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Jul 10, 2017

Hoop Quilt Along Week1: Choose Fabric

Jul 10, 2017
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Welcome to Week #1 of the Hoop Quilt Along.  Are you joining us?  We are just getting started on this laid back summer quilt along.  I promise we're going to take it slow - keep it nice and relaxed during the sweet summer.  We're going to kick it off today with Gathering Supplies and Choosing Fabric.

To join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.



If you don't already have a hoop, I feel like finding a hoop is the biggest question everyone has right off the bat.  The pattern instructions allow you to choose from a 12", 18" or 23" hoop.  This allows you a lot of leeway depending on where you plan to hang the hoop and how much wall space you have.
Dreamy model in the background is for your reference on scale :)
When choosing what size to make, think about your wall space and how big or small you want your piecing to be.  Bigger hoop, bigger piecing.  Smaller hoop, smaller piecing. I found I like 14" or 18" best.  If I use the 14" hoop (wooden block screw type), I follow the instructions for making a 12" hoop and then add more fabric to the borders to make it big enough. *You can see the Half-Square Triangle sizes under the section HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES #3 of the pattern to consider the size of your piecing.  
HOOP QUILTS Hoop Screw Mechanism Style The bigger hoops (those intended for hand quilting, 14"+ diameter) tend to have a wider thickness (usually 3/4" deep) of the hoop and a wooden block screw mechanism.  The smaller hoops (12" diameter and smaller, used for embroidery) tend to have only a 1/4" thick hoop and brackets without the block for the screw.  I personally like the wooden block exposed - but the smaller size is an option for you if you need it.
HOOP QUILTS Hoop Thickness WHERE TO FIND.  Ask your local quilt shop about hoops.  Perhaps not all shops will have them though.

Hobby Lobby carries many sizes.  12" and smaller Embroidery hoops .  And Larger 14"+ Quilter's hoops are available online.  Don't forget to use a coupon!

Amazon also carries a ton of course.  I like the Darice brand.


Hoop Quilt Me + You Indah Batiks One of the best parts of starting a new project is picking out your new fabric palette.  Best. Part. Ever.  I really love the Hoop Quilts pattern because it is based on a charm packs (5" squares) or scraps.  We really don't need very much fabric for this project.  That is super budget friendly.  I'm sure many of you can pull fabric for many Hoops strictly from your stash and scrap bin.

COLORFUL PRINTS/CHARMS.  Look at the size Hoop you are making and the what size squares are called for under 'Colorful Prints' in the CUTTING REQUIREMENTS chart in the pattern.  You may not even need a whole charm depending on your size.  The pattern calls for 16 prints - but the number of prints you use inside your circle is really up to you.  You may definitely use less if you prefer.

BACKGROUND.  I pretty much always go with white/off-white or a low volume fabric here.  You really do want it in the background so you can showcase your prints from the charms.

OUTSIDE RING FABRIC.  For the Outside Ring Fabric, I gave some pointers for you in the Free Coloring Worksheet (sign up and receive it here).  Thinking ahead about how you may want to finish your hoop will help you choose what fabric to select.  Do you want a colorful print?  A solid?  A texture?  A small print?  Will you embellish, big stitch or embroider on top of this fabric?  Make sure the color you choose here will show (instead of hide) any embellishment you plan.  Think about what thread colors will show up for embroidery and stitching.  I have also added appliqué, buttons, and doilies to some of my hoops.  Other possible embellishments include ribbon, pom poms, lace, beads, and any other items you can think of!

Also, do you want 2 or more different fabrics in the Outside Ring?  The pic above and top right pic below show 2 different fabrics in the Outside Ring.  You could choose up to 4 prints here.
Hoop Quilt Embellishment Collage
HOOP QUILT Stitching, Embroidery and Applique Ideas
Lastly, choose your binding fabric.  Pick something that will really POP as it frames your hoop.  Most of the time, I choose one fabric for binding for ease of assembly.  But it can be fun to change colors also.  Give it a scrappy look.  In the photo above, you can see an example of scrappy binding on the bottom left.  

I am starting with a charm pack of Anna Maria Horner's True Colors.  There are more than 16 fabrics, so I will have to pair it down somehow.  That's actually part of the fun for me!  I also have two options for binding.  I'm going to wait until the project comes together a bit before choosing.  I have a soft off-white/cream for my background and a dark navy blue grunge print for the Outside Ring Fabric.  I like to see what shades of DMC floss I have already that match the project before I begin, but that's definitely not necessary right from the start.
HOOP QUILTAlong AMH fabrics


Because this is a small project, you can choose to quilt your top a couple different ways.  If you want to quilt it like you would any quilt or mini, you can use your favorite batting as the second layer of this mini quilt.  You can always add hand stitching on top of your normal quilting.

I actually prefer to add big stitching and embroidery in lieu of quilting on my hoops.  I feel like we are better able to focus on the fabrics and embellishments in the small project.  To keep the two layers together while stitching, I use fusible fleece as the second layer.  Because the layers are fused together, I can add as much or as little embellishment as I want without worrying about shift.

*Note:  There are only 2 layers in our quilt sandwich.  Even 2 layers is a lot to frame up in the hoop.  3 would be incredibly bulky.  But 2 gives the fabric some nice weight behind it.

To join the HoopQAL, go here (to get the Free Coloring Sheet) and get the Pattern here.

I can't wait to see what fabrics you are using!
Let me know if you have any questions or if I left any details out.  Sorry for the wordy post, I hope this helps you in thinking about your selections.

Remember to share! #hoopquilt  #hoopquiltalong  
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  1. Hi AnneMarie! Can you tell me how you did the extra black leaves/feathers on the SunPrint hoop quilt you did? I dont know if you made them yself or cut them from a fabric? I have not seen a SPrint fabric with black ones! (I do have teal ones on my fabric but not black) Perhaps there is a black version I haven't seen? Please help. Thanks. Sandy B

    1. Hi Sandy- Those little feathers are appliqué. I think the Alison Glass print was very dark grey - not necessarily black. But it was super dark. I applied fusible web first, then cut out the tiny shapes from the Sunprint fabric. It was time consuming, but they do look great on the hoop!

    2. So clever! I think I can manage it...oh the possibilities. Thinking...thinking.....Thanks again for your help. This is gonna be so fun!

  2. I am excited to got o my stash and start to pull fabric options! Thanks for such a helpful post today. :-)

  3. So excited for this project! I'm especially stoked to try something that's so familiar, and yet so different, at the same time. Thanks for starting it!


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