How to work beaded Wheatear Stitch

Wheatear stitch sample 6Wheatear stitch is a versatile, simple stitch to work that is very easy to add a bead too as you embroider. The trick with any of the hand embroidery stitches you add beading to, is to use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 or perle #5 thread through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch.

In the sample above varieties of Wheatear stitch is used to depict wild grasses. Various forms of wheatear are used but most noticeable is a beaded version. The hand embroidery is set agains a hand painted linen background. I used hand dyed cottons and also substituted many of the chain stitches with oyster stitch.

How to work Wheatear Stitch

To work beaded wheatear you need to be familiar with regular wheatear stitch which you can fine the directions on how to work Wheatear Stitch  here.  Use a size 26 tapestry needle so you can thread your bead as you work. The samples have been worked using perle # 5 thread

The stitch is worked in a downward motion. Commence with a single wheatear stitch .

Step by step how to work Beaded Wheatear stitch 1Bring your needle out at the point where you would start to work the next set of diagonal stitches  straight stitch also worked at an angle as illustrated. Thread a bead on to your working thread before you take your needle to the back of the fabric as illustrated.

Step by step how to work Beaded Wheatear stitch 2

Bring your needle out on the left side to make another diagonal stitch.  Add a second bead and take your needle to the back of the fabric. 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 Beaded Wheatear stitch 3Pass your needle under the two diagonal stitches to make the chain like loop.

Step by step how to work Beaded Wheatear stitch 4Make a regular wheatear stitch then  a beaded wheatear stitch and continue in this manner down the line.

Step by step how to work Beaded Wheatear stitch 5You can bead every ear of the stitch or as I have done in the directions which is to bead every second set of ears.

Step by step how to work Beaded Wheatear stitch 6This is a versatile beaded version of wheatear stitch that will follow a curve well and can really add some zest to a piece. Enjoy!

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10 Responses to How to work beaded Wheatear Stitch

  1. Angèlica says:


  2. Andy Lloyd Williams says:

    Many thanks, Sharon, for the wheatear stitch – just what I needed. I am making a small fabric book of my favourite quotes, one of which is “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
    Robert Louis Stevenson.
    I am doing a small picture of wheat stalks, poppies and poppy seed heads, so the timing of your stitch tutorial was perfect.
    Best wishes Andy

  3. Maureen says:

    Wheatear beaded is really lovely and the oil-slick beads add to the look.
    I think this would look good on Christmas CQ work too. I will try some on mine and post a photo soon.

  4. Janie says:

    Your ‘grasses’ are fabulous Sharon. You not only put out great tutorials you also know how to use embroidery to ‘paint’ with,
    that’s a beautiful natural effect.

  5. Bertha says:

    Love your work, very helpful!

  6. Jude Ebsworth says:

    I like your grasses very much

  7. Jan says:

    Thank you, I will try this.

  8. Cathy Menard says:

    Beautiful work..

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