I love in the hoop embroidery projects. They, more than anything, are what make me wish my embroidery machine had a bigger stitch area than just 4 inches by 4 inches. Even with such a small hoop size, there’s still plenty of in the hoop projects available.
One of the easiest ITH (in the hoop) items to make are coasters. To make these peppermint coasters, all you need is fleece, one or two thread colors, stabilizer, the design file and, of course an embroidery machine. Once you see how they are made, you can easily swap out the design and colors to suit your needs. They are so simple to make, they are perfect for last minute gifts or as decor to match a party’s theme. You could also make a themed set for each month, season or holiday to decorate your home.
In the hoop peppermint coasters
Supplies to make one coaster
- Two pieces of fleece cut to your machine’s hoop size
- Red thread
- White thread (optional)
- Tear away stabilizer to fit your hoop size
- Water soluble stabilizer (optional)
- Peppermint Candy Design File (Since the shop is closed for our move, I’ve included the file at the end of this tutorial for your holiday crafting.)
Prepare your hoop
- Hoop the tear away stabilizer
- Place one piece of fleece on top of the stabilizer in the hoop. For small projects I sometimes just carefully hold it smooth while my machine stitches. You can also use a glue stick outside the stitching area to glue the fabric to the stabilizer, or pin the fabric to the stabilizer at the top and bottom, outside of the stitching area. I made the mistake of having a pin at the side, and even though it was clear of the design, it caught on my machine’s presser foot. Luckily I caught it quickly, but I will probably use a glue stick whenever possible to prevent that from happening again.
- Decision Time: If you want the peppermint to show on both sides, place the other piece of the fabric under your hoop while placing it onto your machine. The bottom fabric usually stays in place on its own, but you could use a glue stick as I mentioned in the previous step. To only have the peppermint show on one side, skip to “Preparing your machine”.
Preparing your machine
- If you want the peppermint on both sides, make sure the top and bobbin thread match. For a single-sided design, red or white in the bobbin is fine.
- Place your hoop in your machine.
- Upload the design file according to your machine’s instructions. The following steps are based on the Brother SE 400, so they may differ depending on your machine.
- Resize your design, as desired. I wanted the peppermint as big as possible, so I followed the instructions for my machine to maximize the size. Mine maxed out at 7, which resulted in an overall size of about 6.5 cm. If your machine has a bigger capacity, you’ll need to decide how big you want the design .
- Because I used white fleece, I chose to skip the white stitching and only stitch it in red. Again, I followed the instructions to skip to color 2, labeled red. Whatever color you choose, if you’re only sewing one color, skip to color two, because it has the outline. If you want to stitch both colors, skip this step.
- Optional: Since fleece has a high loft, placing water soluble stabilizer is recommended. I’ve tried this project both ways, and I don’t see a big difference. For this tutorial, you’ll see the water soluble stabilizer in most photos.
Stitching your in the hoop coaster
- Begin stitching according to your machine’s instructions.
- If you are stitching both colors and want the peppermint on both sides, be sure to change the bobbin thread to match the top thread after color 1, white, is complete.
- Continue stitching until the peppermint design is complete.
Stitching the border.
- I like the border to match on top and bottom, so for this step I put red in the bobbin and for the top thread.
- If you’re making a single-sided coaster like I did for this tutorial, now is when you add the second piece of fleece. Place it under your hoop as in the last step of “Preparing your hoop”.
- On your machine, navigate to frames and select a circle frame.
- Select the stitch type. I chose an over edge, blanket-type stitch.
- Adjust the frame size. The frame size will determine the final size of your coaster. Make sure it is bigger than your design. Mine maxed out at 9 cm.
- Stitch the border. I like a thicker look to the border, so once the border is done, I stitch it again. As long as you haven’t moved the fabric in the hoop, it will stitch directly on top of the first frame.
Finishing the coaster
- Remove the project from the hoop.
- Carefully remove any pins.
- Trim thread tails.
- Tear away the tear away stabilizer.
- If you used water soluble stabilizer, cut away excess.
- Cut fleece as close to the outside edge of the frame stitching as possible without cutting the stitching.
- To remove remaining water soluble stabilizer, gently dab with a damp cloth or, swish it in a bowl of lukewarm water until stabilizer is gone and allow coaster to air dry flat.
I know that looks like a lot, but it’s really simple. I tried to be as detailed as possible, but if anything is confusing, please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification in the comments or through email.
If you notice, in the photo of the finished coaster, there’s a flaw in the border stitching on the left. That is where a pin caught the presser foot. Luckily that was the only damage. In the future, if I use pins, I will only pin at the very top and the very bottom. I really do prefer using washable glue sticks and keeping the glue well outside any stitching. That way my needle and machine don’t get gunked up, and I don’t risk hitting pins.