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
The stitch is worked in a downward motion. Commence with a straight stitch worked at an angle.
Make 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.
Pass your needle from right to left under the two straight stitches.
Pull your needle through and take it to the back of the fabric so that the thread loops in a single chain.
At this stage this unit is a single detached wheatear stitch and you can arrange these units in patterns. See the sample below.
Add another diagonal stitch.
Add a second diagonal stitch and bring your thread out further down the line.
Pass your needle under the two diagonal stitches to make the chain like loop and continue in this manner down the line.
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 also lends itself to hand dyed and variegated threads. In this sample I used 1 ply of Caron Watercolour thread on Aida.
In 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.
Single 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.
I used a silk thread and added extra straight stitches in a metallic thread then topped it off with a bead.