Saturday, January 3, 2015

How to do Punch Needle Embroidery

For those who know me, I am more of a wood worker, entrepreneur and inventor than a hand quilter, rug hooker or punch needle artist.  However I do listen to my customers requests and obsess over each design I make.  It took about 4 years of tinkering with various frame designs to come up with the frame pictured below.  It started with another frame I was making for cross stitch and customer contacted me with some concerns.  After a few trial designs and a lot of thought, I came up with this little frame.  Hoops or this 6" x 6" gripper frame can be installed and switched out, depending on the type of project you are working on.   

The customer requests were straight forward.  Make a small gripper frame or hoop on a frame that can easily flip over.  In punch needle you are always checking the backside/bottom loops of yarn.  Sounds easy at first but trust me it wasn't.  This frame here is a variation of the "Diane's Special" Flip-Up Frame that I make for cross stitch.    To purchase this little frame, go to   Note:  I have changed up the little curved arm to a straight arm for better clearance when flipping the frame.

For those of you who are new to punch needle, I copied and pasted the following as I couldn't explain it any better:
Punch needle is a craft or art technique of looping yarn, floss or ribbon in the format of a pattern through fabric. The looping gives the pattern a rug like appearance. The origins of needle punching are debatable. Some claim it has been in existence since the ancient Egyptians began making needles out of hollow bird bones, others claim needle punching originated from the Old Believers in Russia, while others trace its origins back to Germany or England. Needle punching is used to embroider items, create wall hanging, ornaments, pillows, rugs and other decorations and crafts. Needle punching is done as a hobby and commercially. Before creating your own item you will need to know how to needle punch.   Read more at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Have it custom finished...

Yep!  I have added custom finishing.  You pick the color and I will stain and clear coat your lap frame, caddy, sewing center or Featherweight table in the color of your choice.  I added 9 color choices to pick from, including the "unfinished" option and custom color.   Prices will vary, depending on the items size that I need to finish. Most lap frames are $15 while a small caddy will be $7 to $10.  I thought these were reasonably priced and so far most of the orders seem to be coming in with this  added upgrade. 

Pick a color and then confirm your choice below. 
Unfinished - No extra charge
Clear Coat / Natural
Red Oak
Golden Oak
Dark Walnut
Red Mahogany
Special Request Color - Contact me

Here is the tricky part.  You MUST CONFIRM YOUR COLOR CHOICE.  I am having design issues with the website and this little feature is the only way I can add a fee for the finishing on to the invoice.  So when you see this box below, just retype the color you wanted.  If you want it unfinished you don't need to type anything.
Confirm color choice - $15.00

Please visit my website at .

Thank you,
Harry Barnett

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Featherweight 221 Extension Table

It's another day of tinkering in the wood shop.  I should be sanding and building the lap frame and caddy orders that came in to the website recently, but my mind has been distracted on this little  Featherweight extension table that you see here.  My previous design has a little shelf installed that really doesn't hold that much as seen in the top corner picture.  Why did I put it there?  I'm not sure.  Well, I started making a couple tables for customers and I got thinking...  and that's when my productivity stopped!  I thought of installing a small draw for better storage and after hours of trying different variations and asking for a little Facebook feedback, I decided to keep it simple with just 4 legs as seen in the pictures on the left.

What are your thoughts?  Keep it simple with just the 4 adjustable legs or go back to the little mini shelf setup???  Please post a comment here on the Facebook Fan Page.   You could also email me at

Thank you,
Harry Barnett

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Flip-Up Lap Frame
This lap frame is perfect for the smaller needlework projects such as cross stitch, needlepoint and embroidery work. The 10" hoop as seen here easily pivots up or down, adjusting the angle of your work.  For those of you who need to see the underside of the hoop, this is perfect.  The hoop drops into two grooves on the back support legs.  Loosen the large knob and you can easily lift out the hoop.  I will be making additional size hoops to fit the frame.  I am thinking a 12" and 8" size would be a perfect fit.   You can purchase one on my website at or give me a call at 1-781-248-7291.  You can always contact me a .

Loosen the large knob in the back and the hoop pivots up or down.

Loosen the knob a little more and the hoop can be removed or switched out for a different size hoop.

My friend Nancy gave it a two thumbs up when she tried it out last night.

Easy to use!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Directions on how to assemble your Barnett's Laptop Hoop Floor Stand

If the current trend continues, this Floor Stand and 18" Original Design Lap Frame will be my best selling item for 2015.  I keep making extras to have on hand and it never seems to be enough.  I don't like to praise my own items but it does make me smile every time I finish assembling one.  I really go nuts when I see one all stained up in a golden oak finish or just clear coated.  It's that moment that I truly feel like an artist and I just signed my painting. :)  I love my job and I hope it shows! - Harry B.

After a half dozen times of trying to make a step by step instruction insert to go in the box with each Floor Stand, I finally gave up and figured the Blog and Youtube would be an easy way to share it.  Pictures are worth a thousand words so they say and I have to agree.  I am definitely a visual person!  Don't tell me how to do something, show me once and I'll remember it forever.  By the way, that beautiful quilt on display above was sent to us by Dominique in France.  Love the colors!   In addition, I have to thank Mary for sending us some amazing pictures of her using the stand at a quilt show in Martha's Vineyard.  Both of you, thanks for sharing with us.

To watch a Youtube video of the quick assembly click here.

Step 1.
Unpack your new Floor Stand.
Step 2.
Remove the top T-knob and washer.

Step 3.
Pull out the bolt.
Step 4.
Lift center pole into place.
Step 5.
Insert bolt back in the hole.
Step 6.
Replace washer and tighten T-knob.

Step 7.
Install the back plate on the remaining bolts.
Step 8.
Tighten the washers and 5 lobe knobs.
Step 9.
Slide the arm onto the pole and set the height.

Step 10.
It should now look like this.
Step 11.
Now clip your magnetic lap frame to the lazy Susan.

Step 12.
I hope this makes sense.  Please email me if you should have any questions or think something needs to be better explained in the setup directions.  I think it is an easy process, but then again, I designed it.
Take care,
Harry Barnett
Phone: 1 781 248 7291
Facebook Fan Page: Barnett's Laptop Hoops Fan Page'

I copied and pasted a few of the product reviews below.

Write your own product review

Product Reviews

  1. Handsome Stand is Art Itself

    Posted by Unknown on 1st Jan 2015
    I have my new floor stand and hoop loaded with my latest project in the living room. It easily slides under my chair for hand-stitching whenever I have a few minutes or more. The stand is beautifully crafted and easily adjusts in height for me to sit in various places according to the best light of the day. The overall design reflects smart engineering and simplicity of construction, making this a perfect addition to our Craftsman home.

  2. Feel like a Quilter

    Posted by Janet Joyner on 31st Dec 2014
    As a beginner I have been struggling with perfecting the technique of hand quilting. Along with my "Aunt Becky" My new hoop and floor stand are the answers I have been looking for. My stitches are improving, becoming uniform and smaller each day. I love my Barnett products. Great quality and I loved the video showing how to put it together. Thank you Harry.

  3. Another beautiful and functional product!

    Posted by Vanessa on 5th Oct 2014
    I am a new hand quilter. After ordering the 14 in square vented hoop and being amazed by the quality, I decided to go ahead and order the stand as well.
    As another reviewer stated, the difference in having the stand is amazing! It is so much easier to quilt this way, since the height is adjustable. The magnets on the back of the hoop make it so easy to attach to the rotating top of the stand.
    It helps you keep the correct posture while quilting, your back and neck will thank you!
    Again, the craftsmanship is beautiful! This stand also looks great as a piece of furniture, without a quilt in it. The finish is smooth and beautifully stained.
    I highly recommend this stand if you are planning on ordering one of Harry's hoops or already own one. It is definitely worth the price and will make your (quilting) life a lot easier!

  4. Great hoop and Stand

    Posted by Peggy on 3rd Aug 2014
    I've found quilting a large piece very awkward and hot. SO I bit the bullet and ordered one of Harry's round 16" hoops. I love it because I can get my hand right in there to feel my needle without having to hold up a heavy quilt! BUT I'm only 5'2" and it was very large for the short length of my lap. SO once again I splurged and bought the stand. Oh my goodness, the difference that made. I love being able to turn the hoop in whatever direction I need too and let it stay from day to day on the stand. Right now I'm hand quilting a large, heavy t-shirt quilt but my next project is a small baby cross stitch quilt. I know Harry's stand will be versitile enough for most things I do. NOW practicallity aside, the work is beautiful. The cutting, the sanding, the staining is all excellant. I could not have spent my money in a better way. I'm 67 years old and this stand has made my quilting so much easier. I know I can pass the stand down to my daughters because it will be around much longer than I will! :)) Thanks Harry!!

  5. Quality Floor Stand

    Posted by Unknown on 8th May 2014
    The stand is beautiful! I can't wait to get a piece in it. The finish is so fine. The natural look is so rich. The stand was easy to assemble and looks great in the living room!!



Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to use a ...Barnett's Rug Braiding Stand

Barnett's Rug Braiding Stand

The following youtube videos and instructions should help anyone new to rug braiding.  You can create colorful cotton or denim rugs to match the decor of any room in your home.  The process is easy to learn and lots of fun.

Easy to use spring loaded lever clamps your braid securely while you work.
Materials and Equipment Needed:
How to braid a rug...
  1. 6 to 8 yards of material. 
  2. Rug Braiding Stand
  3. cutting mat
  4. rotary cutter
  5. ruler
  6. safety pins
  7. tapestry needle
  8. carpet thread

Instructions on How to Rug Braid:
  1. Collect your scrap fabrics and cut them into strips that are 2-1/2" wide.  Sew the ends together to create a longer strip of fabric.  Make three of these long strips to start your braid.
  2. Now attach the strips to the clamp on a Rug Braiding Stand. This will keep your fabric stable and organized while you work on the rug.  Begin braiding by pulling the outer strips to the inside creating a simple braid.  After you have completed about twelve inches of braid, loosen the braid by pulling down on the lever and feed the coil to the back side of the stand.  Now begin braiding again. Repeat this process. Add more strips to the end as needed to create a long braid. 
  3. Disconnect the braid from the stand and lay your rug strips on the floor.  Begin coiling the braid into the desired shape you want, either an oval or circle. You can use pins to secure it in the desired shape.
  4. Lastly, sew the coil together starting from the center of the rug and maintain the desired shape as you go.  Keep your stitches visible from this top side, because once it is completed you will flip the rug over. Now the top is the bottom!  Now admire your new rug.  
Help needed...
On a parting note, please remember I am a one man shop, stay at home dad with 4 beautiful children, who is trying to launch a new product line / business. This is no easy task with our limited advertising budget or should I say practically no budget. Many of you know others with the same interests as you so please share our links on facebook, twitter, google + and now Pintrest.   Help spread the word and watch us grow. Thank you in advance and please email me with any feedback or post your comments below.
Thank you,
Harry Barnett
Please visite our website at  You can always contact me at 1-781-248-7291 or email me at

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rug Hooking & Punch Needle... the best rug hooking hoops and gripper strip frames?

Just a few years ago, if you told me I would be building some of the finest rug hooking frames on the market I would have said..."What's a rug hooking frame?"  I kind of stumbled onto this frame by accident.  While selling my Original Design Barnett's Laptop Hoops, customers would email me asking for a longer bolt to be installed on the hoops.  When I asked why, they explained they were rug hookers and needed it for the wider materials.  As I asked more questions, I found out more and more about this rug hooking art and even visited a local shop, American Folk Art & Craft Supply in Hanover, MA..  Michele the owner was so helpful showing me the many styles of frames on the market and how each one differs.  I even made a simple version of the Original Design Frame exclusively for her shop. 
Rug Hooking Hoops
For my online store,  I added my own version that includes our unique magnetic bottom, allowing you the ability to attach it to any of our Sit-On, Bean Bag lap bases or our floor stand.  Another difference is the hoops.  I am now steam bending my own round hoops.  These Custom Steam Bent Barnett's Hoops are extra strong!  This is needed for the extra weight of the rugs vs. a lighter weight quilt.  These rug hooking hoops, 12", 14", 16" and 18" are now 2" deep vs. your standard quilt hoop that may be only 3/4" to 1" in depth.  The added depth allows the "hooker" to use just a  hoop on their lap.  That extra depth is just enough space to keep the hook from poking you every time you go through the linen cloth. Polly Minick, a well known instructor and published author asked me to duplicate the hoop she uses in her rug hooking classes.  Hoops of this size were discontinued about 15 to 20 years ago when the Norwood hoop company in Michigan closed its doors forever.  I am happy to resupply the market with this unique size hoop once again.  You can purchase any of my hoops installed on our unique "Laptop Hoop Base" or just by itself. 
Gripper Frames
Another rug hooking frame that is commonly used is the gripper frame.  They come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials.  If you should do a google search, you will find hundreds of varieties available, from the most expensive high tech models to the "homemade" box frame.  Let's just say most of them are poorly constructed by shops that are more concerned with how fast they can make a buck and very little attention to detail and the needs of the customer. 
As I began my research into gripper frames, I wanted to design frames that would be of the highest quality, versatile, adjustable, and offer a wide variety of choices. What I discovered is many of the cheaper or inexpensive gripper frames is the quality is just not built into the product.  Take a close look before you buy.  Many of my gripper frames utilize a "channel", allowing you to replace the strips easily or switch them out to a different grade strip if you should change up the materials you are working on.  Rug hooking is typically done on burlap or linen and requires an EH3 Howard Brush Gripper StripEH4 is for Monks cloth and EH5 is used when you punch needle.  For punch needle you need a finer grade of grippers since the materials are more delicate, typically using embroidery floss or silk ribbon.  Building the channel strips into the design has been a wise decision, allowing versatility in use and adding a higher level of quality to the frame.
Adjustable and a wide variety of choices was also very important in the design stage.  Many companies offer just one size that does it all.  From my experience working with quilter's, I know better.  Each person has their own unique needs and the frames must accommodate the many different body types and sizes.  A person who is 5'-2" will need a different size frame from a person who is 6'-2".   Our unique lap bases and the floor stand allow you to position the frames into the most comfortable positions possible.  The most comfortable size frames so far are the Barnett's 14" & 16" Octagon Frames.  These are not easy to make, especially with the channel strips! Another new item that we just added is the Adjustable Angle Frame with a 13.75" x 16.75" outer dimension, ( 11.75" x 13.75" inner work area), as seen above here.  It is our largest frame so far and I personally think it works best on our floor stand.  Two large knobs quickly and easily adjust the frame into the perfect work angle.  The larger table-like base adds stability and a great spot to store your scissors and tools when not in use.  A customer of mine pointed out the magnets that are installed on the underside actually work through the wood and hold her scissors in place.  She thought this was a neat little benefit that should be shared. This list of creations has grown even larger, with the introduction of a Collapsible Rug Hooking Frame, now available in 14" and 16" sizes.  I am sure more sizes will follow.  Each leg is held in place with super strong magnets and goes together in seconds.

I thought I would share this video from youtube that explains the basics and a bit of history of rug hooking.

Custom Orders
If you should ever have a specific need or size, just email me at and I can build it for you.  I never add a "custom order" charge but it may take a bit of time for me to design it and build it. 
Help needed...  
On a parting note, please remember I am a one man shop, stay at home dad with 4 beautiful children, who is trying to launch a new product line / business.  This is no easy task.  Many of you know other rug hookers or share links on facebook, twitter and now Pintrest.  Please share this link, spread the word and help us out.  Thank you in advance and please email me with any feedback or post your comments below.
Thank you,
Harry Barnett