Friday, December 18, 2009

Dancing Needle Experiment

A reader named Allison left a comment on my last post that got me thinking...her point was that the Dancing Needle would go through a lot of 13mm silk ribbon to make a flower, implying that that could be pretty expensive.

So I thought, "Why not make my own "ribbon" out of 1/2" strips of very light weight silk? I know, we are veering into rug hooking territory here. Silk ribbon is in a class by itself, no doubt about that but still, there must be other ways to dance with that needle....

Different gauges of needles are required for different kinds of fibers. They make really tiny needlepunches, smaller than what I have here, for very fine fibers and detailed work.
I thought I'd try combining a few kinds and sizes of fibers for my flower experiment.

Also the length you set the depth of the needle in the needlepunch determines the length of the loop you will get. So that's another variable to play with.

With my rotary cutter I made these 1/2" strips of both silk chiffon and silk habotai. There is 4mm silk ribbon, 6 strand silk floss, and a combination of three finer threads that I wound together on an empty spool...

Here's a close up of the strips. Nothing fancy. They were cut with the grain, not on the bias. I'll bet one of those wavy edged rotary cutter blades would add some nice texture here...but no, that is a toy I don't have!

Here is my flower in the hoop, on green linen. Click so you can see it better...
Lots of potential here...and it doesn't have to cost a lot!

17 comments :

Marty52 said...

Oooooo... pretty! As I have said many times before... Damn you're good! :0)

FredaB said...

My only reaction Allie is would it fray a lot with time. I have shirts and items with silk ribbon I have washed many times and they still look great.

Would work well on a picture or item you will never wash.

Great experimenting. Would zapping it with your little tool stop that and still look okay?

By the way, ordered one yesterday.
No more playing with fire.

Hugs

FredaB

Marsha said...

I love the way the center of the flower looks so real. Very nice. You just keep playing and I'll watch and stick to my samplers etc. Your work is lovely and an inspiration.

Lisa said...

Very cool! Love the way you think outside the box when doing these!

averyclaire said...

All of your flowers are beautiful!!

Debra said...

Very pretty!

Barbara C said...

The results of your experiment look great, and I like the idea of making your own fabric strips. That would open up the possibilities quite a bit.

Mary Corbet said...

The different heights and the texture in this - fantastic! I love the center of the flower, especially. It's quite nice!

Rian said...

Aren't you clever!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

That flower looks very real - especially the center! Beautiful!! However, I would imagine the fraying on the edges would be a problem - silk ribbon edges are serged, which is what makes it a little stiff.

Granny Fran said...

Your needle punched flowers are fantastic. Very similar to what I am doing with my locker hooking, only on a much smaller scale. Experimenting with the strips of silk was brilliant. Your creativity in doing flowers of all kinds is inspiring.

Willa said...

Simply genius. Freda thinks it will fray which may be a design element.. but you could always cut on the bias to minimize that.. lots of potential as you said.

CQ said...

I did that experiment only I did it on the bias...big mistake...it not only frayed, but it broke every couple of inches...kudos for using the punchneedle...keep up the great work...

Summerset said...

That flower is stunning - the white just pops on the green and the little bit of red/pink at the center is perfect.

kanishk said...

I have washed many times and they still look great.

Work from home India

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Threadhead said...

My kinda girl... using my motto... I can make it myself cheaper (and prettier, too) LOL
Beautiful!