Monday, 20 April 2015

Finishing a Hoop!

I’ve always liked embroidery but it never occurred to me to make a wall hanging in a hoop with patchwork fabrics.  When I saw Fiona’s inspiration links for our exhibition in Dublin here on Pinterest, I was immediately taken by the hedgehog and bicycles and thought I had to try this.  I decided to give a patchwork balloon a go and have something to use for a tutorial to show how to finish the back of the hoop. 
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Balloon design based on a Machine embroidery pattern from Embroidery Library.com

When you have your art work completed remove it from the hoop and place the back of the hoop down on some fabric or felt that you want to use as backing.  Felt is great as it does not require turning an edge under.  I used some fabric I had on hand for my backing as I didn’t have a piece of felt big enough for my hoop.
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Draw a circle around the inside of the hoop and if using cotton cut about 0.5” outside this line.  If using felt cut your circle on the line.
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Press the edge under and label your work.  I wrote directly onto the back with a permanent fabric pen.  Put this backing aside while we prepare the top.
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Remove any markings (pencil/water soluble pen) and press your top flat.  Place in the hoop and tighten the top screw.  Make sure you have eased out all puckers at the edges until your piece is lying flat.

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Trim the fabric around the hoop to about 1” to 1.5” all around.  Take a needle and thread, secure your starting point with a knot or double stitches and sew some tacking stitches all along the circumference. 
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When you get all the way around the hoop pull the thread tightly and secure.  It will pull all the excess fabric to the back and leave a clean circular shape at the front.
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Place your backing fabric over the back and glue or stitch in place.  Stitching will allow you to remove it later if you wish to make a change or re-use your hoop.  A glue gun is much quicker though!
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Slip stitch the backing in place all along the edge and you are done!
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I won't lie to you, this was a bit fiddly and I could have done a better job!  If you want to hang up your hoop or hide the top screw just add some ribbon!  These are really fun quick projects and I hope you might give it a go too.  Just the thing to brighten up your sewing space! 

If any member wants to enter a hoop (an inspirational word!) into our exhibition please drops us a line and we will send out the entry forms.  Deadline for items to be in Dublin by May 8th so there is still time!

-Ruth

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