The Feather Stitch is a beautiful embroidery stitch for both straight and curved lines, and is used quite often in crazy quilting. The Feather Stitch is a hand embroidery stitch that creates airy lines of stitching, and can be single, double, triple, interlaced, done straight or at a slant or angle. It can be used to sew trim on garments, blankets or quilts.
How is the feather embroidery stitch used?
I love using Feather Stitch to depict natural elements – vines, branches, seaweed and such – especially with variegated threads! Fair warning: it’s a stitch that welcomes the addition of beads, French Knots and flowers! You’ll often find the Feather Stitch combined with other stitches for embellishments.
What is the feather stitch?
The Feather Stitch consists of open, looped stitches worked alternately to the right and left of central lines. This stitch also does a great job as a background filler stitch for garden or underwater scenes. The rhythm of the stitch reminds me a bit of Buttonhole Stitch and Chain Stitch. It’s a good idea to mark your fabric while learning.
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This is a great drawing that displays markings on a fabric and how the stitch is worked on a line.
Are you ready to start? Fiberluscious has a clear tutorial to get you started and examples of amazing embroidery by other artists.
Once you have mastered the basic stitch, try some Pintangle-inspired variations. You can make up your own, too! This example uses Aida cloth and the counted cross stitch techniques.
Professor Pincushion’s video tutorial will put it all into motion for you!
How to embroider the feather stitch
Start by bringing your thread up where you want to begin your line. Take a stitch where you put your needle down on the ‘center’ line, and up to the right, looping the thread under the needle.
Then take a stitch to the left, keeping your needle going into the center line and looping the thread under the end of the needle.
Keep going once stitch to the right, one to the left, until your line is done!
Here is my final 4″ sample:
Here is a sampler that shows how different threads and weights can make the feather stitch look a little different.
- Row 1: Pearl cotton size 12
- Row 2: Pearl cotton size 8
- Row 3: Pearl cotton size 5
- Row 4: Pearl cotton variegated size 3
- Row 5: Pearl cotton variegated size 8
- Row 6: 6 strand embroidery floss
And, another small sampler:
Check out all of the embroidery projects on Create Whimsy!