Arrow or Arrowhead stitch

Arrow or Arrowhead stitch

Arrow Stitch

Arrowhead Stitch sample 10Two varieties of Arrowhead stitch are listed in various stitch books. One is a horizontal version and one is vertical. Some books call the vertical version Upright Arrow, while others simply call both versions, Arrow stitch. Some books refer to the horizontal version as Zig-Zag stitch.

Both varieties are good examples of easy quick stitches. I really enjoy the geometric structure, as you can arrange Arrow stitch in numerous patterns to make borders or fills.

This is a good stitch for children and beginners.

How to work Arrowhead Stitch

Arrowhead Stitch step 1Horizontal Arrow stitch is made up of a line of straight stitches worked at right angles to each other in a zig-zag formation.

Arrowhead Stitch step 2Work from left to right along 2 imaginary lines, building line as illustrated.

Arrowhead Stitch step 3As you can see, you can build this stitch into patterns if you work row upon row.

Arrowhead Stitch sample2Or you can work lines back to back

Arrowhead Stitch sample 3Add more lines to those

Arrowhead Stitch sample 4Overlap lines that are worked at a different scale.

Arrowhead Stitch sample 5Combine upright and horizontal Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch sample 6Then build more on that pattern too!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 7You can also use this stitch to couch on a ribbon!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 8

How to work Upright Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch upright 2arrow-upright2Upright Arrowhead stitch is equally easy and quick to work making it an ideal stitch for beginners and children.

This stitch consists of a pair of straight stitches worked at right angles to each other.

Work down the line between 2 imaginary lines, building up the pattern in the manner illustrated.

As with horizontal Arrowhead stitch, the geometric nature of this stitch means you can easily build up patterns and designs with this stitch. You can use it for both a border stitch or as a filling stitch.

I like to use it in contemporary work in an improvisational manner too!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 9

Here, on this detail from block 92 of my ‘I Dropped the Button Box’ quilt I used Arrowhead stitch worked using cotton perle #5 thread, then I laced the line with bunka thread. I use Bunka thread for fringing and is quite thick but has a good drape. I then added red beads in the V of the arrows.

Arrow stitch used on Crazy Quilt block 92 detail

Follow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the ‘follow’ feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

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 to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. I illustrated this book profusely in order to be practical and inspiring.



  1. I never post on these sites but this dictionary is so Awsome. Very nice and easy explainations. Just wow and so many displayed. Now I feel this is the go to site for more wasted hours trying to find a stitch. I can’t thank you enough Sharon. Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: