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How to Embroider a Running Stitch – video

How to Embroider Running Stitch - a video tutorial

There are a lot of outline stitches you can use for different effects when you’re embroidering by hand – the running stitch is the easiest.

It’s a great stitch to start with – the first one I teach to beginning stitchers.

So watch the video and get stitching!

Remember – the “correct” way to do running stitch is where the length of your stitches is equal to the length of the space between the stitches. But that’s not the only way to do it!

I prefer to have more stitch and less space. Every once in a while, depending on the effect I’m going for – maybe raindrops? – I might want to have spaces longer than my stitches. It’s totally up to you!

If you want to practice your running stitch, here’s a free pattern to try. It uses just that one stitch!

Raining Rainbows - free embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

Get the Raining Rainbows embroidery pattern here.

You can use the running stitch for more than embroidery. It’s the stitch I use for all my Big Stitch Quilting! Here’s a little peek at a project.

Close-up of Big Stitch Quilting (using running stitch) on a colorful scrap quilt.

If you look closely you can see that the space between my stitches is WAY smaller than the stitches themselves.

If you want to practice the Big Stitch use of running stitches, here’s a free project to try.

Big Stitch Polkadot Coasters - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Click here to go to the Big Stitch Polkadot Coasters pattern.

Here are all my lessons for outline embroidery stitches.

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons teaching fill stitches.


  1. Hi Wendy. Thank you for your embroidery tutorials – at least on these I’m a bit more familiar 🙂 my grandmother taught me when I was a little girl! I have a doubt – which is the best stitch to embroider words? Thanks again,

  2. I usually use backstitch for words – it works well for the tight turns that are in some letters. I also somtimes use split stitch because I like the raised texture, but it can be tricky if the curves are tight.

  3. Anonymous SAYS...

    where could i find some patterns to begin with

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