Beading with Brick Stitch by Diane Ftizgerald
ISBN 1-883010-72-1, Perfectbound/Softcover, 127 pages, $21.95 USA plus S&H, Interweave Press, Inc., 201 E. Fourth St, Loveland, CO 80537-5655, call 970-669-7672 or . For autographed copy, Beautiful Beads, 115 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401, include $2.50 USA S&H, check or money order.

Beading with Brick Stitch is a must have beading book.  This is Diane Fitzgerald's fifth book in addition to one she co-authored, all having to do with beads and fiber.  This is Diane's best yet beading book, blending a historical background on brick stitch,  more than one method to work a stitch, projects that open new avenues for design and plenty of examples in full color.  Diane highlights brick stitch in the Victorian era, discusses brick stitch originating from various African nations and Native Americans of the Americas.  Did you know there were brick stitch tassels in the Victorian era and now you can make reproductions?  Absolutely, the how to instructions are right here in Beading with Brick Stitch.  Color photographs of vintage beaded pieces are provided and one includes a close up view of a broken sections that shows the thread path, verifying it is brick stitch.

There is a complete tool list and step by step instructions and illustrations for each brick stitch technique.  As you work through the easy instructions, you quickly find that brick stitch as you may know it is just the beginning and there is much more creativity possible with this stitch.

Decreasing and increasing with brick stitch, working flat and tubular brick stitch is explained in very easy clearly defined steps.  Adding new thread and all facets of finishing is provided.  A variety of brick stitch edges and add on fringe are included.  There are blank grids for 1 bead, 2 bead and 3 bead brick stitch for your own designing.

Projects include diagonal brick stitch with designs applicable for bracelet, necklaces and earrings.  The brick stitch duster earrings of yesterday are worked in multiples with unique motifs between bead netting to make magnificent collar necklaces.  The color combinations used in these examples bring out the beauty of this stitch.  Three dimensional bow pins are glamorous and could easily be adapted to an angel motif.  The Victorian tassels use lots of bugles and seed beads add contrast when combined.  Brick stitch appearing to have sections cross at regular points are easy to make.

The paisley patterns are a treat, beautiful, vintage in appearance and easy to work.  Since the paisley motif has been used since ancient times and has more recently been found as a pattern in our DNA (Chaos theory), it is only natural humankind would love a repeat of this pattern as ornamental wear.  Groups of beaded paisley pieces are combined for a dramatic necklace and pieces can  also be worked into beading, quilts or other artwork.  There are color examples of finished necklaces with paisley motifs and each one has been worked differently.  Telsem necklaces are an adaptation of  silver box type necklaces originating in Ethiopia and offer a completely different look.  There are instructions for an amulet bag with an ancient Egyptian motif.  A color graph is provided in addition to instructions.

Free-form brick stitch provides hints and ideas for experimentation.   Page 97-125 has a gallery of brick stitch jewelry and sculptures which includes Diane Fitzgerald's and other beading artists' work.  Each beadwork is unique and inspirational, a real viewing  pleasure.

This book is jam-packed with enough instructions, projects and techniques to keep you busy a long time.  Every facet of brick stitch is covered with the exception of circular flat brick stitch.   This stitch has been covered in previous publications and perhaps did not work in with the other material covered.

Today, there are hundreds of beading books being published, many just fluff with no real substance.  Beading with Brick Stitch is a book of substance, every page is full of easy to follow instructions, excellent illustrations and beautifully photographed examples.  This is an excellent book for beading instructors and students.  I recommend Beading with Brick Stitch as a timeless book for reference, beading pleasure and a connection with our beading past.