Ladder stitch is one of the many off-loom beadweaving stitches that you can adapt to use with Tila beads. In this beginning level project, we stitch a single row of Tilas with bright seed bead edging.
Please click on the images in this tutorial to see them full-size.
1. Gather Your Materials
The following beads are enough to stitch a bracelet band that is about seven inches long, not including the clasp:
- 35 5mm Tila beads in ivory pearl ceylon (A)
- 75 size 11/0 Miyuki round seed beads in transparent luster orange; I.D. number 11-0306 (B)
- 140 size 11/0 Miyuki rounds in color-lined light topaz/green; 11-0757B (C)
- 170 size 15/0 round Miyukis in color-lined peach; 15-0785 (D)
Tip: The bold capital numbers above are bead pattern I.D. numbers. They're used throughout this tutorial to identify particular beads.
You'll also need the following tools and supplies:
- A size 10 English beading needle (or similar beading needle of your choice)
- Size D nylon beading thread in cream (I used Nymo)
- Beading scissors
- Thread conditioner or beeswax
- A 12mm Vintaj dark brass lobster clasp
- Two 5mm Vintaj brass jump rings
- A 9mm Vintaj brass figure eight connector
- Two pairs of chain nose pliers (or one pair of chain nose and one pair of flat nose pliers)
- Optional supplies of your choice, such as a bead dish, beading mat, or thread burner
2. Prepare Your Needle and Thread
3. Stitch the First Tila Bead
Pick up 1A (a Tila bead) and slide it down to about ten inches from the end of the thread. (We'll use those ten inches later for an end loop.) Then pick up 1C, 1B, and 1C. Pass down through the second hole in A, and pull the thread taut.
Pick up another set of 1C, 1B, and 1C, and pass up through the first hole in the A bead and the first C that you initially picked up. Hold the Tila between your fingers, and pull the thread taut again.
4. Connect the Second Tila Bead
Reposition the needle by passing through the next B and C and down through the A again. Pick up 1D, 1A, and 1D. Pass down through the first A again, then through the first D, and up through the second A again. Pull the thread taut.
5. Add the Seed Bead Edging to the Second Tila
Pick up 1C, 1B, 1C, and pass down through the second hole in the second A. Pull the thread taut, and then pick up another set of 1C, 1B, and 1C.
Pass up through the first hole in the second A, then through the previous set of 1C, 1B, and 1C, and finally down through the second hole in the second A. Pull the thread taut again.
6. Continue Stitching Modified Ladder Stitch
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to continue this modified ladder stitch until you reach your desired length of bracelet band. This should be the total length of the bracelet less about 1.5 inches to accommodate the end loops and clasp.
If you arrive at a point where you have only six-to-eight inches of thread left to work with, stop and add a new thread.
7. Add the End Loops
Begin the first end loop by picking up 3D, 1B, and 7D. Slide them down against the beadwork, and then pass back through the 1B. Hold the loop in your fingers while you pull the thread to cinch up the tension.
Pick up another 3D, and pass through the last hole in the last A. Pull the thread taut. For extra security, pass through the entire end loop again, following the path of the initial thread.
Weave-in this end of the thread, navigating through the beadwork and following the path of existing thread. Make two or three half-hitch knots along the way. When the thread is securely woven-in, trim it close to the beadwork.
Thread the needle on the long thread tail at the other end of the bracelet band. Stitch the second loop. Weave-in and end that thread.