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Thread: EMB Machine Hooping 101

  1. #1
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    EMB Machine Hooping 101

    Please share your struggles with hooping and/or share tips for hooping embroidery projects. Here are some of my favorites.

    Be sure to use the right stabilizer type for your project. Remember hoop if you can hoop.

    Line up the center points of your project with the center lines of the hoop.

    Mark the cross point references right on the stabilizer to help line up the project.

    I place the top hoop on the stabilizer and project. Pick both up and lay in the bottom hoop. Adjust until center points are matched. Press down into hoop and tighten hoop.

    If you have an error on your machine and have to remove the hoop, mark the project corners so you can re-align the project in the hoop if needed. Do this step before removing the hoop. Mark down the stitch count number and the step number of the design.

    This is helpful if the embroidery is accidentally moved or bumped.

    Another helpful article for hooping that explains techniques for hooping projects.

    https://www.embroiderthis.com/hofafo....OZ01mB8b.dpbs

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    I haven't found an alternative to hooping the stabilizer, but i float the project itself whenever i can.
    stabilizer is expensive enough.
    fabric is exponentially more-so.

    i've had embroidery-capable machines for a lot of years now.
    but, i have only recently started playing with embroidering anything other than quilting motifs.

    why?
    your guess is as good as mine. lol
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

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  3. #3
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    I don't think I ever hoop stabilizer and the article together..I've been machine emb'ing since early 90's and have 5 machines (tho one is being "sulky" right now). I normally hoop stabilizer and float my item, as Patrice does. Or I hoop the project and "float" the stabilizer under the hoop. This allows using up the scraps, as I can put the scrap where the design will go.

  4. #4
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    I struggled with hooping for a while when I got my first machine. Floating sometimes helped but there would inevitably be some puckering somewhere which drives me crazy. I don't remember where I first read this, "Taut, not tight". A light bulb went off and I finally got it. Everyone teaches to hoop the project and stabilizer tightly, which to me meant really tight like you do for hand embroidery. No, no,no. Just tight enough so it's not saggy or have gathers in the corners. With machine embroidery, every stitch pulls, no matter which direction the hoop is moving. The stabilizer helps prevent the pull from puckering but if what's in the hoop is so tight there's no give at all, it's gonna pucker and gather in places, more so with denser designs, and can even tear your fabric. Once I learned to lighten up on how tight I hoop my project things got much better. Now, heavy thick things like towels or thick fluffy Christmas stockings I don't hoop those but I pin them around the edge to the hooped stabilizer.

    Cari

  5. #5
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    A couple of tips that I have found very useful:
    1: when needing to pin something to the stabilizer, use the curved safety pins that are used to pin baste the three layers of a quilt. I don't close them, but that curve really makes it easy to get the pin in, up and out. As always...make sure they are NOT in the actual embroidering area, I keep them as close to the edge of the hoop as possible.
    2. If your machine has a basting stitch, use it. Makes everything stay in place and is easy to remove.
    3. Be super careful of which marking pen you use. I try to avoid pens as much as possible and simply fold and make a light press (enough to see the marks) to align with the marks on the hoop. Don't care what they say about themselves, not all pen marks are removeable!! lol And we won't even talk about those chalk markers....
    All I can think of right now....

  6. #6
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly View Post
    I struggled with hooping for a while when I got my first machine. Floating sometimes helped but there would inevitably be some puckering somewhere which drives me crazy. I don't remember where I first read this, "Taut, not tight". A light bulb went off and I finally got it. Everyone teaches to hoop the project and stabilizer tightly, which to me meant really tight like you do for hand embroidery. No, no,no. Just tight enough so it's not saggy or have gathers in the corners. With machine embroidery, every stitch pulls, no matter which direction the hoop is moving. The stabilizer helps prevent the pull from puckering but if what's in the hoop is so tight there's no give at all, it's gonna pucker and gather in places, more so with denser designs, and can even tear your fabric. Once I learned to lighten up on how tight I hoop my project things got much better. Now, heavy thick things like towels or thick fluffy Christmas stockings I don't hoop those but I pin them around the edge to the hooped stabilizer.

    Cari
    Cari, you may have just solved my problem. The last couple of sweatshirts I embroidered pucked and it was a dense design. That's the first time I had the problem of sweats. I may have had the hoop to tight. I'm going to try your way and see if it helps. Thanks for the tip.
    Margaret

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieLou View Post
    Cari, you may have just solved my problem. The last couple of sweatshirts I embroidered pucked and it was a dense design. That's the first time I had the problem of sweats. I may have had the hoop to tight. I'm going to try your way and see if it helps. Thanks for the tip.
    I always do a practice stitch out, sometimes more than one, on the same type of fabric my project will be so I can change something up if I need to. The right type of stabilizer is important too. I'm not a fan of tear away types, especially on clothing. For a sweatshirt I usually use a medium weight cut away.

    Cari

  8. #8
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Cari, I always do a stitchout too but not necessarily on the same material as what I'm going to put the design. I don't usually have a spare sweat to use as a test. (I'm not being catty.) I used cotton and I think it was a lightweight mesh cutaway on the test. On the actual sweat I used the same mesh since I don't think I have any medium weight. Would a double layer of the lightweight have worked? Something else I remembered is one of the members here suggested enlarging a dense design to 105% to help combat the puckering. I haven't tried that yet. I keep forgetting to enlarge it before starting the design.
    Margaret

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieLou View Post
    Cari, I always do a stitchout too but not necessarily on the same material as what I'm going to put the design. I don't usually have a spare sweat to use as a test. (I'm not being catty.) I used cotton and I think it was a lightweight mesh cutaway on the test. On the actual sweat I used the same mesh since I don't think I have any medium weight. Would a double layer of the lightweight have worked? Something else I remembered is one of the members here suggested enlarging a dense design to 105% to help combat the puckering. I haven't tried that yet. I keep forgetting to enlarge it before starting the design.
    Yes you can double a light weight stabilizer when needed. I have an organizer on the back of a door that's full of different stabilizers and still sometimes don't have exactly what I need so I'll double up, sometimes mixing two different kinds to get the right weight or thickness.
    It was probably me that wrote the suggestion of enlarging a dense design in the machine. It does help, without the size change being all that noticeable. I don't like to do designs that are so unnecessarily dense that the machine sounds like a jackhammer stitching it out.

    Cari

  10. #10
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Cari, I have an organizer too but it seems I never have the one I need.
    Margaret

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    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

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    I'm taking a day long class tomorrow that is all about stabilizers and proper hooping based on fabric and design used.

    Since I'm a newbie, I'm sure I'll learn a lot!
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I don't line up center lines with hoop, certain hoops have their grids offset so you need to use the grid that came with hoop unless trimming down the project
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Clover double stick tape, hoop grip, and pretension hoops. Use those grids when necessary and never skimp on stabilizer
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  14. #14
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    I've started using a product called Terial Magic and it stiffens the fabric more than starch. It has helped lots when I do a dense design.

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    Being a little stingy, the large pieces of stabilizer that get trimmed off the corners of projects really bothered me. I now keep them in a box near my machine and float them under a project when only a small area needs that little bit extra stabilizer or when i need small pieces for under fancy sewing stitches.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecozy View Post
    Being a little stingy, the large pieces of stabilizer that get trimmed off the corners of projects really bothered me. I now keep them in a box near my machine and float them under a project when only a small area needs that little bit extra stabilizer or when i need small pieces for under fancy sewing stitches.
    I'm stingy too, lol. I will zigzag pieces of cut away stabilizer together to make a new piece.

    Cari

  17. #17
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    I've been sewing together stabilzer for my latest project. Since I'm doing a series of 9" blocks and need about 12x14 to fit the hoop, I did the first one and then tore away the center. T hen trimmed up the edges and am using that as a "frame" for the rest. that way I can use my narrower stabilizer roll. I use a long running stitch and the remove it.

    So far it's working quite well. I trying to stitch in different spots on the overlap, we'll see how many I can get before I feel the integrity of the "frame" is compromised. I'm going to try water soluble stabilizer, and for sure I'll use the outer frame of regular tear away as it's much cheaper.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  18. #18
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    Cathy I do the same thing. I sometimes use muslin to make a reusable frame. Also, on my rectangle shaped hoops, I have frames made of rubber shelf liner that holds the stabilizer tighter on the long sides of the hoop.

    Cari

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