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#OxCoPALs Winter Pillow Project #3


Hi Everyone! Welcome back!

I have to let you all in on a little secret. When we first developed this project, we worked really hard to keep the yarn amounts down. Originally we wanted the yarn packs to stay at 5, 1 oz balls. However, when we began to punch and sculpt the pillows everyone but Christy ran out of at least one color of yarn! We wanted to allow punchers to be daring and adventurous and to have the flexibility to sculpt more or less if they choose. For this reason, we increased the amount of yarn within the yarn packs. That's part of the fun with developing these projects. We learn as we go and try to make adjustments with our punching and with the supplies. That's also why we added in the bonus mug rug pattern. This way you had a use for all of that extra yarn and you can make something wicked cute to accompany your pillow! (More on those mug rugs in two weeks!)

Now, back to punching!

The thought of sculpting seemed super daunting to me before I tried to tackle it with this project. As someone who is relatively new to punching, I find it really fun to be learning a lot of these new skills along with you all!

I found sculpting with the 5 different fine Oxford Punch Needles to not be as difficult as I built it up in my head. I explained the basic concept last week, working your way from the shortest loop height (14 fine) to the tallest (8 fine). I started in the center of the pillow and worked out towards the border. I did a single row with each needle for the smaller shapes. For the border shapes, I punched two rows with each needle. 

I also found that I adjusted my color placement a lot. I know last week I told you all about how my youngest son and I planned out my colors. I stuck to that color planning as much as I could but because I was running out of yarn, I needed to be flexible. Luckily my son made sure to stick close by and help me shift the colors around as needed. He is super helpful! We agreed that making two of the corners blue and two of the corners white, instead of my original plan of having all the corners be white, really helped move the eye around and kept the color placement visually interesting (not to mention allowed me to have some leftovers of those two colors). 

When Christy did her sculpting with the two different loop heights (13 and 14 fine Oxford Punch Needle) she saw that the subtly was lost in the center medallion. The outer part of the pillow where the shapes are larger, the sculpting was easier to see. Christy also wondered if the way she punched affected the sculpted look. Within the medallion she punched using the lawnmower technique (going around in circles) whereas the border she punched using the side to side technique. 
You will notice that the outline around the medallion was punched with the mid-tone gray. The loops on that outline really bloom well when paired up with the shorter loops from the 14 fine. Originally Christy was going to punch this as two lines but after she saw how they bloomed she changed her mind. 

Cotey had to adjust the needle sizes she used for specific areas. I do believe on her Huckleberry Pillow using the Birthday Cake color palette, she recessed the floral part of the pattern using the 14 fine and outlining it with the lighter pink. Originally she outlined the leaves and plants in white using the 10 fine. Cotey found that the loops bloomed too much this way, obscuring the floral aspect. (The opposite of Christy.) She pulled these stitches out and re-punched them using the 13 fine and then punched the background in the brown heathered color using the 10 fine. 

As I mentioned last week, the biggest issue that Heidi encountered was loop height inconsitancy. I wanted to take a moment and show you a side by side comparison of the back of her pillow projects:

The left hand Bubbles is the first one that Heidi punched. As you can see her rows are tighter. She found that this overpacked her loops making them look bumpy and uneven on the loop side of the pillow. The right side Bubbles was the second one that Heidi punched. She adjusted her punching and spaced the rows out more. Heidi found that this evened out the loop heights and fixed the overpacking issue! 

Have you had to make adjustments to how you are punching the pillows? What changes have you had to make as you've moved along with this project? 

Once you are finished punching, you can remove your project from the frame and lay it to steam press. Even if you sculpted, you can still steam press. As Heidi says, the loop height is the loop height and steam pressing it wont affect that. When you have all that done, you are ready to construct your pillow! 

Next week I will give the directions for making the simple pillow as well as provide a link to a youtube tutorial for these pillows. The same theory can be used if you have read the Pomegranate Pillow project from Amy's book Punch Needle Rug Hooking: Your Complete Resource To Learn & Love The Craft. You will have to adapt the sizing of the wool for the pillow backing if you are supplying your own. We sell the pillow backing as fat quarters on our website, Click Here to find it.

Remember, those of you who enter pictures into the final wrap up or tag us in in-progress shots on social media or even email in in-progress shots are entered to win a #10 regular Bamboo Oxford Punch Needle. Everyone who tags, emails, or enters in a picture will receive a free drawstring tool bag. 

Until then, have a great week! 



Still need supplies to create this project? CLICK HERE

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