Running Stitch

What it is

Running Stitch Butterfly

Running stitch produces a series of small stitches following a line or curve.

Running Stitch Detail

How to Create

Running stitch is created by a path with a stroke color.

The stitch direction can be influenced by the path direction. If you want to swap the starting and ending point of your running stitch run Path > Reverse.

If an object consists of multiple paths, they will be stitched in order with a jump between each.


Open Extensions > Ink/Stitch > Params to change parameters to your needs.

Settings Description
Running stitch along paths Must be enabled for these settings to take effect.
Method Choose Running stitch / Bean stitch for the running stitch type
Repeats ◦ Defines how many times to run down and back along the path
◦ Default: 1 (traveling once from the start to the end of the path)
◦ Odd number: stitches will end at the end of the path
◦ Even number: stitching will return to the start of the path
Bean stitch number of repeats ◦ Enable Bean Stitch Mode
◦ Backtrack each stitch this many times.
◦ A value of 1 would triple each stitch (forward, back, forward).
◦ A value of 2 would quintuple each stitch, etc.
Running stitch length Length of stitches
Running stitch tolerance All stitches must be within this distance from a path. A lower tolerance means stitches will be closer together. A higher tolerance means sharp corner may be rounded.
Randomize stitches Randomize stitch length and phase instead of dividing evenly or staggering. This is recommended for closely-spaced curved fills to avoid Moiré artefacts.
Random stitch length jitter Amount to vary the length of each stitch by when randomizing.
Random Seed Rolling the dice or setting a new value will change the random stitches
Minimum stitch length Overwrites global minimum stitch length setting. Shorter stitches than that will be removed.
Minimum jump stitch length Overwrites global minimum jump stitch length setting. Shorter distances to the next object will have no lock stitches.
Allow lock stitches Enables lock stitches in only desired positions
Force lock stitches Sew lock stitches after sewing this element, even if the distance to the next object is smaller than defined in the collapse length value value in the Ink/Stitch preferences.
Tack stitch Chose your favorite style
Lock stitch Chose your favorite style
Trim After Trim the thread after sewing this object.
Stop After Stop the machine after sewing this object. Before stopping it will jump to the stop position (frame out) if defined.


For a better stitch routing try the extension Autoroute Running Stitch in the stroke tools.

Patterned Running Stitch

Read the tutorial how to easily create a patterned running stitch.

patterned running stitch

Sample Files Including Running Stitch


Applique example file

Learn more

Cookie Cutter Tiling

Using Tiling LPE, clipping path and autorouting to achieve Pattern Fill

Learn more

Free Standing Lace - Butterfly

Free Standing Lace - Butterfly

Learn more


Fringe example file

Learn more

Ink/Stitch Logo & Branding Guide

Ink/Stitch logo as SVG file, digitized version and branding guide.

Learn more

Life Flower

Auto route running stitches

Learn more

Monogram Frame

Monogram Frame Example

Learn more

Patterned Running Stitch

How to create a patterned running stitch with Inkscapes live path effects

Learn more

Stitch Path Optimization

Optimising the stitch path is one of the most important subjects in embroidery. Learn how Ink/Stitch can assist you with the task.

Learn more