Previously I’ve shown you just how easy it is to use the Snap Hoop Monster magnetic hoop. Read on to see what is, perhaps, one of the best reasons for adding a magnetic hoop to your collection!
Preparing Your Quilt
Magnetic hoops like the Snap Hoop Monster are a wonderful tool for quilting all-over designs that exceed my hoop size.
Pin baste layers of fabric and batting together. I do recommend that you make your batting and your backing a little bit bigger than you ordinarily would if you were taking it to a long-arm quilter. When you get to the edges of the quilt, you're going to have maybe just part of a design to sew out. You're going to be quilting off the edge and you want to have something there to stitch on.
Marking the Quilt
Find the center of your quilt top. Take a water soluble pen and draw a line down the center the entire length of your quilt. Fortunately, one of my seams on my quilt was the center.
Use the template you created and start about a quarter inch from the top edge of the quilt. I folded the edge of the template to the stitching edges.
I spaced the bottom of my first design to my next design so that they were about a half inch apart. Anywhere from a quarter inch to a half inch is a good distance, depending upon the size of the stitching or the design itself.
I worked straight down one column. When I went to the next column, I used my template and I got an idea of where the next vertical line was going to be. When I found that, I drew another vertical line on either side and I worked in vertical lines from the top to the bottom of my quilt.
So, I made columns running down the center and then I worked on one side, then the other side. Once you have your quilt sandwich basted and you have your lines drawn on your quilt you can start using your magnetic hoop.
Stitching the Quilting Design
When it comes time to quilt, put your template on top exactly where you want it to be. Pin it in place, using the centering lines drawn on the template.
Position the bottom hoop under the template.
Line up the top hoop and then just let it come on down.
Make sure that everything is nice and centered. If it's not, I can shift this a little bit. Be sure the center line on the quilt lines up with the center lines on your hoop and that you're just a half or quarter inch from your first design.
Once the centering lines are in place and the layers are smooth in the hoop, you can fold the sides of your quilt over the top of the hoop and take it to your machine.
I like to hold the back of the embroidery arm (where the hoop attaches) while attaching hoops. Otherwise, it can move on its own and change registration.
Stitch out the quilting design and re-hoop for the next area.
My overall impression was that the hoop was really well designed. I thought it did great. It made my job so much easier. I cut my hooping time from 15 or 20 minutes of struggling and fighting with quilt layers, down to maybe five. It was a lot faster for me but again these hoops are a bit pricey so you have to weigh the options.