Skip to main content

BAS - Week 50 - Fly Stitch & Fern Stitch

This week I have decided to feature both Fern Stitch and Fly Stitch since they look so similar.  The main difference is in how they are constructed.  The first series of photos below are Fly Stitch.  Many thanks to Betty Pilsbury, whose little `shoulder-shoulder-belly button` mantra helps in making these stitches!


Fly stitch is a close relative of feather stitch.  You start by coming up at the left shoulder and take your needle down at the right shoulder, bringing it up in the center below the two, making sure that the loop of thread is under the point of your needle so that it forms a "V" (think shoulder-shoulder-belly button).

Then you form a vertical straight stitch, taking your needle down directly below and bringing it up in position to start the next stitch.


This second stitch is taken the same way (shoulder-shoulder-belly button). The lower point of the `V`is at the base of the straight stitch portion of the previous fly stitch.



This is how a vertical line of fly stitch appears.

To make a horizontal line of fly stitch, you begin the same way (shoulder-shoulder-belly button).


In this example, the straight stitch at the bottom is very tiny.  Note that you bring your needle up again back at the right shoulder to begin your next stitch.


Shoulder-shoulder-belly button again, making the small straight stitch at the bottom and coming back up at the right shoulder to begin the next stitch.


Here is the completed horizontal line of fly stitch.



Although it is very similar in appearance, the fern stitch is made of three separate straight stitches.  Bring your needle up at the left shoulder and down at the belly button.  Bring the needle back up at the right shoulder.


The first two straight stitches have formed the `V`.  Now bring your needle up directly below where you went down at the point of the `V`to form the third straight stitch.

These three straight stitches have formed the `Y`shape of the fern stitch.



Bring your needle back up at the left shoulder and down at the belly button, then back up at the right shoulder again to form the second fern stitch.

Carry on in the same manner to form a vertical line of fern stitch.  You can see in this picture the green lines of stitching are fly stitch and the varigated row of stitches being worked are fern stitch.  Both of these stitches are good for foliage and I am using them here to form the basis for a floral motif.

So, for this week`s Build a Seam (BAS) Challenge, we`ll look at these two stitches and experiment with either or both of them.  Have fun!



Comments

pam said…
Thanks Kerry for these clear explanations...so easy to understand.
I always confuse the names of these 2 stitches lol!
Its amazing how such a simple stitch can be so effect for foliage.
Hugs Pam
Dianne said…
Thank you, this is a great reference for when I get confused :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Love my chooks!

Chickens have got to be frugal, right?  They love to forage around the yard looking for things to eat and, in fact, only eat half as much feed as when they are penned up in the winter.  I love watching them out there too, interacting in their little social ways.  When they are outside foraging the egg yolks get a lovely bring colour and are so much more appealing than pale store eggs. Unfortunately, we heard from the neighbour last weekend that something got in and killed most of their chickens.  Not too sure what it was although I thought it sounded like a weasel since it didn't take the birds, just killed them and left them.  Of course, that could easily be a loose dog too.  The only thing we have caught sight of is a fox hanging around but I am inclined to disbelieve she is to blame since I think she would have taken the birds with her and wouldn't have killed so many at once.   In the meantime, my chooks have had their freedom curtailed until we determine if it is saf

Win This Quilt!

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is starting a newsletter! Sign up before noon (Eastern) on November 13, 2012 and you’ll be in a drawing to win “Bright Star” featured here. “Bright Star” was made by AAQI supporter Martha Wolfersberger of Frenchtown, MT. The quilt measures 8.25″ x 12″ and it is meticulously machine pieced and quilted. Sign up here: http://www.alzquilts.org/newsletter.html The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative® ( www.AlzQuilts.org) is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer’s. The AAQI has raised more than $773,000 since January 2006. Thank you for making the AAQI possible!

Waste Canvas Tutorial (Cross Stitch)

I was preparing to put a small cross stitch motif on a crazy quilt block when I remembered I had promised to do a tutorial on doing this with waste canvas, so here it is. You need to find a small cross stitch pattern you like that will fit in the space you have and figure out how large a piece of waste canvas you will need. Most cross stitch charts are graphed into 10 X 10 squares like the ones above. Waste canvas looks like needlepoint canvas except a little lighter-weight and is marked off in 5 stitch divisions by the blue threads. It comes in several sizes, 14 count being the most common and what I am using here. The canvas has double threads between each hole but you treat them as one unless you are doing a quarter or three-quarter stitch - they come in handy then as you can put your needle between the double threads to make the half stitch. I allowed myself half an inch on all four sides beyond the outer edge of where the motif will reach. Center the waste canvas on the spot yo