Well, the past three days have been filled with excitement as I shared with you the physical features of the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3. Then I talked about the new embroidery unit, and yesterday, I went over the changes to the software inside the DESIGNER EPIC 3! It’s all amazing, and I can’t wait to try out the fantastic new stitches and other changes in the sewing mode.
The first thing to look at today is the PROJECTION. Yes, the DESIGNER EPIC 3 has a camera and a projection system that works in sewing and embroidery modes. Let’s look at what we can do in sewing mode.
On the menu bar on the right-hand side, you’ll spot a new icon – Projection. Like all the icons, it’s a toggle –on or off. The icon will open the Projection Menu but does not automatically turn the Projection on. The menu has an on/off toggle to start the Projection. When you turn the Projection on, the work lights on the DESIGNER EPIC 3 will automatically dim, and you can manually set the LED lighting, as there’s a slider on the projection menu.
There are four projection features in sewing mode – the grid, stitch projection, and not one, but TWO stitch guidelines. Depending on your needs, you can use one, two, three, or all four projection functions together.
Let’s start with stitch projection. Whatever stitch you have selected will project onto your fabric in the actual size. WOW! I love this. It’s easy to see how the stitch will look on your project before you sew. You may need to adjust the size of the stitch, or you may not like this stitch, and it’s easy to select another and preview it.
The grid has maximum flexibility with the ability to change the size of the grid, the color of the lines, and the angles of the lines. The grid is beneficial if you need to stitch a line of stitches between two lines – a sashing on a quilt, handles on a bag, or multiple rows of decorative stitches. Adjust the size of the grid to match your project and start stitching.
Now, let’s add one of the Stitch Guides. You can change the color of the line, the angle, and the thickness to suit your needs. I’m super excited about Projection!
And because we can – let’s add in the Second Guideline. I’ve changed the angle and the color so you can see the two guidelines.
The guidelines are super handy; I use them almost every time I sew! Why? I marked the seam lines with a pencil every time I made half-square triangles, flying geese units, stitch and flip seams, joining binding strips, etc. No longer! I now use Projection, and the guidelines save a lot of time.
Even though the line doesn’t go to the corner, it’s super easy to aim the line at the corner and eyeball it. Initially, I was slightly off, but I’ve become proficient, and my stitching lines are straight.
When you stitch a flying geese unit or a stitch and flip corner, you stitch from one corner to the other on the diagonal. But when stitching half-square triangles, you need to stitch ¼” away from the center line. That’s super easy. I move the guideline to the right by ¼” (6mm) and then, keeping the guideline down the center of the diagonal on the squares, I’m stitching ¼” away from the line. The Projection is brilliant, and I’m constantly using it!
Guided Pictogram Stitch Technique
The new category of Guided Pictograms, which you’ll find in Menuy I.2, also uses Projection.
Because these stitches are brand new, here’s a video to show you how they work since I’m not sure I could describe it in words well enough. Using the START/STOP Function is better, as the built-in stops are part of the stitch file.
Here’s the finished star. Yes – my start/stop is a bit off, but I’m chalking that up to operator error and my FIRST attempt.
Isn’t that just the neatest thing? However, that’s not all you can do. If you want to position a piece of fabric where you stitch the Guided Pictogram, you can trim the excess away and have a raw-edge applique.
Or why not place a ribbon along the projected stitch lines (use the Stitch Guide) and get another unique effect? I see many more playing with these Guided Pictograms to create fun projects.
Let’s look at a new category of stitches, called Floating Stitches, which are in sub-menu J.4. They are satin motifs, but the travelling stitch from each motif appears only on the wrong side of the project, so you can’t see it, which is very cool. There are two kinds: Floating Stitches – Folded and Floating Stitches – Joined.
For the Floating Stitches folded, I like to use the Adjustable Stitch in Ditch Foot for the IDF System with a guide in the center to help keep the fabric in the correct position.
If you forget how to do the floating stitches, you can check out the tutorials in the JoyOS Advisor. Mark the WRONG side of your fabric where you want the floating stitches to be. It’s essential to mark the end and the beginning as well. Fold the fabric along that line with the right sides together. I cut a narrow strip of Tear-A-Way stabilizer and placed it under the fold.
As you stitch, your stitch will go half on the stabilizer and half on the fabric. The travel stitches between the motifs should be on the stabilizer. That guide in the center of the Adjustable Stitch in Ditch foot is a huge help. Here’s a short video to see how the stitch forms, half on the fabric and half on the stabilizer.
And this is what it looks like. Remember, this is the wrong side of the fabric, and notice the travel stitches right beside the fabric but on the stabilizer.
If you look at the front of the fabric, all you see is a fold.
But tug at the edge to pull the fabric taut, and VOILÁ – the floating stitches magically appear. Isn’t that amazing?
The second Floating Stitch technique is called Floating Stitches – Joined and is used to construct seams. Yep. You start with two pieces of fabric with right sides together, and it’s best to use your B Foot. This technique works best for simple piecing as you’ll have a larger than ¼” seam allowance. Borders, sashings, log cabins, crazy quilts, and placemats are projects where the joined floating stitches work best.
The inside of the seam looks like this, and since some floating stitches are directional, remember you can mirror those stitches from top to bottom!
The little mushrooms appear along the seam allowance when you open the seam up. It’s a very clever technique and can add a lot of whimsy to your project. I believe the tension was off when I did this sample, so I want to experiment a bit more, as the bobbin thread should not have appeared. Hey, I’m learning a new stitch and a new sewing machine. Something is bound to go wonky!
Here’s a project where I used both methods of floating stitches. The center line is the folded method, and the two outer seams use the join technique. That’s very cool and adds a neat element to any project.
The final new tool for today is Stitch Creator. Remember, I’m only talking about the NEW features of the DESIGNER EPIC 3. All the stuff we loved in the DESIGNER EPIC 2 is in the DESIGNER EPIC 3 or has enhancements!
Stitch Creator allows me to modify built-in 9 mm stitches by adding or subtracting stitch points. I can make the stitch into a triple stitch or create a brand-new one! You can never get lost as I see the name of the tool I’m in at the top of the screen. If you’re in trouble, touch the Crown with the H at the top to return to the home screen.
I can load a stitch to edit in one of two ways. I can load a stitch in sewing mode and then touch the screen to get a menu that links to the Stitch Creator tool. Or I can select the Stitch Creator icon from the bottom of both the sewing and embroidery modes and then load the stitch from within Stitch Creator.
Once we have a stitch on the screen, you can open the preview window to see what the stitch looks like when stitched out. The new sequence appears in the preview window as you change the stitch. There’s no need to move in and out of Stitch Creator to see what the stitch looks like.
I’ve moved the direction of the just added stitch point; you can see how the original stitch changed.
There are many small icons on this screen, and to make it easy to identify what does what – touch the “I” icon, and a menu pops up naming all the icons. This Icon Explanation popup is brilliant and so handy. And I LOVE being able to move the menus around the screen. It’s fluid! It allows us to work how we like, not how the engineers want us to work!
And you could continue to play for hours!
Here’s an example of how Stitch Creator changed one stitch in two ways. The center (purple) stitch is the original stitch. It was modified to eliminate the satin stitch element and stitched in gold thread. Then, using the triple stitch icon, the stitch became a triple stitch.
It blows my mind to think that we have 870 stitches in the DESIGNER EPIC 3, but with Stitch Creator, we can create even more stitches to play with!
WOW – that should give you a good overview of the NEW features in sewing mode!
I’ve skimmed the surface of some of the fantastic things you can do with this sewing and embroidery machine! I’ll have to return another week with the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3, as I feel I’ve not done justice to many of the techniques. I want to do more samples and experiments, but I don’t have enough time – at least not this week!
Be sure to return tomorrow when I explore the new features in embroidery mode!
Have a great day!
This is part 4 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 3: What’s new in the internal software on the HV DESIGNER EPIC 3
Go to part 5: 3 NEW embroidery hoops for the HV DESIGNER EPIC 3