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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!


pam said…
Thanks Kerry for these clear 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 :-)

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