Design Dilemma in Needlework


I’ve had my eyes peeled for new punch needle ideas.  It’s become a slight obsession.  I remember when I first started sketching.  I would look at things not as they were, but how I would draw them.  Children’s books have wonderful graphics to go with the simple stories, and they are my current muse. But I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that I have looked at other punch needle patterns to see what’s out there.  And what’s out there is not new.

Because I keep every needlework book, magazine, and pattern I’ve ever owned, I have a timeline of what has trended and what’s been published in the spectrum of needlework design over the past five decades.  The fruit basket, birds, Santa, pumpkins, and lighthouses are a fraction of the hundred or so images that are iconic in needlework. The pumpkin may be a jack-o-lantern; the bird may be a crow or a cardinal, but needlework seems to gravitate toward images symbolic of home and family.

Made in France

I was working on a seascape, looking for information on sperm whales, and having a problem with the mouth because sperm whales actually have teeth.  I went to Wikipedia and found it dark in protest of SOPA requiring me to look elsewhere.  I stumbled upon a pattern which is strikingly similar to my current design.  I drew mine before I ever saw the likes of this image which is actually an applique pattern for quilting, not needlework.   Never-the-less, mine is similar to hers, and I can only imagine that hers is similar to someone else’s.  But how many ways can you draw rocks, a lighthouse, a whale, some waves and a night sky?

And therein lies the problem.  Either I should stop looking at other needlework patterns because I invariably find something similar to what I’ve drawn, or I should look at as many needlework patterns as I can find and try hard to make mine as dissimilar as possible.  Either way seems like an exercise in futility. But it does make me pause to consider if anyone else feels the same about the uniqueness of their designs.  Or does everyone eventually come to the same conclusion as me, and just gets over it?

I’m over it.

About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
This entry was posted in A Day In My Life, Needle Punch, Needlework, Punch Needle, Textile Art, Uncategorized, Whimseytopia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Design Dilemma in Needlework

  1. cubbyholes says:

    Honestly… get over it. As you said there are only so many ways to skin a cat. (paraphrased 😉 ) I don’t know how to design knits and things because I haven’t been doing it long enough to really understand it, but I follow a pattern. That doesn’t mean mine looks just like someone elses, or is a copy of someone elses. It’s my palette, my little tweaks I may add or remove here and there, its uniquely “me”. I wouldn’t worry about it. Just have fun with it. JEanie

  2. Getting over it is a good idea, I think. Because you’re right: how many ways are there to draw a seashell, Sun, lighthouse, animals, flowers, etc. 🙂

  3. Get over it 🙂 I find when I am planning my next painting that I find “it has all been done before” but everyone has a unique style and choice of colours so yours will look different. I was in the Library in Victoria yesterday and there was a pile of old needlework books for sale..I did think of you 🙂

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