A is for applique but machine applique sure speeds up the applique process. However if you do your applique on the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q – the process is sped up even further. The Sensor Foot, the needle down feature and the huge variety of stitches and options for those stitches make all types of machine applique a breeze.
The SATIN STITCH
The Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q comes with three built in satin stitches. The main difference between the three stitches is the width. Although you have the flexibilty to modify the width and density of any of the three, it is nice to have the three stitches (a narrow, a medium width and a thick width) easily accessible without having to change any variables yourself. These three built in settings make it easier to keep track of your stitch rather than choosing one stitch and having to modify it every time you do satin stitch.
One of the satin stitches has the ability to be tapered at the end or the beginning or both ends of the stitching line. An awesome feature for corners.
Let’s have a look at the density of the satin stitches. In the picture below, the line of stitching on the left is one step off the maximum density. I wasn’t even sure that the presser foot would move over the stitching. The hollow in the bottom of the open toe presser did allow the stitch to move freely, however you see that the stitching is puckering slightly. I used one layer of stabilizer – I would strongly suggest two if you are going to use this setting.
Lessening the density a couple of notches gives us the middle line of stitching and the one on the right is at the least dense stitch possible for the satin stitch on the Opal 690Q.
There is plenty of variety for you to find something that will work. These stitch outs are at the maximum stitch width.
If you have never appliqued with a machine that has the SENSOR FOOT – you couldn’t appreciate the beauty of this feature. In addition, if I engage the Needle Stop/Up Down feature then applique becomes an effortless task.
Each time I stop, the needle will stop IN THE FABRIC and the presser foot rises to the pivot position. Just slightly off the throat plate, but enough that I can manipulate the fabric. There is NO NEED to lift up the pressor foot manually. The entire process is hands free allowing me to keep my hands on the fabric.
If you’ve ever appliqued, you know that the more you pivot on a curve, the smoother the edges of the applique will be or if you want to have beautiful corners, you have to pivot slightly, take a stitch, pivot again, take a stitch. Well, if you have to manually lift the presser feet each time – you tend to not pivot as much as you should or would like to.
With the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q – you want to pivot all the time – it’s so easy. And if your needle stops on the wrong side of the stitch for the pivot – a quick tap on the VERY responsive foot pedal will move the needle to the other side.
I recently did some applique on a machine without this feature – OH YES – I missed this feature very much. If you’re into applique, this is a MUST feature for your sewing machine.
Samples of satin stitching
The Opal 690Q was able to zip down those straight lines of stitching at an amazing speed. Any faster and I would not have been able to control it.
Unusual Satin Stitches
The Opal 690Q also has a couple of unusual satin stitches. I call them grass stitches. One or both edges are jagged and offers a nice change of pace to your applique stitching. I like to use them on animals or flowers, but they will work on anything.
The BLANKET STITCH
The blanket stitch (or as I like to call it – the button hole stitch) is another great applique stitch. The Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q has THREE varieties of blanket stitch. You can change the width and length of each of them for a huge range of stitching.
The INVISIBLE applique stitch
When I do invisible machine applique, I like to use a tiny elongated zig zag with fine thread.
With so many options, it’s necessary to become very familiar with the various stitches on the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q. While you get a good idea of what the stitches look like on the screen before you do the stitch out, it’s a great idea to do some sample stitch outs BEFORE you start on your project. Maybe what you thought you were going to like, isn’t exactly what you end up doing.
Doing a practice stitch-out also allows you to see how the fabric reacts to the stitch. Is one layer of stabilizer enough? If the stitch density is high – maybe two layers of stabilizer will be required.
Whatever you do – keep those stitch outs in a small sample book and label them. Identify the menu group, the stitch number and the width and length of each. This book will become a valuable reference for future projects.
In addition to creating a stitch book, it’s necessary to practice going around the curves – making sure to pivot OFTEN. Practice inside and outside corners – there are several ways to stitch corners – try to find one that works for you. With the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q, you don’t need to worry about the mechanics of the machine – the machine will take the work out of applique and make it fun.
The Opal 690Q also comes with FOUR built-in fonts. You have a choice of capitals and small letters for each font, which can be stitched out or you can create a small program of letters.
I like the ability to spell out words with the sewing machine. One of my favourite uses of the fonts is to stitch the name of the block in the sashing. A number of years ago, I participated in a group project that was made up of a lot of small blocks – each with a different name. I stitched the name of each block into the sashing at the top of each block.
Wow! Another day of some very EXCITING features of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q. There are so many options on this sewing machine that I almost don’t even know where to start.
If machine applique is your thing – you MUST take a look at this sewing machine. You’ll be amazed at how the Sensor Foot and Needle Stop Up/Down will take the drudgery out of applique.
A is for Applique and all of its glorious stitches…
Have a great day!