Today, we’re going to have a look at some of the embroidery features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC. While the Designer EPIC is a fabulous sewing machine, it’s embroidery capabilities are spectacular. I remember my first embroidery sewing machine. The design work was done on a computer and then transferred to the sewing machine via a 3½ʺ floppy disk. Does everyone even remember floppy disks? Probably not and you don’t want to go there.
Let’s get started and see what the Designer EPIC has to offer.
The first thing you have to do is to remove the accessory tray. That’s easy, it just slides off leaving the machine in the free arm position.
Now slide the embroidery unit onto the Designer EPIC. The unit is very long so you want to make sure that you have plenty of space around the machine. The hoop will need space to move as well behind the sewing machine.
Wow – that looks exciting. That’s a LOT of space to play with. Wait until you see the size of the hoops.
You’re probably thinking that machine embroidery is going to be complicated, however, it’s much easier than you think. Don’t forget that the Designer EPIC has the JoyOS advisor and the User’s Guide built in. There’s a lot of information right at your finger tips and I’m going to show you just how easy it is to learn.
This screen may look intimidating when you first turn on the Designer EPIC, but in fact, it’s very easy considering all the available options. If I’m going to sew, I hit “Start New” to take me to the sewing mode. If the embroidery unit is attached, when I hit “Start New”, I’ll be taken to the screen where I edit my embroidery design.
Should I want to do a sewing technique that I’m not sure of, I can choose from one of the options shown above. If I want to learn about an embroidery technique, then I select Embroidery and if I want to learn some other things (which I’ll show you tomorrow), I’d choose the Knowledge Center.
And the entire User’s Guide is right there as well if I need to find out something specific. No searching for misplaced papers or manuals. I love this feature!
I started off by choosing the Embroidery section of the JoyOS advisor so I can learn a different embroidery technique.
I can change the background color in the hoop area that will appear on the screen. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s a big deal. Depending on the color of the stitches on the screen, you may need to change the background color so you can see the stitches properly. A very useful feature indeed!
Then you have various embroidery techniques that you can do. There’s a selection menu and within each menu, there are sub categories – each explaining an embroidery technique.
In the photo below, I’ve chosen Specialty Hoop techniques (these are non-standard hoops that are necessary to perform various techniques). Within this category, you can see there are four separate topics that I can select.
Here’s another category called Surfaced Embroidery. Don’t know what this means? There’s an explanation right below the grey boxes. Surfaced Embroidery is all about dimensional effects. Again, there’s information on the three techniques.
Below is a picture of the STEP BY STEP and very detailed instructions on how to do basic embroidery. You get the list of materials/equipment required and how to set up the Designer EPIC. This is the first page of the instructions. You have to scroll down to get the rest. It really doesn’t get any easier than this. The hardest thing now is to choose a design!
Note these detailed instructions are included for any of the embroidery techniques that you choose!
If you turn the Designer EPIC on and the embroidery unit is attached, this is the pop-up message you’re going to get. It’s a reminder to move everything out of the way of the arm so it doesn’t get damaged when it starts up.
I love these reminders. We think we know how to operate the machine, but then we forget about the simple things, like moving stuff out of the way, which can cause a lot of damage. And there’s no time to have a machine in the repair shop!
There are many built-in embroidery designs that come with the Designer EPIC. In addition you can incorporate the fonts and the decorative stitches. The possibilities without ever buying any other designs is mind boggling.
In the burgundy area below the designs, are the other design menus. Within each menu there are numerous designs.
You can also see that my hoop area is blue which is the default.
Remember that this screen is similar to a tablet. I can swipe up and down to scroll through the designs in one menu. Very useful and so easy to use.
In this photo, I’m scrolling side to side. Scrolling side to side will allow me to scroll through the various menus. An easy way to find the category of embroidery designs you’re looking for.
In this photo, you can see that the pink tab opens up the embroidery design menus. I can also load a stitch (blue tab), load a font (green tab) or bring a saved file in from the file manager (red tab). The brown tab is the JoyOS advisor project tab. YES – there are designs available depending on the specialty embroidery technique you’ve chosen in the JoyOS advisor. This is so awesome! The bottom tab is the thread color edit tab.
Remember that the Designer EPIC has internet capabilities. That means files can be downloaded directly to the Designer EPIC. I can upload saved files to the mySewNet cloud.
These capabilities are totally amazing. Remember I said that on my old embroidery machine that all of the design work was done on the computer and then loaded via a floppy disk? There’s just no comparison between the two machines. What was once a very laborious and technical task, is so easy that anyone can do machine embroidery. Using MANY different techniques.
Once I choose a design (in this case, Number 1 from the L Heart and Butterfly Designs menu), then information about that design appears at the bottom of the screen. I get the file name, the size, the number of stitches and how many thread colors there are in the design. All of this is very useful information when you want to stitch something out.
Something else that’s very important is selecting the correct hoop size. The Designer EPIC will NOT start a stitch-out if an appropriate hoop size is not selected. This is a safety feature and a very important one. No danger of starting a design and realizing the hoop isn’t big enough. You can see that there are lots of options for hoops. I like to select the smallest hoop possible for the design that I’m working on.
My biggest issue with hoops? The sizes are metric. There are many things that I can deal with in metric, the temperature outside, driving a car, but for some reason, inches and centimeters just don’t translate for me. I must make this a “must learn” item for this year. It would save me a lot of time, not just for hoops, but in general.
Three hoops come standard with the Designer EPIC. I’m going to talk a bit more about the hoops and how to hoop your fabric later this week.
The three sizes are:
360 x 260
260 x 200
120 x 120
In case you’re like me and those numbers mean nothing to you, the equivalents are:
14″ x 10″
10″ x 7½ʺ
4½ʺ x 4½ʺ
There’s a very large hoop that you can purchase separately. It’s called the Majestic Hoop and measures 360 x 350 or for the metric challenged among us – that’s 14″ x 13¾ʺ. Now that’s huge!
Here’s a design that I selected to stitch out. Yes, there are loads of buttons and options on the screen. The good news is you don’t have to touch any of them in order to stitch out a design. Simply go through the menus, select a design, thread the embrodiery machine, hoop your fabric and select GO. But once you get the hang of those basics, they will go along much quicker and you’re going to want to do a whole lot more!
And if you forget a step, you can simply follow along on the handy built-in instructions on the tablet like screen!
Oh – the possibilities are endless. I’ll be doing some embroidery later this week but I wanted to give you a peek under the hood just in case you thought it was complicated. There are loads of options and once you get comfortable, then you can start to use those options. There’s plenty of stuff to keep you busy while you learn.
Stay tuned as tomorrow we delve a bit more into the mystery of machine embroidery with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC.
Have a great day!