spring break with my good friend duke

spring break with my good friend duke

Here am I, vacationing with my friend, Duke.  If you were with me over the winter holidays, you know that Duke is my sister’s little yorkie-poo, and whenever she and her brood head south to escape the bitter northern clime, I get to spend a week or so dog-sitting.

While staying at my sister’s house, I’m working on a Lori Brechlin design from a booklet she released a few years ago entitled, “American Folk”.  My progress is slow because I’m having too much fun playing with Duke to do much punching, so I’ll talk about “United” another day.  (Also, I’m suffering an attack of Sciatica which is rather distracting and which makes sitting/standing/walking/lying/breathing for any length of time ~ ahem ~ uncomfortable.  “Uncomfortable” may be the biggest lie I’ve told in my life, which, if you’ve ever had Sciatica you will shout, “Amen!”, but enough about me and my pity party…)

So, instead of telling you about, “United”, I’ll tell you about, “Herbs”, another fab design from Lori Brechlin.  This is from Lori’s Herb Tyme booklet and it’s a design I’ve been wanting to do for several years.  I’ve been afraid of it, however, because of the little bitty details, like the flowers on the herbs.  Little bitty detail designs have never been my strong suit and, in the past, I’ve shied away from these patterns.  However, recently I’ve come up with some “cheats” that make bitty details easier for me and less frightening.  Before I get to my cheats, I want to let you know what colors I’m using for this design:  These are all Valdani #12 Perle Cotton ~ PT2 (green perle tweed for the “HeRbS” and stems), 8101 (Withered Mulberry) for the flowers, H205 for the peeps and bee skep, p4 for the background, and a touch of H212 for the peeps eyes, bee skep entrance and bee detail.  I get my Valdani from Snowflake Memories.


“dragging” the line under the word HeRbS

My “cheats” may not be cheats at all, they may be common practices amongst all you punchers, but I remember reading in a punch needle book, when I first started out, that one must never lift the needle and drag the thread to a different position on the weavers cloth.

dragging seen from the front

dragging seen from the front

I decided, after a time, that just because a book told me I shouldn’t drag didn’t mean I couldn’t drag. I mean, who’s to know.  As you can see from the front, there’s nothing to indicate that I’m a cheating punch needler.

clipping after dragging

clipping after dragging

After I finish dragging the line under HeRbS, I clip the long bits so that I can punch the background color in the proper places.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeen from the back, now, it looks as though I were an upright, law-abiding, puncher who never even considered cheating.

Now, about those little bitty flowers…

background before flowers

background before flowers

Here, I’m working on the little clump of herbs under the “S”.  It has more background than flowers, so I fill around the stems, loosely, with my Valdani P4, which is my background color.

from the front

from the front

This photo of the front shows how many spaces there are around the stems.


flowers done

Here, I’ve gone in with my Valdani 8101 (Withered Mulberry) and filled in the spaces with flowers.

flowers first

flowers first

Where there are more blossoms I punch those first, using the same method, and then fill in with the background Valdani P4.

done with the details!

done with the details!

Working details using these cheats makes punching these wonderful patterns so much more fun then when I would try to punch one little flower, snip my thread, punch a little background, snip, punch a flower….



I made HeRbS into a little pillow stuffed with organic lavender ~ oh, Heaven!  The pillow is backed with a reproduction fabric which I coffee stained, a tiny pocket in the same fabric sports an antique bone button and a tag with a bee skep stamped on each side.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From the front, my cheats don’t give themselves away!

giving me the look

giving me the look

Time to get back to Duke!


May all your dreams come true, today!




8 thoughts on “herbs…

  1. Dear Simple Quite,

    I do the social media for Valdani threads and I’ve been following your blog and enjoying your posts. Please feel free to visit the Valdani threads Facebook page, where your work has been shared with our fan base. If you have a special Valdani project, please feel free to give me the heads up or share it with me so I can share on the Valdani Facebook page.

    Best Wishes, Marianne

    Marianne Pestana Social Media Excellence MariannePestana.com (303) 945-6195

  2. Good ole Duke!..he is adorable. Drag all the time myself..there are no rules..just because it’s written doesn’t mean it has to be true. I saw that on the internet..if it aint true they can’t put it on the internet..lol!..love your work as always, your color choices are always beautiful. Enjoy your time with Duke!


  3. what a super picture of you and duke! love love your glasses! and duke looks like he will be more of a watcher than a helper like the kittys! thanx so much rebecca for sharing so much with us! your patterns, threads and where you get them, how you finish a project! everything! so much appreciated!! i hope to find some time to punch soon as its one of my favorites and i have a couple patterns waiting… enjoy your week of vacation!

  4. Confession time ….. I too am a dragger. Sheesh …. what a relief to be able to get that off my chest! Honestly I almost always play by the rules, but sometime ya gotta do what ya gotta do!! 🙂 Your project turned out beautiful as always. Give a big squeeze to Duke … it’ll help your Sciatica.

thank you for spending some time with me!

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