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What is TurtleStitch?

Turtlestitch Link opens in a new windowis freely available software that enables the generation and stitching of patterns using a digital embroidery machine. It gives programmatic control of the machine, enabling a wide range of patterns to be designed and stitched onto fabric. It was developed by Andrea Mayr-Stalder, and runs in a browser window.

Online learning: programming and maths

TurtlestitchLink opens in a new window is used by WMG for outreach activities, as a means of raising awareness of the breadth of engineering. The WMG Outreach team has created a number of resource cards and video tutorials to support its use by teachers, parents and students, including maths task cards suitable for upper key stage 2 (school years 5 and 6). Children work out the answers to maths questions and check them using Turtlestitch.

Parental supervision is advised when accessing external websites.


The cards can be viewed online or printed individually or in sets. To print the full sets of cards, we recommend setting your printer to print landscape on both sides and flip on short edge.

Teacher training

Book an online teacher training session about using Turtlestitch to teach computing and maths.


Share pictures of your designs with us on Twitter @wmgwarwick #WMGOutreach

For enquiries about the cards and videos or to report an error, please email

Lesson plans - years 5 and 6

We have created cross-curricular lesson plans for the years 5 and 6 maths and computing programmes of study. Each lesson plan contains links to videos for teachers to familiarise themselves with the content in advance, and activity cards for children to use during the lesson. Each lesson takes 50-60 minutes, but could be broken down into shorter activities.

Learning objective

Lesson 1

Maths and computing (years 5 & 6)

We are learning to calculate missing angles on a straight line.

Lesson 2

Maths and computing (years 5 & 6)

We are learning to apply our knowledge of properties of shapes. 

Optional L3

Maths and computing (year 6)

We are learning to find the highest common factor of two numbers.

Lesson 4Link opens in a new window

Maths and computing (years 5 & 6)

We are learning to use variables in programs. 

Resources created by
Helen Luckhurst.

Basic Skills: Writing programs in TurtleStitch

an example of turtlestitch code, with a cross stitch instruction at the top and some move and turn commands underneath.

Getting started: Video and Card

shows the 'Save Project' part of the turtlestitch website.

Saving your file: Video

a circular design using cross stitch to give a thicker pattern.

Displaying your design without a machine: Video

a turtlestitch virtual design made up of a rectangle rotated about the centre.

Creating patterns with shapes and rotation: Video and Card

a piece of turtlestitch code with the pattern it creates alongside it.

Creating your own block: Video and Card

a turtlestitch pattern where a square has been drawn and then rotated.

Stitching a shape in different sizes: Video and Card

a 5 pointed star drawn using turtlestitch

Creating a star and other shapes: Card

the turtle is drawing triangles with each side gradually increasing to give a spiral effect.

Creating your own variable: Video and Card

Printable set of skills cards - set your printer to print landscape on both sides and flip on short edge.

Maths: Practice year 5 and 6 maths using TurtleStitch

shows the missing angle in a 2 dimensional shape

Missing angles on a line: Questions and Answers

A diagram showing the interior and exterior angles of an equilateral triangle

Properties of shapes: Questions and Answers

a snapshot from turtlestitch showing a circle and a piece of code

Highest common factor: Questions and Answers

An image taken from turtlestitch showing an x and y axis.

Coordinates: Introduction

on the left hand side is the outline of a house on its side, its then repeated by moving it along and upwards.

Translation: Questions and Answers

Printable set of maths cards - set your printer to print landscape on both sides and flip on short edge.

Projects: things to make with a digital embroidery machine

Coasters made from felt with embroidered patterns on the surface of them.

Coaster: Card

Three finger puppets, very simple construction with silly eyes stuck on them.

Finger puppet: Card

Some keys on a key fob, where the keyfob has an embroidered pattern and text on it.

Key fob: Card

shows papers with holes punched in them to make decorative light panels.  One of the panels is flat with a wooden surround, the second is a cylinder. Both panels have star patterns on them.

Light / lamp panel: Card

Printable set of project cards - set your printer to print landscape on both sides and flip on short edge.

Investigations: Concepts to explore

its an example of a fractal tree with 45 degree branches.

Recursion and creating a binary tree: Card

a grid of spirals where some spirals are denser than others.

Spirals: Questions, Answers and Video

Printable set of investigation cards - set your printer to print landscape on both sides and flip on short edge.

Teacher CPD sessions

TurtleStitch CPD. An introduction to TurtleStitch aimed at teachers wishing to use it in their classrooms. Adults with an interest in using TurtleStitch are also welcome to attend. The next session will be online, 31st of January 2024 at 4.30pm (GMT). Register your interest here.