Welcome to A Year in Chalk finishing tutorial. The supplies you will need: stitched piece, finishing board (from your LNS), matboard, cotton batting, stitchery tape (double sided, acid-free), woolfelt or felt, Velcro: Industrial Strength Low Profile sticky back pieces, lacing thread & sewing thread (as well as the usual finishing supplies.)
The full tutorial is shown below but you can also download a PDF here.
Have fun with finishing!
1. Start by placing 2 pieces of the Velcro on the finishing board. I used the “flat” part or the “non-fuzzy” part on the board. You can see my approximate placement. Do not move these around once you have placed them. (They will lose stick-to-it-ness)
2. Cut a matboard the desired size (save time, cut all 12) 3 5/8”x 5 1/4” if you stitched on the recommended count of linen (30ct). Cut a pice of cotton batting & place on matbord. I liketo keep it in place with a small piece of the stitchery tape. Press & Trim your stitching to approx. 1” from the image.
3. Center design on matboard, turn over & begin to lace your stitching. I start with a knot, anchor it, and scoop stitch my way across the long side of the board. Pull evenly across the way & make a small knot at the opposite end to anchor again. Look at the front to check the stitching. Move the linen around as necessary to ensure it is still centered.
4. Turn the remaining ends in. You may need to trim out some excess linen to avoid thick corners. I find the linen naturally pulls in a bit from lacing the previous side, so I secure my corners with a few stitches to get a crisp looking corner on the front side. Scoop stitch across remaining side.
5. The back of your stretched piece looks like this. This is a basic flat finish. From here you can do marvelous finishes, but we go on for your chalkboard finish!
6. You are adhering a piece of woolfelt or felt to the back of your stitching. Note: Yes, you can use sticky back felt if you have some. If not, cut 2 pieces of Stitchery Tape & adhere them to the center of the back. Cut this tape with what I call “sticky scissors”: cheap scissor dedicated solely to cutting sticky tape!
7. Cut your woolfelt or felt to just fit the back of the laced stitching (we don’t want to see the woolfelt from the front view).
Note: You do need to adhere the middle of the woolfelt. If not, you will pull on it as you change out your months & it will sag a bit. Sagging, even a bit, is never a good thing!
8. Slip-stitch around the woolfelt. This is why I like a non-woven fabric for this project, no-fraying or bits showing on the front. (This step is not needed if you use the sticky back felt.)
9. Final step! Line up your finished piece on the board and adhere the other side of the Velcro to the woolfelt. It does not need to be exact.
Note: The package does say “Not for use on fabrics”. Life is about testing the rules, right? We aren’t playing football with these, just changing it out once a month, right? When switching to a new month, carefully slip several fingers under the stitching and ease off the Velcro hold so you don’t bend the flat finish!
Enjoy the Stitch!
Finishing Tutorial©2015 Hands On Design & Cathy Habermann. Permission is granted for Shops & Stitchers to print & distribute for classes and personal use. Reposting is permitted with proper reference to http://www.handsondesign.biz These instructions are complimentary & not for resale. Images are the property of Hands On Design & Cathy Habermann.
SanDee Wake says
I there a place where I can buy the wooden back for the Year In Chalk designs??
Cathy Habermann says
The boards were limited the year we came out with them – we made 1300 of them! I will ask around what shops may still have them in stock & let you know!
I just bought one at The Fabric Peddler in Wadsworth, Ohio
Shirley Gompf says
My friend doing the year in chalk and I like to leadership get the painless to do them just love the job she doing she live in tx please me know thank you