When you want to hand stitch a quilt, a quilting hoop is an essential tool.
It transforms what would be a cumbersome task into a creative pleasure where you can see the results emerge before your eyes.
This simple device holds your quilt while you sew the layers together.
Quilting hoops for hand quilting come in a variety of sizes.
You hold some in your lap while others come with stands.
- What Is a Quilting Hoop?
- What Is the Difference Between a Quilting Hoop and an Embroidery Hoop?
- How Do You Use a Quilting Hoop?
- Find Your Quilting Hoop: 4 Excellent Choices
- 1. Dritz 3201 No-Slip Quilting Hoop
- 2. Dritz 3203 No-Slip Quilting Hoop
- 3. Darice Wood Quilting Hoops Round 18 inches
- 4. F. A. Edmunds 14″ Quilting Hoop
What Is a Quilting Hoop?
Two thin bands of wood or plastic fit together. One is slightly smaller than the other to clamp fabric between the bottom inner hoop and the top outer hoop.
A bolt with a wingnut on the outer hoop’s side adjusts the grip of the quilting ring.
The hoop keeps the fabric held within it flat and stable. The slight resistance created by the fabric’s tension helps you follow your design and poke a needle through with minimal effort.
What Is the Difference Between a Quilting Hoop and an Embroidery Hoop?
When comparing quilting hoops to embroidery hoops, the depth of the hoops represents the primary difference.
A quilting hoop needs a depth of 3/4 inch to 1 inch. This depth allows the hoop to hold larger and heavier quilt fabric layers.
An embroidery hoop will only have a depth of about 1/2 inch.
A quilting hoop will also have slightly rounded edges, which allows it to accommodate the thick layers of a quilt.
An embroidery hoop will have straight edges meant to grip a single layer of fabric.
How Do You Use a Quilting Hoop?
The process for using a quilting hoop is simple and will feel comfortable. Position one hand on top of the hoop and push the needle through to the bottom.
Your other hand will receive the needle underneath and push it back through to the top to form a stitch. Resting the hoop along your forearm for the hand working from underneath works for most people.
If you’re working on a quilting hoop with a stand, then you sit in front of it with one hand on top and the other hand underneath.
Once you finish stitching within the area held by the hoop, you loosen the wingnut until the bottom hoop releases.
Shift the top hoop over a new area and insert the bottom hoop to hold it in place. Tighten the wingnut and resume sewing.
Find Your Quilting Hoop: 4 Excellent Choices
This product provides an excellent starting point when you want to learn how to use a hoop.
The price is low, and the small 10-inch size makes it good for small projects, especially mending damaged areas of old quilts. The hoop won’t require much storage space should you wish to travel with it.
The hoops are designed with a grooved interlocking system that ensures a tight hold of fabric. The 4-inch bolt and wingnut provide a wide adjustable range for working with thick or thin fabrics. The hoop holds fabric firmly and with high tension.
- Tight fabric tension
- Plastic material does not snag fabric
- Securely holds multiple fabric layers
- Long, adjustable bolt
- Not good if you want loose tension on the fabric
The 14-inch diameter makes this hoop a good size when you need more workspace but don’t want an enormous hoop.
The smooth plastic material prevents the possibility of snagging the fabric. The interlocking design of the interior and outer hoop creates a tight hold on fabric.
You can adjust fabric tension and open and close the hoops to shift fabric with relative ease.
- Suitable for working on large quilts
- Fabric does not slip
- Easy to adjust
- Not everyone wants a plastic hoop
This 18-inch diameter wooden hoop appeals to those who like products made from natural materials.
The wide diameter can let you position most quilting blocks within the hoop for hand stitching of your design. Take care when tightening the hoop because the wood could crack.
- Large size
- Natural wood
- Able to hold bulky fabric layers
- Wood will crack if over tightened
Smooth beechwood hoops eliminate all worries about fabric snags. Brass hardware holds the 15/16-inch deep rings together.
The 14-inch diameter forms a somewhat small working space, but you won’t have to reach far to stitch either.
- Smooth, natural wood construction
- Clamps multiple fabric layers securely
- Comfortable size for detailed stitching
- Wood vulnerable to breaking
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Create Hand-Sewn Quilts in Comfort
Hand quilting gets you away from the sewing machine so that you can lounge in your favorite chair. Quilt in a cozy living room all winter and take the hoop out on the porch in the nice weather.
When picking out a hoop, your main concerns will be durability and size. Extreme tightening of the wingnut could crack any material, but usually, the products with higher prices provide greater durability.
To choose the most comfortable size for you, measure from your elbow to your palm. That measurement indicates how far you can reach comfortably across a work area.