Fly Stitch + fly stitched leaves and feather stitch

How to fly stitch

This week I already posted twice about stitches, so I thought why don't I finish it on a similar note? I consider lazy daisy stitch and chain stitch as relatives, so it was easy to pick a new stitch for today: the most logical candidate would surely be fly stitch! That will make the family complete.


Learning fly stitch will be a piece of cake if you already know how to work lazy daisy. The process is almost identical, with a single exception: the distance between the “base points” of the loop is much much wider.

So, first, you need to bring the needle up, piercing through the fabric, and then bring it down on a certain distance – this will decide the width of your stitch. To anchor the loop we will need to make a running stitch. For that, bring the needle back up to the top of the fabric inside the loop...

How to fly stitch

And bring it back down right outside of the loop.

How to fly stitch

As you see, it is very similar to lazy daisy in technique. The final look can vary pretty much, depending on the distance between the edges of the stitch and the place of the running stitch. 

How to fly stitch

And when you look at a few fly stitches like in the picture above, you understand why it is called like that. It resembles a small flock of birds flying away, doesn't it?

Fly stitch can be detached, but can also be stitched in a line! For this, make a fly stitch and then another one right beneath it, starting the anchoring running stitch in the same point where the previous one ended.

How to fly stitch

To keep the line and its form consistent, make sure that the distance between the edges of fly stitches and the size of the running stitch is always the same.

How to fly stitch


Fly stitch has a relative which can also be stitched in lines and curves: feather stitch!

How to feather stitch

It is very fun and is often used for stitching greenery. The special thing about it is that instead of anchoring loops with running stitches, we actually make a new fly stitch. And when we finish the line, we anchor the last loop with a running stitch, as we would do with a conventional fly stitch.

How to feather stitch


And now, my favorite! Fly stitched leaves. I love this technique for stitching leaves. I already praised it in the post about the anemones wreath, where I used it for embroidering leaves motif so I won't repeat myself. But you should know that it can fit any form of a leaf and also gives a nice “backbone” to it.

How to fly sticthed leaves

You start with a running stitch for a nice sharp tip. And then make a usual fly stitch, keeping the edges rather close and anchoring it with a new running stitch, starting at the end of the previous one. Then you proceed the same way, making fly stitches close to each other to avoid lots of blank space. The last anchoring running stitch can be longer to make a petiole.

How to fly stitched leaves

These are the faces of the fly stitch! It is very friendly, fun and flexible! Suits for stitching linear and curvy patterns, can be used to stitch leaves and even flower petals. And feather stitch is perfect for greenery and all sorts of plant and floral motifs.

With this, the week of stitches is over. Check Stitches Directory to see all the list of stitches covered in the blog so far.  

Next time I hope to show some of my new works. Have a nice stitching weekend!

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