Tila bead cuffs. The RAW variation uses Miyuki’s unique two-hole beads and seed beads, and can easily be adapted with different patterns and accents.
In order to incorporate the Tilas into the beadwork, you must make a turn by adding accents to either side of the squares. Both 8/o and 11/o beads work well, or you could also use small magatamas. If you don’t mind a little thread showing, skip the accents and do the turn stitch naked. There are lots of possibilities!
This tutorial will also show an example of a striped pattern within the beadwork. The rows of seed bead loops are connected horizontally, and separated by the Tilas, so you can create different looks by switching your bead colors.
In order to make the stitches a little more intuitive, it helps think of how each circle is being built. The RAW units are actually rectangles, with 3 beads in the short sides, and 7 in the long sides. A Tila represents 3 seed beads, so those walls will have 2 seed beads on either side of the Tila to make 7 (2 + 3 +2).
In these directions, I’ll give the actual bead counts for each stitch, as well as a breakdown that separates them by ‘sides’.
Right Angle Weave with Tilas:
1. Use a stop bead to mark a tail on a comfortable length of beading thread. The length of the tail will vary depending on how you want to finish your project. Ten inches is a good length to start with.
2. Pick up 2 seed beads, 1 Tila, and 15 seed beads (2 + 3 + 7 +3). Pass through the first two seed beads, and the Tila bead again.
This first unit makes a rectangle with sides of 3 beads, 7 beads, 3 beads, and a side with 2 seed beads, a Tila, and 2 seed beads. Like any variation of right angle weave, each new cluster will build off this first unit, and will have the same basic structure, with sides being shared.
3. To reach the other set of Tila holes, we need to do a turn by adding the accents. Pick up one 11/o or 8/o sized bead, and pass through the next hole in the Tila bead, on the same side that your thread is exiting. Pull snug.
4. Pick up one accent, and pass through the opposite Tila hole on this side. To step up, pass through the first accent bead added again, and through the Tila.
5. Pick up 7 seed beads, 1 Tila, and 7 seed beads (2 + 3 + 2 + Tila + 2 + 3 + 2). Pass through the previous Tila from the opposite side, chasing your working thread. Note how the first and last 2 seed beads will complete the Tila’s side of the new rectangular unit.
6. Pass through the first 7 beads picked up, and through the Tila. Pull snug to form the next unit.
7. Add two accent beads and step up. This step will always be the same throughout the beadwork, but you can change up the accent beads to create different patterns.
8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add more RAW units, with a step up between each, until your beadwork us just short of the desired width.
9. Pick up 17 seed beads (2 + 3 + 7 + 3 + 2). Pass through the previous Tila again, and pull snug to form the final unit. Pass through the first 15 beads again. Note how the thread exits between a 3 bead side, and a Tila side.
10. To start the next row, pick up 2 seed beads, 1 Tila, and 12 seed beads (2 + Tila + 2 + 3 + 7). Pass through the short side of the previous unit - 3 beads back from where the thread is exiting. Pull snug to form the new unit.
11. Pass through the first 2 seed beads and the Tila. Add 2 accent beads and step up.
12. Pick up 2 seed beads, and pass through the middle 3 beads of the next unit in the previous row.
13. Pick up 2 seed beads, 1 Tila, and 7 seed beads (2 + 3 + 2). Pass through the previous Tila, and continue through the following 7 seed beads (2 + 3 +2), and the Tila just added.
14. Add two accent beads and step up.
15. Repeat steps 12 and 13 for each new unit, with a step up between each. At the end of the row, pick up 2 seed beads, and pass through the 3 side beads of the lower unit.
16. Pick up 12 seed beads, and pass through the previous Tila. Pull snug to form the final unit of the row.
17. Pass through the first 15 seed beads of the unit, and exit from the short side to begin the next row.
That’s it! Simply repeat these steps to add more rows as desired. If you’re already familiar with openwork right angle weave, it’s just a matter or remembering to add accents to the Tilas, and count your additions as separate ‘walls’ or sides. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
For a variation, you can make the first row the long side of your beadwork, and build only a few more rows onto it, so the Tilas and seed bead rows are vertical instead of horizontal.
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