I first became interested in punchneedle when I saw some books from Australia and I found a place in Michigan I could order the Cameo punchneedle from. I placed an order and then proceeded to just play around with it. I made small motifs that I used in swaps and in my own crazy quilting. About 3 years ago I went to the Minnesota quilters show in St. Cloud, MN and there was a gal selling punchneedle pictures printed on weavers cloth which is the tightly woven fabric that is what is commonly used. I purchased 2 pictures and did finish the one which I intend to put into a bag one of these days. It was a lot of fun. I have a couple of the Australian books and did order their large punchneedle made for silk ribbon flowers. I haven't really spent a lot of time with it. My first couple of attempts were failures. Previously I have added silk ribbon into little bouquets along with the thread but no larger then 4mm.This new needle allows you to use 7 to 13mm.
I was in JoAnnes last week and happened to see this book and was taken with it right away because I felt there were things in here that I would actually do and use. While checking on the computer today I found that my original piece was one of this gals even though it is not shown in this book. There are quite a few companies that sell her printed pictures. Just google French Fantasy Designs and you will find lots of them.
I took some pics of both the front and the back of the book to give you an idea of what is in there. Also a pic of my finished piece yet to be used.
For each pattern in the book she gives you the colors with three floss choices - Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art and DMC. The first two are overdyed but the DMC colors are for the regular floss. I did use the regular floss on my first piece and tried to variegate it by mixing strands of say 2 or 3 single greens together,etc. The Weeks Dye Works runs around $2.00 a skein, The gentle Art I don't know but the DMC in the US is so much cheaper - maybe .29 cents on sale sometimes 4/1.00. The only problem with the patterns that I can see is she does not tell you how many skeins you need of each color. With DMC it is readily available so you can just go buy more. If you had to order Weeks Dye works and have it shipped it would be expensive to have to go back for more.
Allie from http://www.alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/ mentioned in a recent post that on flower #10 in her new quilt that she did the flowers with french knots but would have been much faster with punchneedle and she plans on doing one in the future. Will be watching for it.
If anyone has any questions I will be happy to answer them if I can. I am not an expert but have made things. Just email me.
One thing I forgot to mention is that she said if you want to make a pillow or a picture with a different background she suggests many types of fancy fabrics that you can iron the weavers cloth to with lightweight fusible web.
You do work from the back on punchneedle so your pattern would be on the weavers cloth and you would punch right through both fabrics. She does suggest you try it on a piece of fabric first to make sure it will hold it.
After I did the pic above I ironed interfacing on the back to hold all the loops tight or you can coat it with fabric glue.
Susan there is your thistle again on the back cover far left. They are showing up all over.