How to finish your embroidery hoop: gathering method

There are several methods for finishing your embroidered hoop art, and each one has its own pros and cons. Today I’m going to share a method for gathering your excess fabric to the back of your hoop, with an optional stage of backing your hoop with embroidered felt. Read on to find out more!

If you do plan to back your hoop with felt, begin by drawing around the outside of the smallest hoop. Cut this out.

If you want, you can also embroider a message or date onto this felt, so your hoop can become a keepsake gift or momento for the future. I prepared this backing ready for an embroidery of one of my daughter’s drawings, hence the decision to add a name a date.

Now, onto the hoop itself. Here is my finished embroidery. Begin by trimming your excess fabric to about 5cm (approx. 2 inches) all round. If you don’t plan to add a felt backing, you may want to consider using pinking shears to do this, just to create a neater edge.

You’ll need an extra long piece of thread, which I double-threaded onto my needle for extra strength. You’ll be using a large running stitch all around the edge of your fabric, plus leaving two lengths at each end (hence the need for an extra long piece of thread as this needs to be done continuously without a break).

Now pull the thread to gather up the fabric – it will all pull nice and neat to the inside of your hoop. Tie off your ends together to secure in place.

You may now opt to leave it there, especially if you like to be able to see the back of your stitches as well as the front. But you also have the option of securing the a felt circle (as mentioned above) to the back of your hoop. Do this by sewing your felt to the turned in excess fabric. You can use small, invisible stitches to do this. Or, like me, opt for a larger, more deliberate stitch as this can add to the decorative finish.

And your hoop is now complete! Not only do you have a beautiful piece of embroidered hoop art, but it has all been neatened off and finished to a professional standard. How lovely! (You may also have noticed my actual hoop has been decorated as part of this project – find out more about this here).

And if you love a sewing project, why not join my Creative Sewing Challenge. Sign up for free today, and begin to receive monthly prompts to inspire your sewing. You respond in whatever way appeals to you, and I share ideas and tutorials tied to each theme throughout the month. Its just a fun way to keep this wonderful hobby of ours a priority when life gets busy! Find out more here or sign up below:

And here’s a lovely pin for a rainy day!