Punchneedle Embroidery is probably my favorite form of needlecraft. While I used to do needlepoint, I found it boring, expensive and they took so darned long to finish. I don’t know how I stumbled upon this form of needlework, but it’s quick, much less expensive than needlepoint, easy, and portable. I love doing large punch needle as well, which is similar to rug hooking in the way it turns out (but much easier), but the larger style is much less portable. And, since I don’t watch TV, I find the times I’m actually sitting at home with nothing for my hands to do is pretty rare.
I’ve made tons of different things with purchased patterns of punch needle designs, and made quite a few patterns of my own, but was getting bored (that happens easily to me) with all the usual patterns, I wondered about a brick doorstop pattern. They were always my favorite kind of needlepoint pattern because the end product was something really useful – I am not the “needlepoint pillow” kind of person – but everybody has a door that won’t stay open sometimes. I had never seen a pattern for one on any of the sites I’ve typically ordered patterns from (see my “I Like” menu and go to Favorite blogs and Websites subcategory Favorite Craft Websites for a list of good internet sources), so I decided to make my own.
I measured one of my old needlepoint bricks to get the proper dimensions, and then made the design. I loved the artwork I purchased on Etsy for the signs for my chicken coop and goat house, so I used those as a starting point, and worked it until I got a design I loved.
Now punch needle is a fast needle craft compared to needlepoint, but this took me forever to finish it seemed. That said, I only work on it when I’m in a meeting or waiting for my kids at the train station to get home from school (they commute to school on the train). So all in, at best I worked on this about 2-1/2 hours a week, and I didn’t keep track of how long this took me to finish. Now that it’s finished though, I love it!
It also gave me a great opportunity to try and finish a brick doorstop myself. Whenever I’d finished a needlepoint one I brought it back to the needlepoint store to finish, and let me tell you it cost a small fortune to have done. Now I’m sure it’s a little more complicated with needlepoint canvas, and I suspect you have to perhaps put an iron-on interfacing to the back to stabilize the mesh or something, but I think you could do this with a needlepoint brick canvas as well. Punchneedle is worked on a plain fine cotton fabric, so this was easy to work with and sew.
Miniature needle punch embroidery has been around for a very long time. Ancient Egyptians were among the first to employ this technique by using the hollow bones of birds’ wings as needles. The technique was used throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, often to elaborately decorate ecclesiastical clothing and panels. In modern times, it has been associated with embroidery work done by Russian immigrants belonging to a religious sect called The Old Believers.
During the reign of Peter the Great in the 17th century, the Russian Orthodox Church was going through a period of change. A new leadership made reforms, mostly to worship rituals, that some rejected. Those opposed to modernization split from the church. They were severely persecuted, first by the reforming leadership, then by the Tsars. These Old Believers were scattered into remote areas of Russia and around the world. Some settled in America. There are several clusters in the U. S., but the largest concentration of ‘Old Believers’ in the United States is near Portland, OR. In some ways, they are like the Amish. They stay mostly to themselves, and reject many things in modern culture.Pin It