Arrow or Arrowhead stitch

Arrowhead Stitch sample 10There are two varieties of Arrowhead stitch that are listed in various stitch books. One is a horizontal version and one is vertical. The vertical version is sometimes called Upright Arrow or both versions can be called simply Arrow stitch. The Horizontal version is also known as Zig Zag stitch.

Both varieties are a good example of an easy quick stitch. The geometric structure leads to much pleasure, as Arrow stitch can be arranged in numerous patterns which can be used for 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 angels 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 this stitch can be built 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 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 a improvisational manner too!

Arrowhead Stitch sample 9

Here on this detail from block 92 of my I dropped the Button Box Quilt I have used Arrowhead stitch worked using cotton perle #5 thread, then I laced the line with bunka thread. Bunka thread is used 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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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. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is 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.

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