The Bosnian or Bosnia Stitch is a zig zag stitch that can be used as a row or border stitch, or repeated so you can fill a space. The French refer to this stitch as a fence stitch or barrier stitch. The Bosnian Stitch is worked right to left along parallel lines. It can be used in both hand embroidery as well as in counted cross stitch embroidery. Embroiderers of what was then called Yugoslavia frequently use the Bosnia Stitch as a Filling.
Considered a flat stitch, it is stitched with an up-and-down motion, a great stitch for crazy quilting. So I could see using it to define a seam line on a garment as a design element, or even to add surface design to an art quilt.
Here is a sampler I completed with variations of the Bosnian stitch:
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners. Your purchases via these links may benefit Create Whimsy. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.
The first three rows are the same, but I stitched with different weights of threads.
- Rows 1-3: Black pearl cotton in sizes 12, 8 and 5
- Row 4: I used different color threads, one for the straight stitches on the first direction and then a different color for the return.
- In Row 5: I doubled a variegated thread which makes the stitch thicker, plus the variegated gives the stitch more depth.
- Row 6: I stitched the slanted lines twice, to give it a different look, came back after my straight line with a bottom up stitch, and then went back again with a top down stitch. This definitely looks like a fence post! I understand how the French call it the Fence Stitch.
How to make the Bosnian Embroidery Stitch
Start with stitching parallel lines. The parallel lines can be placed on a straight line or be on a curvy line. I used parallel straight lines for my sample.
Filling the row with straight stitches, I tried to make them all the same length. But I needed to work on my stitch lengths being the same! Then I came back with an angled stitch across the stitched line.
Here is part of the first row. It’s a quick and easy stitch that is a great decorative addition to any stitching project.
I decided to try this stitch a bit more and then did three squares of the Bosnian Stitch in my 4″ sample.
Another finished sample of the bosnian embroidery stitch.
Check out all of the embroidery projects on Create Whimsy!