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What is In the Hoop Embroidery?

Isn’t all machine done in the hoop? Absolutely, all machine embroidery is done using the hoop. In the Hoop or ITH embroidery means that all or most of a complete 3-d object is created on the embroidery machine. You aren’t putting a design onto something, you are actually making the bag, the stuffed toy, the mugrug, the keyfob, etc. right there on the embroidery machine. There is often a small seam at the end that you have to sew closed by hand or glue shut, but it is almost always done entirely on the embroidery machine with no sewing machine or significant hand sewing off the machine.

Instead of putting a design onto a bag, an ITH design will have you create the entire bag on the embroidery machine, zipper and all – like this Unicorn Zipper Bag

Zipper bags are not the only thing you can create In the Hoop – you can make Stuffed Animals, Stockings, felt pieces, play food, full size baby bibs and burp cloths, learning designs. The possibilities are endless. All of these designs were made without touching a sewing machine. Some required that a small seam is sewn shut by hand at the end, but that is it. Everything else, including making the arms and ears on the stuffed toys AND attaching them, is done right on the embroidery machine and is built in as part of the design.


In the hoop designs come in sizes for all machines, from 4×4 up to the biggest industrial hoops on the market.

Are they hard?

In the hoop designs can be extremely simple, like those Raccoon and Squirrel coloring pages and Doodle-its above. They are literally 3 steps – easier than an applique or even a regular design with lots of color changes. The bunny zipper bag is a bit more complicated, just because it has more steps. A good design from a reputable digitizer will come with instructions for each design. Sometimes they will be general – for example all of my ITH Stocking designs are made exactly the same way, you don’t need different instructions for each one. More complicated designs should come with more in depth instructions – for example the Peekaboo designs are unique for each one. Often you can also find YouTube tutorials as well.

Can I see how they work?

Sure! Here are a few videos people have made for some of my designs:

Peekaboo Bunny Critter Pouch on YouTube

Peekaboo Koala on YouTube:

Peekaboo Bunny on YouTube:

Part 1: 


Part 2: 

Doodle Its:

Can I try some for free?

Of course! This Maker keyfob is free here at A Creative Medley. Join our Facebook group and you will find several in the files and join our Newsletter to hear about our weekly Friday Freebie – each week a different design is free with any purchase. They are frequently In the Hoop designs.

Where Can I find more?

All of the designs shown above are from A Creative Medley

These are a few of my favorite In the Hoop designers. They all provide great instructions and customer service. In no particular order:

Loopy Lion Designs

Sevens Emporium

Ohana Applique Designs

Wruckus Embroidery Designs

Bobbin for Appliques

Lovely Leaf Applique


The Creative Frenzy (Formerly Dreamcatcher Designs)

BeeStitchin Embroidery

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