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punchneedle globe WIP (part 3)

Punchneedle Globe menu:

I wasn’t feeling great last weekend so I treated myself to a day resting on the sofa, working on my punchneedle globe project. And I’ve finally made some serious progress: I’ve finished the southern hemisphere! I thought for a while I’d never reach this point – I finished the land masses months ago, but there’s just so much ocean below the equator (i.e. blue, blue, and more blue – so boring!). Here’s where it was last time you saw it:

punchneedle project - work in progress

And now:

punchneedle project - work in progress
The back

You can see how close I made my stitches – in punchneedle there are supposed to be gaps between the rows of stitches, but I intentionally covered the entire surface with stitches so there’d be too many loops on the front. By the way, I always keep those straggly ends long and then clip them at the end, but they aren’t going to show, so I don’t think I’ll bother clipping them (I’m such a rebel!)

punchneedle project - work in progress
The front

Ooooh… I think this just might work!

punchneedle project - work in progress

It looks like my over-dense punching strategy is going to work – see how the piece wants to curl under at the edges already? The excess of loops on the front means that the front surface wants to be larger than the back, making it curl. It should mean that when I stitch up the globe, there won’t be any visible bald patches between loops, even when it’s curved into a sphere. Aren’t I smart?!

Thoughts I had while I was punching the neverending blue oceans:

  • I’ve been using 3 strands of embroidery floss. I wonder, could I have used all 6 strands for the ocean and made my stitches further apart (i.e. less of them), or would the result have looked strange?
  • File this under “duh”: why didn’t I dye my fabric blue before I started?! The landmasses would have stuck out realistically from the oceans (the bare blue fabric), and I wouldn’t have needed to punch any blue at all!
  • Of course, now I’m halfway through, I’m committed to the strategy I originally chose, otherwise the two halves wouldn’t match when I eventually assemble the entire globe. But I do like that my method means it’ll all be smooth and even (and snuggly soft!) all over so I’m okay with that.

Now for the (fingers crossed) magic part: turning the 2D into 3D. My idea is probably self-explanatory; I’m going to stitch up those ‘darts’ of unembroidered fabric extending into the circle, to (hopefully) turn it into a hemisphere. Stay tuned!


  1. Melanie said

    This is so cool. I can’t imagine the hours and amount of thread put into it!! I was wondering how big is it?? Or what will the finished dimensions be?

    • June said

      I won’t know for sure until it’s been assembled and stuffed, but when I designed my pattern I was aiming for about a 6″ (15cm) diameter globe, which doesn’t sound like much, but believe me that’s a LOT of stitches! I’m using a 10″ embroidery hoop to make each half and the flat design almost fills the hoop 🙂

      • Melanie said

        I can imagine it would be a lot!! I’ve never done punchneedle, but I’m feeling more and more inspired… It looks really fun. Can’t wait to see the finished product. 🙂

  2. Heather said

    Wow, that is looking fantastic! I also punch closely together but I like how it looks after. When your Earth is done, I bet you’ll never want to put it down!

  3. Corvus said

    Such an amazing piece of work! You always have such lovely ideas (and inspiring crafty ambitions).

  4. IdaDown said

    Where in the world is June 🙂

    Looking great. Can’t wait to see it finished.

  5. Jessica said

    Ooh – I can’t wait to see this finished!

  6. Vicki said

    WOW! Looks great! I’ve been wanting to try punchneedle. Looks fun. Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  7. kris said

    i can’t wait to see this all finished! it looks amazing!

  8. Sister Diane said

    OMG! How did I fail to understand that you’re making a 3D globe?! This is a crazy impressive project. I can’t wait to see the finished piece.

    Also, I wonder just how many millions of punches you’ll have done by the end… 🙂

    • June said

      It’s mind-blowing how big (in terms of number of stitches) this project is going to be! But I have a plan to figure that out: I’m keeping track of the number of skeins of floss I’m using, so I’m going to count how many stitches I make with one (known) length of floss and then I’ll extrapolate up to estimate the number of stitches in the whole piece.

      I can’t even hazard a guess right now, except that it’ll be A LOT 🙂

  9. Carina said

    I am still resisting punch needle. But I don’t know for much longer!!

    Awesome stuff!

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