Machine embroidery is supposed to be beautiful. And the process of making beautiful embroidery should be fun and enjoyable. But all of that can be for naught when the experience is dampened by poor results, painful tasks and laborious placement. Enough already! Let’s get the fun back into embroidery.
I have five pet peeves that annoy the daylights out of me when I’m embroidering. And since I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, I’ve come up with solutions. My pet peeves are hoop burn, hand strain, fabric distortion, laborious placement and tedious rehooping. What’s my solution? I ditched the standard hoop about 10 years ago and haven’t looked back.* Let me elaborate.
When knits, textured and napped fabrics are squeezed between two standard embroidery rings, the hoop often leaves a noticeable impression around the embroidery. Those lofty and delicate fibers are now flattened – and possibly permanently flattened. Yikes! The flat frames of Snap Hoop Monster leave no hoop burn – they firmly grip the fabrics and hold them in place without permanently damaging the fibers.
Twenty years of embroidery can wreak havoc on your hands, fingers and wrists. Pushing an inner ring into an outer ring and tightening a screw 5, 10, 20 or maybe 30 times a day is grueling punishment. No more. I just snap that magnetic top frame over the bottom and I’m done!
Fabric distortion is a thing of the past because I pull and tug on the hooped fabric while it’s hooped in Snap Hoop Monster. It’s the inner and outer rings that squeeze and distort fabric – doesn’t happen when fabric is sandwiched between two flat objects – a magnetic top and metal bottom.
I’ve invented all kinds of placement tools but sometimes I want to move the fabric just a smidgen under the needle. With Snap Hoop Monster, I lift the top frame, slide the fabric, drop the frame back in place and press start! No hooping and unhooping to move the fabric a millimeter or two. I like the freedom Snap Hoop Monster gives me right at the machine.
Speaking of the machine, when I use Snap Hoop Monster, I can remove the top frame and advance the fabric to the next hooping without taking the bottom frame off the machine! Oh my, what a time saver! If you’re not sure why I love that benefit so much, take a look at this video. It’s long – about 12 minutes – but you’ll see how I quilt entire quilt (62” x 80”) in one day! Oh baby – I love those Monster hoops!
If you’ve been following along, this month is Hoopapalooza at DIME and in honor of that celebration, The Hoop It Up book is on sale. My Stitching Sister Marie Zinno and I co-wrote this handy hooping tutorial. You’ll find 99 hooping tips in there! You can check it out here: https://www.shop.dzgns.com/collections/specials/products/hoop-it-up
*’Ditched the standard hoop over 10 years’ is an exaggeration. I still use a standard hoop on occasion as you’ll see in the Hoop It Up book!