Arrow or Arrowhead stitch

Arrow or Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch sample 10

Two 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 1

Horizontal 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 2

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

Arrowhead Stitch step 3

As you can see, you can build this stitch into patterns if you work row upon row.

Arrowhead Stitch sample2

Or you can work lines back to back

Arrowhead Stitch sample 3

Add more lines to those

Arrowhead Stitch sample 4

Overlap lines that are worked at a different scale.

Arrowhead Stitch sample 5

Combine upright and horizontal Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch sample 6

Then build more on that pattern too!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 7

You can also use this stitch to couch on a ribbon!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 8

How to work Upright Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch upright 2

Upright 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

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Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. My thread twisties are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.

These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape. Twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.

You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.


  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 me..no more wasted hours trying to find a stitch. I can’t thank you enough Sharon. Thanks so much.

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