Wheatear Stitch

Wheatear stitch is a fun option for stitching in a straight line or a curve, and works well when stitching decorative borders, wreaths, foliage, and, of course, wheat!


A photo of an embroidery hoop with three decorative lines stitched in shades of blue and green on white fabric.
three lines of completed wheatear stitch

As always, you can use as many strands of cotton embroidery floss as you like for this stitch. In the finished photo above, I've used six strands of cotton embroidery floss for the stitch on the left, three for the stitch on the right (this is the line I stitch in the picture tutorials below), and just two for the stitch in the middle (this is the line I stitch in the video tutorial at the end of this post).


Step 1: Gather your supplies and mark your fabric.


I used a heat-erasable pen to mark my stitching lines onto two layers of cotton fabric, and I'll be using three strands of cotton embroidery floss for this example.



Step 2: Make two straight stitches in the shape of a "V" at the top of your line of stitching.



Step 3: Bring your needle up through your fabric, using the guideline.


You can bring your needle up any distance you like.



Step 4: Weave your needle underneath those two straight stitches, without piercing your fabric.



Step 5: Bring your needle back down through the last hole you made, creating your first wheatear stitch.


Similar to detached chain stitch, you can make this "loop" as tight or as loose as you like, depending upon your desired effect.



Step 6: To continue your line of stitching, make two more straight stitches in the shape of a "V," going down through that last hole.



Step 7: Bring your needle back up through your fabric as before; this time, however, you'll be weaving underneath your straight stitches as well as underneath the loop from your first wheatear stitch.


Again, make sure not to pierce your fabric or floss at this step.



Step 8: Bring your needle back down through that last hole.


Now you have your second wheatear stitch!



Step 9: Repeat steps 6-8 until you've reached the end of your line of stitching.



Step 10: To finish your line of stitching, you'll stitch one last pair of straight stitches.



Just like that, you're done!



Video tutorial for wheatear stitch


As always, my favorite way to teach embroidery is actually through video tutorials! Here's a video tutorial for this stitch.



If you're new to embroidery and would like to learn from a kit, I've got you covered! If you've already converted, why not treat yourself to a pair of hand embroidery scissors?