Hoop Art ... How to.

I have been gathering vintage muslin and old embroidery hoops now for a while, always with the intent that I would someday create something with them.  

Gathering my old embroidery floss, muslin pieces, embroidery needle, pen, hoops, backing and my own creative thoughts... I started my project.  

My intention was to recreate a small version of a larger piece I found years ago, tucked away in an old trunk.  It is a detailed map of the USA.  In fact, it is an educational map and oh so cute.  The problem: it is very large and will not fit in my little travel trailer with room for other wall hangings.  

First things first,  with a pen, draw your illustration or the words you would like to embroider... think about varying your lettering, some large, some bold, others small and using small broken stitches... be creative.

I chose to draw a map of the US... freehand.. I didn't refer to a map so I am sure the scale is not exact and the Great Lakes are not properly placed... but that's ok... In my opinion, that is what makes it charming.  I thought to make the little dotted lines and arrows to show some of my favorite locales... as a matter of fact, those that I chose are places I have spent with family over the years.

 I chose to add a heart where we live, next to Lake Michigan,
* I added a little arrow to our favorite spot up north... you guessed it, Door County, Wi.
* I added arrows to the shore in New Jersey (Ocean City)/ East Coast...where we have spent countless summers with cousins, grandmas, aunts and uncles and friends.
* Florida: (thinking of Grandma and Grandpa Cleary) and trips to Disney World with family. And where Grandma and Grandpa Smith spent their Winters as snowbirds.
* Arizona: where my father and mother had a summer home in Pinetop... and my mother lived in Scottsdale after my father passed away... and now my nephew lives in Phoenix.
* The Rocky Mountains: where I spent my summers at Camp St. Malo, it was a magical place,  I was thrilled to have a chance to and take my children there several years back.
* California: where I was born and took the children in 2007, traveled to a family wedding first to Northern California, where i lived for 7 years... and visited Aunt Elaine's old property in Sonoma on what is now... Ravenswood Winery (so I guess I truly can call it my old "stomping grounds") Meeting  family  in Southern California. Touring wine country there with Tony and staying with loved ones in Lajolla.
 I have traveled to almost every other state in the Union... but have not had the attachments I have in those mentioned above.
Here, I added the Golden Gate bridge in California, a beach umbrella by the shore.... and embroidered a black border around the little pink heart near home.
As a companion piece, to hang in our little travel trailer... I thought to create a "See the USA" hoop. Here you can see how I created the design with a pen... and used the floss on the needle to outline and fill in the lettering.
Above was the finished product... before adding the backing.  I decided to add the Florida Keys to the map.  A place I would love to visit someday!
 I thought the USA would look cute in the red, white and blue floss.  Hmm... to line it in black or not?

 A little close up of my work... ok, so it has been a while since I've worked on an embroidery project.

 Both complete, outlined USA and ready for the final step, adding a felt or fabric piece as a backing.

I used pinking shears to cut out the colorful printed felt ( Michaels... such cute things they are making now!)  I used tacky glue to adhere the backing.  I will hang them from the little springs that are used to hold the hoop together at the top.  

They will look so cute in my little camper.  I can't wait to add little vintage pennants from antiques shops and roadside sales along our travels... They will add some fun to our travel wall, just inside the door of our little get away on wheels.

Please add a link below to YOUR project.  Flickr, or instagram links work well!  For MORE "hoop art" inspiration... click here !

oh... and for more vintage finds and to see our  ongoing "Travels in Vintage" ... or some fun and creative things I am working on...  follow me on  instagram  with  your smartphone.  @Opendoorstudio 


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