Hoops and frames

When I started embroidering seriously about a year ago, I was confused by the references to different kinds of stitching frames and stands on various internet sites. All I was familiar with was the simple round hoop I grew up using. Now that I’ve been working seriously for a little over a year, I thought I’d take a minute to show you some photos of the different kinds of things I use and talk about why and when I choose to use them.

Before I go on, I will admit that I don’t stitch without mounting my fabric on something. I always use a frame or a hoop. Squishy, loose fabric produces squishy, loose stitches in my case. I know there are embroiderers out there who can stitch just fine holding the fabric loosely in their hands – but I’m not one of them.

I’m working on three different projects right now and using three different methods to hold the fabric in place as I stitch.

The Crewel Phoenix is mounted on an Evertite frame and held with my System 4 stand.

Here are the components:

An Evertite Frame is made up of 4 pieces of wood, two top and two side pieces. The frames come is many lengths so you can pretty much have a frame to fit any embroidery piece you’re working on. Of course, you have to have lots of different lengths and they aren’t cheap. A pair (two pieces of the same length) runs between $12 for a 6 inch pair up to $19 for a 26 inch pair.  I get mine from Stitchers’ Paradise in the USA. I order them when I know I’m going home and then carry them back in my suitcase. Unfortunately, they aren’t available outside the USA…yet.

The fabric is mounted on the frame using tacks and the frame can be tightened if the fabric gets looser as you stitch.

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Necessity and invention…

Remember that saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”? I know it’s true and today I had to put it into practice.

I’m making a book mark as a gift for some one I know who is a voracious reader! In fact, he has a HUGE pile of books next to his chair in the living room.

Transferring the design onto the fabric, I decided to use a long narrow piece of linen since the design is long and narrow – like a bookmark. I knew I would mount it on a frame and I DIDN’T MEASURE the length of the fabric to see if it was long enough for the length of the frame. Of course it wasn’t! Measure twice cut once. I know better but I was in a hurry to get started, I was tired of the tedious job of setting up new projects, I was hungry, I didn’t have time…the excuses are many and all as ridiculous as “The dog ate my homework!” excuse from a student. I was just careless. Period. And…I could use some more frames that are between 11 – 15 inches so I can have more than one project on the go…:-)

So, here I was, faced with a dilemma.

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Setting up a new project

It’s my least favorite part of being an embroiderer. It’s the MOST IMPORTANT but still my least favorite. It takes time and patience. Having the right tools makes it easier and more likely that the end result will be good.

What is it? Setting up a new project.

The entire time I’m setting up a new project, I keep in my mind how much fun it will be to stitch, to watch the design come alive as my needle and thread create a beautiful embroidery. In my mind I have an image of what the project will look like when it’s ready to be stitched; something like this.

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