Thread and Hoops!

I hope this doesn’t look too gross? Yesterday was New Year’s Day. In the SOUTH, we take the ham bone from the ham we’ve been eating every other meal for the past week, throw it in a pot and throw in a bag of BLACK EYED PEAS!! We don’t/didn’t do the “greens”, but hopefully the BEP’s will bring us good luck in 2011! If this picture didn’t make you shut down my blog, then read on…
Today I “organized” my thread on the floor. I have both 1000M spools and 5000M spools. I’m working on a thread order so I had to sort all the colors and figure out what I needed. I use mostly Poly X thread from (and I have a gift certificate to use) and also Isacord from (most of my 5000M spools are Isacord). I like both brands and my machine seems to like them too. I have REAL thread charts for both brands with real thread samples, so it makes ordering very easy. I’m trying to build up my collection of 5000M spools, especially on the colors I use most.
Isn’t thread fun??
Tonight I made a Walmart run for diapers (Mal still sleeps in them unfortunately) and a dust pan. I came out with diapers, a dust pan, an 8 pack of paper towels, a pack of hot dogs, a pack of Oreos, a turtleneck for Mallory, a sippy cup and this super duper soft fleece pullover for G. I didn’t even have a buggy so the dust pan was literally hanging from my finger and I had stuff tucked under every part of me that would bend. You know exactly what I’m talking about!! Anyway… this fleece top was $5.00. This is why I love what I do! I can add a monogram to a $5.00 fleece top and I have a cute soft warm fleece for my G! The stitching is all light blue.
And now we come to my new best friend, the 9×9 HOOP!
This hoop is from Allbrands and if you have a 6 needle Brother machine, then this hoop is a must! It’s not made by Brother, but rather by Durkee and is compatible with several Brother and Babylock machines (see listing). This is a photo of the hoop on my machine. As you can see, my arm is expanded as wide as it’ll go just about ~ this hoop is probably as wide as the XL hoop that comes with the machine. It clips on just like any of the other hoops.

Here is a picture of the hoop hooped onto a size 4T turtleneck. It actually works great for smaller sizes too. I use medium cutaway and the 15″ x 25 yard roll from is great for this hoop!

Here is the 5×7 hoop on top as a comparison. The 9×9 hoop is about the same width b/c the 5×7 hoop is also 9″ wide. But, as you can see, it gives you more room vertically. Even though the 5×7 hoop is really 9″ wide, your machine will only allow you to use 7″ horizontally. With the 9×9 hoop, your machine recognizes it as the XL hoop so while you have to watch your boundaries like you do with Fast Frames, it gives you more than 7″ to work with across the shirt.
Here is a picture of my needle position as far up as it’ll go. The top of my design will be here and the needle will not hit the hoop.
Here is the finished shirt. I did not put a name on this shirt, but as you can see, there is plenty of room below the cross to put a name. Had I wanted a name on the shirt below the cross with a 5×7 hoop, I would have had to hoop vertically which would mean my shirt would be sideways on the machine! We all know this is a pain!
I was turned on to this hoop by some friends on Facebook, finally ordered it and use it all the time! As my friend HBS says, it’ll make your 5×7 hoop jealous!


  1. Hillary @ The Other Mama says

    I had no idea it was only $59!! I was thinking it would be another major hoop investment, but now I *have* to get one soon!! Thanks for all the pics. I know that takes a while! So excited!!

  2. I also got this hoop for Christmas and I can see how it is going to be very useful. I also found some other hoops by this same company here:
    They also have a 6 x 6 square hoop that I think would be nice to have.

  3. Hey Rosemary,
    Came back to look at your tutorial because I got my hoop in the mail today!! Did you know Steve sells these now!? I think I talked him into it! ha! I ordered mine from him yesterday and got it today!!

  4. jennifer says

    How do you keep the back of the shirt from getting caught up in the needle? Do you have to babysit the machine and hold it out of the way?

  5. Hello, I just came across your tutorial at the right moment! I just purchased a PR650 and I’m very intereseted in this Durkee 9X9 hoop. Do you know the actual dimensions of the embroidery area? In otherwords could it handle a 7.85X7.85 design?

    Thanks so much,

  6. Hi, I posted earlier but it disappeared. I just happened to find your blog and it is wonderful. I just purchased a PR650 and I am interested in the Durkee 9X9 hoop. I love your tutorial. Do you know if one can use 8X8 designs in this hoop. I will probably still purchase it.

    Thanks so much,

  7. Michelle says

    Thank you for this post. I just purchased a PR 650 and didn’t know how to embroider my 5 x 7 designs vertically. I’ll have to put this on my wish list.

  8. Ok, I have the 10 needle enterprise and got this hoop… How do you hoop the shirt without having to worry about catching the underside of the shirt? I have been flipping it and holding it while it sews. Your picture looks like you are not having to do that.

  9. You have no idea how excited I am to have found your blog! I stayed up WAY too late last night reading through your posts. I have bought appliques from appliquecafe many times but didn’t see the link to your blog. I too have a PR650 that I bought from Steve at Other than the 3 hours he spent with me when I bought it I am totally self taught. I live near Nashville so it’s not like I’m close to their store to run up for advice, though they are great even on the phone. I have had my machine 2 years in April so I’m not super new at this, but certainly not an expert. I almost exclusively do embroidery(vs appliques) to make extra money and stay home with my 2 girls. I didn’t even attempt an applique for over 6 months after getting my machine bc I was intimidated. I have done upwards of 100 of them for my girls and friends. I do sell the service, but find it to be more of a labor of love. I use almost all of the exact same products as you do except, do you want to know something crazy?I have NEVER used the hoops that came with my machine and I have NEVER used cutaway backing. I have a roll that Steve sold me but have never used it. I have fast frames and 3 hoop techs I use with tearaway. I have had some issues with my hoop techs which was all I used for the first year I had my machine. Even though I think I have figured it out I am still a little leary of them and use my fast frames when I can. I plan to start using my hoops now and see if I may convert to being a “hooper”.

    So since reading your posts I have purchased the 9X9 hoop today. On sale for $49! I just got back from buying HBL, and will be ordered some comfort cover tomorrow when I place my regular order from I’m so excited to see the difference it makes in my appliques! I have 4 questions for you:
    1)I sometimes us minky dots in my appliques. Can you use HBL on minky or will it fuse down the dots and not look right?
    2)I bought a small amount of HBL one other time and had a hard time getting it to fuse to my fabric. In the one area that is stuck i loved home nice it made the trimming process, but I found it frustrating. I think I had my iron on high. Is medium the key? Or using steam/no steam?
    3)For your raggy designs you say you use flannel. Do you just use white flannel on all of them or color coordinate the flannel?
    4)I noticed you have the same Martha Stewart furniture I want in your sewing room. Do you like it? Planning to order soon:)

    Sorry for the obnoxiously long comment! Feel free to make your response short and sweet. Love your blog and your appliques!

    • Hey! I do use HBL on minky – just iron on carefully and softly. With HBL it says to have your iron on medium heat, no steam. I also sometimes let it sit for a minute after I iron it. ANd, if you find it hard to peel away from one corner, try another corner. Raggy designs – I usually use white, but you can use any color – I have used lime green before for sure! And yes I do like the MS furniture – it is sturdy and so far has held up well! It was pretty easy to put together!

  10. Now that I have read this- I know that purchasing the 9 x 9 frame will solve my problem! However, until then, how do you hoop a shirt vertically with the 5 x 7 frame? I mean, I know how to hoop the shirt, but how do you get it on the machine correctly? Put the sewing arm through the shirt sleeve or just pin the back out of the way?? I have a PR 650e. I am trying to do an applique with a name underneath and can’t get it to fit inside the frame! Thank you!!!

    • You can hoop it that way if you need to. I would probably wrap the shirt up around the hoop and pin it out of the way of the arm. I’ve not tried to put the arm through the sleeve?? The 9×9 is great, and also the 6×6 is good for smaller size shirts.

  11. I just purchased a set of fast frames at the conference at Calloway Gardens. I have not had the PR650 very long and must say this has been a REAL experience. I followed the directions telling how to find the center of all my hoops. Got that done. I also purchased a fast frames hoop that is about 11 x 4 1/2. Can you tell me how to find the center on this hoop? When I try to move the needle around like I did with the other fast frames, it hits a boundary on my machine screen and will not let me go any further. How do I find the center coordinates on this long hoop? Thanks.

  12. Madelyn Whitley says


    Thanks so much for this info! Got my 9×9 today and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to use it LOL! Googled and found your blog. Thank you for sharing 🙂


  13. Tara Ramer says

    I have a question about the 9 x 9 hoop. I have a brother pe770 and I am wondering if that hoop will fit it. I want to do bigger designs.

    • The Durkee hoops are only made for the multi needle machines. I think you might be able to split designs and use a bigger hoop w/ your machine, but check on that b/c I might be WRONG! 🙂

  14. Hey,
    I just got my 9×9 hoop and when I go to try to use it on my brother machine it says “the pattern combination is too large for the the extra large embroidery frame. if you plan to add more patterns rotate the pattern combination. ”

    How an I able to use this 9×9 frame with my brother machine. I am trying to do a design with a name under it. I got this hoop to avoid using the 5×7 and having to rehoop for a name under the design .

    • Is the design and all centered on the machine? I’ve never heard of that. Are your screws tightened?

      • yes it take up the whole 9×9. I use the PES design next for my software, and I just entered the hoop in as a new size by going under edit user hoop. Is that not what I should have done?

  15. Cindy Cauthen says

    I don’t really see the difference in the Durkee and the hoops that came with my PR655. Can you explain?

    I’ve had my machine a week and have done an adult shirt and 5 caps. I messed up with the first cap and ended up embroidering the back to the front. lol

    Your site has been extremely helpful.

    • The hoops that came with your machine are specific sizes – 4×4, 5×7 etc. The Durkee hoops offer you additional sizes for your projects – like 9×9 allows you to have room for a 5×7 design AND a name underneath depending on the design. The 6×6 is great for onesies or small shirts, because you aren’t restricted to the 4×4 hoop and it gives you a little more room for a bigger design and/or a name or initials too. Does that make sense?? Most applique designs are digitized to fill up the hoop depending on the designs shape, so sometimes there is little room for anything else like a name underneath or initials.

  16. Denise Pope says

    I bought the Durkee 9 x 9 hoop and I love it but I do have a question. How do you make sure that your design is centered in the hoop. I mark the center but with my Brother hoops there is a template that I can use to make sure everything is centered. The Durkee does not have a template. Just curious.

    • I mark my center on the item and then try to hoop it as centered as I can get it. Doesn’t have to be perfect. When I put the hooped item on my machine, I line up the lead needle with the center mark on my shirt. That’s how I make sure the design will be centered. Does that make sense?? With the Durkee I then test my borders to make sure my needle is not going to hit anything.

  17. Hi, HELP!!
    I recently purchased the Durkee 9×9. I have a Brother PR655e. When I load the larger design into my machine it will only recognize the largest hoop for the Brother, which is the 11×7. So, if I want a larger design to sew it says I have to rotate the design, which of course then leaves my shirt hooped sideways instead of arm through neck, which basically defeats the purpose…Am I missing something? Is there a way to get the Brother to recognize the 9×9 hoop?

    Thanks, Angela

    • If the biggest hoop is 7.9″ in height, I don’t think the machine will let you sew something taller than that. Even w/ the 9×9, you wouldn’t want to sew something that close to 9″ b/c it might hit the frame of the hoop.

  18. I see that you are using the hoop 4T size shirt. You mentioned that it could also be used for smaller size shirts. Just curious to know how much smaller? It seems that the hoop would be too large for a 2T or 3T size. What about onesies?

    Thanks for the info.

    • I think the way a multi needle machine is built, you can use bigger hoops on smaller shirts b/c you are going in through the neck. There is also a 6×6 hoop that I use sometimes on smaller shirts and onesies.