Stitchers' Tips

From Maria: When embroidering a design on towel, use Vilene on top instead of solvy, you will be surprise of how nice your final product will be, and also how much easier your job is.

From Joyce: I use an old jewelry box for my immediate sewing needs. The small square dividers are perfect for holding sewing machine needles, both packaged and individual. There are different configurations for all jewelry boxes, but the dividers keep everything neat and at hand. Usually, you can fit scissors, seam rippers, tape measures, and all your sewing needs in an elegant box you can leave out on your sewing table, or on a shelf.

From Polly: I put kids (foam or soft plastic) pencil grips on the metal turners on embroidery hoops. It sure helps speed the process of hooping along with much less stress or pressure. Sure helps if you have arthritis, carpal tunnel, etc.

From Marietta: Tape your fabric with Scotch tape, with the design template centered and pined in place, to the inner hoop. A small piece of tape on all sides of inner hoop and fabric, allows the inner hoop, with fabric and design template, to be picked up and placed in outer hoop with little or no movement.

From Shirlene: Are you having trouble with your hooping? Try making sure that the screw side of your hoop is the last edge that you insert, keeping the inside hoop nearest the screw. Then, when you are ready to tighten it, slip the hoop off the edge of your table or work surface, so you can tighten the screw without raising the hoop away from the table or work surface.

From Joyce: I keep my stabilizers on a decorative curtain rod in my sewing room. It keeps them at hand, and is easy to cut the desired length.

From Suzy:  Tightening and loosening the screws on my embroidery hoops can be tricky for me. To make it easier, I use rubber finger pads from any office supply store to tighten and loosen the screws. They work wonders!

From Joan: Before I embroider on a t-shirt, I spray a little starch on the shirt, iron, add stabilizer, hoop, and stitch. The shirt is a little stiffer from the starch and it stitches out beautiful!

From Nadyne: When using tearaway stabilizer, be sure to clip all jump stitches on the back of your project. Not only does it make it much easier to remove all the stabilizer, but your jumps on the wrong side will not show through.

From Christine: Water soluble topping will disappear from those tight places with a shot of steam from your iron if you choose not to wash your project right away (hold iron approx. 6" above fabric and steam away).

From Peggy: I have found that a leftover scrap of cutaway stabilizer makes a durable template for in-the-hoop projects. They last much longer than paper and are easier to pin to your fabric so you can cut out the pieces of the project. This makes good use of your scraps, too.

From Bonnie: When embroidering on a narrow strip of fabric, such as a ribbon banner, I use masking tape to join the narrow fabric to scrap pieces of fabric. Taping the fabric together makes the narrow piece of fabric large enough to be hooped.

From Diana: I wrap my hoops with first-aid bandage tape, the self adhesive type. The rough texture and light adhesive surface give me a nice no slip grip. Each wrap lasts over several uses and leaves no residue on my hoops. The tape is inexpensive, available just about everywhere, and comes in a variety of widths.

From Cheryl: We have a small embroidery shop in Gresham, Oregon and the way we minimize hoop burn IMMEDIATELY is to lightly spray the finished design with Febreze or a light spray starch (for ironing clothes). It also leaves a nice scent on the garment.

From Bobbye: Using a thermal sensitive fiberfill, I made a 6" x 6" pad to insert under my hoop when using a fusible fabric in an applique project. This allows me to use my mini-iron to secure the applique without having to remove my hoop from my sewing machine. (Just remember to remove it before you start to sew again).

From Doris: To fix hoop burn on materials that have a loft, try using a clothes lint brush instead of a lint roller. Wipe across the lines in the opposite direction a few times, it always works for me!

From Debra: I keep a plastic sandwich bag taped to the right side of my sewing desk for trimmed thread. I use the scraps in ornaments when I save enough. I have a bag taped to the left side for scraps of water-soluble stabilizer, once I get enough, I add water and reuse.

From Terre: When cleaning gunk from your hoops or around your work area, use a combination of hand sanitizer and baby or personal cleansing wipes. Clean with the sanitizer (a couple of drops) and wipe that with the wipes. The combination of the alcohol in the sanitizer and the lanolin in the wipes leaves it very clean. And, no gunk on your hands from cleaning.

From Linda: Place your hoop on a rotary cutting mat or non-adhesive shelf liner when hooping to prevent it from dancing around. It makes it a lot easier to line things up.

From Emily: Pizza boxes make excellent storage containers for your remnants of leftover pieces of stabilizers. Press odd bits and store. Make sure your Pizza box is clean however.

From Suzette: When hooping, I hook my hoop onto the edge of the table. That way, I'm assured that it's flat on the table and it limits movement of the hoop.

From Judie: When I open a package of stabilizer, I remove the label, turn it inside out, re-roll it and put it back inside the roll. Then I have all the information - type, manufacturer, and info left by the manufacturer.

From Christine: I have 3 different embroidery machines and it can get very confusing what the dimensions are of each hoop for the different machines. I keep a card (cheat sheet) by my computer with the inches/cm for each hoop of each machine. Now when I am down loading a design, all I have to do is look at the card and I can figure what format I need to download in and what machine will suit my needs. This has saved me a lot of time.

From Ronny: Money's tight so I save every piece of stabilizer I can, after I take it from the finished design. Then I sew the pieces together and use them for stitch outs for small designs.

From Cheryl: For those who use adhesive spray, when you want to clean your sticky hoops, just put some eucalyptus oil on a soft cloth or cotton ball and wipe. The residue is all gone and a lovely aroma is left behind, it smells especially good in your storage cupboard.

From Ronny: I found a flat blade paper cutter at a yard sale for $1.00. I got it so that I can cut my stabilizer into my hoop sizes and put them in a stackable paper holder. That way all I have to do is reach over, grab the hoop, the stabilizer, and off we go!

From Becky: After hand tightening hoop screws for about 2 weeks, I invested in an $8 battery-operated cordless screwdriver at my local mega store. It not only saved my wrists and fingers, it actually tightens my hoop much faster and tighter than I can do it by hand! I also use rechargeable batteries and they last 4-6 months before needing recharging!

From Pam: After rolling my stabilizer in to tight rolls, I color the end of the roll with a permanent marker. Blue is water soluble, red for cut away, green for tear away, etc. You can also add a stripe across the end of the roll to show what weight the stabilizer is. Then you can see at a quick glance what stabilizer you wish to use or what you're almost out of.

From Donna: To extend the use of my water-soluble stabilizer, I lightly dampen the edge of one piece and overlap the edge of another -- they will stick together!

Tip from Helene: For Christmas I received a Brother Innovis 6000D which has some extra large hoops. I like to cut my stabilizer ahead of time, but I needed a way to store the large pieces. I took a ball bearing clip (size 40), put string through the hole in the top, tied the ends together to make a loop and hung the loop over the neck of a strong coat hanger. Then, I clipped all my large sheets of stabilizer in the clip and hung it at the end of my clothes rack. Now I can easily find the cutaway or tear-away piece I need and they aren't wrinkled from folding them for storage.

Tip from Karlyn: I carefully mark the north, south, east and west positions on my hoops with a permanent marker. It is invaluable in helping to line up my material in the hoop. I can tell immediately if the item is slightly off center.

Tip from Nancy K.: I was recently looking for some solvy and found a great 'deal' on a huge roll of it on the internet. A couple friends and I purchased a jumbo roll and split it three ways. I saved a couple of paper towel tubes and we rolled product from the jumbo roll onto the paper towel tubes and all three of us has LOTS of solvy. Just remember to always keep your solvy in plastic -- zip bags work GREAT for this, the solvy doesn't get stiff as fast!

Tip from Karlyn: To remove hoop marks I lightly spray the marks with Downey Wrinkle release. I brush it lightly with my hands and within seconds, no more hoop marks. It works on every type of material and it also gets rid of any wrinkles that may have formed during the hooping process.

Tip from Therese: I was getting low on my iron on cutaway and the elastic I used to hold it was causing it to wrinkle on the roll. I cut off a section of kitchen plastic wrap, (you know, the kind you use for covering your food) wrapped it around my cutaway till the wrap overlapped itself. The result, nice smooth cutaway. There is the added benefit of being able to identify the item by writing what it is with a permanent marker on the wrap. It can also be used on my fabric type water-soluble stabilizer to keep any moisture out.

Tip from Barbara: I take those rubber shelf liners that have a grid and cut them in strips. I put the strips on the inside of the embroidery hoop, and it grips the fabric and keeps it tight.

Tip from Dolores: I save scraps of water soluble stabilizer and iron them together to make a larger piece. Be sure to iron pieces together between non-stick press cloth so it doesn't stick to your iron or ironing surface.

Tip from Susan: I use an antique treadle sewing machine cabinet as a table to hold my serger. It's a good mix of the old and new, and the workspace is the right height. I use the old treadle to hold my foot control, and the drawers are handy for storage.

Tip from Ruth: I've found an easy way to trim the stabilizer from around my designs. After finishing embroidery, I leave the fabric/design in my hoop, turn it over, and use sharp pointed scissors to trim away the stabilizer. The hoop holds the fabric in place, and I don't accidentally cut the fabric.

From Arlene: When you remove the label from your roll of stabilizer, roll the label and place it inside the tube of the stabilizer. Since a lot of them look alike, pull out the label and read.

From Vicky: I sometimes have trouble hooping and I found that if I hoop the stabilizer and then spray a bit of adhesive on that, I can position my project and it is never crooked or stretched out of shape. It is a great way to do towels and heavy jackets. I wouldn't know what to do without my spray adhesive.

From Becky: I use Williams Lectric Shave to clean my embroidery hoops. No scrubbing is needed, just apply it with a cotton ball, you won't believe how easy it is to use.

From Joyce: To save stabilizer, I precut it off the roll. I cut it so that the stabilizer fits the width of my hoop. I leave the length, which I cut off after the item has been embroidered. I then roll it widthwise and add it to an empty gift wrap roll that has been cut a little larger than the stabilizer. Label the roll with what type stabilizer it is and it's ready to use.

From Maureen: I save up the water I have used from soaking my water-soluble stabilizer. I put it into a spray bottle and use as starch when required.

From Shirlene: Make sure you keep your water-soluble stabilizer in a moisture free container or a zip lock bag.

From Rachel: I use a wine rack to keep my stabilizer. The top row is cutaway. Next is tear-away and the wash-away is in the bottom row. It keeps them neat and I always know which is which.

From Eileen: When we travel in our RV, I put my hoops on a hanger and hang them in the closet. It keeps all the hoops in one place and they don't take up precious storage space. I have also started doing this in my home, keeps them out of sight and away from dust.

From Shar: I found that having to measure my stabilizer each time was such a hassle, so I cut two pieces of cardboard to match my hoops plus two inches. They are my patterns to cut my stabilizer to fit every time.

From Sue:  Instead of constantly having to unroll my stabilizer, I use 4-armed pant hangers and place a roll of stabilizer on each arm. If the roll is covered with plastic, I open one end before placing the roll on the hanger. That way, I can push the plastic back away from the roll, cut the stabilizer, and then pull the plastic covering back over the roll of stabilizer. It works beautifully!

From Sue:  I was constantly mixing (or losing!) my stabilizers, until I started rolling them into a cylinder and slipping them into an empty paper towel (or toilet paper) tube. I simply labeled the cardboard tube with the type of stabilizer. I keep all the rolls in a wicker basket - it's so easy to find the right stabilizer!

From Carolyn:  Always check to see if you put your tear-away or cutaway under your embroidery hoop. It makes a world of difference when you use a good stabilizer.

From Anne:  I have found that the large binder clips that you can buy at office supply stores are great for keeping my hoops together and organized. Just put both parts of the hoop together and clip a binder clip around them. Then you can hang them from a cup hook or picture hanger on the wall and always have both parts easily accessible instead of in a heap on the table.

From Therese:  When I have a hard to hoop item that I must hold with spray adhesive, I make sure I've marked my stabilizer with my cross-hair marks. I also mark my piece to be embroidered with cross-hair marks. I then use sewing pins to pierce through my fabric at center points and through points on the four cross-hairs. I then align these pins that are through the fabric with the corresponding center and cross-hairs on the stabilizer. My fabric is then perfectly aligned with the stabilizer in the hoop. This is especially necessary when I use my smallest 2X2 hoop.

From Peggy:  I have written the sizes on my hoops with a permanent marker and an arrow showing which way they screw tight. I can easily see what size they are and how to tighten or loosen them. I keep them on a plastic pegboard that was designed for tools.

From Donna:  When you have scraps of water soluble stabilizer too small to hoop, stitch them together with water soluble thread to make a bigger piece.

From Peggy:  I bought very inexpensive shower caps at the dollar store and put them on the tops of my big rolls of stabilizer, which I keep on a high but accessible shelf in my sewing room. This keeps them from getting dusty and dirty. You can also label the shower cap with marker or a written on sticker.

From Nelda:  Use scotch or masking tape to tape down sides of water soluble stabilizer topping. It makes for much easier removal.

From Therese: When I've already cut my fabric for a project and it is too short to fit into my hoop, I machine baste another section of fabric onto the original piece large enough to make it "hoopable." Then, I place my stabilizer on the backside of the fabric piece and hoop as usual. When the embroidery is done, I remove the basted section of fabric and continue with the project. I find that this gives me better control for the embroidery design.

From Tommie: I use an old wine rack that I bought at a yard sale to hold my stabilizer. Keeps them all organized and in one spot.

From H.C.: I write on the inside of each of my stabilizer tubes which kind it is - cutaway, tear-away, etc. I'm new to this and I was getting mixed up. This really helped!

From Anne: Keep the cut pieces of cutaway or tear-away stabilizer that are too small to reuse for embroidery to clean up oil drips, remove dust and residue and other small cleaning tasks around your machine and sewing room.

From Barbara: I buy stabilizer in 7 2/3 inch by 8 yard rolls, but found I wasted a lot each time I cut the right size for my hoop. Now I cut a long section (enough for 5 designs or so), hoop from one end and then roll and clip the extra at the other end of the hoop. Then, I move the design down to the beginning of the stabilizer and sew it out. When done, I cut the stabilizer off at the edge of the design and re-roll the remaining stabilizer. I found that I save as much as 8 inches per design!

From Lorraine: I save all my scraps of cutaway and use them when I am sewing an applique design. They are perfect to make the "sandwich" with.

From Laura: Keep the inner and outer part of a set of embroidery hoops together with bright colored pony tail rubber bands. Place the two parts of an embroidery hoop set together. Loop the ponytail over the screw, through the hoop and then back over the screw again. No knot is needed. This method keeps the hoop parts together so easily. If you have found the perfect adjustment for your hoops, you can put your hoops up for storage without having to change the set screw.

From Amy: I use Aqua Velvet to clean a sticky hoop!

From Candy: To avoid slippage, wrap your inner hoop with thin strips of lightweight muslin.

From Therese: I mark both my fabric and stabilizer. Then, I match them together. When it comes to hooping my fabric, both the fabric and stabilizer are accurately aligned and I don't have to keep unhooping because my stabilizer is too high, too low, or too much to the right or to the left to be caught by the hoop. It saves on stabilizer too, for I only need what the hoop requires per design.

From Patricia: When using adhesive spray, I use a cardboard file box as a backdrop, lay my stabilizer inside, and spray away. No overspray on any other surface and it never gets on my hoops!

From Patricia L.: When using a clear wash away on the top of your fabric, lightly spray it with adhesive and it will lay flat as you sew. Not too much, as it will dissolve it.

From Neva:  On the wall next to my embroidery machine are two large hooks screwed into the wooden studs behind the sheet rock. I hang my hoops there, within easy reach. It is fast and easy to choose which one is needed. If you have a pegboard, you could put a hook on the pegboard and use it the same way.

Tip from Barbara: I use water activated sticky stabilizer and until recently had been activating it with a spray bottle which made a mess. Now I use an envelope moistener bottle - it has a sponge tip, fill it with water, and then dab it on the stabilizer. It works great!

Tip from Therese: I mark crosshairs on both my fabric and stabilizer. Then, I match them together. When it comes to hooping my fabric, both the fabric and stabilizer are accurately aligned and I don't have to keep unhooping because my stabilizer is too high or too low or too much to the right or to the left to be caught by the hoop. It saves on stabilizer too for I only need what the hoop requires per design.

Tip from Marie:  Dissolve washaway plastic stabilizer in water and paint on fabric with a pastry brush to stiffen fabric to be embroidered on. Works great!

Tip from Normie:  After having messy looking hoops from using spray adhesive, I clean them with Goo Gone. It works just fine!

Tip from Ruth C.:  When embroidering on corduroy, I always have hoop marks on the fabric when I am finished. I have found that steaming the corduroy and then brushing the pile upward with a soft toothbrush works wonders. This method removes the marks completely.

Tip from Jean:  Recently I was at an auction and saw a wine rack. I thought what a great way to store rolls of stabilizer! So I won the bid and took it home. It works great!

Tip from Angela:  I found a use for the leftover stabilizer scraps. I have hardwood floors, and I hot glued stabilizer scraps to the bottoms of my ornate metal and or concrete plant stands so they won't scratch the floor or other surfaces. It probably wouldn't work for heavy duty furniture, but it works great for small things.

Tip from Therese:  I sometimes use thin nonslip shelf liner to stabilize fabric in the hoop. After it's attached and cutout to expose the sewing area, I'm left with a good size piece of leftover liner. I cut this leftover into circles, squares, etc. to glue to the bottom of the coasters I make. Now they are non-slip, too!

Tip from Joan: I've been using 505 temporary adhesive spray, and I discovered something recently. I sprayed my sticky hoop with Dawn Power Spray and let it sit for over an hour while I did other things. Then, I rinsed it off and scrubbed the residue off with a soft toothbrush. The hoop looks brand new. Dawn Power Spray also removes Pam cooking spray off stove burners!

Tip from Suzanne: Get rid of topper in between your design by spraying the back of the design with water so it soaks through a bit where you have stitched. Then, take waste topper and dab it off.

Tip from Beatrice: I keep a stabilizer workbook - it's great for remembering what stabilizer does what. It contains index cards with swatches of stabilizer, what their uses are, cost per yard, and instructions.

Tip from Adeline: When I use water soluble topping (For terry cloth towels), I secure the topping along two of the sides using painter's tape. This will prevent shifting or bunching.

Tip From LaRheta: I have found that using all purpose Sewer's Aid prevents any gummy substances on the needle. This works for everything from heavier materials, to needles, bobbins, scissors, sticky backed stabilizer, etc. The instructions are on the back of the product. I keep a small piece of 100% cotton material handy and every so often wipe my needle with it. Works great and helps the needle penetrate the fabrics.

From Connie:  Get the soft rubber-like pencil holders (they go on pencils so you can grip them), cut them in half, and slip on the tightening nuts of your hoops. They make it easier to tighten and loosen hoops.

From Pat:  Any hoop marks left on a garment can be remove with Magic Sizing Spray. You can find this by the fabric starches at you local grocery store.

From Cathy:  Make big pockets out of your stabilizer instructions. Fold in half and sew around 3 of the sides and put your stabilizer inside. You'll always know which stabilizer is which.

From Barbara:  I have very dry skin so it makes tightening and loosening my embroidery hoops very unpleasant. To make this easier, I use rubber finger pads from any office supply store to tighten and loosen the hoops. Your hands will thank you.

From Therese:  I use a fine point permanent marker to label the rubber bands that hold my rolls of stabilizer. That way, I can easily identify the different types.

From Beth B.:  I love to make lace! So I keep my film type (water soluble) stabilizers in Ziploc bags to keep them from getting brittle and dried out if I don't use them up right away. It prolongs their life, and also keeps humidity out so they don't stick together.

From Judy:  I store all of my rolls of stabilizer on an old wine rack.

From Rhonda:  I've found that using a bottle of envelope moistener found at Office Depot or Staples comes in handy for quick removal of small pieces of solvy and also the purple ink from marking pens. It's small and handy with the little sponge on the end, so you can get the right amount of water needed each time.

From Karen:  After completing my embroidery project, I cut the remaining stabilizer into rectangular pieces with straight edges and put in a plastic bag. When I am not working on a project, I use a triple zigzag stitch and start stitching the pieces together. I put the straight edge of 2 pieces together and stitch to the end, then I place the next 2 pieces on the sewing platform and continue sewing. When finished with the chain of pieces, I cut the thread between each set, then keep piecing sets together until I have a full piece of stabilizer to fit my hoop. I use up all my scraps that way. Most embroideries, particularly the towel toppers, aren't affected by the piecing. Sure saves money!

From Holly M.:  To get spray adhesive off of your hoops, use a product that the scrap bookers use. It's called "Undo" and takes off any overspray without any fumes or oils. Just soak a cotton ball with "Undo," and wipe away the sticky residue. This gets the hoops clean, so you don't have to re-wash them after you use it.

From Bev:  I use leftover sticky stabilizer to tack down other stabilizers to the back of my projects for embroidering.

Tip from Sadie: I use "rubber fingers" that I purchased at the office supply store and slip one on my finger before tightening the hoop screws. It improves the grip and my fingers are no longer sore at the end of the day.

From Grace:  When using cutaway or tear-away stabilizer to embroider, I cut off the leftover sides or edges and use them when seaming knits. That way nothing goes to waste!

From Antonia:  When I have items to embroider that don't quite want to lay down in my hoops, I use hair clips to hold the item down on the sides of my hoop. They are light weight and easy to keep away from my needle. I have used them on handbags, stockings, onesies, and all sorts of items.

From Rosemarie:  At Target, I purchased a collapsible cubed cloth laundry holder/hamper. It has rope handles and is easy to move. I vertically store all my tubes of stabilizer and I can readily see what I have.

From Pat:  Use a piece of cardboard or plastic that is big enough to cover your hoop. Draw a line around the hoop on the board or plastic and then cut out the hole. Place this over your hoop when you are using temporary spray adhesive. This will help to keep your hoop clean.

From Sherry:  Every time I unhoop a finished project, I immediately mark the left over stabilizer (TA - tear away, CA - cutaway, etc.) so I'll know what the pieces can be used for later. Sometimes the smaller pieces can be sewn together to hoop another project.

From Norma:  If you alter the position of your embroidery design on the machine's screen, write down the position before you start. This way, if you have to re-align it for any reason, you will have the right position and be able to continue.

From Deborah:  Recycle your left over stabilizer pieces. Save all those pieces of stabilizer that are left over from a larger hoop, and use them in a smaller hoop. I use a zip lock bag and save the scraps for another day.

From Kathy:  I found that for a perfect hooping, I used Velcro tots on the outside of the inner hoop. They are already sticky and can be moved easily. I use three dots on each long side, and two on the short sides.

From Donna:  I purchased two coat hooks and mounted them on the wall beside my machine to hold my hoops and my magna hoop. Easy to grab and not stacked on top of each other.  They were less than $2.00 each.

From Amy: If you use temporary spray adhesive for your hooping, that sticky stuff can build up on your hoop and make a mess on everything around it. Use an empty cardboard oatmeal container to save tons of clean up! All you do is cut the top off of it about 3" from the top, giving you what looks like a really big bracelet. You can squish the sides to fit it into your hoop, and spray inside. It guards the overspray from getting on your hoops. When it gets too sticky, just toss it and get another one.

From Evelyn: I precut several sheets of cutaway and tear-away stabilizer then keep them stored under my cutting mat and they stay flat and are ready to go when I am.

Tip from Sharon F.: When spraying adhesive onto a piece of stabilizer, I cut the stabilizer to size, place it inside a paper grocery bag, and then spray it. All the overspray stays inside the bag. The bag can be folded up when it is dry and reused several times.

Tip from Patricia W.: I have found the easiest way to clean my hoops after using spray adhesive is to spray with WD40, let them stand for a couple of minutes. Then I wash with dish detergent and warm water, and then dry with a towel.

Tip from Charlene G.: When ironing your iron-on tear away onto your fabric, do not iron right to the edge of the stabilizer. Leave 1/2" un-ironed. This makes it easier to remove the tear-away from the fabric.

Tip from Pat J.: When using temporary spray adhesive, put the fabric to be sprayed face-down on wax paper, and spray the back of the fabric instead of the stabilizer. It will stick to the stabilizer and you won't have a gooey hoop.

Tip from Patricia L.: Save your scraps of Solvy to be reused. When you have enough scraps, piece them together on a sheet of paper and cover with another sheet of paper. Press with a warm iron and the pieces will be pressed together into a new sheet that can be used. It doesn't look as nice as the original sheets, but works just as well.

Tip from Kris B.: I cover my hoop with Glad Press and Seal when I want to use a spray adhesive. My hoop stays nice and clean.

Tip from Donna S.: I use foam pencil grips (the type people use on their wooden pencils) that fit perfectly over the tightening screws for my embroidery hoops, to tighten and loosen the screws. You can find them in the school supply aisle at any store.

Tip from Mary S.: I use an inexpensive vinyl placemat underneath my hoop to keep it  from slipping when I hoop my fabric. It works like a charm!

Tip from Karen H.: Embroidery hooping can be difficult. Using permanent markers, I mark blue for top, black for bottom, and I mark each alignment mark with red. If I am having a particularly difficult time aligning perfectly, I use scotch tape and attach a thread side to side and another top to bottom on the bottom side of my inner hoop. This helps me to exactly see where the center X is. Once hooped, I can cut the thread before sewing. This eliminates the need to remove all those special marker lines which are sometimes difficult to eliminate.

Tip from Marie: I search automotive stores for the tiny rubber tipped clamps they sell. These clamps are usually red and black rubber coated and measure approximately 2 inches long x 1/2 inch wide. They are the perfect size to make GREAT hoop clamps Fabric will not shift on you in the hoop, so you can easily tighten the screw once the clamp is removed. The rubber keeps them from falling off the screw, too. No more hooping problems or fabric pucker problems!

Tip from Susan A.: I use a strip of narrow double sided tape (I use Clover) on the edges of my top hoop. When I place it down on my fabric it sticks in place, makes hooping much easier, and the fabric does not shift out of place.

Tip from Sharon S.: Mark the center placement lines of your hoop with a permanent marker. It makes it much easier when lining up the placement lines of your project when putting it in the hoop.

Tip from Susan W.:  I use double sided tape on the bottom of my inner hoops for ease in hooping. The best tape by far that I have found is poster tape. It is wider than most tapes, covers more of the hoop, and lasts a long time.

Tip from Ruth A.:  I bought a marble cutting board and lined it with "Grip It" shelf liner. It fits all of my hoop sizes. I put it next to my embroidery machine works great and convenient and steady.

Tip from Lori A.:  I've had trouble in the past with hooping slick fabrics. As I was at the feed store and thinking about this I found this tape that they tape horses legs with it called Co-Flex. I wrapped it around the inner hoop, never got a better hooping. Hope this helps someone.

Tip from Brenda D.:  When you print a template for a design, use a yellow highlighter to mark your center axis on the template. This makes it much easier to find the center after the design is no longer on your computer screen and also helps in design placement in the hoop.

Tip from Patricia L.:  The hoops for most embroidery machines must have the center hoop placed in a certain direction. They have an arrow or mark that must be placed either at the top or bottom of the hoop. If you mark this arrow with a black permanent marker it makes it clearer to see and you will never insert the inner hoop in the wrong direction.

Tip from Patricia L.:  Place double sided scotch tape on the bottom of your inner hoop. You can then line it up with your markings on your fabric and it will not shift when you place your fabric and inner hoop into the outer hoop.

Tip from Sandy W.:  I too am having a problem with sticky back gumming up needles and constant top thread breakage. In order not to waste a large roll of sticky back, I use a larger than needed hoop and hoop the sticky back. Then I cut the design size out of the middle and stick the fabric to the remaining stabilizer which frames the inside of the hoop.

Tip from Beverly D.: If you have hoop marks on your sweatshirt, just spray it with spray starch and press it flat.

Tip from Ruth C.:  I use stabilizers that come in rolls.  When I start a new roll, I measure off the size I need for my hoop fold it over, but before cutting it I fold it over again making a mark for the next time I will use it. By doing this each time I am always ready for my next project and don't have to measure the roll each time. Using a sharp knife to cut the stabilizer is also a quick and easy way of making a straight cut.

Tip from Patricia L.: Spray starch is a handy thing to have in your sewing room. If you spray starch your fabric, it helps to stabilize it in the hoop when doing embroidery. Especially helpful when doing knits. It holds the fabric together and is easy to wash out when finished. It also helps prevent wash away pens from leaving a permanent mark if you accidentally iron over what you have marked. 


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