I told you recently that I had purchased a couple of punchneedle books to refresh my skills and figure out how to finish this type of project. I was reading my new books this past weekend (where did the time go?), and thought, oooh I should punch something.
I went upstairs to look for my punchneedle patterns. One. I found one--the one I bought last March at camp, but I can't find the punchneedle I also bought on that trip. I kept looking. And now I realize I can't find at least five patterns. I do have three, though. All I'd like to do is start one. So could you come over and dig through the "craft" room and find the punchneedle and the missing patterns? (Yes, it's clear something needs to be done--and soon, the contractor is coming to hang the ceiling fan!--but I get so disheartened looking at the mess. Where's Clean Sweep when you need them?)
On to the book review.
New Punchneedle Embroidery: Basics and Finishing Techniques (Charlotte Dudney) I was sold by the last two words of that title. I've always wondered wtf to do with finished punchneedle pieces, okay the one I have done--didn't stop me from buying new patterns, nevertheless. This book delivers. The book includes a short history of the technique, almost twenty pages on the basics--from the supplies to troubleshooting, and 18 patterns. They include a variety of animals, a seasonal series, a really cute bowl of flowers, and a tulip pattern that would be adorable as a rug for a doll house. The finishing section is great. It shows how to make an eyeglass case (a small bag really), a fabric frame, mounting for a preset opening (like a box), mounting on foam core board, finishing with cording (where was this when I needed it?!), a whipstitched edge (looks like a little rug), archival framing, and applique. None of the techniques use glue, which I always worry about with my work (except the perforated paper ornaments, I'll glue those). Nearly all techniques would also work for finishing cross-stitch. Love the book!
Punchneedle Creations (Pamela Gurney) Amazon suckered me with this one; it was a coupled with the other. I figured for a few dollars more, but I'm not head over heels with these designs. The best thing about this book is that it shows you the many, many fibers you can use to punch including, but not limited to, silk ribbon and yarn. Who'd have thought it? There are 14 pages on the technique, and if you've ever done this you know that is a thorough examination of the process! The book includes a secion on sculpting, shaping, fluffing (no, not that kind), and getting the shaggy look. Twenty one patterns are included: some are pretty, but there is also a pattern for a dog where the fibers have been combed so it looks like fur. It totally freaks me out--and I like dogs!
Both books contain sections on troubleshooting, but the Dudney book has it set up as a Q&A, which is a little easier to navigate. Gurney's reads more like the thought process she must go through when she is trying to fix someone else's mistake. Maybe that would work for you.