TAST Week 3 Stitch Highlights

Well it’s that time of week again where once again I sit down to try and make some sort of decision on what to highlight this week.

It is always a delightful task but a very hard decission. I am sure readers who are aware of my band sampler and read those posts will understand why Anni’s  Embroidery Roll from over on Fabric and Mixed Media Art delighted my eye and pleased me so. I decided to lead this article with her project.

Make a cuppa, settle down to browse the sites I have chosen and learn by seeing what others have done. I hope these articles on the  highlights emphasise to readers that is really is worth visiting the links people leave in the comments on the weekly TAST challenge post 


When I introduced the stitch, I said patterning was something you could do with feather stitch and to demonstrate the point these tessellating fish from stitchintime on flickr are not to be missed.

You can also see some great patterning created with this stich over on My Cuddly Quilt 

Over on Wild Roses and Blackberries this simple treatment produces a lovely band

Severine Allais over on Stitchin Fingers used a variety of threads to produce this image 

Over on Ella’s Craft Creations this Mandala is a lovely treatment of feather stitch

At The Smallest Forrest a combination of Typography and embroidery is being features each week. Dont miss these little visual delights.

As I have said once again I had real trouble picking out highlights from the collection of stitches that people worked last week.  I hope you enjoy seeing the work I have featured but dont forget to pay a visit to the links left in the comments of week 3

Further information on the FAQ page

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges –  Take a Stitch Tuesday category

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.

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

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

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CQ Detail 106

crazy quilt block detail


This seam is embellished with a line of  feather stitch which is an old favourite of many crazy quilters. With ribbon I worked detached chain stitch in the V of the feather stitch. On the other side I added seed beads


Perle thread #5, and silk ribbon

Placement on block: 

On block 15 this seam runs along side piece 6


Seed beads

What is the story?
This regularly published series aims to illustrate and document the hand embroidered seams, embellishments and decorations on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. All articles are categorised in the projects under Crazy Quilt details which enables readers to browse back through the series.

Free Crazy quilt block patterns
In the process of documenting the seam decorations on this quilt, as I get to each block I am diagramming it out for readers as a free crazy quilt pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.
For a stitch guide to hand embroidery stitches, instructions can be found in my stitch dictionary

I have released the block patterns and stitch ideas for non commercial use but I retain all copyright. Please attribute the work to me, and link back to this blog. You may not take whole articles from this series and republish online. Link please do not republish.