Exclusive stitch techniques on the EPIC 2 embellish a journal cover

I love the collage journal cover with the pieced base and a couple of embroidered flowers. I can’t wait to share what I’m adding today using the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2. This fantastic sewing and embroidery machine has some exciting, exclusive stitch techniques, and don’t forget the beautiful (optional) extension table, which I love!

The first thing I did was measure the borders of the journal cover. While it’s possible to have the embellishments go off the edge, I don’t want them all to do that. So I used a white Chaco Liner by Clover (my favorite marking tool) to mark the stitching line.

Mark the stitching line for the perimeter of the journal cover.

Once the stitching line was visible, I sorted through the bags of embellishments and figured out the general area for the items I wanted to add. There’s so much cool stuff in the bag that it was hard to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. I used most of the things I pulled, but a few items didn’t work, and they’ll wait for the next project.

A rough placement of the embellishments

I added a layer of fusible fleece to the back of the journal cover collage to provide stability. Alternatively, I could’ve used a Tear-A-Way stabilizer; however, I prefer a slightly thicker journal cover for the finished product. The fusible fleece provides enough stability for all the stitching.

All embellishments will sit on top of the surface of the collage. However, I could’ve embellished some of the components before I sewed the fabrics together, allowing me to tuck the ends of lace, trim, or threads inside the seam allowances. That’s the beauty of making collages – you can do anything, and it’ll always be right!

I found a few things I’d like to incorporate into the seam allowances, like a neat wavy organza trim, but I have to save that for the next collage, and yes, there’ll be more collages.

The first embellishments I’m working on are free-standing lace flowers my colleague Margaret made for me. I can embroider them directly onto the cover, but I never look a gift horse in the mouth, so I’ll use these as applique.

Free-standing lace embroidery flower

You can see she stitched them on orange organza to provide some extra body to them.

Organza is the base for the flowers.

The question was how to stitch them to my journal cover. I can use free-motion and stitch around the edges, or I can use free-motion and stitch down the spines of each petal, but I chose to applique the flowers with a tiny zigzag (1.0 Stitch Width, 3.0 Stitch Length), matching thread, and the Open Toe foot. This technique worked like a charm, and I had to adjust the tension slightly to prevent the bobbin thread from pulling up from the back. I was using a pre-wound bobbin (white) in the bobbin and a 60-weight bobbin thread in the top. Don’t be afraid to play with your tension if you’re unhappy with the default settings.

Applique using the Open Toe presser foot

They look amazing on the cover!

The applique flowers on the journal cover

Here’s a close-up of the stitching, and it’s practically invisible.

Invisible machine applique

The next thing to add is the sequins. I can stitch them by hand, but why would I do that when there’s a sequin stitch in the Dimensional Stitch Menu (L:70) on the DESIGNER EPIC 2 sewing machine? There are continuous lines of sequin stitches, but there’s also a stitch that stitches one sequin at a time, and that’s the one I want.

Here’s the thing with some of these techniques – you can use multiple presser feet, so it’s always a good idea to experiment on a scrap of fabric first. I tried the Utility Foot A, but I wasn’t happy with the results, so I tried the Open Toe foot, and those stitches look amazing.

TIP Position the sequin where you want it. Lower the needle manually into the center and then slowly stitch the stitch. It worked perfectly for all the sequins!

Using Stitch L:70 to stitch the sequins in place

Here are some of the sequins I put in place. What a great way to embellish the machine embroidery flower I added yesterday. You’ll want to use standard-sized sequins, and I find that when using the cupped sequins, I position them with the cup facing up, which seems to work with no problems.

Sequins stitched on with the sewing machine

Next, I’m adding some hand embroidery floss. The Eleven-Hole Cord Foot for IDF System is the perfect presser foot for this task. It’s hard to see in this photo, but there’s a cut-out in the back for the IDF (Integrated Dual Feed) on the DESIGNER EPIC 2. While there are eleven holes in the foot, you don’t need to use all eleven, and I chose four.

TIP There’s a threader with the foot to help get the threads into the openings. I used six strands of floss in each hole. Once you have the ends through, pull them to the underside and tie them in a knot so they don’t accidentally come out!

The 11-Hole Cord Foot for IDF System is threaded and ready to stitch.

Attach the foot to the presser foot ankle and select a stitch. I chose a stitch from the Heirloom Stitch Menu (C:2), with 60-weight bobbin thread (white) and orange 50-weight thread on top. You can use a matching or contrasting thread on top – it’s your choice. But the beauty of this foot is that it sorts the floss as it stitches, so all you have to do is guide the fabric.

A note about presser feet – this foot was designed for the DESIGNER EPIC 2, which is a 9MM sewing machine. If you use an older presser foot, reduce the stitch width to accommodate the presser foot width.

Using the 11-Hole Cord foot to stitch embroidery floss in place

Here’s what the floss looks like when stitched in place. It’s so cool, and look how even it is. You can choose most any stitch, but be sure to practice first.

Embroidery floss stitched to the collage

Here are two things to remember when you’re doing decorative stitching. I recommend you practice the stitch first on a scrap of fabric to ensure you get the look you want. When you’re ready to stitch, touch the STITCH RESTART BUTTON (left-hand side, second from the bottom) to reset the stitch sequence to the beginning. You’ll find it on the Function panel.

The function panel

And on the other side of the Function Panel, you’ll find two other super functions to use for decorative stitching. The FIX function will tie a knot at the beginning and the end of your stitch sequence. If you want to stop at the end of the stitch sequence, hit the STOP function once you start on the final stitch sequence, and the DESIGNER EPIC 2 will stop at the end and tie a knot. If you don’t understand these functions, play with them until you do. They’re brilliant and so handy to have.

The right side of the Function Panel

Then I used the Three Hole Yarn foot and one of the stitches designed especially for this foot in the Specialty Stitch Menu (P:17) to couch some yarn to the journal cover. A threader also comes with this foot making it easy to get the ends of the yarn into the holes in the foot.

TIP Tie the strands of yarn into a knot to prevent them from slipping out. This presser is not a 9mm foot, so watch the width of the stitch.

Couching yarn using the Three Hole Yarn Foot

What’s nice is that the foot sorts and separates the yarn as it sews, so you don’t have to. I LOVE the look.

Three strands of yarn couched in place

While I can add many more items or decorative stitches to the journal cover, it’s time to say enough is enough. However, I decided to finish off with some Candlewicking stitching. Candlewicking stitches are pretty thick, so using the Specialty Candlewicking presser foot with a deep channel on the underside is essential to prevent the threads from jamming. You’ll find Candlewicking stitches in the Specialty Stitches Menu (P:1)

Specialty Candlewicking Foot

What fun and so easy to use.

A Candlewicking stitch

I almost forgot to mention I also sewed some buttons onto the collage using the Button Foot with Placement Tool. It’s so easy to sew buttons on using this foot, and there’s even a stitch in the Utility Stitches Menu (A:58). The default setting for the width is 3mm, but it’s easy to check if the width needs to be changed. Do this step manually. Yes – I’ve sewn on many buttons and never broken a needle or a button yet!

TIP When you start, grab and hold the top thread so it stays nice and snug. The result will look better than hand-stitched!

Sewing a button on with the Button Foot

Doesn’t the button look amazing?

A button stitched with the Button Foot

And that’s a wrap for embellishing the collage journal cover. It’s so much fun to check out things you have around the house, trade with friends, or go shopping. Then dig out the presser feet that you have and have fun! OH – I love when things happen that I didn’t plan. The flying geese and the row of Candlewicking stitches look like a stem for the embroidered flower!

The stitching is complete on the collage journal cover.

Now I bet you’re wondering how I know which stitches are in each stitch menu. Well, the more you use the stitch menus, the more you explore, and the more you use the JoyOS advisor, the easier it becomes, and soon you’ll know every stitch!

I need to trim some ribbons and yarns and slice open the Thread Velvet embroidery, and I’ll do all that tomorrow as I finish up the journal cover. Exploring all those stitch categories in the Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 has been so much fun.

Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2

I love how easy it is to find the various stitch types or embroidery designs using the large capacitive touch screen, built-in functions, or the optional accessory presser feet. There’s no limit to what I can do, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the techniques.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the reveal!

Have a great day!


This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: Search tools to find machine embroidery designs – So many to choose from!

Go to part 5: Sewing a journal cover with embellishments – Piping and bookmark included!

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