Rosette of Thorns Stitch

Rosette of Thorns Stitch

Rosette of Thorns is actually a variety of Buttonhole stitch. If you look at it they are a set of 5 buttonhole stitches bunched together at the base with the five arms arranged in a fan. This cluster creates an interesting decorative line. The crown shaped arcs of this stitch can be decorated by adding beads or a French knot. Rosette of Thorns is used in crazy quilting and for decorative borders.

This stitch can be worked in a line or on a gradual curve, with arms of the stitch fanning outwards or in a severe curve to form a circle. It is named Rosette of Thorns as it creates a decorative pattern of crown shapes linked together.

How to work a Rosette of Thorns Stitch

Rosette of Thorns is  a line of grouped buttonhole stitches bunched together at the base with the arms arranged in a fan.  A long buttonhole stitch links each “Crown” of stitches.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step 1Work from left to right along an imaginary line. Bring the thread out on the base line inserting the needle at the angle  illustrated. Loop the working thread under the needle point before pulling the needle through the fabric to form the first loop.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step 2Repeat this process changing the angle of the needle slightly each time.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step 4

If you find it difficult to create a neat arc use a coin as a guide.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step 5

Once the first ‘crown ‘is worked make a long buttonhole stitch.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step6Repeat this pattern of making a cluster of stitches for the crown then a gap, another cluster and so on.

Rosette of Thorns tutorial step7You can create many interesting patterns with this stitch by changing how you space the ‘crowns’ or changing the angles or working two lines back to back.

I hope you enjoy the stitch!

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods about how to design a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, with techniques to 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 was to be practical and inspiring.

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen 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 use in your stitching projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 


  1. Hello Sharon. I am new to crazy quilting and the embroidery involved. Your website is so interesting and it provides such a huge collection of information. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Estelle Meyer
  2. Love the template sets, I have used them all and not just for crazy patch embroidery. The new book is yet another must have. So many ideas and help with stitch formation. Thanks for all you give us !!!!

  3. Sharon I’m still drooling over your book and I’ve been through it so many times. I’m new to crazy quilting and you’ve given so many useful instructions and tips. It answers all my questions. I’ve bought your templates too and I love them. Once my sister saw your book she got herself a copy to. Thanks for all your expert directions and ,of course, eye candy!

    Eileen Anderson
    1. Oh Thankyou Eileen I am so pleased the book is useful to you I love knowing I have been able to encourage someone into crazy quilting as I have had many happy hours doing it

  4. Greetings Sharon, I’ve now received my copy of Crazy Quilting and its a beautiful book. While I’m not so much into Crazy Quilting, I especially appreciate the very clear stitch construction details and the options for further enhancing the basic stitches. Thankyou

  5. Hello Sharon,
    Once again I must thank-you for helping me to add to my list of decorative stitches. Your explanations and illustrations are just right. whilst I am so interested in crazy patchwork, I must confess I have not ventured there yet: but prefer to confine my stitchery by working on felts. Your clear instructions help me to adapt many designs using such a variety of stitches and now I am including small seed beads and sequins, no doubt more elaborate beads and other things will find their way into my work over time. Thank-you so much for your generosity. Kindest regards

    Marilyn Larkin

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