new banner old site

How to Cut Fabric Within the Hoop

When cutting fabric within the hoop whether it is for Appliqué, Hardanger or Cutwork you must be careful not to push on the fabric in the hoop or the design will lose registration. In other words, if you are trimming fabric within the hoop and press on the fabric enough to loosen the fabric in the hoop as small as 2mm (that’s not much), when you put the hoop back onto the machine the rest of the design will not sew where it is supposed to and the satin stitches that are supposed to cover the raw edges of the fabric may not cover it very well. The following technique will help you minimize that happening to your embroidery.

After the cut-line is sewn, remove the hoop from the machine. DO NOT remove the fabric from the hoop. Lay the hoop flat onto the table.

Keep the hoop flat on the table the whole time you are cutting. Rotate the hoop as needed. I know it is tempting to put your finger under the hoop, but don't do it!

Use small curved scissors that are very sharp to cut away the fabric. The should cut all the way through the tip. Thread snips are not appropriate for trimming fabric.

Cut away the fabric where directed by the document that came with your embroidery design(s).  Depending on the design, it may be inside or outside the cut-lines or both.

If cutting away fabric for Cutwork or Hardanger be sure not to cut the water soluble stabilizer. Cut only the fabric. If you do cut the stabilizer add another layer under the hoop to sew the rest of the design.


Hoop Grip is a product I use on my hoops to prevent the fabric from slipping between the hoops. It holds the fabric taut within the hoop.

Apply it to the outside edge of the inside hoop. It is easy to apply and it lasts a long time with regular use.

Hoop Grip. I swear by this stuff!

These are two examples where fabric is cut away inside and outside the cut-lines., where only the stabilizer is left intact. These Hardanger Ornament designs are free-standing hardanger designs, destined for someone’s Christmas tree or, perhaps as a patch to a jacket or hat.

In the case of Cutwork designs, you’ll most likely cut out from the center area only.

For Appliqué designs you’ll most likely maintain the background fabric and trim the the appliqué fabric, after it’s been tacked down.

Terms for Re-use and Redistribution

If you would like to share these instructions with your friends, please be fair and send them to this website to read it.

Laura Waterfield

If you have any words of wisdom to add, please email me. I am always open to learning new ideas and better ways to sew.

If you want to use my tutorial in a group or part of a class instruction, please send your students to this website to print the directions themselves. If you must print it for them, then please print it in its entirety, including my copyright and web address. Thank you for your integrity!

Copyright © Laura Waterfield 2017




Laura's Sewing Studio embroidery designs and any instructions are for personal use. Designs and copyrighted images are intended for private, non-commercial use. Laura's Sewing Studio entitles the purchaser only to make projects for personal use. The embroidery designs and any instructions are the copyrighted property of Laura M. Waterfield. No design, documentation, or associated graphic distributed as part of this collection may be shared, re-sold individually, re-packaged, or used in any commercial endeavor or instructional presentation without the written consent of Laura's Sewing Studio. Any modifications of these embroidery designs or instructions are for the personal non-commercial use of the purchaser only and may not be sold or distributed under this licensing agreement.
If your friends want these instructions or designs, please send them to this website. Both your integrity and patronage allow us to continue with new product development, while keeping down cost and maintaining quality support.

Thank you for your patronage and happy sewing.

Laura Waterfield

Copyright Laura M. Waterfield 2002-2018

All site content is copyright Laura Waterfield 2002-2018 All rights reserved