I’m currently taking part in the latest round of Ali’s Mini Hoop Swap over on Instagram – #alisminihoopswap (known as the #veryberryhoopswap in previous rounds). As I start to plan my mini hoop I thought this could be a good opportunity to show you the one I made for the last round and chat about how I made it.
For these swaps I like to use the 2.2” Dandelyne mini hoop. My first step when making these hoops is usually to print out a sheet of circles that I can doodle ideas in. With so little space to work in planning definitely helps. For the last round I planned an EPP project so then I printed out various designs to scale to see what would work best. When working to that scale the individual EPP pieces can be fairly tiny and what looks great on the computer can just be unworkable in reality.
One I had picked the design the first step was to sew the EPPed piece with some Liberty prints. Liberty tana lawn is always my fabric of choice when it comes to working with tiny EPP pieces. The fine nature of the fabric combined with the tight weave means that there is none of the bulk you get with heavier cottons but still all of the strength needed to hold the sewn pieces together.
However, once I had the selected design pieced I realised that the tiny margins added by seam bulk were enough to make it too large to fit the mini hoop as planned. Sticking with the same idea I went with a more simplified version of the design, a miniature version of the saw wheel block that I am using in my “Saw Wheel” quilt.
I made it marginally smaller than the initial trial piece and the only problem I encountered was that the central octagon was just a tad too small to work with. That was only a minor problem however, and one that actually benefitted the project. Once I had appliqued the saw wheel onto a background fabric I filled the center with a mix of French knots and beads and the overall effect was, I think, quite stunning.
To put the mini hoop together I pretty much follow the steps in Dandelyne’s own You Tube video on how to put the hoops together. The one thing I do differently is that I usually start by gluing a thin layer of cotton batting to the wooden insert plate that comes with the hoop kit. I do this because I like the dimension it gives to stitched designs. I also use clover clips to hold the finished piece together as it dries because with all my EPP work I always have plenty to hand.
Now you may be wondering at this point why would I call a the mini hoop “Hide and Seek” . Well I didn’t. That was a second hoop that I also made for the same swap as an angel piece. The “Hide and Seek” fox started as a 2” paper pieced block that I had been messing about with when making some of Elizabeth Hartman’s fancy fox blocks for another project around that time. I added some bead centered lazy daisies in Aurifil Brillo to put the little fox in a world of his own and hence the name.
I was delighted with how both the “Hide and Seek” fox and his beaded saw wheel bloom counterpart turned out, and that both were very much loved by their new owners. Now, as I go back to the drawing board for this latest swap round, I hope that I can be as successful with my next creation.