Curiouser and curiouser hoop

I have been quiet for the last few days (most unlike me, I know) as I have begun work on the most ginormous hoop for the June (yes – June – how organised am I!) Magazine.  Well, I say ginormous, it’s actually a 14″ quilting hoop – a little smaller than that I used for my Easter tree project, but still the largest hoop I’ve ever handstitched.

I wanted to create something with a real “wow!” factor and decided upon the famous Lewis Carroll quote from Alice in Wonderland – “Curiouser and curiouser”….

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Framed by a garland of wild and exotic flora with the White Rabbit leaping through a gap in the foliage into the rabbit hole.  The rabbit is going to be appliqued in white felt with a little fluffy tail, and for the text I’ve chosen a very spikey and eccentric font that I think matches the feel of the piece.  Although it’s a large hoop it’s actually proving quite fast to stitch – possibly as I decided to use 3 rather than my usual 2 strands of floss – and have kept mostly to straight stitch which is very easy to work.

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Sadly though it’s not progressing fast enough to avoid my usual problem with Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy (those taking part in the Library of Stitches Spring stitchalong will already be aware) – that is when it’s been on for a while the edges begin to curl and it attracts lots of black fluffy fuzzy fur!  I’m trying to minimise this by trimming away the edges as I complete each area of the design, which does help but doesn’t eliminate the problem entirely.  I have threatened the terrible twosome with total removal of all their fur – but they don’t believe me for one minute and don’t care at all about my sticky problem!

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In fact I think Miss Daisy might be planning to add some mud into the mix as well!  Seen here after their walk – we came across only one patch of mud and guess who fell into it accidentally on purpose?

And finally …. this month has FIVE Thursdays so the Bustle & Sew Magazine is a little later than usual – it will be arriving in subscribers’ in-boxes on Thursday 30th.  Meanwhile here’s a quick preview ….

Hope you like it!


Hi Isabel it’s called Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy and it’s great for embroidery. You print your design on the non-woven fabric side, then peel off the backing paper and press the sticky side down onto your fabric where you plan to stitch. After you’ve finished it’s easy to dissolve away.


Hi Helen
How difficult do you find dissolving/ removal of sulky especially on felt! I used it yesterday & was worried about disturbing my stitches! Although my work does look better this morning once the damp felt has dried! Do you have any suggestions/ hints?


Hi Sally

I don’t find it too hard, though I have experimented quite a bit. The best way I have found is to give it a 5-10 minute soak facedown in luke-warm water, then carefully rinse away any residue – I usually use the shower head in the bath for this. You can tell when it’s all gone as the water will run clear. Keep going longer than you think is necessary, then carefully pat and dry flat on a towel. If any tiny bits remain in your stitches you can remove them with tweezers, but if you’ve rinsed really well this shouldn’t be a problem. With felt just be really careful to fully support it and not stretch it while it’s wet. Hope this helps. xx


Ooo it looks fabulous – and June (yes JUNE!!!) will soon be here. Really love those bold flowers. And I too suffer with flying fur, but of the cat variety. Its so so fine and gets everywhere – the latest being in the modge podge I’ve been using on some floral fabric brooches. Grr!


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