular brick stitch is a wonderful way to get started with freeform beadwork, too!

Why not try something new with your seed beads this weekend? When you play with all the wonderful variations of circular brick stitch, the possibilities are endless. Embellish your finished circular brick stitch pieces with fancy edgings, fringe, and surface embellishment. Or, leave them plain and link them together for a fast bracelet. Dangle them from your favorite chain for quick and easy pendants, too!

Learning a new variation of an old favorite beading stitch is one of the things that brings me right back into my "beginner beader's mind", and reminds me of all the possibilities for discovery in this wonderful craft of ours. If you know someone who is ready to start learning about the art of bead-weaving with seed beads, why not get them a copy of Dustin Wedekind's classic, Getting Started With Seed Beads? For the beginner (and even some advanced) beaders, this book is the perfect introduction to the art of working with seed beads in so many different forms.

With enough information about materials to get anyone started, Getting Started With Seed Beads provides a sampling of essential beading stitches like brick stitch, herringbone, peyote stitch, right-angle weave, and square stitch, along with beading techniques like bead embroidery, French beaded flowers, and other bead crafts.

Grab your copy of Getting Started With Seed Beads today during the Interweave Hurt Book Sale and save over 70% off the original price! Or, if you just can't wait to get started and see what's inside, Getting Started With Seed Beads is available to download instantly onto your favorite desktop or laptop computer. You can be reading and beading in just minutes!

Have you tried either form of circular brick stitch? Do you have any tips to share about working in circular brick stitch? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us what you think about circular brick stitch!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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