Basque stitch

Basque stitch

As the name suggests, Basque stitch is found on old embroideries from the Basque region of northern Spain. You can 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 lines or circles, 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, and take a large bite of the fabric, so that you insert the needle on the top line to emerge 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 1

Pull 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 2

Take the needle through the fabric and repeat this process along the line.

Step by step Basque stitch 3

Worked 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. You can attach small seed beads at the end of the loop or inside the loop.

sample of basque stitch

This is a stitch that is absolutely marvelous on a curve. I worked this sample on a piece of cotton batik and 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?


Create your own designs with Sharon’s easy-to-use stitchers templates. Combine shapes to create hundreds of patterns and designs to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers of all skill levels. I created them to be as versatile as possible. I include four multi-patterned templates in each set. You will find them easy to use, totally clear to help you position them on your work, and they are nice and compact to fit in your sewing box. Each set comes with an e-book filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as a jumping-off spot for your own designs. They are available now in our shop here!

Happy stitching!


  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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