Monday, 10 March 2014


Back in November I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in a blog giveaway:

Here on Amazon
I won it through the blog Feeling Stitchy, which is a beautiful, colourful blog, largely featuring embroidery projects but with other sewing and crafty ideas thrown in too. It was all part of a blog hop to celebrate the launch of the book, you can find all the details here - Hoopla Book Review. It's worth having a browse through the various stops on the blog hop, they feature lots of different projects from the book so you can get a really good feel for what the book is like. After following all the reviews I would definitely have had it on my Christmas list - if I hadn't been lucky enough to win it first! And after receiving it I really wasn't disappointed. There are so many gorgeous ideas in this book that I would love to try out or adapt. I'm constantly on the look out for embroidery hoops whenever I'm in a Charity Shop now! The book is written by Kirsty Neale, of Ginger and George, and she's clearly incredibly creative, I particularly love her ideas where she's thinking more 'outside the hoop'! (Have a look at the pictures of the giraffe or the hot air balloon in the Feeling Stitchy Review for example, or the deer head in this review.)

Anyway, it's taken me a while to get around to making something from the book, but I finally have. I decided to go for this project first:

It's a fabric 'vase'.

This one has got an artificial flower in the vase, but Kirsty suggests other options - 'paper, silk or handmade flowers', and in another photo in the book she has a pompom flower on a wire in a vase. Like so many of the projects in the book, it's very easy to interpret this idea in your own way. I decided I'd go for a very simple wool 'vase', so that I could have a variety of pretty flowers that would all work in it. Since it was wool, I could just blanket stitch it in place.

Once I'd got this done I started the more fun part of creating flowers (of course I wanted 'handmade' flowers!). But I came up against a bit of a problem, I couldn't get my flowers to stand up in the vase. I tried a variety of different 'flowers' with a variety of different stalks - wires, pipe cleaners etc, but the flowers kept flopping forward. If you look at the photo from the book, above, you can see that the hoop is a longer, oval hoop and the vase is a much taller shape than mine. I think a very light weight flower on wire would probably work in that scenario, but I'm not sure my preferred flowers would have worked, even in that vase. After wracking my brains I came up with the idea of putting my flowers on a thin, wooden skewer, painted green. This was strong and rigid enough to hold my flower heads upright and work in my vase.

Here's my first flower:

I cut the skewer to the length I wanted and lightly sanded the rough edge before painting.

I made this one in the same way I made flowers for a quilt - here. And then I just zigzagged it on to a piece of wool to back it. A piece of green wool worked to sew in my 'skewer' stalk.

Next flower:

Again with a piece of green wool to secure the stalk:

And lastly:

I'd quite like to make some flowers that would work as a 'bouquet' in here:

But these ones are all a bit too large for that I think. Perhaps even something like my button bouquet could work, but I think that would need a much deeper vase.

I was planning on giving this hoop as a present, but I think I might keep it for us! The girls both love it too. I'm sure it's something I'll make again, as well as lots of other ideas from the book. And it's something that sparked off another idea that I'll hopefully show you tomorrow. But that's it for today,



  1. I want to come and play and craft with you for a day :) Looks like so much fun!

  2. How did you finish the backs off, that's the one gripe I had with the books she doesn't show any pictures or give enough advice on that!


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