Meta: Quilting hoops are a huge advantage to quilters but what are they and how do they work? Find out here as well as four hoops to try at home!
When it comes to hand stitching your very own quilt, a quilting hoop is a very important tool that you are sure to use.
This is because the process of making many stitches into one piece of fabric is pretty difficult to do without a quilting hoop as it is designed to hold the quilt for you so you can sew the lawyers together easily.
However, there are different types of quilting hoops and they are more complex than they look so if you want to learn more about quilting hoops before you rush out to buy one, then keep on reading because we are about to dive into the topic of quilting hoops in great detail.
Here is everything you need to know about quilting hoops!
What Is A Quilting Hoop?
We have already touched on this a little but a quilting hoop (or sometimes called a quilting ring) is basically a device used to help you make your stitches much easier when sewing layers of your quilt together.
It does this by holding the fabric down while you stitch through it. The reason why this is useful is that most people find it hard to get their needle through all the layers of fabric at once which makes it really tricky to sew them together.
This is where a quilting hoop comes in handy because it allows you to stitch through multiple layers of fabric with ease.
It is made from two thin bands of wood (or, more modernly, plastic) that fit together but one slightly smaller so it can clamp the fabric between the inner and outer hoop. There is also a bolt and wing nut on the outer hoop so you can adjust the grip.
This makes it easier for the sewer to hold up the fabric and start stitching, passing the needle back and forth with ease.
When using a quilting hoop, you will need to ensure that the fabric is sandwiched tightly between the inner and outer hoops. If not, the fabric may move around or slip off during stitching.
Initially, you may think this sounds like an embroidery hoop which you often see in those Jane-Austen type movies where young girls stitch lovely patterns and pictures onto pieces of fabric, but they are actually different from quilting hoops.
Embroidery hoops have a depth of half an inch and can have straight edges which is all that is needed to hold a single layer of fabric.
However, quilting hoops are used to combine several layers of quilts so they need to be deeper and have rounded edges which makes it easier for the hoop to hold several layers of fabric close together so they can be joined.
Quilting hoops have a depth of three quarters of an inch to an inch, which makes them larger and also heavier to hold.
This can be a downside to using quilting hoops but luckily, quilting hoops are chiefly used by resting it against your forearm instead of holding them with your hand.
If you don’t have a quilting hoop yet, then you should definitely consider getting one as it will be an essential part of your quilting journey.
How To Find A Good Quilting Hoop
When searching for the perfect quilting hoop for yourself, you will want to look for a few particular qualities.
The ideal quilting hoop should be comfortable to hold. Although they are usually larger and heavier than embroidery hoops, they should not be too heavy or cumbersome that you struggle to hold and use them effectively.
To find out how big your quilting hoop should be, then measure the distance between your elbow and palm. This will give you a good idea about how much work area you can, well, worth with and your quilting hoop should not be larger or too small.
Another important feature to look out for is durability. We touched on this earlier as most quilting hoops are made of wood (which is more eco-friendly) but some are now made of plastic (which is more affordable).
It's important to pick a durable and sturdy quilting hoop because over tightening the wingnut can cause the material to crack.
However, the more durable the quilting hoop, the more costly it usually is to buy so this is also something to keep in mind.
Set out a budget for yourself and try to find the best possible quilting hoop at a price you are comfortable paying.
Our Recommendations For Quilting Hoops
In case you want some pointers towards some very popular and great quilting hoops, then you're in luck because we have picked out four great quilting hoops for you to take a look at. Check out if these quilting hoops look good to you and are in your price range!
OUR TOP PICK
This quilting hoop is a go-to for first time quilters because it has everything you need.
There are four different sizes to choose from so you can find the diameter that best fits your forearm, and it is made from a durable plastic that does a great job of holding your fabrics in place as you sew them together.
Although there is nothing particularly fancy about this quilting hoop, it's super affordable and a great choice for those who haven't used a quilting hoop before. It does its job well and doesn't cost much, so there's little to complain about.
This quilting hoop comes with a stand so if you think you will find it difficult to hold your quilting hoop on your forearm, then you can use this stand instead so you can still enjoy all the benefits a quilting hoop can offer.
This particular quilting hood from Frank A Edmunds is also adjustable and can rotate and tilt to the best possible position for you without allowing the fabric to slip.
Not only that but it's also super lightweight and portable so you can enjoy quilting anywhere around your home.
Another option from Frank A Edmunds is their own beechwood quilting hoop.
Unlike other plastic quilt hoops, this Beech quilting hoop is very durable but also incredibly lightweight and comfortable to hold. This can make quilting far more enjoyable and it's ideal for those who may struggle to hold a quilting hood for a very long time, for example children.
And finally, if you are after something large and sturdy that is sure to last you a very long time, then this Amish-made large quilting hoop is just the thing.
It is finely crafted and made from a strong, solid oak which makes it amazingly durable. It can easily be adjusted and used, plus it comes with a stand, and it just looks amazing.
This product is sure to look amazing in any craft room and is definitely something you could end up passing down to future quilters.
So, there you have it - everything you need to know about quilting hoops.
It's important to remember that there is a big difference between quilting hoops and embroidery hoops so do not assume you can just use one to do the other's job - and that you find one that is made of the best material and fits your forearm perfectly.
Overall, they are incredibly handy to use and a must-have for every quilter out there.