running stitch hand embroidery tutorial

Running Stitch

The Running Stitch is the basic stitch of hand embroidery, on which all other forms of sewing are based. The stitch is worked by passing the needle in and out of the fabric. The needle is continuously pushed through the cloth, starting on one side and ending on the other side. This stitch can be embroidered by using both sewing and stabbing methods.

Other Names Of The Running Stitch

This basic stitch is also called a Straight stitch, Basting stitch (in sewing), a Long stitch, or a Run stitch.

Running stitch
Running stitch
How to repair jeans tutorial step 3 - embroider
Mending denim with Running stitch

Applications Of Running Stitch

  • In sewing, this essential stitch is used for basting, hems, and gathering.
  • In quilting – to hold the fabric layers and batting.
  • In patchwork – to assemble pieces together.
  • Darning and mending. Running stitch is widely used in traditional Sashiko, Boro, and Kantha embroidery styles. It is perfect for mending clothes or attaching multiple layers of fabric to each other.
  • Surface embroidery. The Running stitch works excellent for outlining, lettering, and even filling. Also, this stitch is a base for some composite whipped, threaded, and parallel stitches.

More stitches from the running Stitch family

You will find a list of all variations in the article “Running stitch and its variations“.

Running stitch 1x1

How to embroider Running Stitch

Step-by-step hand embroidery tutorial

Video tutorial

Tools and materials I used for this sampler

Disclaimer. To cover the cost of creating free embroidery patterns and video tutorials for this blog, I do sometimes link to products. Please assume these links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through my links then THANK YOU – it will make it possible for me to keep doing this.

Embroidery fabric cotton linen neutral colors Etsy
Embroidery fabric
DMC Embroidery Floss Etsy
DMC Embroidery Floss
Beechwood embroidery hoops Etsy
Embroidery hoop
Bohin Embroidery Needles Etsy
Bohin Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Scissors Etsy
Embroidery Scissors

What’s next?

If you’re in the mood to explore more hand embroidery stitches, check out the Stitches and Techniques page for the list of other fantastic stitches available on my blog. From timeless classics to modern twists, a whole world of stitches is waiting for you to explore and master. So, grab your hoop and needle, and let’s stitch our way to creative bliss!

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Need More Guidance?

The top 10 hand embroidery stitches to learn is a free online course created for beginners.

White sashiko stitches on purple fabric