Well, after a year of crafting with embroidery hoops, it's time for this series to come to an end. As you might have guessed from my previous coffee cozy and hot pad series, I appreciate a chance to stretch my creative wings and try something new. As always, I loved some of these more than others (shhh!) but they were all fun to make. I hope you enjoy this last one with me, and thanks for playing along...Read More
No, there's no snow here yet, but it's on my mind. As much as it messes up commutes, especially when you're starting from the country, I'm still happy to see it arrive. Since it will probably be a while before we see any of the white stuff (if we do at all) I figured I'd bring some on myself with this frosty project.
I made this one using a glue gun and some hand sewing, but if you're looking for something that's no-sew just glue gun it all the way!
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To make this you'll need:
6" embroidery hoop
4" embroidery hoop
yarn (or pre-made pom poms)
ribbon (1/4" wide)
Paint the front and side of the outer ring of each hoop with white paint.
Cut two circles from the white fabric that are about 1-1 1/2" larger on each side than the large hoop. Repeat for the small hoop. I used two layers so it wouldn't be so easy to see through. If you prefer, you can use a layer of interfacing.
Insert the fabric (both layers) into the hoops.
Cut the eyes from the black felt and the nose from the orange.
Sew the eyes and nose into the small hoop using embroidery thread or regular thread. As I mentioned before, you can glue them on instead if you'd rather.
Stitch (or glue) the buttons down the center of the larger hoop. Be sure the hardware on the top is tilted to one side first, otherwise it will get in the way when you attach the two hoops together.
Glue both layers of fabric to the inside of the hoop. I did this by gluing the inner most layer first, then gluing the second on top of it. If this will hang somewhere the back can be seen, you can cut a circle of felt to fit each hoop and glue it over the back to give it a more finished look.
Glue the head to the body where the two hoops meet.
Cut a piece of the fleece 2 1/2 by 25". Fold it in half and tie it around the neck, covering the glue. Cut the ends 1/4" wide by 2" long to create fringe.
Cut 10" of wire. Bend the ends up 1/2".
Glue the ends of the wire to the sides of the head.
Cut 10" of yarn. Lay it next to a piece of 1" wide cardboard. Start wrapping the yarn around both.
Wrap the yarn around about 50 or 60 times, depending on the thickness. Pull the ends of the 10" piece up and tie them tightly over the wrapped yarn.
Cut the side opposite the knot.
Fluff the pom pom and trim to even up the ends.
Glue the pom poms to the sides of the head, over the ends of the wire.
Cut 15" of the ribbon and tie it to the hardware at the top of the head. Your snowman is ready for adventure!
And isn't everything better when you bring a friend along?
This hoop art was inspired by chalkboard fabric. I didn't actually use it for this, but it's nice to know it's out there. Instead, I decided to make something that mimicked the look without the chalk. Because chalk is messy and I definitely don't have time for that this time of the year. Or any time, really...Read More
It seems so strange that last month's hoop art was all about the bright summer sun and here we are, only a few weeks later, thinking about Halloween. It's like someone flipped a switch. We finally got some desperately needed rain, and I heard my furnace kick on for the first time yesterday, even though we had a 90+ degree day just last week. I say we roll with it and make this spooky craft...Read More
Since it's the big topic of conversation this week, I had to make the sun the star of this show. Are you ready for the big eclipse? Do you have your NASA-approved darker than dark glasses? The number of people that are predicted to be on the roads over the next week has me planning to stay home and craft. If you're with me, this cheerful guy is the perfect project!
To make this you'll need:
6" embroidery hoop
Stitch Witchery or Wonder Under
this pattern for the face
Cut a piece of the yellow fabric about 12 x 12". Fuse the same size piece of interfacing to the back side.
Transfer the face pattern onto the center of the yellow fabric using your favorite method. Mine is to trace the paper pattern from the back with a transfer pen and iron it on.
Embroider the eyes, nose and mouth with black floss using a backstitch. You can put it into the hoop to make it easier. I decided to paint mine yellow and it was still wet while I did this step.
You'll notice in this photo I didn't go all the way to the ends of the mouth. I forgot to adjust the pattern for the cheeks before starting, but I've done so now, so you'll embroider yours all the way to the ends.
Trace the two cheeks on the Stitch Witchery paper. Cut them out loosely and iron them onto the back of orange fabric.
Cut them out along the lines and peel off the backing. A little trick you can use if you have trouble getting the paper to come up is to fold the piece in half with the paper out, and then hold it between your fingers like you're ripping a piece of paper and tear it in the middle, just a little. You should be able to start removing it from that tear. Works for me every time.
Iron the cheeks onto their appropriate spots on the face.
I added a little embroidered straight stitch just inside the edge, using a variegated orange floss.
Now about those prairie points. If you're not familiar, they're a decorative element used in quilting. They're typically made by folding squares into a triangle shape then lining them up. It's difficult to get the spacing just right and it takes forever. However, I'm going to share with you a MUCH easier way to make them.
Cut the orange fabric across the width (usually around 42") in a 6" wide strip. You'll have extra points left over. I had about 22" worth, but if you adjust be sure to guess high. It's easier to remove than to add.
Fold it in half with the wrong sides together and press the fold. Starting on one side, cut in exactly to the fold at 3" intervals. Be precise, it matters here. Cut off any excess that doesn't measure 3".
I used a rotary cutter to cut in most of the way, then finished the last fraction of an inch with my scissors to make sure I didn't cut through the fold.
Turn the fabric around to the other side. This time, make the first cut 1 1/2" from the edge, cutting exactly to the fold again. Cut at the fold and remove this end piece. From there, cut at 3" intervals, cutting out the last 1 1/2" at the end.
You may have noticed that between the cuts and fold you've created a bunch of connected squares. Turn the fabric over so the wrong side is up. Along one side, fold each square in half diagonally and press.
Do the same on the other side, making sure to fold in the same direction.
See how all the folds face the same direction? The next step is to fold each in half diagonally again and press. Repeat this on the other side as well.
My poor ironing board cover. Anyway, fold the entire strip in half again along the original fold and press. All the points will be facing up.
You can either leave them alternating like this, or tuck each triangle into the next so they overlap.
Stitch close to the raw edge to hold everything in place.
Perfectly spaced prairie points! So many fun things that could be made with this but let's assemble that sun.
Insert the yellow fabric with the face into the embroidery hoop. Trip the excess down to about 1/2" and hot glue it to the inside of the hoop.
Working in small sections, hot glue the raw edge of the prairie points to the back of the hoop. They fight the curve a bit, so don't try to glue more than about one point at a time.
When you get close to where you started, clip off the excess and glue the end behind the first point.
The points want to fold toward the front, but you can pop each open for the 3D effect.
Want an eclipse preview? I gotcha.
Don't you feel like you were there? I hope the actual event lives up to it. It's going to be tough to top. 🌞
My husband walked by me with a pair of old jeans recently and said they were done. In a ninja move, I grabbed them as he was tossing them into the trash. Ordinarily that would just be me just saving them for some undetermined future project, but I knew immediately what I would do with these. In spite of the fact that they were mostly stained, holey and falling apart, there was a good section just waiting to be hoop art...Read More
When you've planned a year-long series that requires at least one every month, you tend to jump at a sale on embroidery hoops. As I was standing there trying to choose sizes, I started to wonder exactly how small they could go. The store only carried down to 3 inch hoops, but I knew someone had to have pushed that particular envelope. They did, and I'm so excited to share them with you today...Read More
When we left home most of the plants were still waiting to do their thing, so we didn't have many flowers or even leaves yet. When we returned, spring had exploded. Everything is bright green, and the flowers are popping up everywhere. We were gone so long we completely missed the lilac and bleeding hearts! I can't even think about all the weeding that needs to be done, but I'm thrilled to see so much color everywhere. So much so, I decided to add some of my own...Read More
This month's hoop art was inspired by a photo I shared on my Instagram last spring.
We have a tall Japanese maple near our garage, and a Robin build her nest on a branch that was very close to it. I couldn't believe she wasn't scared away, since that's where we come and go, but she stuck with it until those blue eggs hatched into these hungry babies.
All four eggs hatched and were cared for by their mom until they learned how to use their wings and left the nest. If that's not a reason the commonly used term "Mama Bear" should instead be "Mama Robin" I don't know what is. Her persistence was admirable.
Speaking of persistence, let's talk about the hoop art. This one has been on the list since the beginning, I just didn't know what I would use to make it. This is the first one that hasn't involved sewing or fabric, and I wanted to keep it that way. I considered several options, even going as far as buying supplies at the craft store, then returning them once I realized I hadn't hit the nail on the head. I couldn't be happier with the final result though, and can't wait to show you how it was made!
To make this one you'll need:
6" embroidery hoop
cardboard, larger than the hoop
decorative eggs or painted wood eggs
jute rope (1/4" in diameter, 4 ply)
ribbon (for hanging)
hot glue gun
Trace the outside of the hoop onto the cardboard. Cut out just inside the line.. You can use recycled cardboard, but make sure the area facing up doesn't have print on it in case it shows through the rope. Tighten the hardware on the hoop that holds the inner ring in. Glue the cardboard onto the back of the hoop.
Starting from the outside of the circle, glue the rope to the cardboard, spiraling toward the center. The reason I didn't give you a quantity for the rope is because it can vary wildly, depending on how tightly you glue it together.
Make sure the center is filled in with rope.
Spiral from the center back to the outside edge, gluing a new row of rope on top of the previous, so your rope is two layers thick. You can see how I didn't worry too much about making sure the first go-round was tight or twisted correctly, because I knew it would be covered. I was more careful on the second row.
Glue rope to the front of the hoop, which should fit two rows wide. Add another row on top of those, centered on the first two, to build up the height.
Wrap the rope around the outer edge of the hoop to cover, continuing to glue as you go. Cut the rope and tuck the end between layers and glue.
Glue the feathers in place. I know, these are not robin feathers. I just couldn't find that section at the craft store.
I intended to buy wooden eggs and paint them myself, but when I saw eggs that looked exactly like I pictured, I took the out. They aren't quite as pretty as wood would be, but they are lighter, so probably less likely to drag my hoop down.
Glue the eggs on so they cover the ends of the feathers.
Tie some ribbon around the top to hang, or if you prefer, lay it on a flat surface.
I don't think this will fool Mama Bird, but maybe she'll see it as a welcome sign. There's no better way to celebrate spring than to wait for new babies!
It's spring! It's spring! It's spring! Uh, I mean, hey, did you notice it's spring already? Yeah, me either. I'd just love a little more of that colder-than-usual weather we've had all winter, and the fact that it's been raining most of the time since September doesn't bother me. At. All. Did they come up with that sarcasm punctuation mark they were talking about? I sure could use one right about now.
I didn't let what's happening outside stop me from celebrating the springiest of holidays with this month's hoop art, but it did have a rocky start. I knew I wanted to make an Easter egg with an oval hoop. The first version was a fail, because my hands could NOT get a grasp on what brain was trying to do. It just wasn't working, so I actually moved on to a different idea, but I kept looking at the hoop I'd already painted white. I realized I really had my heart set on the egg, so look for the alternate project next month, because I love it too. Today though, Easter Egg 2.0.
To make this, you'll need:
one 9 x 5" oval embroidery hoop
2 1/4" fabric squares:
Paint the embroidery hoop with the white paint. The only parts that are really important are the front and outside of the outer hoop. You can leave the rest unpainted. I just realized that, right now.
Match up the fabric squares so you have one row of five pink/green, one row of pink/blue, one row of blue/purple and three sets of purple/green.
Lay each pair of squares with right sides together. Draw a diagonal line in the center.
Pin the pieces together. Stitch 1/4" from either side of the line you drew.
Cut on the drawn line. Press each square open with the seam to one side.
Trim the seam tails. Repeat with the other 17 pairs.
Lay out the squares so they look like this. You'll have one square left over.
Sew the squares into rows. Press seams.
Sew the rows together and press the seams. You don't need to worry if it's not straight because you're putting it into the hoop and no one will know. Unless you post it on the internet for all to see your saggy left side.
Cut 18" of ribbon. Wrap it around the outer hoop, centered at the top. Tie a knot just above the hoop to hold it in place.
Center the fabric on top of the inner hoop. Slide the outer hoop over the top. Adjust the fabric as needed and tighten the screw. Trim away the excess fabric at the corners on the back. It doesn't have to be precise or fancy.
Cut the felt to match the hoop.
Hot glue the felt to the back of the hoop a bit at a time, working your way around the oval and tucking in the fabric as you go.
Tie a bow or knot in the top of the ribbon for hanging. I'm so glad I didn't give up on this little egg!
Right about now you might be asking yourself "What's a temperature starburst?" Well, it looks like this:
A few months ago I spotted a crocheted afghan that was called a temperature blanket. I was curious, so after doing a little research I found out that people have been making them for quite a while. The way the yarn versions often work is that the maker chooses colors for a variety of temperature ranges, then adds a row or shape to the blanket each day or week that reflects the average temperature outside. It's a make-as-you-go kind of thing.
They aren't always made as blankets. I've also seen temperature scarves, which I would love! I wondered if I could make a temperature quilt. Of course, I was far from the first to have that idea, so there are lots of those out there too. I've pinned a few of my favorite temperature projects on this board. The author of the quilt seen there just started a quilt-along for her version in January.
Then came the big question - how can I fit that idea into a hoop? Since it would be difficult to fit daily, or even weekly entries, I went with monthly. I sketched out a few versions, but the one I liked the best reminded me a bit of a beach ball. I also realized after it was finished that it's rainbowness is pretty perfect for the St. Patrick's Day holiday coming up next month.
We had some pretty erratic temperatures last summer and this winter, which isn't always the case in Oregon, so I knew the previous 12 months would give me a good variety. There are lots of time frames you could use though, like someone's birth year or to mark another big event. Thanks to Weather Underground, you can look up temperatures for anywhere and anytime. This is the chart I made to use. On the right are the temperature colors and ranges I started with, and on the left are the adjustments I made based on the actual ranges I needed to use and the fabrics I had available.
To make this, you'll need:
9" embroidery hoop
12 fabric wedges, cut using the first page of this pattern (the second and third pages are for reference only - those wedges do not include a seam allowance)
embroidery transfer pen
I'm going to tell you how I sewed this together, then I'll tell you how I think you should do it differently. Sometimes you learn as you go.
I stitched the wedges together in pairs, then stitched those pairs together, which created three sections.
What I would do next time, and what I recommend to you, is sewing three wedges together, so you have four quarters. Sew two quarters together, giving you two halves, then stitch the two halves together. That might seem obvious now, but it wasn't when I was knee-deep in trying to fit that third wedge into the circle.
In the end, it should look something like this. Or maybe your points match up a little better in the center. If not, don't sweat it. Let's call it character.
Trim away some of the excess fabric in the center seam to reduce the bulk. Cut a piece of fusible fleece to fit the back and iron it on.
Transfer the embroidery designs from the last page of the pattern. My favorite tool to do this is the Sublime Stitching transfer pens. Iron the appropriate month onto its corresponding wedge.
Embroider each letter using a backstitch. I thought about using the same color embroidery thread as each fabric for a more subtle look, but decided to go for the contrasting black instead. Has anyone else ever noticed that when you write out the first letter of each month it spells Jason in the middle? Weird.
Insert the fabric centered into the embroidery hoop. Cut a piece of felt to fit the back of the hoop.
Tuck the excess fabric into the center of the hoop and glue the felt onto the back.
Add a bit of cord or ribbon to the top for hanging. I love the variety in this one. There are some years around here where this would have been an awful lot of green. What colors will be in your hoop?
Those of you who've been around here for a while might remember the Hot Pad of the Month series I started in 2015 that ended eighteen months later. We could go back even further to the coffee cup sleeve series, which was way back in 2013. Well, I've intended to start another monthly series, but I was a little up in the air about what it would be. That is, until inspiration hit me last month. This time, I'm going to do a project each month that involves hoop art, which basically means anything I can fit in an embroidery hoop. I have a full page of potential ideas, which of course I'll have to winnow down, but I'm excited about it. Some months will involve sewing, others won't. The sizes will vary. You'll probably see a variety of mediums and supplies, like fabric, buttons, felt, embroidery floss, maybe even some a little more unexpected. I can't wait any longer to share the first one with you! I'd like to point out, unlike my other series, I'm actually starting this one in January! Barely, but still. Since we all know it takes a while to make stuff, I had next month's Valentine's Day on my mind for this one. All you'll need to make these is fabric, three 3" embroidery hoops, felt, a hot glue gun and this pattern.
Technically, there are two different ways you can sew this together. You could trace each tiny piece, adding 1/4" seam allowance, and sew them all together. The other option is paper piecing, which is what I recommend and the method I used. Some of these pieces are pretty small, and that's the easiest way to handle them. If you're unfamiliar with how to do paper piecing, I highly recommend this video by The Crafty Gemini.
To start, cut out each pattern square on the outside line. Cut the horizontal lines only inside the square. Leave the vertical lines intact. The circle is only a guide to show where the embroidery hoop will be in the end.
The top and bottom row of each square is solid, so it doesn't need to be pieced, but when you cut it out add a 1/4" to the inside line for a seam allowance. Piece the other rows together, then add 1/4" to both long edges when you trim them. You should end up with something like this:
And this is what it looks like from the front:
Stitch each of the rows together with a 1/4" seam, then remove the paper. Give it a good pressing. Once again, here's the back:
And the front:
The I is the easiest of the three, because there are no angles. When you're sewing the others, just be sure your fabric covers the area it should and leaves enough for your 1/4" seam allowance. I'll admit, I used the seam ripper a couple of times trying to get that right. I also freaked out thinking I had completely messed up the heart and it wasn't going to fit together, but I forgot to account for the seam.
See? Not perfect, but acceptable. My new mantra.
The U has a couple of angles to it too.
I left plenty of space around the letters to fit them in a hoop, but I also made them square so you have other options if you choose to skip the hoop. These would be cute sewn into a table runner, or made into hot pads, or mug mats, or a quilt…
But we're talking about hoop art here. I know I'm probably the only person who'll ever see the back of these (in person), but I needed them to look finished anyway. Trace the embroidery hoop onto a piece of felt and cut it out just inside the line. You'll need three of those.
Insert the square into the embroidery hoop, making sure it's centered before tightening the screw.
You can trim some of the fabric if you like, but I found it was easy to stuff it inside the back as it was.
Hot glue around the edge of the hoop and press the felt over the top. I found it worked better if I glued one half, then the other.
You can get a little creative here and add some ribbon or trim. I tied a ribbon bow at the top, then took it off because I actually preferred them without it.
I hope you're looking forward to the rest of this year as much as I am!