Today we will start our basic embroidery stitches by looking at the Running Stitch. This is the easiest of stitches but can be decorative in its simplicity. This stitch is used: to ‘tack’ pieces together while you sew as it is easily removed; as a gathering stitch; and in a larger size, to decorate clothing. I also use this stitch to outline detail on padded pictures and in my hand quilting.
What you will need:
A 8″ square of light coloured cotton – I am using quilters muslin (we will use this as a ‘sampler’adding each of our stitches and then we will use it in a project at a later date)
Embroidery thread/floss – you choose the colours!
Erasable pen ( I used a Pilot Frixion Ball – available at supermarkets for a couple of dollars)
Nanny edit: Please see new, detailed info re these pens and their use here and then decide if you want to use them
Take the fabric square and, using your erasable pen, rule a line across at 2″ from the top, starting and finishing 1″ in from the side edges.
Cut a 12-15″ length of thread and separate 2 strands
Thread the needle.
If you are right handed, you will start on the right and stitch towards the left. Likewise, if you are left handed, you will start at the left and stitch towards the right. I will give instructions for right handed – if you are a ‘lefty’ just make the change.
Now because we are completing a sampler, we will use a double stitch to secure the beginning;
Insert your needle from the right side about 1/4″from the start of the stitching line and take a small stitch, leaving a ‘tail’ of thread out to the edge of the fabric.
Take a stitch (about 1/8″) and bring the needle up the same distance ahead (I am twisting the needle so you can see)
You have made a running stitch.
Continue down, up, down, to the end of the row
Take the needle down at the end of the line and back out 1/4″ away.
Take a small stitch towards the side and repeat to finish.
Trim thread to edge of fabric. (Which I haven’t done yet)
We can decorate this simple stitch by either ‘weaving’ it or ‘whipping’ it!
Mark a line and complete another row of running stitch at 5″ from the top.
Take a length of a different coloured thread, separate 4 strands and thread the needle.
Start with a small stitch right beside the double stitch of the running stitch
Repeat and bring the needle up half way between the double stitch and the start of the running stitch
To ‘weave’ the running stitch, we are going to work on the top of the fabric (you do not take the needle through the fabric). You will just slip your needle under the running stitch from the top
Now slip it under the next running stitch from the bottom
Then the top
Continue working across the running stitches weaving up and down to the end.
Finish with a double stitch and trim the thread to the edge of the fabric
Change the colour again, still using 4 strands, and move to the other row of running stitch.
Start the same way, with a double stitch coming up half way between the double knot and the first stitch.
We will ‘whip’ the running stitch in the same way as the ‘weave’ except we will be going under each stitch from the top each time.
Finish with a double stitch and trim the threads to the edge of the fabric.
Tip: When you press embroidery, you press the back of the fabric!
All the lines disappear with the heat (you have to love these pens!!)
You have made a great start! I hope you enjoyed this little taste of embroidery ……
Until next time