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Do you use these 9 good sewing habits?

Welcome back!

Today, I’m using the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 sewing machine to show you some “neat” little housekeeping habits to make your projects look amazing! I’ve thrown in a couple of other tips as well. I wonder, do you use these 9 good sewing habits?

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930
Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930

 

 

Preventing unsightly thread nests

You know what I’m talking about! Ugly messes of threads – how do you tame those threads when you start sewing at the edge of a piece?

Bobbin and top thread will make a mess if not controlled at the beginning of a seam
Bobbin and top thread will make a mess if not controlled at the beginning of a seam

 

 

Hold those threads

Two ways to control those loose threads when you start a seam –

  1. Hold the threads in your hand so they don’t become entangled on the underside of the work.
  2. Use a scrap of fabric to start the seam and let the threads tangle on the scrap
Hold the top and bobbin threads in your left hand when you start the seam to prevent the threads from tangling
Hold the top and bobbin threads in your left hand when you start the seam to prevent the threads from tangling

 

 

Start your seam on a scrap of fabric to prevent tangling on the underside of your work
Start your seam on a scrap of fabric to prevent tangling on the underside of your work

 

 

In the example below, I’m doing some rows of decorative stitches. I’m holding the threads behind the needle to get started.

Holding the threads at the beginning of a line of decorative stitching
Holding the threads at the beginning of a line of decorative stitching

 

 

Top and bobbin threads are easy to clip off - no tangled threads
Top and bobbin threads are easy to clip off – no tangled threads

 

 

Thread ends were not held at the beginning of the seam and they have tangled on the underside of the work
Thread ends were not held at the beginning of the seam and they have tangled on the underside of the work

 

 

Pull up the bobbin thread

If you’re going to start sewing in the middle of your project, bring the bobbin thread up through your work and tuck the threads behind the presser foot. This prevents any thread nests underneath the project.

It’s easy to bring the bobbin thread up. Position your needle where you want to start sewing. Use needle up/needle down twice. Pull on the top thread and the bobbin thread will pop to the surface. Then tuck both threads behind the presser foot. No more tangles!

Pulling the bobbin thread to the top of the project
Pulling the bobbin thread to the top of the project

 

 

Cutting the threads at the end of a seam

On the Sapphire 930, there are three ways to cut your threads at the end of a seam. You can use

  1. the Selective Thread Cutter,
  2. the manual thread cutter or
  3. use a pair of snips (small scissors with finger holes).

I have used all three and I have to say my personal favorite is by hand with a pair of snips! It’s all what you get used to and after my thread cutter broke, well I had no choice! Now that I have the option again, I find that I’m perfectly happy trimming the threads by hand.

Try all three ways – some work better than the others depending on what you are sewing and how much of a hurry you are in!

Using the Selective Thread Cutter – AKA the Scissors!

The scissors are a great feature, especially if you’re working on something bulky that would be difficult to reach underneath and cut the threads off.

If you’re using the scissors feature on the Sapphire 930, then the bobbin thread won’t be long enough to pull through as mentioned in the previous tip.

The scissors do leave a tail that you’ll have to ignore or deal with.

This feature can also be programmed into a sequence of stitches.

Selective Thread Cutter in the top row of the function button panel
Selective Thread Cutter in the top row of the function button panel

 

 

Thread tail end when using the thread cutter
Thread tail end when using the thread cutter

 

 

Using the manual cutter on the side of the sewing machine

When you have finished the seam, pull the work to the side and use the manual thread cutter on the side of the sewing machine to cut off the bobbin and top threads. Doing this will leave a healthy length for the start of the next seam. A quick downward motion works best. This is great when you’re in a hurry and need to get to the next step quickly!

I’ve been known to be already standing and ready to walk to the ironing board and yank the threads through the cutter!

Manual thread cutter
Manual thread cutter

 

 

Clip the threads by hand using snips

When I complete the seam, I pull my work to the back of the sewing machine. Then using a pair of snips, I clip the threads close to the work.

I find that pulling to the back rather than the front or the side gets my threads more or less organized for the start of the next seam.

Pull the work to the back so the threads are more or less organized for the start of the next seam.
Pull the work to the back so the threads are more or less organized for the start of the next seam.

 

 

Chain piecing

Another way to keep your work tidy is to chain piece. Because you can get those pieces very close together when you’re sewing them, there are no threads to trim once you clip the pieces apart.

Chain piecing
Chain piecing

 

 

Nothing to trim once the pieces are snipped apart
Nothing to trim once the pieces are snipped apart

 

 

Anchoring the end of a seam

When we sew clothing, we do a backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to ensure the seam is secure. When we quilt, there’s no need – again you must watch the stitch length.

However there are times when it’s necessary to anchor the ends of the seams and the Sapphire 930 comes with a FIX function which essentially ties a knot by stitching forward and backward several times in the same spot. So where exactly would you use this FIX function?

The FIX function is great if your seam is going to start or finish in the middle of the work rather than the edge of the piece where the seam end will be encased in another seam.

Applique  – You must secure the end of applique stitching if no other stitching will anchor the end.

Top stitching – The ends of the row of top stitching must be anchored if no other row of stitching will anchor the end.

Stitching down trim, decorative stitches are a couple of other instances that come to mind.

And one more – when you’re making a pocket for a bag (or other item similar), you’ll stitch around the pocket leaving an opening to turn inside out. I anchor the beginning and the end of those seams to prevent the stitching from pulling out when I turn the item inside out.

Anchor the beginning and ending of these seams (pocket to be turned inside out) with the FIX function
Anchor the beginning and ending of these seams (pocket to be turned inside out) with the FIX function

 

 

No pressure foot lever

One other feature that I wanted to point out with the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 is that there is NO presser foot lever! The presser foot lowers automatically once you hit the foot pedal or the STOP/START button on the function panel.

A very useful feature especially if you have something very tricky lined up to sew and you need both hands to hold all the pieces in place (can you tell I hate pinning!). No need to reach behind and drop the presser foot.

No manual lever for the presser foot
No manual lever for the presser foot

 

 

The needle threader

Needle threaders are a great feature on the sewing machine but can sometimes be very frustrating to use.

If you find that your needle won’t stay threaded once you release the needle threader, try putting some slack in the thread – the needle will stay threaded every time.

The needle threader
The needle threader

 

 

No slack in the thread when I am trying to use the needle threader
No slack in the thread when I am trying to use the needle threader

 

 

A little slack in the thread should keep the needle threaded once you release the needle threader
A little slack in the thread should keep the needle threaded once you release the needle threader

 

 

Pressing

Although this tip has nothing to do with the sewing machine, I came across these blocks this morning and thought they would be a good example to show you how important pressing is. I hate when things are not well pressed. It can make a piece look absolutely terrible.

Have a look at the poor block below – yes it has been pressed but not well.

A poorly pressed block
A poorly pressed block

 

 

The seams are very wonky on the back
The seams are very wonky on the back

 

 

The block is now well pressed and looks much better
The block is now well pressed and looks much better

 

 

The back of the well pressed block
The back of the well pressed block

 

 

If I were in the market for a general all purpose sewing machine, I have to say that the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 is a beautiful sewing machine. Even though I’m technically on vacation – I can’t stop sewing! Once you get comfortable with the features and functions, there’s NOTHING that this sewing machine doesn’t tackle beautifully!

Tomorrow it’s all about speed. And don’t forget the gorgeous project that I have for you.

There you have it – I hope you use these 9 good sewing habits and hopefully they save you a bit of time as well! Have a great day! Ciao!

 

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. 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 crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

6 Comments

  1. Jennifer Elias

    Thanks for your great tips! I am a new owner of a Sapphire 930 and I absolutely LOVE it! I am trying to make a label for the back of a quilted project and am programming three lines of 3-4 words each plus a decorative stitch. I am using the same font and keep practice stitching on my sample fabric and cannot get the lines to ever reproduce the same way twice. Sometimes they one line will look great then when I do it again, the letters are all spread out. Any suggestions?

    • Jennifer So glad to hear that you’re enjoying the Sapphire 930. It’s an awesome sewing machine. Hmmm, what could cause the letters to go wonky? Are you using stabilizer? The tight stitching of the letters requires a stabilizer to help support the fabric. Try that and if that doesn’t work, let us know and we’ll see if we can come up with some other suggestions. Elaine

  2. Holly Essex

    I do most of these … but the second tip was a new one to me … and that’s why it pays to read articles like this because there’s always something you can learn. Thanks.

  3. Charlie DiSante

    Love my new 960q and your tips are so helpful. Look forward to seeing more. I know exactly what you mean about being on vacation but mow wanting to stop sewing. Any tips on fmq?

  4. Shari

    I love the tips and tricks and have been using them for years but like to read in case of something new. Thanks for the contests also!

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