Punching Profiles

Punching Profiles: Jackie Watters

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Jackie Watters

Meet Jackie from Minnesota, USA.

Our new punching profile takes us to Saint Paul, Minnesota. Here, Jackie lives with her husband and dog, Winnie. She graduated with a BA in Graphic Design and has worked for various companies ranging from a design firm, University and now a county. Jackie's design balances shapes and shades of color to create timeless pieces. 

How (and when) did you get into punch needle rug hooking?

I got into punch needle rug hooking last fall, like many others I was following Arounna from @bookhou, she had gorgeous prints that I loved and one day she started posting punch needle designs and once I saw one of her abstract patterned stools, I knew I had to try it! I knew instantly it would combine everything I loved about design and working with my hands. When I started my career in design, I've always missed creating by hand, so here was my chance! I couldn't wait to get started.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Like my design work, my punch needle pieces stick to the basic design principles, I balance shapes and shades of color to create my designs. It can be more difficult to keep things simple and that is what I strive for. I want my work to stand out for small details you may not have expected when looking at my sketches. I stick to the basics with my process and try to avoid the computer all together, giving me the freedom to let broad ideas work themselves into my end products. It's fun to let the yarn and shapes lead the way.

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What has your learning curve been like?

I jumped right in, which means there have been some learning experiences. I've loved the community on Instagram and how much everyone has shared while they are starting out with Punch Needle. Experimenting with different yarns and fabrics has been a big piece to it, and figuring out which work best for the work I do.

How has your work evolved over time?

Since I started, my punching has become much more consistent, my stitches are much more even and my designs are standing out for what I am hoping. I've also begun making more frames to wrap and frame my pieces which has added to the style and end product I want.

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What does your workspace look like? What are the essentials that you need?

My workspace is my home. Since this is not a business for me right now, I punch after work on the couch (if it's winter), on our deck (if it's nice out) and our garage had become my frame making studio. My dog Winnie is essential company while I punch and is never far away, while my husband is always there to help when I need to figure out logistics of my patterns or frames. It's been a good team effort.

What materials do you love most?

My oxford punch needle from @amy.oxford. This was the first tool I bought, it's beautiful and works like a dream. You can tell a lot of love goes into her products and her resources online have been essential. My first frame was her 10"x10" gripper frame and the monk's cloth she sells has been the best I've been able to find. For yarn, I've absolutely loved Quince and Co.: puffin yarn, it's so soft and I love the style of loops it gives me. I've also enjoyed working with rug yarn from Seal Harbor Rug Co., the colors are incredible and you get beautiful even stitches with this style.  

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What tips do you have for beginners? What do you wish you’d known when you started punching?

I would say, just experiment and don't get too hung up on the technical side right away, first find your signature style and then go from there. It may sound backwards but I think this ends to unique products and designs, your style will come through. I wish I knew of the awesome products I found right away, it took a lot of purchases of yarn and fabric that did not work as well in the beginning.

Who or what inspires you? Anyone you follow on instagram?

So many inspire me online, I love artists who do something unique to themselves. Some of the artists I love to follow are: @lorraineloots (her mini paintings are so fun and unique) @bookhou (for her pattern and fabric work, also amazing punch art) @ravenroxanne (her use of color is amazing. serious talent). A few newer ones for mainly punch inspiration are @hellohillfolk (their designs are great and have such fun details) @sarahgoldenart (tons of shape and color inspirations in her work) and so SO many more!!

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What’s next for you? Any goals for you and/or your punch needle work?

I want to continue to create designs and see if my style aesthetic leads me in a more specific direction. I would love to start selling my work someday and have a few goals for the end of the year. I appreciate all the love and support from fellow rug punchers on Instagram and hope you keep following along for exciting things to come.


Find Jackie on Instagram .