Running stitch - embroidery how-to, quick video, and step by step guide

What is the running stitch and how do I use it?

The running stitch consists of weaving embroidery floss in and out of the fabric, creating a dashed line. It is, essentially, a series of evenly spaced straight stitches, unlike the backstitch which combines these stitches to make a solid line. This stitch is often used as a base for decorative embroidery stitches, but can also be used as a basic outline stitch or to add texture to a design. In the Stitching Raccoon Sampler, the running stitch is used for the bark of the tree stump.

Running stitch in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler

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Running stitch diagram

Below is what a typical diagram for the running stitch may look like in an embroidery pattern or on other how-to pages. 

Running stitch diagram

See the running stitch in action

Follow along with this quick video to see how each step of the running stitch comes together.

Step-by-step instructions

Now, let's walk through each step in the running stitch together.

Step 1From the backside of the fabric, bring your needle up at your starting point.

Image of stitching the running stitch

Step 2: Now, place your needle back down through the fabric about a stitch length away from your starting point.

Image of stitching the running stitch

Step 3: Come back up through the back of the fabric about a stitch length away from your last stitch. 

Image of stitching the running stitch

Step 4: Working forwards, continue making stitches, leaving a space in between each one. Feel free to make these stitches and spaces as big or small as you'd like.

Image of stitching the running stitch

Save it for later

Want to remember how to do the running stitch? Pin the image below to Pinterest as a quick reference for later!

Running stitch diagram for Pinterest

Give it a try, you can do it!

Now it's your turn to grab a needle, some embroidery floss, and give it a go! Practice the running stitch, along with other basic embroidery stitches, in the Stitching Raccoon Sampler. Get the embroidery pattern for FREE by signing up below!

Image of finished Stitching Raccoon Sampler

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