At all times, the worker must strive to get consistency in stitch size. That, indeed, is the greatest trick of all. A finished sampler is shown at the end of this tutorial.
At left are the stitches known as single feather and feather stitch.
Single feather is worked exactly like buttonhole stitch, except the needle is angled more.
Feather stitch has identical stitches on either side of a central line. Note that the new stitch is begun at the same “level” where the last stitch left off. However, not all stitchers prefer this. Some start the new stitch slightly above or below where the last stitch ended, angle the needle more or less. Some even cross the center line (going to the left of center for a right stitch, and to the right of center for a left stitch. Each produces a slightly different look, but is still acceptable.(See next graphic) .
At left is a sample and a drawing showing how to begin the stitch and where to place the needle for this particular style.
The straight red lines help you to see how this is executed. Two things to note: In this method, the stitch does not follow a central line, but goes side to side. Also, each new stitch does not begin at the same level where the last ended, but is slightly lower.
This photo shows triple feather stitch. Notice that one is angled more than the other, but that in all cases, the stitches are exactly the same size. Either method shown is correct. The angle of the needle is something that is an individual stitcher’s “identity” or “signature”. It is rare for two embroiderers, no matter their prowess, to do this stitch in identical ways.
Few modern embroiderers have seen feather stitch used in the manner shown at left. It is called closed feather stitch, and makes an effective border.
Feather stitching, in this example, is used in an eighth-inch space between eighth-inch tucks. Notice the tucks are hemstitched. Three threads of the ground were removed for each tuck and knotted hemstitch was executed