Making the French Fly Stitch

 pinkingstitch4 A favorite method of stitching a fabric cut with a pinking blade is to use the Fly Stitch. It gives a neat finish to the fabric and makes a bold zigzag line around a fabric shape.

flystitch6In this image you see 3 variations of the Fly Stitch. There is the trusty traditional Fly in the center in blue thread. The elongated version of the Fly surrounds the top purple fabric in orange thread. And below is the latest and greatest version in blue thread around the purple square featuring the French Knot.

I don’t know what this stitch is really called so I’m calling it the French Fly.

flystitch7Here’s how to make the French Fly. Start with the thread exiting the fabric at the tip or peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch8Insert the tip of the needle at the top of the next peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch9Skim the needle under the fabric to the valley between the two peaks. Trap the thread coming out of the first peak under the tip if the needle. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.

flystitch10Make a French Knot inserting the needle into the fabric on the other side of the thread in the valley. This stitch over the thread holds it in the valley making a V shape that follows the pinked fabric edge adding decorative French Knot at the same time.Thus the term French Fly.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fly Stitch

flystitch1Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the famous Fly Stitch. The Fly Stitch is aptly named. Doesn’t it look like a flock of flying fowl? Use this easy embroidery stitch as a single decorative element, grouped together as a textural filling stitch, or with other stitches to make shapes.

silkflowers22 Here you see the Fly Stitch making sunny yellow flower petals surrounding French Knots. It’s stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the Sunflowers colorway on a silk fabric.

flystitch4I like to extend the base of the stitch to make a Y shape for tree branches. This is stitched with a Size 12 pearl cotton thread in the Rainbow Rich colorway.

pinkingstitch6Or use it to trim fabric cut with a pinking blade like the pink shape above. The Fly Stitch follows that pink pinked edge perfectly. Here are directions for making the Fly Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fern Stitch

fernstitch4Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Fern Stitch. The Fern Stitch is a spiky little stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, plant and tree forms, and for creating lots of thready texture.

fernstitch1Add a few Pistil Stitches between the spikes of the Fern Stitch to dress it up.

cactusonsilk12Or place Lazy Daisy Stitches between the spikes to make a soft edge plant sprouting out of the ground.

fernstitch7The directions for my version of the stitch are a little different. You start at the top of the line your want to stitch and work your way down. Here are the directions for the Fern Stitch. Have fun!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Pistil Stitch

pistilstitch2Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Pistil Stitch. The Pistil Stitch is a close relative of the French Knot but has more flare, more excitement, more thrill. Here it is adding drama (or pistils) to the top of a purple flower.

pistilstitch3But why limit the exuberant Pistil Stitch to flower tops?  This house is much more interesting with a roof top of Pistil Stitches. Who lives there? What do they do for a living? Are there any rooms available for rent?

pistilstitch7Think of Pistil Stitches a punctuation marks that add hits of color to fabric shapes. Stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the  Aquamarine colorway, this fabric is about to pop with texture made by Pistil Stitches.

Here are directions for making the  Pistil Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Straight Stitch

tiltytown12detail

Tilty Town #12 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Straight Stitch. The Straight Stitch lives a simple life. It goes from here to there. And sometime from there to here.

straight4The Straight Stitch is plain. It is not glamorous like a French Knot or exotic like the Blanket Stitch. It is just a line of thread on the fabric. But beneath that ho-hum existence beats a stitch of great potential. Here you see it drawing dramatic pink lines. Those directional lines are made with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread stitched on felt in the  Petunias colorway.

Here are directions for making the Straight Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: French Knot

frenchknot5Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the French Knot. The French Knot is a small hit or bead of color that gives you a dimensional stitch that leaps off the fabric.

frenchknot6Add the French Knot to any other stitch and its sure to liven up the playing field. Here you see it with the Ermine Stitch in a Size 12 pearl cotton thread on a silk fabric backed with batting. (Check out the Silk Stitch Along to see how to prepare the silk.) The thread colorway is called Really Red. It’s variegation of color ranges from red to gold. So is it really red? I’m not so sure.

frenchknot4Here you see French Knots used in several ways in this detail of a stitched bird. It becomes the highlight for the bird’s eye, a decorative band around his neck and a textural pattern for his wing.This thread colorway is called called Ornamental Grasses. (Sometimes its hard to come up with names for my threads.)

Why not add some French Knots to your artwork today? Here are directions for making the French Knot. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!