Friday, February 7, 2014

The Year of the Stitch at Elefantz - Fly Stitch...

It's a new month and time to walk you through a new "Year of the Stitch at Elefantz" tutorial.
The stitch for February is 'fly stitch', and we're going to make some leaves...

I only really 'got' this stitch last year, and practiced by making a flurry of fly stitch leaves all across my "Partridge & Pear" Christmas wall hanging...

It's a beautiful stitch if you want to add some body to a simple leaf shape, and that's what we're doing today.

You can begin by downloading my free practice design HERE...

You'll need a small piece of fabric, two strands of green embroidery thread (DMC, Anchor, Cosmo etc - your choice), and a new embroidery needle because too often we forget to change our needles and wonder why hand stitching is becoming a bit tough on the fingers.

Trace the design and if you want to follow my usual stitchery preparations, fuse some fabric stabiliser behind it. I like to use Weaveline or Whisperweft, and I never use a hoop - but prepare your block in the manner that best suits you.

I start my leaf at the stem with a couple of small back stitches (my tutorial for back stitch is HERE)...

Your needle is now just ahead of your previous thread entry hole, so stitch back into that hole but instead of bringing the needle up ahead as with a back stitch, this time we'll bring the needle through at the left bottom edge of the leaf shape, and back over and through the right side of the leaf, and bring the needle up along the middle line again, behind the loop you've made...

Take your needle and thread over the loop and down through the middle line of the leaf to the back again. This will secure the vein of the leaf.
Bring the needle back out along the left edge of the leaf and repeat this process following the shape of the leaf...

Now, I'm really not the best at describing steps in tutorials with my words - which is why I use a lot of photos - but I hope that combined with the photos they are clear enough for you to understand the process of making a fly stitch leaf.

When I finished my little sample block I made a small pin-book featuring this design on the cover.

Pincushions are great for use at home, but what about when you are away from home and want to take a few pins with you? 
This would be perfect.

If you decide you really enjoy making fly stitch leaves and want to make my Partridge & Pears wall hanging after you finish the 'pins' sample block, I've listed the complete step by step pattern HERE in my shop for the rest of February at just $3.95 for an instant pdf download.

I've also included a smaller framed redwork version of Partridge & Pears in the pdf pattern, complete with all stitchery instructions. It's mostly basic back stitch with a tiny bit of satin stitch (remember my back stitch tutorial HERE).

The Partridge & Pears double pattern will be available in the shop until February 28th only. 

If you make the sample fly stitch block and use it in a project I'd love to see a photo. Just click on the 'contact me' button under my blog header to email your photo to me, and I can share it on my blog because you'll be an inspiration to others!

It's Friday! \o/
Just need to send off my free Friday Newsletter to all subscribers (details HERE), and then I get an early mark for the weekend.
It's raining so I guess I'll just have to stitch. 
No complaints, eh?



  1. Thank you, Jenny. You made the tutorial very clear and your photos are fabulous for those, like me, who are more "visual" learners. Once again...thank you for all you do.
    God Bless,

  2. Thanks for the tutorial Jenny. I've never tried fly stitch before. I don't use a hoop for my stitcheries either.

  3. The new blog banner is really nice. Fresh and so charming. Your tutorial is very good and explains the stitch nicely, thank you. And the needle book is a great idea as well.

  4. It's so cute!!!! LOVE the needle holder!!! ... I've never tried fly stitch before, I guess coz it's always intimidated me a little. Will have to give this a go - who knows, I may have a little needle holder similar to yours with me when we see each other next month?!!! :) ... I generally don't use a hoop either - only when I'm doing large cross-stitch projects. But then, I normally use parlan behind my stitcheries - I like the poof it gives to the stitcheries ;) I have tried whisper weft, and I do like it on projects with a *flatter* finish :) ... Thanks for the tutorial! Will have to give it a go next week once this assignment is submitted!! <3 Hugs!

  5. Hi Jenny 'Help' what sort of pen do you Se to transfer your designs, I used to use the wash away ones but heard they damage the fabric So I don't know what to use now pleas help

    1. Hi Cass!
      I use a 0.3 brown Zig Millenium pen. It's permanent, but very fine, and as long as you stay and stitch on the lines you never see it, even with white thread on a white background. :-)

    2. Thanks so much, I shall pop it on my shopping list, I'm busy trying to catch up on shabby roses SAL this weekend :)

  6. Looks like this year will be loads of fun! I love doing fly stitch leaves, and am so glad to see you do too. I've thought about your pear tree before...but you just made up my mind to order it TODAY! Hugs, Kathy

  7. Thanks for the tutorial. It looks like it will be really easy to follow. I have so many things to get busy on.

  8. A beautiful tutorial - the each step photo's really help; like Jusmomi, I'm a visual learner too. Thankyou.

  9. I am absolutely passionate about your work! Congratulations on such delicacy! Kisses by Vy! Brazil

  10. Super, danke für den Tipp.Das muss ich auch mal probieren.
    Liebe Grüße Annerose

  11. Gracias por el tutorial, me parece un trabajo fantástico.

  12. Thanks so much for the stitch tutorial. This is a lovely pattern. OH, and I love the new header for your blog. Red and green together are perfect.

  13. Thanks for the very easy to understand tutorial! I'm itching to try this stitch!

  14. Thank you for the great tutorial. Such a lovely pattern!

  15. Esta hermoso esta nueva actualización de tu blog....este color verde esta interesante te felicito....pero querida amiga Jenny por favor pon traductor.

  16. Muchas gracias por el tutorial .Todo lo tuyo como siempre interesantisimo Un besazo

  17. I like the way you start, with the stem. Thanks!


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