Fern stitch is a quick and easy stitch to work. It is ideal to use in floral sprays and at Christmas time, it is ideal in simple wreaths. You can also work this stitch in groups of 3 to make a bird footprint. It is perfect for creating a trail of prints across a sandy beach scene.
In this sample, I have worked it on the diagonal to keep the demonstration simple, but this stitch is ideal to work on flowing curves. The other way you can work it is row-upon-row as a diagonal filling stitch. So it is also useful to use in geometric patterns. For those who like highly decorative embellished surfaces there is also a beaded version of Fern Stitch
How to work Fern Stitch
The demonstration of this stitch is worked in cotton perle # 5 thread. Fern stitch consists of a simple arrangement of 3 straight stitches.
Bring the thread from the back of the fabric and work a straight stitch at an angle.
Next work a vertical straight on the left side followed by a vertical straight stitch on the right side.
This unit of 3 straight stitches is repeated along the line.
You can vary the length of the side spines to create an organic line and by adding french knots or beads to the spiky ‘arms’ of the stitch it can sit even better in a floral spray. And, if you want to emphasise the central line the spine can be further decorated by whipping the central line with another thread of a different colour or texture.
It is a very simple stitch that lends itself to all sorts of applications. And it’s great for beginners or children.
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Have you seen my book?
My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block. I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.