Hand Embroidery Tutorial: Fly Stitch


Decorative hand embroidery stitches can add such a special touch to our projects. This week, I’d like to share a tutorial for embroidering the fly stitch. The fly stitch can be worked in embroidery floss or silk ribbon. It’s named for its insect-like shape, however, it’s most often used to cradle rosebuds and flowers and to create vines, leaves and even birds and butterflies. To make one, simply make an open lazy daisy with an extended anchor:

fly stitch

1. Bring the needle to the surface at point A and insert it on the opposite side into point B.

2. Take a stitch at an angle coming back up at point C, (below and between point A and B) keeping the ribbon behind the needle (fig.1).

3. Pull the needle through and anchor the loop a short distance below point C into point D (fig. 2). Finished fly stitch shown in figure 3. Continuous fly stitch shown in figure 4.

fly stitch

Click here to watch a video tutorial for the fly stitch, courtesy of our sister needlework company Sew and So.

For more hand embroidery inspiration, check out these great video downloads: Basic Heirloom Embroidery and Heirloom Embroidery II. We also have DMC embroidery floss as well as silk satin ribbon in a range of colors and sizes – and the silk satin ribbon is half off this month as part of our big Stocktober Sale.


Our Children’s Garment Construction Online Licensing kicks off next week! Join us to receive patterns and step-by-step instruction more than 30 adorable children’s garment projects, plus learn lots of wonderful construction and embellishment techniques. It all results in a Martha Pullen teacher’s license, which will allow you to teach the course projects in your own classrooms, make them to sell, or enjoy for personal use.

We’re having a fun giveaway on our blog – two lucky winners will each receive an adorable Cuddle Giraffe Kit from Shannon Fabrics! Learn more and enter for your chance to win here.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,

Kathy McMakin

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