1. Gather your supplies:
*Needle (I prefer longer needles, but you should be OK with a all-purpose needle, as long as your thread fits through the eye)
*Thread (heavier thread is better - buttonhole twist, embroidery floss works. In this case, I've used linen thread)
*Awl (I love my awl, this is the Dritz "Ergonomic Tapered Awl".)
*Chalk/Marking utensil (My favorite is the Dritz "Quilting Chalk"
*Ruler (I actually use a "Simflex Gauge", but rulers....yanno, rule.)
2. Mark out your eyelets.
*Be sure to mark where you want the *center* of each eyelet to be
*Check out this awesome article about sprial lacing for spacing suggestions
3. Place the point of your awl on your marked eyelet.
4. Slowly push the awl through the fabric while twisting and wiggling your awl. The whole point of this excercise is to work the threads in your fabric apart, rather than breaking them. Make your hole slightly larger than you want your finished eyelet to be - the threads will try to creep back together!
5. Check out the back side - sometimes you'll get a 'volcano' effect with the fabric stretching down the awl. You can either use your fingernails to push the fabric up the awl , or remove the awl and go through the hole from the back side.
6. OK! You've got your hole! Now it's time to thread your needle. Get it nice and waxed/conditioned, and tie a knot in the end. (You should probably do this before you make your hole, but it doesn't matter, really)
7. From the front of your fabric, sew a running stitch in a circle around your hole. This is going to anchor your eyelets, and help prevent tear-outs!
8. When you complete the running stitch, start whipping around the hole. Be sure to do this from the front - you want the front to be pretty! The first time around the eyelet, you don't need to be perfect, or completely cover the entire surface. This stage is just to keep the hole open and create some stabilization for the next stage.
9. Keep poking your awl through the hole to keep it nice and open while you're working. (Eyelets are also best done on the couch, in front of the TV) Go all the way 'round your hole....it's not gonna be super-pretty the first round, but don't worry!
10. Go around your hole, one more time. You can continue to whip the eyelet for another round to fill in all the gaps, or you can do a buttonhole stitch for the second round. And, you're done! Well, almost.....
11. Take your thread to the back, and run the needle underneath a few of the threads. Make a loop and tie off the thread......then go underneath a few more threads.......now SNIP! You're done!