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2 ways to use punchneedle embroidery to embellish quilt projects

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how you can use Razzle and Dazzle threads from WonderFil to do punchneedle embroidery. As I said yesterday, I LOVE doing punchneedle and have come up with quite a few ways that they can be incorporated into finished projects. Today I’m going to show you my two favorite ways to use them to embellish quilt projects.

A rainbow of Dazzle threads from WonderFil are arranged on a cutting board.
A rainbow of Dazzle threads

 

Here’s the finished punchneedle embroidery! I just loved how easy it was to use the Razzle and Dazzle threads in my punchneedle and how the looked in the finished piece. That little glimmer of metallic in the Dazzle thread adds bling and texture to the design and the Razzle threads adds dimension and texture.

The whole piece didn’t take too long to stitch and it was a nice change from all of the machine work I’ve been doing lately.

The finished punchneedle embroidery stitched with Razzle and Dazzle threads from WonderFil.
The finished punchneedle embroidery

 

Adding borders

Since the base of the embroidery is fabric, these punchneedle pieces can be sewn into a quilt or pillow by sewing borders to the weaver’s cloth. I’ve done many pieces where I have just trimmed the weaver’s cloth and sewn borders on to make my finished project. Here are a few examples:

Allie's Basket punchneedle pattern by Christine Baker of Fairfield Road Designs, sewn into a pillow.
My pattern, Allie’s Basket punchneedle pattern, is a delight to see on a cushion top.

 

Mola Madness punchneedle pattern from the book Fresh and Fun Punchneedle by Christine Baker, Fairfield Road Designs.
My Mola Madness punchneedle pattern incorporated in a quilt

 

To sew the punchneedle into a quilt like I’ve done in the examples above, all you need to do is to trim the weaver’s cloth so that it’s the same width all around the embroidery piece. If you want more of the weaver’s cloth to show, you just cut it wider all the way around. Then you cut your borders, the same as you would for a quilt block. Sew two opposite borders to the piece, press, then sew on your remaining two borders.

The Razzle and Dazzle punchneedle embroidery can be sewn into a quilt or pillow by sewing borders to the weaver's cloth
Adding borders to the punchneedle

 

Appliqueing the punchneedle in place

The second way I add puncheedle embroderies to my quilts is to applique them on. I LOVE adding them to wool backgrounds or to flannel wall hangings! You can also applique them to bags or jackets. Once you’ve followed the steps below, the punchneedle can be glued to a mason jar, or a wooden plaque. The possibilities are endless!

Step 1 – trim

The first thing you need to do is to loosely trim the excess weaver’s cloth from your embroidery. Don’t worry about being too accurate, just make sure that you leave about 1″ around all four sides.

The excess weaver's cloth around the punchneedle embroidery that was stitched with WonderFil Razzle and Dazzle threads is trimmed.
Trim the punchneedle

 

Step 2 – fold in the corners

Next, I use my 505 Spray to lightly coat the back of the punchneedle and then I fold in each of the four corners towards the back. (Can you see the sparkling thread even on the back?)

The corners of the weaver's cloth are folded to the back of the punchneedle embroidery that was stitched with Razzle and Dazzle threads.
Fold in the corners

 

Step 3 – fold in the sides

Next, I fold in the four sides, making sure that the corner points are nice a sharp and that no weaver’s cloth shows from the font of the embroidery. Sometimes I add another little squirt of 505 to the corners if the sides won’t stay in place.

The corners of the weaver's cloth are folded to the back of the punchneedle embroidery that was stitched with Razzle and Dazzle threads.
Folding back the sides of the weaver’s cloth

 

Step 4 – applique in place

Now you’re ready to applique your punchneedle embroidery to your desired fabric base. Look how nice mine looks on the base that I did my bobbin work experiments on. The WonderFil threads look just amazing!

To stitch in place, use a thread that matches the weaver’s cloth and a small running stitch around the edge of the embroidery piece.

The Razzle and Dazzle punchneedle embroidery can be appliqued to fabric.
Appliqueing the punchneedle to fabric

 

This week I’ve shown you a couple ways to use WonderFil threads to embellish your fabric projects. There are SO many neat techniques that you can use to do fabric embellishing and this book is so great at explaining many of them – I highly recommend it!

Fabric Embellishing - the Basics and Beyond is a great instructional manual for learning new embellishing techniques.
Fabric Embellishing book

 

The book shows you how to do each kind of embellishment on a small sample and encourages you to bind each sample and make a workbook. Here are some of my embellished “pages” which show decorative stitching, Shiva Paintstiks, beading, couching and other techniques. Now that I have my bobbin work butterfly sample I’m going to finish it off and add it to my book. I’m also going to look through the book for more creative ways in which I can use my ever-growing thread collection.

Pages from the fabric embellishment sample book.
Pages from the sample book

 

Thanks for joining me this week and I’ve hoped that you’ve learned a little about bobbin work and punchneedle and how great WonderFil’s Razzle and Dazzle threads are for embellishing your quilted masterpieces!

 

A selection of colorful Dazzle threads from WonderFil Specialty threads.
Dazzle threads from WonderFil

 

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4:

 

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

7 Comments

  1. Lisa Vendeiro

    I have a question. Can pre-printed quilt blocks be used to make a punch needle embroidery picture?
    My teens want to do punch needle embroidery to make pictures, etc. and was thinking of just using quilt blocks, but wasn’t sure if the material would work….I know nothing about embroidery or quilting.

    thank you

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for the question! You can punch onto any fabric that is closely WOVEN and not too stretchy. Try it out – it will probably work just fine!
      Christine

  2. clare

    hi, can i ask if punch needles pens can be used for quilting? as in to replace hand and machine quilting? seems to me that it’s the same as embroidering straight stitches. Please advise. thanks

    • Hi Clare! Thank you for your interesting inquiry. Although I’ve never tried using an punch needle to ‘quilt’, if I were curious to try it, I’d use a square foot size quilt sandwich to sample on. I would use the finest punch needle I could find and see how it would turn out. I’ve seen embroidery done with a punch needle, other than punch needle technique, more like a tambouri method. Check it out, you’ve got an interesting thought! Thanks for following QUILTsocial!

  3. Becki K.

    I am interested in incorporating this into a quilt, is the punch embroidery washable? How durable would this be for a quilt applique? Do you think a fusible webbing would work to help secure lkeep a heat and bond? Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Hi Becki,
      I get this question all the time. Punchneedle embroideries are “supposed to be” washable, but I’ve never washed any of mine. I do put punchneedle pieces into my quilts, but only for wallhangings.
      If I wanted to make sure that it was washable, I would use a fusible interfacing and iron it to the back of the weaver’s cloth after punching, but before quilting and I think that would make all of the stitches secure. Have fun experimenting!

  4. Janie M

    I like how your project turned out. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

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