An embroidery hoop pictures tutorial – but don’t cry me a river

25 August 2009 – Hi if you're visiting from Sew,Mama,Sew! Thanks for dropping in. I've just added the template, it's slightly different from below and includes 3 different sizes. Enjoy!

Link to template

Yep, that's one long post title.

You all would have seen the hoops that the Purl Bee did? Here's the link. Here's an adaption I did as a call for submission for a craft book but it was rejected. Never mind! I still have another proposal that's been accepted, so there! This one was done very quickly off the cuff over a couple of nights so the idea evolved a little as I went. A tutorial follows. I've also done a cupcake and matryoshka version I'll post them at a later date. You can use these however you'd like, gifts, sell, make for yourselves. I'd love to see if you guys make any, please join the embroidery hoop pictures group over at flickr. Make your own designs! I'll add the apple, leaves and stem cutouts as a jpg tomorrow, it's late and I've got to draw them up. The ones you see here have been cut on the fly.

So here we go….

Materials: Embroidery hoop, fabric for backing and overlay, wool felt and embroidery thread.

First up, cut out your felt pieces.


Then iron your backing fabric and insert into hoop whilst it's warm, this will crease the fabric and act as a guide when you're laying out your design.


Remove from hoop and see below, creased.


Then lay your design on the backing fabric working out where everything will sit, how high or low do you want your table top for your apple to sit on? At this point I usually iron on double sided fusing onto the "table" fabric and then iron this piece to the backing. Just helps it sit nicely.


I then machine sewed on a line of ric rac, up to you at this point whether you'd like do this or embellish any other way. Then insert the fabric back into the hoop. DON'T glue it in yet.


Still with me? By the way I've just stopped for a pee break and a cuppa and embroidered the apple on to the backing below. See? Pretty hey? Pinking shear the excess fabric off. I usually cut the fabric to about half an inch (1.5cm).



Then glue the excess fabric to the hoop back, see the Purl Bee tutorial for this part if you don't know how. And voila! Done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Enjoy your hoop.


So, see the finished one above, would you like it? Yep, I'm looking for you guys to leave a comment and I'll randomly generate a number to draw a winner. I'll post it anywhere in the world. Just leave a comment letting me know your favourite shake your booty song whilst cleaning or whatever to motivate yourself. I'll close comments Monday morning 23 June.

I'll leave you with a song for the weekend. Not exactly my motivational move my booty song…but one I love. Cry me a river? Babs sure will, why? Just for the absolute drama. Link.

Hippo kitty and John the Baptist…

A belated Christmas gift for a dear friend…a friend who told me this morning at breakfast that she’s 4 months preggers!!! So excited for her.


Here we have Hippo Kitty. No, the hippo reference isn’t because of her waist size. Don’t be so rude. The details about the kitty, woollen body, the dress fabric is a Japanese import from Superbuzzy. The coolest hippo’s ever. Look at the hippo on the left with its little open mouth!!

Sorry, in a very silly mood here today. Australia Day public holiday tomorrow and I’m off to see NEKO CASE play live, YES IT DESERVES CAPS. I’m so excited I could pee. Kate and I have been emailing each other counting down sleeps like teenagers. I don’t think I can remember the last time I was so excited to see a live act. She’s playing at the Fly which is perfect for her. I so can’t wait to hear her sing.

wash that date right outta my hair…

Well hello ya’ll, hope you all had fabulous weekends. Mine, was a mix of great and just plain odd! Don’t think I’ll share the odd here, but let’s just say, dating can be interesting and need to get better photo’s of my dates before meeting them!


The great? Well I finally cleaned my house, dusted, washed, vacuumed and tidied. Feels sooo good. Should do it more often 🙂  I also had a crafting feast. Finished my ornaments for the Holiday Ornament Swap. Now I just need to work out packaging and post them this week. I’m pretty happy with the results. Link to the flickr group and more pics of mine here.


I’m doing a course at a local fabric and yarn store, Calico and Ivy. A magical Moroccan footrest (that’s for you Gayle 😉 , NOT a foot stool). They’ve adapted a pattern from Kaffe Fassett’s "Passionate Patchwork". Man I had a crash course in foundation piecing. Funny being in a class environment again, those old anxieties about performing creep up on you. So I’ve made one wedge and have another 7 to do by Saturday, eeep. Not happy with the colour mix in my first wedge. Think I need more dense colours and less white. So we’ll see how the other 7 work out and I might resew this one.


Also made a couple of ornaments for an overdue gift to a blogging buddy, it’s a surprise so you’ll have to just wait and see who its for. I think these are my favourites. I’ve had this piece of red velvet for about 7 years and finally found the perfect use for it. I made the felt and silk beads, they’re rustic, a nice contrast to the velvet. I’m a yoyo wh*re at the moment. More to come on the clover yoyo maker soon. More pics.


More? Yep. I made this bag about a week ago. Based on something in my memory from a Japanese craft book. Made on the fly, so it has its quirks. I needed a bag I could wear out in the evening and dance and not have to have my hands full. Fully lined and has a wadding sandwich to make it squishy. Thought it’s probably a little too thick, the Echino fabric from Al is lovely but it’s quite a heavy weight so I didn’t need the wadding. Seems I like to make stuff bulletproof.


Some more good. I doggie sat/visited my friend’s miniature Daschunds this weekend. I couldn’t get any pics of Jemima, she wouldn’t stand still long enough. But here’s Mabel. She is just too cute.

There are a bucketload of films I want to see at the moment and just haven’t had the time to get to. I’m listening to the new Magic Numbers, "Those the Brokes", it’s growing on me and I’ve hammered the new Scissor Sisters, "Ta-Dah", damn fine album.

Hey, any of you Aussie readers get the new Donna Hay? Who’s gonna give the caramels a go? Tempting. Also love the relish recipes this time as well.

Ok, have a great week. Not sure if you’ll here from me again, I’m gonna be up to my eyeballs in strips of fabric and foundation piecing.

warts ‘n all


Warning….navel gazing post…

Hello! Seems my posting here is a bit shabby at the moment. But I’m finally at the point with the blog that I don’t mind. I used to feel the pressure (self imposed) to post frequently, to be witty, creative, original, posting regularly about my fabulously crafty life! Not that it wasn’t true, I do have a pretty great crafty life. Saying all that, now that the blog and I have been together over 2 years we’re starting to get comfortable with each other. You know that feeling with friends, that no matter what you won’t be judged, they accept you for all your quirks and you don’t have to explain yourself to them. I’m extremely fortunate in having friends (flesh friends and blog friends) like this. I don’t need to mention names you know who you are!

I’m at the point with the blog where I feel comfortable with just putting out here what I want and be damned with people’s opinion of me. It’s interesting, sort of like a peeling back layers. It’s like making friends, you meet them and there’s the honeymoon phase, then you slowly get to really know each other, you might go through some bumpy spots and then over time you can’t imagine them not being in your life. There’s no bullshit, just upfront great stuff. So that’s how the blog is for me now. I still don’t show all my warts, of course you’re going to see most of my flattering parts here 🙂 and a grrls gotta keep some secrets!

I have a bucketload of crafty projects on the go at the moment, a zillion ideas in my head. Living singularly makes my time allocation interesting. My time is spent juggling (ignoring!) housekeeping, keeping in touch with friends, crafting, blogging and dating. This is no whoa is me post. Just that I’ve noticed being single yet again that my time is more precious. I can’t rely on anyone but me to tidy, feed the cat, feed myself etc. Sometimes I wish for a partner to share stuff with and miss intimacy, but the flipside, I also enjoy being able to completely suit myself and not consider anyone else. I don’t think either situation is better or worse, both have their merits!

So sorry, no craft to show you here today. Just some shoes I bought recently. Aren’t they pretty. They go well with my tan 😉 I do have craft in progress but haven’t had the time to photograph it. The photo above was taken as I walked out of the door this morning rushing to work.

Have any of you seen Children of Men? Wowzers, knocked my socks off. Wasn’t expecting it to be so great. Thoroughly enjoyable. Kate’s more eloquent than I am and read the comments.

A new friend introduced me to a remix of Queen of Japan singing the Kiss classic "I was made for loving you"…takes on a whole other meaning and I love it!

I ♥ my new bracelet by Liana Kabel! Check out her gorgeous tape measure pins and other yummy recycled plastic goodies.


Lastly, Amy Butler responds to recent copyright questions about her designs that have popped up in blogland. Excellent response.

Hmm I think I must have been channelling the Hormonal Menstral Goddess with this post! LOL.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Or maybe this post should be titled Self Portrait Cop Out! I had intended on posting a picture of my unshaved armpit, at this point you’re either nodding your head or screwing up your face "ewwww" style! LOL. I go through stages, shaving, not shaving. I quite like the unshaved version and no, I don’t get BO…however most my friends are grossed out. I wonder if it’s a Western thing to be turned off by underarm hair. The reaction is almost like it’s dirty. It amuses me. So I took some pics of my unshaved armpit…but just couldn’t go through with posting a picture. Firstly, taking a picture yourself of this area isn’t the easiest and they all just looked odd. Instead this is a picture of my buddy Gayle and I in December last year. We were having a pub knit n lunch one Sunday arvo, had a great time eating yummy food, chatting and knitting.

I know this month’s theme is "All of me, embrace your mistakes" and there are mistakes in this pic (me not you Gayle!). There’s the stuff that we notice about ourselves that most don’t. The stuff we’re silently critical about, like the droopy eye, the crooked smile, the thin top lip, dry hair and puffy eyes. Whilst it’s not what you may see, it’s what I think of when I first look at this picture. I’m not asking for validation, LOL, just pointing out that when I look at this picture I notice these things. Saying all of that, I really love this picture of me and Gayle.


I’ve recently gotten back into music, mainly inspired by Gayle above. She’s the queen of music. If she says listen to this you’ll like it, I know I will, she’s not let me down yet.

She’s gotten me hooked on Emiliana Torrini, Belle and Sebastian (their new album rocks), The Magic Numbers and Jose Gonzalez.

SPT – Flickr and blog.


Alison tagged me. (Secretly I hoped she would. I saw Cari had tagged her and was hopefully waiting). Thanks Alison 🙂

I live with a man who has a HUGE music collection. Mainly indie music. He has a thing for girl bands which I think is cute (I haven’t told him that and he doesn’t read this, so he tells me). I’ve always been shy about music. It’s one of those things that I think defines us. For instance when I was on RSVP and dating (that’s how we met) and was reading profiles the first things I’d look for are what they read and listen too. I discounted sooo many men for writing Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel or ACDC were they’re favourite band. I had a preconcieved idea of what they would be like. I suppose I could have missed out on some gems. But when Chris contacted me I looked at his music list and didn’t even know most of the bands. I took this to be interesting. He is!

Enough stalling…

1. Total amount of music files on yoru computer?

On my work computer, about 3,000 files.

2. CD you last bought?

Joss Stone, The Soul Sessions.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Malente – We Came to Party.

4. 5 songs you often listen to, or which mean a lot to you?

  • All Cried Out – Alison Moyet (classic 80’s tragic)
  • Cry Me a River – Acapelicans
  • Master Blaster – Stevie Wonder
  • If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
  • Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake

5. Who are you going to pass this on to and why?

This is tricky, not a lot of my friends have blogs either, but here goes:

  • Emma, ’cause she has a blog and she’s one of my best mates AND she needs a distraction from being tired and having sore nipples,
  • Anthony*, good way to get to know him better,
  • Jena, she was my SP2 and it seems we have a lot in common, again a way to get to know her better.

* I guess I’m not "friends" with Anthony but acquaintances. I saw him speak at a Perth Blog Nite and thought he was interesting and started reading his blog and leaving comments. He’s a foodie and we’ve agreed that we’ll meet up for a meal sometime this year.