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Amazing features for straight line quilting with the Designer EPIC 2

by Elaine Theriault

Welcome!

I hope you’ve all been getting some sewing done and you’ve lots of things to quilt. This week, I’m using the amazing features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 to give you some ideas for quilting.

The Designer EPIC 2 is not only a sewing machine, but it’s a phenomenal embroidery machine as well and I’ll share some tips for quilting using the embroidery model.

It’s a jam-packed week, so let’s get started.

 

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 with the embroidery unit

 

The Integrated Dual Feed Technology

I’m so excited about the Integrated Dual Feed (IDF). It’s a built-in walking foot that provides extra control when you’re sewing. When the IDF is engaged, it’s so quiet that you forget about it. You can use your regular presser feet, provided they can accommodate the IDF.

The Integrated Dual Feed is extremely useful when you’re quilting a project. There’s no need to change your presser foot or find your seam guides.

Essentially, the Integrated Dual Feed has a set of feed teeth that mesh with the feed teeth situated beneath the stitch plate. The two sets of feed teeth work together to advance both layers of fabric at the same time. Without the IDF, the top fabric tends to be pushed along, depending on the pressure exerted by the presser foot.

 

The Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) is engaged

 

The Integrated Dual Feed has been disengaged in the photo below. The park position is quite high and well behind the presser foot, so it won’t be in the way should you want to do some ruler work.

You can see the feed teeth on the bottom of the black section. That’s what grabs the top fabric and feeds it at the same rate as the bottom fabric.

I love the IDF. Piecing is much more accurate and during the quilting process, the top and backing layers stay together better. A great feature for any quilter.

 

The Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) is the “park” position

 

For the Integrated Dual Feed to be engaged, the presser foot requires a cutout in the back, as you can see in the Presser Foot A on the right.

There are some instances when you can’t use the Integrated Dual Feed and you would use a foot without the cutout in the back, like Presser Foot B on the left.

Notice the presser feet have the number 9 embossed near the top of the foot. This indicates that the foot has an opening large enough to accommodate the 9mm stitch width capabilities of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.

 

Presser Foot B with no cutout for the IDF and Presser Foot A with a cutout for the IDF

 

What’s even more amazing is a pop-up message will appear if you should have the Integrated Dual Feed engaged and you don’t.

I’ve chosen to sew a zigzag stitch (A9). Below, on the top left, you can see the recommended settings for this stitch. The JoyOSAdvisor is recommending that I use Presser Foot A, which has the cutout for the IDF in the back. The fabric is Woven Medium (chosen in the JoyOSAdvisor). A size 80 needle is recommended and the last icon on that list is advising the use of the IDF.

Should you miss that, you’ll get a pop-up message.

 

A pop-up messaged advising the use of the IDF

 

I’ll confess that I’m thrifty. I keep smaller pieces of batting and fusible fleece and I have no issues with joining the pieces. I’m making some zippered pouches this week and grabbed the bag of odd pieces of fusible fleece. I selected the zigzag stitch (A9) to join the fusible fleece.

A note of caution – make sure when joining the pieces that the side with the fusible is always in the same orientation on all the pieces or it might be a challenge to fuse the fusible fleece to your project.

 

Using Presser Foot A, a zigzag stitch, and the IDF to join pieces of fusible fleece

 

The IDF is engaged as I join the pieces of fusible fleece. Why is this a good thing?

 

The Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) is engaged using the zigzag stitch to join pieces of fusible fleece

 

Fusible fleece (and batting) is very stretchy. The last thing I want is for ripples and waves to appear in the join because one side stretched more than the other.

Using the IDF allows me to join those pieces and help prevent the edges from stretching. The joined pieces of fusible fleece are perfectly flat. It’s hard to see in the photo below, but there are two seams in the fusible fleece and both are perfectly flat.

 

Two joined seams in the fusible fleece are perfectly flat

 

The Thread Stand

One of the other features I love about the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 from the quilting (or piecing perspective) is the built-in telescoping thread stand. That means I can use any size of spool or cone of thread.

This is just the best! There’s room for two spools (or cones) of thread on the thread stand. I usually keep a spool for winding my bobbin on the right-hand side and the thread on the left is what I’m using in the needle.

 

A cone of thread on the telescoping thread stand

 

What you see is what you get

Here’s another great feature. A visual representation of the stitch is shown on the interactive touch screen. In the photo below, I’ve widened the zigzag stitch to its fullest width at 9mm, which is very wide. The length is 4.0mm.

 

A visual representation of the zigzag stitch set to 9mm wide and 4mm long

 

In this photo, the stitch width of the zigzag is set to 4.5mm and the length is set to 4.0mm. It’s a very different looking stitch.

Seeing a preview of what the stitch will look like before I stitch it out, saves me a lot of time. I don’t have to do as many test stitch-outs and anything that saves time is a good thing.

 

A visual representation of the zigzag stitch set to 4.5mm wide and 4.0mm long

 

The Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance

The fabric I’m using for the outside of my zippered pouch is busy. Any fancy quilting would be lost in the print.

I love grid lines. They’re so easy to stitch and the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance makes it a snap to get perfectly parallel and straight lines.

I fused the fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outer fabric. I’m not adding a backing (the lining) at this point. I want the seams to be on the inside, so it doesn’t make sense to quilt through the cover and the lining.

Then I drew a diagonal line (45°) using a ruler and my Clover Chaco Liner, which is my go-to marking tool. Note I only drew one line.

 

A diagonal line has been drawn on the cover with a Clover Chaco Liner

 

I love the stitch plate with its many lines on both sides of the needle. Those lines are extremely useful when I’m working near the edge of a project, however, they can’t help me if my project is covering the stitch plate.

That’s where the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance comes to the rescue.

 

The stitch plate with numerous lines on both sides of the needle

 

New to the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 is the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance. I love this feature. It saves so much time. Check out how I used the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance to make half-square triangles in this post.

It’s easy to turn on. There’s a button on the Function Panel.  Turn it on or turn it off.

 

A button on the Function Panel is used to turn the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance on or off

 

When you turn on the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance, a menu pops up on the Interactive Touch Screen.

I can move the laser to the left of the needle by 30mm and I can move it to the right, also by 30mm. This is huge. I can also change the intensity of the laser beam. Yes, this is a real laser beam, not a projected line source.

 

The pop-up menu to make changes to the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance

 

My first line of stitching was directly on the diagonal line I drew with the Clover Chaco Liner. I used my scissors to cut the thread and moved back to the same side I started on. I’m not rotating the fabric.

The laser is shifted to the left of the needle by 20mm. I lined up the laser on the first line of stitching and now I can easily follow along to get a second line of stitching.

It’s important to watch the laser, not the needle.

 

The laser is lined up with the previous line of stitching to provide a guide

 

Even though I’m working with angles, the laser projects right off the fabric so I’m able to finish my line of stitching and keep my lines accurate.

Do you know how much of a time saver this is? It’s huge. I didn’t have to find a seam guide or mark a lot of lines. I simply turned on the laser and positioned it. It’s that easy!

 

The laser projects right off the fabric to ensure my entire line of stitching is accurate

 

I started at the center and worked my way to the outside of the piece, starting on the same side for every line of stitching.

Very quickly, I was able to get all the diagonal lines stitched on one half of the cover.

 

Half of the diagonal lines have been stitched

 

Then I rotated the zippered pouch cover around and stitched all the subsequent lines on the opposite side of that first line of stitching.

It’s a good idea to follow the same quilting principles as you would for any quilting project. Start in the middle (more or less) and work to one side. Then flip your work around and work outwards on the other side. This allows any fullness to be pushed to the outer edges and prevent tucks and puckers.

 

Using the laser to stitch the other half of the diagonal lines

 

And there’s the first side done. Wait – that was so easy I decided to quilt lines in the opposite direction to get a true grid pattern.

 

The diagonal lines have all been stitched in one direction

 

I started by drawing a diagonal line in the opposite direction, ensuring it was perpendicular to the lines of stitching. Then I stitched along the chalk line and keeping the laser in the same position, I stitched all the remaining lines following the same method. I stitched from the center to one side and then flipped the piece around and stitched from the center to the opposite outer edge.

 

A second diagonal line has been drawn with the Chaco Liner in the opposite direction from the lines of stitching

 

And there’s my beautiful grid quilted zippered pouch cover. I love the texture. I wish I could share that with you. It feels so luxurious and adds a whole lot more than if I hadn’t done any stitching at all.

The best part? It was super easy with the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance and took no time at all. I only had to worry about drawing two lines and the rest was done with the laser. Those lines look pretty straight and accurate to me.

 

Diagonal grid quilting in two directions

 

Temporary Machine Settings

Another feature I like is the ability to temporarily turn off some of the default machine settings. When I was stitching those lines, I was using the Scissor function at the end of every row. This resets the FIX function which I didn’t need.

 

The FIX function gets reset after using the Scissors function

 

So I went into the Temporary Sewing Settings and I disabled the FIX function. As soon as I turn off the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 and turn it back on, these temporary sewing settings will default to the default settings. I love the fact I can make changes for my current sewing session and not have to remember to go back and reset everything.

The flexibility is amazing!! And I love flexibility especially when it saves me time.

 

The menu for the Temporary Sewing Settings

 

There you have it. A great introduction to the week of quilting techniques using the features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. There are so many other features that’ll save time or introduce some new techniques to the quilt world. Be sure to come back each day this week as there’s lots more to explore.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Note Let me tell you a wee story about the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 I used for this post. If you were observant, you probably noticed the color of the sewing machine used in the close-up shots did not match the Burgundy Blush colorway that was in the first picture of this post. 

As part of the initial promotion when the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 was launched, there were three additional colorways. One of the colorways was Vivid Sunset. Since my favorite color is orange, I managed to snag one of the colored ones to use in this week’s blog posts. Isn’t that fun?

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

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