Big Projects in a Small Hoop: OAS Part 2

Can you stitch a 360 x 260 design in a 240 x 150 hoop? Hazel Tunbridge shows you how it is done!

Last week, I introduced you to my Outline alignment stitches, available with many designs at Graceful Embroidery. As your confidence grows you can use them for the placement of exceptionally large embroideries.

A while back I created three versions of my Jacobean Tree of Life which can be stitched out in just one hooping if you have a massive 360mm x 260mm (14 inch x 10.5 inch) hoop. Not everybody has this luxury but you can embroider this tree in sections. It is not as difficult as it sounds providing you take your time and triple check all positioning. I will use my 240mm x 150mm hoop to prove how easy it is.

The tree starts on the lower left with this design and it works round to the trunk.

In each design image you can see outline stitches for part of the shape of the next design which will be embroidered above it. They help with positioning the next design.

The fourth design covers over all the smaller branches to complete the tree.

I used raw silk Noil 20 inches by 15 inches. It is wonderful and hardly ever puckers. Unlike many silk fabrics, it can be hand washed before embroidering.

Mark the vertical and horizontal centers of the fabric. Hoop one layer of stitch and tear in your hoop and add another layer just covering the inside of your hoop using temporary adhesive spray.

The first set of stitches are your Outline alignment stitches (OAS). They sit on the stabilizer for future reference. The second set of OAS is box of basting stitches to hold your fabric in place. Some machines have this capability but I include it in case you need them.

When each design is finished, take it out of the hoop. Remove excess stabilizer but leave the OAS in place.

Hoop more stabilizer for the second design. Stitch out the first set of OAS. The red outlines show you exactly where to position the fabric. I have also included a few extra markers as you can never have enough. Remove the hoop to do your positioning.

Take your time discovering where the next design fits looking underneath to line the OAS up. It helps to look at the images and photos in the instructional PDF.

Check markers by placing a pin into the top and making sure it lines up with the marker underneath. If this is done in two places it is impossible for your fabric to be in the wrong place! I check everything two or three times, before completing the embroidery.

Stitch design 2.

After embroidery, trim stabilizer away from OAS and hoop new stabilizer. Here are OAS for design 3.

Again it is important to double check your positioning, and then check again.

Here you see the third section. Repeat as before for the final design.

The OAS for the final design are shown here.

See how the fabric is positioned for the final section. I hold it in place with pins outside of the embroidery area before the box attaches the fabric to the stabilizer.

One little trick to check your alignment, especially if your fabric is not too thick, is to hold it up to the light of a window!

At this point I move the design to relevant sections in the design dropping the needle to see that it drops in the right place. Be sure to take the design back to the beginning after doing this. Take a deep breath and go for it.

The finished tree! Obviously when you purchase this design set there are many more detailed instructions in the PDF, but you get the basic idea of how helpful OAS are. When you successfully complete your embroidered tree of life you will be delighted and confident to try something else.

Make sure you take advantage of the Graceful Embroidery 75% off sale. It ends October 12.

Happy embroidering from Hazel!