Hoop an Embroider Buddy with Ease using the Small Echidna Hooping Station
How many times have you tried to hoop a small item where the extra parts of fabric get caught up in the hoop, then the entire process ends up in frustration? That’s why every embroiderer needs to add one of these fantastic Hooping Stations to their set of tools!
Here are our step-by-step instructions on how easy it is to hoop an Embroider Buddy plush toy.
Positioning the Hoop
The hooping stations come with a pack of 12 red magnets which allow you to easily position your hoop, garments and fabric onto the board.
Make sure that your outer hoop ring has been unscrewed or loosened sufficiently for the thickness of the project at hand. This will allow you to fit the inner hoop ring and the Embroider Buddy fabric and stabilizer inside without damaging the fabric. Since we are hooping an Embroider Buddy this demonstration shows a 4″ x 4″ (100mm x 100mm) embroidery hoop.
Position the hoop (as shown above) onto the board with the hoop attachment bracket at the bottom. This is an important step, as it will position the Embroider Buddy zipper at the base of your machine’s embroidery arm. This will allow you to easily attach the embroidery hoop onto the machine, arrange the Embroider Buddy around the hoop and also fit the Buddy arms, legs and head inside your machine. If you attach it any other way it may prove difficult fitting your Buddy head,tail and body under your needle and into your machine.
Also, when positioning the hoop on the Hooping Station make sure that it’s placed at the top of the board. If you position the hoop too low you won’t fit the Embroider Buddy chest inside your hoop.
Use at least two of the red magnets to prevent the hoop from moving while hooping. The location of the magnets will vary depending on the make and style of the hoop.
Cut a piece of Softaway Stabilizer down to the size of your embroidery hoop. Ensure that it’s not hanging over the sides or more than 4cm larger than your hoop. Having excess stabilizer can fold back and get caught up in embroidery process.
Place the stabilizer over the hoop and secure it down with another two red magnets (or as many as you need), as shown below.
You can also secure the bottom with an additional two red magnets for extra stability.
Positioning the Embroider Buddy
Take the pods out from inside the Embroider Buddy, unzip and then pull it over the top of the Hooping Station. Do this carefully, so that the hoop and magnets don’t move. Here you can align the center of your Embroider Buddy up with the center of the hoop.
Work the inner hoop ring into place and start gently working lightly stetching the fabric around the hoop to remove any bubbles or excess fabric. The shape of belly means it’s not a perfectly flat piece of fabric and needs some gentle stretching to achieve a great result. While we don’t normally recommend stretching fabric into a hoop, this project is one of the exceptions.
Once you have the fabric pulled firmly and in place, double check that the hoop is positioned in the center of the Embroider Buddy chest. Rearrange it if needed and then secure the hoop and tighten the screw if necessary. The Embroider Buddy should now be nicely hooped and ready for embroidering.
Removing the Embroider Buddy from the Hoop
Remove any visible magnets that are keeping the stabilizer in place. Gently pull the Embroider Buddy slowly off the Small Hooping Station, since there will be magnets still securing it down at the top. These may slip off while removing from the Hooping Station. Important: Be sure to locate and remove any remaining magnets from inside the Embroider Buddy.
Tip: It’s a good idea to do a magnet count at the start and finish of the hooping process to ensure that your magnets don’t end up accidentally being sewn into your project.
Double check once more that the hoop screw is tight and the hoop is secure to ensure it won’t come apart while embroidering.
Check the stabilizer at the back of your embroidery hoop. If it’s puckered or caught up incorrectly in the hoop you will need to re-hoop it and adjust it to make it flat, as shown below. This will work towards ensuring a nice, well sewn embroidery design.
Attaching the hoop to your machine
Make sure that your needle is in the raised position. Slide the Embroider Buddy into your machine. The feet should be at the embroidery arm and the head and tail will be in your embroidery machine center work space, as shown below.
Embroidering your Embroider Buddy
Since there are excess parts to your Embroider Buddy, including legs, arms and body parts around the hoop we recommend that you monitor the entire embroidery process to ensure nothing get’s caught. Plus, if you’re monitoring it you can stop the machine immediately if a problem occurs.
Also, if you’re using one of the smaller hoop embroidery machines like the NV950, you will need to lightly hold down the sides of the Buddy body to ensure that the fabric doesn’t get caught in the needle while the machine is embroidering.
Using a topping on the fabric
To prevent the stitches from sinking in or disappearing into the fur, place a piece of Echidna Supersolv Topping over the fabric and secure it down with either a basting stitch or pins. This will ensure your design will look pronounced and stand out.
You will be amazed at the final result and how easy it was to personalized your own Embroider Buddy!