A fly stitch is a stitch that looks like the alphabets U or V secured with a small straight stitch.
It is similar to a detached feather stitch and is very versatile. You can use it in many ways in your embroidery project; as grass stalks on a ground or as flying birds , as a cradle for small flowers, as border designs. This stitch does enhance your work in many ways
The simple fly stitch
Fly stitch is made by forming a horizontal loop and then pulling the loop and holding it down with the help of a small straight stitch. The thread is looped under the needle as can be seen in the picture below.
With small changes, you can make many variations of the fly stitch.
Fly stitch variations
1 Continuous fly stitch
This is fly stitch made in a continuous line. After making the first fly stitch you make another one immediately in a straight line. Follow the alphabetical order in the picture below to make continuous fly stitches.
2 Closed fly stitch
This is a closely made continuous fly stitch used as a filling stitch.
Usually, they are used as filling for leaf shapes because of the vertical stitch in the middle of the fly stitch; when done continuously it looks as if it is the vein of the leaf.
You can make it slightly loose or as close as satin stitches.
Make very narrow fly stitches at the top, then progressively become wider and then when you reach the middle narrow down stitches till the bottom of the leaf shape.
Check out this post on more ways to embroider a leaf.
3 Extended fly stitch / Y stitch
This is a regular fly stitch with an extended straight stitch fastening the loop and it looks like the alphabet Y.
4 Plaited fly stitch
Here the regular or extended fly stitches are made within each other. The second stitch starts inside the previous one.
5 Filling fly stitch
This is a continuous line of fly stitches made horizontally combined with upside down fly stitches forming cross shapes. When done in a continuous fashion this makes a very nice filling stitch or a beautiful border design.
6 Twisted fly stitch
This fly stitch is made so that the loop of the stitch is twisted in the middle where the straight stitch is made. It looks like a small cursive letter r.
It is made in the following method as in the picture. Here you do not make the straight stitch as in the regular fly stitch, you should loop the needle and then make the straight stitch.
7 Whipped fly stitch
In this variation of the fly stitch, you should interlace another thread through the straight stitches in the middle of the fly stitch. This is done for every stitch in the continuous fly stitch chain and you have a whipped fly stitch.