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Brilliant Sewing Machine Features

Yesterday we had a good look at the physical features of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q. To really appreciate the Opal 690Q, you have to turn it on and check out the brilliant sewing machine features INSIDE!

Let’s take a closer look at the Functions Panel, the Exclusive Sewing Adviser, the advantages of not having a presser foot and how to maneuver around the touch screen.


The function panel of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q


Here is a quick overview of the MANY functions available on the Opal 690Q.

  • The large START/STOP button in the top left allows you to sew without using the foot pedal.
  • Reverse: The U-turn button on the bottom left is the reverse button. There’s a small LED beside the button which alerts you that the reverse feature is engaged.
  • Sensor Foot Down/Pivot Position: This is the button that you use to lower the presser foot. So instead of using the lever – you use a button. There are TWO down positions for the presser foot – I will show you a couple of pictures in a minute.
  • Sensor Foot Up/Extra Life button: This is the button that you use to raise the presser foot. Again, instead of using the lever – you use a button. There are also two positions for the up.
  • STOP: is an excellent feature if you want to sew just ONE unit of a stitch or you want to finish your sewing at the end of a stitch. An LED tells you when this features is engaged.
  • FIX: is one of my favorite features. When the FIX button is engaged, the machine will lock off the stitches at the beginning or at the end of your sewing. For applique, this is a MUST.
  • Thread cutter: The machine will cut your thread and tie off the ends. So easy!
  • Needle Stop Up/Down: Another one of my favorite features and a must for applique or quilting. When you stop sewing, the needle stops in the down position.
  • Speed: There are five speed levels which is a great feature to help control your stitching, especially when doing free motion.

Sensor Foot range of motion

Here are a couple of pictures so you can see the range of motion that is possible for the presser foot by using the Sensor Foot buttons instead of a presser foot lever which does not exist on the Opal 690Q.

Press once on the Sensor Foot Down/Pivot Position button and the presser foot drops down to the lowest position so the sewing machine is firmly holding the fabric in place.


Press the Sensor Foot Down/Pivot Position button once more and the presser foot raises slightly to allow you to move your fabric or pivot your fabric. A huge bonus for applique or curved piecing.


Press the Sensor Foot Up/Extra Lift button and the presser foot will raise to a normal position.


Press the Sensor Foot Up/Extra Lift button once more and the presser foot raises even higher in the event you need some extra lift to get a bulky item under the presser foot.


It may be difficult to comprehend the beauty of this feature and I’ll admit that it’s a bit awkward to use at first because your hand wants to sneak behind the machine to lower the presser foot, but once you have the hang of it – you’ll not want anything else. Here are a couple other features that make this system even better. Let’s say that you want to start sewing. You place your fabric under the foot and start sewing. The presser foot AUTOMATICALLY drops into place and away you sew. You don’t even have to hit any buttons.

Now if you engage the Needle Stop Up/Down when you’re sewing, the needle will stop in your fabric and the presser foot will raise to that floating/pivot position. Let’s imagine you’re doing applique or sewing curves. You need to pivot – instead of reaching behind to manually lift the presser foot, you use this feature and every time you stop – the sewing machine AUTOMATICALLYraises the foot so you can pivot. It doesn’t get any better than this.

I recently had to do some applique on a machine that did not have this feature and while that sewing  machine sewed just fine, it was much slower to do the applique without this feature.

And as if all that is not enough, you can also raise and lower the presser foot by tapping the very responsive foot pedal. Again, this feature is such an advantage to applique or when you need a third hand because you are holding something in place with both hands and need to get that presser foot up or down.

This is a deal breaker feature for my main machine. I would never consider replacing my existing machine with a machine that didn’t have this feature.


How many of you are really comfortable with changing the tension on your sewing machine? Do you know the best stitch length and width for various techniques and fabric?  Let’s face it – most of us sew basic stuff. When we do want to get out of the box, we have no idea how to change the machine settings. What if the machine did it for you?   Well that is what the Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR does. Let’s have a look.

There are seven settings for the type of material that you are going to sew. Use the stylus to select the type and weight of material.


Next choose the Technique that you’re going to use


When you go back to the main screen, you see on the top of the screen that the machine is set for sewing seams on medium woven fabric. At the bottom you see the tension setting (in this case 4.6) and the stitch length (in this case 2.5) and the stitch width (in this case the width is O). All of which you can manually over ride by using the +/- buttons to change those settings. The Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR also tells you which needle and presser foot to use.


It really doesn’t get much simpler than that. It’s like having a Home Economics instructor right in your own home. And the best part – they’re available every minute of every day!

This is such a nice feature to have. I’ve been sewing for many years, yet when I have to sew something other than cotton, this feature saves me a lot of time trying to figure out the correct settings. 

The TOUCH SCREEN saves time

It’s always a good idea to do a stitch-out of the stitch you’re about to sew, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some idea of what the stitch will look like BEFORE you do the stitch-out? Well the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q will pretty much show you what you’re going to be stitching before you even start to stitch. Let’s have a peek.

I would start by selecting one of the over 200 built-in stitches using the stylus.


See the numbers 1 – 4 in the bottom left hand corner. Each one of them represents a group of stitches that are detailed in the flip up lid of the Opal 690Q.

  • Group One is utility stitches.
  • Group Two focuses on quilting/applique stitches.
  • Group Three and Group Four are decorative stitches.

Start by choosing the applicable stitch group and then the number (from the flip up lid) for the stitch that you want. In this case – I’m using a zig zag stitch (No. 5) from Group One.

Now I can see a diagram of the zig zag stitch. Notice the length is 4.0 and the width is 3.0.


Look what happens to the stitch diagram when I change the stitch length to 1.0 and the stitch width to 1.5.


And now the stitch width is 6.0 and the stitch width is 5.5. I can get a pretty good idea BEFORE I do any stitch outs whether this is what I want. A huge time saver and all done with a touch of the stylus on the touch screen.


What else is hidden in that touchscreen?

There are FOUR fonts built into the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q


Here is a screen shot of one of the decorative stitches from the Group 2 menu – stitch number 48. Notice in the top left that the Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR is telling me to use a stabilizer underneath my project. If you pay attention to the Exclusive SEWING ADIVSOR, you can’t go wrong.


WAIT – that’s not all………………

The SET MENU provides options for numerous changes that I can make to the sewing machine settings to facilitate the project that I am sewing.


More options available to customize your sewing machine in the SET MENU


And if that isn’t enough, the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q allows you to program your favourite stitches, you can flip stitches vertically or horizontally (I’ll go into more detail another day) and numerous other settings.

While all these features may appear overwhelming, the machine is very easy to set up for regular sewing. Once you get comfortable then you can explore all these features to make your projects even easier to sew.

We’ve spent two days exploring the many features of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q. I’m just itching to show you what all those brilliant sewing machine features can do and how easy it is to sew whatever you want. Stay tuned – some great stuff coming.

Have a great day!


Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. She is a teaching specialist at Northcott and loves going to work in a warehouse full of fabric. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is

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