Zoe SAL’s very own Blog Post

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The Finishing Tutorial (Part 2) of #ZoeSAL is now out!

The SAL is now closed to new members, as the final stitching part is now published, but it is now available as a standard pattern : https://fabyreilly.com/product/zoe-box/

Model stitched on Manuscript evenweave (Lakeside Needlecraft exclusive):

Model stitched by Shazie on Platinum linen (Zweigart):

9 December – Finishing Tutorial

That’s it, we’ve reached the final steps! All instructions should be clearly explained in the finishing tutorial, but if you have any question or hit any difficulty, do feel free to ask questions in the comments below, in the SAL group on Facebook, or via the contact form.

11 November – Part 11

As we’re approaching the finishing stages, you’ll soon need more detail regarding the interfacing you’ll need, and the quantities. All that will be clearly explained in the finishing instructions, of course, but you may want more information ahead of that:

  • Iron-on interfacing: strictly speaking, it’s optional. If you’re using Timtex (as recommended), you won’t need it. If you’re using plastic canvas or thinner interfacing than Timtex, then it’s best to also use iron-on interfacing to protect and reinforce the stitched fabric. In that case, you’ll need enough to cover the back of every stitched area.
  • Timtex (also called Jeffitex or Jeffytex): it’s very sturdy interfacing (2mm thick) and it’s NOT sticky on any side. This is very important for the finishing method we’ll be using. Timtex is so sturdy that you won’t need to add iron-on interfacing to the stitched areas to make them stiffer. It’s also softer than plastic canvas, so there’s no risk of catching the back of the stitches with it either. That’s why iron-on interfacing is optional. We’ll use Timtex to build the sides, lid and base of the box, so we won’t need to back every single stitched area with it – we’ll only need to cover half of them as the fabric will be wrapped around the Timtex. So based on 32ct linen, you’ll need 35 x 25 cm (14 x 10 inches) of Timtex, or 47 x 14 cm (19 x 6 inches) if your piece of Timtex is wide enough. (Important note: these measurements are only estimates! The Timtex has to be measured exactly against your stitched pieces, and so you’ll need different sizes depending on the fabric count you used, how much/little your fabric stretched, etc.)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, either by leaving a comment, or via the contact form!

5th August – Part 5

We’re now stitching what’s going to be the INSIDE of the box – that’s why this area is a) less busy than the previous one, and b) upside down! Do make sure that you keep it that way, otherwise the motifs will appear upside down inside the box, once finished… 😉

If you feel uncomfortable stitching an upside-down motif, just turn your fabric 180° so that the previous sections are upside down. Now you can stitch the right way up 🙂 But do take care that you stitch the new part under the correct part: what would have been on the right hand-side is now on the left hand-side!

22nd July – Part 4B

We’ve reached the end of the top row of motifs on this SAL, so if you’re working on a scrolling frame, you’re going to need to move your work up after this.

Some of you are keeping the embellishments until the very end, so that they don’t get in the way of the scrolling, but if (like me) you can’t wait that long to add all the beads and special stitches to the design, here’s a new tutorial you might find useful:

27th May – Part 2B

Today’s tip is a response from an excellent question that was asked on the SAL Group on Facebook, about when to remove guiding threads.

If you’re using guiding threads over the entire stitching area (rather than just the edges), consider removing those guiding lines BEFORE you start adding the backstitch and embellishments.

There are 2 reasons for this:

  • 1) you want to avoid guiding threads staying in place for longer than strictly necessary because some colours leave a mark where they’ve been in contact with the fabric (even with colourfast threads, dark green leaves a yellow trace, for instance). I would recommend using light colours for guiding threads.
  • 2) poking the needle through a guiding thread will lock it in place. It doesn’t matter if it happens occasionally: you just cut the guiding thread to remove it. However, leaving those guiding threads in place before stitching backstitch and embellishments will increase the chances of the guiding threads getting trapped, and you’ll struggle to remove them without cutting the backstitch by accident.

So while these guiding threads are super useful to place cross-stitched motifs on a blank area, they’re best being removed before moving onto the backstitch/embellishments phase of the project.

29th April – Part 1B

Ah, isn’t it just so much better with the backstitch and all the embellishments? It makes such a difference, doesn’t it!!

So, I’ve got a few new tips for you today. Here we go:

  • TOP TIP 1 – start with the 6-stranded backstitch. Why? Well, if nothing else, the robin is stood on the “branch” and so you’ll need to stitch that branch before you can stitch his legs 😉
  • TOP TIP 2 – while we’re at it, here’s a tutorial on how to stitch an even 6-stranded backstitch line – it’s so neat when the stitches all look like they’re (roughly) the same size!
  • TOP TIP 3 – when you get to the Rice stitch – remember we’re using a Coloris thread which changes colour. So when you stitch the first step of the Rice stitch, stitch each cross individually (rather than in a row). This will ensure that the colours don’t get mixed up over 1 single cross, and show nicely one after the other.

15th April – Part 1A

It’s so good to be able to finally stitch the first stitches of a new SAL, isn’t it!

Here is some advice for this first part:

  • TOP TIP 1 – do you use the loop method to start a new section of crosses or a new colour? If not, give it a try! It’s particularly helpful for small areas like the small clusters of 3 green stitches we have to stitch here.
  • TOP TIP 2 – for the same reason, you may also want to check out this technique to end a lone stitch (or 3!)
  • TOP TIP 3 – Part 1 isn’t fully encased into a stitched outline – to help you count and see where the left limit is, you may want to baste a quick running stitch to the left of the area you’re working on (see picture below). I would strongly recommend using a light colour thread for this – it won’t show as well as a dark colour, but it is much less likely to leave a trace once you remove it!
ZoeSAL - Faby Reilly Designs

20th March – Getting Ready

You’ve joined #ZoeSAL? Brilliant! So pleased you’re taking part 🙂

You’ve got a bit of time to get your supplies organised, then. They’re all listed in the Welcome Booklet along with loads of other useful content. Once you’ve gathered your supplies, here’s what you can do while we’re waiting for the 15th April to get fully started:

  • TOP TIP 1get your fabric ready, and place it onto your choice of stitching frame (here’s a good tip on how to attach your fabric to your roller frame, if that’s what you’re using)
  • TOP TIP 2 – start stitching the outlines of section 1 (here’s another useful tip on how to do this to save yourself a lot of heartache!)
  • TOP TIP 3 – specifically for this SAL: as you’ll see from the Welcome booklet, some of the outlined areas are touching. That’s because they will both be stitched, and folded back to created a double sided section. So when you stitch your backstitch outline, stitch the markers along the outside of each section, but NOT along the backstitch that runs across a section:
  • TOP TIP 4 – You may also notice from these photos that I only stitched a marker every 10 stitches, rather than every 5 stitches, as mentioned on the tutorial – that’s because this outline is quite large (200 stitches wide!), so I got a little lazy 😉 A marker every 10 stitches will do very nicely for this project.

Happy stitching!

Faby  xx

14 Responses

  1. Kathleen DeForest
    | Reply

    I have outlined all the parts. As I stitch in hand do you see any problem with me cutting the parts apart? Thanks.

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Hi Kathleen! Yes of course, that’s no issue at all. The sections can be cut apart from each other, as long as the parts that make each section remain together 🙂

  2. Melanie Hanson
    | Reply

    Hello! Quick question — would these crystals work for Zoe?

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Hi Melanie! Oh I love their unusual shape. They’ll do very nicely indeed! 🙂

  3. Vickimea
    | Reply

    Love part one! Getting excited waiting for part 2

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Brilliant! So pleased to hear that, Vickimea 🙂 !! I hope you enjoy the rest of the SAL just as much!

  4. kkloose@gmail.com
    | Reply

    My first SAL!

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Oh excellent! I’m really pleased, no honoured (!), that your first SAL is one of mine 🙂 Hope you really enjoy it!!

  5. barbarastitcher
    | Reply

    Oooo, looks so pretty! And will learn something new – to make a box! Excited!

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Wonderful – so pleased you like the look of the tiny preview 🙂 !

  6. Carole Benson
    | Reply

    Can’t wait. This will be my first Box. 😘😍😘

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Yay!! Fabulous! Hope you enjoy it Carole 🙂 !!

  7. Shazie
    | Reply

    I can’t wait to get started on mine.

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Hope you have a fun time stitching it, Shazie 🙂 !! xx

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