Sheaf 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.
How 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
Point you needle to the right bringing the needle out to the right. Pull your thread through.
Take 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.
Point you needle to the left centre of the middle straight stitch. Pull your thread through.
Thread your needle under the left straight stitch.
Take 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.
Pull snug to make a small cross bar.
You can arrange Sheaf stitch in patterns.
I hope you enjoy the stitch!
Have you seen my book?
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.
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.