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5 key tips for learning about the Designer EPIC 2 by MAKING

by Elaine Theriault

It’s Friday! I still have loads to share with you, but that’ll have to wait for another time.

This week,I explored numerous options for remote learning on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. I don’t have a favorite tool – they each have their place. The important thing is to know all of these learning tools exist and then, more importantly – use them. Regularly!

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 sewing and embroidery machine with optional extension table

So far, I’ve worked on project files or instructions that were created by someone else.

Today – I’m learning by doing! I’m creating something and stitch it out.

Before I dive into my project, let me show you where I got my inspiration. Initially, I was planning to make a project I had received via the mySewnet blog. Sewing instructions, Tips and Hints, and notification of new embroidery designs added to the mySewnet Library are among the topics included in the mySewnet blogs. This blog comes directly to the WiFi-enabled Designer EPIC 2.

The latest information posted listed in the mySewnet blog

I saw the little black banner project, and because of the current situation, I thought it would be a quick project to end off the week.

An applique banner project on the mySewnet blog

It’s easy to get the project file. I simply clicked on the link in the blog post and was prompted to save the file.

I had the option to save the file in the mySewnet cloud, or on a USB. I’ve chatted about the mySewnet ecosystem in this previous QUILTsocial post. It’s a fantastic way to stay in touch, get updates, save files, etc.

Saving the project file in the mySewnet cloud

It’s easy to access the project by going to the mySewnet Cloud and scrolling through the list to find the appropriate file.

Opening the file menu to access the project file

There’s the Project file. All I have to do now is follow the step by step instructions.

The Project File appears on the Interactive Touch Screen

WAIT A MINUTE! I spent the entire week following instructions from the other Project files. It’s time for me to try something on my own. So as I mentioned, I used the project as my inspiration.

The black banner was created with free-motion applique. I thought it would be easy to embroider the saying and try out some of the new techniques I learned this week.

I started by accessing the embroidery fonts and created the saying on the Embroidery Edit screen.

Look at that crooked photo! It’s sometimes a challenge behind the scenes to take pictures in such a way the glare is off the screen! All the fun in creating posts!

Creating the saying in Program Embroidery Text

Once the lettering was completed, I decided I could use Design Shaping and add a frame around the saying. I’d make a label for a quilt in the same way.

This was easy to do since I had learned all about Design Shaping earlier this week. I chose the square shape and changed the size to fit nicely around the text.

Creating a square shape in Design Shaping

I selected a heart from the N Menu of embroidery designs. How many heart motifs do I need?

What I love is as I added the hearts, I could see the changes immediately on the Interactive Touch Screen.

How easy is that?

Adding the embroidery heart motif to the square created in Design Shaping

I finally settled on a lot of hearts. And I decided to add a curve to the top and bottom lines of text.

What I love is I can go back and forth to edit each design element right on the touch screen to get it exactly how I want it to be. There’s no need for additional software. And the large screen makes it so easy to see the changes to the design elements.

The border design with lots of hearts

Then I went to Embroidery Stitch Out. Before I get to the stitch out screen, I have some steps and settings to verify.

Which stitch plate is on the Designer EPIC 2? It knows which one is on and identifies it on this screen. I want to be using my Straight Stitch Plate for embroidery. Is the Sensor Q foot installed?

There are several other options, but there’s one, in particular, I want to mention. Under Color Options, there are three choices. If I choose Monochrome, the entire design will stitch out in one color with no stops for color changes.

I didn’t want that, but I also didn’t want to touch START after every letter. So I selected Color Block Sort, which sorts the color blocks (each letter is a color block) so the blocks with the same color will follow each other in the color block list. I also have to select Color Block Merge, which will eliminate the stops between identical color blocks.

You only make this mistake once, and you never do it again!

The Embroidery Stitch Out screen with options for machine embroidery

It’s time to start stitching!

The fabric is hooped, and it’s time to start stitching out the design

There’s my Color Block List with each block representing one letter. Since I selected Color Block Sort and Color Block Merge, regardless of how the letters were input into the Embroidery Edit, they’re now sorted by color, and the Designer EPIC 2 will only stop between changes in the thread color and not between each letter.

That’s something to keep in mind when you’re designing. Make sure you’re using different colors for your design elements so you can take advantage of Color Block Sort and Color Block Merge.

The Color Block List has been sorted and merged

While I was having dinner, I was babysitting the embroidery progress on the mySewMonitor app on my smartphone. I just love that feature!!!!

Keeping an eye on the embroidery progress on the mySewMonitor app

There’s the finished embroidery, and I love it. I’m sharing this design with you, you’ll need a mySewnet account to download the file. It’s easy to sign up for a free mySewnet account regardless of what sewing machine you have.

DOWNLOAD HERE

I’ve shared embroidery designs before, and in this previous QUILTsocial post, you’ll find a detailed description of how to open a mySewnet account and get access to the files. It’s worth checking out the link, even if you have no intention of creating an account. Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, and it’s fun to see how the sewing machine industry is moving forward.

The completed embroidery design

Before I close off the week, I had to try something else.

I just got access to the new Mega Quilters Hoop, which is a 260mm x 260mm hoop or 10″ x 10″. There are five amazing designs I can download for free.

I also found more of this design collection (Moroccan Tiles) in the mySewNet Library, which is a subscription service. Oh – this is bad. I love all the designs. I want to stitch them all. Well, let’s see what we can do with limited time.

The MEGA Quilters Hoop

I wanted to make a quilted, reversible table topper. I used a lightweight fusible batting (Sew-Soft Fusible Batting) and chose two monochromatic fabrics, one for the top and one for the bottom. I also selected threads with high contrast for both sides. I used matching embroidery thread in the bobbin.

Starting to embroider!

I pressed START and had stitched for a couple of minutes and then realized I made a huge mistake. I had forgotten to turn off the Jump Stitch command in the Welcome to Embroidery Stitch Out screen.

Then I thought to myself, “I’m learning by doing. It’s OK to make mistakes. Just let it go – it’ll make an excellent example of what not to do when making a reversible embroidery design.”

The result is brilliant.

The completed design

Yes – the back was a mess. OK – this is going to be a sample.

I think it’s essential we learn by making mistakes. If everything was perfect, then are we learning, or did we get lucky??  Let’s just say I won’t ever make this mistake again!

I love learning by doing. It’s my favorite way to learn, and whenever I see a sample like this from past experiences, I marvel at how much I’ve learned. And how silly I can sometimes be when I forget a critical step! Slow down – pay attention!

The back is covered with thread from the jump stitches

So that was one design, but I wanted to make a larger design by stitching out multiple tiles. I could embroider the tiles individually, but then I’d have to worry about sewing them together with seam allowances and joins, and I’m not doing that.

I have Design Positioning, which I learned all about a couple of months ago in this QUILTsocial post. Design Positioning is one of my favorite features for machine embroidery on the Designer EPIC 2.

I started by rehooping my quilt sandwich.

Rehooping the quilt sandwich to stitch the next tile design

As I moved into Embroidery Stitch Out, I turned off the Automatic Jump Stitch feature. While very handy for most embroidery, it’s not a good idea if you’re working on a reversible design.

Deselecting the Jump Stitch function

Now the jump stitches will appear on the front and the back, so from time to time, I stopped the embroidery and trimmed away those jump stitches from the front only. That meant fewer threads would get stitched into the embroidery design and thus be harder to remove.

Stopping the embroidery to clip away the jump stitches which are visible on the top of the embroidery design

The first color is finished, and I have a few jump stitches still to trim. It didn’t take long as I was trimming the longer jump stitches as the embroidery progressed.

The first color is complete and a few jump stitches need to be trimmed

The jump stitches are all trimmed from the front of the work. Did you notice how perfectly the second design is positioned to the first one? That’s the beauty of Design Positioning. If you get the hang of this feature – well, you can place any embroidery design anywhere you want with a lot of precision. And it’s so easy – it’s right on the screen.

Best of all, if I don’t know how to use Design Positioning or I forget, I can go back to the JoyOS Advisor and read through the instructions again.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it – the Designer EPIC 2 is very patient!

Color One of the second tile is embroidered, and the jump stitches are trimmed

The back of the work at the first color change. Not bad and looks a wee bit better (wink, wink!) than the previous try.

I got out my scissors and snipped the jump stitches.

The back of the embroidery design before the jump stitches have been trimmed

Oh my goodness – what a difference between the two options. Just remember to turn the Jump Stitch off if you want the back to look like the front.

The flexibility in the Designer EPIC 2 in selecting options for the embroidery stitch-out is fantastic. When you switch from Embroidery Edit to Embroidery Stitch Out, that is one moment you need to stop and reflect on what you’re trying to achieve and make sure the correct options are selected.

Here’s the thing – it’s OK to make mistakes. This little goof is the perfect sample to appreciate what one function does and doesn’t do. To me, this is the best way to learn.

The back of the embroidery design after the jump stitches have been trimmed

Here’s another tip. Listen to your machine when you’re sewing or stitching embroidery. It’ll  tell you if something is wrong. I was sitting beside the Designer EPIC 2, and I heard the sound change. I immediately hit STOP. I took the hoop off the embroidery arm and looked at the back. Oh yes – there’s an issue with the bobbin.

A problem with the bobbin thread

There was still enough bobbin thread on the bobbin, but the end of the thread had come untucked. Oops – that can cause the bobbin thread to get caught and not unwind freely. That’s why the sound of the embroidery changed. I snipped off the errant end and ripped the nasty mess out.

That doesn’t usually happen, but keep in mind; I’m using slippery rayon thread in the bobbin. It could also be I’m not a responsible winder of bobbins! So here’s another lesson – wind the bobbins properly, especially when using rayon thread. And if I need a reminder, there’s a video in the Getting Started section of the JoyOS Advisor!

The end of the thread came loose from the bobbin

Using the tools on the touch screen, I backed up the embroidery design to where I had ripped out the stitches and hit START. You’d never know there had been an issue!

Backing up the embroidery design

Here’s the final design – well with two of the tiles stitched out. I LOVE IT!!  It’s gorgeous and it looks like it was stitched in the same hoop at the same time. No one will know I did it with two hoopings.

I want to make the project larger. Can you imagine the design stitched with 16 tiles? I’ll bw finding a large piece of fabric and some vibrant thread colors and get to work. This sample of two tiles will remain just that – a sample!

Here’s the thing – I don’t think it’s a bad thing to learn by doing. This is how I can finesse the design placement and see how much shrinkage I may have to contend with. I can appreciate how the design is stitched and make sure I have all the right buttons pressed.

It’s also a great chance to test out thread and fabric choices.

The finished design!

Here’s the back of the work. I still have to snip a few of the remaining thread jumps.

Quite a difference between the two sections. Lesson learned. Make sure you know what the tools do. Make a sample so you can appreciate that for the next embroidery session.

The difference between the jump stitch function turned off (top) and on (bottom)

5 TIPS to learn by DOING

So you’ve been waiting for my five tips for learning by DOING. Here they are:

1. Touch all the buttons. Do not be afraid of them. You can’t mess things up!

2. Take pleasure in learning. Don’t feel guilty. You’re making a practice sample instead of something to give away or show off to your friends. Take the pressure off yourself – you want to learn, and enjoy your hobby.

3. Take your time. Know that there will be times when you might be frustrated. Focus on the task in small time increments if that works for you. Then schedule some learning time each day.

4. Stay positive. You’ll hit a moment or two of frustration. It’s going to happen. Leave everything. Just walk away and have a cup of tea (or something stronger if need be). Then come back with a clear mind and reread the instructions or start at the beginning. It might look a whole lot different this time around.

5. Mistakes are necessary to learn. If you think that making a mistake is a bad thing, guess what? If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not learning. Welcome mistakes, learn to laugh at your mistakes (hey – I aired mine here for all to see!), and chalk it up to experience. That’s what we tell our kids, and if we can tell our kids that, then we should be telling ourselves the same thing.

And I could add one added note to each of the tips above. Slow down. Most of the mistakes occur because we’re in a hurry, and don’t take the time to read and learn and understand.

Wow-what a week it’s been! I’ve learned so much, and I hope you did too. There are so many learning options when working with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.

So whether you currently own a Designer EPIC 2 or are thinking about one, there are many resources available for you to learn all the fantastic features and functions.

I’m off to find some new fabric and threads. There’s no time to dilly dally!

Have a super day!

Ciao!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Learning machine embroidery techniques with Designer EPIC 2

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1 comment

Mary June 6, 2020 - 2:48 pm

Very nice, but unfortunately not a machine in my budget.

Reply

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