There’s something about a Jack o’ lantern that is just pure magic, don’t you think? One minute you have a fat, round gourd; the next you have a living creature! Practically a person, full of personality and character!
As a child I always wanted to carve more than one pumpkin. That way, long after I headed off to bed, in the wee dark hours of morning, the pumpkins could come alive and have their own conversations! How could they not? I believed that it would be far too long and boring a night for these characters not to chatter on. The smiling pumpkins would tell jokes. The grumpy pumpkins would complain about the smiling pumpkins telling their silly jokes. Cat pumpkins would caterwaul, and puppy-faced pumpkins could howl at the moon!
While mine sat on the front porch, I imagined that those that lived on a farm would gather under the moonlight. They’d hide among the haystacks for a midnight jamboree. There’d be singing and laughter. They’d have competitions to see how high they could pile themselves; who could stack the tallest Pumpkin Pile of Pisa, trying not to tumble over and turn themselves into pie filling! Just before the sun rose, they’d hop back into their places so even the early roosters would never have known of the pumpkin parties taking place.
This pattern captures all these childhood stories I continue to hold in my heart. Truthfully, there’s a part of me that still believes that jolly pumpkins party under a starry Autumn night sky. Eyes glow, gourds grin, and tales are told about the adventures of The Great Pumpkin. This punch needle pattern gives me hope! And maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that Linus and I will finally see The Great Pumpkin with our very own eyes.
A light board makes tracing your pattern onto weavers cloth a snap!
Guard your project from little Gremlins!
On the haystack and the pumpkins, punch thread from top to bottom and back again. It makes the pumpkins appear rounder, and the elongates the haystack.
Want to add interest to a plain background? Use variegated thread to add extra oomph! And swirls! Even if you used a solid color, punching in swirls and wavy lines creates motion. Afraid you will make a mistake? Don’t! Weavers cloth is forgiving. Any mistakes may be pulled right out (photo 3) and filled in again. Weavers cloth is made of cotton and polyester. The cotton grabs onto the thread fibers, while the polyester gives the fabric a little spring. Mistakes may be fixed in an instant!
When your design is finished, trim away the excess weavers cloth, leaving a half-inch border around the entire design. Iron down the corners first, towards the back of the design, and then fold over and iron each of the sides.
Before using acid-free fabric glue to glue the back of the design onto a decorative board for display, trim away any loose threads or loops sticking up on both sides of your design. Don’t worry, weavers cloth has a lot of spring in it! The cloth will hold the rest of your threads in place…they won’t fall out even when part has been snipped away! And that’s something to smile about!
It will come as no surprise to you: I LOVE pumpkins!
Pretty much everything about them. Pumpkins ARE Autumn. Pumpkins ARE the heart of Halloween. And we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie on our table now, can we?
As summer fades and the world turns drab, pumpkins are a blast of color; a last riotous act by Mother Nature. Terracotta. Rust. Deep orange. Peachy cream. The landscape is punctuated in every shade of orange while once rich greens accent with their own variations of olive and brown. New varieties of pumpkins even bring shades of white, monstrous green, or even fairytale pink! It’s a visual wonder at every turn!
And it’s not just the color! It’s their shape! They are wonderfully FAT. And bumpy. And deliciously wonky! Arm-filling globes that we roll into our wagons and up to the farmer’s stand. Some are almost as big as a car; big enough to sit inside! And other wee little white roly-polies can fit in the palm of one hand, with room left over; barely big enough to hide a tea light inside.
Big or small, carve them up and watch as candles dance inside, lighting the darkest Halloween night! They glimmer and shift shadows against the walls.
The truth? Pumpkins are pure MAGIC!
Let their magic cast a spell on you as you create your punch needle project, a small reminder of the best Autumn has to offer. Sew it to a mail basket and hang it on a front porch column for friends to pop in invitations to the neighborhood Halloween party. And maybe, if you’ve been the bestest little ghostie or goblin this year, just maybe The Great Pumpkin will send you a special message as well. The young child still in our hearts can always hope, can’t we?
Because punch needle patterns are worked back to front, these patterns are always in reverse form. A light board is an easy way to trace your pattern onto your weavers cloth. Pin your pattern onto the cloth before tracing so nothing will move while you trace the pattern!
Once traced, center the weavers cloth onto your gripper frame. Alternate pulling the cloth on each side until the cloth is drum tight and solidly stuck onto the gripper frame (And yes, when the cloth is plucked, it will sound like the beat of a drum!). Add a cloth cover to protect your skin from any of the gripper strip’s sharp metal bristles.
Outline the letters before filling them in. Using a Size #12 thread will take a little longer to fill in than by using a Size #8 thread, but the finer thread will give you a little finer detail, especially in the corners of each letter and the border lines. And see the brown wrapping around the Ultra Punch tool? The tool has been wrapped with Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape. The tape provides a foam cushion around the tool, allowing you to punch for longer periods of time without skin irritation from holding using the tool too long (yes, punch needle is addicting and you will find yourself punch needling for hours!)
When all your punching is done, remove your design from the gripper frame. Cut off the excess weaves cloth, leaving about a half inch border around your finished design.
Iron the border towards the back of your punched design, beginning with each corner first, then each side, to neatly prepare your design for framing.
Center your design on green wool felt, carefully trace around, remove design, and cut out square. Pin the wool square to the back of your design.
Use brown thread to blanket stitch all the way around, sewing the felt to the back of the punched piece of weavers cloth.
Quick comparison of the finished back and finished front of the design. Be sure to carefully trim away any loose threads (as you can still see on the back of the design). Don’t worry, the weavers cloth keeps the threads snug and your remaining threads won’t fall out