You ready to put your #OxCoPALs Spring Boxes together? Here we go!
Before you pull the project off of the frame, make sure you mix up 1:1 glue/water and paint that around on the dotted line and a little into the corners where you will whip. Wait patiently, or if you're me, impatiently. Once it is dry you are ready to continue. It is very, very important to wait until the glue is dry and that you do a thorough job gluing the edges. You will be handling this box a lot and if you skimp on this step or don't wait for the glue to dry, the monk's cloth on the exposed edge will begin to unravel. If this happens, you run the very real risk of it unraveling to the loop edge causing the loops to fall out and then your whole project is in the weeds. So please, make sure you glue very well and make sure it is dry before moving to the next step. This may even mean waiting for the box to dry again after steam pressing. Sometimes when you steam press a project the wet towel and hot iron can cause the glue to become tacky again, and if you aren't patient, you will encounter the problem above. So patience is key!
When you pull your box off of the frame, you will want to steam press it. This is really the only opportunity you will have with the smaller boxes. With the larger boxes, you can kind of steam press them after you whip stitch them, but that takes a bit of tinkering.
After steam pressing let the box dry completely before cutting along the dotted line and removing it from the excess monk's cloth. Choose whichever color yarn you want to use for whip stitching, thread your tapestry needle and get ready to get started! I used about 6 arms lengths of yarn to whip stitch the entire small box.
Above you will find a video on whip stitching the boxes. I will post pictures below of the process.
You will want to start at the bottom of the box, working along the "hinge" space where there is exposed monk's cloth. The goal is to hide that exposed monk's. This will also help the box stand up nice and tall, and look more finished.
There are two ways you could do this process. If you look at the picture on the left you will see how Cotey anchors her stitch before beginning to sew the exposed monk's cloth. If you are like me and you start in the middle of the straight line, you will want to insert the needle close to the loops, with the tip coming out next to the other line of loops. Push the needle all the way through, pulling the excess yarn almost all the way through. You will want to make sure to leave a tail that will be tucked in under the yarn you are whipping. This will hide your end, and anchor the yarn. You don't want to pull these stitches too tight, just enough that they cover the monk's cloth. You will want to go around the entire bottom edge the box, effectively hiding that exposed monk's cloth. You want to make sure that your stitches are abutting each other, without overlapping.
When you begin to run out of yarn, cut off a new arms or two length of yarn and repeat the process, tucking and hiding your ends as you go. When you have finished the whole bottom edge, you will thread the needle through the previously whipped edge, and cut the yarn as close to the base as possible, hiding that end.
You will want to move on to the edges next. I started at the bottom corner and worked my way up. It's important to remember here to make sure the edge of the monk's cloth on either side is lined up nicely with each other so that the edge stays nice, even, and straight. Pinch together the two side "tabs" of exposed monk's cloth. You will want to whip stitch up the side much like you did the bottom of the box, until you get to the top row of punched stitches, holding the tabs together as you go. This can be a little awkward to hold and stitch at the same time but be patient - it's worth it! Then you can either trim the yarn leaving a tail, or you can push your needle down through the whipped stitches running down the edge, trimming the end.
Once you have all four edges whipped, you only have the top remaining!
This is both the easiest and the hardest part. For me, I found that the corners posed a bit of a challenge. It's ok to overlap stitches here to make sure you cover the monk's, but it's tricky because you also want to make sure that you don't make that corner super bulky so it looks disjointed from the rest of the box. Make sure you are tucking all tails in so they stay hidden as you go along. Once you have whipped this top edge, you are done with your mini box construction!
And voila! You have an adorable little catch all box!
You will follow these same directions if you punched a Advanced Box Pattern.
Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret. As we were making the prototypes of these boxes (as I said in one of the earlier posts), we discussed the need for whip stitching the exposed monk's cloth around the base of the box. We also discussed the order of what to whip stitch first. When I punched my Eye of Newt box I did not whip stitch around the base first. I whipped up the sides, then around the top of the box. I then went back and whipped that exposed monk's cloth at the base. Mostly I decided to do this because you could see the monk's cloth when you looked inside the box. That made it look unfinished. However, because I had already whip stitched everything else, when I whip stitched the bottom, it tightened the whole box and made the bottom bubble up and not lay flat.
You can see in the picture above how the Herringbone base is nice and flat when flipped upside down. Now look at the Eye of Newt, see how the base dips down and you can't see the rest of the pattern? This is because of how I constructed it. I honestly hadn't though that the order would make that much of a difference! As you can see, it does. The box is still sturdy and serves its purpose, but the bottom bubbles up. However, once the box is filled, this wont be noticeable.
I also wanted to show you how the base will look if you don't whip stitch it around. Since it's the bottom, you may not mind doing away with the extra whip stitching. (We found that whip stitching can be a love or hate step!) For the box on the left, I punched directly on the pattern line which made the space between the side and bottom panels pretty narrow, so whipping that exposed monk's cloth was out of the question. When I flipped the box over, you could not see the monk's cloth, so I decided to leave it. The sides of the box are a bit floppier though. Just something to consider if you are whip stitching averse.
One other tip when whipping, don't pull the yarn too tight and make sure you aren't overlapping the yarn except in the corners. If the yarn is pulled too tight and/or is too close together, the monk's cloth will pucker and warp a little. The result will be wavy edges instead of nice straight ones.
We will take a week off before the final wrap-up in two weeks to give you extra time to finish your projects and if you have questions let us know! Also, remember, if you submit photos of your #OxCoPALs Spring Box Project you will be entered to win a #10 regular Limited Edition Bamboo Oxford Punch Needle. Everyone who submits a photo will receive a free drawstring tool bag. Entrees must be of the box project and can be submitted one of three ways: emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, tagging @amy.oxford on social media, or using #OxCoPALs.
I will send a note of encouragement next week, until then Happy Punching!
Click Here for Catch-all Box Build Your Own Kit
Catch-all Box Pattern
Click Here for Spring Box Rug Yarn Packs
Click on image below to purchase the pattern:
Eye of Newt Box
Click Here for Digital Downloads of Patterns