How to work Wheatear stitch

Wheatear stitch sample1

Wheatear stitch is an versatile easy stitch that is often used to depict wild grasses and wheat as in the sample above. In this sample various forms of wheatear are used. Wheatear consists of two straight stitches that are worked diagonally in a V like shape before a chain stitch laces together the stitches at the base.

This is a versatile stitch that will follow a curve well or can be worked in single units and arranged n patterns. Since the structure of the stitch is simple being a form of lacing between two stitches the wear and tear on the thread you use is at a minimum this means once you know and understand how the stitch is worked you can easily experiment with a large variety of threads.

How to work Wheatear Stitch

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 1The stitch is worked in a downward motion. Commence with a straight stitch worked at an angle.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 2Make a second straight stitch also worked at an angle. Make sure the base of the stitch meets the base of first stitch. Bring your thread out a little below the base of the V.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 3Pass your needle from right to left under the two straight stitches.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 4Pull your needle through and take it to the back of the fabric so that the thread loops in a single chain.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 5At this stage this unit is a single detached wheatear stitch and you can arrange these units in patterns. See the sample below.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 6Add another diagonal stitch.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 7Add a second diagonal stitch and bring your thread out further down the line.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 8Pass your needle under the two diagonal stitches to make the chain like loop and continue in this manner down the line.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 9

Wheatear  is a versatile stitch as the length of the diagonal straight stitches can be varied, it lends itself to beading and many types of embroidery thread can be used. You can also work with single units of the stitch and arrange them in patterns.

Wheatear stitch sample 4Wheatear also lends itself to hand dyed and variegated threads. In this sample I used 1 ply of Caron Watercolour thread on Aida.

Wheatear stitch sample 2In this sample I  stacked row upon row and worked to create a pattern. I worked rows in both directions and lined them up so they slightly overlap. This method covers enough of the foundation fabric for it to be used on canvas as a needlepoint stitch.

Wheatear stitch  can easily be laced or threaded and you can use the rows the couch down thread. Some very interesting effects can be built up this way.


Wheatear stitch sample 3Single detached Wheatear stitch can also be worked in a square. In this sample I have worked 4 squares building up a pattern. You could easily infill with other stitches such as satin stitch or add beads to build up the the patterning.

This last sample the stitch has been used on a Crazy Quilting Block.

Wheatearsample5I used a silk thread and added extra straight stitches in a metallic thread then topped it off with a bead.
Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 

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84 Responses to How to work Wheatear stitch

  1. Completing this month’s TAST – my wheatear stitches are done on paper.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Sherrie says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I’ve posted my addition of the Wheateater Stitch on my Crazy Quilt at my place. Have a great day!

  3. Christine B. says:

    Hello Sharon! This is a relatively new stitch to me, so it was fun to practice it. Here is a link to my blog post

  4. maneki says:

    Hadn’t tried this stitch before, but soon found it easy and hassle-free. Wasn’t so interested in it at first — but then I got my beads out and tried different beaded variations with great results! You can check them out here:

  5. Ann says:

    I found the wheatear stitch to be quite enjoyable to do. Thanks for introducing it through TAST. Included the sampler in my TAST embroidery journal. Pictures are here:

  6. Jane says:

    Lots of fantastic examples of this stitch to see here. I was a bit late posting but I gave it a go.

  7. Oops, we’re on Week 18 and I am just posting Week 17. I like this stitch!

  8. Sue says:

    This is my first TAST and this is the link to my Wheatear stitch samples on Flickr

  9. Iris Lins says:

    Wait for me! Sharon has already posted the week 17 highlights but in my country it still is Monday. Here is mine
    Iris Lins

  10. I have posted photos of my Wheatear stitching – come by and have a look!

  11. Rose says:

    Wheat Ear Stitch scribble has been posted on Facebook, Flickr, and Stitchin Fingers.
    Hope to get a blog post done soon but catching up with loads of stuff due to being in the hospital since Wednesday with my husband who took a bad fall and ended up having a pacemaker installed.

  12. Hi Sharon,
    I had mistakenly pasted your blog, instead of mine,
    my wheat ear sampler is here
    thank you,

  13. Sue says:

    I combined Weeks 16 & 17 into a little abstract flower. Here’s a link to my photo:

    Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed stitching it! I’m contemplating adding some sort of filling stitch (pulled thread work maybe?) into the background, as well as an embroidered border around the outer edge.


  14. Sharon,
    First pf all sorry that I have to disable the right click button in my blog and also added ‘nopin, not to go under any more trauma of issues like reposting and pinning without any link backs or credits.
    For TAST challenge, I am posting my works in stitchinfingers too. Please you can use them if they impress you.
    My sincere apologies for this.
    I my my blog some old and new work
    In stitchinfingers

  15. Julie says:

    I am trying to catch up having lost a week while traveling. The wheat ear stitch is quicker going than the french knot sample I’m doing. You can see my wheat ear here:

  16. Another very neat stitch I had not done or even heard of before! Loved it!!
    Thanks Sharon 🙂

  17. Gayle S. says:

    I have finished my Wheatear sampler and put it on my Flickr page.

  18. I have tried twice and my comments don’t seem to register? hope this one does?
    Wheat ear sample week 17

  19. Yuma Tatter says:

    I love this stitch… My work on this week’s and the past 3 week’s stitches can be seen on my blog.

  20. Yuma Tatter says:

    I love this stitch! My work on this week’s and the last 3 weeks’ stitches can be seen on my blog at

  21. Hi Sharon,
    I have started on this week’s wheat ear stitch, my blog-
    thank you,

  22. Jenny says:

    I have posted two wheat ear stitch samples on my blog.

  23. Here’s my attempt with the wheatear stitch, it was a pleasure learning a new stitch and being part of the group here

  24. I have posted this weeks stitch to my blog;
    and also to the Flikr group;

  25. Bonjour Sharon ,

    Voici mon exercice de la semaine , intégré dans une pochette , j’ai joins l’utile à l’agréable …
    Bon week end

  26. Hi, Had a terrible week….ended up in hospital, so sorry Sharon this is late
    You can find my sample here…….
    chris richards

  27. queeniepatch says:

    I hadn’t used the Wheatear for some time so it was really nice to create something with this versatile stitch:

  28. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    This is my Wheatear Stitch´s work.
    Have a nice weekend!!!

  29. ValerieL says:

    Here is my wheat ear stitch sampler:
    I love this stitch. So nice for making flowers and plants.

  30. Claudia says:

    Here is my attempt on this week’s stitch which was completely new for me:

  31. Christine says:

    J’ai testé ce nouveau point , que je ne connaissais pas, sur deux ouvrages, en ligne et en point de remplisssage.
    Quelques photos ici,

  32. crazypatch says:

    Vous pourrez voir ici mon petit travail de la semaine. bonne journée

  33. Debbie says:

    This one I enjoyed! Here’s the link to my blog post:

    Thanks, Sharon. Have a good weekend.

  34. Ina says:

    Hi Sharon,
    This is my simple experiment with smooth gold purl –

  35. Dianne says:

    My wheatear sample has been put up on Stitchin Fingers and I will blog about it later in the day. Loving the wheatear stitch now and will definitely be using it again

  36. Maureen Bond says:

    I have posted my week 17 efforts at
    Thanks for the Antique patterns pointer, Sharon, I used part of one element for the Wheatear. I can see I’ll get a lot of use from these.

  37. Bernice O says:

    Week 17 Wheatear stitch was a new stitch for me and after doing it awhile I really liked it.

  38. I didn’t know this stitch before, I wish I had more time this week to try it!

  39. Anneliese says:
    Some headache about this stitch – but help from down under – it is like a wonder!

  40. This time I am early (most of the time I post after a week on tuesday), enjoying the unfamiliar stitch .

  41. Loved this week’s stitch! Thank you, Sharon, for all the fun you’ve given me so far!
    my sample for week 17

  42. I’ve taken the stitch, you can see it here
    Thank’s for the visit

  43. Kathy says:

    I found the Wheatear stitch to be fun. Here is my sampler.

  44. Christine T says:

    Hi Sharon, thank you very much, you have posted my work last week !
    Now you can see my work for the wwek 17 here :

  45. Suztats says:

    I had fun learning this stitch this week. Here’s my blog post:
    my favourite part was ‘discovering’ the star shapes……

  46. Liz Figures says:

    TAST WEEK 17 Wheatear stitch (detatched). Shoal of Minnows.
    will tinker to make them not see thru i think 🙂

  47. Liz Figures says:

    TAST WEEK 17 Wheatear stitch (detatched)
    . Shoal of Minnows.

  48. shirley says:

    Thank you so much Sharon so simple I have been putting the paste into the website bit.

  49. shirley says:

    Thanks Sharon, I have added my wheatear stitch on my SF page
    and on my blog at

  50. Here’s mine. This week’s stitch is one I love, first time round!!

  51. Margaret says:

    People are on the ball this week, some samples were on stitchin fingers before I had even had the email telling me it was to be wheatear!

  52. shirley says:

    What I cant seem to master is getting a link to my posting to work here what am I doing wrong.

  53. shirley says:

    Last time I tried this stitch I found it difficult, however, this time I managed to ‘get’ it. I have tried using it on an abstract background and have posted my photo on SF

  54. medha devdas says:

    this is my first attempt in this wheatear stitch

  55. Cyndi L says:

    I had a LOT of fun with this stitch. In fact, I kind of went a bit nuts, changing colors for different parts, adding a second chain stitch within each original one, and adding French knots to the mix. I think my quilt needs a few more strands of this fabulous “seaweed”, what do you think?

  56. Christina says: Tried my luck at this very new, very exciting stitch. Thinking of how to make something other than grass or grain.

  57. Angela says:

    This is a new stitch for me. I like it and will try to use it again. You can see my attempt to learn it here

  58. Annet says:

    It’s neen a long time since I used wheatear stitch! Here’s my weekly post with old samples:

  59. Debbie says:

    Had the time to complete two weeks of challenges! Now I can sit back, relax and enjoy everyone else’s beautiful creations!
    Week 17 – Wheatear Stitch
    Week 16 – French Knot stitch

  60. Arlene says:

    This is a stitch I’ve used, but I haven’t come close to mastering. I’m so glad it was included since I think it is striking.

  61. Hannah says:

    That looks like a pretty stitch, I can see it on something fancy! I’ll have to give it a go!

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