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Open fishbone stitch icon
Open fishbone stitch

Open fishbone stitch main image

This variation of fishbone stitch has a more open effect. It is often used to fill small shapes such as leaves or flower petals.  As it does not give a dense effect, if required an outline stitch, e.g. stem stitch, chain stitch can be worked around the edge of the shape.

Open fishbone stitch is generously sponsored by Jana Bass


Work from top to bottom.


Bring the needle up to the left of the centre.


Make a diagonal stitch to the right hand side edge.


Bring up the needle on the left edge, and insert the needle just to the right of the centre to make another diagonal stitch.


Come up just to the left of the centre and make the next diagonal stitch.


Continue in this way until the shape is filled.

Open fishbone stitch

Structure of stitch

Embroidery Techniques


  • Mrs Archibald Christie, Samplers and Stitches (1921) , p.15
  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.91