Sorry for taking the week off .. I really like to prep for Mother's Day .. after all, my Mom is THE Queen and I really like to dedicate the whole weekend to her .. cooking, cleaning, taking her shopping and and out to a nice dinner and maybe a movie (though there isn't much at the movies her or I feel comfortable watching together these days!). There is an interesting wrinkle in this year's Mother's Day .. my mother-in-law to be .. I'm not sure about protocol, so I will be looking to YOU for some guidance!! DON'T steer me wrong here people!! We're not getting married until September, but, do I still graciate her with a card, present, phone call??!! HELP !!
Oh well, on to the important things at hand. This is a quick lesson about the run stitch, it's properties and proper usage.
Q: What is a run stitch?
A: The run stitch can be called many different names: run, travel, walk, basting stitch, etc. We use the Run Stitch for digitizing lines, moving from one segment to another, it is used as underlay for fills and satin stitches. Run stitches can also be made bolder by doubling up or even tripling up. We call the doubling up of a run stitch a repeat, this is where we run from point A to point B and then back from point B to point A. You can triple up the run by then again going from point A to point B again, or, when you triple a run stitch, we typically call this a bean stitch and we use a different tool and digitize it exactly as we do a run. You typically repeat a run or use a bean for outlining areas.
The run stitch is, as mentioned before, is a row of single stitches along a line, straight or curved. The distance that each needle penetration is apart is set by digitizer if the default set by the software manufacturer is not proper for the run stitches application. The run stitch measurement is typically in millimeters. If the area the run is to be used is a tight fitting area, a smaller LENGTH will be used, but if it is roomy or the run stitch has to travel from one end of the design to the other, the length will be longer. The minimum and maximum lengths I try to "abide" by are 1.8 mm and up to 5.0 mm. Five millimeters is just smaller than 1/4 inch, and that is quite long for a run stitch by itself.
The diagram below shows the makings of a run and a bean stitch. The run stitch is pretty self-explanatory, so, let's disect the bean stitch.
You'll notice that the first stitch  moves from west-to-east, stitch 2 back from east-to-west and stitches 3 and 4 make two moves from west-to-east at a length determined by the segments parameters.
There are so many uses for the run stitch: Travelling from one part of the design to another, used as underlay under satin stitches as an edge walk or center run, used as underlay under fill stitches as a light density fill or doubled up at 90 degrees to make a lattice underlay.
It is safe to say the run stitch is the base of all your embroidery designs and the most used of the three stitch types.
If you have any questions about the run stitch and how it is best used in different situations, please don't hesitate to post a question below.
Rick Macali / 407 509-2400
www.embdesignsnow.com <-- new site coming May 11 / don't miss this site if you are a serious embroiderer