Durkee Cap Frame

OK Y’all…. Christmas is right around the corner, and I have another neat embroidery machine gadget that you might want to add to your Christmas list! It’s the Durkee Cap Frame which is compatible with a variety of multi and single needle embroidery machines. Durkee has cap frames that work with Brother/Babylock 6 & 10 needle machines, Happy 360 machines, Janome MB4 machines, Tajima 360 machines as well as a single needle machine cap frame insert option. Check out THIS LINK for more information on which machines are covered, and also check out the videos on the same link for multi needle and single needle cap frames. I’m going to show you some photos, but if you want to see these hoops in action, check out the 2 videos.

Here are a couple of Durkee photos of the cap frames available. The Durkee multi needle cap frames are like your other hoops and attach to your machine as a hoop would. The sewing field for multi needle cap frames are 5″ wide X 4 1/2″ tall, which is quite a bit larger than the Brother cap frame and driver set which is 5″ wide x 2 1/2″ tall. The single needle cap frame is a 5×7 insert for your 5×7 hoop and the sewing field is 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.

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I have the Brother PR650 and here are my photos of a hat I did yesterday using the Durkee Cap Frame. All you need is sticky stabilizer, and I used a few straight pins. I use commercial sticky stabilizer from Sewingmachine.com, but any sticky will do. Someone recommended Filmoplast Sticky Backing by Gunold, but I have not tried it yet. I would love feedback if any of you have used it!

I cut a piece of sticky to cover the back of the cap frame. Peel the paper side off of course and stick it to the back of the frame.

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On your hat, you need to either fold the lining of the cap back to keep it out of the way, or I pinned it to the bill of the cap to keep it out of the way so I could get the hat on the frame.

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Next you unscrew the wingnuts enough to get the bill of the hat under the clamp and once in place and straight, you tighten those screws so the bill and the hat is secure. As you can see below, it’s super easy to center the hat using the center seam of the hat and the center hole of the clamp. I also placed a couple of straight pins on the hat to secure it to the sticky stabilizer. You will need to measure the space you have on the front of the hat, format your monogram to fit that space, and I made a mark (which you can’t see) of where I want the monogram to be centered. For this hat, my monogram ended up being 3.05″ tall X 3.04″ wide. Again, you have 5″ width and 4 1/2″ height to work with using this frame.

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The Durkee Cap Frame fits on my machine just as my biggest hoop would. With all secondary frames (non-Brother frames or hoops), you should always check your borders to make sure your needle is not going to hit any part of the frame. Your machine thinks you have your largest hoop on the machine, so it doesn’t know it only has limited space. Check your boundaries or borders to make sure your monogram will fit! It should, unless you didn’t hoop the hat correctly.

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I chose a hot pink Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” monogram on my orange hat. One benefit of this cap frame is that it holds the bill flat and in place for you. I used to do hats using fast frames and use chip clips to keep them flat and in place. With the Durkee cap frame, the hat is definitely secure.

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The finished hat…. Now I loosen the wingnuts to pull the hat out of the frame and pull the hat from the sticky stabilizer.

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Here is the sticky stabilizer which remains on the hoop. You can actually leave this stabilizer on the frame and just “cover the hole” with a smaller piece of new stabilizer to do your next hat. You could re-use the sticky for 8-10 hats.

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My finished hat!! I’m a big fan of hot pink and orange!

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Some other things to note:

*You can also use this cap frame to monogram or embroider the back of a hat!

*It’s a fraction of the cost of traditional cap hooping systems ~ $195 (regular $229.50) with Free Shipping using code “NF”. $195 seems like a lot, but if hats are something you do or plan to do a lot of, it’s well worth the initial investment for something that makes your job so much easier and faster! Do 30 or so hats and you’ve paid for it!

*Click HERE to purchase for your multi needle machine, and HERE for single needle machines! Compatible machines are listed on each link.

Please comment or email me at rosemarygulledge@appliquecafe.com if you have any questions! You can also check out the Durkee Embroidery website for more information and to purchase.

Mighty Hoop It!

Happy November blog readers! Once again, it has been a while since my last post! Fall is so busy… blah blah blah…. 🙂 Back in February I did a blog post about Mighty Hoops. They are the fantabulous magnetic secondary hoops that you can use with various brands of multi-needle embroidery machines. I have had the 7.25″ x 7.25″ mighty hoop for a while now, and I’ve just used it solo without any stand or fixture. I was contacted recently by one of the co-owners of HoopMaster about trying a smaller hoop and the fixture. I have seen these things demonstrated over the years and have always been intrigued, so I was excited to give it a try. So now I have the 6.5″ mighty hoop and fixture/stand. I’ve used it quite a bit over the last week or so and I.LOVE.IT! It’s an investment, but like any embroidery investment (like software, that bigger machine, etc.), it’s worth it if this is what my job is!  If this is what I’m going to do, why not spend the money on the things that make my job easier! Monogram Wizard Plus seemed like a lot of money to spend on font software back in 2008 (or whenever I got it), but when you put in to perspective that I’m still using it in 2015, it makes it seem so worth it and not such a huge investment! Might Hoops will be that same great investment!

Here is the Fixture/Stand. When I first put it together, I will admit I had no idea how to work it. Luckily there are several videos out there so I got the hang of it very quickly. Here are a few things to note:

The -0- is the center of the hoop.

The T-bar is used when you are monogramming something like a hand towel. I will post a photo of that later.

It’s really hard to understand the whole Fixture/Stand without having one in front of you, so hopefully my pictures and explanations will kind of help you get it!

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I monogrammed some baby blankets recently and took some pictures along the way. See if you can follow me! The bottom of the hoop, which typically goes on the bottom of the garment, is placed neatly in the fixture. It fits like a puzzle. It simply keeps the bottom of the hoop in place until you can get your garment centered and ready to hoop.

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Next, you lay your stabilizer on top of the bottom of the hoop. I’m using a waffle weave tearaway on the bottom of my baby blanket. Note: the black corners and top piece flip back (see the hinges) and can hold the stabilizer in place. Pre-cut stabilizer would come in handy here. I just laid mine on top which worked great too.

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I marked my center of the blanket which was about 6.5″ from the bottom. The lines on the fixture count up from -0-, which is the center of the hoop. If I want my monogram centered 6.5″ from the bottom, I line the end of the blanket up with the 6.5″ line on the fixture. I also lay a piece of water soluble stabilizer on top of the blanket because it’s a minky material and I don’t want my monogram thread to sink in to the blanket. Note: the clear part on top bounces up and down, and is used for the top part of my hoop. Note 2: I did not use the T-bar for this particular blanket, but will show a photo later of when I did use it on a hand towel.

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Next I rest the top part of my hoop on the clear part of the fixture. It fits perfectly in between the clear arms. Now I am ready to actually hoop the blanket with the Mighty Hoop!

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I pressed down on the top hoop/clear arms and the top of the hoop snaps to the bottom of my hoop because of the MAGNETS in the hoop. You can also see my center mark on the blanket is centered in the hoop below. You can also see closer that the edge of my blanket is lined up with the 6.5″ line on the fixture. If I wanted the monogram centered 10″ from the edge, I would line the edge of the blanket up with the 10″ line.

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As you can see below, my tearaway stabilizer is in the hoop also on the bottom. I am now ready to monogram the blanket! So my layers are: bottom hoop, tearaway stabilizer, blanket, water soluble stabilizer and then top of the hoop on top.

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Below is the hoop on my machine, and as you can see, my center dot is already lined up with needle because my blanket is hooped (almost) perfectly centered!

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Wouldn’t you know I didn’t take a photo of the finished monogrammed blanket! Sorry!

Here is a hand towel and maybe this will help with the T-bar explanation. (From the HoopMaster website: “The T-square is to assist you in measuring the horizontal distance from the edge of a garment to where the center of a logo is to be embroidered.”) The hand towel is 15″ wide, so if you adjust the T-bar to line up the center of the fixture with the 7.5″ mark ON the T-bar, your towel will be centered if you line up the corner on the right where the T is. I didn’t have any way to hold it AND take a picture, so I used a clip. I know this is hard to understand!! Trust me… if I had 15 hand towels to do, this would REALLY come in handy! No measuring tape and marking the center. It’s all done on the fixture!

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I also used the hoop/fixture/stand today to hoop the back of a jacket! I had marked the center where I wanted my monogram, but used the fixture to keep it all in place so I could hoop it. The magnets draw the 2 pieces of the hoop together, so it’s SUPER EASY and there’s no hoop burn!

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You can find more information about Mighty Hoops on the HoopMaster website – click HERE! They have several videos you can watch also. Click HERE to see those! There’s one on setting up the T-square that might explain it better than my 1 photo.

I posted a photo of this on Instagram last week and got lots of comments and questions! Please let me know if you have any questions! You can also email info@hoopmaster.com if you have any questions that I might not be able to answer! I know this is hard to comprehend without the Hoops in front of you! Or maybe you DO have the hoop and fixture but aren’t sure how to use it? Several people commented that they had the hoops and/or station and LOVED them! I’d love to hear from you!

THE Mighty Hoop

First and foremost, the master bath-de-Gulledge is D-O-N-E!! I know I got behind in my renovation posting and will try to catch up soon. It’s DONE and we have moved back in, but it needs some decorating before I post my final AFTERS. Here is a little peek at the before/after of the tub/vanity area. Again, nothing has been hung (tv, decor, artwork, etc.) so it’s a bit of a blank canvas right now. We are enjoying it immensely but had a bit of a crazy week last week so I haven’t had a chance to add some color yet! I’m pretty sure HGTV will be calling me soon…..IMG_9267-vert

Totally random, but I noticed a blog comment today that had to do with SCISSORS so I thought I would add that in here! For all these year I have preached about the Gingher 4″ curved embroidery scissors. They sell them at Joann and probably most sewing stores. Well…. maybe it’s my old age and poor eyesight lately, but I’ve started using the 5.5″ double curved scissors (Ginghers also) and I.LOVE.THEM! I think what happened was that my 4″ got dull after years of use so I got a new pair. They are sharp, but a little tighter and don’t trim as easy. It may be that they are not broken in yet? Anywho… I started using the bigger ones and now I like those better! Not sure what it is about the extra curve and 1.5″?? The big scissors below I use for cutting fabric and my big pieces of stabilizer. The blue handle ones are Brother scissors I think (they came w/ my machine in the little tool box). I use those for trimming the stabilizer around the applique (back) when I’m done, and also for when I am trimming inside of a design. They aren’t super sharp, so I pierce the fabric with them at an angle and then cut with my Ginghers.

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I haven’t been doing much work lately b/c of the craziness going on at Casa de Gulledge ~ renovations, travel soccer management and family stuff (my dad was in the hospital for several days last week and goes home tomorrow from the therapy rehab facility). I have a friend in ATL who asked me to do a few baby gift items for her and told me the colors were navy blue light blue, gray and white. I REALLY like those colors together after sewing a few things! It has also been raining here in Montgomery for like the past month, so these pics were taken inside and don’t do the items justice! LOVE the colors! 🙂 Anchors and whales were the theme also.

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Now on to the title of my post…. MIGHTY {magnetic} HOOPS! I recently got the 7.25″ x 7.25″ and finally got around to trying it out! It is SO EASY to use and I’ve taken a few pics along the way for this post!! First of all, they are magnetic and REALLY STRONG, hence the warnings….. I haven’t gotten pinched yet but I can see how it can easily happen! They are STRONG. I like the size of the 7.25″ x 7.25″ also b/c I typically stitch 5×7 designs and it gives me a little extra room for initials or a name. There is also a pacemaker warning on it…..

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Here is the bottom frame. All you have to do is get it in place and the magnets do the rest!

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I did my burp cloths using the MIGHTY HOOP and it was super easy! Burps can be thick and hard to hoop. With the MH, no wrinkling or hoop burn! As you can see, I got the burp cloth on top of the bottom of the hoop. You just have to make sure it’s straight.

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Just hold the top of the hoop frame over it, and BAM it snaps in place. Very easy!

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They go on the machine just like Fast Frames. You just have to make sure you check your boundaries to make sure the needle is not going to hit anything. Unlike Fast Frames – no sticky stabilizer is needed!

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You may notice that Bentley is in navy blue down below. When I did the baby gifts the first go-around, I had navy and gray in my head (which looks great together also by the way…). If anyone knows of a baby boy named Bentley, I have a bib and burp cloth available…..

The MIGHTY HOOP also works great on bibs!

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I also used the MIGHTY HOOP on a Market Tote. I typically use Sticky Stabilizer and Fast Frames, but the MH was easy and worked great and I didn’t have to peel “sticky” off of anything!

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This is Monogram Wizard Plus “MC Center” H (I made it wider than usual) plus some motif ends which are also done in Monogram Wizard Plus!

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I got my Mighty Hoop from Sewingmachine.com (search: mighty hoop) and you can find demo videos on Youtube HERE! They also have some videos at Sewingmachine.com under Product Demonstration Videos – click HERE. They sell a variety of sizes sort of like the Durkees. Anyway, I look forward to using them more as I get time to do more work!

Did anyone get to go to the Everything Embroidery Market last weekend in Chattanooga? I was so sad to have missed it! I realized several weeks ago that with the renovation and our soccer schedule that I was not going to be able to wiggle my nose and appear there for the weekend. On top of all that with my dad being in the hospital, I would not have made it anyway. I have seen tons of pictures and have heard nothing but great reviews, so I hope you all had fun and that they will do it again!

Have a great weekend! OH… I will work on the ORGANIZATION post ASAP with the feedback I got from my last post! I got some GREAT Tips!! One idea I had was to go ahead and get your next project ready while your machine is sewing. DON’T jump on Facebook because you will get sucked in to “15 Ways To Bond With Your Daughter” and then next thing you know 45 minutes has passed and you’ve done 1 burp cloth. Go ahead and iron the stabilizer on the bib you plan to work on next. Go ahead and iron the applique fabric and iron Heat N Bond Lite on it so it’ll be READY! If you have extra hoops, you could go ahead and hoop it! I would get a lot more done if I could discipline myself to think ahead and actually do stuff while my machine is sewing! photo (22)

One more time…. have a GREAT weekend! We have been out of town for soccer tournaments the past 2 weekends, so we are looking forward to being HOME. 🙂