First Punchneedle Embroidery Project
An embarrassing number of years ago, I bought all the supplies and a pattern to try punchneedle embroidery. Then it all sat in my closet and every so often I would pull it out and think about giving it a try. Recently, I have been making a project bucket list and prioritizing things on the list that have long been on my mind. I decided I either needed to use the punchneedle or lose it.
About a month ago I was poking around on the now nearly defunct Flickr and I came across a lovely punchneedle project. I searched for the designer, Michelle Palmer, on Etsy and was captivated when I saw her designs. They were beautiful and appealed to me because they were colorful and bright with a lot of shading in them, which gave them depth.
It was difficult to choose one to start with but I finally settled on Patriotic Picnic because July 4 was approaching and I have very little patriotic decor. To get started, I read Marinda Stewart's book on punchneedle and watched a couple of videos by Brenda Gervais and Notforgottenfarm.
To transfer the pattern, I used a light box and traced the pattern onto weaver's cloth with a fine permanent marker. I used a Hoopla embroidery hoop with a lip, as recommended. It was a bit difficult to get the fabric taught around the entire hoop but I made do. I used the recommended DMC floss with a couple of substitutions when I did not have the color called for in the pattern.
With every new thing there is a learning curve and I told myself that this entire project was a learning project. If it did not turn out well, I could make it again.
I found it a bit of a challenge to do the some of the shading in this project. It is mostly not drawn in on the pattern so you just have to eyeball it by referencing a photo of the back of her project. This photo is pretty helpful but I did not realize the design was intended to be reversed and mine was facing the opposite direction. Ha ha! I took a photo of her photo and flipped it so that I did not have to think as hard about where to place the shading. :) I would have liked a bit more guidance with which color to use in areas of the bird and background; however, I decided that if I could not distinguish between two colors, it actually did not matter which of the two I used! Don't let either of these things deter you from doing any of Michelle's patterns. They are totally worth it!
Overall, I found the punchneedle really enjoyable and rewarding. There were moments I thought my work looked meh but then I would get more filled in and it looked fine. I had some pain from gripping the hoop tightly in my left hand so I decided to invest in one of the Morgan hoop lap stand combos and am looking forward to giving that a try next.
I thought I would try to stuff the heart shape and mount it on an oil can or a large spool. I bought some cute lace that looks a bit like pompoms to edge it. As I was choosing between a red or blue backing fabric, I realized the piece would look really good with both. Inspiration struck and I came up with a red ruffle and blue background. Then I procrastinated for a week because I was afraid I might somehow ruin it. 🙄 With July 4 fast approaching, I finally spent a day putting it together and am very pleased with the result!