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Exploring the laser feature and embroidery unit on the Designer EPIC 2

by Elaine Theriault

Wasn’t it exciting to find the inspiration for a placemat in the mySewnet blog on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2? And it was even more exciting to save it directly to the mySewnet Cloud, where I can easily retrieve it to stitch it out!

The way technology has integrated all aspects of sewing and embroidery is super exciting, and there’s always something new to explore and learn.

Today, I’ll finish off the placemat. Once I stitched the bats, the coloring reminded me of some scraps left over from a quilt. So I dug those out and pieced them together to make the front and the back. I didn’t have time to restitch the bats with the glow-in-the-dark thread, but that’s OK. I can do that later.

Gray, black, and white bats on green fabric stitched on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, Husqvarna Viking Adjustable Stitch in the Ditch Foot for IDF system

The bat embroidery from the mySewnet blog

I love the ability to sew on the Designer EPIC 2 without removing the embroidery unit. I won’t be doing any embroidery for a bit, meaning I could’ve taken it off, but the beauty is I don’t have to. I’d remove the embroidery unit if the project were more significant. I do not want to accidentally hit the arm with my elbow or have my project catch on the arm.

An orange, pink, and white embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

In sewing mode with the embroidery unit attached

Once the pieced section was complete, I sewed it to the bat embroidery, and now it’s time to quilt the project. As you can see, I didn’t follow the piecing or the quilting instructions as per those in the mySewnet blog. I like to use other projects to get inspiration from and make things up. That’s where the fun lies!

So I had my checkerboard squares and decided to quilt them with straight lines on the diagonal.

I can mark lines on the project or eyeball the stitching lines, but I have a built-in laser on the Designer EPIC 2. It’s easy to use, and you can play with the laser’s position and intensity.

A sewing machine presser foot with a red laser on green, gray, and white fabric; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Using the built-in laser to stitch diagonal lines

It was so easy to quilt diagonal lines from corner to corner, and I also pivoted at the edges for one continuous line of stitching. I had some amazingly straight lines with little effort in minutes.

Then I wanted to stitch in the ditch between the two sections, which again was super easy with the laser.

A red laser on green, gray, and white fabric; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Stitching in the ditch with the built-in laser

I love the Integrated Dual Feel (IDF) on the Designer EPIC 2, as it allows me to use almost any presser foot, so there’s no need for a bulky walking foot. No accessory to locate, and it takes no time to engage the IDF. And let’s not forget about the automatic needle threader and those fantastic LED lights.

A built-in walking foot on a white and pink embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

The Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) and the automatic needle threader

If I wanted to make the quilting lines denser, I could’ve moved the laser position to the left or the right and used it as a guide along one of the existing stitching lines. But I felt the density was enough, so I didn’t, but the laser moves 30mm to the left or the right of the needle, so there are loads of opportunities to play.

A red laser on green, gray, and white fabric; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

The laser moved to the left of the center position.

Then it was time to quilt the bat section of the placemat. I wanted to do some free-motion quilting to give the illusion of bats flying around. I didn’t remove the embroidery unit. The project is still small so I can get away with it, but anything too large and you want to remove the unit.

Green fabric with gray bats under the needle of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 sewing and embroidery machine

Free motion quilting with the embroidery unit on

Moving into free motion mode is a snap. I select the menu button from the bottom of the main sewing screen, and three options pop up.

I can choose between free-motion spring action, ruler work, or free-motion floating. By the way, did you know that ruler work is a subset of free-motion quilting? Yep – it is!

I love that this pop-up menu shows a picture of the appropriate foot for each category to ensure you use the right one. The feed teeth drop once you select an option, and the tension adjusts as necessary. Remember to always do a small practice to ensure the tension looks suitable for your project, especially if you’re playing around with different thread types and weights.

A menu option on a computerized sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

The menu options for free-motion quilting

OH MY GOSH – it was so much fun to quilt on the Desing EPIC 2. It was smooth, and I had zero issues with skipped stitches, shredding, or breakage. People shy away from quilting on a domestic machine because it can often be a struggle, but that was far from the case with the Designer EPIC 2. I had so much fun that I was sorry to be done in about 20 minutes! I might have to attempt a larger quilt, but I’ll remove the embroidery arm and install a proper quilting table.

Gray, black, and white bats on green fabric with free-motion quilting; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Free motion quilting on the bat embroidery

The back of the placemat is made up of scrappy leftovers from a quilt. I cut the leftovers into strips about 13”, more or less, and sewed them together until the piece was large enough. I didn’t worry too much about a pattern for the prints – I merely wanted a piece of fabric large enough for the back to use up the leftovers!

Green, gray, and white fabric strips with a gray border

The scrappy backing of the placemat

I also used leftover bits of fusible fleece for the batting. I like using fusible fleece for table runners and placemats, as I want them to be flat. The fusible fleece gives enough body to show the quilting stitches but is flat enough so things like glasses do not rock on the surface.

Yes – I confess that I keep bits of stuff, and it was easy to use a wide zigzag to stitch the pieces together. I used the Adjustable Stitch in the Ditch Foot for IDF System. Notice the guide in the middle to help keep the pieces of fusible fleece centered.

Since the Designer EPIC 2 is a 9mm stitch, I can use a very wide zigzag, but I chose a 7mm stitch. You can choose how wide a stitch you want to use.

Two white pieces of fleece under a metal presser foot; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Using a zigzag stitch to join pieces of fusible fleece

Here’s my quilted placement. As I was quilting, I made sure to stitch around all the edges to secure the layers together, making it much easier to attach the binding.

A green, white, and gray placement with gray bats

The untrimmed but quilted placemat

I trimmed up the placemat and bound it!

A gray, white, and black placemat with embroidered bats

The completed placemat

What fun to create something from nothing!

I love exploring all the tools available on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, and the more you use the tools, the more you learn, and the more you’ll remember to use them for future projects.

A burgundy rose and white embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

So whether you take inspiration from the projects in the mySewnet blog or from some other source, you’ll be sure to find something creative to make. And don’t throw those scraps away – they came in handy for this project.

Be sure to return tomorrow, as I’ll check out projects in the hoop. Yes – there’ll be more learning!

Have a great day!


This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Exploring mySewnet with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 | Embroidery

Go to part 3: In-the-Hoop projects on mySewnet | Customize embroidery patterns


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