It's just brick stitch, but by using some larger beads in the base row, and then following the line around those beads in the next rows, you end up with a nice curved or scalloped shape design. It can be used a variety of ways to make shaped beadwork. I have a bunch of examples I worked on this summer.
This beaded hoop is one of my starting points - made with 40 mm hoop findings, size 11 round beads and 4-5 mm crystal rondelles.
This is not my design, but my version of some hoops by Miguel Ases that I admired in the Sundance catalog. It's a style I always wanted to make and thought they would be sooo pretty. But, for me, there's a bit of a flaw with the design.
When I tried on the earrings and they are facing directly front, they look like the picture above - which is not what I intended. Of course, you would usually see some of the side design, but I really wanted the scalloped edge to be showing all the time. I don't like the look of the thread edge of the beadwork front and center.
So, I decided to try the same design on an oval frame - which gives me more control over how the earring looks from the front. Using an oval frame, the earrings won't be viewed from the side, so it won't be an issue like it is with the hoops
This is the first round of brick stitch on an 18 x 25 mm oval Quick Link by Beadalon. I used size 11 seed beads and 3 mm crystals for this earring.
The second round of brick stitch is also size 11 and the final row of brick stitch uses size 15 beads. Leaving the extra space at the top of the oval gave me a little wiggle room to know that all of the beads would fit.
I'm pretty happy with the earrings - more so than the hoop design. I'll definitely try something like these again. Actually- I already have but I guess I'm saving it for another post since I don't have a picture ready.
If you're just getting started or not familiar with brick stitch, I have a free brick stitch tutorial from when I first started.
Here is another similar design, made around a center bead instead of inside a frame. But it is still brick stitch.
The first round of brick stitch is crystal beads (4 mm) separated by two size 11 seed beads. A second round of size 11 beads curve around the crystal beads with a single size 11 bead that spaces out the scallop curves.
I found that the number of beads between the crystals on the first row should be an even number.
That way when you work the second row of brick stitch that curves around the top of the crystals, you can have a bead centered on the two beads from the first row. Not a hard and fast rule - just a guideline to think about - especially since I have examples coming up where there is only a single spacer bead between the crystals on the first brick stitch row.
In this case, I ended up with more of a quatrefoil shape.
I'm not wild about my colors here, but I did try the same design with several different size beads.
I love these next little guys - 5 mm center crystal with 3 mm crystals on the outside and size 11 beads.
I still haven't finished these yet - but I see a nice petite pair of earrings from the two components on the right and possibly the start of a station necklace (bead components separated by chain) or some simple pendants.
A few more variations. These use real AAA white pearls and silver accent beads and earwires. They are the same basic design as the little purple diamonds, just a larger center bead.
I like to compare them to the next picture which is the same design and colors but with a black glass pearl center and gold accents.
I had a vote on my instagram page and most people liked the white pearl centers better. I like them both.
One more variation, the blue ones on the right have a picot edge . I wanted this pair to be the kind of earrings that you would wear wtih blue jeans, but they feel a little frilly.
I changed the earwires back to simple fishhook earwires instead of the lever backs after this picture - and it looks better.
And since I was playing with shapes, I also did a triangle.
My color choices on this could use a little work - and I was experimenting with some miscellaneous findings. I feel like this could work out if the beadwork is a little larger to balance out the size of the finding and add some dangles.
Well - I think that begins getting me caught up. I tend to do a lot of beadwork when I travel (easy to bring on the plane) so there's more beadwork than wire work for now - but I have plans to do more wire wrapping this month.
I'd love it if you would follow me on social media. Lots more posts are coming - since I expect I will have more time to play with my beads soon.
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