Embroidery Tips for Difficult-to-Hoop Projects

Embroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it Up

Embroidery Tips for Difficult-to-Hoop Projects

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Embroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it Up

My TV guest likes to compare machine embroidery to cooking. When cooking you follow the recipe, purchase the ingredients, but sometimes tweak the process. That’s what happens with machine embroidery; you learn to adjust the hooping technique, design, and/or stabilizer to fit the project.

Marie Zinno, embroidery professional and author, is my guest during the two-part series, Hoop It Up—Guide to Successful Machine Embroidery. You can now watch the second episode online.

Embroidery Hooping Recipe

Learning the proper and efficient way to hoop fabrics or projects will guarantee embroidery success. In this Spa Day grouping, the tote, slippers, and cosmetic case all require a specific hooping recipe. You might think that these projects aren’t easy to embroider, but with our tips you’ll find the winning embroidery recipe.

  • Mark the center of the tote, between the handles.
  • Align a target ruler with the center mark. 
  • Place a target sticker in the opening.

Note from Nancy: Target stickers have an adhesive on the back and generally stick to fabric. The fabric used in our ready-made tote was pre-treated with an anti-stain finish—the sticker didn’t stick. We held it in place with office tape. Improvise!

Embroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it UpEmbroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it Up

  • Use a standard hoop or a Snap Hoop to hoop the fabric. If using a standard hoop, back the fabric with a poly-mesh stabilizerWith the Snap Hoop, a stabilizer isn’t needed.

Note from Nancy: Often when I feature a magnetic project on Sewing With Nancy, I receive emails of concern. Not to worry, unless your computerized sewing machine is disassembled, there is no fear of damage to your machine. 

Embroidery tips using a snap hoop, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing With Nancy

  • Turn the tote inside out. Hoop the fabric.
  • Insert the hoop in the embroidery unit. Watch online as Marie and I embroider this tote. One of the many tricks to embroidering a ready-made tote or bag is to turn it inside out.

Embroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it Up

Layered Monograms

During this program, you’ll also learn how to layer the monograms. We used a font called Cannes, which is found in the software Monogram It!. Save two separate files in the machine’s memory; in this instance the “A” and “Anna.” Marie has easy tips on merging the files.

Monogram It! Layered monograms, Sewing WIth Nancy Zieman

There’s More to Learn

The spa slippers and waffle-weave cosmetic case are next to be embroidered. Watch to find out how.

Embroidery tips on hooping fabrics, Nancy Zieman, Marie Zinno, Sewing WIth Nancy, Hoop it Up

It’s time to wrap up this two-part series on Hoop It Up. A special thank you to Marie Zinno for sharing her embroidery expertise with us.

99 Tips for Embroidery Success in Hoop It Up, a book by Marie Zinno and Eileen Roche

Marie and co-author Eileen Roche have teamed up to show you how professionals hoop over 30 projects.

  • Learn a different approach to hooping over 30 projects—both flat and tubular.
  • Use either a standard hoop or a user-friendly magnetic hoop.
  • Read and learn from two embroidery professionals.
  • Inside the 80 page spiral bound book you’ll find embroidery positioning tools that you can use again and again:
    • Angle Finder
    • 4″ Target Ruler (two versions)
    • 7″ Target Ruler (two versions)
    • Target Stickers

Hoop it Up—Guide to Successful Machine Embroidery, Marie Zinno, Eileen Roche

Watch Hoop It Up—Guide to Successful Embroidery on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

HoopItUp SewingWithNancy 1 28

For a chance to win the Hoop It Up—Guide to Successful Embroidery DVD from Nancy’s Notions, or the book from Designs In Machine Embroidery, please leave a comment telling us your favorite Spa Day item to embroider. 

HoopItUp NancyZieman2

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2016 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
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  • Rose
    January 28, 2016

    Love the tips

  • Linda Pawlak
    January 28, 2016

    I would LOVE to embroider a big fluffy white towel or even a big fluffy robe to snuggle into! Thank you!

  • Bessie Curran
    January 28, 2016

    I would like to embroider towels for wedding or shower presents. Towels always are needed and when they are monogramed they look so much nicer.

  • Mary S
    January 28, 2016

    I would like to do a set for our 3 daughters, towel, hair towel,and the three you have demonstrated (tote, cosmetic case and maybe the slippers. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pat Nicholaisen
    January 28, 2016

    Thank you Nancy, I try not to miss your program. I have learned so much from them. I had not been able to do a tote. Never turned it inside out, thanks a million.

  • Ilana
    January 28, 2016

    I’d like to embroider the slippers. That’s not something I ever thought of as embroiderable.

  • Sharon Kirby
    January 28, 2016

    Definitely a big fluffy robe just for me would be my favourite. I realized recently that I tend to give away most of my projects as gifts and fund raisers, so something just for me would be wonderful.

  • Susie Simpson
    January 28, 2016

    I would love to win this! I still feel very new to machine embroidery and need all the help I can get. I truly enjoy seeing what I can create. Love your show and I’m learning so much about embroidery!!

  • Tab
    January 28, 2016

    I’m still quite new to machine embroidery so I haven’t yet embroidered any such item but I suppose I would love to embroider a towel and bag first.

  • Sharon R
    January 28, 2016

    After seeing this, I may need to put together my own spa pack!
    I’m just now starting to embellish towels, so I think that would be my first spa item, followed by a nice waffle print robe.

  • Andrea Benson
    January 28, 2016

    I would love to do a big fluffy robe

  • Dawn
    January 28, 2016

    I love tote bags! That would be my first to try but definitely not my last.

  • Sally
    January 28, 2016

    My favorite spa item to embroider is a robe…always appreciated and used. Monogramming always adds such a personal touch, too.

  • Judy graczyk
    January 28, 2016

    I just completed totes for each of the 14 people in my quilt retreat group. But want to try the cosmetic bags and slippers next. Lovely

  • DeEtta G.
    January 28, 2016

    My favorite spa item would be a towel, or robe or slippers embroidered especially for me by an experienced embroiderer! Obviously, that person would not be me since I need more help.
    By the way, thank you for the tip on magnetic frames. I have wanted to buy one but have had the concerns you mentioned.

  • Marty
    January 28, 2016

    I make cosmetic cases for teen girls in a Biblecgroup each year, so personalized embroidery will be great!

  • Brenda Melahn
    January 28, 2016

    I normally make my granddaughter and her friends make-up cases — do they wear make-up? No … but they love their cases with personal designs and monograms or names.

  • Anna
    January 28, 2016

    My favorite spa item to embroider would be the tote bag to carry everything in. I would also embroider a nice thick towel.

  • Marti Morgan
    January 28, 2016

    I have never had a spa day – matter a fact I was told I need a good massage and have no idea where to go to get it, ha ha. I love the way this embroidery looks and love the name and initial on the bag. Would be a nice gift to give. Where would you get these blanks?

  • Anne Crabbs
    January 28, 2016

    I have had no experience except for classes. I just got my machine that had opened all sorts of new learning opportunities for me. I want to be sure I use my equipment to the fullest. I would love to win. Thank you for teaching.

  • Marj
    January 28, 2016

    Never did a spa day, but I hooped and embroidered tote bags for Our Daughter’s Wedding which had each off the bridesmaids initials on it along with Celtic snowflakes ribbons etc. everyone loved them.

  • Pat Bumelis
    January 28, 2016

    I am not a spa person but love to make totes and embroidery items for gifts. I love your show and have learned so much. I would love to win this. Thank you.

  • Cay
    January 28, 2016

    Wish I had the need of spa items but alas, I am not so fortunate. If I were going to a spa I would want a monogrammed wrap. I am tall and would need a longer wrap than most.

  • RevDonnaH
    January 28, 2016

    Spa day embroidered items are wonderful gifts for a girl going off to live in a college dorm! I think they are good for summer camp, too.

  • Kathy
    January 28, 2016

    I have embroidered tote bags and ribbons for two of my nieces weddings. But still learning good hooping techniques. Thank you for the tips.

  • Cary Wisnosky
    January 28, 2016

    I would like to try this approach I love new gadgets
    Thanks again for all your great tips
    Carry Wisnosky
    Tomahawk. Wi

  • Brenda
    January 28, 2016

    Tote bags of course!

  • Kay
    January 28, 2016

    Slippers! I think it is cool that you can embroider them.

  • Carolyn H
    January 28, 2016

    Never had a spa day. I have embroidered towels and used the magnetic hoop.

  • Judy
    January 28, 2016

    Totes and towels!

  • Mary Edgecomb
    January 28, 2016

    Haven’t tried this yet but hope to do matching robes for my daughter-in-law and granddaughters. Winning this would certainly help me do a better job!

  • Deena Paine
    January 28, 2016

    Ive only done towels an Im getting better every time.

  • Kelly Sasman
    January 28, 2016

    I’ve made your wrap around towel before and now that I got my first embroidery machine a little over a year ago, I think I’m ready to make another one that is embroidered using these wonderful hooping techniques!

  • KayZee
    January 28, 2016

    I’d love to tackle the tote. I’ve never embroidered something so heavy.

  • Debra Wilson
    January 28, 2016

    Not a spa person but love robes. Love to embroidery anything which does not move

    January 28, 2016

    I’ve never done spa items, but would love to learn.

  • Marianne Solheim
    January 28, 2016

    I’m not a spa-type, but I know people who swear by it! I can’t sit still for that long!

  • Marianne Solheim
    January 28, 2016

    I love to embroider big fluffy towels, even though I don’t like spas

  • Bernita
    January 28, 2016

    Totes and matching cosmetic bags are my favorites. Thanks for the wonderful tote tip and can’t wait to see the tips for embroidering on waffle weave fabric.

  • Pat Hunsucker
    January 28, 2016

    I would love to embroider a robe,towel and slippers to match

  • Peggy
    January 28, 2016

    I’ve never done a spa item but would love to try one.

  • Michelle Norris
    January 28, 2016

    I have embroidered spa wraps, totes, slippers, etc. My favorite thing to embroider is the hooded towels that I make for my grandchildren!

  • Allen
    January 28, 2016

    I would love to embroider all of those items to give as gifts. Where can we purchase the blanks, especially that cosmetic bag that opens up so nice and flat?!?!

  • Nelda
    January 28, 2016

    For a spa day, I would embroider a fluffy robe, a large fluffy towel, and a very large tote to carry them in.

  • Adel Smith
    January 28, 2016

    I love big (they need to be big to wrap around me) fluffy towels with my monogram on.

  • Dorothy
    January 28, 2016

    Thank you for that lesson. I just got my megahoop and need to embroider 50 gym towels with a large initial and then the name of the gym over it. Great lesson, just in time for my task.

  • Christine
    January 28, 2016

    Thank you! Great tips!

  • Jan
    January 28, 2016

    Towels are always great, and the monogram gives such a nice touch. I can certainly use all the tips, never have too many. Thank you.

  • Donna Schmelzer
    January 28, 2016

    Bought my embroidery attachment for my Bernina one year ago and have yet to use it. Tonight will be first class with it.
    For a spa item I would like to monogram slippers for my girls.

  • Polly
    January 28, 2016

    Can never have enough totes. Easy to embroider and so practical. Thanks for the tips.

  • Jean W
    January 28, 2016

    Totes come first. Right now I’m struggling to put a name on a terry bath mat. Thank goodness for test stitch outs still struggling but following all info – Nancy and Eileen you help me all the time!

  • Gail Beam
    January 28, 2016

    Robes or towels would have to be my favorite. Love all of the tips!

  • Julie Newman
    January 28, 2016

    I need a spa day, my skin is so dry. I would like a moisture wrap from head to toe. Would be dressed in towels with monograms. Thank you Nancy for all your lessons inspiring sewing, serging and embellishment.

  • Patty Sack
    January 28, 2016

    I like the towel wraps the best. You can monogram them and also put something cute on.

  • Jacque
    January 28, 2016

    I’d love all the items. I think I would start with a tote to carry the cosmetic case and slippers. Then throw in a towel wrap and call it complete.

  • Karen
    January 28, 2016

    I have embroider a lot of towels.I have never been to a spa. Would love to get this book.

  • Karen
    January 28, 2016

    I have never been to a spa, but have embroider lots of towels. I would love to have this book.

  • E. Ann
    January 28, 2016

    Love all the items, but the tote is my favorite!! Lovely. Thanks for the chance to be a winner!!

  • Diane C
    January 28, 2016

    Towels and robe pockets — but I have never been to a spa

  • Tammy W.
    January 28, 2016

    Duffel bags and totes are my favorite spa thing to embroider.

  • Beverly Oliveros
    January 28, 2016

    Tote bags and towels are my specialty. Love it and love a good massage!!

  • Joyce Fitzgerald
    January 28, 2016

    This the best idea and tips , since slice bread.
    What a great help to improve those difficult items.

  • Karen P
    January 28, 2016

    I’ve only done towels so that’s my favorite for now. I’ll have to try some more because it would be great gift ideas.

  • Shirley
    January 28, 2016

    I love to embroider on towels and there’s nothing better than a fluffy towel at a spa. Thank you for the fun!

  • LindaC in AZ
    January 28, 2016

    I would like to embroider on totes.

  • Tina
    January 28, 2016

    I would love to embroider a robe and towel wrap> Thanks for the helpful hints.

  • [email protected]
    January 28, 2016

    I love to learn new ways to use my embroidery machine.

  • Joyce James
    January 28, 2016

    I love towels to monogram for myself and gifts

  • Judith
    January 28, 2016

    My daughter is getting married this June it would be fun to make the spa kit things for her, and they would also make nice bridesmaid gifts.

  • Wanda
    January 28, 2016

    I purchased a new sewing machine with an embroidery unit about 4 years ago, and have been too intimidated to do anything with it. Your program has given me a spark to try something. I love totes, so I think that would be the perfect project for a spa day (or knitting outing). Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Michelle
    January 28, 2016

    My favorite to embroidered would be the slippers. My toes are always cold.

  • Lillian K
    January 28, 2016

    The slippers look like a new item for me to try. They may prove to be next years Christmas gift idea.

  • Brenda Crews
    January 28, 2016

    I would do the cosmetic bag. I have not done one yet

  • Maga
    January 29, 2016

    I am probably a freak because I have never been to a spa (much rather spend the spa time with my embroidery machine) but the slippers I would love to give a go all the same as they would be lovely to make for visitors coming to stay with us. A real welcome alongside the small toilet bag I put out containing small bottles like you find in hotels. After a year all friends would have been supplied with a pair of travel slippers this way

  • Cyndi
    January 29, 2016

    I have never been to a spa, like the other ladies I would rather be embroidering! I do embroider on tote bags and would love the book for ideas and suggestions on embroidering on difficult projects.

    Thank you for the give away!

  • Diane S.
    January 29, 2016

    I would like to embroider hair towels for my granddaughters. We all love to wrap our hair in a towel after washing and a personalized one for the spa would be fun!

  • Kim H
    January 29, 2016

    I would like to do the tote bag. I love the snap hoops!

  • Debbie
    January 29, 2016

    I love the tote! I would like to give it a try

  • Candice
    January 29, 2016

    It’s just like chips – can’t do just 1!!! I have to do them all, and have a lovely embroidered set! Of course, that leads to more things to be included. Maybe it’s more like the children’s book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…”. Each project leads to the next!

  • Donna Sandlin
    January 29, 2016

    I think I’d like to embroider my bathing suit cover up.

  • Jeanne
    January 30, 2016

    Love the tote

  • MarLane Dows
    January 31, 2016

    Spa towels with monograms are very special. I would definitely give it a try.
    Thanks for your videos and give aways.

  • Martha long
    January 31, 2016

    I like using the snap hoop. Seems easier. Except for the magnets sticking together.

  • Colleen Bell
    January 31, 2016

    Spa?! I can’t even imagine it, but I am content thinking I might have a pretty embroidered robe instead. Thank you for the offer.

  • Nancy E Johnson
    February 1, 2016

    The tote bag and the tip to turn it inside out is genius.

  • Sharon Hawkinson
    February 4, 2016

    Would love to try the slippers and bag. All projects so cute.

  • Betty Harden
    February 4, 2016

    I would like to embroidery the towels first, then a tote. these are so beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Linda Crossett
    February 6, 2016

    The tote. I haven’t been brave enough to try one.

  • Tammy Fincher
    February 15, 2016

    For some reason I haven’t yet tried towels so I would love to finally do some. I know they would be wonderful to use as gifts and for personal use also. Would love the chance for this additional information to add to my learning tools !

  • Karen Poole
    February 29, 2016

    I love to embroider towels and the hooded towels or towel wrap make a big impact and are very easy!

  • Tara H.
    March 26, 2016

    Embroidered spa slippers would be sooo great to do for the girls in my family!! Seems like these would be the items to guide me through it. Thanks for taking the time to teach others to do for themselves, and thanks to your families for their support while you teach all of us!

  • Denise
    April 1, 2016

    I love to do towels!!

  • Pam Rohrkemper
    August 19, 2016

    When I have a spa day, I enjoy closing my eyes and relaxing. This, my sleep mask is my favorite embroidered item for the spa.

  • Lorraine B
    August 19, 2016

    I love all of them

  • RevDonnaH
    November 18, 2016

    I love to personalize beautiful towels and head wraps.

  • Lisa Taylor
    April 2, 2017

    I love to do duffle bags and totes!

    • Koleen Cook
      April 11, 2019

      Where do you buy your totes and duffles? I love the L.L. Bean totes but do you find quality totes at a low price somewhere else?

  • Cheryl Cole
    August 3, 2017

    Would love to try them all. I’m new to embroidery and need all the help I can get!!! Thank you for all the info you give.

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