Today, it’s all about applique. I’ll show you how easy it is to do raw edge applique, and I’ll take another look at those Dimensional Applique Stitches I showed you on the first day of this series of posts.
Let’s get started.
First thing – I have to tell you about the wonderful TAP function on the foot control. You know how it is when you’re doing applique, and you want to pivot around a corner or a point – the needle stops on the wrong side of your applique, and if you pivot, you’ll get a gap in the stitches. Well, a quick tap on the foot control and the needle will advance half a stitch. So, if the needle stops in the wrong position, a tap or two on the foot control will get the needle in the correct position for you to pivot your work. It’s hands-free, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can do your applique with this feature.
Here’s another exciting feature… the entire menu of applique stitches. While you’re not limited to just these stitches for applique, the most commonly used stitches are all in one place. There’s a straight stitch, several zigzags, blanket stitches, satin stitches, and loads of variations. All in one, easy to find stitch menu on the EPIC 95Q. How easy is that?
If you’re excited to start your applique and you forget you’ve been using the straight stitch plate on the sewing machine, you’ll get a pop-up message telling you to change the stitch plate. In fact, you won’t be able to select a new stitch until you change the stitch plate. Now that’s amazing! No more broken needles.
It’s essential to use the correct foot for any sewing job, but in particular for applique. Notice on the Open Toe Foot how you get an unobstructed view of all the points and corners of your work, so you’ll get 100% accuracy. It’s an optional accessory, but this is one of the first feet I’d buy. There are two different widths for the Open Toe Foot, so make sure you get the Open Toe Foot for the 9mm wide stitches available on the EPIC 95Q.
Yes, the EPIC 95Q can stitch 9mm wide stitches, which means you can do a wide satin stitch to cover up your raw edges, or use the 9mm wide stitches on any other project. Some of the side-motion stitches are as wide as 54mm. Having a range from .5mm to 9mm gives you maximum flexibility for any of your applique projects. I often reduce the stitch width for stitching around tight points, and it’s super easy to use the touch screen to narrow or widen the stitch width.
If you’re using a narrower than 9mm stitch, you have the option to use Stitch Positioning, which allows you to move the stitch to the left or right of the center needle position. If you’re working in a tight area and need to move the stitch right or left to make it easier to sew, this is a handy feature.
Another feature I love about the EPIC 95Q is that every time I select a particular stitch or modify the stitch width, length, or adjust the stitch positioning, I can see the changes right on the interactive touch screen. That saves me from having to do a stitch out before I start to sew. Who knew sewing could be so easy?
Another handy feature to make applique a dream is the Stitch Re-Start feature. It’s one of the functions you can program into the Multi-Function Foot Control (MFFC), so if you do a lot of decorative stitching, be sure to program it into the MFFC. Remember, the Multi-Function Foot Control has the same TAP feature as the standard foot control.
When I select Stitch Re-Start, the machine resets to the beginning of the stitch sequence. Any changes you make to the stitch remain active for the duration of the sewing session. And if the FIX function is engaged, you’ll get the tie off at the beginning of each row of decorative stitching. If you don’t have the MFFC, you can access the Stitch Re-Start on the Function Panel.
All you have to do is position your fabric correctly; you don’t need to worry about where your stitches are in the stitch sequence. It’s a brilliant feature, and I love it.
Remember yesterday I mentioned the Exclusive Sensor System? Used in conjunction with Needle Up/Down, the presser foot will raise ever so slightly when you stop sewing. It lifts just enough so you can pivot your work. There’s no need to lift the presser foot lever, and that means you’re pivoting hands-free. Wow, that’s so amazing!
Using the Exclusive Sensor System, in conjunction with the TAP function on the foot control, lets you zip around your applique edges and focus strictly on controlling your work. The EPIC 95Q takes care of all the hard work. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’re finished, and how beautiful your applique looks.
Now for some tips on turning corners. Pivot on the outside (or larger side of the curve/point). In this case, I’m working on the inside of a pointy letter. I’ll always pivot on the left side of this particular corner, and I pivot often. It’s so easy with a tap on the foot control and the Exclusive Sensor System. You’ll get beautiful, flat corners and rounded edges every time.
I’ll be pivoting on the larger (fuller) side of the curve for this circle shape, which is the black circle’s outer edge. That means I’ll be pivoting with the needle in the background fabric, which is the opposite of what we just did.
Pivoting is something you want to experiment with a wee bit, so you understand the concept. It’s okay to pivot frequently around a corner to get the stitches to lay flat and even, whereas on a 90° corner, you may only have to pivot once. It all depends on how tight the curve is – the tighter the curve, the more you have to pivot.
There are times when I’ll shorten the stitch length if I need to get around a point and the stitch is too long. I’ve had a few years of practicing with pivoting, but the EPIC 95Q functions make applique so easy, anyone can have professional-looking results!
Here’s a close up of some of the corners and curves. I used a 40wt embroidery thread for the satin stitching on top and a bobbin weight thread in the bobbin. The lighter thread in the bobbin helps to prevent bulk in the satin stitch.
Speaking of applique stitches, let’s try out those dimensional applique stitches the EPIC 95Q encouraged us to try when we first turned it on earlier this week.
Touching the message on the top corner of the screen brought up the Applique Stitches on the EPIC 95Q. If you’re not familiar with these applique stitches, the tutorial on how to stitch them appears on the bottom of the screen. There are five simple steps to try out the applique stitches.
Let’s give it a try and see how it works.
The stitch is programmed to stitch part of the sequence, then stop. As per the built-in tutorial, I placed a small square of fabric behind the needle and pressed START.
I stitched out four of the stitches. (I didn’t place a piece of fabric over the last stop, so you can see what the stitch looked likes with no fabric on it.) The next step is to trim away the excess fabric with a sharp pair of scissors like the Inspira 4.5″ EZ Snips Curved Scissors.
Wow – that looks amazing! Wouldn’t these stitches look fantastic as a trim on a tote bag, a garment, or even a crazy quilt block?
I decided to explore the L Menu – Dimensional Stitches – where the Applique Stitches reside on the EPIC 95Q. The L Menu consists of several Exclusive Stitch Techniques. The first one is the Applique Stitches, and here’s a sampling of some of the Applique Stitches.
I found some Pop-Up Applique stitches, too. (I didn’t have time to make a sample of those.) Very cool! And then I found the sequin stitches. Wow! Can I use the sewing machine to stitch sequins in place? You bet! This is very cool.
There’s even a stitch to sew a single sequin in place. Once I got the hang of holding the sequin, it was easy to sew them in place. I love these!
There’s so much flexibility with the Husqvarna Viking EPIC 95Q. Not only do we have excellent tools to do applique of our own, but the built-in applique stitches and the other stitches in the Dimensional Menu mean we won’t run out of things to play with for a very long time.
Tomorrow, I’ll explore one more feature of the EPIC 95Q. You won’t want to miss this – it’s improved my half-square triangles and flying geese. That’s the only clue I’m going to give you today. Be sure to pop back tomorrow!
Have a great day!
This is part 4 of 5 in this series
Go back to part 3: The piercing power of the Husqvarna Viking EPIC 95Q