Both Crossed and Plaited Feather stitch have a foundation of Straight-sided feather stitch. So it makes sense to group them together. They are also related to Turkman stitch. As you can see the differences in these stitches is either the angle you hold the needle at and/or spacing. I am sure crazy quilters will enjoy these varieties of feather stitch as they can be further decorated with stitches and beads. They also look really very effective if you work them one a ribbon or if you use contrasting threads. My samples are worked in cotton perle #5
How to work straight-sided feather stitch
Straight-sided feather stitch is worked between two imaginary parallel lines. Similar to the way you work regular feather stitch, swinging back and forth, from side to side. Bring the needle out at the top of the line and reinsert it a little to the right but on the same level. Make a small stitch downward, so that the needle’s point appears on the right-hand side of the line. Keeping the thread under the needle’s point, pull the thread through the fabric to make the first stitch. In line with the base of the ‘V’ that you have just made, insert the needle on the left side of the line, and make a small vertical stitch downward positioning the needle so that the point reappears on the left line. Pull the thread through the fabric to make the stitch. Work these movements alternatively down the line to complete the first row of straight-sided feather stitch.
How to work Crossed Feather stitch
To work crossed feather stitch you offset a second row of straight-sided feather stitch by one stitch. I have worked the second row in a different coloured thread so readers can see how it works. Bring your thread out on the top left side of the line, as illustrated. Take the needle upward to make a vertical backstitch. Bring the tip out at the point where your thread emerged, as illustrated. Pull the thread through the fabric to make the stitch. This stitch is here so that you can start the row neatly. In line with the base of the V, insert the needle on the right side and make a small vertical stitch with the needle’s point emerging from the fabric on the right side as illustrated. Pull the thread through the fabric to make the stitch. Move to the left side and repeat these movements alternatively down the line.
How to work Plaited feather stitch
Plaited feather stitch is very similar to Crossed feather stitch except on every second stitch you thread your yarn under the cross-bar of the first row of stitches. I have worked the second row in a different coloured thread so readers can see how it works. Start Plaited feather stitch by working a line of straight-sided feather stitch and start the second row with a vertical straight stitch as illustrated in above. Next, insert the needle on the right side of the line, in line with the base of the V and make a small vertical stitch in a downward motion so that the needle’s point emerges as illustrated. Pull the thread through the fabric to make the stitch. Before you move to the left see of the line, thread your needle under the cross-bar as illustrated. Pull the thread through. Move to the left side and make another straight sided feather stitch. Repeat these movements alternatively down the line weaving the thread under the cross-bar every second stitch. Both these stitches are simple but versatile and can be very effective if you experiment with different yarns.
Have you seen my Crazy Quilting book?
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 viewer’s 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.
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