Do you ever see something at the thrift store, and your heart just about stops? You don’t want to draw attention to it, on the scary chance that someone else will spot it and make off with it before you get your hands on it. So you do a subtle power walk over to your item, and snatch it up. Then you feel all smug, because YOU found the awesome “thing” before anyone else did.
That may have been what happened when I found this ginormous quilting hoop at Goodwill a few months ago. Seriously, I might have squealed. Quietly though, to avoid drawing attention to the awesomeness that is this hoop. This thing is 26″ wide. Twenty. Six. Inches. It was like the embroidery hoop fairy shined a little spotlight on it for me and made my day, for the low low price of $2.99.
So of course I had to put something colorful and fun and giant in it – and what is more fun than a big fabric US map!!
I used a combination of vintage and new fabrics – and this super cool black and white swiss dot fabric. You can’t really tell in the photos but the little black polkadots are raised just a bit. Love.
I made it a completely no-sew project since it would just be hanging on the wall – but if you make your own you could sew around the states with a machine or embroidery. That would be so cute too!
Here’s how to make one – and you can adjust this to make any size hoop – though if you make a 5″ hoop your states are going to be realllllly tiny.
Print out a US Map the size you’d like for your hoop. Mine is pretty large. Lay a piece of white fabric over the map. Cut a piece of fusible webbing larger than your map and iron it onto the white fabric. Remove the paper backing on the webbing.
I backed the map in white fabric because I didn’t want the polka dots to show through the thinner fabrics.
Print out another map the same size as your base map. Use the states as patterns to cut out your fabrics. I did this by hand, so my states aren’t perfect. That’s ok with me, but if it would bug you, you could use a cutting machine to make them. Lay out your states onto the fusible webbing, using the map underneath as a guide.
Continue cutting out all your states and lay them on the map. Carefully iron the states down, but make sure not to touch the white fabric where the fusible webbing isn’t covered. Trim the extra white fabric off around the map, and then completely iron the map so the states are all fused to the backing fabric.
Cut another piece of fusible webbing a little larger than your map. Iron the map to the webbing, then trim the extra from around the map. Peel off the paper backing and iron your map to your background hoop fabric.
I wanted to personalize mine a bit more, so I added in hearts in all the places we’ve lived! I just fused them on like I did the map.
Then all you have to do is put your fabric in the hoop and glue the edges to the back side of the hoop! All done!
I really can’t get over how big it is – I just love it so much!! It’s so fun to have the little hearts on there for where we’ve lived too!
Doug and I were both born in Phoenix and went to college in Flagstaff, so we have two hearts in Arizona. From AZ we moved up to Whidbey Island in Washington for just a short time, then down to Carlsbad!
We have a new adventure heading our way too. This summer we’ll be adding a new heart to the map – in Tennessee!
Gosh it feels weird to type that – but exciting too!
So our map is super cute and colorful, but it’s personalized too!
I love how it turned out!