Friday, September 18, 2009

Twisted Ribbon Stitch

Twisted Ribbon Stitch

Today I actually feel intelligent enough to take a small excerpt from the new book. I'm quite pleased with this stitch and hope anybody who's interested will be able to follow this slightly abbreviated description.

The twisted ribbon stitch, worked with joined spikes, takes advantage of the fact that they are joined at the top to force the line of beads from vertical to flat and back to vertical. You can do it with seed beads only, but it’s absolutely eye-popping worked with bugles, so that’s how I’m going to show it.

First stitch: bring needle up at A, thread (sb, bb, sb) and bring needle down at B. Because this stitch strains the thread against the bead edges at top and bottom, it’s important to buffer your bugle beads with at least one seed bead at each end.

(Huh? That’s not a spike. It’s lying down flat against the fabric. Has she gone out of her mind or what?
Just wait for the next few stitches, ok?)

Bring your needle and thread around under the fabric and come up again at A. Go back through the first (sb, bb, sb) but this time do not bring the needle down through the fabric. Instead, string on another (sb, bb, sb).

Now bring your needle down at C, take a tiny stitch, and bring needle and thread up just beside C.

I think you can see where we’re going here. You keep making those joined spike stitches, without going back through the fabric at the top, and as the line of spikes gets longer it will gradually become more and more free of the fabric until eventually the spikes can stand upright. It’ll probably take about 10 to 15 spikes to reach this point. When you do, if you push the last spike upright with your thumb, you’ll see the line of spikes making a beautiful curve.

Obviously, once you let go of the last spike, the beads will just flop down on the fabric and your beautiful 3-dimensional curve will be lost. So what you want to do now is to anchor it somehow, and you do that by working another 10-15 spikes and stitching through the last one to anchor it to the fabric in the opposite direction. Now you’ve made one “twist” of the “ribbon.”

If you really want to get fancy, you could try changing colors at the midpoint of each twist, implying that you’re twisting a ribbon with different colors on each side.


  1. This is a must try for me!!! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to try and print out but can't work on until Sunday. I'll let you know my progress! Thanks again!!

  2. this is briliant!!!!!!!! eveb as muddled as i am, i can follow these i cann see a small bag purple dupion silk, lime green machine stities un the background gold and lilac and abalone beads in my furture



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