Have you noticed the use of an altered running stitch showing up in quilting lately? You can see it in Jacquie Gering’s Fiesta Wall Quilt from the book Quilting Modern, where this stitch is used to create gentle curving waves across this very modern quilt. Jacquie and I are both members of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, and seeing some of her quilts last year was the first time I had seen this stitch used in quilting. Since then I’ve noticed lots of people giving this quilting stitch a try, and I’ll share some more examples down in the post.
Some people refer to this stitch as the “BERNINA stitch #4”, because most new BERNINA sewing machines include the utilitarian Running Stitch in the stitch library as stitch #4. Other people call it the “Serpentine stitch,” because it resembles a sidewinding snake.
When used with the factory settings this stitch creates a pattern of short stitches forming a zigzag (see above). Alter the stitch by increasing the stitch width to the widest setting, then increase the stitch length to about 2.0-2.5mm to create a gently curving stitch (see below).
Here are some more examples of the altered running stitch used in quilting:
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to give the simple “BERNINA #4” stitch a try next time I’m quilting! What about you, have you tried quilting with this stitch, or used another utilitarian stitch while quilting?