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Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art Tutorial by Lauren from Molly and Mama


Today’s blog guest is Lauren from Molly and Mama.  She’s sharing with us a brilliant tutorial on how to use Robyn from Obbie Dobbie’s Fairywood Cottage Applique from Issue 6 as a Hoop Art!You can purchase the Fairywood Cottage Applique as a stand alone pattern HERE or as part of Issue 6 HERE.  You can purchase a completed Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art HERE.


Lauren’s passion is sharing the imagination and energy of childhood in gorgeous applique templates, sewing patterns, beautiful clothes, accessories, home décor and more. Staying at home with her two gorgeous cherubs has given her the opportunity to build her business and dream big!Lauren contributed the Miss Miranda & Percy Pineapple appliques to Issue 5 and has lots of brilliant patterns & ready to go items in her store HERE and fantastic free tutorials on her blog HERE

Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art Tutorial
by Lauren from Molly and Mama

Hello lovely One Thimble followers. It’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama . I’ve been stitching up a super cute appliqué design using a lovely pattern in Issue 6 of One Thimble.  So I thought some of you might like to know how to transform it into an adorable hoop art project! This one is perfect for a little girl’s bedroom!

You Will Need
·         Square piece of linen fabric – 36cm / 14”
·         Timber embroidery hoop – 21cm – 8.5” (or choose a size to match your project)
·         Circle of felt the same size as the hoop inner
·         Requirements to create an appliqué or embroidery for your project (as per the instructions in your pattern or tutorial)
·         A water soluble marking pen
·         Needle and sewing thread or cotton to match your felt colour
·         Scissors or pinking shears
·         Ribbon for a bow and hanging loop

Create the Appliqué Art Work
Your first task is to choose a beautiful appliqué or embroidery project for your hoop art. I chose the ‘Fairywood Cottage and Wood Fairy Appliqué Pattern’ created by Robyn from Obbie Dobbie. You can find it in Issue 6 of One Thimble Sewing Magazine. It’s such a cute design!

For this project I’ve used the Fairywood Cottage (toadstool) pattern.  But I’m hoping to make another matching hoop art project with the Wood Fairy template. These two pieces will look lovely hung side by side on the wall!

Create your appliqué according to the instructions included in the pattern. Be sure to sew your design in the middle of your piece of linen or background fabric. I chose some pretty peach and gold shades of cotton to complement my linen background. Also ensure your completed design will fit inside the hoop you have (reduce or enlarge your template if required).


Robyn’s pattern gives fabulous instructions for hand appliqué, and I really love the finish of hand embroidery. However, for this project I machine blanket-stitched my appliqué design. If you’re after more appliqué tips and ideas for a sewing machine finish, you might like the tutorial HERE.


Once your design is complete, and you’ve added any embellishments you’d like, be sure to give your design a good press so it’s ready for the hoop. Be careful of your iron temperature though. Polyester fabrics or threads don’t like a hot heat. And you’d hate to destroy all of that beautiful work. So be sure to keep the iron on a warm setting only.


Frame the Appliqué in the Hoop
Flip your fabric over so that the wrong side is facing up. Place the embroidery hoop over the appliqué design and centre it so that it’s where you’d like it displayed in the hoop. Use your water soluble marker to draw a circle around the outside of the hoop, so you know where to place your design.


Use scissors or pinking shears (the zig zag cutting pattern will stop your fabric from fraying) to trim away the excess fabric. Cut around your design about 4cm  / 1.5” away from your marked circle.


Place your fabric in the hoop using the traced circle as a guide. Lay the fabric over the hoop inner. Take the hoop outer and pop it over the inner (sandwiching the fabric between it) and tighten the screw just enough to keep it all together. Make sure your screw is centred at the top of your project. Take some time to ensure your design is also centred and sitting exactly where you’d like it in the hoop. Tighten the screw of the hoop and pull the fabric taut as you go. Be careful not to stretch it out of shape though!


Now your design is secure, we just have to take care of those messy edges!Finish the Hoop Art

Thread your needle with a long length of ordinary sewing cotton (enough to go around the perimeter of your hoop) and secure it with a knot. I used a bright colour so you could see my stitching, but a colour to match your fabric would be a safer option.Start above the hoop screw and stitch a loose running stitch around the perimeter of the fabric. Stitch a half an inch in from the fabric edge (or 1.5cm). When you reach where you started, draw the cotton taut. It will gather your fabric and bring your overhang under the hoop. Secure your cotton well to keep your fabric out of the way. I pulled both ends firmly and tied a knot.


If you’re keeping your project for yourself, sometimes this type of finish is enough. However, if it’s a gift, or you’d like a neater finish, you can disguise the gathering at the back with some felt.Lay your piece of felt over the back of the hoop. (It should be just the right size to stitch over so it covers the gathered fabric.)


Thread your needle with a long length of doubled over sewing cotton and secure the end with a knot. Begin stitching at the top of the design near the screw. Use a small whip stitch to secure the piece of felt to the gathered linen fabric. Bring your needle down through the felt and out through the linen at the edge of the timber hoop.


Continue stitching around until you reach the beginning. You may need to trim a small amount off your felt as you go (as the felt may stretch as you stitch). You want the felt back to also be taut. Once complete, secure your stitches with a few back-stitches before trimming away the excess cotton.


Now all that is left is to add a bow to the top! Simply tie it around the screw. You can also add a loop of ribbon if you’re planning to hang your art work. Wasn’t that simple? You’ll be hooked now!


Other Tips
– You can embellish your completed appliqué design with hand embroidered features, buttons, bows or other special trims. This will give your hoop art a multidimensional feel that will really add to it’s appeal when it’s hanging on the wall!- Use 100% wool felt for your hoop back if you can. This type of felt is much less likely to warp or pull out of shape.- If you’re pressed for time, you can secure the fabric at the back of your hoop with hot glue instead of gathering it. Trim away extra fabric so that you have just enough to fit inside the rim of the hoop (when the fabric is folded over it). Place a thin short line of hot glue on the inside rim of the hoop and gently stick your excess fabric to it. Continue to add more glue and secure more fabric until you reach the beginning. This is a quick and easy finish that gives the same secure result. It’s just not as pretty as the felt cover.- Instead of stitching an appliqué pattern, you could use an embroidery design instead. There’s a great tutorial on the Molly and Mama blog (HERE) that shows you how to embroider the pineapple design from the Miss Miranda appliqué pattern in One Thimble Issue 5. You could also stitch your children’s artwork or your favourite phrase or saying. The options are endless!

I hope you’ve learned something new here today! If you’d like some more crafty tutorials and sewing ideas, be sure to pop over to the Molly and Mama blog. And if you’re after some more appliqué patterns, you’ll find some lovely designs in previous issues of One Thimble.

Thanks for having me Jen, and happy stitching everyone!

Lauren x



3 Comments to “Fairywood Cottage Hoop Art Tutorial by Lauren from Molly and Mama”

  1. Melinda 24/03/2015 at 10:52 pm

    Thankyou Lauren! I love this and definitely want to give it a go! It combines my love for cross stitch with my love for fabric 🙂

  2. Lauren Wright 25/03/2015 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Jen. Robyn, your Obbie Dobbie pattern is just beautiful and so well written. I loved stitching up this little design. I’d love to see your cross stitch hoop art Melinda!

  3. […] goes out of her way to help others, I was happy to help her out! We decided that I’d share a hoop art project, explaining how to create art work using a timber embroidery hoop. What do you […]


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