Basque stitch Tutorial

As the name suggests, Basque stitch is found on old embroideries from the Basque area of northern Spain you also find it used on embroidery from Portugal and southern France. Basque stitch is also known as twisted daisy border stitch. It is a sort of twisted chain stitch worked in line or circle a bit like a buttonhole stitch

Basque stitch creates a line of twisted loops which looks good on a curved line.
Once you get the hang of the rhythm of this stitch it is very relaxing and enjoyable to to work.

How to work Basque stitch

Work this stitch over two imaginary lines. Bring the thread out on the upper line,   take a large bite of the fabric so that the needle is inserted on the top line and emerges from the back on the lower line. Take the thread across the needle then loop the thread under the needle point.

Step by step Basque stitch 1Pull the needle through the fabric to form a twisted loop. Insert the needle on the lower line and bring it out  just beside the top of the loop.

Step by step Basque stitch 2Take the needle through the fabric and repeat this process along the line.

Step by step Basque stitch 3Worked in a circular manner this stitch forms floral shapes which means it can be used to pattern areas.

Basque stitch sample Another tip is to attach a bead or button placed in the center of the circle is also effective particularly in crazy quilting. Small seed beads can be attached at the end of the loop or inside the loop.

sample of basque stitch

This is a stitch that is absolutely marvellous on a curve. This sample was worked on a piece of cotton batik and I just picked out the curve of the printed pattern.

Hand embroidery sample of Basque stitch Here I have worked Basque stitch in a line. You can create patterns by extending the loops at regular intervals.

Hand embroidery sample of Basque stitch This last example is where I used it in crazy quilting. It is really good at emphasising a line in a motif such as a paisley.

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49 Responses to Basque stitch Tutorial

  1. vero says:

    je rattrape mon retard …..

  2. Dianne says:

    Basque stitch was so much fun to stitch and is now a favourite. You can see my sample on my blog here:

  3. Ann says:

    I enjoyed doing this stitch, and ended up making flowers and a sun. Added these to my TAST embroidery journal. Here are some pictures:

  4. Ms Sharma says:

    Here is my Sampler. Only a few stitches for now

    But I am going to work on it later for more variations and combinations.
    Ms Sharma

  5. Laurel says:

    Here’s my week 29 TAST challenge. Basque stitch is another that can be very “fluid”.

  6. Hi Sharon,
    Here we are Sunday night again.
    I blogged about the process at,
    and put up an image in the Flickr group here

  7. Maureen Bond says:

    I have posted weeks 27,28 and 29 at

    It is good to have caught up.

  8. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    Here is my attempt for this week.This stitch is really magic
    Thak you

  9. Here is my exercise for TAST week 29. I’ll be without access to the web during several weeks, nevertheless I’ll try to continue the TAST, but I could probably not post untill half september. “See” you soon.

  10. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and everyone, again the stitch was new to me, was not love at first sight but now something like a love affair has developed. 🙂
    Here is my attempt:

    Happy Stitching! Claudia

  11. I enjoy very much this stitch . My sampler for this week is here:

  12. Hi Sharon, A great stitch to experiment with………I am learning so much…….Thank you !
    You can see my sample here………………..
    Chris Richards

    I Love all these new stitches. I’m having so much fun with my sampler! For the most part, I’m finished with the embroidery after adding Basque Stitch. I have only just started on the beading though.

  14. Hi Sharon,
    I started working on this stitch sampler, the details are on my blog-
    thank you,

  15. Annet says:

    Today I wrote about my finished sampler with the stitches for weeks 25-29 on my blog:

  16. Niina says:

    Okay, this is the last one I’m linking here. I’m only 6 samplers behind now and my goal is to finish them all by next Tuesday.
    Here’s my Knotted Cretan:

  17. ValerieL says:

    Here is what I did this week with the basque stitch:

    I am happy to think that I am continuing to do these samplers each week. Thanks, Sharon, for making this possible. It is much easier to do this with others than trying to do it on my own.

  18. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon & Friends, my post for the week. I’m not sure if it’s finished (!). Thank you all.

  19. christine says:

    A new stitch for me this week, but a very nice one!

  20. My sample of basque stitch and the fabric journal of all my tast 2012 stitches to date can be found here

  21. Annet says:

    I filled the last space on my red Aida sampler with Basque stitches. I wrote about it on my blog:
    and I added a photo to my Flickr-page:

  22. nalini vasudevan says:

    Here is my trials for this week’s challenge Basque stitch

  23. Hi Sharon,
    the earlier worked sampler of this stitch was posted on my blog here-
    Thank you,

  24. konnykards says:

    Oh dear! I caught up – and then for three weeks I have been feeling so ill that I couldn’t even stitch!!
    I am so cross with myself, once again relying on old stitching – I really want to explore more and add to the new sampler …
    There are a few Basque stitches on this old fishy piece :
    I’m loving seeing everyone’s work though, many thanks all.
    Connie, konnykards

  25. Kippy says:

    Hooray! still catching up, but here is the Basque stitch 🙂

  26. Angela says:

    I am back at it this week. I had to take last week off as I was teaching all week. Hopefully I will find the time to go back and learn that stitch at some point. As for the Basque stitch, this is new to me. I did not find it difficult to learn and will definitely try to use it again.

  27. Debbie says:

    Behind on one week and early on the next!! Here are my stitches for both Up and Down Buttonhole and Basque stitches:

  28. Reba says:

    Well this one for what ever reason changed my brain waves and thinking but……I got a few done…..

  29. Annet says:

    Here’s my weekly post with old Basque stitch samples:
    I think your paisley inspired me the first time, there’s one on my TAST 2007 sampler too!

  30. Shami Immanuel says:

    Here I have worked a mirror work outlined with Basque stitch.

    One more sample which I have used in one of my project. A Curly line

    Thought of trying more samples. so keep following my blog.

  31. Ms Sharma says:

    I am back after a long time. This is one of my favorite stitches.Here is one of my attempts which I did many years back:

    I am going to post my sampler shortly. So please keep an eye on my blog….

    Ms Sharma

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