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This, again, is another first for me – my first ‘in-the-hoop’ project. Such projects use a digitized design that not only does the embroidery but the majority of the seam sewing as well. Since the seams are digitized they are extremely accurate – especially if you were to digitize the sewing of a patch work block. A digitized in the hoop patchwork block is next on my agenda – but back to the bunnies.

I hadn’t given my grand-daughter a present for her 3rd birthday in January. I realized I would be meeting her at my niece’s wedding last April, so it seemed an ideal opportunity to give her her present. As I’ve mentioned before, this year I want to make presents for all my ‘giving’ occasions so I was wondering what to make. Then ‘Bunnies in the Hoop’ popped up on my agenda.

I have recently joined one of the newly formed UK Janome groups and the group leader had passed on some information from the leader of another group about some simple projects to do in the hoop. These included a ‘bunny’ and a ‘bear’. The bunny seemed just right so that’s what I made. Below is what I did but you can read the original instructions here – http://j-club.co.uk/?post_type=projects

I first resized the design in MBX to fit in the hoop I wanted to use on my Janome 15000 – I tried them in the RE18 hoop, the SQ23 square hoop and the GR hoop – they all turned out well but I would say the ones made in the RE hoop were a bit tricky to turn right side out as they were so small.

I also tried stitching the front of the bunny in the right half of the SQ23 square hoop and a digitized tail in the other half so that the tail would already be finished once I had stitched both parts together and turned them out. This is the stitch out that is shown in most of the photographs. This size was also a bit small to turn.

Next I hooped up some stitch and tear stabilizer and loaded the hoop onto the machine, and then placed fleece loose on top of the stabilizer. The first colour in the digitized design is a tack down of the fleece, – though I would have used my machine tack down if it hadn’t been in the design.

Then I used small bits of soluble stabilizer – Solufleece – to cover each area of embroidery as it was stitched out.

After the embroidery stitching you have to fold one side of the fleece over the stitched embroidery so the outside seam can be stitched. On the one I embroidered the tail on I had to pull it out of the stabilizer in order to fold it over, but that came out easily and the small hole left made no difference to the tension of the stabilizer in the hoop.

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Once all the stitching was completed I removed them from the hoop and turned. Then soaked in warm water for a bit to dissolve away the water soluble stabilizer – I probably could have left it a bit longer but I was in a hurry to get things done.  I put the bunnies on a towel to dry.

Once dry I ensured all the limbs and ears were fully turned, hand stitched across the bottom of the ears so they remained flat, stuffed them with fibre, and ladder stitching the opening closed.  For the bunny with the pink tummy I used a variegated thread and it looks like he’s wearing a striped jumper!

I’ve thought if you stuffed them really well in the middle their tummies could be great pin cushions!

There are all sorts of ideas you can use for tails. Do an embroidered one like I did, or embroider one separately and sew on, add a pompom or button, but for my niece I cut felt circles and blanket stitched them on as a safer option. For the necks you can either tie a length of ribbon in a bow around the neck or just stitch a ready-made bow on – I opted for ready-made bows for my niece again as the safer option.

I made one tiny and one large one for her. Here they are below:-

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