Whether you're hosting a whole crew of friends or simply serving your favorite dishes for a relaxing night in, there's nothing cuter than setting said meals on top of trivets that totally speak to your personality. These pig's head and lamb's tongue designs from our Maker Knows Best series are easy to make using basic punch needle techniques . Grab the templates, thread your needle and start punching!
“Lamb’s Tongue” or “Pig’s Head” Trivets
What You Need
- “Lambs Tongue” or “Pig’s Head” trivet pattern (get them when you sign up for free )
- 18” x 18” monk’s cloth
- 3- or 4-ply yarn
- #10 regular Oxford punch needle (will make a ¼” high loop)
- 14” no-slip hoop or gripper strip frame
- Embroidery scissors
- Tapestry needle
- Light box (optional)
Good to Know
When using a punch needle, you’ll need a no-slip hoop or gripper strip frame. A regular embroidery hoop won’t keep the fabric tight enough for the loops to stay in place.
1. Get Ready to Punch
Tape your pattern to a light box or a window that gets a lot of sunlight. Tape your monk’s cloth over the pattern. Using a sharpie or fabric marker, trace over the pattern lines.
Once your pattern is transferred onto the monk’s cloth, hoop up your fabric. Then, hold the punch needle with the groove facing up and thread the yarn down through the eye of the needle. Pull the working yarn back until you feel it slide into the groove. (It should move freely through the needle.)
2. Punch the Outline
Flip your hoop so the wrong side of the monk’s cloth is facing up. Using a 6 spi (stitches per inch) stitch size, punch the outer border of your design. To do this, you want to punch your needle through the fabric, pushing it all the way down so the handle hits the fabric. Bring the needle back up, drag the tip across the fabric about ⅛”, then insert it again.
As you punch, keep the needle with the groove facing up and punch away from you. Turn your work over regularly to make sure your loops are all the same height on the right side. If they’re uneven, you’re either lifting the needle too high or not punching down all the way.
Once the outer border is done, punch all of the outlines and single lines in the pattern.
3. Fill It In
Using a 4 spi stitch size, fill in the inside of your pattern and the background areas.
Don’t make your stitches as big as 3 spi, or you’ll have gaps on the right side of your mat. And resist the urge to make small stitches when you get into tight spots. This is called overpacking and will make your mat lumpy.
4. Clean Up the Front
After you’re done punching, the front side of your mat will look messy with long ends (aka tails) sticking out and some uneven loops. There may even be loops in the wrong place. Don’t freak out — everyone’s work looks a little funky at this stage.
There are two techniques to help clean things up:
Snipping: Before you take your mat off the frame, flip it over so the front faces up. Use embroidery scissors to cut off all the tails that are longer than the loops. If you have some too-tall loops, cut them to the same height as the others.
Poking: For loops in the wrong place, use the point of your embroidery scissors to reposition them, playing around until your design looks better and the loops are where you want them. When you’re done, remove the mat from the hoop or frame.
5. Steam Press
Steam pressing your project will make it uncurl and lie flat. Run a towel under cold water, then wring it out. With the mat facing up, lay the towel on top.
With your iron on the highest setting, hold it down in one spot for about 15 seconds. Pick up your iron, move it to a different spot and repeat until you’ve steam pressed the entire area.
6. Finish the Outer Edge
Fold the seam allowance under, toward the reverse side as close to the edge of the pile as possible (no monk’s cloth should be visible). Make a double hem, folding and pinning carefully around the curves.
Sew the hem using evenly-spaced whip stitches along the entire inside edge.
You can use strands of monk’s cloth instead of tapestry thread to secure the hem in place!
Find Your Next Project
Keep calm and punch on with more punch needle projects.