Craft worlds collide, and it's never been cozier. Pay homage to a traditional wedding ring quilt block with a punch needle pillow sham. It adds a DIY touch to your bed and makes a romantic gift for your partner on Valentine's Day . So the only question is: why wouldn't you stitch it?
Wedding Ring Punch Needle Pillow Sham
What You Need
- Wedding Ring pattern (get it when you sign up for free )
- 2 pieces backing fabric (we used flannel) to create an envelope back
- 3- or 4-ply rug yarn in whatever colors you like
- #10 regular Oxford punch needle (will make a ¼” high loop)
- Gripper strip frame or no-slip hoop
- Embroidery scissors
- Tapestry needle
- Pillow insert
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 linen over the pattern. Using a Sharpie, trace over the pattern lines.
Once your pattern is transferred onto the linen, 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 linen 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. To end a color, poke the yarn through to the other side with your scissors. You’ll wind up with an end on the other side that is longer than your loops — we refer to this as a “tail”. Trim the end to the same height as your loops, so it wont come undone or show.
Don’t make your stitches as big as 3 spi, or you’ll have gaps on the right side of your pillow. And resist the urge to make small stitches when you get into tight spots. This is called overpacking and will make your pillow lumpy.
4. Clean Up the Front
After you’re done punching, the front side of your linen 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 linen 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 linen 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 project 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.
Using scissors, trim all the way around the linen, leaving a 1½” seam allowance to make the pillow panel.
7. Prep the Back
Cut two pieces of backing fabric the same width as the punch needle piece. The two pieces should overlap by 4” in length.
Sew a hem across one long side of each backing piece.
8. Put It Together
Lay the two backing pieces on top of the punched panel, right sides together. Pin in place.
Pin the two backing pieces together along the envelope opening, to keep them together while you stitch the cushion.
Stitch along all of the outer edges of the pillow sham.
9. Flip It Out
Turn the pillow sham right side out. Place the pillow insert in through the envelope opening in the back.
For a fuller pillow, purchase your insert one size larger than your sham.
Find Your Next Project
Make it a pillow party with these fun punch needle tutorials.