Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tutorial: Turkey Rug Stitch

&Stitches Strawberry Stumpwork
For the &Stitches Freaky Flower Swap, I got my inspiration from the iconic flower in Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who - the wacky bloom that housed an entire world in a dust speck!


I used gold metallic embroidery floss for the dust speck; I couched some green felted cord for the stem...but I wanted to use a technique new to me for the flower itself.


The Turkey Rug Stitch seemed perfect to capture the fluffy essence. It can lend a beautiful velvety texture or silky shagginess when using embroidery floss. I used DK yarn for the stitching - which made it very fluffy and big, like a pom pom!

For my project, I used a tapestry needle and double-knit yarn. The fabric is a loose-weave linen - you need a fabric that will allow the yarn to flow through without stretching out of shape. 

The first stitch is made from front to back, leaving a tail sticking up from the fabric (see the far left yarn tail below).


You then bring the needle up to the right of the yarn and make an anchoring backstitch over the tail. Then come up a bit to the right of the anchor stitch and insert the needle underneath that previous stitch.

Pull the yarn/floss through the fabric, leaving a loop above the surface of the fabric. Typically, you will make the loops the same size as that first tail of yarn/floss - but because I was making a crazy Dr Seuss flower, I didn't worry too much about staying even because I wanted the end result to be fluffy and freaky.


Hold the loop threads down with the opposite hand as you bring the needle back up to the right of your loop, leaving a teensy gap. Make a back stitch to anchor the loop by taking the needle down beside the end of the previous anchoring back stitch. This back stitch will go over the loop base, keeping it secure.


Repeat this process until you have filled the space with loops, then snip the loops and trim to the desired length. Or just leave them loopy!


My finished flower head, a mad tangle of yarn that holds a tiny universe of Whos.



  1. This is wonderful - love this stitch - thank you for the tutorial!

  2. Such a whimsical and cute idea!! I love how you echoed the red and white stripes from the cover and added the quote. Dr. Seuss is awesome :)


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