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Square Stitch Beading Diagram Tutorial

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Flat Square Stitch Steps 1 - 4
Steps 1-4 of flat square stitch

Steps 1-4 of flat square stitch.

© Chris Franchetti Michaels

You can use flat square stitch to create drapey beadwoven fabric. With this stitch the beads are aligned in a true grid formation, with straight horizontal rows and vertical columns. You perform square stitch by working back and forth, switching direction with each row.

Tip: Alternatively, you can use a beading loom to stitch square stitch patterns.

Begin by gathering your beadweaving supplies and preparing your needle and thread. When you're ready to start stitching, pick up all of the beads for the first (bottom) horizontal row of beadwork and gently slide them down to your stop bead or Bead Stopper. In the diagrams, the blue beads represent this first row.

Hold the beads between the finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand to keep them in place. Then pick up the first bead for the second row (yellow in the diagrams; Step 1 above).

Note: If you're left-handed, you may want to string and hold the first row of beads from right to left, rather than from left to right as shown in the diagrams.

Stitch the first second-row bead in place (Step 2 above) by passing through the last bead in the first row, pulling the thread taut, and then passing through the first second-row bead again. Hold the new bead between your finger and thumb and give the thread a couple of tugs to cinch up the tension. (For most designs, it's a good idea to do this after every stitch.)

Tip: The second row of flat square stitch is the most challenging. Take your time, and don't become discouraged. The stitching becomes easier as your beadwork grows in length.

Pick up the next bead for the second row (Step 3 above), and then pass through the bead directly below it, going in the opposite direction. Pass forward through the next bead in the second row again (Step 4 above) and pull your thread taut.

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