Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Squirreling Around AKA Playing with Needle Punch Attachment

Needle Punch tools
My inner squirrel has been itching to get involved in other projects. She has been in my ear whispering her ideas as I've stitched leggings and Frolic blocks. She has hung out on my shoulder as I stitched my granddaughter's dress and the wool pincushion. I've been tentative to tune in to her thoughts or to acknowledge her presence because she often will sidetrack me to the point where progress on all other WIPs halt for months.

Samples of fibers used to punch
While I love her enthusiasm, I desire to finish more than I start! BUT, I did purchase this needle punch attachment at least four years ago. I never did more than read the manual and look at the parts that came with the attachment. I even bought the throat plate. My friend, JoJo, also purchased the same attachment. She hadn't used it either. We both had seen an in person demonstration of the attachment. I had even punched a few fibers myself at a demo.

JoJo suggested at our monthly Zoom catch up that we get the attachment out and play with it. I thought it was a great plan. The day arrived and while I had pulled a bunch of bits to play with, I didn't have a clue what would be my base fabric. She used a wool fabric square as her base. I thought about using a variety of fabrics as the base so I could see what a fiber looked like punched across the various base fabrics. In the end, I used a scrap piece of cotton velveteen. 

What fun it was to play with various fibers! I snipped a small pieces of white polyester lace. I free hand cut circles of metallic snowflakes. I used polyester ribbon, polyester lining,  polyester formal dress fabric and even some gold polyester netting. I'd been saving the frayed threads of fabric after I had pre-washed the fabric. I even used some acrylic yarn, wool roving and thin strips of waste cotton fabric. It was fun to see how all the fibers punched! 

Collaged top
In about an hour, I had covered the the face of the about
five inch cotton velveteen square. I went with a collage type approach. My friend used a more organized approach to her sample. We both enjoyed the session. We both thought that we would play with this attachment again. My inner squirrel is thinking about how to incorporate felting in a quilt project. I'll let her ruminate on that issue. I hope that she will be "occupied" trouble shooting what challenges could happen using needle punching in a quilt.

I decided to make my "top" into a pincushion. Yesterday, I dropped by a Goodwill store to check out their tin and glassware sections. I didn't find a square decorative tin to fit the bill; but, perhaps, the glassware container that I purchased for two dollars will work. If not, I'm not out much money.

Perhaps, my inner squirrel will also figure out how to convert the top into a pincushion! This was goal number 11 on my June list and it wasn't listed on my 2nd Quarter goal list.

After finishing the play session, I thoroughly cleaned my machine. While I anticipated a lot of lint in the bobbin area, there wasn't as much as I had expected. Perhaps, punching mostly polyester fibers was the reason for the lesser amount of lint. At any rate, my next project is to stitch the exchange Jingle Bell square blocks for an exchange that I'm participating in September. 

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