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arrow_circle_down In the hoop Embroidery - Hints and Tips

In the hoop  Embroidery - Hints and Tips



In the hoop designs are complete items/projects that you can make completely in your Embroidery Hoop.

The 'beauty' of In the hoop Designs are they are quick to make, really good for using up your fabric scraps, and you don't need to get your sewing machine out!

The items you can make are varied - we have Coasters, Bookmarks, Notebook Covers, photo frames and even Bags made In the hoop

Snowmen and various Coasters by Kreative Kiwi

 We've been designing, stitching and selling these style of designs for quite a few years now, and along the way, we've learnt a few hints and tips, and our wonderful Kreative Kiwi Group have freely shared their ideas.  We've compiled this information, so you can benefit from our knowledge, and confidentally stitch these In the hoop Designs

 Excited to get started, or learn by watching?   

Click here to Download our Free In the hoop Flower Coaster

Watch this quick 5 minute video showing Step-by-step How to Stitch our Flower Coaster

Want to know a bit more?  Read our tips


  • Sharp Scissors
  • Stabilisers
  • Batting/Wadding/Pellon


  • As with any Applique, the closer you can trim your fabric, the better the finish
  • Everyone has their preference, BUT whatever type of scissors you use, they need to be SHARP!

Click here to read about the type of scissors used for Applique


Many In the hoop projects use Cutaway or Tearaway Stabiliser, but some recommend Water Soluble Stabiliser 

  • The photo on the left has a Satin Stitch edge, so you will use Water Soluble Stabiliser, so no stabiliser shows on the edges
  • The Coasters on the right are made so the seams are hidden - you can use tearaway or cutaway

The specific stabiliser you use with be listed in your design Instructions.

Satin Stitch edge and stabilisers


We recommend using two layers of fabric type Water Soluble Stabiliser

Why?  - Two reasons

  • We stitch the designs on Water Soluble Stabiliser, so at the end, you can remove all traces of Stabiliser from the edges of the design.  (Just like Free Standing Lace)
  • TWO layers of FABRIC TYPE WSS is strong enough to take the cutting out/zig zag and satin stitches without ripping  

Not sure what we mean about Stabilisers, or where you can purchase the correct type? 

 Click here to read further information on Stabilisers

 Stabiliser  Can you use other Stabiliser?

The answer is Yes, you can, BUT I cannot ensure you will get a great stitchout

  • If you use Cut away Stabiliser, you will see the Stabiliser on the edges – not recommended
  • If you use Tear-away Stabiliser, you need to use 2 or 3 layers, so it doesn’t rip at the edges while you are stitching.   You may have more ‘fluffies; on the edges, but you can use a Sharpie Pen to color them in.


    Why do you use Pellon in these Designs?

    Floral Coasters showing Quilting

    I Love Pellon – I use it in ALL of my Large Appliques and In the hoop Projects because It gives the designs ‘body’, it enhances the Quilting stitches, and I believe it ensures a really ‘neat’ Satin Stitch edge.   The sample above is our In the hoop Floral Coasters- you can see the Quilted look that the Pellon makes.

    The pellon I use (we seem to have different names in NZ) is a thin (maybe ¼ inch) polyester or, a slightly thicker iron on pellon (I rarely iron it on)

    Can you use other Batting/Wadding/insul-brite for Coasterss?

    Yes – I would opt for the thin versions, just to help your machine.

    Can I make In the hoop projects without pellon/batting?

    Yes you can – once again – you may find the Satin Stitch edging is not quite as crisp,  I would test it first on fabric of similar weight (you’ll only have to test one section, to see if you like it)

    Large Applique stitched without batting

    The 3D Flower on the right is our 4x4 hoop size - Helen and Sharon from our Kreative Kiwi Group stitched the design on organza without Batting 


    Depending on the item you are making, you can pretty much use any fabric.  We tend to use cottons, but I've seen Coasters made with Vinyl, Denim or Satin.

    If you do choose to use a fabric other than cotton, I would recommend to do a test sample first - with vinyl or heavy denim you probably won't need any Batting - with Satin, I would recommend pressing an iron on interfacing on the back, to help stop the Satin fraying.

    In the hoop Coasters made with Vinyl

    Free Truck Coaster and Skull Coaster made with Vinyls


    This is dependant on the use of the finished product. 

    If you are not going to be able to see the back of the finished product ie stitching the design to a Quilt/Bag etc, then you can use any ‘cotton’ fabric.

    For reversable Coasters, I have been using a very thin iron-on  Interfacing on the backing fabric – just makes the fabric easier to cut on the back of the hoop, and no threads peeking out of the satin stitch.

     Iron on Interfacing



    EVERY In the Hoop Design File has a PDF with Step-by-step Photos  - When you unzip the files,  please look for the PDF and have a quick read.

    Instruction PDF Free Flower


    You must Stitch the designs in the correct order – this ensures your design is stitched together correctly

    Similarly, Do Not Color Sort our In the hoop designs – We use different Colors in the designs to tell your machine to STOP at a certain points – once again, to ensure the design is joined in the correct order

    If your machine shows a different number of colors, or stitches in a different order than our Instructions,  PLEASE RE-DOWNLOAD your files, and transfer to your machine WITHOUT opening in Embroidery Software.      Similarly if your machine has an option to Smart Color Sort, then PLEASE TURN THAT SETTING OFF - These designs MUST STITCH out in the original order we created them.

    OK - You've got the Materials, you have the Files - What Now?

     The following information will ensure you get a perfect stitch out  


    Many of our Large Appliques are quite stitch intensive, so it's important not only to use the correct Stabiliser, but to also minimise any stabiliser movement within the hoop.  In many of my earlier designs, you will see that I have 'tape' around my hoops - There is a reason for this.

    Watch Kay's video showing how you can add tape to your hoop, to minimise any chance of your stabiliser moving while you are stitching your design.

    How to hoop stabilizer for in the hoop designs and for floating

    Hooping With Pins For Good Stabilizer Tension & For Free Standing Lace



    As you are stitching your In the hoop Projects, ensuring you trim both your batting and fabric as close as possible, will ensure your satin stitch edges look smooth, with no fluffy edges.

    Kim wrote a blog for our Large Applique designs to help with triming batting - while this blog does go on into joining which is a Large Applique process,  the first part will be helpful if you have trouble trimming your batting for Coasters

    Join Large Appliques with ease - 5

    Click here to read - How to achieve Perfect Joins - everytime

    You've finished the Embroidery - What Now?


    Once you've completed your Coasters, you cut away the excess Water Soluble Stabiliser, but there will still be a small amount of Stabiliser left around the edge.

    Generally I do not completely wash out all the Stabiliser – I use a Cotton Bud/Q Tip and warm water to dissolve the Stabiliser on the edges.

    Removing Stabiliser from Flower Coaster

    If you use a steam iron, or too much water on the edges, because there is still Water Soluble Stabiliser left inside the design, it will shrink up!

    All is not lost - Put the item in the washing machine which will remove ALL the Stabiliser, then you'll be abe to press it back to its right shape

    If you've got to here - Good on you!!  I hope we have explained how you can confidentally stitch our In the hoop Designs.    Like any technique, the first one might take a while, and it might not be perfect, but you certainly learn from it.

    Already addicted to In the hoop designs?  Here's a few quick Links 

    Tags: Embroidery Help  

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