Like many of you, I learned how to embroider as a youngster using a hoop to hold the fabric. But those days are long gone and I’ve been hoopless, totally hoopless for years. In fact, all the projects in my new book, Joyful Stitching, are made hooplessly.
There are several reasons I don’t use a hoop for hand embroidery. First, clamping a hoop on my fused art quilts while stitching will fray the raw edges of the fabric. The quilt top is fused to batting for stability and is easy to grip.
Second reason? It’s easier on my stiff old hands. By gripping the fabric rather than a hoop I can twist and turn it while stitching.
Third reason, I like the “folk art” imprecise look of hand stitching. If things are too perfect, the embroidery looks machine made to me. Handmade tells me you spent a lot of time loving what you do. So call me hoopless! I don’t care.