This is a kind of filling stitch which is ideal for making leaves or feathers. It requires us to divide the pattern into two and each side is filled alternately giving it a plaited effect in the centre, thus ideal to make leaves or feathers.

I will work on a leaf pattern, which I have divided in the centre with a stitch line. To make the lesson easier, I have named the lines as X, Y and Z.

fishbone_stitch_1   fishbone_stitch_2
Fig 1: To begin with, bring the needle out through point A, which is the top tip of line Y. Put it in through B, to make a single straight stitch.   Fig 2: Now, bring the needle out from a point very close to A on the the line X. Put it in through a point very close to B on line Y. Again pull out the needle through a point very close to A on line Z.
fishbone_stitch_3   fishbone_stitch_4
Fig 3: This procedure of putting in the needle through X and Z alternatively will follow. Each time we will be connecting X-Y and Y-Z.   Fig 4: Make sure all the stitch points lie close to each other to avoid any visible spaces.
fishbone_stitch_5           fishbone_stitch_6
Fig 5: Half way through, our leaf would look like this. You can see the rib being formed.   Fig 6: Once finished, the filled leaf would look like this.