How to work Fly Stitch

Fly stitch sample 9Fly 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.

Fly stitch sample 2This 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.

Fly stitch sample 4Here 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.

Fly stitch sample 5On 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.

Fly stitch sample 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.

Fly stitch sample6

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

Fly stitch step by step 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 level of where the thread emerged. Make a stitch on a downward angle so that the needle emerges between the two points as illustrated.

Fly stitch step by step 2With the thread wrapped under the needle, pull it through the fabric. Secure the ‘V’ in position with a small vertical straight stitch.

Fly stitch sample 8This 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.

Fly stitch sample 7In 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.

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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Picot chain stitch tutorial

Picot Chain Stitch is an interesting variety of chain stitch that can be used as a linear stitch. Picot simply means knot or loop. This version has a picot on each chain stitch creating a slight ridge down the side of the line. In order to work this stitch it is best to know how to work basic chain stitch as this is a development of that basic stitch. Since Picot chain is part of the chain stitch family, like most chain stitches, Picot Chain stitch follows a curve well. It also makes an interesting edge to small projects or can be used to created a slightly textured line.

Picot chain stitch is best worked in a thread with firm twist such as cotton perle #8 or #5.  The trick is to use a hoop to achieve an even tension and nice line of picots.

The demonstration sample is worked in cotton perle #5.

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 1Work the stitch down the line. Start by creating a basic chain stitch.


How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 2To created the picot, pass the needle under the right side of the stitch.

Note you are not taking the needle through the fabric just threading it under the loop.


Pull the thread through. When you re-insert the needle for the next chain stitch put the needle inside the chain and at the same time make sure that you are inserting the needle into the middle of the partly formed picot loop.

How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial
Make another chain stitch.
How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 3Repeat the picot continuing down the line. As you can see and extra ridge is formed down one side.


How to work Picot chain stitch tutorial step 4I discovered this stitch in Edith Johns book Creative Stitches. I hope you enjoy Picot chain stitch!



Wave Stitch Tutorial

Wave stitch is a bit similar to Cloud filling in the sense that it is a waved patterned filling stitch. You work the stitch row upon row to fill an area and build up a pattern. When worked in different shades this stitch is also known as Looped shading stitch.

Note with this sample I have spaced each ‘wave’ a little apart so that you can see what is happening but normally the gap between the feet of the stitch would not be so large.

How to work Wave Stitch

You start this stitch at the top row.

With the first row work a line of evenly spaced small straight stitches that stand vertically

Bring your needle out at the base of the first row and pass the needle under the first straight stitch. Pull the needle through to thread your yarn under the straight stitch.

Insert your needle at the base of the row to the left so that the yarn forms an inverted V shape.

Bring your needle out to the left close to where it entered the fabric (this is the step I have worked further apart so that you can see what is going on)

Continue in this manner to work the first row.

On the second and following rows bring your needle out at the base of the row and working in the opposite direction along the row, thread your yarn through the feet of the inverted V stitches made on the previous row.

Continue in this back and forth manner until the area is filled with Wave stitch.

As you can see Wave stitch looks good worked in a space dyed thread. This is some hand dyed perle #5 thread.

Worked in a traditional manner Wave stitch is evenly spaced but if you change the spacing and heights of the rows it can become a very contemporary filling stitch. As with all patterned stitches beads looks good stitched in the gaps or at the feet of the wave.

I hope you enjoy Wave stitch!



Have you seen my book?

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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 topics 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.

using my stitchers Templates set 2Stitchers 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 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.

These 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