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Chessboard filling (pulled thread) icon
Chessboard filling (pulled thread)

Chessboard filling (pulled thread) main image

This pulled thread stitch consists of regular blocks of satin stitches in alternating directions to form a chequerboard effect.

For the surface stitch of the same name, see the entry for chessboard filling stitch; for a canvaswork stitch with a diagonal chequered pattern see chequer stitch.

Chessboard filling (pulled thread) is generously sponsored by Mary Janet Kepher


Unlike most of the pulled thread stitches, you do not have to pull too tightly.


Work a row of ten vertical satin stitches over three fabric threads.


Start the second row by bringing your needle up three holes below the bottom of the last stitch.  Take your needle down in the same hole as the bottom of the last stitch to make a vertical satin stitch in line with the previous one.  Continue the row.


Complete the first block with a third row of satin stitches, and move onto the second block. This time, make three columns of ten horizontal satin stitches across three threads.


Start another block, this time working a row of ten vertical satin stitches like the first block.


Continue with two more rows of ten vertical satin stitches to complete the block.


Alternate the direction of stitches for each block in order to make a chessboard pattern.


Continue until the design area is filled.

Chessboard filling (pulled thread)

Structure of stitch


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.46
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012) , p.122