Quick and Easy Running Stitch

Heart shaped running stitch

The Running Stitch is One of The Easiest of Stitches

Anytime basic embroidery stitches are brought up the running stitch will always be mentioned. It’s very basic and in its simplicity it’s really a group of dashed lines (kind of similar to what you would see on a highway). Each stitch will be about the same size and lay at the same distance from each other which gives the running stitch a nice uniform look…

but you can also play around with the stitch sizes if you’re looking for a more playful or organic touch, and just as with the back stitch, smaller stitches will help create curves that look smoother.

What To Do with the Running Stitch

Well, it’s often used for outlining shapes and lines, and it’s also used for decorative elements. It can also be used as a fill, and there are several ways it can be laid out, thus the look and texture can vary depending on what you’re going for! I think that’s kind of exciting!

There are also several variations of the running stitch that can dress it up to be more decorative. It’s a very simple stitch but it can also be a bit sophisticated as well as creative!

It’s also used to finish the back of your embroidery project to pull the edges together with ease.

While I’d love to get into all the creative and fun variations (that’ll be for another post) I’m just going to show you the most basic and simple form because I did say quick and easy!

Running Stitch Step-by Step

With your hooped fabric ready, start by creating one simple stitch that comes up at point A and returns to the back of your fabric at point B. It can go in any direction and can be a straight or curved line.

creating the running stitch from point A to B

Repeat that step but leave a gap between the stitch you just created and this new one.

creating a second running stitch

Keep going until you’ve reached a happy length!

the running stitch in red

That was pretty easy, right? You can make the running stitch large or small and the gaps can be of equal distances or they can be varied. It’s all about what you’re going for, and there’s really no right or wrong.

As I mentioned earlier, if you should use the running stitch for a tight curve you may want to make your stitches smaller so you don’t get wonky angles which can happen with larger stitches. Practice these too so you get an idea of what size works best.

Running Stitch Video Tutorial

Now that we’ve gone over the running stitch step-by-step take a minute to watch the quick video so you can see it in action, then browse through my Stitches Library for more stitch tutorials.


Free Embroidery Patterns

I hope this running stitch tutorial was helpful and fun!

Stop by my 5 Basic Embroidery Stitches post to learn a few more basic stitches and while you’re there you can download a free embroidery template to practice them.

And if you’d like to receive a free embroidery pattern like this one for your personal use just sign up for my newsletter.

Be passionate & happy stitching!


Floral pattern made with 5 basic embroidery stitches

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