Basque stitch

Basque stitch

Basque Stitch

As the name suggests, Basque stitch is found on old embroideries from the Basque region 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 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’s 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 centre of the circle. This is particularly effective 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.

Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

marking a seam using my stitchers Templates

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery, I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates, you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

To see what they look like, find out about the free ebook of patterns that come with them, go to the Pintangle shop .


  1. 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

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