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Serious machine embroiderers never let hoop size hold them back. When they think big, they stitch big. But that doesn’t mean they have to have a big hoop. No, they just need the right software and some handy notions (okay, the notions are optional but really helpful!) to get the job done.  Here’s how to do it.

Select a large design. My sample is the letter M from, Arabesque 9 XL.  I enlarged the design to a height of 262 mm – a whopping 10.31” in Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro. Now that it’s so big, it won’t fit in my largest hoop.  But Perfect Embroidery Pro has a great splitting feature. Open the design in Perfect Embroidery Pro. Click on the Split Design icon. 

The Split Design screen appears. Click on the arrow in the Hoop field and select your largest hoop.  I entered 200 x 300. 

The preview screen shows two hoopings: 1:1 and 2:1. 

Click in either hooping to move the split. Toggle between the first and second hooping to view each individually.  Look for a natural break in the stitches. for instance, I would avoid splitting the column of satin stitches.  It’s better to have one leg of satin stitches in one hooping, and the second leg in the second hooping. Once you’re satisfied with the split, click Save and the software will save the design into two separate files. Print a template of each design and send the designs to your machine.

Place the templates on the left side of fabric (allowing room for the second hooping).  Slide a target sticker under template Hoop 1:1 and align the target sticker’s and template’s crosshairs.  Remove the template. Hoop the fabric with tear-away stabilizer, centering the target sticker.

Stitch the first design: Hoop 1:1. The last color is a vertical basting line (placement line) which will align with the second hooping. Stitch the line in a contrasting color to make alignment easy. 

Remove from the hoop.  Hoop another piece of tear-away stabilizer. Stitch color 1, the placement line, of Hoop 2:1 on the hooped stabilizer. Remove the hoop from the machine. 

Place the hoop under PAL, Perfect Alignment Laser, aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2’s beam.  

Spray the wrong side of the embroidered fabric with temporary adhesive.  Slide the embroidered fabric under the beam aligning the stitched placement line with PAL2. Finger press the fabric to the stabilizer. 

Attach the hoop to the machine and restitch color 1 to verify the design is aligned. 

Stitch the remainder of design Hoop 2:1. Wasn’t that easy?  I often approach splitting designs with a bit of intimidation but I’ve learned if I take my time and pay attention to the details (like aligning the fabric with the laser crosshair), the results come out as planned.Splitting designs is very rewarding – people will think you’re an embroidery rock star!

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  • Shirley Clark

    I’ve always said I was going to try this. I have aligned a design like a border design, but I held my breath when I did the 2nd part. Beautiful job!

  • Maga

    I don’t possess the laser light but it is perfectly possible to do split designs without so don’t be put off if you don’t have it. Use pins up through the stabiliser and into the fabric with the previous part of the embroidery then remove the pins and test the basting line or whatever is the alignment stitches by walking your machine through a stitch at a time. Easy to reposition if it is not perfect. Also never choose designs that completely fill your hoop – give yourself some space to move the design in the hoop if you prefer to hoop your fabric with the stabiliser instead of sticking it down (old-fashioned I know; but still perfectly possible). Take time to play and don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work first time. You learn from every stitch you stitch ;-D

    • Karen

      Thanks Maga, I have a 4×4 hoop and bo Kaiser so was wondering if this was possible without the laser. Good to know, with practice and a design that’s not too complex, it can be done.

  • J Curtis

    I have done this with designs that were 20″ x 20″ and they turned out great. I have never let the size of the pattern hold me back. If there is a will there is a way. I just say go for it.

  • Maureen Teachman

    What type of “in the hoop” designs can be split. The most recent that I wished I could do as a large design in my hoop was a baby bib. The ones thst fit in my hoop weren’t worth making.

    Can you split an ITH design where you are adding fabric on top and stitching to make a usable item. Cant think of one as I write this. Perhaps you could show us how to make something relatively simple. Like bag with a zipper larger than our hoop. Or am I dreaming

  • Bruce

    I want to learn and try this, the process seems cool. Great Job.


  • Bettie

    110ראשית..אני בן.בכל מקרה תודה לשניכם על נ——ª×”’ובות..× ×ÂÂÃÙח ויש שימוש במצבר כמה עסק כזה יעלה? כמה פאנלים צריך עבור מזגן אחד?אני רוצה לדעת הערכה גסה..21

  • Nancy Akhavan

    In your tutorial on rehooping to embroider a large design you mentioned insert a target sticker. I am wondering what a target sticker is. Thank you

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