Hoop-La book review & giveaway

Morning and welcome to another Monday. I’m starting the week in fine style by telling you about a super brilliant book AND giving you the chance to win something super clever from it! The book in question is Hoop-La by my incredibly talented friend Kirsty Neale


I’ve known Kirsty for quite a long time and so I know how clever she is. But, when she told me she was going to write a book with 100 different way to use an embroidery hoop I was a smidge taken aback! I don’t think I even reached 20 ideas when I tried. But, that’s why Kirsty was the right lass to write this book and my word, it’s a corker. I know you might think me biased because she’s my buddy, but there’s no debate about it, Hoop-La is a brilliant book.


Kirsty has created a wealth of ideas to fit a variety of talents and timeframes. If you want easy or hard, you like sewing or printing, you have a teeny amount of time or an afternoon free – there’s a project (actually several) in here for you. When I first started to read the book (I have the printed version but it’s available as a pdf book too) I knew it would be great when I was marvelling at the suggestions to just decorate the hoop itself, let alone what to put inside it. Kirsty shows you how to use yarn, tape, crochet, paint and more to jazz up a plain hoop.


A particularly sweet idea is this dress-up doll idea (templates are supplied at the back of the book) so the hoop can be used as a piece of changeable art or a toy, plus, how pretty is the crocket border?!


If you thought embroidery hoops are for embroidering alone, think again. Kirsty shows you how to use them to display fabric that you’ve stitched, painted, stamped, printed, appliquéd, adorned, and with a variety of patterns, icons or shapes that are as far away from french knots as you can get.


How perfect would this be to hang in a child’s bedroom? Or a grown-up’s for that matter. There are several different skills and techniques in use here that a crafter of any type can get there teeth into this project. As well as the projects I love how the book is annotated with doodles and jottings that enable Kirsty’s creativity to shine through even more.


Need to get your child interested in science or the solar system? Grab an embroidery hoop! Kirsty shows you that hoops can be useful as well as decorative by using them as a chalkboard, to store pens and pencils, to display family photos, a treasured piece of clothing or jewellery, as a flower vase, as a clock, a a mini photo album, even as a Christmas wreath! Honestly, you will not believe the ingenuity.


This is one of my favourite spreads in the whole book. What Kirsty doesn’t know is that I have plans to snaffle one of these stag heads the next time I visit, they are just too, too clever and gorgeous and perfect. This would be a superb present to make for Christmas, only trouble is that you could have everyone making requests for handmade hoops next year… Of course you can give them the book itself so they can get making too!


As I mentioned above, all the templates and patterns you need for the projects are supplied at the back of the book, along with clear instructions for a variety of techniques, to make it super simple for you to get started. And to help with your motivation (as if you needed anything after this) you can win yourself this fabulous camera hoop, as featured in Hoop-La!


The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere on the planet, and all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this hoop (not the book) is to leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner at random on Friday 15 November 2013. I’d love for you to share this giveaway so feel free to sing it from the twitter and Facebook rooftops!

This post is part of a Hoop-La Blog Tour so if you want to see what other bloggers have written, or made, from the book take a look at Kirsty’s blog, ginger and george, for links to all the posts. Kirsty also made this super cool video, check it out when you get a moment.

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24 thoughts on “Hoop-La book review & giveaway

  1. Kathy

    It looks like a really imaginative book that goes beyond just embroidering different scenes inside a hoop.
    Really up-to-date ideas that would make lovely gifts. Impressed :)

  2. Angela Ng

    oohh.. this is such a lovely book.. thank you for the post.. and the awesome review.. will hop over to other blogs and take a look. :D

  3. Kim

    Ok,,,,,the dress-up doll is a super idea!!! I’m a stitcher but I love all the other wonderful ideas to make with hoops. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book..Thanks for the chance !!

  4. Joanne

    I am seriously loving this book, I have followed several posts of the blog tour and love how everyone finds something different that appeals to them.

  5. Amy C

    Wow – love the dear heads on the hoops!! This book looks gorgeously photographed – I love yummy images to inspire!!!

  6. Gabrielle Post author

    Thanks to everyone who entered the hoop giveaway, I love how much love there is for Hoop-La! So, in traditional style I asked the hubbie to think of a number, he said 3, which means claireabellemakes is the winner! Congratulations, email me your postal address and I’ll send it on to Kirsty to get your camera hoop on its way to you.
    Thanks again, everyone! x

  7. Jenny

    I would love to win!!! The book is such a great idea!!! I love her hoop designs; they are so clever!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

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