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#OxCoPALS Summer Stash Buster #2 - Heidi

Hi Everyone,

This week we are going to discuss Heidi's amazing Stash Buster project. I told you how when we each saw the pattern Cotey had designed we each visualized something different? Well, Heidi's vision is probably one of the most dramatic of all of them. Heidi saw waves rising and crashing. She saw the surf and the spray of the water as it crested and she saw it very clearly.

Heidi collected yarns, mostly blues, that would blend together nicely and give a natural gradation to the water. She chose a range from darker deeper blues to lighter hues reminiscent of the sunlight reflecting off of water. She knew she wanted to capture some of the iridescence in the water with a sparkly shimmery threads of blue and silver. These are the same threads that Cotey had tried to use in her piece. 

Knowing she wanted to use the Oxford Fine Point Punch Needles, Heidi began her project by separating her yarn. She intended to use rug yarns from her stash, but they were too thick to thread into her fine point needles. (We have a mini tutorial how to separate yarn on our Instagram page - look for the tutorial highlight.) 

Using a 13 fine Oxford Punch Needle, Heidi began to punch her waves using mock shading. I'm not an expert on shading and have never really attempted it, but I know that she used the color values to subtly move from darker to lighter tones. (If you would like to know more about mock shading, Amy will delve into this technique in her next book which will be released in Spring of 2024.)

Heidi began by using the darkest blue tone that she had and punched her border before tackling the darker blue of the waves, the trough of the wave if you will. She added a few streaks of this darker blue up into the waves to give them dimension. From there Heidi moved on to the mid-tones of the waves, for this she used two medium blues that would give the gradation that Heidi desired.  


When the sunlight reflects off the water, it has a beautiful shimmer to it. To replicate that Heidi added streaks of a shimmery blue threads to some of her mid-tones in the water. She speckled this in, making sure that it wasn't perfectly symmetrical because nothing in nature ever is. Heidi also chose to use a silvery thread with the lightest blue that she used. She used this on the spray of the water as well as the water at the crest just as it's about to break. Like Cotey, Heidi first tried using a carrier for the novelty yarn. This worked really well for her because the thiner fiber she used for the fine point punch needle didn't hide the threads. It gave it enough luster without overtaking and detracting from beautiful artistry that within the whole piece.

Heidi wanted the wave to really stand up and out from the background. She wanted the background to be recessed from the wave. As we have said before, using multiple needle heights is a great way to accomplish really subtle looks in a punched piece. Heidi used her 14 fine Oxford Punch Needle to punch her background which gave the whole thing a great dimension that she wouldn't have necessarily have had if she had kept to using one needle size. 

Now here is something you need to be aware of when using novelty fibers: not all of them will steam press well. If they are synthetic yarns, the yarns could melt, or just not end up looking how you would like. If you do use yarns that are susceptible to high heat, when you go to steam press your piece start off as you normally would. Lay your piece flat on a surface that it is safe to iron on. Get your towel wet and lay it gently overtop of your punched project. Next you will want to put straight pins around the areas that have the novelty yarns you don't want to steam press. This will act as a barrier and keep you from accidentally steam pressing where you don't want to. Now you can steam press safely within the areas that you want. Enough of the piece will be steam pressed that the whole thing will lay nice and flat for you! 

Heidi's Waves is really stunning and a great example of how you can take a pattern and convert it through color and loop placement to make it exactly what you envision. You don't have to stick to a pattern exactly as it is, sometimes it is more fun to go off the beaten path and make your own way! I also want to point out that Heidi accomplished this project without using a full ounce of any color. 

Next week I will be discussing my approach to the Oval Abstract Botanical. I headed into this thinking more textural than anything else.

Remember, if you enter in photos of your in-progress or finished #OxCoPALs Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical, you are entered to win a #10 regular Limited Edition Bamboo Oxford Punch Needle. All those who enter will receive a free drawstring tool bag. 

Please, as always, if you have any questions, let us know!

Until next week, Happy Punching!


#OxCoPALs Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical
Click Here for the #OxCoPals Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical Digital Download



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