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Cheyenne Brick Stitch
This stitch is variously called Cheyenne, Brick, Cheyenne-Brick, and Comanche-Brick. It looks like a section of interlocked brick wall. It's a favorite for earrings, as it's practically made for fringe and is fast.

  1. Beading Needle
  2. Nymo™ Beading Thread, size "A"
  3. Size 11 Seed Beads
  4. SuperGlue (optional)
In the diagrams below, I have spaced the beads so that you may see the thread path. Your beads should touch, but don't pull too tightly or the finished piece will curl in on itself. Ouch.
Thread about 18 inches of Nymo on your needle, then pick up a bead, slide it down near the end of your thread, and tie a knot around it. This is called an "anchor bead," and will keep the beads from sliding off your thread and onto the floor. Leave about a 4 inch tail behind this bead, AND leave yourself about 6 inches of thread above it. Working the base row of this stitch can take up more thread than you expect, and you could quickly reach the end before having completed the row!

Now, pick up 7 beads. Bring your needle back
around to the second-from-last bead and go back though it.
When you pull the thread tight, the beads
will stack upon themselves.

Continue this step for each bead on the thread:
If you want to use bugle beads for the first row (which is most common), here's how it will look at this point. But, from here on, you should use seeds until you understand the stitch. Brick stitch can be done using all bugles, but it's easier if you've done the stitch a couple of times and gotten a feel for it. (Remember, your beads should touch.)
When you are finished, you should have a linked chain of 7 beads which we will call the Chain Row. Turn the work so that the thread is coming out of the top of the last bead, and the tail is coming out of the bottom. String on 2 beads to begin row two. When working this stitch, remember that each row begins with two beads, then proceeds with one bead at a time. Also, each row will decrease by one bead as you work up.
Okay, this is the tricky part: holding the work taut (which isn't quite as easy as it sounds--you'll see), insert the needle under the top thread only of the second chain bead. Don't go through any beads; just work with the thread at this point. TIP: if the thread begins to slip and your beads begin to separate, grasp the tail at the point it exits the last bead, and simultaneously pull on the needle thread. This pulls the chain back tight. You may have to do this more than once. I often wind the tail around my left index finger (holding the needle in my right hand) to keep it taut as I work on the second row.

Now, following the diagram, insert the needle back through that second upper bead and tighten. As you can see, you are simply looping the needle thread around that upper chain thread to secure the bead to it.

Pick up a single bead this time and repeat the step above. Continue one bead at a time until you reach the end of the row.
When you finish the row, the needle thread will be at the opposite end from the tail thread. Just flip the work around, pick up 2 beads to begin the row, and continue.
Each row decreases by one bead. Thus, row 2 will have 6 beads; row 3 will have 5, and so on, making a triangle. The number of beads in your chain, therefore, will determine not only how wide the piece is, but how tall. This is what you should now have:
If you are making earrings, you're going to need to make a loop of beads to hang the earring from the french wire. Turn the earring so the thread is coming out of the left-hand top bead. Thread on an even number of beads--6 is usually good, but add a couple more if you prefer. Then go back through only the first bead of those 6 that you picked up, and insert the needle into the right-hand top bead. This will give you one bead to top off the triangle, and 5 beads in a loop. Continue threading the needle along the outside row of beads until you come back out the bottom of the last bead of the chain row.
All you need to do at this point is add fringe. Basically, you string on a few beads, bugles, crystals, whatever, reinsert the needle in the second-to-last bead on the fringe, and go back up through the fringe and back into the chain-row bead you're working under. Then go into the next chain-row bead, string some more beads, come back up, go over, etc. The illustration should clarify.
To finish: Locate the tail thread. If it is now on the same side as where you finished your fringe, tie the tail thread and needle thread together with a couple or three knots. Insert the needle into the last chain bead and draw the thread up to the top of the triangle. Snip it off flush. Down at the fringe, where your knot is, add a tiny drop of SuperGlue with the point of a straight pin, then trim off the tail thread.

If the tail thread is on the opposite side, the side where you began the fringe, thread the needle back up and then down, through the triangle, to get it over to the tail. Then follow the steps as given above. Your earring is complete.

If you have a question, e-mail me using the address (reproduced in text format only) found on this site's home page: HOME. I'll get back to you as quickly as I can.

The above images were created by myself using Get Paint Shop Pro! and instructions by Emily Hackbarth, former beadwork guide at About.Com. My gracious thanks, Em. We miss you.

ALL GRAPHICS are COPYRIGHT 1998, Deborah Walker. These images may be downloaded to your hard drive for instructional purposes, but MAY NOT be used on other web pages, nor may they be copied in any manner or distributed in classes without prior permission and payment of a fee to the author.