Welcome to Quick Stitches! This week, my column name is a bit of a misnomer, since this project doesn’t involve any stitching. I have so many special fabrics that I’m holding onto, waiting for just the right project. But it’s a shame to keep this kind of beauty hidden away in my fabric stash.
With this project, you get an instant wall decoration plus a unique way to store and display your stash. And it’s nice to see a different part of the craft store on occasion! For this project you’ll need a bottle of white acrylic paint, a simple foam brush, and several sizes of embroidery hoops. For this sample, I used hoops in the following sizes: 5, 6, 7, and 8 inches. Here’s how:
1. Grab a stack of inexpensive embroidery hoops in various sizes.
2. Gather up a few feature fabrics. These fabrics are some of my favorites: some custom printed fabrics from a local artist, a fat quarter from my prized stash from Quilt Festival last year, and some of my all-time favorite: Erin McMorris’s Park Slope.
3. Peel off the labels from each hoop and separate the inner hoops from the outer bolted hoops.
4. Set up your work area (in my case, this involves lots of paper towels!), and paint the outer hoops white. Hang them to dry.
5. While the hoops dry, cut your fabric to size, using the inner hoops as a guide. I usually add at least 1/2 inch to each side.
6. When the hoops are dry, sandwich and stretch your fabrics in each set of hoops. Cut off the excess fabric or run a gathering stitch around the excess on the back of the hoop (especially if you want to be able to use your fabrics later).
7. Hang your hoops and admire your (quick!) handiwork.
And if the right project comes along later, you can take these bits out of the hoops and switch them for other fabrics!
(And yes, Hoop Dreams is a nod to a cheesy movie title. Sorry – I just couldn’t help myself!)