Hey hey! Long time no see. I've been dedicating a lot of my time to schoolwork and to launching my Etsy shop! (as well as promoting my work on Instagram)
I wanted to jump back on the blogging train to share with you guys what I've been up to. From cross stitch and crafts to felt creations, I've now tried my hand at embroidery! The result? A number of ready to ship hoops stocked in my Etsy shop for the holidays. But enough about that...
One of my most popular items this holiday season were my monogram ornaments / stocking tags! Each set were hand made to match with their holly sprigs and hand finished backs. In this post I'll give you a few pointers to get a really clean, taut, finished embroidery hoop with a #hoopbutt you won't be ashamed of!
It's important to finish the back of anything with stitching to protect the stitches over time. There are a number of ways to do this, and I wouldn't say that any are more correct than another. This may differ if you are doing a keepsake cross stitch, for example, and want specialty acid-free preservation. But for these little guys, I didn't have to do much!
For the craziness of the holiday season, these monograms were done in paint pen and fabric paint, instead of stitching, so that I could crank them out! They would be a great project to do in any type of needlework, though!
I cut fabric circles 2" larger than my hoops and used a light box (aka an acrylic tray and the flashlight on my phone) to trace the letters onto the fabric. Then I used a tiny stiff brush and black fabric paint to fill in the outline, and after it dried, cleaned it up with a black paint pen.
Now you can either cut notches in the fabric and glue the pieces down, or you can use a running stitch and a long (but strong) piece of thread to bunch it all together. I get better results using a tiny dot of hot glue, but some people feel snobby ( no offense! ) about using glue on any type of stitch work. I'll tell you the trick to using glue and still stitching the back in a minute.
You can see in the pic above that I trimmed and cut the leftover fabric so that it laid flatter against the inner hoop. Then (very important!) I only put glue on the inside of that hoop, and not on the top edge where the needle will catch. If you plan to stitch a back on, you will want that to be "free fabric" your needle can go through (not a glob of hot glue).
I cut my felt into a circle a bit smaller than my hoop and start on one of the sides. It may take a few stitches to get the hang of it, and those ugly ducklings won't be at the top of the hoop where you might notice them the most. I do a blanket stitch, putting the needle down at an angle and pulling up straight all the way around the hoop. After about a quarter of the hoop, you'll want to start pulling the felt taut. It shouldn't be so taut that it starts to pull away from the stitches. AND you should make sure you are stitching far enough in to the felt circle that the stitches won't pull out of the edge.
And that's it! You can see I have little labels (I go back and forth between stitching them and using a fine tip pen) and I do a running stitch to put those on the felt backs.
I also do cardstock backs with my logo printed on them, and finished with a grommet (for hanging with a nail), but that's for another tutorial!
How do you usually finish your #hoopbutts?