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Embroidery Tips & Techniques

Top Tips for In the Hoop Embroidery

Reen Wilcoxson, owner of Embroidery Garden, and Eileen Roche share their top tips for In the Hoop Embroidery.  Let’s look at their eight top tips in more detail.


  1. Free Standing Lace (FSL) Tip – Use 2 layers of Exquisite Sew ‘N Wash, which is a mesh wash away. Also, to help keep the stabilizer nice and tight in the hoop use T-pins or flower head pins through the stabilizer on the side of the hoop.  Here is a quick video with Reen and Eileen demonstrating this top tip.



  1. Color Sorting – Do you color sort or not? Reen highly recommends not to color sort.  It will combine steps that need to be stitch out separately.  Also, be aware of your embroidery machine possibly combining colors.  If the design has 10 colors on the instruction sheet/color sheet, then you need to have 10 colors showing in the machine also!


  1. Zippers – Use a ¼” double sided sticky tape to help hold the zipper in place. It doesn’t gum up the needle and helps to keep the zipper straight when stitching.


  1. Snap Hoop Monsters & ITH – Eileen recommends using Snap Hoop Monsters for In the Hoop Embroidery. One reason is because the hoop is flat, which makes it easier to trim away the excess fabric.


  1. Adding Designs to ITH – Be sure to add embroidery designs where the instructions suggest in the order of the design. It is easy to add when using embroidery software as you can move it where it will stitch in the correct order.  You may not want it to stitch at the end if the project features a front and back.  You want it to stitch on the front before adding the back piece.  Also, you can use the Print & Stick Target Paper or the Center It Quilting Placement Templates to help with aligning the design on the fabric piece.


  1. Needles – What needles are best for ITH projects? Reen shares using 75/11 sharp for cotton fabrics and ballpoint for knit fabrics.  If using heavier or specialty fabrics, like cork, vinyl or glitter canvas then use 80/12 or 85/13.  Match your point to the fabric type.


  1. Thread Selections – Reen suggests using a variety of threads. She uses matte finish thread and metallic, as well as polyester embroidery thread.  Kingstar Metallic Thread is a fabulous thread to use for your projects.


  1. Finishing your ITH Projects – Reen highly recommends pressing your finished items, especially if making a bag or purse. She uses the Totally Tubular Pressing Station and presses the bottom and top to give dimension instead of pressing it flat.  What a great tip! Also, she uses a mesh type cut away stabilizer, like Exquisite No Show Cutaway in her bag and purse ITH projects which adds body to the project.


These are some great top tips for In the Hoop Embroidery projects.  Which one will you try next time you make an In the Hoop Embroidery?  To see some of these great tips in action, then watch Eileen Roche and her guest, Reen Wilcoxson, owner of Embroidery Garden, on Facebook Live from September 9, 2021.  Enjoy!




  • Abram Abram

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