Welcome back to Bead Weaving 101. For the last few weeks, we have been exploring RAW (Right Angle Weave) techniques and variations of this highly versatile stitch.

In the last post, we began our exploration into one of the three dimensional forms of the stitch, CRAW or Cubic Right Angle Weave

In that lesson, we learned all about the structure and thread path of making a cube. It is really important that we understand the both of these elements of CRAW before moving into creating complex pieces of bead work using this technique. 

If you need a refresher on RAW or CRAW  basics, head back to those tutorials and brush up before coming back here. 

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Flat Surface

There are two methods, you can use, to create CRAW bead work. In the first, we begin with a piece of flat RAW bead work and build it up into three dimensions. The second, begins with a base Cube and is built, cube by cube.  

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Cube by Cube

In this lesson, we begin with Method 1. We will use a flat rectangle of RAW units and build those up into a three dimensional shape of bead work. 

Getting Started

Materials

  • 2 Colors of 3 mm bugle beads
  • 3-4 ft. Beading thread
  • Size 10 beading needle or smaller

I will begin the written lesson with a base of RAW bead work that is 3 units long and 2 units wide. I used all Color A beads for the  base. 

In the video, the base is 2 x 2 units, all in the same color.

You can use any size base you prefer, but in order to understand how to do the stitch in multiple rows, I suggest at least a 2 x 2 square.

This tutorial is based on the assumption that you already understand the concepts of reinforcing the units and that you understand the figure 8 thread path of all RAW variations. If you need help creating your base, refer back to RAW with Multiple Rows.

I will be using the Color B beads on the sides of of the unit walls. 

Cube 1

Remembering back to our lesson on cubes, we will be building four walls and one top side to all of our base units. 

You can begin the first wall on any of the 4 sides of the last base unit. I like to start on the outer edge. 

First Wall


Pick up a Color B- Color A – Color B.
Pass back through the base bead to form the first wall. Reinforce and move into the next bead of the same base unit.

My working thread is exiting the right side of the next base bead.

Second Wall

I pick up Color B and Color A.
I sew down the Color B bead on the right side of the previous wall and sew back through the bead on the base.
Reinforce and move into the next base bead.

Third Wall

I pick up Color B and Color A.
I sew down the Color B bead on the right side of the previous wall and sew back through the bead on the base.
Reinforce and move into the next base bead.

Fourth Wall

On the fourth wall, we already have three of the beads in place. Get into position by sewing up through the side of the wall where your working thread is exiting the base bead.

Pick up a Color A bead and sew down the bead on the other side of the wall plus the bead on the base. Reinforce the unit. 

Sew back up the side bead you started from. 

Sew through all four Color A beads at the top of the cube plus one, to close the bead work. 

To begin the next cube sew down to the base row, following the proper thread path for RAW. 

The 2nd and 3rd Cubes

Following the existing thread paths, move through to outer bead on the next base unit.

Notice that we already have one wall in place, that is shared from the previous cube. 

We also have two beads in place for the next wall of the new cube. 

Second Wall

Pick up Color B and Color A.
Sew down through the shared side bead and back through the base bead. 
Reinforce the wall and move to next bead of the RAW base unit.

Third Wall

Note the position of the working thread, next to my right thumb.

Pick up Color B and Color A.
Sew down through the shared side bead of the previous wall and back through the base bead. 
Reinforce the wall and move to last bead of the RAW base unit.

Fourth Wall

On the fourth wall, we already have three of the beads in place. Get into position by sewing up through the side of the wall where your working thread is exiting the base bead.

Pick up a Color A bead and sew down the bead on the other side of the wall plus the bead on the base. Reinforce the unit. 

Sew back up the side bead you started from. 

Sew through all four Color A beads at the top of the cube plus one, to close the bead work. 

Following the thread path, move into the bead on the last base unit of this row. 

Make the third cube the same as the second cube.

The Second Row

Cube 4

The first cube of the base row, will be made the same as the last two cubes.

We will already have one wall in place. Only this time it will be the back wall of the cube as opposed to one on the side.

I prefer to start at the outer edge of the next row. 

I sew through the base unit beads and up into the shared side bead from row 1.

The first cube in Row 2 is stitched using the same instructions for the second and third cube above. Adding the three additional walls and sewing the top beads together, plus one to close the bead work. 

Cubes 5 and 6

We now have two wall in place at the beginning of the last two cubes. 

The third wall already has two beads in place and the fourth wall has three beads in place. 

Stitch these using the same instructions for the third and fourth walls above. 

Remember to follow the figure eight thread path and to sew the top beads together at the end, plus one to close the cube each time.

Now let’s take a look at this technique on video. 

As I mentioned earlier, there are two methods we can utilize when creating dimensional bead work using Cubic Right Angle Weave. 

In the next post, we will go over how to create the same bead work using the second method.

We will begin with a base cube and build the bead work in length and width, one cube at a time. 

Stay tuned for more Bead Weaving 101.

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