Have you ever heard that rumor that the National Security reads all our emails? I sure hope not, because knowing some of the emails today’s guest and I have exchanged, we could be in big trouble. Not at we have made any National threats but there might have been a couple questionable ones in regards to….well, some things are better off left unsaid! Let’s just say, if my husband ever goes missing….I am NOT going to live with Susan!!! hehehe
Very often, I am surprised at how one can form friendships without actually meeting someone face to face. Susan and I have certainly become fast friends. It is like we have lived next door to each other for years. In many ways we are VERY MUCH alike and in other ways NOT SO MUCH…for example, I cook for my family every day – and healthy meals too! or maybe that is Susan! Neither of us are very sympathetic – or maybe we are! One of us are very patient with our children…I refuse to admit which one of us!! Oh boy I better just turn this over to Susan and her lovely tutorial before I make myself er her er never mind, I digress….take it away Susan……please, hurry!!!!!
A big thank you to Rhonda for asking me over to The Gap today to give a little insight into how I finish off the hoops I make. This request all started with a little private swap that Rhonda and I did a few months ago. I made her a hoop, and she was intrigued with how I finished the back.
Let me clearly state that this is not my original idea. I saw it done somewhere else and thought it was a method that would work for me. Mostly because other ways of finishing hoops did not work for me. They looked rather crap when I did them, unlike other people’s who looked professional and polished. While I am not a perfectionist I do prefer things I make not to look like they were made by a five year old.
While you could probably work this out for yourself, I will briefly go through the steps that I take to keep my embroideries firmly in their hoops. I am using a wee Christmas hoop I made for this demonstration.
First up you need to trim the excess fabric round your hoop to an approximate circle. It does not have to be exact. Nor does it matter how much fabric you have in excess as long as it is enough to fold around the edges of the hoop with some to spare, and is not so much that the fabric can meet in the middle at the back.
I use wadding in most of my hoops, even my embroideries. If you do use wadding then before the next step you will want to fold over your fabric edge with at least a quarter inch seam allowance to add strength to your edges. Set your machine to the zigzag stitch and sew around the edge of the circle.
Next up you will need a needle and thread. When cutting your thread cut it way longer than you normally would. Way longer! Trust me here, you will be needing quite a few at this ridiculously long length as it is. Secure your thread well at point ‘A’ as seen below. Take your needle directly across the hoop to the other side of the fabric circle and stitch through the inside of the zigzag stitches (‘B’). Working clockwise, bring your needle back over to the other side of the circle and make the next stitch (‘C’) approximately half an inch to the left of ‘A’. Pull the thread fairly taut so that you are pulling the edges of the fabric circle towards each other over the inside of the hoop. Make your next stitch (‘D’) to the right of ‘B’ by about half an inch. Continue stitching in this clockwise manner, pulling the thread fairly tight as you go.
Eventually you will start building up a spider web of threads criss-crossing back and forth over the back of the hoop and bringing the edges of the fabric together.
Continue sewing your threads like this until all the fabric edge has been gathered in. You have successfully finished the back of the hoop.
If you look at mine you will see how the finish does not produce a perfect inner circle. This is because I did not trim the edges to a perfect circle. It doesn’t matter. It’s the back of the hoop. No one looks at it really, other than to briefly see how you did it. But the method does keep the embroidery smoothly held into the hoop, involves no glue and does not involve that fabric covered circle of cardboard that some people use to great effect but looks like the work of a child if done by me.
I hope you found this mini tutorial useful, and a huge thanks to Rhonda for being the genius behind the FAL. But much more importantly, thank you to her for being my friend. We have some hysterically funny conversations. Not ones I can repeat, but they can fill my days with laughter.
This is Rhonda back again…curious…do you think she was implying that she spends her days laughing at me? hmmmmmmmmmmm
Oh and don’t forget………the 2013 FAL is moving to Leanne’s Blog …..She Can Quilt. You can link up over there starting January 7th.