Right-angle weave is a popular stitch to embellish with accent beads. These beads are not part of the structure of the right-angle weave beadwork; instead, they simply add texture, height, and complexity to a design. Here's a look at the basic method for embellishing right-angle weave.
1. Stitch the Right-Angle Weave Base
Begin by stitching a base row or band of flat right-angle weave. The number of beads that you stitch into each right-angle weave unit will affect the size and shape of beads you can use for the embellishments: larger units can accommodate larger embellishment beads.
In the diagram on the left (click the image for a larger view), each unit contains eight beads (two beads on each side).
2. Position the Needle for the First Embellishment Bead
When you complete your base row or band of right-angle weave, you need to turn around and begin adding embellishments in the opposite direction. Each embellishment bead will be stitched diagonally within a unit.
In the diagram on the left, the thread exits the upper left corner of the upper left right-angle weave unit. The purple line represents the thread path you should use to position the thread for the first embellishment bead.
3. Stitch the First Embellishment Bead
Pick up the first embellishment bead (shown in light purple in the diagram), and then pass down through the next side of the right-angle weave unit.
4. Stitch the Second Embellishment Bead
Zig-zag through the beadwork, taking the same general path, to stitch the second embellishment bead.
Notice that both beads are stitched in the same direction, with their holes running at the same diagonal.
5. Complete the Row and Weave Into the Next Row
When you move to the next row of right-angle weave, weave through the first unit to position your thread so that the next embellishment bead will lie at the same diagonal as your other embellishment beads.
In the example on the left, this means passing through the unit (following the path of the original thread, as always), and bringing the needle out at the upper right corner of the unit.
6. Complete Another Row of Embellishments
Continue adding embellishment beads to complete the row, and then weave down into the first unit of the next row.
In the diagram, a simple "Z" shaped zig-zag was enough to properly position the needle.
7. Continue Adding Beads to Cover Your Right-Angle Weave Beadwork
Keep stitching-on embellishment beads, weaving through the beadwork as necessary to position your needle.
Unless project instructions specify otherwise, all of the embellishment beads should lie at the same diagonal. This can take some planning when you reach the end of a row and need to begin a new one. Notice that in the diagram, the thread takes a simple triangular path through the first unit in the last (bottom) row.
Tip: As always with right-angle weave, try to avoid passing the needle horizontally or vertically between units. By using a zig-zag thread path, you more closely follow the path of the original thread and minimize the amount of thread that shows between beads.