clear navigate_before

Chessboard filling stitch icon
Chessboard filling stitch

Chessboard filling stitch main image

This stitch consists of blocks of four parallel satin stitches, overlaid with a large cross which is couched in the centre.

N.B. for the pulled thread stitch with the same name, see the entry for Chessboard filling (pulled thread).

Chessboard filling stitch is generously sponsored by Karen Wilson



Make four straight vertical stitches next to each other. Ideally the length of the stitch will be equal to the width of four threads to create a square satin stitch.


Space the squares like a chessboard pattern to fill the area.


Stitch over the square satin with a diagonal stitch top left to bottom right.


And another diagonal stitch from bottom left to top right to complete a cross.


Tie these stitches with a small vertical stitch over the centre of the cross.


Work in horizontal rows to complete a tied cross on each satin stitch square.


Continue to cover all the squares with a tied cross.

Chessboard filling stitch

Structure of stitch


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.45
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012) , p.91

Examples of Chessboard filling stitch

Penelope’s Jacobean crewel work and traditional designs

See the diagram on the left for chessboard filling stitch.