Sheaf Stitch Tutorial

Sheaf Stitch Sample 4Sheaf Stitch is a quick, easily worked hand embroidery stitch that is ideal for beginners and children yet it versatile enough to keep advanced embroiderers intrigued.  This stitch is often underestimated.

It looks good in a thread that has a firm twist such as cotton perle #5 or Cotton Perle #8 if you like a finer embroidered texture. In my samples I have used Caron Watercolours thread which is a variegated thread on a hand dyed 27cnt Linda fabric.   One ply of Caron Watercolour thread is about the same weight as a #5 pearl cotton but the twist is not quite so firm.

Sheaf Stitch can worked in lines to form a border or you can have a huge amount of fun arranging this stitch in some very attractive patterns. Since I have an addiction to pattern I always enjoy this stitch!

Sheaf Stitch is also very effective when you vary the length of each bar or add to the number of the bars.

Sheaf Stitch Sample1How to hand embroider Sheaf Stitch

Bring the needle out at the top of where you want your stitch to be and make a vertical straight stitch. This stitch will be the middle stitch in the sheaf

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial 1Point you needle to the right bringing the needle out to the right. Pull your thread through.

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial2Take the needle to the to the top insert the needle and make a vertical straight stitch. This stitch will be the right hand side stitch in the sheaf.

Point your needle to the left bringing the needle out to the left. Pull your thread through.

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial 3Point you needle to the left centre of the middle straight stitch. Pull your thread through.

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial 4Thread your needle under the left straight stitch.

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial 5Take your thread over the top and pass your needle under the right straight stitch. Insert the needle in the middle and take the thread to the back.

Sheaf Stitch step by step tutorial 6Pull snug to make a small cross bar.

Sheaf Stitch Sample 2You can arrange Sheaf stitch in patterns.

Sheaf Stitch Sample 3I hope you enjoy the stitch!

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be both practical and inspiring.
Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone 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 use in your stitching projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

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



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64 Responses to Sheaf Stitch Tutorial

  1. Hi Sharon,
    I am catching up on the stitches which I missed and started with this stitch sampler.the details-
    thank you,

  2. Jennifer says:

    here is the Sheaf Stitch! thank you Sharon and everyone!

  3. Anneliese says:

    Here is finally my sample of sheaf stitch

    is my attempt on sheaf stich. I have caught up with the stitches, but havent got time to use that in motifs/designs other than learning the stitch. I wont mind having a catch up week.

  5. Laurel says:

    Here’s my sample of the Sheaf stitch. This was a new stitch for me, and a lot of fun!

  6. Bernice O says:

    Really liked the Sheaf stitch…

  7. Isabelle says:

    here is my work with the sheaf stitch
    about the catch up, I’m not really late for the TAST, it would allow me to work a bit on some other projects

  8. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and all,
    thinking about what to do with sheaf stitch OP-Art came in my mind. Here is my little attempt :

  9. Here is my sample for the sheaf stitch:

  10. Lucy Landry says:

    I’m OK either with or without a catch up week. Here is my sample for this week:

  11. I’m afraid that other stitching has caused me to skimp a bit on playing with TAST but I don’t NEED a catch-up week. However, I wouldn’t MIND one!

    Here is my sheaf stitch:
    I’ve done it before on various samplers as a border or a line of stitches — will be interested to see how the talented ladies here use it in ways I never would have thought of!

  12. Faith says:

    Time off works for me. I will be remodeling for the next two weeks, so I don’t know what stitching I’ll get done. I may do it just to relax or I may have no time at all.

  13. Here’s my sample of wheatsheaf stitch. I Enjoyed just playing with the possibilites.
    (looks like I’ll miss next weeks challenge?)

  14. Hi Sharon, loved this stitch and got carried away !!!
    You can see my sample here ……………………..
    Chris richards

  15. leelagovind says:

    i dont need a catchup week..i suppose offering catch up will make me lazy once again to work on it..:)

  16. Ann says:

    I’m caught up with stitches, though my samplers aren’t huge. For me, the quality suffers in my samplers when the stitch is too complicated or confusing – like the one last week (week 34). I found myself putting off even starting to learn the stitch and once I did, I was frustrated that I couldn’t figure it out.

    Honestly, I was so relieved when I saw the easy stitch this week. I thought, “Oh, good! I can do something that will look half decent and be happy with it.”

    If the majority of the remaining stitches were easy ones – with the goal of simply learning new stitches – I’d be quite content.

    Here’s what I did this week:

  17. yvonne andersson says:

    NO, NO, don´t do it again. I want a new stitch next week
    love from Yvonne

  18. Lyndsey says:

    I am so far behind that a catch up week would be great.

  19. Debbie says:

    My stitching for this week:
    While I don’t need to catch up, I do like having a week off. 🙂 So, I vote yes.

    Thanks for everything, Sharon!

  20. Sharon, for the past couple of weeks I had problem that I could not able to type comment in your comment box. Now the problem is solved on its own. Here is my sheaf stitch which is very new to me..enjoyed doing it..

  21. Anneliese says:

    Yes, yes, I would love a catch-up week -( but I am also happy without it and will gradually catch up because live was in my way in August).
    My answer: YES – CATCH-UP WEEK

  22. every time I answered “no, I don’t need catch-up week”, but now I have to say I need 🙂
    summer vacations and preparation for new school season…
    well, I have now 3 stitches for catch-up! 🙂 and, sure I can do it without special week, but it would be more easy to have one 🙂
    thank you,

  23. Kim S says:

    I need a catch up month but a week would be good. Thanks for some challenging stitches Sharon I look forward to whats ahead.

  24. Maureen Bond says:

    I’ve added my samples to WordPress and enjoyed the easy stitch.
    The catch up week is popular and suits me as I can now visit longer with family. An extra bonus would be the craft sale near them, beginning Tuesday.

  25. Jennifer says:

    catch up week would be lovely – greatly appreciated 😀

  26. Joyce says:

    I am loving TAST but when my son had surgery, then while I was helping out there I got called home because my husband had to have surgery–well I am so behind. One week probably won’t make a big difference but it might help me. I have been trying to do 3 or 4 stitches each week in addition to the weekly one. Since I got so behind, I plan to go back over many of the stitches and explore them at a later date because when you do 4-5 stitches a week there isn’t time to really explore any of them.

  27. latha says:

    I do not mind either way….love TAST and waiting for the stitches ahead!!!!!!

  28. Carol in Clermont says:

    Yep…can use a week to really let the stitches sink into my memory. Love TAST!

  29. queeniepatch says:

    Yes please, a catch up week would be nice.

  30. Angela says:

    Thanks for the instructions for this stitch. I really like it. My sample is here
    I could go either way in regards to a catch up week.
    warm regards

  31. I don’t need one but I’m happy to go with the flow.

  32. Hi Sharon,
    I’m okay without a catch up week. But, part of what engages me in TAST is the structure of a new stitch each week and knowing there is a group of us working that stitch. If dedicated people are falling off the wagon…well…that’s just no fun at all. I’m happy to wait for a catch up if that’s what’s needed. I’ll just work on other pieces.
    jeanne-marie mellor

  33. Even though I’m caught up I would very much appreciate a catch up week.

  34. Hi Sharon,
    I don’t need a catch up week as I just did the catching up. Have a look at for the result.
    Have a nice day, Jessica

  35. crazypatch says:

    Don’t need a catch up but ok if others want it. A bientôt

  36. Annet says:

    Here’s my weekly post with old sheaf stitches:
    Next week there’s no time for me to stitch or blog, so I like a catch up week please.

  37. Yes please! I’m so far behind, it’s crazy…

  38. Patricia Jay says:

    Yes, I would like a catch-up week. I was in the hospital recovering from Colon Cancer Surgery and missed several emails. thank you for your time in bringing this great embroidery to the www.

  39. I’ve been too busy these last few weeks with end of summer busyness so a catch up week would be appreciated for this beginner. thanks

  40. Juno says:

    Catch up would be great

  41. I personally, do not need a catchup week, but would be happy to go along with one for others who may be finding it difficult to keep up 🙂

  42. I’m about half the challenge behind at the moment and another catch-up week may help me get up to date. I’d like to…

  43. Claudia says:

    I vote for a catch up week, but I’m looking forward the next stitch! Cheers Claudia

  44. Carole Auden says:

    Hi Sharon, I’ve been doing only minimal weekly TAST samples for a little while now and feel the need for a catchup week. Just feeling a bit overwhelmed too, so a play with sheaf stitch will do me good. Cheers, Carole A in the UK

  45. Susan says:

    I think next week is a good week for catch up. It’s a 3-day holiday weekend here up over, and time for stitching is probably going to take second place to time for family.

  46. Suztats says:

    Yes, please, for a catch up week. Thanks.

  47. Laurel says:

    Sharon – This might be a good catch-up week, since many are transitioning from summer to fall, vacation to school/work, etc. I hope to finish my big crewel project this week, so I can spend more time on TAST challenges. Also, I am a little confused about your instructions for the Sheaf stitch. The last image looks like only one bar will result across the sheaf, but your words and the first finished images look to have 2 or 3 bars across the sheaf.

    • sharonb says:

      The images in in the samples are one thread but it was soft silk that untwisted slightly as it was stitched and looks like two threads. If you look at some of the uprights you will see the threads look like two rather than one. It is in fact 1 thread. Not that it matters too much as thre is no reason why you could not experiment with 2 or more ties with this stitch.

  48. Maureen Bond says:

    Sharon I’ll go with the majority on the catch-up week.
    You are right about quality slipping and I find I have not always experimented as I should. I’ll try to remedy this.

  49. Bernice O says:

    Don’t need a catch up but ok if others want it.

  50. Peggy Kimble says:

    No, I don’t think we need a rest week. Thankyou

  51. Hi Sharon, I am very happy to have a catch up week if it helps others ! I do love my ‘TAST’……..So I shall look forward to the next stitch !!!
    Chris Richards

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