Keep on Running Double-running Stitch Tutorial

  • 01 of 10

    Gather Supplies and Begin Stitching

    Placement of the First Two Stitches
    Placement of the First Two Stitches. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    There are so many fun and easy stitches out there that will give you interesting patterns and shapes when cross stitching. The Double Running Stitch is just one example of using a simple one line stitch to create an amazing effect. Let's find out how to use this stitch for a variety of projects. 

    In this lesson, you will learn to stitch double running stitch, also known as Holbein stitch, running stitch, or outline stitch. Double Running stitch stitch is used to create traditional Blackwork...MORE designs.

    To complete this lesson you will need:

    • a pair of sharp scissors
    • a small embroidery hoop
    • a piece of 11-count Aida fabric large enough to overlap the hoop by a few inches
    • a short length of embroidery floss - any color
    • a size 24 tapestry needle.

       

      A pattern for the design may be helpful, or use the photos as a guide for stitch placement. This lesson is continued from Lesson Three: How to Stitch a Back Stitch Motif.

      Begin the first stitch with a waste knot or secure the end of the floss under previous stitches.

      When stitching running stitch, instead of stitching "back" toward the previous stitch, stitches are placed so that a square of Aida or two threads of linen are skipped between each stitch on the first pass. On the second pass, stitches are placed on the squares that were skipped on the first pass.

      Start the stitch with a waste knot, or secure the floss under the back of the stitches from the previous lessons. The placement of the first two stitches are shown in the image above.

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Completion of the Fourth Outline Stitch

    Completion of the Fourth Outline Stitch
    Completion of the Fourth Outline Stitch. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Continue stitching running stitches. Do not pull the floss too tightly. Maintain an even tension as you form each stitch. As you can see from the picture, you are creating a line pattern that does not get filled in. This is basically what Blackwork is; creating designs and images with simple line stitching. 

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Side Two of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass

    Side Two of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass
    Side Two of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Begin the first pass on the second side of the running stitch square. Follow the pattern for the placement of the stitches. Remember to skip a square (or two threads) between each stitch. This outline is perfect for all types of projects, not just Blackwork. It would be adorable around any sampler for added effect without overpowering the middle image. 

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Side Three of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass

    Side Three of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass
    Side Three of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Stitch the first pass on the third side of the running stitch square. As you can see, you are making a box around the image and making sure that it is evenly spaced. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Side Four of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass

    Side Four of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass
    Side Four of the Outline Stitch Square - First Pass. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    After completing the first stitches on the fourth side of the square, begin the return pass. Bring the needle up in the same hole as the first stitch on the first side.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Begin the Second Pass Around the Outline Stitch Square

    Begin the Second Pass
    Begin the Second Pass. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Fill in the outline of the running stitch square. Use the tip of your needle to adjust the stitches as needed to form a straight line. Stitches should look like this ____ not this _-_-. This is important for spacing. You do not want the spacing or the lines to look uneven and wonky. 

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Continue Filling in the Outline Stitch Square

    Continue Filling in the Outline Stitch Square
    Continue Filling in the Outline Stitch Square. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    Continue filling in the running stitches. Start a new strand of floss as needed to complete the design.
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Continue Stitching, Filling in the Right Side of the Outline Stitch Square

    Continue Stitching, Filling in the Right Side of the Outline Stitch Square
    Continue Stitching, Filling in the Right Side. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Fill in the running stitches on the side of the square. Do not forget to allow the floss to untwist from time-to-time to prevent knots.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Stitch the Final Stitch of the Outline Stitch Square

    Stitch the Final Stitch of the Outline Stitch Square
    Stitch the Final Stitch of the Outline Stitch Square. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Stitch the final stitch and secure the floss under the back of previous stitches. Adjust the floss with the tip of your needle as needed to straighten the lines. There you go! You created a box! 

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Back Stitch Around Cross Stitch - Lesson One

    Back Stitch Around Cross Stitch
    Back Stitch Around Cross Stitch. Photo © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The next lesson instructs beginning stitchers in how to back stitch around cross stitches. Proceed to Back Stitch Around Cross Stitch - Lesson One to learn more.