3 NEW embroidery hoops for the HV DESIGNER EPIC 3

The end of the week is here, and there’s so much more I want to share as we explore the features and benefits of the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3. Yesterday we took a look at Floating Stitches, the Projection feature, Stitch Creator and the Guided Pictogram. Earlier this week, we explored the NEW embroidery unit, and it’s only fitting that the engineers have given us NEW embroidery hoops. Today, we’re looking at those three new embroidery hoops.

Free Arm Embroidery Hoop

The first hoop I’ll look at is the Free Arm Embroidery Hoop. The ability to do free-arm embroidery is fantastic, and I was so excited when I saw this feature. I can’t wait to explore this technique a lot more, but as mentioned, there’s NO more time for much playing this week. Did you know if you follow the link above, you’ll find an instruction sheet on how to use the Free Arm Embroidery Hoop and loads of tips and tricks? That information sheet also comes in the box with the hoop!

The free-arm embroidery hoop

What is interesting about this hoop is that the embroidery hoop connector is NOT on the outer part of the hoop as we’re used to. Nope – this connector is on the inner part. Wait – I’ll show you why.

The two parts of the free-arm embroidery hoop

I’m very visual and need to see things to understand them. With the embroidery hoop connector on the inner, not the outer hoop, it took a minute or two to visualize how to hoop my tote bag. I had to put the bag on the embroidery machine to help figure it out.

I forgot to mention that when you do free-arm embroidery, you must remove the embroidery arm extension table from the DESIGNER EPIC 3.

Then, you hoop your fabric. You may find it easier to hoop your item and then position a piece of stabilizer underneath the hoop just before touching START.

Notice that the connector is towards the bottom of the tote bag, and the outer part of the hoop is inside the bag. It’ll all make more sense in a minute.

You must pay attention to the orientation of the design relative to the orientation it appears on your project. Mostly, we create designs in portrait orientation in the embroidery edit screen. But when the tote bag is in the hoop, it’s NOT in the same orientation, so the embroidery design needs to rotate 90 degrees so it’s stitched in the correct orientation on the tote bag.

A tote bag in the free-arm embroidery hoop

You get a better idea of how it works when you see it on the DESIGNER EPIC 3. The opening of the tote bag goes around the free arm, and the embroidery hoop connector (on the inner hoop) attaches the hoop to the embroidery arm.

I think of the possibilities with this free hoop. Garments for children, like T-shirts and onesies, will be a snap, and there’s no danger of the garment falling into the hoop – not that that has ever happened to us! No longer will you be required to open a tote bag to embroider on the outside. I can’t wait to play with this hoop some more.

The set-up for stitching a tote bag in free-arm embroidery mode

I wanted to stitch a design on a pant leg the moment I saw this feature. So, I grabbed a pair of pants to check it out.

Here’s something that has probably never happened before. As machine embroiderers, we’re always asking for larger hoops – in this case, I want a SMALLER one! I got a chuckle about that.

A note about hooping  – You may find it easier to hoop the garment and position the stabilizer UNDER the hoop once it’s attached to the embroidery arm, especially if things are tight.

The pant leg in the free-arm embroidery hoop

Two things to consider for free-arm embroidery is that whatever you want to embroider has to fit around the free-arm of the DESIGNER EPIC 3 and fit in the hoop.

It was tight to hoop the pants, but because they were stretchy, it worked. You can see where the hoop clip is stretching in the bottom right corner.

The pant leg is ready for free arm embroidery

I was a bit worried as even though I could stretch the pant leg around the free arm, I wasn’t sure it would work as I thought there might be too much drag to stitch correctly.

The pant leg stretched around the free arm

However, it stitched like a charm, and there were zero issues with it.

Embroidering the pant leg in free-arm mode

So you can see why a longer and narrower hoop is desirable, but this new hoop and free-arm feature is a game changer!!

The embroidery design on the pant leg

Here’s a close-up of the design. I am so impressed. Now that I’ve figured out the maximum size I can work with, I have many more items lined up for free arm embroidery.

The embroidery motif

Special Techniques Hoop

The second new hoop is the Special Techniques Hoop, another exciting addition to our collection of hoops. Several techniques, including bobbin work and felting, are stitched upside down. Let’s take that concept further and add embroidery to those bobbin work or felting designs, which means I have to flip the hoop over and add the embroidery! While technically, we could have done this in a traditional embroidery hoop; it would have been a nightmare to line everything up.

With the new Special Techniques hoop, I don’t have to unhoop my fabric to switch from technique to technique! WOW!!!!!

The Special Techniques Hoop

The Special Techniques hoop has two embroidery hoop connectors. One on either side, and one of them faces up, and the other faces down. They are labelled Side A and Side B. These hoop connectors allow me to hoop the work face up or face down. Some people are calling it the reversible hoop.

The Special Techniques Hoop with two embroidery hoop connectors

The amazing thing is when you start embroidering a design with multiple techniques, like felting or bobbin work, AND embroidery with thread, you’ll get instructions on the screen telling you which side needs to be attached. It’s so EASY to do – just follow the instructions on the screen.

If you do a felting design, you’ll need the Felting Kit.

The felting kit

And if you do an embroidery design with bobbin work, you’ll need the Specialty Bobbin Case. In case you don’t know, bobbin work allows us to use a thick thread (that won’t go through the needle) in the bobbin case, and it’s such a fun technique. I’ve used the specialty bobbin case with thick thread in free motion, and it’s terrific.

The Specialty Bobbin Case

Like always, you start by hooping your base fabric and a stabilizer. Ensure that you hoop correctly with Side A facing up.

Depending on the embroidery design, I will need to follow the instructions in the Color Block List on the Stitch Out screen on the DESIGNER EPIC 3 to know what side should be face up for each Color Block and also if I need to be using the Felting Kit, the Specialty Bobbin Case, or the Sensor Q foot. It’s strange to hoop your work upside down with the stabilizer on top but trust the instructions, and it’ll work out fine.

Sorry – I didn’t take photos of all the steps, but in this sample, I started with Side B facing up and added the green craft felt to the back. I used Projection to ensure the felt was in the correct position and then touched Start!

The green felt on the wrong side of the hoop for the felted embroidery

Next, the instructions indicate flipping the hoop over and attaching Side A to the embroidery arm. I’ll switch to the Sensor Q foot this time and use embroidery thread to finish the design. Depending on the design, you may flip back and forth several times before the design is complete.

The result is adorable, and I can’t wait for more time to play with this embroidery technique. I promise to be back so we can explore this a bit more. There are embroidery designs in the DESIGNER EPIC 3 for the Special Techniques Hoop, and I’m sure new designs will appear in the mySewnet Library.  We should also be able to create our designs in the mySewnet Software at some point.

The completed Special Technique embroidery design

Here’s a closer look at the design. I LOVE the felting texture and the embroidery thread design. I can see many possibilities for this technique – felted animals for textured quilt blocks for children, clothing, and much more.

The design detail of the special techniques (felted) design

Mega Turnable Hoop

The third new hoop is the Mega Turnable hoop, the largest embroidery stitching area on the market. It’s HUGE with a stitchable area of 450 by 450! WOW!!! Can you believe that? The hoop has been reinforced on the underside for maximum stability during stitching.

I have not had a chance to stitch anything with this hoop, but I thought you’d get a kick from this picture of me using the hoop as a picture frame to appreciate the size!!!

There’s an embroidery hoop connector on both sides with two quick releases. I see many possibilities with this giant hoop and can’t wait to get my hands on one!

The Mega Turanable embroidery hoop

WOW WOW WOW — can you believe all these new hoops and new embroidery techniques?

Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3 with the embroidery unit

All I can say is that I’m AMAZED by all the new features and benefits of the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3. I’ve been asked by a few people if there were enough changes in the Designer Eic 3 to warrant upgrading, and well, I was sold just looking at what was new in sewing mode. With everything on the embroidery side, it’s a game-changer for me!

Schedule an appointment with your local Husqvarna VIKING dealer to check out the DESIGNER EPIC 3 in person. It’s not enough to see what I’ve shown you – you must see this in person!

Have a great day!!!


This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: 4 new features in Sewing Mode on the HV DESIGNER EPIC 3

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