Let’s Talk Turkey

Not about actual turkey . . .we’ve all got that on our minds. Let’s talk about Turkey Work!

Most of my customers are terrified of Turkey Work. They start to break out in a sweat when I mention it. Maybe this will relieve some of your anxiety about it.

The first problem is that it’s a multi-step stitch and the diagram doesn’t look anything like what your desired outcome should be.

You tell me how that’s supposed to look like fur?

Here’s a simpler way that I break it down in my stitch guides.

Step 1: Brick Stitch over 2

Step 2: Come up in the middle of the Brick Stitch

Step 3: Go over two holes (either direction) and go back into the canvas. Leave a loop.

Step 4: Come up to the right (or left if you are working to the left) of where you just went back into the canvas. HOLD THE LOOP!

Step 5: Do a brick stitch over 2 back over where the looped stitch went into the canvas. This lock the loop in.

Step 6: Continue working the same direction. Start your next loop in the hole where the last loop went into.

Tip 1: Stagger each row.

Tip 2: You will be left with an area that you can’t do a brick stitch over two. That’s ok. Just do a little horizontal stitch over 1 to fill the area. Do this at the top and bottom of the tail. Once you cut the loops, you won’t be able to see it.

Tip 3: Work the rows in both directions. Follow the diagrams above, but work to the left. If you have trouble, work them all to the right.

Tip 4: Leave your loops long. Theyr’e much easier to hold down. Yes . . .you waste a ton of thread with this stitch.

Tip 5: Wait until you finish the section to cut the loops. You will regret if you don’t wait. Trust me!

Here’s a picture of a piece I’m working on. I wish I could show you the entire piece but it’s a new design for the Spring Show so I have to keep it a secret. This looks like a hot mess after you’re done stitching and you probably can’t imagine how it’s going to turn into a well trimmed fur.

After you cut the loops and trim it a bit it looks like this. Better, but not quite what you’re looking for. Get yourself a pair of curved needlework scissors. They make the job a lot easier.

Keep trimming little by little and it will start taking shape. It’s easiest to fine tune it once your piece is off stretcher bars. I’ve got some more work to do on this.

I hope you feel a little less intimidated by Turkey Work after reading this. Now, I’m sure you all have to get back to grocery shopping and cooking.

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