I enjoy cross-stitching and was intrigued by Clover’s Embroidery Stitching Tool. My first mistake was thinking that because you have to use an embroidery hoop and embroidery thread that this product would some how produce the same stitches that I use for cross-stitching. In my mind, I was seeing little cross-stitch x patterns. The stitching tool makes stitches way better than little X’s!
To use the tool you will need an embroidery hoop (one that is able to hold the fabric very tightly), embroidery thread, tightly woven fabric (weavers cloth, muslin, or stiff cotton fabric), and scissors.
When you open the packaging you will see the tool, needle, embroidery stitching tool needle threader, and detailed instructions.
The detailed instructions provide step-by-step detailed written and picture instructions for threading your embroidery stitching tool. I had no problem at all threading the needle, the directions were great and it was easier to thread the needle then I thought. However, I found that the instructions are really lacking on how to work with the tool to make stitches. I have added helpful hints and key points throughout the post to make it easier for you when you are working tool. Here are some key points I found when using the tool.
Helpful Hints & Key Points:
The needle is able to move up and down the tool depending on the loop size that you want to make. You twist the green section of the tool to loosen it and then move the needle along the shaft to the desired height. I found that it was easier to move the needle up and down after I had threaded the needle. I placed the needle at its lowest point in the shaft to thread it and then once it was threaded it was easy to move the needle. Having the needle at its lowest point also made it a lot easier to insert the thread. Be very careful with the embroidery threader it is the most fragile piece of the kit and is essential for threading the thread onto the needle.
To start your project you will need to attach your fabric to an embroidery hoop. If you are making loop stitches with your embroidery stitching tool the top of the embroidery hoop is actually the back of your project. This was the hardest concept for me to understand when working with the tool: The fabric on the top of your embroidery hoop is the back of your project when making loop stitches. I just quickly sketched a project onto my fabric so that I could experiment with the embroidery stitching tool.
Pictured below: I am making small, in height, loop stitches. When you are working with the tool and making stitches you always want the embroidery thread behind where ever you are working. Notice in the picture my next stitch would keep the end of the embroidery thread behind the stitch. Another “huge” key factor when working with the embroidery stitching tool is that you move the hoop to change directions versus moving the tool. When moving the hoop the needle should be inserted down into the material and then once the hoop is moved, form your next stitch.
This is the top view of the embroidery hoop (backside of your work).
When you turn the hoop over this is the finished view of the loop stitches that I made.
To make satin stitches and backstitches take the fabric out of the hoop and place the good side onto the top of the hoop. Make sure fabric is very tight and then slowly start to form the stitches. You make the stitches the same as you do with the loop stitches; however, it is on the good side of the fabric. I also noticed if I turned my needle at an angle, still with the thread in the back of the needle, the stitches stayed better. Also, remember you must turn the embroidery hoop to change the direction of the stitch.
To make really large looped stitches (perfect for little flowers) place the needle at it’s longest point. The loop stitches for this flower where made on the back of the fabric.
You can do entire project just using loop stitches and you will not need to change the fabric in the hoop from one side to the other. Or you can do as I did and just flip the project depending on the type of stitch you are making.
Overall, I really enjoyed using the Clover Embroidery Stitching Tool. I love how the loop stitches look and would probably use that stitch most often. The hardest part for me was realizing that it is more of a punching tool and less of stitching tool. I also think because I have done so much cross-stitching I saw the hoop and the embroidery thread and immediately went into that frame of mind. Once I opened my mind and saw all the possibilities with the tool I was very impressed. The biggest hurdle for me was to remember that the top of the fabric on the embroidery hoop was actually the back of my design when making loop stitches. I did find a vague reference to it in the Clover directions but it was not very clear. It really is a great product but directions were very hard to follow when making the stitches. I hope that my experiences with the tool will help to make your time with the Clover Embroidery Stitching Tool, wonderful and productive!
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Sarah Forhan writes craft tutorials and craft reviews on her blog at Sewing and Crafting with Sarah.