Running Stitch

Running Stitch

running stitch sample

Running stitch

Running stitch is also known as quilting stitch and Darning stitch. You use the same hand motion to make all three, although you can vary the spacing of the stitches. Quilting stitch is usually worked with spacings 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 1

Pattern 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. Some pieces have been traced back to Mamluk Sultanate embroidery in C12th Egypt. Iceland, too, has a long tradition of creating patterns with this simple stitch. Japan has Kogin work, which is also a form of pattern darning, and is based on running stitch. Kogin is closely related to Sashiko, a form of quilting. Running stitch is truly international, with a long and interesting history. Running stitch will be around for a long time to come, as embroiders still practice all of these techniques avidly!

running stitch pattern darning sample 2

You can use Running stitch to create simple outlines. Along with many contemporary art quilters, you can use it to create lines and you can often see it in contemporary ‘primitive’ styles. Running stitch now is often the foundation 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.

Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?


Create your own designs with Sharon’s easy-to-use stitchers templates. Combine shapes to create hundreds of patterns and designs to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers of all skill levels. I created them to be as versatile as possible. I include four multi-patterned templates in each set. You will find them easy to use, totally clear to help you position them on your work, and they are nice and compact to fit in your sewing box. Each set comes with an e-book filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as a jumping-off spot for your own designs. They are available now in our shop here!

Happy stitching!

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch and share what you have learned. If you are an experienced embroiderer, enjoy Beyond TAST and give your work a modern twist. And of course, share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.

If you are looking for past TAST stitch challenges the archives are in the Take a Stitch Tuesday category

Where to Share

If you are doing the design challenge you have a month to work on your design and stitch it up.

So the idea is to stitch a sample, photograph it, share it in the Take a Stitch Tuesday facebook group, or use the hashtags #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on Instagram.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.


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  2. 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…..

    Kathy Hamm Jones
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