Introduction: Valentine's Embroidery Hoop Clock
Valentine’s Day, another holiday that makes it totally acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As most of us are on the healthy eating wagon after the Christmas frivolities (I’m still searching for said wagon…), why not replace the traditional gift of chocolate with this crafty clock!
7 inch Embroidery hoop
1/4 yard of fabric
7 cm clock mechanism
Red embroidery thread
Step 1: Templates
This is the first time I have EVER embroidered ANYTHING. I am by no means an expert, i just found this method the easiest!
Start by placing your fabric in the embroidery hoop. Make sure it’s pulled nice and tight. Find a font you like on Microsoft Word to use as your template. I used a font called Young & Beautiful in font size 48.
As there’s no greater love story than Sex And The City’s Carrie and Big, I used the ‘Me and You Just Us Two’ quote from the movie which fits nicely into the whole clock/love theme. Print off your templates and pin just the numbers to the outer edge of the fabric. Replace the number two with a heart button, if you don’t have a heart button find a plain heart shape on Word or Google images, print it out and pin to the fabric.
Step 2: Get Thready
Cut a length of the red thread, knot one end and thread your needle. Don’t make your thread too long otherwise it will tangle. There’s nothing I hate more than threading needles so I tried to be savvy and thread an extra long piece of thread which tangled after my third stitch. After trying to fix it and continuing on I eventually had to pick my stitches it out! It’s true what they say about trying to cut corners!
Coming from underneath start your first stitch around half a centimeter from the bottom of the number and pull the needle and thread through.
Then thread the needle back through the very bottom of the number.
For the second stitch start a few millimeters away from the first stitch, pull through then thread the needle back through the top of the first stitch (the first point of entry). Going back through the first stitch will prevent any gaps between your stitches. Keep doing this until you finish the number. Try to keep your stitches no bigger than a grain of rice and when you get to a curve keep your stitches small. I had a mini panic attack when I got to number 8, but small stitches are the secret here!
The first number is the trickiest, but it gets easier as you go along. Once you’ve finished stitching a number gently pull away the paper. Tighten any stitches that loosen up by pulling the thread from the back. If you have enough thread left carry on to the next number. If your fabric is fine/pale, you’ll probably see the lines of thread running from one number to the next so you’ll have to knot off the thread and start afresh for every number.
Step 3: Add a Quote
Next, pin your quote template to the fabric. Make sure you don’t pin it too close to the centre of the clock as this is where the clock hands will be. Use the same stitching method as the numbers.
Step 4: Get Mechanical
Mark where the centre of the clock is and make a hole big enough for the spindle to poke through (the spindle is the pointy bit the hands attach to). Most clock mechanisms will come with a nut to screw onto the spindle to hold it in place. If yours didn’t come with a nut, use a bit of double sided tape and tape the battery pack to the back of the fabric.
Once securely fastened, add the hands. The hour hand goes on first, then the minute hand and finally what I like to call ‘the ticker’.
Step 5: Almost There!
To close the fabric at the back, sew a light running stitch around the edge of the fabric and pull tightly around the battery pack to create a little gathered parcel. Tuck the edge of the fabric behind the battery pack.
Step 6: Ta-dah!
Pop in a battery and voila! Your clock is complete and ready to be gifted!