This pretty garland is a great project for using up little oddments of yarn from your stash. Clare uses cotton yarn in a selection of muted shades. You could also use yarns in different fibers to add a variety of different textures to the leaves. This is a short garland so the leaves are sewn close together, but you could spread them out along the tape or ribbon if you would like to make your garland longer.
YOU WILL NEED
Two pieces of weavers cloth or linen fabric, each measuring 17 x 20in (43 x 51cm) (or enough to fit your frame)
Frame or hoop—I used a 10in (26cm) no-slip hoop
Punch needle—I used a Lavor fine 2.5mm
Light worsted (DK) weight cotton yarn in around eight different colours—1¾oz (50g) in each colour
Small pointed-blade embroidery scissors
Piece of felt measuring 10½ x 12in (27 x 30cm)
1yd (1m) piece of cotton tape or ribbon
1. Using a pencil and tracing paper, trace out the templates. Make sure you leave enough of a border clear for the hoop or frame you are using. An easy way to do this is to place your frame down on the fabric with an even border of fabric all around the frame. With a pencil, draw around the inner part of the frame. Transfer the leaf shapes onto the fabric, making sure they are at least ¾in (2cm) away from the pencil line. Leave a 1¼in (3cm) gap between each leaf. You should be able to fit five leaves on this piece of fabric.
2. Place the fabric into the hoop and start punching the design. Use the guide in the template for suggested areas of colour and shape. For this design the looped side (which is the reverse of the side that you punch into) will be the front. I started around the edge of the leaf and worked in toward the middle, filling the leaf shape first and then the contrasting middle section. Move the frame along the fabric to finish all the leaves.
3. When you have completed the leaves, remove the fabric from the hoop. Cut out each leaf with a 3⁄8in (1cm) seam allowance around the edge. Repeat steps 1–3 with the second piece of fabric. I made nine leaves in total.
4. On each leaf, use fabric scissors to make small snips all around the shape at right angles from the edge of the fabric to the edge of the punched stitches. At the corner sections, cut away a small section of fabric so that it will make a neat corner.
5. Fold the seam allowance over toward the wrong side of each leaf, so that none of the base fabric is showing on the right side. Use fabric glue to stick the seam allowance down. Try to keep the glue away from the very edge of the punched stitches, as this makes it easier to get a needle through when you sew on the backing felt later.
6. Trim each of the tracing paper templates by about 1⁄8in (2mm) all around. This will mean that each felt backing will be slightly smaller than the punched leaf. Use a pencil to draw around the templates onto the backing felt, then cut out the leaf shapes.
7. Pin the felt backing onto the back of each of the punched leaves, covering up the glued seam allowance. Decide how far apart you would like your leaves to be on your tape or ribbon. I positioned the leaves 2in (5cm) apart, but you can space them farther apart on a longer piece of tape or ribbon if you wish. Tuck the tape or ribbon into each leaf at the stalk end, sandwiching it between the punched leaf and the felt backing and pinning it in place.
8. Use small slipstitches all around each leaf to sew the felt in place, making sure that you secure the tape or ribbon with a couple of stitches to keep the leaves in position.
TIP I used a 10in (26cm) no-slip hoop and moved the fabric along when I had filled each section with leaves. If you are using a frame that is bigger than this, cut a piece of fabric that is big enough for your frame. See the book for more information about frames and hoops.