Fly stitch is a simple stitch that can be used for many things. For instance in Fly stitch is used in the sample above. In this piece of contemporary embroidery I worked fly stitch in stranded cotton floss, perle #8 cotton, perle #12 cotton over layers of chiffon and net to produce a watery effect.
This is a more traditional example of fly stitch. In the foliage of this floral motif fly stitch is stacked to create leaves. You start small and work to a larger fly stitch. In this sample I used a dark green wool, 1 strands of light green cotton floss and a green metallic machine embroidery thread. I threaded a needle with all three threads and proceeded to work fly stitches close together in leaf like shapes.
Here fly stitch is used to represent the leaves of a rose bud. I worked the fly stitch in cotton perle #5 and the bud itself which is is made up of 2 bullion knots is worked in a hand dyed silk that is about the same thickness as cotton perle #8.
On this sample I have used the same technique to secure a strip of lace on a crazy quilt project. This time however the bullion buds are worked in wool and the fly stitch is cotton perle #5.
Not only can you use it in foliage and floral motifs you can repeat the stitch to create geometric patterns. This is fly stitch worked using wool overlapping herringbone also worked in a wool thread.
This is a very versatile stitch. In this case the ties of the fly stitch are not straight stitches but detached chain stitches. Of course this means it is no longer fly stitch but a variation but it is an attractive adaption to explore and play with. This sample secures a braid to a piece os crazy quilting and is worked in hand dyed rayon thread.
How to work Fly Stitch
Bring the thread up through the fabric at the top left of where you want to create the stitch. Hold the thread down with the left thumb and insert the needle to the right and level of where the thread emerged. Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated.
With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric. Secure the ‘V’ in position with a small vertical straight stitch.
This is is another contemporary interpretation of the stitch. On this sample I used knitting yarn, novelty yarn (thats the hairy stuff) , stranded cotton floss, perle #5 cotton, and wool.
In this sample I used fly stitch for the stems to little floral elements in this floral motif used on a patch in a crazy quilted block.
Fly stitch is also know as ‘Y’ stitch, and open loop stitch.
Take a Stitch Tuesday
Fly stitch is week 1 of the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge (TAST). If you need further information on the challenge on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page. There is also a list of the challenge stitches on that page too. If you are participating and have a sample to share in TAST feel free to a comment here too! Let us know how you used the stitch and link to photo if you have it somewhere online. That way we can see!
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