Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Putting it Together

I really am bad at this blogging thing. Has it really been that long since I posted??? I will try to do a bit better.

Today I thought I would share a tip for those of you who do in-the-hoop embroidery designs. The instructions with many of my in-the-hoop designs tell you to line up the front to the back matching the corners of the placement lines on both pieces. Easier said than done, right? What I don't show you is how I get them to line up really well - and it is really easy too. You can even call this a recycling tip.

My secret is a thick piece of Styrofoam. Not the kind that crumbles but the kind that they put in boxes with electronics and other fun stuff. The piece to look for is one large enough that will let your hoop lay flat  and thick enough to let quilting pins push into it all the way to the heads. I scrounged through my boxes and found the perfect slab - it was in my laptop box....

Now, when I am ready to put two pieces of a project together, I lay the hoop on top of the Styrofoam. Here I have my zipper bag back ready for the next step.

Next, I lay the piece I need to 'match' right on top. In this example I am sewing a prepared front to the bag back. I push quilting pins down though each of the four corners of the front piece right into the matching corner on the bag back. See the yellow pin heads in the corners?
The final step before putting it back on the machine is to tape it down really well so it doesn't move. I use blue painter's tape for this part. Don't be stingy with it either. Remove the pins from the corners and put the hoop back onto your machine. Easy Peasy, right???

This method works for all of my in-the-hoop designs. Coin purses, purses, mug rugs - wherever you need it to line up perfectly to put it together, I've included the placement lines in all the designs that require you to match front to back.  
Here is my finished project. It is a Kindle case with one of three pocket options that are available. It wouldn't have been quite so easy to put together without having that piece of Styrofoam handy! You can check out this design and lots more at