Tag: Punch Needle

Mr. Snowman Punch-Needle

Meet Mr. Snowman!

Mr. Snowman is a fun, little punch-needle design. He’s hitting the slopes of trees and swirls in colors to match the quilt you see in the background.

Image of Mr. Snowman with quilt

This design is fast and easy. It’s slightly less than four inches square. The cute size fits perfectly on a mini art canvas. Add the little easel to display your mini stitched artwork.

Since punch-needle is a compact, hand-held craft, Mr. Snowman is easy to pack for travel. You can even work it while you ride. If you aren’t familiar with punch-needle, check out the many tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube. Click HERE for an introductory tutorial on Pinterest. There are also numerous books and patterns on the subject.

Image of Mr. Snowman

Generally, punch needle requires a good hoop that tightens well. You’ll want your surface tight like a drum at all times. That makes it easy for your needle to punch into the cloth.

Next, when you make a punch-needle stitch, the need head is punched downward through the back side (top) of your hooped cloth. When you pull your needle back up, it leaves a tiny loop on the front (underneath) side of your hoop. The size of the loop depends on the size of your needle punching length and thread.

You’ll work Mr. Snowman punch needle from the back side of your hoop. You can turn the hoop over periodically to see your progress.

You might want to practice getting your punches evenly spaced, but the learning curve for learning punch needle is quite easy to achieve.

See Love Notes Punch Needle

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Textures of Christmas Time

Do quilts already play a part in your Christmas decorating? They do in mine! How about including some additional textures among the quilts?

Add texture with simple touches.

Explore some new techniques and textiles to add to your holiday handmade joy!

The main focus of my dining room is a texture-rich quilt! This quilt is great for decorating all winter long. I happen to love aqua as a Christmas color (year-round, really) and it’s here to stay in parts of my Christmas/winter decorating! Fun things to note on this quilt are the buttons, “pearl” necklaces on the birds, skate strings and glitzy fabrics.

Add in a little Punch Needle Snowman

Mr. Punch Needle Snowman is small enough to finish quickly and glue to the smallest canvas (available at Michael’s). Click on the link above for the free PDF download.

Image of Mr. Snowman
Image of Mini Punch Needle

Snowflake Table Runner

I made this simple table runner from one wonderful piece of snowflake fabric. Next, I cut the glitzy snowflakes with an Accuquilt die and fused them in place. I did quick quilting on the top/batting. Then I added a ribbon of tiny white balls, like a piping. Finally, I layered it with the backing and turned it like a pillowcase- super fun and fast!

Wood Manger Scene Sign

Make a quick manger scene sign using Scan N Cut, a pre-made sign and shimmery vinyl!

Image of Candlelight Wool Wrap and Manger Scene

Wool Candle Wrap

To make the candle wrap, I just cut strips of muslin on the diagonal and stitched down the middle of them onto a piece of wool. I then threw them in the washer and dryer with a load of towels and they came out nice and fuzzy. Connect the ends in back with a button and a thin hair elastic, sewn to the wool.

Image of Bear Quilt

Just for fun, take a look at this Christmas bear quilt! I made it from a McKenna Ryan kit. His hat and glove were meant to be red cotton, but instead I made them from a fun aqua cotton and the ribbing from an old wool sweater that was in my late mother-in-law’s stash.

Be sure to check out the Christmas quilt patterns made with BOTH beautiful sides of fabric HERE!

Wishing you layers of joy this Christmas season!

Love Notes Punch Needle

Love Notes Punch Needle adds a little interest to embroidery!

Love Notes Punch Needle Embroidery
Love Notes Punch Needle


I love to collect tiny picture frames, lockets, and unusual findings for my punch needle projects. For Love Notes, I found a tiny white, wooden frame at Michael’s, traced the inside shape onto my cloth, sketched my design, and started punching. This is a fast project, easily done in one evening.

Find the frame HERE.

If you’ve punched before, you know it helps to outline your objects before adding the fill. I generally sketch my object designs (like the envelope and heart) and “free-hand” the background swirls. Of course, using variegated threads easily adds interest to the design.

Starting small is a good idea. I like to do miniatures for several reasons. Time, of course, is the most obvious. But also, working in small designs gives me a chance for trial and error. I can practice using different sizes and colors of threads without committing myself long-term.

Other findings that I find interesting are shaped metals pendants (I found a cat shape and others), metal bracelets, and flower-shaped picture frames.

Look for designs like Love Notes Punch Needle on Pinterest HERE.

Take a look at Love Notes mini quilt and Love Notes mini wool applique HERE at A Love Note from Johnny to June (I just love the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter.)

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Happy Stitching!

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Make a snowman today!

Come on, let’s go and play! You can build a snowman today with Mr. Snowman Punch Needle!

Put down your lists and have-tos.

Make a snowman yours today!

First of all, no shovel is needed for this little guy – and very few supplies!

Just grab one tiny 3-inch canvas, your punching supplies and some yummy threads to make yourself a little, friendly snowman.

Get details and the Mr. Snowman Punch Needle PDF download HERE.

Mr. Snowman Punch Needle
Mr. Snowman Punch Needle

Also, you’ll find a link for a How-To tutorial!

In addition to this little guy working up super-fast, he adds some needlework texture to your winter decor! (See Textures of Christmastime) My guy likes to sit in front of my “Winter Blessings” quilt (pattern by Shabby Fabrics) hanging in my dining room but he’d be darling on a window sill!

Alternatively, you can draw your favorite snowman. What’s great about punch needle is the simpler, the better. So think back to how you would draw a snowman as a kid-then punch away!

Winter Blessings Quilt Pattern by Shabby Fabrics
Winter Blessings Quilt
Pattern by Shabby Fabrics
Do ya wanna build a snowman?

A side note.

A few years ago, my girls dressed as Anna and Elsa and sang for the Salvation Army ringer outside our mall. It was cold, but they had a great time, surprised lots of little ones by being there, and brought in a few more dollars for the Salvation Army.

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

It also made for a great Christmas card that year!

Do ya wanna build a snowman?

Remember to be prepared for the winter days ahead and check your emergency supplies, like water, batteries, thread, treadle machine oil (in case you lose electricity), and chocolate!

Most of all, enjoy your quilting journey!

Image of Quilt
Noelle is made with BOTH beautiful sides of one Christmas floral!

Shop Quilt Patterns HERE

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Where, oh, where is my little black kitty?

Punch yourself a little black kitty with punch needle embroidery.

Where, oh, where could he be?

It’s Halloween night and our little black kitty is missing. His name is Mungojerrie.

Black Kitty Punch Needle by Karla Kiefner

Black Kitty Punch Needle
by Karla Kiefner

He and his sister, Rumpleteazer (our vet loves us), were named after the notorious couple of cats in the Broadway musical, Cats.

Mungojerrie is known to be on “WalkAbout” for several days at a time, but I always like to keep him near on Halloween night. There’s just something about black cats. He is small with a bobbed tail (he was born that way and it seems to affect his balance when he’s circling around to lay down).

The black cat in this punch needle is looking at the full, harvest moon.

Deep into the darkness peering,

long I stood there, wondering


Doubting, dreaming dreams

no moral ever dared to dream before.       Edgar Allan Poe

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Through the Chicken Wire…

Look through the chicken wire at the local fair for quilts and punch needle.


Vintage Fun Cross-stitch by Nancy Kester, Quilted by Karla Kiefner

There are county fairs all over our beautiful country each year–this one just happens to be in the Show-Me state.

The district fair is where you can show off your talent for growing plants, making quilts, raising livestock, crashing cars, grooming little ones (baby contests), singing, creating recipes, rooster crowing, showing livestock, hen clucking, antique-tractor pulling, barrel racing, juggling, doing magic tricks, and eating of things which are fried!

Not all things shown at the fair are kept out of reach, but many small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and poultry, as well as hand-made items like small quilts, embroidery, tatting, and crochet, are kept from wandering hands by the prolific use of chicken wire.


Sunflower Tile Punch Needle Embroidery

For over 155 years, people have gathered at this fair to eat, socialize, and kick back, and share the product of their skills. There are concerts and contests almost every night.  We (and our faithful friends and family) have spent many a year cheering our hearts out at the Heartland Idol contest in which our daughter was determined to compete. Plus, there’s the Little Miss SEMO Karaoke contest, pageants, mother/daughter look-alike contests, and a field full of carnival rides and games.

The fair kicks off with a parade through town, ending at the fairgrounds and even the local schools often schedule half-days during the fair so the kids can enjoy the fun.

One of my favorite places at the SEMO District Fair is inside the Arena building where the quilts and other hand-work are displayed, along with a touching display which honor our local men and women of our military who gave their all, along-side our guild’s display of  Quilts of Valor. My second fave is the Trinity Men’s Club stand where many of our church members work diligently each year, including my friend, Nancy, who stitched the Vintage Fun quilt shown above.


My Bella Piastrella takes a blue ribbon.

Of course, its always fun to win a little something–a ribbon from the fair makes the effort more fun and the promise of a smidgen of cash ($23 this year) to come in the mail makes it all the more sweet.

So next time a fair opens up near your town, take the time to check it out. Check out the barrel races or the strolling magician and treat yourself to a good ole fried turkey leg–and remember, go see what you can see…through the chicken wire.


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It’s a Bear Out There!

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bear paw prints, claw marks and scat!

How does this bear paw experience turn into stitchery? Read on to see the quilt block and punch needle embroidery inspired by our visitor

That is a bear out there.

Have you ever seen a certain quilt or pattern and you think, “No, I’m not going to make that.” Then, all of a sudden, something happens and you’re thinking, “I’ve got to make that quilt.”?

Our neighborhood has suddenly become a flurry of excitement. We don’t live in the country, really. We certainly don’t live in bear country! I didn’t think so, anyway. But after pondering a these odd markings on our cedar play set, we aren’t so sure anymore.

Bear markings?

This takes a bit of bear paw sleuthing.

At first, we thought it was anything but a bear.

But soon the neighbors and I are sharing our experiences and findings daily.

We visit each other’s yards to look at “evidence”. Next, we learned the lingo (scat).

Collecting evidence in the neighborhood.

This was actually a bonding time for some of our neighbors! We got to know each other a little better through the clues left by our new guest.

Calling in the bear paw experts.

Furthermore, we sent photos of the clues to the local experts. While they hesitate to say for certain it’s a black bear, but they did say it’s either a black bear or a large dog. Following that, they said they wouldn’t know why a dog would make these markings.

Game Cam time.

Finally, my husband was convinced enough to commandeer a Game Cam from deer camp. The waiting game began. The markings on our playset are near our crabapple tree so the neighborhood “experts” are waiting for the fruit to ripen and our bear to be caught–well, red-pawed?

More scratches!

Quilt time.

Pertaining to the bear, this brings to my first point, about a quilt block I never intended to make. Bear Paw. Suddenly, this block appeals to me on a very personal level. Plus, it’d be a great barn quilt to mark the area, kinda like our mysterious friend did.

Its a Kevin Bacon thing.

So here is my first partial block. Of course, my bear likes Kaffe!

Image of partial bear paw quilt block
Bear Paw by the Pool

Never to stop at one, I might as well make a little punch needle bear paw.

image of bear paw punch needle
Bear Paw Mini Punch Needle

It’s going to take me a bit longer to make that barn quilt—maybe we should get a picture of the guy to make sure he’s not a giant raccoon or something!

You know it makes sense, really. Creative Bee…quilting bee…bees make honey…in a Kevin Bacon kind of way, we really should have a bear living here!

Image of bear paw quilt block
Bear Paw Quilt Top

Visit my shop on Etsy for more than 50 quilt patterns that use BOTH beautiful sides of fabric!

Want a great treat recipe called Bear Droppings? Find it here:  One Sweet Retreat

How to Put a Little Punch in Your Summer

Here’s a beachy punch needle design:

Creative Bee Studios

A Bit of Summer

Punch, in this case, is not a drink generally served at wedding and baby showers. I’m talking about sweet little punch needle-ette (new word)–tiny punch needle you can wear.

Small projects like this can be punched in one warm summer’s evening. Sit on the deck, the front porch swing, or in the coolest seat in your home and punch yourself a sweet little treat.

I wear my punched design as a necklace but you can also make key fobs or rings–even earrings. I have found various hardware at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s in the jewelry-making sections. There are even greater hardware options online.


Re-purposing Hardware for Punch Needle

The most important tip I have is to measure the inside diameter of your holder carefully and be sure your weaver’s cloth is secure and taut before you draw the outer perimeter onto your cloth.


The stretched diameter was larger than the pattern. Always hoop first, then draw on your design.


See this little bee? I drew the outer circle the correct size to fit its holder, but when I tightened my cloth in my hoop, the circle grew. I didn’t realize my mistake until I had completed the punch and realized it was too large for my holder. This little bee is now waiting for a new hive to come along.


For general instructions and a punch needle supply list, see my Punch Needle page.

Happy summer punching!


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