Welcome back. This week we’re continuing our tour of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35. This is a superb sewing machine, with a unique physical design and it’s also an embroidery machine!
I have a busy week for you with tips for using decorative stitches, applique and of course the embroidery component. I’m going to review my top ten reasons why I love the Designer Jade | 35 PLUS I’m going to throw in a project that’s going to use all the tips I’m touching on this week.
Let’s get started!
Before I get into my tips for decorative stitching, I feel compelled to mention (again!) how beautiful the design of the Designer Jade | 35 is. I was going to a sewing day and decided this would be a good time to test the portability of this sewing machine.
I put the foot pedal and the power cord into the sliding storage box, closed it and then I thought – hmmmm – there’s enough room in that storage box for my snips, seam ripper and quilter’s awl. I added a few pins and I was ready to go. No extra table to carry, no additional accessory box with my sewing tools. The sewing machine is a slim design, relatively light weight and I’m loving the portability of it. It was easy to put the Designer Jade | 35 in the car along with a small project bag.
Today, I’m going to focus on the stitches in Menu 2 – The Quilt Stitches. There are 30 different stitches in this menu. The flexibility of the Designer Jade | 35, which I’ll demonstrate in a few minutes, means you can do a lot of different types of stitching and the number of stitches isn’t so overwhelming that you can’t choose one.
TIP #1 – use the START/STOP function
There are a number of functions that make decorative stitching super easy. Let’s start with the START/STOP function. It’s a large button that is placed directly over the needle so it’s easy to reach while you are sewing.
Starting the sewing machine with the START/STOP button, means you don’t have to worry about the foot pedal. You’re able to get a nice even stitch happening – the speed doesn’t vary. Very useful if you have LONG rows of stitching to do. No strain on the leg/foot. Doesn’t get any easier than that.
TIP #2 – use the speed + and –
When using the START/STOP function, the sewing machine will go at a constant speed. If you feel that the speed is too fast for a particular stitch, then simply adjust the speed using the + or – keys. Some stitches do not require adjusting the speed, while others work better if the speed is reduced. You also want to be working at a speed where you feel in control.
The more delicate and precise the work, the more control you want and the lower the speed should be. You may find that if you use the same stitch a lot, you’ll feel much more in control as time goes on and you may want to increase the speed for some stitches.
There are five speed levels on the Designer Jade | 35. See the five bars in the lower left hand corner of the Graphic Display. That means the sewing machine is set to the maximum speed.
TIP #3 – use needle stop up/down
This is the top most button in the photo for TIP #1. For whatever reason, you may have to stop mid-way through your line of stitching. If the needle doesn’t stop in the fabric, you risk the project moving resulting in a long stitch. Using the needle down, will keep the fabric from moving, allows you to pivot if necessary and will keep the work looking much neater and tidier.
TIP #4 – use the STOP function
This function is so amazing. Let’s say you’re stitching along and you want to finish the line of decorative stitching. If you hit the STOP function while the sewing machine is stitching, the STOP function will stop the decorative stitching at the END of the current stitch sequence and the thread is tied off. You can use your scissors function to cut the thread.
The STOP function can also be used in programmed stitch sequences.
One other advantage of using the STOP function is that because you used the STOP function to end your stitching at the end of a stitch sequence, it means the sewing machine is now set to start at the beginning of a new stitch sequence. A very important function!
TIP #5 – use an open toe applique foot
The Sewing Advisor recommends using a B foot which has a tunnel on the underside to accommodate for the raised decorative stitches. This foot works well, but if you want to get a good view of where you’re placing those decorative stitches, I like to use an open toe applique foot. It also has a tunnel on the underside to accommodate the raised stitching.
Because there’s nothing in front of the needle, it’s easier to see. Note – the B foot is a standard foot included with the Designer Jade | 35. The open toe applique foot is an add-on.
Bottom line – it doesn’t really matter which of the two feet you use, but you MUST use a foot with the tunnel on the bottom to prevent jamming.
TIP #6 – use stabilizer
I can’t stress this enough: if you’re going to use decorative stitches, you MUST use a stabilizer.
This is also indicated on the graphic display. In the top row of information on the screen, you see two rectangles on top of each other – that’s the symbol meaning to use stabilizer.
The first row of stitching below was done without stabilizer. You can see how the threads are twisted and the fabric itself is puckered.
The second row of stitching was done using two layers of stabilizer. Match the weight of the stabilizer and the number of layers depending on how dense your stitches are and whether there are one or two layers of fabric. Are you stitching on top of fusible? Experiment on some samples so you know what’s required before you start your project.
TIP #7 – play with the stitch length and width
All decorative stitches are programmed with default settings in the Designer Jade | 35. However they’re also programmed with maximum and minimum lengths and widths which provide a lot of flexibility. This stitch (2:18) has a default length of 10.5 and a default width of 7.0. In the sample below, the top row is what the stitch looks like using the default settings.
For the second row of stitching, I lengthened the stitch to the maximum which is 15. The width remained at the maximum of 7.0.
In this next example, the top row is at the maximum length (15.0) and the maximum width (7.0). The bottom row, the width has been brought down to the minimum or 4.0.
Just goes to show that by varying the length and width of the stitches, you can end up with very different looking stitches. This greatly expands the number of stitches you have available.
TIP #8 – use the mirroring features
Decorative stitches can be mirrored end to end or mirrored side to side. In the example below, I’ve chosen stitch number 2:37.
The graphic display will show you the direction of the stitching and if you have really paid attention, you’ll notice that the positioning of the stitches is relative to the presser foot which is also pictured on the graphic display.
Adding a second row of stitching alongside the first with the straight lines running beside each other makes for a stunning effect to your project. I’m going to choose the Mirror Side to Side function (it’s positioned just to the right of the Graphic Display). The screen shot below shows how the stitch has changed. Notice the small symbol on the bottom information row which tells us that the Mirror Side to Side function is engaged.
Depending on the stitch, you may not see a great difference when using the Mirror End to End or Mirror Side to Side. Again – you must play with the stitches and the settings to get the outcome that you want.
Now what happens when I stitch these out? The first row of the sample below was stitched out with the default settings. The second row of stitching was stitched after it was Mirrored Side to Side.
Ah – see what happens when you don’t mark a straight line to follow! It’s a sample – it’s OK.
There you have it – 8 tips for decorative stitching with the Designer Jade | 35. Later this week, we’ll be working on a project and putting these decorative stitches to good use.
The Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35 has some amazing built-in features and functions that make working with decorative stitches a breeze. All the hard work has been automated – all you have to do is choose and then guide your fabric. So easy!
Stay tuned as we’re going to explore the applique abilities of the Designer Jade | 35 tomorrow. Have a great day! Ciao!