how to make simple pictures using a hoop

A Second Butterfly Hoop

Tags: applique, butterfly, free motion, how-to, quilt pattern, sewing

Yesterday I showed you how to hoop a butterfly applique to make a decorative hanging frame: Butterfly Hoop with Frill and today I wanted to follow up with another idea which I found to be much easier. 

From the first experience of working with these hoops, I definitely learned a thing or two. For one, allow a bit more seam allowance when testing a theory!

For my second hoop, I decided to trim leaving a good inch. But before I did any trimming, I decided that I would quilt down the background around the butterfly. A simple stipple is all that is needed, but you could use anything including straight quilting or echo quilting just to name a few. I echoed the butterfly a couple of times first then stippled outside it. This really made the butterfly pop.

quilted butterfly block

quilted butterfly block

I placed the hoop over the butterfly so it was central and drew a circle about 1 inch outside it.

butterfly centered within the hoop

butterfly centered within the hoop

Then I trimmed it back to almost the drawn circle, flipped it over and positioned the hoop once again. 

back of quilted butterfly

back of quilted butterfly

From here, I could neaten the edges by using bias binding to cover them, but I decided to gather them raw - to reduce bulk. I used a double gathering stitch just in case the first snapped when I pulled it up through all those thicknesses. I made sure the gathers were evenly dispersed around the hoop as I pulled them in.

raw edges gathered on the back

raw edges gathered on the back

Once gathered I knotted off the thread ends. I love the simplicity of this hoop. It looks like a tile and I can easily imagine three of these hanging in a row either horizontal or vertical.

Blue Butterfly hanging

Blue Butterfly hanging

To finish off the back, I added a small hanging hook and cut a round circle of card which I hot glued to the back to cover the gathers - this will also prevent those gathers from slipping loose.

So here is a list of what you'll need to create this wonderful simple gift:

  • Blue Butterfly or Purple Butterfly pattern or other small design
  • Small amounts of cotton fabric for applique (of your color choice)
  • 8"-10" background fabric, backing fabric, and batting
  • Machine embroidery threads to match your applique fabrics
  • Quilting thread
  • 6" or 8" hoop
  • Small hook for hanging
  • Piece of card to cover the backs
  • Hot glue gun to attach card and hook on back

So which do you like best? The purple or the blue butterfly?

two butterfly hoops

I think I'll pull out some of my flower blocks and make those into frames too. I'll need a larger hoop for those.

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