Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cathartic and Useful Punch Needle Projects Turn Into Multi-Media Antiques

I taught myself to punch needle when my mother was in a coma lying in a nursing home bed.  While up visiting, Dad and I traveled to Delavan, Wisconsin one morning to eat breakfast at Millie's Pancake House, a place we had frequented since I was just a little girl.  Millie's was a super special place.  The restaurant, itself, was a rambling house-like structure.  Each room was decorated differently with antique accents and some rooms had large fireplaces.  Other rooms had bay windows that bathed the tables and diners with glorious light.

Outside, the winding sidewalks led you to shops that had gifts, clothing, meat, furniture and The Stitchery.  This shop was in its own little building shaped like a small cape cod home complete with bay and dormer windows. As a young child, I always wanted to sew and would enter the shop always in awe of the beautiful bolts of fabric and thread in every color under the sun.

The day Dad and I visited Millie's, we ambled back into the Stitchery and I became enamored with punch needle projects.  I found a fish pattern and purchased all the accoutrements required to successfully complete a punch needle project.  We went back to Dad's house and I taught myself the art.

I completed that first project and it's now hanging at our lake cottage.  Doing punch needle is a way to work through sadness and I found it quite cathartic while visiting Illinois.  After sitting in Mom's room and going back to their house, I'd punch away at the fabric and it gave my mind something else to focus on, which was a good thing.

After I came home, I finished up a few more projects.

I traced this scarecrow pattern from the internet onto weaver's cloth:

I then antiqued the fabric, drew grass and framed it and glued corn husks to the frame:

When Mom was close to dying, I finished up this pattern:

At her funeral, I was surprised to see this flag on the altar:

In the winter after my mother's death, I completed this project:

I attached the snowmen to the backside of an old graniteware pot lid and lined the punch needle with sticks of evergreen.

Since the news of my grandmother, I have had the sudden itch to start punch needling again.  It's becoming obvious that my hands need to be busy with what would appear mundane work with the end result a finished creative project during troubling times.

Last night I dug out my supplies from my craft cabinet and will be finishing up the Christmas Robin pattern:

I'm always trying to find new ways to market vintage and antiques.  I know so many are all about repurposing and repainting furniture and whatnot, but I'm more of a purist.  However, I've always loved when I've seen punch needle projects applied to various antique objects like the graniteware pan lid I did above.

Here are some other ideas I found from Pinterest:



This will give me some direction during auction season to find small antique objects that will work with a punch needle design.  I've seen wooden scoops, wood cutting boards and all sorts of really old barn wood at farm auctions that will work perfectly!

I just ordered some more weaver's cloth off eBay and additional patterns to work on after the current project.  

Hopefully throughout the year, I'll blog about the finished projects so keep watch!

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Sadly, Millie's Pancake House is closed.  Here is their old website with pictures:

 The Stitchery, though, still exists in its cozy little building.  They are on facebook:  

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