(See illustration on page 76.) The principal use of the feather stitch being that of ornamentation requires that it shall be evenly and carefully done, or it fails in its purpose. The feather stitch consists of alternating stitches, or groups of stitches, slanting toward a center line. The stitch may be varied greatly by the length of the stitch, the slant of the stitch, and the number of stitches on each side. The tendency is to gradually increase the length of the stitch which must be carefully avoided, as well as a change in the slant. Do not make too long a stitch, as there is danger of catching and breaking the thread. The feather stitch can be used very effectively in scroll designs for the ornamentation of sofa pillows, cushion covers, collars, underwear, etc.
A. Single Feather Stitching.
Work toward you, holding the cloth over the left forefinger. With a knot in the thread insert the needle from the under side a short distance to the right or left of the line the feather stitching is to follow (which may be designated the center line) and draw the thread through. Place the left thumb over the thread to hold it down, and on the opposite side take up a slanting stitch, the top of which is as far from the center line as the length of the stitch, and the bottom touching the center line. Draw the needle out over the thread which will thus form a loop of the thread from the first stitch. On the opposite side take up another slanting stitch the top of which is an equal distance from the center line and even with the bottom of the last stitch. Repeat for successive stitches. At the end of a thread fasten by passing the needle down where the thread last came through the cloth, thus holding the loop from the last stitch in place. Begin a new thread by passing the needle up through this loop.
B. Double Feather Stitching.
This consists of alternating groups of two, three or more stitches instead of single stitches. The successive stitches of each group must be placed directly under the first stitch of the group.