How to join brick stitch pieces
So, now you’ve learned the brick stitch basics, it occurs to me there is one lesson I haven’t covered. How to join brick stitch pieces. Happily, this is very simple. You might even be able to work it out for yourself…
Principles of joining beadwork
Whatever technique you are using, the principles of joining beadwork are exactly the same. Your join should follow the thread path of that technique. So, that way, you maintain the strength and integrity of the stitch. Plus the join shouldn’t be visible.
So, let’s remind ourselves of the principles of brick stitch. Your beads are added by hooking them onto an existing thread in your beadwork. So, each new bead is placed on top of a thread.
Just bear this in mind as we take a look at how to join brick stitch pieces.
How to join brick stitch
So, let’s imagine you have two pieces of brick stitch and you’re ready to join them.
The first thing you need to do is line them up correctly. So, remember that principle? …your beads sit on top of threads. Let’s imagine you are exiting from the end of your last row in the brown section (the red arrow). So, the first bead you need to join is the bead from which you are exiting.
This will simply join to the final thread on your other piece of brick stitch. But make sure you have lined up the pieces so you maintain the pattern with alternate rows indenting.
Then, all you have to do is pass under the end thread on your other piece and back up through the bead you are exiting. Pass down through the next bead in your brick stitch row on the first piece. Then you can join the next bead to the next thread.
As you get to the other end of the row, you are faced with the overhanging bead. So, how do you deal with that? Well, the first option is to ‘reverse engineer’ your basic brick stitch.
So, think how you normally start a row by picking up 2 beads. Well, to reverse-engineer this thread path, you would pass out of bead 7 (penultimate bead), hook under your final thread and pass up through bead 8 (last bead).
As you learn how to join brick stitch pieces, you will also learn that there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. So, I have a couple of other possible options for dealing with that overhanging bead at the end of your row.
First, you can just ignore it. So, pass down through bead 7, hook under the thread and then go back up through bead 7. The final bead isn’t going to move anywhere, so this is fine.
Second, you can treat that last bead as you would an increase bead. So, after you have anchored bead 7, you could then continue and anchor that final bead to the same end thread that you used for bead 7.
All of these options are valid. And, if you are joining pieces of brick stitch that aren’t quite the same shape, you might need to think about some of these options.
The most important thing is really to line your two pieces up correctly when you start. So, if you get that right, the rest will follow on naturally.
How to join brick stitch the ‘other way’
What if you want to join the ‘other’ edges of your brick stitch? So, not the top and bottom, but the sides (looking at the diagrams).
Well, then, you would use the Peyote zipping up method. If you’re not familiar with that, then just use that link to get a tutorial on this technique.
Briefly, if you slot the two sides together, they should sit like the teeth of a zipper. So, the end bead on one piece will slot into the indent (gap) on the end of the other piece. You can then just join them by stitching side to side, back and forth to pull the beads together.
So, if you’ve been puzzling over how to join brick stitch pieces together, I hope that has answered your question. Please share this with your beading friends to help them out too!
If you want some brick stitch patterns and projects to try, then have a browse through this selection. You will find projects for all levels and covering all the brick stitch techniques.
You can also find more bite-size brick stitch lessons here. So, they should cover everything you need to know about this bead technique!