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Stitchtember - Day 24 - Turkey Stitch Flower

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Turkey stitch creates a plush rug like effect which can be used in straight or curved lines. If you're familiar with my embroidery work, you will already know how much I love flowers and this is where my design inspiration stems from. So for this tutorial I'll demonstrate how to work a Turkey stitch flower. However, the turkey stitch can also be used to add areas of texture to your designs and it also works well to create to look of hair. The nature of Turkey stitch creates a rug like effect, however, the stitch forms loops before they are cut, so you can also leave the loops.

Turkey flower tutorial


· Fabric – cotton or linen fabric works well. I used osnaburg fabric which is 100% seeded cotton, but you can use any spare fabric you already have.

· Stranded embroidery thread

· Needle

· Scissors


· Embroidery hoop

During this tutorial I am using osnaburg 100% cotton seeded fabric, DMC stranded cotton embroidery thread, a hand embroidery needle and a 5” DMC beechwood embroidery hoop.

1. Start by drawing two circles on the fabric.

2. Thread your needle using stranded embroidery thread. For this tutorial I am using six strands of DMC stranded embroidery thread. You can choose how many strands of thread you would like to use. Do not tie a knot at the end of your thread.

3. Insert your needle into the fabric at the top of the inner circle, working from the front of the fabric to the back.

4. Leave a small tail of thread on the top of the fabric. The length of the thread will form the length of the petals.

5. To secure the thread, work a small stitch at the base of the thread tail.

6. Work your first petal loop by bringing your needle up next to the thread tail.

7. Work a small stitch by bringing your needle up by inserting your needle a short distance away from your working thread.

8. Pull your need and thread through the fabric, leaving a loop of thread to form the petal.

9. Gently adjust the length of the loop so it’s roughly the same length as the thread tail.

10. Bring your needle up at the end of the previous holding stitch.

11. Work a small stitch to secure the loop.

12. Repeat steps 5-10 around the circle until you reach your starting point.

13. Once you have reached your starting point, repeat steps 2-10 for the outer circle.

14. Once both inner and outer circles are complete with loop stitches, you are ready to cut the thread loops.

15. Use scissors to cut the top of each loop stitch. You can skip this step if you prefer the look of the loop stitch petals.

16. Once all the loops have been cut, trim the ends of the threads so they are of equal length.

17. Once you are happy with the length and the shape of the flower, remove the ends of the thread from the fabric using clear tape.

18. To add texture to the flower run the blunt end of the needle through the threads. You can also run your fingers through the threads for added texture.

19. Work the centre of the flower using either French knots (first photo) or satin stitch (second photo).

20. The Turkey flower is complete.

Turkey stitch flower top tips

  • Vary the size of the circle to create bigger or smaller flowers.

  • Vary the length you cut the threads to create different looking flowers.

  • Leave the loops, without cutting them to create a different flower.

Happy stitching!

Hannah x


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