Sheaf Stitch is a quick, easily worked hand embroidery stitch that is ideal for beginners and children yet it is versatile enough to keep advanced embroiderers intrigued. We often underestimate this stitch.
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 Watercolour’s 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 be worked in lines to form a border. And then again, you can have loads of fun arranging this stitch in some very attractive patterns. Since I have an addiction to patterns, 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 your needle to the right, bringing the needle out to the right. Pull your thread through.
Take the needle 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 your 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 snugly to make a small crossbar.
You can arrange Sheaf stitch in patterns.
You can also use this stitch to decorate seams in crazy quilting. This sample is from block 80 on my I Dropped the Button Box quilt. You can get the pattern and see block 80 here
I varied the height of the stitches to make them look like butterflies. The thread is hand dyed silk.
If you are interested in seeing, reading about and getting the free pattern for the crazy quilt block this detail came from you will find it here in my Diamonds are Forever series.
I hope you enjoy the stitch!
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!