Let's begin shall we?
Threading your needle....
Every punch needle has a bevel on it. That is what punctures the threads of the fabric. Click on the picture to see what I'm talking about. Whenever you punch the beveled edge that you see must be pointing towards the way you are stitching. More on this later. Up above the needle is my threader. I know it's very hard to see. The crossover part is what grabs your thread so you can thread your needle.
One end of your threader should have a part to hold onto. Mine is a white piece of paper. This serves two different roles. One to pull the thread and two if you drop your threader you can see it easily. :-) Take hold over your threader and starting at the needle tip push your threader through so that the end is poking out of the top.
Take the thread (all 6 strands) you want to start with and pull out some thread. Take the end of the thread and place it in the threader at the top.
We aren't done yet... just one more step.
Take your needle with the long side of the bevel toward you.
Take your threader and push it through the eye of the needle as shown. The long side of the bevel is on your right. Take your thread and put it through the threader. Grab the white end and pull your thread through the eye.
The tail should be coming out of the long side of the bevel.
Shew! If my pictures aren't very clear please visit this tutorial to show you how to not only thread your needle but punch needle also. For your right handed people you may want to rely on this tutorial. Left handed people stay tuned. lol. My pictures are not great so the tutorial may help all of you.
Now that your needle is threaded decide where you want to start. I like to start in the middle and work my way out. If you have a needle like mine I have it set on 1. That tells you how long your loops will be. Mine will be pretty short. Make sure the bevel is facing you. This is like you are looking over my shoulder.
Leave a little bit of tail and push your needle all the way into the fabric. I have been reading that your finished piece will look better if you outline first then fill in. So, this is what I'm doing.
Pull your needle back up just until the tip of the bevel barely comes out of the fabric and drag the tip toward you about a needle width and put it back into the fabric. You don't want your stitches too far apart or there will be white in between that you will need to go back and fill in later. Now, when I first started and up until now this is where I have issues! If you don't drag your needle and you actually lift it off the fabric and then punch down you might cut one of your threads. Then the hair pulling and screaming begins! The threads will get all bunched up and pull out. Leave the part that is done correctly intact. No need to pull it out just start again where you left off. You will need to cut the remaining threads and then re-thread your needle. TRUST ME it won't work if you don't re-thread. Here are a couple of my first punches. Remember this is the back of the pattern. Your stitches look like a running stitch. Notice I am stitching toward myself. Keep your needle at a 45 degree angle while you are stitching.
YAY!!!! I didn't mess up and got to the point. Now what you ask?
With your needle still in the fabric turn the hoop so that the other line is facing you. Then the bevel should be facing you also. Then continue stitching down the other side.
Below is a picture of the front of the pattern once both sides are punched. I looks kind of sparse, but trust me it will fill in.
Now just keep filling in until you get to the middle. Notice you want to keep your next row pretty close to the first. Again it is very easy to cut a thread with the bevel not only on the row you are working on but the row beside it. Remember this is not a race. My pace was very slow at first to make sure my technique was right. I also sat at a table so I could rest both elbows on the table to maintain control of the needle. I guess if you don't drink as much coffee as I do you may not need to steady your hand. lol. Just keep on filling in until you get to the middle.
Then just keep on doing the same thing until all of them are filled in. I will show you my progress as I go.
There are plenty of punch needle tutorials out there. Just do a Google search and you should find plenty. There is a great You Tube tutorial by Lori of Not Forgotten Farm which is very informative if watching a video is easier and especially if you are right handed ;-) lol.
Well, I'm off to teach tonight, but will hopefully get to work on my project tomorrow. Please be sure to send me pictures when you complete your first project. I'd love to have a friend picture gallery. Have a good evening!