Running Stitch

running stitch sampleRunning stitch is also known as quilting stitch and Darning stitch. The same hand motion is used to make all three, although there are differences in the spacing of the stitches. Quilting stitch is usually worked with spacing are of the same length and many quilters work very hard at creating evenly spaced stitches.

How to work running stitch To work this stitch simply pass the needle over and under the fabric in a regular even manner.

running stitch pattern darning sample 1Pattern darning creates very attractive designs by changing  the length of the stitches and the spacing between them. This simple but versatile technique has a long and interesting history tracing back to Mamluk Egyptian embroidery where pieces have been discovered that date back to the twelfth century.  Iceland too has long tradition of creating patterns with this simple stitch. Japan has Kogin work, which is also a form of pattern darning and based on running stitch. Kogin is closely related  to Sashiko, a form of quilting. My point is that running stitch is truly an international stitch, with a long and interesting history and I don’t think its life is over either as all of these techniques are still avidly practiced.

running stitch pattern darning sample 2You can use Running stitch  to create simple outlines many contemporary art quilters use it to create lines and is frequently seen in contemporary ‘primitive’ styles. Running stitch is also often the foundation now, for many more complex stitches.

running stitch pattern darning sample 3

No matter what style of embroidery they are all based on the same basic stitch and hand movement.

running stitch pattern darning sample 4

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 

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47 Responses to Running Stitch

  1. Pingback: TAST 2012 #10: Running Stitch - Studio Paars: embroidery running stitch

  2. Annet says:

    I finished a cover for an altered book in Japanese boro, perfect for Beyond TAST.

  3. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for running TAST this year! I’m new to the challenge and plan on building the stitches into a holiday table runner that will *hopefully* be ready by next December.

  4. Kathy Hamm Jones says:

    Hi, Just joined the group. I am very very new at hand stitching, actually I never liked hand stitching so I am looking forward to learning how to do them after seeing all the beautiful designs. Thank you for allowing me to join this group. I am an avid sewer and machine embroider so this will be a little different for me. I will start working on my design book today. thanks again…..

  5. CaLynn says:

    Hi Sharon!

    Is this where I post links to my TASTing? (The dictionary page for each stitch?) I have completed 2018’s first one:

    Thanks so much!

  6. Pingback: Some simple TAST stitches | CrazyQstitcher

  7. Pingback: 1 Years stitches – Days 9 – 12 | CrazyQstitcher

  8. Running stitch (with chain, couching and the next 2) are found here.
    My project challenge is stitching onto paper.
    Sandy in the UK

  9. Sherrie says:

    Hi Sharon,
    My Running Stitch is posted at my place.
    Have a great day!

  10. shirley says:

    I have had a lot of fun working this stitch. i could have kept going with it.
    I have put my samples on SF on my page

    also on my blog at

  11. Sara Hansson says:

    I loved this little running stitch experiment this week


  12. Shami Immanuel says:

    These are some my trials for running stitch of TAST.
    Shami Immanuel

  13. Lucy Landry says:

    I wasn't able to do something new this week, but I've posted pictures of three mosaic faces that I stitched in running stitch a couple of years ago.

  14. Bernice says:

    TAST for week 10…Running Stitch….was hard for me. I had trouble keeping the stitches straight and even. Oh well.

  15. Claudia says:

    It was a big surprise for me to find my attempt on couching among the highlights of last week. Thank you, Sharon, this encourages me very much!
    You can see my attempt on runnung stitch here:

  16. Anneliese says:

    I posted my running stitches on my Flickr account –
    and on my blog:

  17. Hi Sharon,

    I have posted my sample to my blog:
    and also to the Flikr site:


  18. Christine says:

    I didn't use this stitch but I think it was an error….

  19. Helga says:

    All, so wonderful.
    Here is my running stitch.

  20. Rosemary Tweedie says:

    This week my TAST sampler is a tribute to my sewing teacher, since Running stitch was the first stitch we were taught.
    I have also included my mother's needlecase featuring running stitch, worked in 1929 when she was 8 years old.

    Two special ladies in my life, which is appropriate in International Women's Week.

  21. Suztats says:

    I first thought ho-hum about the running stitch until I started looking around at different samples. Then I played.

  22. maria inez says:


  23. I used to use a lot of running stitch in City and Guilds projects, a simple but very useful stitch. My new sample can be seen on my blog

  24. chitra gangadharan says:

    Hi Sharon,
    Had an idea to work kantha embroidery sampler, for this week's stitch. it starts here-
    thank you,

  25. Hi Sharon,
    I am posting my running stitch which had been done twenty years me.

  26. I cheated big style for this week and last put together and used an old City & Guilds sample from the 'line' module.
    There's something to look at anyway.=)

  27. Annet says:

    I didn’t expect to find so many experiments with running stitches in my embroidery. I wrote about it on my blog:

  28. chitra gangadharan says:

    Hi Sharon,
    I am enoying this wonderful challenge of yours.. I am learning so many new things. thank you very much for this
    my earlier running stitch sampler is here-

  29. Christina says: For my entry of week 10. Simple stitch, stunning possibilities!

  30. Jenny Ross says:

    One more couching project and two running stitch pieces, one pattern darning and one random, are up on my blog.


  31. Diane says:

    Added running stitches to the background of my TAST 2012 piece. Each stitch added makes it more interesting. Thanks, Sharon, for spearheading such a great challenge. I wouldn't be doing this piece without your weekly prodding.

  32. Ms Sharma says:

    Here is one of my many embroideries of Kanta-a traditional Indian embroidery forms which basically uses the running stitch in various combinations.

    Please do visit and leave your comments

  33. margb says:

    An old piece – in fact, my only contribution to TAST 2007. Hopefully there will be more to come this week – it is on the blog

  34. Royce says:

    I am submitting two of my works for this week's TAST .

    though the stitch used here is the darning stitch which is much similar to running stitch, I suppose this would qualify for this week's TAST.

  35. I am trying to use all the TAST stitches in a gingerbread house I am making. I am several behind, but I already used pattern darning in the roof. Link to the closeup of the pattern darning which is several weeks old:

    Or check out some of what I have done since at the main blog:

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