Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 – 01 Fly Stitch

I’m participating in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge for this year, and the first stitch for 2012 was fly stitch. *happy sigh*

I’ve used fly stitch before, and I think it’s a great stitch for natural forms … here it is in my Anthriscus piece, massed and layered:

And I used it again in my boro moonflower skirt  to create a more chain-mail sort of effect with stitch.

With the Take A Stitch challenge, I hadn’t really set myself any parameters before I started … just setting an intention to explore the stitch in whatever way appealed to me at the time – whether that be a straightforward band sampler exploring variations, or something with a little more in the way of a narrative.

And while I was mulling what to do with this week’s challenge, my eye was caught whilst taking the children to school, with the sun just coming up, and bare-branched trees sihouetted against a vivid sky. And then I noticed the gorse on the heath, and the stiff stands of dried grass by the roadside … and I had a starting point.

As a starting point, I pulled a small strip of black lace, and some sheer sari chiffon from teh stash, and fused them onto a piece of scrap cotton – old curtain lining, and then away I went.

Starting with the trees, layered fly stitch in different sizes, a mix of perle 8, and stranded cotton from 3 down to single strands, in stark black ….

Then onto the gorse … a broad skeleton of fly stitches, then worked over the top of those lines in massed, layered and minute fly stitch …

In hindsight, I wish I’d stuck with just black for this, with the grey highlights … I’m not sure about that green – I think it disturbs the balance of the image, but  I chose it because I thought the black would get lost against the lace, but now … well … there you go.

And the grasses …

A tale of two perles … 5 and 12.

I think overall I’m pretty pleased with this …

23 responses to “Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 – 01 Fly Stitch

  1. My new years resolution this year is to learn to embroider, I have to say I’m not familiar with the fly stitch but I found your entry really inspiring, to see how diverse embroidery can be. I’m going to check out the challenge too 🙂

  2. WOW! What wonderful work! You are very talented.


  3. Your fly stitch work is great! I didn’t get started this week due to being out of town for the holidays and cannot wait to get home and start!

    I also want to take a moment to invite you over to my blog to read about a quilt show I am hosting live on my blog beginning Feb 1. The show is called Crazy Quilts Are Quilts Too. The show is designed to bring awareness to all of us crazy quilters and the work we do! There are a host of fantastic prizes to be won! Hope you will come check out the information and hopefully participate!


  4. Love the combination of lace and fly stitch, beautiful work.

  5. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful landscape! Excellent and very creative stitching. Congratulations.

  6. Your tree silhouette is absolutely spectacular. Thanks for sharing it!

  7. Very creative..you made wonder with such a simple stitch..

  8. Barbara J Roberts

    Wow this is great. It really shows off what a stitch can do. You really have talent!

  9. This is absolutely stunning! Remarkable creativity in creating this stitchery. You have definitely raised the bar!

  10. That is very beautiful work – I need another week now to try out all the new ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. you did a fabulous job. i especially like the y stitch for the branches of the tree…so perfect.

  12. WOW…your embroidery is gorgeous. Thank you for all the inspiration. And I love the green in your last piece


  13. This is one the favorite renderings I’ve seen in this first week of TAST. Beautiful!!

  14. A beautiful piece of work. Thank you for the inspiration. Your Anthriscus has given me an idea for a UK country scene I have in progress. I think using fly stitch would work on the cow parsley in the forground of my work.

  15. I so love this piece and that it’s pretty much just one stitch used creatively. Very inspiring!

  16. Outstanding exploration of the stitch.. and you’ve given me a tremendous amount of inspiration! The stitches on the Anthriscus gave me an idea for a woodland critter.. hedgehog maybe or porcupine. The tree you’ve done is marvelous.. they are one of my favorites to stitch and now I have a whole new way to do them! Your wheat is amazing too. I see what you meant about the green.. but you have a lovely bit of work nonetheless.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    • you’re welcome 😉

      it occurred to me about critters as well … I thought the stitch would work well for feathers, too …. I’ve filed that idea away for the future reference.

  17. Thank you … I had so much fun with this – can’t wait for next Tuesday 🙂

  18. Wonderful stitched picture. I like very much, how you used fly stitch.

  19. It’s perfect, a great use of the stitch. Have fun with the next one

  20. Beautiful use of the fly stitch Maggie, just love you landscapes!

  21. I think it’s fantastic! What a wonderful use of the stitch!

I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what you think ....