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. 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 stitch will follow a curve well or it can be worked in single units and arranged 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 the stitch is worked you can easily experiment with a large variety of threads.

How to work Wheatear Stitch

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 1The stitch is worked in a downward motion. Commence with a straight stitch worked at an angle.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 2Make 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.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 3Pass your needle from right to left under the two straight stitches.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 4Pull 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 5At this stage this unit is 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 6Add another diagonal stitch.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 7Add a second diagonal stitch and bring your thread out further down the line.

Step by step how to work Wheatear stitch 8Pass 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 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 stitch sample 4Wheatear 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 2In 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.


Wheatear stitch sample 3Single 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.

Wheatearsample5I 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?

marking a seam using 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 apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

For more information, see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns visit the information pages in the shop where you can also purchase them.


  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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