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Turkey Work Stitch (Ghiordes Knot) on Smocking

Turkey Work on Smocking

Today's post is something a little bit different. I have a big announcement coming to the shop on Friday, and this tutorial is a sneak peak of what is to come. It is a tutorial on stitching Turkey Work (also known as Ghiordes Knot) on smocking. Now why would you want to do that? Well, it can be a fun detail, especially for pictures smocking. Think fuzzy bees, fluffy bunny tails, or maybe some other type of tail... and it is part of the announcement that I will be sharing on Friday. In the meantime, let me show you show to stitch this simple embroidery stitch on pleated fabric. To form Turkey Work horizontally on smocking use 4 strands of floss and without tying a knot insert the needle from the right side of the fabric at 1 leaving a tail. Post update: Below is a video showing how to make a bunny tail. Turkey Work is the stitch used for the tail on the free bunny applique pattern!

Beginning Turkey Work

Come up in the valley at 2. Go down in the valley at 3 and pull the thread taught without pulling through the original tail. This is the locking stitch.

First Locking Stitch

Come up again at 1, go down at 4 (the top of the adjacent pleat) forming a loop that is as big as the tail.

Forming the first loop

Come back up at 3 (in the valley) and go down at 5 (in the valley), again pulling the thread taught to form the next locking stitch.

Forming the second locking stitch

Continue alternating between forming loops and locking stitches along the row with the loops being stitched through the top of the pleats and the locking stitches going in and out of the valley. To form a second row, repeat the procedure, but form a locking stitch before stitching a loop.

Locking stitch formed first on second row.

Above is the first locking stitch of the second row. Below is the completed second row. Make sure to end with a locking stitch.

Completed second row

Tie off on the back. Trim the loops to the desired height and “fluff” them.

Trimmed loops

To stitch Turkey Work vertically, work along the top of one pleat with all stitches, both loops and locking stitches, going in and out of the top of the pleat. The second row is worked in the top of the adjacent pleat.

Turkey work stitched vertically

In the picture above, the needle is pointing to a section worked vertically. See how all the stitches go in and out of the top of the pleat? Turkey Work is a fun stitch to add little details to picture smocking. Here is video using Turkey Work for the July Flowers Dress.

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Check back on Friday for all the details!

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