Welcome back. I hope you’re as excited as I am by the Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35 sewing and embroidery machine.
This sewing machine is priced perfectly for someone who wants to have access to an embroidery machine, but doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. The bonus is that the sewing machine is loaded with features and functions that you would find on a high-end sewing machine.
Today, we’re going to have a closer look at a number of the features of this machine and I promise, I’m going to tell you how it sews.
Let’s have a look…
Exclusive Sewing Advisor
To fully appreciate the Exclusive Sewing Advisor, let’s have a look at the settings when I choose two different fabric types. The weight of each (light weight) and the sewing technique (seam) remain the same.
In the examples below, you can see the selected options in the top right hand corner. A1 corresponds to the buttons on the Sewing Advisor – A = Woven Light and 1 = Seam. In the second example, the selection is D1 where D = Stretch Light and 1 = Seam.
In the top left, you can see that the size and type of needle recommended changed from a 70 regular needle to a 75 stretch needle.
The stitch itself changed from 1:01 which is a straight stitch to 1:02 which is suitable for stretchy fabrics.
The tension was lowered from 4.2 for the woven to 4.0 for the stretch.
The presser foot pressure went from N to 2 – the lower the number, the less pressure and you don’t want too much pressure that will distort the stretchy fabric.
The speed remained the same, but notice that the stitch length went from 2.0 to 2.5 and the needle position also changed from the center to -3.5 which means that the needle went to the left of the center position.
Imagine if you had to make all those changes yourself. I’m not sure that I would even know where to start or that I would remember half of those adjustments. You’re a quilter and you’re thinking you would never sew stretchy fabrics – what about fleece? Yep – that’s stretchy. And there’s the option of different fabric weights as well which comes into play when we’re quilting or sewing multiple layers in a bag.
There are lots of places where this feature is a must for the newbies and the experienced quilter alike.
Check out the picture above and you can see in the bottom left hand corner that there are five bars. These are the indicators for the speed control levels. There are five levels – in the example below, the speed is set at the lowest level.
Having five levels is fabulous. For normal piecing, I would keep the level at the top speed. But when it comes to applique, decorative stitching, and free motion quilting – I would be playing with those levels to get a speed that I’m comfortable with. If the sewing machine is going so fast that your project is out of control, that’s not good.
What level you use is totally personal and you may start out at a slow level and find yourself wanting to increase as you gain confidence in that particular technique. Trust me – you won’t want the machine to go faster than level five.
There are five different stitch menus. Menu One is Utility stitches, Menu Two is Quilt Stitches, Menu Three is Satin and Heirloom Stitches, Menu Four is Decorative Stitches. The Fifth one – is Saved or Programmed Stitches that you created.
In total, there are 120 built-in stitches, plus two alphabets complete with upper and lower case and symbols and the fact that you can combine any of the stitches and functions to create your own combinations means there are endless possibilities.
Let’s not forget that you can change any of the stitches by changing the stitch width and length. Oh yes – you could keep yourself occupied for a long long time as you try everything out.
There are two built-in alphabets. These are selected by one of the buttons on the front of the Jade | 35. Once you’re in the menu, you can spell out your words. A push of another button on the front of the sewing machine will take you to the lower case screen and a second push will take you to the number/symbol screen. Use this button to toggle between the three screens.
I thought I would give them a try and stitch something out.
Notice the changes that occurred on the Graphic Display. The tension was decreased to 3.6, the symbol next to that is recommending that I use stabilizer, I manually decreased the speed so I could better control the stitching.
You can see the length of 159 is the length of total stitch out and the width (or height of the letters) is 5.5. I can change the size of both, but I need to be careful that I don’t distort the letters or make them so dense that it causes a problem for stitching.
As I do the stitch-out, the letters move on the screen so I can see the progress. In the picture below, you can see that the lettering has moved from where I started.
The alphabets are a form of decorative stitching and I like to use the START/STOP feature on the Jade | 35 for all decorative stitching. I get my project lined up and then push START/STOP which means the sewing machine will stitch on its own – I don’t have to use the foot pedal. If you leave the speed on the highest level – it really stitches FAST. That’s why, I usually drop the speed down a notch or two.
The other feature that I use for decorative stitching is the STOP function. This function tells the sewing machine to STOP after the stitch sequence (or the programmed stitch) is complete. You can program this function into the stitch sequences you create or you can manually use the feature.
I just love it! Many stitches are very decorative and it’s hard to know exactly where they start and especially where they end. How are you going to stop the sewing machine right where it should? That’s where the STOP feature comes in very handy. It takes all the guess work out of stopping at the appropriate place.
Now that I have those stitches programmed, let’s see how it stitches out. Oh – it doesn’t work if you aren’t paying attention or trying to do something else at the same time. Yes – you have to hold onto the work. I laugh because I’m always telling my students that and then I don’t follow my own advice. So I had to do it again! This time, I marked a line with chalk that I could use to guide the edge of the presser foot along.
Much better results when I did it right!
Oh yes – paying attention is a must. This is also why I like being able to change the speed level – at the high speed, I just can’t control this kind of stitching.
Graphic Display feedback
There are many messages that will pop up on the graphic display to give you feedback – usually because you’re trying to do something that won’t work. This is way better than getting a beep. A beep means something isn’t working, but if you don’t know what – it’s pretty hard to fix.
Whether you’re programming stitches, doing embroidery or regular sewing, these pop up messages provide valuable feedback in solving the issue and getting back to sewing.
I was sewing in a group with the Jade | 35 and someone accidentally disconnected the power cord. I wasn’t at the machine at that moment, but when I got back, I had a pop-up message asking me to “raise the needle”. That alerted me that something had changed and I was able to put my settings back in and continue sewing. Without the alert, I wouldn’t have known the power went off and I would have continued without changing my stitch length which wouldn’t have been pretty – especially when I found out. The pop-up message saved the day!
The ability to mirror stitches is FABULOUS.
Now some stitches don’t need to be mirrored. Have a look at the stitch below – it’s symmetrical so even if I choose to mirror the stitch – the end result would be pretty much the same.
But look at the sequence of photos with the asymmetrical stitch and you can see how the stitch changes when I mirror side to side or end to end.
Being able to see the changes in the stitch on the graphic display before you stitch them out saves an enormous amount of time.
Yes – all these functions are good, they save time, and they make life easy when you want to sew a project, but how does the Jade | 35 perform?
Here’s how much faith I had in the abilities of the Jade | 35. I took it to a five-day sewing retreat. I had never sewn anything on it – I had only taken it out of the box. I did not take another sewing machine with me.
Let’s just say that I was impressed. I sewed for five days straight on the Jade | 35 and not once did I wish that I had brought another sewing machine with me.
The first thing I noticed is that it’s quiet. I love that – a noisy sewing machine is very annoying when sewing is supposed to be relaxing. The other thing I noticed was how well the feed dogs fed the fabric under the presser foot. The Jade | 35 just took everything I had and fed it through like it was nothing.
The quality of the stitch was amazing. You can see here on my flannel project how even and beautifully formed the stitches are. Note that I drop my stitch length down to 2.0 – ALWAYS. (check out this link to see why that smaller stitch length is so important). The default stitch length is 2.5 which is great for general purpose sewing, but for quilting – a shorter stitch length is preferred. It prevents the seams from coming apart especially when we’re strip piecing.
Even going over the lumpy seam allowance, there was no change in the quality of the length of the stitch which is a very good sign.
There you have it – the Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35 is full of fabulous features that you would find on a high end sewing machine. These are features that make your life as a quilter so much easier. And the Jade | 35 has a beautiful stitch which means that all your projects are going to look spectacular.
Tomorrow we’re going to have a look at some of other settings on the Jade | 35. Yes – there’s even more hidden under the hood! Have a great day! Ciao!