The Feather stitch is an excellent stitch to embroider branches, grasses, sea weed etc. It's a stitch with many variations. Before we start exploring a few of those variations (there will still be plenty left for another tutorial!) it's good to look at the Feather Stitch in it's most basic form. This makes it easier to understand more complex or freely stitched forms of the Feather Stitch.
Besides the basic Feather Stitch we'll also take a look at the Double Feather Stitch. And lastly I will share my Feather Stitch variation, perfect for stitching a curvy branch!
Start by making a small loop and place a stitch, a little lower, right in the middle of your first two stitches. This 'anchoring' stitch will create the first V-shape and at the same time forms the starting point of your second 'V'.
Place a stitch to the left of your 'anchoring' stitch (second photo on the right) at the exact same height. Again, create a small loop and let your needle come up in the middle of the loop. Keep alternating left and right.
Note how the stitches align. The 'V's are in a straight line, as are the anchoring points. I stitched my example freehand but to practice you might want to add guidelines on your fabric to keep your stitches even and placed in a straight line.
The Double Feather Stitch
Once you've mastered the Feather Stitch, the Double Feather Stitch is super-easy to learn.
In my example of the Double Feather Stitch, pictured above I start my stitches to the right of the centre but obviously you can also start on the left side. Start the same way as you would with the Feather stitch but instead of creating two 'V''s and heading over to the other side, place a third one on the side you are working on. In my case on the right side. Then continue making two 'V's' to the left side and two to the right side. Keep alternating left and right, placing two stitches on each side.
Feather Stitch Variations
Once you know how the Feather Stitch works, it's fun to try some variations! Make the stitches longer or vary the length of the stitches. Place the 'anchoring' stitch off-centre to create a uneven 'V'. Let go of the strict scheme of alternating stitching to the left and right of the 'centre' in even numbers. Or try to stitch along a curved line or even in a circle. You can draw the curved line on your fabric with a water erasable pen or a light pencil line.
For my sampler I wanted to create something resembling a branch using the Feather Stitch. I added stitches to the left and right quite randomly (for example 3 to the right, 2 on the left, 1 on the right, 1 on the left etc etc.) in a slightly curved line, to give the 'branch' a more natural look.
I even added an extra sprig to my branch and some French Knots to suggest small blossoms or flower buds.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! Be sure to tag me @followbunny or #whitebunnysampler (Instagram & Twitter) if you are stitching along with me, I'd love to see your work!