Stitch 1 Take a Stitch Tuesday 2018

It is time to announce the first stitch in TAST 2018. But first, let me welcome you all to Take a Stitch Tuesday 2018!  TAST is always interesting, but particularly the early part of the challenge – as the first 20 or so stitches are the foundation stitches of hand embroidery.

To be honest, if you are totally new to embroidery, then a good place to start is to learn these first 20 or so stitches and master the hand movements associated with them. This will give you the skill to pick up most other stitches. In other words, it will give you the basics, or foundation for many other stitches. Sometimes, you will combine two or more foundation stitches to form another stitch.  Or you will add one or two little extra movements to form a new stitch. So if you want to learn the basics, I recommend that you take up the challenge for at least the first 20 weeks. I reckon that by the end of 20 weeks, you will be so addicted that not completing the rest of the stitches in TAST would feel like a huge lost opportunity in your life!

running stitch sample
Stitch 1 for Take-a-Stitch-Tuesday 2018 is running stitch. And just bear with me for a moment, because at first glance, it looks too simple for words. To be honest, it is an easy stitch – but it is also tremendously versatile. On the instruction page for running stitch, I highlight some of its many uses and list some of the main the techniques that use running stitch, alongside the instructions on how to work it.

running stitch pattern darning sample 3

Beyond TAST

For those who have done TAST before or if you already know the basic embroidery stitches, then I suggest you join in on the Beyond TAST challenge. Beyond TAST runs concurrently with TAST see the TAST FAQ for more details. No need to sign up just join in.  The main point with Beyond TAST is to take a block of time – a month – to explore in depth a family of stitches or stitching styles, or an aspect of design. You can work a small project or simply explore the stitch for the next month.

Running stitch is the basis of Pattern darning which creates very attractive designs by changing the length of the stitches and the spacing between them. This technique is also used in Kogin work from Japan. For the first season in Beyond TAST, I encourage people to explore what is possible with this simple stitch. The idea is to discover for yourself what is possible with this stitch but also share your discoveries with others in the TAST group so that beginners can see how even the most basic of stitches can be used creatively in a contemporary setting.

As a tip for inspiration, if you Google Pattern Darning or Kogin embroidery you will discover lots of information online, resources and Pinterest boards on the topic.


How to take part in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge

If you are new to hand embroidery your challenge is to learn the stitches. So Learn stitch 1 and share what you have learnt. If you are an experienced embroiderer enjoy Beyond TAST and explore this stitch for a month. Try and give your work a modern twist and share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.

Where to share

Stitch a sample of stitch 1, photograph it, put in online on your blog or Flickr site, and share it in the  TAST facebook group or where ever you hang out online. If you have a blog leave a comment on the running stitch page with your full web address. Don’t forget the ‘HTTP’ bit of the web address so that your address becomes a live link. That way, people can just click to visit your site and see what you have done.  For Flickr people, the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.

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

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 accurately and they are compact enough to slip neatly into your sewing box.

For information about set 1 visit this page
For information about set 2 visit this page 

Or visit our shop to buy them 


  1. If doing running stitch is as much fun as researching it I can’t wait to get started. So many ideas I don’t know where to start.
    I have been waiting for this course to start. I found you half way through 2017 so didn’t know what to do first, so never got going.
    I signed up to the 2020 crazy quilt challenge, but I have changed my mind on that at the moment, as I have so much to learn.
    Thank you for your inspiration and information that
    you are so willing to pass on.

  2. A friend and I are meeting at the local library to work on TAST together, as there are no stitching groups within driving range of us. Hopefully our activity will spark some interest and perhaps be a basis for a group in our rural area of north central Washington state, US. Thanks so much for all your information and encouragement.

    Mary Lou Richardson
  3. Hi Sharon, I should be very pleased to participate this Beyong TAST. I began TAST 2012 but not finished, now retired it won’t be stressful with more time to stitch. I love all your work. Happy new year from France

    Hélène Rouèche
  4. Since I did not receive the first email, I just re-signed up. I look forward to participating weekly. Thankfully I know how to do the first stitch, but want to keep the messages from you as they come in.



    Amy B.
  5. Thank you so much for starting this again. I discovered your blog/site when you were on stitch 38 or so and was mesmerized at your beautiful work. I thought I would have to so the whole set alone but am so happy to join the journey. I will be creating Sampler books with the stitches then Fabric Art Books.

    Kathleen Sundby
  6. Since I’m an experienced embroider and am interested in creating fabric artists’ books as well as art quilts–and am now retired with more time–I’d like to try both TAST and Beyond TAST to see which is the best fit is for me. Thank you!

    Paula Blanchard

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