A to Z of Machine Embroidery and Quilting
If you have an embroidery machine then it will come with at least one hoop to be used with it. While it can definitely be said that “the bigger the better” where hoops are concerned, biggest isn’t always best.
In general when you’re stitching an embroidery design, you want to use the smallest hoop that will fit the design. The more stitches a design contains, the more “pull” is exerted on everything that is in the hoop. The bigger the hoop in comparison with the design, the bigger the chance of an uneven pull.
I love to create designs that maximize the capability of my biggest hoop, the BERNINA Jumbo Hoop. Wherever possible, I also provide a split version of the design so that it can be stitched in a smaller hoop (using multiple hoopings – instructions for my perfect placement technique for multiple hoopings are included in all my design collections). When using the BERNINA Jumbo Hoop – or the BERNINA Maxi Hoop – or the BERNINA Mega Hoop – or any equivalent sized hoop from any other brand of machine! – the following tip can significantly improve your results:
- Place a piece of stabilizer on a flat surface
- Remove the inner hoop from the outer hoop
- Place a piece of double sided Scotch tape on each long side of the bottom of the inner hoop
- Place the inner hoop on the stabilizer and press down to stick the inner hoop to the stabilizer
(extra tip: as stabilizer comes off the roll, it has a tendency to curl up. Press it with a medium heat dry iron to flatten it, making it much easier to work with)
- Now put the inner hoop and stabilizer into the outer hoop and tighten the outer hoop
You now have a beautifully taut piece of stabilizer in your hoop that isn’t going to shift around during stitching.
Here’s another tip for using sticky stabilizers in the hoop:
I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to keep their hoops gum free and so they hoop the sticky stabilizer with the backing paper still attached. When the stabilizer is in the hoop, they score around the inside of the hoop and remove the backing paper.
There are a couple of potentially serious problems with this approach:
- If you score too hard, you risk scoring the stabilizer as well as the backing paper. It might not be all the way through, just a little bit. You’ve just weakened your piece of stabilizer so it can’t do it’s job properly. You’ll more than likely end up with some puckering and, worst case scenario, the stabilizer may rip during stitching.
- The backing paper tends to be really bulky and it can also be quite slippery. I’ve seen way too many instances in classes when even a minor knock on the hoop will have the whole thing fall apart with the inner hoop popping right out of the outer hoop and …. need I say more?
- Remove the backing paper completely from the sticky stabilizer
- Stick the inner hoop right onto the stabilizer and then put the inner hoop into the outer hoop
If your hoop gets unbearably sticky, a spot of dish soap in some warm water with a non-stick scouring pad will remove the gummy residue in no time at all!
From 12:01am on June 30, 2017 until 11:59pm on July 2, 2017, take 25% off GO! Be Dazzled.
Enter promo code “A2Z-H” at the checkout.
GO! Be Dazzled $120.00
(Delivered as a digital download. Optional CD available at the checkout)
What I love about this collection… GO! Be Dazzled most definitely is NOT a quilt in a day kind of quilt! It was originally designed as a Block of the Month quilt. I love that stores all over the United States brought people together to make GO! Be Dazzled quilts. There are dozens – if not hundreds – of GO! Be Dazzled quilts that have won blue ribbons in local, regional and national quilt shows.
The photo below shows the GO! Be Dazzled wall at the exhibition of my quilts at the European Patchwork Meeting in France in September 2012. Far left is the original GO! Be Dazzled quilt. Next is Judy’s award winning GO! Be Dazzled in black, red and gold. Next is Sandy’s award winning GO! Be Dazzled in autumn tones. The green quilt on the right is a “simplified” version of GO! Be Dazzled featuring the square blocks that make up the points on the star in the larger version of the quilt.
One of the other super cool things about the GO! Be Dazzled design collection is that all of the designs used to create the big quilt are also available as individual designs – hearts, stars, circles, flowers etc. So you don’t have to make a masterpiece, you can create any number of small projects that can be given as gifts to delight your friends and family.