Friday, March 2, 2012

Punch needle love

Ok.  I didn't exactly get off to a flying start with my new blog, considering a quarter year has gone by since I posted my first post.  *not a good start*.  However, I hope to make up for this deficiency with a little time set aside every few days now that I am home from several very long distance trips.  I could sit for hours pouring over embroidery books.  One of my favorites is Three-Dimensional Embroidery Stitches by Pat Trott.   The funky bird pictured above was created using a variety of 3-D stitches learned  from the excellent charts and photos in this book.  I have no idea what to do with this funny little piece and in fact I have a number of funky little experiments that end up sitting in a pile or used as bookmarks.

Years ago, I purchased a punchneedle pattern from a now-defunct needlework shop in Ligonier, PA called The Needle Nook.  The pattern is titled What Canary? from MeMe's Cottage Collection.  Entranced with the shop's finished piece, I walked out with not only the pattern and printed weaver's cloth, but all the expensive little bits of thread from all the expensive makers- Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Art Sampler Thread and so on.  Soooo excited to go home and make this thing!  Not finding much about it online and YouTube tutorials not yet in existence, I went ahead and thought I would figure it out myself.  From Lacis in California came an order for a Russian Punchneedle and the needles and plastic tubes to cut to size.  Well, I was completely befuddled.  What on earth?  How to thread the needle, how to cut the tubes, how to know how to size them, space them, stretch the cloth, what the??  Aaaaghhh!!! Truly, it was very frustrating and disappointing.  I could not figure it out.  Phew.  So I regretfully tossed it all in a bag and threw it in my closet with all the other unfinished projects.

Fast forward about seven years.  Wooo hoooo!!!  After moving three times in two years, we prepared for another move!  Nothing to get excited about.  But, I was going through my ungodly heap of UFO's projects, and came upon the canary pattern.  I'd forgotten about it entirely.  Long story short, much to my delight there were books, magazine patterns, youtube!  I discovered the fabulous Woolen Whimsies miniature stretcher for punchneedle.  And best of all, I found the blessed Ultra Punch.   Ahhhhh.  How wonderful.  So instead of punching What Canary?, which I still have yet to do, I started with a little rooster pattern from a company that regretfully I can't find in my stash.  I neglected to take photos of him in progress, probably because I was so nervous trying to make him right.  I didn't feel like going out to get the brighter red the pattern called for, so I used a darker red that doesn't bling as much as the pattern picture, and I used a funny variegated thread for a border, which the pattern also did not call for, and Voila!  I made my first punchneedle piece (See finished photo below).  It's pretty tightly packed but I love it.  And then I discovered the wonderful world of Lori Brechlin's Notforgotten Farm patterns.  Notforgotten Farm's Grey House was my second attempt at punching.  I raised the pile quite a bit on this one, at Lori's (the sweetest woman one could ever hope to meet) direction and the final result is posted here.  It's insanely fun!  There ends these projects, although I've turned the Grey House into a needlebook and framed the little rooster.  And begins my intense love of all things punched (and hooked!).

I adore all needlework primitive, but my true love is couture tambour, or luneville embroidery.  Next post has something to do with that in the city that has this.....


  1. Good for you on getting the punch needle going once again. Your little grey house and rooster look great and the Ultra Punch is my favorite punch needle tool and believe me I've tried them all.

  2. Love your punch needles!!! I've always wanted to try it~~

  3. Love your punching! Keep at it! Love the variegated thread too - they are so fun to punch with you never know what to expect.