Oh, the Fly Stitch! It can be birds in the air, a long curly vine, a lovely leaf or a decorative fill stitch – and it’s easy! This stitch is a hand embroidery stitch some know as the Tied Stitch or Y Stitch. You can work it singularly, in rows or scattered as a filling. It is a useful and versatile stitch used for borders, filling, powdering and representing plant forms. When you combine the stitch with other stitches, like a French Knot, or add beads – you’ll find this is one of the most versatile hand embroidery stitches.
What is the fly stitch used for?
Use the fly stitch for surface stitching lines as the attached fly stitch, or fill design using the detached fly stitch that looks like a V. Stitch it in decorative stitching designs or as embellishments on clothing or accessories. Use this stitch as a stem stitch where the wings look like leaves and top with a detached lazy daisy stitch, as a flower! Or, top each of the wings with a French Knot as small flowers. Most of all, have fun stitching!
This stitch is also used quite a bit on crazy quilting projects, bring attention to seam lines on a garment, as well as use this stitch to depict branches and stems on an embroidery project or art quilt.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners. Your purchases via these links may benefit Create Whimsy. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.
Below is a sampler that shows how this stitch can look with different threads and weights.
- 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
Another small sampler that shows the fly stitch and a detached fly stitch.
Check out all of the embroidery projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy!