Framing fabric projects has always been challenging, but the use of embroidery hoops has taken the sewing world by storm! Having overlooked this essential accessory for so long, we’re now searching for even more creative ways to use them. Kirsty Neale shares her love of hoops and offers inspiration for innovative project ideas from her new book, Hoop-la!
Kirsty Neale is a freelance writer, illustrator and designer-maker specialising in fabric and paper crafts. Her unique creations have been featured in numerous books and magazines including Mollie Makes. Discover more about Kirsty, her style and her favourite crafts in my Kirsty Neale interview.
Kirsty’s brand new book, Hoop-la!, features 100 unique and clever ideas for using your embroidery hoops, as well as some creative ways to decorate the hoop itself. From table decorations, wall displays and storage items to hanging mobiles, toys and games, you’ll be amazed by the versatility of the humble embroidery hoop! I chatted to Kirsty about her inspiration for the book:
“Up until a few years ago, embroidery was always a real nightmare to frame. You either had the expense of getting it professionally stretched and framed, or the headache of trying to do that yourself (definitely not something I’ve ever mastered). So when I started seeing more and more people framing their embroidery in hoops, I was very quickly sold on the idea. The one thing I’ve never quite figured out, though, was why you so rarely find projects framed in anything other than a naked wooden hoop. The wood is such a good base for all kinds of decorating techniques, and I loved the idea of putting some of those together with a bunch of suggestions for filling the hoops, to make a kind of mix-and-match, hoop-themed recipe book.
As well as being inexpensive and easy to use, embroidery hoops are also incredibly versatile in terms of the finished effects you can achieve. Although obviously intended for use as an embroidery tool, they can be used for so many other things – from appliqué and patchwork to screen printing and papercraft projects. I love the fact you can use them to whip up really fast projects or presents too. Some of the projects in the book can easily be made in under an hour, but will look like you spent a lot longer putting them together, which is always a good thing, I think!”
The variety of projects in the book is astonishing! Kirsty uses a wide range of techniques, and the applique motifs and stitchery designs are so diverse that there’s definitely something for everyone! I asked Kirsty about her favourite projects from the book:
“I like different hoops for different reasons. The Liberty hexagons appeal to my inner science-geek; I like the lacecap mushrooms and the sausage dog for their clashing, mid-century colours and patterns; and I love that the mixed-media swimsuit girl somehow reminds me of a PG Wodehouse character.”
Get your copy of Hoop-la! today to create your own pretty and practical hoop designs! It’s also available as a downloadable PDF ebook, so you can start sewing straight away. To see more projects from the book, check out Kirsty’s fun YouTube video too:
What will you create today?