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Fanfare for the common niblet

Combine Czech niblet beads with Japanese triangles and cylinders for a casual look. A rectangular toggle of cubes creates a noteworthy closure.

Embellish flat medallions with three-dimensional cubes


necklace 20 in. (51 cm)

  • 136 5 x 3.5 mm Czech niblets
  • 8 g 8/0 triangle beads
  • 7 g 10/0 Japanese cylinder beads
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
Figure 1
Figure 2


1. On 3 yd. (2.7 m) of Fireline, pick up four 10/0 cylinder beads, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. Sew through the cylinders again to form a ring, and continue through the first three cylinders (FIGURE 1, a–b).

2. Pick up a niblet and four cylinders, and sew through the first cylinder in the group again (FIGURE 2, a–b). Snug up the cylinders to the niblet. Pick up a niblet, a cylinder, a niblet, and four cylinders. Sew through the first cylinder in the group again (b–c). Pick up a niblet, and sew through the cylinder your thread exited at the start of this step (c–d). Sew through the next niblet, the base cylinder of the next cylinder group, the following niblet, and the single cylinder (d–e). Snug up the beads.


3. Pick up three cylinders, and sew through the cylinder your thread exited at the start of this step (e–f). Continue through the next two cylinders (f–g). Snug up the cylinders to the niblets.


4. Working in modified right-angle weave, repeat steps 2 and 3 twice.


Photo A

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 using 8/0 triangle beads instead of niblets (PHOTO A).


6. Repeat steps 2 and 3, stitching alternating clusters of niblets or triangles until there are 15 triangle units.


7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 three times using niblets. Do not secure or trim the working thread or tail.



Figure 3
8. On 3 yd. (2.7 m) of Fireline, attach a stop bead, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, and sew through the base cylinder at one end of the band. Sew through the beadwork as shown (FIGURE 3, a–b). 
Figure 4

9. Pick up a niblet and four cylinders, and sew through the first cylinder in the group again (FIGURE 4, a–b). Pick up a niblet, and sew through the lower three cylinders of the next cylinder group (b–c).


10. Repeat step 9, but at the end of the step sew through only the lower two cylinders (c–d).


11. Sew through the beadwork as shown (d–e)


12. Repeat steps 9–11 for the length of the necklace, stopping at the last triangle unit.


13. Sew through the last triangle unit, and repeat steps 9–11 on the other edge. Sew through the beadwork, and exit a triangle in the first triangle unit.

Photo B
Photo C

14. Working in cubic right-angle weave with triangle beads, make a cube using the triangle unit as a base (PHOTO B).


15. Exiting a top triangle in the cube, pick up a cylinder, and sew through the next triangle. Repeat three times to position cylinders at the four top corners of the cube (PHOTO C). Sew through the beadwork to the next triangle unit.


16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 for the length of the band, ending and adding thread as needed.

Photo D
Photo E

Toggle and loop
1. On 1½ yd. (1.4 m) of Fireline, pick up four triangles, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Working in cubic right-angle weave, make a toggle bar one cube high, two cubes wide, and three cubes long. Position cylinders in the spaces between the triangles (PHOTO D). Secure the thread in the beadwork with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.


2. Using the 6-in. (15 cm) tail from “Necklace” step 8, exit the end cylinder. Pick up two triangles, sew through the center triangle of the toggle bar, pick up two more triangles, and sew through the end cylinder again (PHOTO E). Retrace the thread path two or three times, secure the thread, and trim.

Photo F
Photo G

3. Using the 12-in. (30 cm) tail from “Necklace” step 1, exit the end cylinder, and pick up enough cylinders to fit around the toggle bar (approximately 27). Sew through the end cylinder again (PHOTO F). Embellish the loop with two rows of modified peyote stitch, sewing through the same beads for each round (PHOTO G). Retrace the thread path through the loop, secure the thread, and trim.


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