Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Embroidery Hoop Clock

I love making things that are practical, things I will definitely use. And I love clocks, both for their aesthetic and practical offerings. I especially love making clocks because it's as easy at slapping a movement and some hands on anything you can sandwich in between them.

Your clock face must be:

Flat enough for the hands to move freely, 360 degrees.
Thin enough to receive the shaft of your movement (which come in a variety of lengths).
Penetrable enough for you to make a hole through.

Movements and hands can be purchased online or at your local clock shop. Now start sandwiching your way to a home full of beautiful and intriguing clocks!

My most recent clock creation, and my favorite to date I made on a embroidery hoop.

What You'll Need

Embroidery hoop
Fusible interfacing
Embroidery floss
Sewing needle
Graph paper
Clock movement & hands

1. Begin by fusing your interfacing to the back of your fabric with a hot iron. Place your interfaced fabric in the embroidery hoop and fasten until taught.

2. For cross-stitched numbers on a fabric that isn't clearly gridded, you can use graph paper to block out your numbers.

  • Pin these blocked out numbers to the appropriate place on your clock face (take note of the grain of the fabric and align the numbers with it). 
  • Embroider through the paper.
  • Tear away the paper from finished numbers.
  • Tighten up any stitches that were loosened by tugging at them from the underside.

I wouldn't recommend this method for any design denser than mine, as it may be difficult to remove all the paper. For more intricate designs, it's best to use cross-stitch fabric.

3. Measure out and embroider the ticks between the cardinal numbers.

4. To finish the back, trim the edges of your fabric to be a circle big enough to enclose the back without overlapping at the center (which would create too much bulk and prevent your clock from hanging straight on the wall). Add the batting. Make a long running stitch around the outer edge of the fabric.

5. Pull your thread tight so that the fabric gathers up towards the middle of the back. Wait to tie this thread off until your movement is in place.

6. To make the hole in the center, be very careful not to make too big a hole. I started my hole with a awl, pushing the fibers apart, instead of cutting them. I then eased the shaft up through the hole, making four tiny snips around the edges so that I could get it all the way through.

7. Finesse the movement, batting, and backing until everything sits nicely. Add hands and you're finished!

With love,