Embroidered Heart Hoop

Here is another craft for Valentines Day. Right now I am going through a hoop embroidery mini obsession. The idea to do embroidery initially came up as I was looking for activities for our Craft Market class. I’ll post an example of what the kiddos will be doing in the coming weeks.

Each term I run the class, there are certain skill sets I always want to work on and sewing is one of them. I decided to challenge the kiddos by doing hoop embroidery after I saw some really cute designs. I started experimenting with different stitches and kept looking for fun designs to do.

I cam across a similar design, as I highlight in this DIY, on Pinterest but I’m bummed becos I did not save it and now I can’t find it. I usually try to highlight where I get my craft inspiration. But anyway, I did make some changes to the original design: the heart was originally sewn using this stitch that was a combo of two stitches: French knot and something similar to a chain stitch. I decided to use the Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch instead. By the way, to get a really good tutorial video tutorial on this stitch, check out: NeedleNThread.com. I don’t remember what stitch the designer used to make the floral design on the bottom right hand side of the heart. In my case, I decided to use a combo of long side by side Running Stitches with French Knots.

So please check out the DIY below.

Supplies: 4″ wood hoop, 2″ wide heart stencil, embroidery needlework linen, 1 needle with eye wide enough to pass 6 strands of embroidery floss, erasable pen, embroidery floss (while you only see two colors above I ended up adding another six colors), pair of scissors, threader (optional), felt circle to cover the back (it should be a little smaller than the hoop) not shown, pink regular thread (not shown)

To attach the fabric to the hoop: Loosen the screw or nut on the outer embroidery hoop and separate the inner and outer rings. The outer ring will hold the fabric over the inner ring once you have inserted the fabric.

Next, place the inner ring on a flat surface. Place your fabric over it, then put the outer ring over the fabric and press until the bottom ring is snug inside the outer ring.

Finally, tighten the nut or screw securely. To make things a little easier for me, I tighten the screw about half way and then I pull the fabric down until it is as taunt as I can get it and then finish tightening the screw. Your fabric is now in place and ready to embroider.

First step is to center the heart stencil and then trace around it with the erasable fabric maker.

Thread your needle with six strands of the embroidery thread and then tie a knot at the end. If a child is doing this activity and does not have sewing experience, only thread 3 strands of the floss, and then knot both ends together to create the 6 strands.

And then starting at the pointy tip of the heart, pull the needle, from the back right at the tip as shown above. You can make this stitch going up or down or left or right. What worked for me was going left to right.

Make a stitch, not too long or too short. Pull the needle through the fabric to the backside

Then keeping the just made stitch length in mind, bring the needle and thread back to the front of the fabric.

Once the thread and needle are on the right side, bring your needle underneath the first stitch. you made as shown above. Pull the thread taunt.

Then insert the needle in the same stitch hole that was created the last time the needle and thread came from the back. Pull the thread taunt. The needle will be on the back of the fabric. Use the image above as guidance.

You’ve created your first chain stitch. Now bring the needle back up to the front of the fabric. To show beautiful workmanship, please keep your stitch lengths as evenly placed as you can. Even though it takes a little extra time, I would recommend measuring out and making even sewing points around the heart, roughly every quarter inch. I would definitely recommend doing this for inexperienced sewers.

Insert the needle under the first stitch. When you do this, make sure you do not catch any of the fabric fibers. This time, DON’T pull the thread taunt. Create a little loop as shown above.

Keeping the loop, insert the needle through the right most stitch hole.

This is how it should look.

With the needle on the back of the fabric, bring it back up to the front, creating a new stitch.

Insert the needle over the loops and under the just created chain stitch.

Pull the thread taunt as shown above.

Then pull the needle through the chain stitch. Now this is the pattern moving forward. Every time you pull the needle through the chain stitch, you create a loop.

Then you insert the needle through the right most stitch hole.

Create a new stitch by pulling the needle up from the back.

Insert the needle over the loops and under the just created chain stitch, making sure not to catch the fabric fibers.

Pull the thread tight to collapse the loops to create a new chain stitch. Pull the needle through to create a new loop. And repeat the process.

This is the pattern in process.

The heart finally done. Now it’s time to do the bouquet of flowers. Thread the green floss into the needle and tie a knot. The bouquet is placed on the bottom right hand side. Coming from the back, bring the needle to the right side of the fabric, about a quarter inch from the heart.

You will be using like a long running stitch except the stitches will be next to each other instead of in front of each other.

Keep the stitches even at the bottom of the stems but vary the heights on top. Also the stitches will be right next to each other at the bottom while they are spaced a little, maybe 1/16th of an inch at the top.

This image gives you a better idea of what I am talking about. I sewed 9 stems.

To make the flowers, I used the French Knot stitch. Once the needle has been threaded and the thread knotted on the bottom, bring it to the front of the fabric.

Yes your eyes are not deceiving you. This is from a different project. I realized after I finished making the project that I did not have a clear photo of this step. Wrap the thread around the needle as shown above, about 5 wraps.

Push the wrapped floss together and towards the tip of the needle. Insert the needle tip into the fabric pretty close to where it came out. While holding the long end of the thread taunt with your left hand (since I was holding the needle in my right hand), push the needle through the fabric to the back. Keep the thread in your left hand taunt. Continue to pull the thread through until a small loop is left. Let go of the thread in your left hand pull the thread all the way to the back.

This is what the French knot looks like. Now repeat the process for the rest of the flowers. I used different colors just to make it like a colorful bouquet.

My bouquet all done,. Luv it.

Next and final step is to sew a “ribbon bow tie”. Thread the needle and tie a knot at the end. As always, insert the needle from the back of the fabric. The placement of the first stitch is a little less wide than the natural alinement of the stems. Basically you are cinching in the stems.

Make 3 or 4 stitches as shown above, ending on the back of the fabric.

Draw in the bow tie. I decided to use stem stitch to sew it. Stem stitch works really well on curves and its also pretty easy to do. First bring the thread to the front of the fabric as shown above.

Make a small stitch as shown. Do not pull all the thread through but leave a little loop as shown above.

From the back, place the needle halfway on the stitch line as shown above.

Pull the needle all the way through,

Make the next stitch, keeping the same stitch length as the first stitch. Do not pull the thread through but rather leave a small loop. At this point the needle will be on the back of the fabric. Bring the needle back to the front of the fabric through the hole of the last stitch, as shown above.

Repeat that process keeping in mind a coupla things: the loop should always be pointing towards you and keep the stitch length consistent. I also found that the smaller the stitches, the easier it was sew the small design.

In progress …

All done with sewing the design! I love it. Last steps are placing the design under running water in order to remove the erasable pen and then sewing a cover on the back to make it pretty.

Cut off the corners of the fabric.

Using regular thread (or 1 strand of floss), sew down the excess fabric. Since it is circular shape, you will have to make lots of pleats.

Just a simple running stitch works.

After the linen is sewn down, place the felt circle on top. To sew the felt piece down, I used a over stitch.

Back all done.

Close up of the design.

What a beaut!

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