Feather Stitch

Feather stitch sampleFeather stitch is a wonderfully versatile, decorative, surface embroidery stitch that is also known as single coral stitch and briar stitch. Feather stitch is found extensively on traditional English smocks, Dorset embroidery and on crazy quilts.

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 1The traditional uses of feather stitch are easily given a contemporary twist particularly if you use modern variegated threads or add a bead or two. In this sample I added cast-on stitch to the arms of feather stitch

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 2Keep the center of the stitch on the curved line you want to follow and you will find that Feather stitch will sit on a  curve easily. This ability to hold a curve means the stitch ideal to use in any motif that is organic in feel, such as, floral sprays, vines and twisting twiggy like stems. It also looks great in underwater scenes as the flowing lines are very suitable to represent corals and seaweed.

Feather stitch sample underwater marine sceneFeather stitch can vary greatly depending on the width of space between the two tops of Y, angle of your needle, spacing changes in the the length of stitches and regularity of stitches.

Feather stitch sample 1It really is one of those stitches you can experiment with for years and still discover new ways of using it. As you can see in the sample above I have worked 3 arms to one side and 3 to the other creating a totally different look to the stitch.

Feather stitch sample 3

In the top part of this sample ( above) I added a detached chain stitch to the ends of the arms and then worked a second row of the pattern to create a fill or complex border. You can also work it row against row to create wonderful patterns and designs.

Feather stitch sample 2

Instructions on how to work feather stitch 

When working this stitch imagine or mark with a dissolvable pen 4 parallel lines.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 1Bring 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 a 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 to make the stitch.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 2Insert the needle to the left and a 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 to make the next stitch.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 3Work these movements alternatively down the line.

Step by step instructions for feather stitch 4Hopefully there will not be too many tangles!

Feather stitch sample on crazy quilting 3


Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

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153 Responses to Feather Stitch

  1. Pingback: ,,,TAST 2012 #3: Feather Stitch - Studio Paars: embroidery feather stitch

  2. Pingback: ,,,TAST 2012 #3: Feather Stitch - Studio Paars: borduren feather stitch

  3. Laura says:

    Feather stitch for this week’s TAST was a welcome creative break! This stitch is one of my favorites and just in time to start trying out new designs for early spring flowers. https://chasehandcraft.com/2018/02/19/feather-stitch-tast-7/

  4. Barbara says:

    Sharon, as always your work is so exquisitely inspiring!! The piece with the red and hold cloth is so beautiful that I unmediated captured it for my next screen wallpaper as it reminds me of the sea!!

  5. My challenge is stitching on paper.
    I am posting once a month. The first 7 stitches are at this post.
    Sandy, UK

  6. Here is my blog post for TAST Feather stitch. http://sandysnowden.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/take-stitch-tuesday-tast.html
    It includes the Fly and Buttonhole, too, as I added to my ‘Slow Cloth’ for these stitches while I got a feel for timing and what to use the stitches on.
    Sandy in the UK

  7. http://love2quilt22002.blogspot.com/ says:

    Fosted the detached chain, chain stitch, feather stitch and fly stitch

  8. I have finished my little Feather Stitch piece.

    This is such fun (even if I am running late!)

  9. veronique says:

    j'ai fait le point de la semaine 3 que j'ai mis sur mon blog :lebonheurdebroderchezverobrode.over-blog.com merci

  10. Annette G says:

    a bit late, but here are my week 2 and week 3 samples


  11. Tenar says:

    I finally uploaded my feather stitch sample, along with some more buttonhole stitch.


  12. Ingrid says:

    http://nipetnapet.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-week-3.html Loved the Feather Stitch, I found it so versatile and fun!

  13. Diane says:

    A fellow stitcher let me know that the link to my blog didn't work. Sure enough, she was right. Here is the correct link to my stitching; http://dianem.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/tast-2012-feather-stitch/

  14. Julia says:

    Checking in a little late this week! My feather stitches rounded out my first fabric postcard very nicely:


    With so many beautiful works this week, I'm inspired even more for next week!

  15. Yuma Tatter says:

    Just a day late 😉
    I've finished my sampler stitching and added some feather stitching to my January CQJP block. For a look, here's the link
    Sharon, I really like the featherstitch, and I'm especially enjoying seeing all the variations for the different stitches.

  16. FlowerLady says:

    I'm late once again, but here is my simple rendition of the feather stitch.


  17. I showed already older work, but here is my new feather stitch embroidery http://borduurblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/feather-stitch-taksteek.html .

  18. Sharon Griffith says:

    I did manage to get a pic of my Feather stitch for week 3. If you would like to take a peek please go here…Thanks Sharon! I am not finished this little block I am doing and was trying to get it done before I posted a pic but at least I wanted to post a pic of the basic stitch before our next one starts…. http://sharon-dancingthruthreads.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-feather-stitch.html

  19. TeriK says:

    Better late than never right? I finally took a picture of my experimentation on feather stitch. It is a good stitch and so much more could be done with it. I was glad to learn this stitch, which is new to me!

  20. Ulla-Britt says:

    I am sorry that there was no time for stitching this week, but I will show details from an apron hemmed with feater stitch http://ullabritt.wordpress.com/tast-2012/3-feather-stitch/

  21. hopscotch says:

    Please forgive me if I have already done this but I have now posted to my blog with week 2 and 3
    Also just to say a huge thank you to Sharon for all the hard work she puts into this and the pleasure viewing all the wonderful creations give me.

  22. Karrin Hurd says:

    The feather stitch, my absolute favorite. I have to stop myself from letting it control me and try to do other stitches! My feather stitch examples are blogged here: http://karrinscrazyworld.blogspot.com/

  23. Marie-Claude says:

    Late because a travel …. just in border line I send my TAST 3 in my blog

    Thank you

  24. Diane says:

    Just under the wire for this week's stitch challenge. You can see what I did and why I dwaddled over it on my blog http://dianem.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/tast-2012-feather-stitch/

  25. Just posted my buttonhole and feather stitch sample. I'm enjoying revisiting these stitches and seeing some "old friends" on here!

  26. Penny says:

    On my blog http://backvalleyseasons.blogspot.com
    Not very imaginative but I am trying to get this sample filled. I also have a give away.

  27. Marg B says:

    Not sure what happened to my last comment on htis page – but here goes again
    More work on Buttonhole and Feather on my blog

  28. Dianne says:

    I used feather stitch to create some little trees and I also completed my buttonhole tropical scene. Just posted them to my blog at: http://dinkydideequilts.blogspot.com/2012/01/little-feather-trees-and-buttonhole.html

  29. Savitha says:

    I have posted my feather stich motif in my blog.


  30. Please stop by Tuesday Stitchers to see what a collective group of stitchers have done with the feather stitch this week:

    See you Soon! ~Debra S.

  31. Sue Duffy says:

    Here's my feather stitch (and my buttonhole from last week – late post). http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=376898wo2mgaj

  32. Claudia says:

    I have finished my feather stitch exercise. You can see it here: http://fabricfusion.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-2012-feather-stitch-und-so-schon.html
    Happy Stitching

  33. Annet says:

    Yesterday I wrote a post about a few older feather stitch samples:
    Today I finished my new samples:
    I choose some Aida fabric to make sure I was going to stitch the rows I was planning!

  34. Sara Hansson says:

    at last ! (almost missed the deadline :0)) feather stitch – done! next one please ………

    loving this challenge Sharon ;0)


  35. Kirsty Macdonald says:

    My experimentation with this week's stitch is here:


    Well done everyone, some truely inspirational work again this week!

  36. merryamethyst says:

    I missed the first few weeks due to travel, but serendipity has egged me into TAST 2012 🙂
    my simple feather stitch – http://artwhiz.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-2012-feather-stitch-cheat.html

  37. Here's my Feather Stitch blog post: http://kirajones.co.uk/?p=574 I'm learning loads!

  38. Sue Utterback says:

    I finally finished my Week 2 – Buttonhole Stitch! Yeah…it took me forever because I decided to try making a sort of stylized flower thingy. I'm afraid it's not the greatest. I definitely need practice doing this stitch–it's not one I use a lot. But, I can see it's potential and it would be a great stitch to have in my library. OK, so I'll do a sampler of buttonhole stitches and see if my flowers improve. LOL. Here's the link to my photo for Week 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sue_u/6740072273/in/set-72157628709486935


  39. My sample is at http://www.timelessriverstudio.blogspot.com/ . Thanks Sharon this is a great project.

  40. Gayle Schipper says:

    My newest feather stitch example is at:

    Gayle Schipper

  41. I have had to re-learn this stitch as I haven't used it in years. I also had to re-learn that overdyed threads are not colour-fast. Oh Dear!



  42. shirley says:

    Hi Sharon, My feather stitch sample is posted on SF


    I have really enjoyed doing this

  43. Hi Sharon, from COLD eastern Canada. Check out my featherstitchin' here…. it is definitely my favourite stitch… http://www.linda-hubbard.blogspot.com/2012/01/take-stitch-tuesday-week-3.html

  44. Ann says:

    I was rather intimidated when I saw this stitch, and put it off until Saturday. After learning it, I think it may be my second favorite stitch (my top one is still the blanket/buttonhole). What a joy to learn the feather stitch this week!

    Had fun putting together a two-page spread in my embroidery journal with feathers I found in the pasture, postage stamps of birds, a journal entry, gratitude list, and the stitching. Here's the link:


  45. Petra Weiler says:

    This was rather challenging for me… I like the stitch, but experimenting on it is hard. Please see my results on http://www.my-cuddly-quilt.blogspot.com

  46. chitra gangadharan says:

    Hi Sharon, this challenge is very interesting. I posted a few of my variations of feather stitch on my blog here-
    thank you,

  47. Here is my bead mandala for feather stitch week 3, I wonder what the next stitch will be ?
    Cant wait …………….

    you can find my example here………………..


  48. Ms Sharma says:

    Here is my new additions to the Feather Stitch Sampler:


    Just have a look

  49. angenita says:

    I liked this stitch, had fun playing with it.

  50. Nina says:

    Embroidered with pleasure all three stitches just as she was on vacation. My job here.


  51. Lis says:

    Loved learning this stitch, very soothing to work too. I've blogged here:

  52. Kim Stapleton says:

    I really enjoyed working this stitch . Here is my sample : http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/profile/KimStapleton

  53. I am loving these stitches! Doing my samplers is an interesting challenge! Here is my feather stitch sample:


  54. Marg B says:

    My feather stitch exercise is on my blog

    I am not trying many variations but am certainly enjoying the ones I doo

  55. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon and Everyone!
    I added some beads. Happy weekend for all!


  56. SusieW says:

    View my TAST #3 feather stitch here http://www.flickr.com/photos/susie_w/6733724719/in/photostream#/ It is a basic feather stitch. I was surprised to note that the angle of the added leaves created diamond shapes and almost changed the shapes of the feather stitch. Interesting.

  57. Maggi says:

    I really enjoyed trying out lots of different threads for this stitch and creating a promising background. I even got the page for weeks 1 & 2 finished. What a bonus too, finding all these new blogs. Thank you Sharon, you are a star. Photos are on my blog at http://maggi21.wordpress.com

  58. Bonjour Sharon ,
    J'aime beaucoup ce point .
    Je l'ai mis en scène sur une petite pochette avec l'aide de la Fée Plume .
    Vous pouvez la découvrir sur mon blog : http://foliesdesandrine.canalblog.com/
    Bon week-end

  59. Ms Sharma says:

    Here is my first attempt at feather stitch Sampler:


    And here is one I did it on a sari long back:


    Ms Sharma

  60. Brigitte Otto says:

    Finally uploaded my feather stitch 1 and 2 – you can find it here: http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/featherstitch1

  61. maneki says:

    I've finished my challenge for the week and the result can now be found in my blog: http://wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-week-3-feather-stitch.html


  62. Catherine Robertson says:

    My feather stitch sample is at http://categetscrafty.blogspot.com

    I like this stitch. Very relaxing and adaptable.

  63. Maureen bond says:

    My Feather stitch samples are at

    with a link back to my earlier samples. Also 2 CQJP blocks are posted in Flickr.

  64. pretty stitch.
    I directly done 3 designs without doing the trial stitch.
    I posted it in my blog

  65. Luiz Vaz says:

    I Everyone!
    my post for feather stitch. I think its in progresss.

  66. Sandy Jandik says:

    The Feather Stitch will be on my blog in the morning http://focus-on-fiber.blogspot.com

  67. libbyQ says:

    i've added a couple of playful feather stitched "vines" to my project.



  68. Christine says:

    A really nice and easy stitch this week and the third stitch pleasure!

  69. Bonsoir, Hello every body ! I have just posted my work on Feather stitches on my blog. If you want to have a look, here is it : http://j-en-revais.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-3.html

  70. Melissa says:

    I have my combined post for weeks 2 and 3 on my blog this week: http://measi.net/measiblog/2012/01/19/tast-updates-weeks-2-and-3/

    Didn't care for the buttonhole, but really enjoyed feather stitch. Funny how two stitches so similar in technique can feel so different when working!

  71. Liz Adams says:

    Go here: http://beautifulmetaphor.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-week-three-feather-stitch.html

    to see part of my adventures with this stitch. I incorporated it again into a bigger work I'm already embarked on, and had a good time doing it! I do enjoy the surprise each week of a new stitch to either review or learn, and incorporate into ongoing work. And I've been very pleased with the nice people who've stopped by and commented on my blog, an expected side benefit!

  72. isabelle says:

    Here is my work of this week. All points of this embroidery are feather points, even the flowers and leaves. My daughter Pauline (9 years old) has also done his homework .


  73. Ty.Jecyka says:

    Here is my Feather Stitch…http://tyjecyka.canalblog.com/archives/2012/01/19/23273113.html
    I've a lot of fun to create this embroidery…now I've millions new ideas to stitch…

  74. Jenny Ross says:

    My week 3 samples have been shared with the Facebook group and are posted on my Blog at


  75. Hello! this is my sample. thank you for visiting!!

  76. Debbie says:

    Here's my work on the feather stitch, including shots from an older project of mine. http://debbiesfiberwork.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-week-3.html Thanks, Sharon.

  77. Linda McInnis says:

    I decided to make a flowering bush on my March block.


  78. Beth Leintz says:

    I played catch up this week and stitched the first three weeks worth of stitches. You can see them here:


    So much fun seeing everyone's take on the stitches- some incredible work out there!

  79. Kathy says:

    This week I stitched a sampler and I took it a little further with a second piece.

  80. Gail says:


    I have avoided feather stitch for years, not needing it for CQ. However, I love it!!
    TAST is awesome!!!

  81. Merci sharon pour ces points . Je viens de finir ma petite pièce que tu trouveras ci : http://petitcoeuramoi.over-blog.com/article-pin-tangle-week-3-97386824.html

  82. My feather stitch sample can be seen <a href="http://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-and-3m.html">here</a&gt;
    Thanks Sharon for including my work in last weeks highlights.

  83. Anni says:

    My embroidery with all 3 weeks stitch can be found here, thanks Sharon this is a great challenge.


  84. Sophie says:

    Bonjour à toutes! Voici mon devoir de la semaine! un grand plaisir à confectionner! que du bonheur bisous http://monparadismestresors.over-blog.com/article-take-a-stitch-tuesday-3-point-d-epine-97373979.html

  85. Gayle Schipper says:

    I am working on a new piece for the Feather Stitch, but NOTHING will top my Tessalating Fish Lips from TAST 1.

  86. Nathalie L says:

    Thank you Sharon for the challenge, Miss Feather Stitch is born 😉 I like tuesday http://labastidane.fr/journal/?p=1771

  87. Marie says:

    Here's my Feather Stitch sample. I had fun with some beads this week:


    Thank you!

  88. Valerie L says:

    I was a bit surprised at what I figured out to do with this stitch. Although I enjoy using it–I didn't think there would be much variety that I could do with the stitch. I also realized how close to the buttonhole stitch this is.

    Here is my blogpost showing my embroidery: http://cantheleopardchangeherspots.blogspot.com/

    Thanks so much.

  89. Susan says:

    I'm not so sure I did it right, so I'll probably try more during this week if there's time, but for now, here's what I have so far: http://so-susan.blogspot.com/2012/01/internet-lies.html

  90. Romona says:

    Hi Sharon, My week 3 stitching is done. I have posted a picture on my blog for you. Sorry I forgot to add the link last time.. http://northbrookstitches.blogspot.com I hope you like it, Romona

  91. Cyndi L says:

    Truly one of my favorite stitches. I had to hold myself back a bit this afternoon to keep from simply decorating the entire rest of my quilt with it!

  92. Angela says:

    I got her done! I have added this stitch to two seams on a crazy quilt block. I love this stitch! http://princessbubblescreates.blogspot.com/

  93. Annet says:

    Today I made an embroidery with all 3 stitches. I wrote about it here:
    I’m sorry I there’s no link to Pintangle, I have some trouble with Blogger after upgrading my browser. I’ll add them later.

  94. Sue Utterback says:

    Here's my attempt at doing a feather stitch incorporated into a seam treatment on a challenge block I'm doing on one of the CQ lists. I used a variegated green thread from ThreadWorx for the feather stitch, then added some small beaded flowers using 7-8 beads of 3 seed bead colors. The seam is finished off with some SRE leaves. Hope you like it! Here's the link to my photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sue_u/6715060883/in/photostream/


  95. Gisèle says:

    Je viens de mettre sur mon blog les 3 points du mardi
    J'aime beaucoup
    Merci et à la semaine prochaine

  96. Christina says:

    http://christinaroland.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-week-3.html Another first for me, another stitch and a whole new aproach. Free work for the first time in my life. I really enjoy this challenge because I'm learning a whole new craft this way. And I'm enjoying all that is still to learn as I watch other participants creating the most beautiful work.

  97. Rosemary Tweedie says:

    I have posted my combined effort for weeks 1 and 2 here:
    Now my mind is busy planning for Feather stitch… perfect timing for my present project, but back to my ironing now:)

  98. konnykards says:

    Another stitch I have used and enjoyed in basic form for many years – 'up and down ' at
    I think I'll try adding to it this time. Connie.

  99. chitra gangadharan says:

    Hi Sharon,
    the feather stitch sampler I did earlier is posted here.
    thank you,

  100. Hannah says:

    I like the look of this stitch!
    Here is my first attempts: http://lostseamstress.blogspot.com/2012/01/feather-stitch-tast.html
    I think I'm going to keep practicing and work on something more fancy!

  101. Kathy R says:

    Cannot wait to start stitching. This is a wonderful stitch.

  102. Liana D says:

    Funny, but I had this feeling this week's stitch would be FEATHER! I had even started thinking about how to use it in my sampler…
    many thanks.
    Liana D.

  103. Another stitch I did earlier: http://borduurblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/taksteek.html . In Dutch it is the "taksteek". Of course I am going to make something new as well.

  104. Annet says:

    I'm looking forward experimenting with the feather stitch again. This is my TAST 2007 feather stitch:

  105. One of my favorite stitches. So beautiful.

  106. maneki says:

    Yay, another one of my favourite stitches! Not just because of the swedish name, kråkspark, that literally means crow kick. My fingers are already itching to start.

    Just wanted to show something I did a few months ago in a simple beaded version of feather stitch: http://wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com/2011/11/wip-feather-stitch-bracelet.html

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