In-the-hoop projects are very similar in many ways to appliqué designs done in the hoop. Both have a placement stitching line, a tack down line, followed normally by detailing and a satin stitch outline. Depending upon the design, there may be only one set of placement and tack down lines or there may be a few sets of them—but they are similar. From my experience working in a store, I’ve seen many people avoid appliqué and/or in-the-hoop projects simply because they think they might be too difficult for them. So let’s demystify some of those steps.
First, tutorials are included with in-the-hoop projects giving you step-by-step instructions by most if not all digitizers. If you take it one step at a time you’d be surprised how simple and fun they can be. The added benefit of an in-the-hoop project is that once it’s out of the hoop, generally it’s all done. It’s a quick way to get a feeling of accomplishment pulling a finished project out of the hoop–great for those of you who don’t have a lot of time to sew.
In-the-hoop projects start off with a “placement” stitch. It really doesn’t matter what color of thread you use for the placement stitch. The placement stitch won’t show in the completed project because it will be covered by other stitches. It’s just a stitch to give you a visual of where to place the material (the instructions will tell you what type of material to place down, i.e., fabric, batting, etc.). The machine will automatically stop allowing you time to put your material down just like it stops for any other color change. That’s why the digitizer made this placement line a different color—so the machine will know when to stop.
After placing the material over the placement line, the second step is normally a “tack down” stitch. The tack down stitch will hold down that material in place so it doesn’t shift. After the tack down is complete, you’ll want to take the hoop out of the machine but not the material out of the hoop and trim very closely to the stitching. (Again, the color of the thread doesn’t matter as the color change is there so that the machine would know when to stop so you can trim.) Once you’ve trimmed the material, you’ll place the hoop back into the machine to complete the design. More often than not, you’ll be given instructions at some point to wind a bobbin with matching thread for the top as well as bobbin for a satin stitch which can be seen on both sides.
Depending upon the in-the-hoop project, I like to use a wash away stabilizer. When the design is complete I can either throw it in the wash or use a stencil cutter to melt away the stabilizer giving the satin stitch edge a clean and tidy finish. Tear away stabilizers have a tendency to leave little pokies of stabilizer bits sticking out from the satin stitching when pulled away. (Tip: If this has happened to you, use a “cover up” pen matching the color you used on the satin stitching and color the pokies.)
Would you like to try an in-the-hoop project just for fun? I’ve uploaded a
FREE simple Luggage Spotter project for you to try (shown in picture above). It only takes 2, 6” pieces of fabric, 1, 6” piece of batting, embroidery thread, and a ¼” wide elastic head band (or shoe string) to complete the project. Complete step-by-step instructions with photos are included. Should you have any questions along the way, just let me know and I’ll try to get you past the hump. Be forewarned though–they’re addictive. So if you’d like more in-the-hoop projects, please check out all the
Luggage Spotters with velcro closures and matching
Every in-the-hoop project will have some similarities. Some will be more involved than others but they’ll all have a placement line, tack down stitches, and then your final embroidery detailing.
For more fun, easy to complete in-the-hoop projects, please visit my site at:
Sew Inspired by Bonnie
Sew Inspired by Bonnie