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Tutorials

Framing
 I found this frame at The Rusty Roof on Etsy, here's how I framed my punched piece.
 I cut my wool the same size as the frame backing piece.
I centered my punched piece on the wool and traced around it with a white tracing pencil. Then cut that rectangle out of the center of my wool.

 Now lay the wool over your punched piece. I stitched it at each corner, then in the centers of each side. 
 Now stitch it the rest of the way around.
 Once that is finished, I used double sided tape to tap the piece to my frame backing. Now, just put it all together, then done!
 All finished up. Thanks for dropping by!!!

Spring Hatch Hornbook Tutorial
 I started with my light color, but wanted to give it a little extra. The colors I used are also in the Spring Hatch punch needle pattern. Before you start your darker color, let the light color dry overnight, then sand it to your liking.
 I would start the darker color as little dots, and would move them around with a damp sponge brush.
 As you can see on the corners, I made / slashes on each corner.
 If you think you've added to much of your dark color, just add a little more water to your sponge brush to clean it away.
 I only did the slashes on the corners, the rest I did up and down lines, just to make it interesting.
Then I stained it with Old English furniture polish, you will find the tutorial for that in my last post, and in the tutorial section. 
You can find the pattern and the hornbook wood in my Etsy shop
Thanks for dropping by!

Staining Hornbook Wood
 I get asked all of the time how I finish off my hornbook wood, so here's how I do it.
 I have my handy little sander, perfect size for my hand.
 As you can see, I need to change my sandpaper. There are little wires on the side that clamp down to hold your paper. I just buy a pack of sandpaper and cut them to fit the sander.
I know it's hard to see in this picture, but you will see it better in the picture of it stained below. I've really sanded the paint off the edges. I also like to run it across the top lighter just to add a few places the stain can stick too. Just sand to your liking.
 I use this Old English furniture stain, you can find it in the furniture polish section of the store. I like to use scrap quilt batting to stain with. I put a really dark stain on it, especially in your sanded down places. I leave a lot of stain on it overnight. The next day, wipe off the excess with another scrap of quilt batting. If you want it darker, just reapply until you get the darkness you like.
That's it, now your ready to paint and sand your own! Thanks for dropping by!

Supplies Needed To Punch Needle
I talk to people all the time who want to give punch needle a try, but don't know what they need to start.

 First you'll need weaver's cloth, it's usually 55% polyester and 45% cotton. Next is your punch needle tool and threader. There are many different kinds out there, some even have a dial to change the length of your loops.
 I usually only use DMC Floss, each skein is 8.7 yards long. They are 6 strands, I use 3 strands in my patterns. Each color has it's own number.

I keep mine in little baggies in a box in color and number order, so easy to find.
 Then I have a gripper frame, but you can use a hoop frame, pictured below.

I love my gripper frame, 
As you can see, a gripper frame actually has tons of little spikes on the sides.
You pull your weavers cloth drum tight, when your ready to punch.
 You can see how tight a gripper holds your weavers cloth. You don't have to keep pulling it tight like you do in regular frames.
 You don't have to have a trace table, it just comes in handy when tracing your pattern on your weavers cloth. 
You can use any pen or pencil you like to trace your pattern on your weavers cloth, mine is just a small tip pen. The tutorial below will show you how to thread your needle and punch. If you ever have any questions, send me an email anytime. Thanks for dropping by!


Threading And Using A Punch Needle

 Here's your basic punch needle, some have a size dial, on those, I set it on 1. Sorry for the bent threader, they are usually straight. One very naughty cat took this one for a run, and this is the result of that. I'm glad this isn't a video tutorial, because many words were used while chasing the little toot around the room.
 First, the theader is inserted in the end.
 It will come out of the top of your punch needle.
 You will insert your thread into that.
 Pull threader out so your thread comes out of the end.
 Your not finished yet.
 Stick your threader through the eye hole.
 Now pull your thread through the eye hole. Please ignore said kitty, who likes running away with threader.
 Trace your pattern on your weaver's cloth, after it's been flipped (mine come flipped for you). You are actually punching on the back side of your weaver's cloth (that's why the pattern is flipped). Now take your weavers cloth, that your pattern is traced on, and put in your hoop, or your gripper frame.
 Now your ready to punch with it!!! 
 Make sure your weavers cloth is drum tight. Hold the punch like you would a pencil when writing. Make sure your beveled edge is always facing forward, the eye in the back. Set punch to depth 1. Do not lift the needle off the surface of your weavers cloth, just lift and drag. Only pull the punch up enough, to get to your next punch. I always start on the smallest things in my patterns. I like to outline the piece, each piece, then fill in.
 If you make a mistake, just pull it out. As you finish with a piece of thread, cut it right above the weavers cloth, or you can catch it on something and pull it all out. I usually cut my thread 3 arm lengths. Your stitches should be flat and smooth, and close together, but not touching. This is what your front will look like as you are punching along.
 Your piece will look distorted on the front side until you put in rows next to each other. The background loops will hold up your first loops to give you the pile look. Just remember when changing directions, turn the hoop, not the punch needle.

This is what your back (or the side your punching on ) will look like. When punching is done, take your piece out of the hoop. I cut the weavers cloth off your piece, leaving an inch all the way around, and iron it. Now iron your edges of weavers cloth under and stitch down to keep in place, like I did above. You should not see weavers cloth from the sides. I stained mine with Slightly Distressed Spray, but you can coffee stain it too (recipe below). Just do NOT saturate your piece. I used a makeup sponge, dabbed it on paper until you get the look you like, then dab your finished piece, let dry. You can do so much with your piece, frame it, add wool backing with edges, glue to hornbook wood, or to a basket or container, so many options. I hope I've helped, if you ever have any questions, please email me at anytime!! PrimInTheCountry@aol.com

Tag Stain Recipe
On my tags, I use 1 cup of hot water to 1/2  tablespoon of cheap instant coffee. I know that doesn't sound dark, but you will see why so little coffee is used. I pour the instant coffee into hot water, then mix. Let it sit until it's at room temperature. I add liquid starch after it cools to room temperature, about 1/4 a cup, but you can add what you like. I use a sponge brush and brush the mixture on both sides. Then I use a hot clothes iron, while tags are still wet, to give it a really prim look. You can even add vanilla or anything else you like to the mix. Just play around with it until you like what you see. I always stain a scrap piece of muslin as a test. If you get them to dark, you can rinse some off. If it's to light, just stain and iron until you like what you see. You may need to clean the clothes iron a few times during the process. I don't add starch to my stain recipe when staining the stuffed version of my tags.

                 How To Make A Tag Or Stuff
I put instructions in all of my patterns, but I thought it would be easier for some if I did a picture tutorial. Lets get started!
First, make sure your muslin is big enough to fit in your hoop. You want to trace your pattern onto your muslin with whatever you like best, (tracing pencils, Mark-Be-Gone). I usually tape the pattern and muslin down on my quilt board to trace it, but you can use a light table too. 
 Cut out your piece of Warm and Natural Batting and place it behind your piece of muslin, after your pattern has been traced onto it. If your making a tag, you will also trace your pattern outline, but making dashes, not a solid line.
Now put both pieces in your hoop, Warm and Natural Batting on the bottom.
Now, you get to start stitching. In my patterns, it will tell you what kinds of stitches I'm using. There is an example of all of those, under this tutorial. Now remember, you will not be stitching your tag outline here. You leave it until the end because that is what covers all of the stitches on the back of your stitched piece.
Now that your done stitching your patten, you can now add your back piece while it's still in the hoop, just make sure it's flat and even. I don't do mine at this point, I'll show you below.
Here it is out of the hoop, you can now see why you have to stitch a back piece on, to cover up your messy looking back.
I like to iron mine, then cut them out. At this point I also add the piece  of muslin that will be the back, leaving about 1/2 an inch all the way around. Then I start stitching my back piece on using a running stitch, it looks like dashes.  Make sure your stitches are clean, even on the back, you'll be able to see them too. Now trim all the way around, leaving about a 1/4 of an inch, all the way around. Poke a hole for your homespun hanger. Then stain, the recipe is above this tutorial.
That's it on your tag! Now lets do the stuffed version. I put instructions of both versions in all of my patterns.
On this version you do NOT trace your pattern outline onto your stitched piece. Trace the stuffed template onto the piece of muslin that will be your back piece. Lay down your stitched piece, (facing up), lay your back piece on it, (with the lines you just traced onto it also facing up).
Make sure your stitched piece is centered before you put it on the sewing machine.
Stitch all the way around, leaving a stuffing hole, it will be marked on your template.
Once your done, turn them inside out.
Time to stuff, hand stitch stuffing hole closed, and add your hanger. You don't have to add a hanger, you can make them bowl fillers also. All done, have fun with it! 

Doing A Back Stitch


How To Do a French Knot






 How To Do A Running Stitch


How I Begin and End On The Sewing Machine