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Cloud filling stitch icon
Cloud filling stitch

  • Mexican stitch
  • Cloud stitch
  • Ukranian interlaced running stitch
Cloud filling stitch main image

This stitch consists of evenly-spaced small vertical anchoring stitches, interwoven with a diagonal trellis.  Most trellis stitches are worked with the long threads laid first and then anchored with small crossing stitches; this version is worked with the small anchoring stitches first which softens the lines of the trellis, making it slightly curved.

For a more angular version, see fly stitch filling.

Ukranian interlaced running stitch has one subtle difference: the diagonal interwoven threads stretch across the whole of the design area, rather than being worked row by row.  This results in a straighter trellis.

N.B. this stitch has been given a structure of ‘couched’ as visually it appears as if it were couched (although the order of working the anchoring stitches first means that strictly this isn’t correct).

This stitch has been generously sponsored by Galina Krasskova Beacon, in memory of Linnie Shoff Hanna.


You can use contrasting threads for the vertical stitches and the weaving to create many different variations.
Using a tapestry needle for the weaving will make it easier to avoid piercing the fabric or the small anchoring stitches.


Work a row of evenly spaced small vertical stitches.  Beneath this, work a second row of alternately spaced vertical stitches.  Repeat these two rows as required.


To start the weaving, bring the needle up through the fabric so it protrudes to the right of the top left vertical stitch.  Working from left to right weave the needle through the stitches alternating between first and second rows - this will form a zigzag line.  Whilst weaving, do not pierce the fabric. 
Take the needle down underneath the last vertical stitch of the row.


The next row is worked right to left.  Bring the needle up from underneath the first stitch of the third row and again weave the needle through the vertical stitches alternating between the second and third rows.


Repeat these steps to complete the cloud filling.

Cloud filling stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.69
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.49–50
  • Kate Haxell, The Stitch Bible (2012) , p.92
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.135