Can you believe it’s the end of the week already? I’m having so much fun with the Husqvarna Viking EPIC 95Q and all the incredible features and functions. I love them all, but I think I’ve saved the best for today. The feature I’m showing you today is brilliant, and when you see how much time you’ll save, you’re going to love it, too!
You’ll find a button on the Function Panel that turns the Adjustable Laser Guidance System on or off. What’s this? It’s a laser light that appears in front of the needle and can be used as a guide to stitch parallel lines of decorative stitching, grid-quilting patterns, and even for sewing quilt blocks together.
I want to mention that even though the laser light is red, it shows up just fine on red fabric. I tried it on light and dark fabrics, and it worked equally well on both. Imagine if you have something you don’t want to mark, or you can’t mark; the laser will come in very handy for those jobs.
When you turn the laser on, a menu will appear on the interactive touch screen. You have two settings you can change. You can increase or decrease the brightness, so regardless of what color or value fabric you’re using, you’ll find an intensity that works for your project. You can also move the laser to the left or right of the center needle position – up to 30 mm on either side for a wide range of options.
I’m in love with it already, and I haven’t even used it yet.
Let’s think about where this feature could come in handy in the quilt world. Hmm – I have to mark flying geese units and half-square triangles all the time. It seems every pattern has one or the other, or sometimes both. Can I use the laser instead of marking? Let’s see what happens. I will start with a flying geese unit.
I left the laser in the center position and placed the square onto the rectangle (my preferred way to make flying geese). The laser extended from one corner to the other, and I stitched away. No marking!
Wow! I love this feature, and I found my accuracy improved a lot. After trimming the corner off and pressing the flying geese units open, I always check to see if any bulges appear along the edge due to sewing the diagonal seam. With the laser, my flying geese have never been so perfect, and I barely trimmed anything off. Do you realize how much time this will save?
I was able to chain piece the flying geese units just like I would if I had drawn the lines. I’ve never been so excited about a sewing machine feature before, but this one is a game-changer.
Okay, so that worked for the flying geese units; let’s see what happens with half-square triangles. I do a lot more of these units than I do the flying geese.
This time, I moved the laser to the right of the needle to line it up with the guide on the ¼” piecing foot.
You’ll notice the laser doesn’t extend to the full length of the diagonal. I thought that could be a problem. However, I visually lined up the laser with the corner and started to stitch. Wow – this is easy to follow. Notice the laser is in the middle of the fabric square and replaces the line I would have drawn. The needle stays in the center position, the laser replaces the drawn line, and I’m sewing a scant ¼” away from the line. Brilliant!
Then it’s a simple matter of chain piecing all the half-square triangles, and when I get to the end, I turn the chain around and stitch again, creating the second line of stitching. Do you realize how much time I saved by not having to mark those lines? Oh yes, I can start a new project with all that extra time! (I’m kidding.)
Even though the laser doesn’t go all the way from corner to corner, those stitching lines are very straight. I’m a happy camper, and now I want to dig out a project with loads of half-square triangles.
Imagine what else I can do with the Adjustable Laser Guidance System. Let’s say I want to do some grid quilting. No more marking. No more digging out the quilt guides. I can use the laser and get perfectly straight lines, every time! And don’t forget, there are 30 different positions you can use.
You can also use the laser for evenly spaced lines of decorative stitches. In this case, I used the decorative stitches in a grid pattern. It’s easy to mark the first line and then use the laser for all subsequent lines. What a time saver the laser is. I love it.
If that’s all the laser could do, I’d be thrilled. But wait – there’s more. With the Adjustable Laser Guidance System’s introduction, a new stitch menu appears on the EPIC 95Q. It’s the I Menu called the Laser Pictogram Stitches. This menu of stitches is an Exclusive Stitch Technique to Husqvarna Viking.
These stitches look a bit bizarre when viewed in the I Menu, but using the Program Function to combine stitches, mirror them edge-to-edge or side-to-side creates endless options. Here’s an example of using the I-1 stitch. The first stitch is in its original orientation, and the second one is mirrored side-to-side.
When I return to sewing mode, I can see what the stitches will look like when I stitch it out. That’s another fabulous feature of the EPIC 95Q. I don’t need to try and visualize the stitches on my fabric – I can see the stitches life-size on the interactive touch screen. More time saved, and I love that!
I’ve marked a line on my black fabric. I’ll start with the laser lined up with my marked line.
As the EPIC 95Q starts to stitch out the stitch sequence, the fabric will move from side to side. You want to keep the laser line parallel to the marked line. Don’t forget you can lower the speed if you feel it’s too fast. There are five different speed settings.
The stitches are programmed to stop at the end of each stitch sequence, allowing you to reposition the laser if things have shifted slightly away from the marked line. This line of stitching is called the Single Row Technique.
There’s also a Double Row Technique, which involves stitching down one side, rotating the fabric, and stitching back down the other side. This is what step one looks like on the interactive touch screen.
Here are a couple of examples of what’s capable when using the Double Row Technique. The blue line of stitching uses only the I-1 stitch as shown above, but with the mirroring abilities and the Double Row Technique, it looks very different from the original stitch!
The third technique is the Medallion Technique. This medallion uses the I-3 and I-4 stitches. This example is a very simple medallion, but you can create even more intricate designs by creating a sequence of stitches. The fabric is marked and pivoted as appropriate to make the medallion.
Wow – that’s incredible! Imagine how much fun it’ll be to play with the Laser Pictogram Stitches! I need to find some time to do that. But wait – I just did! Now that I don’t have to mark all those half-square triangles and flying geese, I should have no problem finding time to play with the Laser Pictogram Stitches. How many different combinations can one create?
It’s been a lot of fun this week exploring the Husqvarna Viking EPIC 95Q. It’s an incredible sewing machine loaded with fabulous features that not only make sewing much easier but will save you time as well. And imagine how professional your projects will look.
If you want to see more of the features and benefits of the EPIC 95Q, here’s a link to the brochure so you can check it out in detail. And be sure to stop by your nearest Husqvarna Viking Dealer to check it out in person, too.
Have a great day!
WOW!! I just downloaded all 5 parts of your article on the HV Epic Q95!! I can’t wait to read through it all – thank you so much for such a thorough article. I am researching new machines, trying to decide what the right machine is for me and the things I like to do – upgrading from my simple Janome. This article is sooooo very helpful – the Epic 95Q was already at the top of my list – and now I can really check it out before I actually go test one out! Thanks again!!