This blog series is back after a holiday break! Inspired by my latest book, Exploring Folk Art with Wool Appliqué and More, I have been showing stitchers how to rework my patterns in different techniques. Today we are exploring punch needle! My friend Donna Bennett (who shows up in the book, by the way!) helped me out with this project and I am simply delighted with the results. I stitched the Merry Mittens, a long-time favorite pattern, and Donna punched the centers. This is a great way to combine two techniques you love into one amazing project!
This pattern was originally just for wool appliqué but today we are going to show you how to modify with punch needle accents.
Punch Needle & Wool Appliqué Merry Mittens
Follow the instructions for the mitten as laid out in the pattern. (Find retailers for this pattern here.)
For the centers:
Please note: You can find instructions for punch needle in my book.
Draw out the center designs.
If you are doing the flower, I find it easiest to cut the pattern pieces out and trace them onto a piece of paper so you have one drawing to work off of. Trace that final drawing onto weavers cloth for punching. Add any embellishing details you like at this time (dots, lines, etc.). See photos for ideas and reference.
If you are doing the heart, use the pattern pieces to draw the outlines of the hearts. Inside the smaller heart, use a ruler to draw lines to create the stripes. You can play with different widths or draw the lines the same width apart. See the photos for reference and ideas.
After the centers are punched, trim away the extra weaver's cloth leaving an inch border around the shape. Fold that underneath and iron. The fabric will end up sort of pleated on the back. Secure the pleats to each other using a whip stitch, being careful not to catch the punched part below. Be careful to not pull too tight and cause the punch needle shape to curl.
Glue the punched piece to the center of the wool border (which should already be secured to the mitten) using a fabric glue. This ensures that you don't pull out any of the punched stitches. Be sure to check with the manufacturer's instructions for drying times, and remember that it does not hurt to leave it a little longer to let the glue really cure.