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.
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.