How to work Wheatear stitch

How to work Wheatear stitch

Wheatear stitch sample1

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

You can use this stitch to follow a curve or you can work it in single units and arrange it in 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 to work the stitch, you can easily experiment with a large variety of threads.

How to work Wheatear Stitch

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 1

Work this stitch in a downward motion. Commence with a straight stitch worked at an angle.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 2

Make a second straight stitch, also worked at an angle. Make sure the base of the stitch meets the base of the first stitch. Bring your thread out a little below the base of the V.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 3

Pass your needle from right to left under the two straight stitches.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 4

Pull 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 5

At this stage, you have 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 6

Add another diagonal stitch.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 7

Add a second diagonal stitch and bring your thread out further down the line.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 8

Pass 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 you can vary the length of the diagonal straight stitches. Use it for beading, or you can use many types of embroidery thread. You can also work with single units of the stitch and arrange them in patterns.

Wheatear stitch sample 4

Wheatear 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 2

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 to use it on canvas as a needlepoint stitch.

You can easily lace Wheatear stitch or thread it, and you can use the rows to couch down other threads. Some very interesting effects can be built up this way.

Wheatear stitch sample 3

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 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.

Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?


Create your own designs with Sharon’s easy-to-use stitchers templates. Combine shapes to create hundreds of patterns and designs to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers of all skill levels. I created them to be as versatile as possible. I include four multi-patterned templates in each set. You will find them easy to use, totally clear to help you position them on your work, and they are nice and compact to fit in your sewing box. Each set comes with an e-book filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as a jumping-off spot for your own designs. They are available now in our shop here!

Happy stitching!



  1. 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

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