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Embroidery Stitches: Let’s Get FANCY!

Today we’re going to have a look at some of the embroidery stitches: let’s get FANCY on the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q. There are so many stitches and options within each stitch – the potential of the sewing machine is endless.

Here’s a close up of the stitch overview in the flip up lid of the Opal 690Q. There are so many choices. I bet you’re wondering why some of the stitches are in blue. We’ll take a look at that later in this post.

 

It’s very easy to navigate to the stitch you want – select the appropriate stitch menu (1 through 4 on the bottom left of the touch screen) and then enter the stitch number. This system works very well, except I was so focused on the stitch that I was trying to get the stylus to work on the stitch overview on the pop up lid, NOT the touch screen.

 

I chose stitch number 40 from Stitch Menu 3. Note the stitch length and width are set for me, but I still have the choice to over ride both the length and the width by using the +/- on the screen.

 

I reduced the stitch width from 7.0 to 2.5. You don’t even need to do a stitch out because you can see immediately on the touch screen that this combination is going to be a big mess. Seeing the stitches on the touch screen is a HUGE time saver.

 

I reduced the stitch length to 4.2 from 5.3. Again no stitch out is necessary since we can see on the screen that the stitch is not going to be what we want.

 

Remember the stitches in BLUE on the stitch overview on the pop up lid. Those stitches can be tapered at the start and at the end of the line of stitching. The small box on the bottom left here indicates that this is a stitch that can be tapered.

 

If you touch that box, this menu pops up which gives you a variety of options for tapering the ends of the stitch. You can taper just the start of the stitch or just the end of the stitch or both the start and the end. You do not have to taper the ends, but you have the option if you want.

 

One end of this stitch-out has been tapered

 

This stitch out has been tapered at both ends. I used a different angle for each end.

 

If you’re doing decorative stitching, this is one place where you can really get full use of those features on the function panel. I placed the fabric underneath the presser foot. Then using the Sensor Foot Down/Pivot Position button, I was able to ensure the presser foot was where I wanted it to be before I started stitching.

Then instead of using the foot pedal, I used the large Start/Stop button to start sewing. I simply had to hit the STOP button and the Opal 690Q completed the stitch unit. The threads were tied off and I used the scissors to cut the threads which were brought to the under side of the work.

Just a word of caution – if you are using the Start/Stop button for this kind of work – you’ll have to reduce the speed by several levels in order for the sewing machine to stitch properly. .

I would liken using the functions on the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q to using speed control in a car. Once things were set up, I basically had to steer the fabric and hit stop when I was done.

The best part – there isn’t really a learning curve. The biggest problem is knowing that the features exist which you can get by reading the user’s guide.

Everything is easy to do – once you know the feature is there!

 

 

Mirror mirror on the wall………….

Another option is to mirror the stitches. You can either mirror the stitches side to side or end to end.

In this screen shot, the leaves are pointing to the left.

 

Touching the mirror END to END option changes the direction of the stitch. Note the leaves are now facing to the right.

 

In this case, the line of stitching joining the floral units is on the bottom.

 

Using the mirror SIDE to SIDE button now has the line of stitching that joins the floral units on top.

 

This option opens up a whole realm of possibilities.  You don’t need to manipulate your fabric in order to get the stitches in the direction you want. Plus you can stitch symmetrical designs by mirroring the stitch position.

AND you get to see everything on the screen BEFORE you start stitching which helps to reduce errors.

A stitch out of the little star border.

 

One more decorative stitch out.

 

And because I am a cyclist, I had to stitch out this one. Hmmmm – that gives me an idea.

 

Mini-project IDEA!

I have a great project lined up for next time I’m the guest blogger and the bicycle stitch gives me an idea.

We’re going to make our own decorative trim that we can use in that project. I’m going to make a small ribbon tag. Look at the decorative stitches available on your machine or if you have an alphabet – you could stitch out your initials and make a small personal ribbon tag to insert into your finished projects.

I used a black grosgrain ribbon with a white stitch along both sides. I gave the ribbon a good press so it was nice and flat. Then I took a thin strip of stabilizer and placed it behind the ribbon. I used the Husqvarna Viking Utility Foot B and a rayon thread in the top.

 

I thought I could cheat the system and NOT put stabilizer behind the ribbon. No – I learned – if the Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR says to add stabilizer – then you ADD stabilizer! You can see the stitches are not as nice as they could be.

 

I added a thin strip of stabilizer behind the ribbon and it worked like a charm. Lesson learned – not all short cuts work. It really doesn’t take that much time to prepare the stabilizer and a good way to use up some of those scraps.

 

My personalized ribbon tag for insertion in a project. The idea is to take the tag and fold it in half like the bottom tag. I used a spot of glue on the wrong side to hold the ribbon together.

 

When I made the first tag, I used the Start/Stop button and let the machine stitch out one bicycle. As it started the second bicycle, I hit the STOP button. Once the machine had fully stitched out the second bicycle, the thread ends were tied off and the thread was cut using the scissors. The end result is the top tag.

Then I thought – I could use the mirror feature and reverse the direction of the second bicycle. I used the Start/Stop button and then hit the STOP button. The Opal 690Q stitched out the first bicycle and then stopped. I hit the Mirror End to End to reverse the direction of the bicycle. Then I hit Start/Stop again. Once the machine started to stitch, I hit the STOP button. Again the sewing machine stitched the complete bicycle and then stopped.

Now – if I were going to do many or even several of those tags – I could PROGRAM all those steps into the sewing machine. Then I would just have to hit Start and the machine would do the entire stitch out on its own. Brilliant!

The more you stitch and become familiar with the capabilities of the Opal 690Q, the more the ideas come. The Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q offers the sewist endless possibilities and the only limitation is going to be your imagination. 

I hope you enjoyed my tour of the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q, especially embroidery stitches: let’s get fancy! I thoroughly enjoyed sharing its many features with you. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a great project and MORE features of the Opal 690Q.

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.

2 Comments

  1. Rachel Hanig

    I have been going back and fourth between this machine and the 670 but now after reading this review, I will be settling on this one. I can’t wait to get my new machine!

    • RAchel – let us know when you get your new machine. Better yet – send us a project that you made with it! I’d love to post a picture on the blog. Elaine

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