Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Embroidery on the No-Slip Hoop!
I honestly didn't believe a no-slip hoop existed!  They are made by Morgan Quality Products of Chanhassen, MN ( and cost more than the average hoop.  But are they ever worth it!  You will note the huge screw and nut apparatus on the side.  That, combined with cleverly molded smooth plastic, makes a hoop that is a joy to work with!
Here is Nubi performing the Cat Test - leaning his weight against the stretched fabric.  It stayed in place!  Hollywood sat on it for some minutes yesterday, but I was on the phone and couldn't get a picture.  You have to get used to this sort of thing with cats.

I designed the picture after Mucha's 'Le Reve', using one of the sack cloth tea towel blanks.  Then I became discouraged.  The hoop I had was old and wouldn't hold the fabric taut, and then there was another problem.  Who the deleted expletive wants a tea towel?  I finally decided to sew the thing together and stuff it as an accent pillow; people actually enjoy those.  A hobby is a lot more satisfying if somebody is likely to enjoy the results.

I've used a full variety of embroidery thread to make this project special - metallic, acrylic, satin (rayon), and cotton, including heavy, single strand pearl cotton.  I even used (ssh!) fine knitting wool.

When I was first learning about knitting threads, I had a chance to buy some baby alpaca.  I'd read about alpaca all my life, so I wanted to try some.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that 'baby' meant a very thin, fine yarn, also known as 'fingering'.  Obviously, some people knit and crochet with it, but that tiny thread just turns into knots and snarls for me.  It does, however, embroider beautifully and provided me a nice leafy effect.

You can make art with cloth and thread - just make sure it's art somebody would want in their house.

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