I haven’t posted anything about punchneedle for a while, but I haven’t forgotten all about it: I’ve been working on larger scale projects instead of new small patterns. My punchneedled Moon, with a 5″ diameter, was the largest project I’d undertaken, until I bit the bullet and bought a mammoth 10″ diameter embroidery hoop so I could make some larger, more complex, pieces.
I was commissioned to make a very interesting project for publication, but the actual publication process has gone through some twists and turns, and it’ll be a while longer before it sees the light of day, so I don’t think I can talk about it yet (or share a picture ). This is one of the reasons why I find the immediacy of self-publishing so satisfying – I completed the piece in December 2009 and I still can’t talk about it, whereas if I’d self-published it, I’d have been able to share all the details before last Christmas!
But my latest punchneedled piece is just for me, and it’s somewhat ambitious (aka large), so it’s going to take a while to complete. I have a tendency to hide my work until it’s ready for the big reveal when it’s completed, but I think that in this case it might spur me on to keep making progress if I share it as a WIP (work in progress) every now and then.
I was inspired by 3D papercraft models to try something unique: using a combination of punchneedle and sewing to create a full 3D shape. I’m punching the design onto a flat piece of fabric, and then stitching along the lines where you’d glue a tab from one piece to the next in a paper model. I think it’ll work very well, although I’ve never seen anyone do anything similar, so I won’t know for sure until my piece is ready to assemble!
I assembled these paper models for a tutorial I posted at Folding Trees with tips on how to cut and assemble models like these. I’m using the same concept (turning a flat design into a 3D shape) for my punchneedle project!
I invested many hours into it before I even started the embroidery: figuring out the flat shapes I’d need to embroider, so I could eventually cut and stitch them together to create the final 3D shape, and then drawing my pattern in Illustrator. Now, I have no idea if the subject of my punchneedle will be very obvious from this photo, or a bit cryptic – can you tell what it’s going to be? (This is the reverse side, by the way – the side I look at while I’m punching. The other side will look much prettier!)
I hugely underestimated the amount of embroidery floss I’d need to complete this project – I initially bought 10 skeins, but my revised estimate is now 28 skeins! That’s a lot of embroidery, even with the speed of punchneedle (which is much faster than conventional embroidery). This is definitely going to be a long-term project…
If you’re saying “huh? Punchneedle – what’s that?”, you might like to check out my eBook, The Punchneedle Handbook: Miniature Punchneedle Embroidery Basics & Beyond. This eBook includes everything about punchneedle from the absolute basics for those who have never heard of this craft, to my techniques that will allow absolutely anyone to create beautiful punchneedle embroideries. I’ve also made an excerpt from the eBook into a free tutorial so you can get a taste for what punchneedle is about.
So, how about it – any guesses as to what my giant punchneedle project is going to be?