Fern Stitch Embroidery Tutorial

embroidery hoop with fern stitch designs

Make Beautiful Designs with The Fern Stitch

Table of Contents

The fern stitch as the name suggests looks like a fern leaf and looks much like long tail fly stitch stacked on top of each other. It can be used to create design elements, plants like hanging vines, the fletching of an arrow, borders, & even open fills.

There is more than one way to create the fern stitch and both are easy so I’ll show you both.

Fern Stitch: Method 1

  • Add 3 vertical parallel guidelines.
  • Make a single stitch at the top of the center guideline. (A to B)
  • Come up at the top of the 1st guideline. (C)

 3 guidelines with a straight stitch at top center line. Needle coming up at top of 1st line

Return to the back at the bottom of the center stitch to create a 45° angle. (B)

Thread going from A to B at center top. Thread going from C to B off to the left side.

Do the same on the other side.

  • Come up at the top of the 3rd guideline. (D)
  • Return to the back at B.
  • Come up along the center at E and return to B to make another single stitch.

three straight stitches all converging at the bottom.

Now repeat the steps down your guide lines until you're happy with the length.

fern stitch vertical row in pink

Fern Stitch: Method 2

The second method starts with a back stitch down the center guideline.

back stitch down the center and a parallel guide line on each side.

From here, add your 45° angles on each side using straight stitches.

straight stitch added to both sides of a back stitch at the top

Using the Fern Stitch

The fern stitch can be created along straight guidelines but they’re quite lovely with curves which make them look more natural. Try creating circles, ovals, and vines.

embroidery hoop with fern stitch designs

Create arrows using the fern stitch... just add a back stitch (or maybe an outline stitch) between the arrow point and the fletching. The fern stitch can also be used to create a border, accents, and even fills. They're also perfect for creating bits of foliage which can produce beautiful designs when combined with other easy stitches like the french knot or lazy daisy stitch.

combination of the fern stitch with french knots and lazy daisy stitches

Add Beads to Your Fern Stitch

If you want to add a little sparkle to your stitch just add a few beads as you go. Use whatever beads you like. I found a few copper beads from my stash and added them to mine. Add them to the center, sides, or wherever your heart desires. You can be playful about where you place them.beads added to fern stitches

Embroidery Video Tutorial

Enjoy the video tutorial below for the fern stitch which includes both methods covered above.

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