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Scottish squares

  • Scottish stitch
  • Scotch stitch
  • Framed Scotch stitch
  • Cushion stitch
Scottish squares main image

This stitch is a version of cushion stitch (five diagonal stitches which form a square), framed by a grid of tent stitch.

In common with the other versions of this stitch, it is known by various names, some of which are used interchangeably for the different versions.

Scottish squares is generously sponsored by Anne Rowan


The same pattern can be completed using a single colour for the cushions as well as the frame and is often referred to as cushion stitch.


Work a diagonal stitch from bottom left to top right, over one intersection.


Then over two and three intersections


and finally over two and one intersections to complete a square cushion.


Leaving a gap of a single thread, repeat the square cushions across the shape to complete a row.


Surround the cushions with a single line of tent stitch either in the same or a contrasting colour.


Continue to add more square cushions to fill the area.


Complete by framing the whole area with a single line of tent stitch.

Scottish squares

Structure of stitch

A composite pattern, made up of diagonally placed stitches which form a square, it is then surrounded by short diagonal stitches on the same orientation, each over one intersection.

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches

Identifying Scottish squares

Scottish stitch is framed with a tent stitch of a contrasting shade or colour to the square cushions.


  • Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.152
  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004)