Have you seen these new Tila beads? They're not exactly "new" - they became available here in the U.S. back at the end of August - but I finally had the chance to sit down and play with these little beads.
They're shaped like small tiles. Each bead is square, about 4mm in size, and has two holes. The beads have one side that is slightly raised compared to the other side. I noticed that this can create some lovely textures as you stitch with them, depending on if you stitch them together with the same side up.
When I first got my samples of Tilas, I wasn't too impressed. Honestly, they looked like they wouldn't be fun to use. There's something about the two holes that I found intimidating. So I started working with them by just doing some simple square stitch, which seemed to be the easiest way to work with them. And once I got the hang of thinking about the two holes, I realized that there is a whole world of possibilities with these beads!
The first project that I finished was a bracelet that combined square stitch and right angle weave to make a pretty, lacy pattern. The Fancy Tila Bead Bracelet works up quickly once you get the hang of the thread path, and it feels wonderful against my wrist when I wear it.
From there, I had an idea for a necklace. This piece was a little different than the bracelet, and it involved stitching the Tila beads on an angle. While I haven't finished all the diagrams for that piece yet, it did give me a great idea for a bracelet using the diagonal stitching. The Elegant Tila Bead Bracelet also works up very quickly, and uses some tiny Swarovski crystals to give it a more sophisticated flair.
If you have worked with the new Tila beads by Miyuki, you can tell everyone what you think about them by submitting a review of them. Were you impressed with the beads? Did you find any major flaws with the beads you bought? Will you buy more of them?
Look for more Tila bead projects in the coming weeks! Necklaces, bracelets and earrings - I'm afraid that I'm going to run out of beads before I run out of ideas!