Flexi-hoop Tutorial

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Many years ago I made many of these ornaments. These days the flexi-hoops are harder to find but I was recently asked how I assembled my flexi-hoop ornaments. So I stitched and assembled one and prepared this tutorial.


Designs from Bundle of Bears by Vermillion Stitchery. Stitched on 22 count hardanger.

Click here to view, print or download a pdf of this tutorial.

First I laid the inside ring over my stitched fabric and shifted it around until I had the design centered the way I want it. (Mostly I tried to keep the space between the outside reaches of the design and the inside of ring fairly similar all the way around.) I used 4 pins to mark the top, bottom and sides of the outside of the ring. Then I use a needle and thread to remark these spots.

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I centered the fabric over the ring and placed the flexible hoop over the fabric. I was careful that the four spots marked with the thread were just inside the flexible hoop and that the fabric was not pulled out of square. When I was satisfied I set it aside for a few minutes.

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When I took the ring off again the fabric has developed a nice crease and I removed the thread.

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Then I assembled the back of the ornament. For this I usually use card stock and some thermolam (or baby fleece) fabric. Often I just use a blank piece of card stock but this time I chose to use the inside of a greeting card. (See this blog page for some other possibilities I discovered in my greeting card stash.) I centered the inside ring over the card stock and traced around the ring.

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I cut out the card stock circle and used it as a pattern to cut out the white fleece.

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I used a glue stick to adhere the fleece to the back of my card stock circle. I then made a stack consisting of the ring, the card stock, the fleece and the stitched fabric. At this point I checked to make sure that the top of the card stock verse "agreed" with the top of the stitched design.

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Then I fixed everything in place with a wide white elastic. (I save the elastics from broccoli and cut them into two narrower elastics.) I never seem to have enough fingers at this stage of the process but eventually the fabric was flat and centered and the elastic was too.

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Next I used sharp scissors to cut the fabric snug against back edge of the ring.

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To keep the edges from fraying, and the elastic band from shifting, I covered the elastic with a round of masking tape. (Though the ornaments I made 14 years ago have not shown any signs of damage I will recommend that you use an acid free tape.) I lined one edge of the tape against the front edge of the elastic and wrapped it around. Then I cut the tape close against the back edge of the ring and pressed it into the contour of the ring.

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Finally I was ready to install the flexi-hoop over the rest of the ornament. To keep things lined up and snug I always install it from the front. I start with the top of the hoop and ease it down both side until it is all in place. At this point I usually dig into my ribbon box for something to garnish the hanger.

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This is the back view.

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Click here to view, print or download a pdf of this tutorial.

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Pinwheel 2010

6 comments:

  1. I found your blog while looking for pictures of Scotties. (I love all things Scotties!) I love what you do with your cross stitching. I used to do all sorts of them but had to quit because of arthritis. As a matter of fact, cross stitching was a major reason I was able to quit smoking. Can't smoke and cross stitch at the same time!

    Anyway, just wanted to tell you I really like your work!

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  2. Hi Lynda. Thanks for your kind words.

    And sincere congratulations on going smoke free!

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  3. Hi! Iam looking for the small flexi frames that you used! Any idea where I can buy them now?
    Thanks!

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  4. Hi Elizabeth. The wood grain flex hoops are usually not hard to find. 123stitch.com is an online store that stocks them and it appears that Joann and AC Moore carry them too. I wish that the coloured ones were as easy to find. I can only suggest that with patience one can find them on ebay.

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  5. Thank you!

    I just finished a little kit cross stitch that included a flexi hoop frame and was a bit confused as to how to put it into the hoop beyond the 'shove and trim' method which would have left the back looking ugly so your tutorial has been very useful in how I should go about backing the finished design now.

    Cheers

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