Ever since I saw this suggestion for displaying fabric in embroidery hoops on the Purl Bee, I wanted to make some for our kitchen. (Obviously, I wasn’t the only one to see it…some other bloggers made really cute versions of their own.) I decided that this was one of the only legitimate uses I could find for my precious meter of Liberty* fabric, which I’ve been hoarding until I could find a way to get maximum decorative value and mimimum regrets a year later.
*I hadn’t heard of Liberty until I spent Christmas in London a couple of years ago. My mother, who had been living there for a couple of months, told me that we HAD to go to the store together to look at the fabric. I wasn’t sure why she was so excited but happily obliged and boy-am-I-glad that my mum has such good taste. The building itself is incredible (it’s made from timbers of old sailing ships), and the fabric floor is totally overwhelming. You can see some samples on Purl Soho, although I think there were a lot more in the store. It took me at least half an hour to pick the print I did, and while I sometimes scratch my head as to why pink and red was my favorite color combo, I’m so glad I bought something.
So, I took my fabric off the shelf a couple of days ago, ironed it, and started. chopping. it. with. scissors. (Kind of a bad feeling.) I realized right away that the print was a little too thin, so I cut some muslin squares for backing.
I tried to get the edges to fold back when the hoops are hung so I wouldn’t have to glue them down, but that didn’t work. So I spent last night chatting with some other crafty ladies and brandishing my mini glue gun. I hated gluing the fabric, but I think I can still cut it off the hoops in a few years when (as one friend said) I’ve decided that I really wanted to use it for a quilt instead.
One quick note, if you decide to try this project at home: it only looks good if the fabric is perfectly taut, and the best way to do that is to make your outer hoop only slightly bigger than the fabric + inner hoop. You can tug the fabric around to fix some floppy spots, but I found that squeezing the top hoop over the bottom one leads to the best results.
Unfortunately, a pile of fabric hoops on the counter is as far as I got…gluing took a long time, and I want to be really careful when I hang these so I don’t put extra holes in my newly-painted kitchen wall. But I should be able to show you the finished project tomorrow.
Reasons why this is a really, really great decor idea:
- It’s cheap! (Unless your fabric is expensive.) I’ve been accumulating embroidery hoops at thrift stores for a while now, and none of them were more than $1.
- The hoops are circular, which is a nice shape-change from all the rectangular frames out there.
- Textile art is really sweet.
Maybe the last one is a little subjective, but I’m really liking the look of fabric on the wall right now. And speaking of fabric, I picked up two more pieces at the thrift store yesterday. Neither are very big, but the colors are so springy that I couldn’t leave them there.