After yesterday’s post, have you decided what you’ll do with all your free time now that you’ll be using the Laser Sewing Guidance instead of marking your fabric?
I’m so excited about the possibilities and yet that’s just one of many new features and functions on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. Today, I’m doing a quick walk-through of two add-on accessories and then I’ll show you something that I’m totally in love with – the Integrated Dual Feed Technology.
Multi-Function Foot Control capability
When you first see the optional Multi-Function Foot Control, it looks big. It’s big and it’s heavy. Guess what that means? This Multi-Function Foot Control will not be skidding all over the floor. There’s also a textured rubber surface on the underside so when put on the floor, the Multi-Function Foot Control stays put. I like that!
Notice where the Multi-Function Foot Control plugs in? The Multi-Function Foot Control plugs into one of the two USB ports on the side of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.
TIP See how I’ve kept the twist tie attached to the cord? When I want to pack up the Multi-Function Foot Control (should I ever decide I want to do that), the twist tie is handy to keep the cord nice and neat.
When the Multi-Function Foot Control is first plugged into the USB port, a pop-up menu appears on the main screen, allowing me to assign a function to each of the two side paddles and the heel of the Multi-Function Foot Control.
This is in addition to the standard controls such as pressing forward on the Multi-Function Foot Control for regular sewing and the tap function which allows the needle to be raised or lowered. I love the tap function – it’s extremely handy when stitching applique or quilting.
In total, the Multi-Function Foot Control can be used for up to five functions.
I can touch any of the three control settings and select a function from a list. Once the function has been set, the function name appears on the diagram.
The options include Stitch Re-Start, Presser Foot Up/Extra Lift, Reverse, and the Cut and Fix Functions.
Instead of using the Cut Function on the function panel, I can tap the left paddle on the Multi-Function Foot Control and the command is sent to the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. How easy is that???
I can change the settings anytime I want to. To make changes, I go to the Machine Settings screen and pull up the Multi-Function Foot Control tab and make the changes.
I’ll experiment with the functions in the various positions so I can fully maximize the Multi-Function Foot Control. Which of the functions will I use the most and which position will be the most appropriate? That means I get to do a lot (I mean a little) more sewing to get comfortable with the new Multi-Function Foot Control.
Ribbon Embroidery Attachment capability
Here’s something new to the home sewing and embroidery market: the ability to do ribbon embroidery. What? This is amazing!
The Ribbon Embroidery Attachment is an optional attachment that fits on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 in place of the embroidery foot. When I first saw the attachment, I’ll admit that it looked intimidating. However, after a quick lesson, I realized just how easy this was going to be.
It’s super easy to remove the ribbon ring so I can hand-wind my ribbon. The size of the ribbon I can use varies from 5mm to 12mm. That translates into ¼” to ⅝” more or less. A maximum of 10m of ribbon can be loaded on the ribbon ring.
This is the holder to which the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment gets attached to. It’s pretty simple to remove the presser foot ankle and attach the holder.
Once the ribbon is on the ring, it gets threaded through the slots and down under the opening for the needle. Choose a ribbon embroidery pattern, hoop the fabric, and install the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment.
I hope to spend more time with the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment at a future date to show you more of how it works. The bottom line – it’s very easy to use and the embroidery patterns are adorable.
Note: In the photo below, I haven’t hooped any fabric in the embroidery hoop. If I were to stitch something out, the fabric would be hooped before it gets placed under the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment.
It’s very important to make sure the connection plug gets connected to the accessory socket on the back of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. It won’t work if you don’t do this. Ask me how I know!
It’s not complicated at all. I choose a ribbon embroidery design either from the built-in designs or from the mySewnet library. Wind the ribbon onto the ribbon ring and hoop the embroidery fabric. Then attach the embroidery hoop and the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment and hit start. It’s that easy.
In case you want to get a quick collection of ribbons, Husqvarna Viking has three different collections for you to choose from. Or why not get all three!
There’s a pack with satin ribbon in two different widths (¼” and ⅜”) with assorted colors, organza ribbon, also in two different widths (¼” and ⅜”) with assorted colors, and a silk ribbon pack in 8 different colors. I don’t have the sizes on the silk ribbon.
I know – you’re wondering just what does ribbon embroidery look like? I’ve got a couple of examples to share with you.
This first one is an octopus. The design is from the mySewnet library. The seaweed is one of the built-in ribbon embroidery designs. I used satin ribbon for all designs.
This adorable sheep, stitched out with organza ribbon, is also from the mySewnet library.
I used a silver metallic ribbon to decorate a zippered pouch that I made. I did the ribbon embroidery before I sewed the pouch together. This design is also from the mySewnet library. There are built-in designs – I swear. It just so happens that what I took pictures of were from the mySewnet library.
What an easy way to dress up any garment, tote bag, zippered pouch or wherever you would use machine embroidery.
I’m not a froufrou person and not usually into a lot of embellishments, so I wasn’t sure I would get excited about the Ribbon Embroidery Attachment. However, once I started to play with it and saw how easy it is to use, I changed my mind. The Ribbon Embroidery Attachment, along with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 is will be equally hard to pry out of my hands!
The texture created by the ribbon is gorgeous.
Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) technology
I was thrilled to see the Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) technology make a debut on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. Oh my – you know what this means? I don’t need to put a walking foot on the sewing machine. I can simply engage the IDF and I’m good to go.
What’s the big deal about the Integrated Dual Feed technology? In the photo below, you can see there are grooves on the underside of that black section. Those grooves line up with the feed teeth through the slots on the stitch plate, allowing both layers of the fabric to feed evenly. This makes piecing and quilting a dream.
Along with the Integrated Dual Feed, you’ll notice a few more openings on the stitch plate. Not only are there feed teeth along the sides and in the back, but there are three additional sets of feed teeth in the front. The fabric is now under control right from the start. Think about those narrow or pointy pieces that in the past got sucked into the bobbin case. That won’t happen because the feed teeth are moving the fabric forward right from the moment I start to sew.
I wondered how noticeable this would be. Oh – it’s very noticeable. I was sewing some regular seams the other day and everything feeds so smoothly under the presser foot. I was amazed at how smooth the piecing is, especially when I first start a new line of stitching.
Some of the presser feet have been reconfigured to accommodate the Integrated Dual Feed. You’ll notice that my favorite foot, the quilter’s ¼” piecing foot is one of those that’s been reconfigured. That means piecing any quilt is going to be a dream.
I stitched some long sections for a quilt back. The two pieces came out perfectly even. Uneven stitching due to bulky seams are a thing of the past.
I know the Integrated Dual Feed works great with two layers of cotton for piecing, but let’s see what happens when I bind a quilt totally by the sewing machine.
I normally use my walking foot to sew on the binding, but since the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 has the Integrated Dual Feed, I’ve engaged that feature. Notice I’m using my quilter’s ¼” piecing foot to sew the binding on.
I love not having to change the foot and the width of that foot just happens to be the correct width for the binding seam allowance. I should mention that the quilt is made with cotton, the backing is fleece and there’s batting. The double-fold binding is made with flannel. I’ve got a lot of thick layers to go through.
Oh – I’m done already? How did that happen? The Integrated Dual Feed fed that binding and quilt smoothly under the presser foot and I quickly sewed around the perimeter of the quilt. My seam allowance is even and the stitches are perfectly formed through all those layers. That was easy!
I’ve flipped the quilt so I can stitch the binding to the front. Notice that I’m still using the quilter’s ¼” piecing foot. That’s a lot of layers to stitch through, but there wasn’t a single hiccup. Nor were there any skipped stitches.
Turning the corner with all that bulk didn’t present a problem either. That’s in part to the incredible piecing power of the Designer EPIC 2 and the Exclusive Sensor System which automatically senses and adjusts the feeding depending on the thickness of the fabric I’m working with.
I should also mention that I used the Exclusive Sewing Advisor and set the fabric to woven heavy. The Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 adjusted the stitch length and tension for me.
Here’s one of the completed corners. It seriously doesn’t get any better than that. A lot of thick layers and the Designer EPIC 2 sewed through them like it was nothing. No hesitations, no shifting. It was fun to sew the binding in place. This is a great thing because I’m on a finishing kick and I have a lot of bindings to stitch in place.
The Integrated Dual Feed will save me a lot of time which means I can get more quilts pieced and quilted.
This is the same mitered corner from the back of the quilt. See how the stitching on the back appears to have been stitched in the ditch. It wasn’t – that seam was stitched on the red binding from the front. It’s all about the width of the seam allowance. Check out my tutorial on Stitching down the binding to see what I’m talking about.
The biggest mistake people make when applying the binding to a quilt is to use too small of a seam allowance.
So, you’ve just brought your Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 home and you can’t remember or don’t know when to use the Integrated Dual Feed. Guess what? Depending on the stitch that you choose, the Designer EPIC 2 senses if the Integrated Dual Feed is or is not engaged and will provide a pop-up menu with a reminder. I love it!!!!
Aren’t those features and functions just the best? There are some pretty significant add-ons and the Integrated Dual Feed is to die for!
I’ll be back tomorrow to show you how easy it is to get perfect placement with embroidery designs.
In the meantime, I’m off to sneak in a few more sewing projects with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. What to sew?
Have a super day!