Thursday, October 8, 2009

More about Punch Needle Embroidery

Punch Needle 'M'
Originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant
As I alluded to last night, yesterday I tried something I've never done before--namely, punch needle embroidery. I got a punch needle as a prize at my local quilt store when I went on the most recent Mom/Kathy Nashville quilt shop excursion (It was a quiz game. In a fabric store. Could there be anything more appropriate for us? Love the ladies at The Quilting Squares).

I always thought punch needle looked like fun. It's kind of like drawing with thread (I suppose that's what embroidery is supposed to be, but this is a more similar action). You punch from the back using the little tool and end up with loops on the front side, sort of like a varsity letter jacket letter. But I could never think of a really good use for a finished product. One can only hang so many pieces of textile craftiness on one's walls before it becomes a little fussy and overly precious (I'm picturing your Great Aunt Mildred with the crocheted antimassacars and lace tableclothes). Like I said before, it reminds me of the patches for letter jackets, but as I'm no longer a Girl Scout my need for badges and patches seems to have decreased.

But then I was looking at a tote bag that I got at the Goodwill Outlet. Nice and sturdy, Land's End-inspired boat tote. Except that it has a casino logo on it. Not so cool. I've been thinking about covering it up for some time now (I love buying those nice giveaway bags for free and then customizing them), but last night when I looked at it, I realized that it was a perfect application for my little patch-maker embroidery tool.

It's not great. You can tell from the pictures that the loops are a little bit uneven in height, and the coverage isn't evenly distributed throughout the shape. But it was pretty fast and fun. I found that two strands of embroidery floss worked best, though I might try further experimentation.

Anyone got some silly logos that they need covered?

E.T.A. I just remembered that I wanted to point out my favorite punch needle piece ever. This woman made a picture of the moon, and it's just awesome!


  1. I love your green-n-white quilt & am totally intrigued with this needle punching, too! Was it fun to noodle around with? I may have to give it a whirl (if only to cover those logos as you mentioned!)
    Thanks for the visit to my blog too!

  2. It was fun! Really not too difficult, either. I think you're supposed to use heavier fabric than I did (like denim), but it worked fairly well on the super-thin cotton I used. Thanks for coming by!