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Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q Features Make the Quilting Easy!

by Elaine Theriault

While the Sapphire 960Q has some pretty cool physical features, let’s have a look inside this sewing machine as there are lots of amazing functions tucked away inside the Interactive Touch Screen. Join me as I walk through some of the menus and see how the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q features make the quilting easy!

If you aren’t in the market for a new sewing machine today, it’s still worth your while to continue reading. I’ve included some tips and tricks that will benefit everyone regardless of which sewing machine you have. And who knows – you may find a new feature or function that you can include on your wish list when you are in the market for a new sewing machine.

Exploring the Function Buttons

The Function button panel on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q

The Function button panel on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q

Speed Control

The speed control is the first function on the Function panel. It’s simple to increase or decrease the speed. Why is speed control important?

1. When free-motion machine quilting, you want to get up to speed as soon as you hit the foot pedal. Most of us would never quilt at top speed as it just isn’t possible to move the fabric fast enough to keep up with the machine and still have the work look decent. By adjusting the speed of the sewing machine to a speed you are comfortable with, you can put the pedal to the metal and not worry about finding the appropriate speed as you start to free motion quilt.

2. Some threads do not work well at high speeds. Simply adjust the speed of the machine and then use the START/STOP feature button instead of the foot pedal. This works brilliantly when you’re doing decorative stitching. Let the sewing machine do all the work!

It is easy to change the speed using the touch screen

It is easy to change the speed using the touch screen


Let’s look at  the STOP button. There are many decorative stitches on this sewing machine and it would be next to impossible to know exactly where to stop for each one in order to complete the stitch sequence.

The screen shot below shows one of the Omnimotion Stitches (we’ll get into that later).  If I were stitching this stitch out – how do I determine where the end of the stitch sequence is? If I am using the START/STOP feature, the machine will be stitching this design at a fairly decent speed and it would be tricky to stop the machine exactly where the stitch sequence ends.

You can see that the chosen stitch will continue on until I stop the sewing machine.

You can see that the chosen stitch will continue on until I stop the sewing machine.

By engaging the STOP button, the sewing machine will stop at the end of the stitch sequence.

The complete stitch sequence for one heart

The complete stitch sequence for one heart

Why is this STOP feature so awesome?

1. If I only wanted to stitch out ONE heart – I could choose that stitch number, then hit STOP and the machine will only sew ONE heart sequence.

2. If I am stitching a row of hearts, I can hit STOP once the length of stitches is long enough and the sewing machine will stop and tie off the threads at the end of the current stitch sequence.

3. I can program this STOP feature into the programmable stitches so if I have something set up like the labels we did a month ago – I don’t have to babysit the sewing machine.

Again – I am letting the sewing machine do the work for me!


Another feature on the Functions panel that I just love is the Sensor Foot Up/Extra Lift. There is NO presser foot on this machine. Yes – it does take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it – you do not miss having to lift the presser foot lever.

Let’s say that you have a thick item – like a quilt with poly batting in it. How do I raise the presser foot even higher to get my project under the foot? Simply hit the Sensor Foot Up/Extra Life twice and the presser foot will rise to its highest level. But WAIT – at the same time, the feed dogs will drop! OK – I have to admit that I played with this feature a couple of times to make sure that my eyes were not playing tricks on me.

Why is that important?  Well if you have something thick – you can bet that it will always catch on the feed dogs, turn back fabric and do all kinds of weird things. With the feed dogs out of the way and the presser foot high – you can very easily push your project in place. Then when you start to sew, the feed dogs pop back into sewing position on their own.

This is such a brilliant feature!

The feed dogs drop when the Sensor Foot/Extra Lift is engaged

The feed dogs drop when the Sensor Foot/Extra Lift is engaged


There’s one feature that I need to highlight. I can’t even show you a picture of it, but the difference it makes in sewing a project is enormous. It is called the EXCLUSIVE SENSOR SYSTEM. I know – you’re thinking  – what’s this and why is it so important? It can be a challenge when you’re sewing a bulky quilt with LOTS of seams. You are chugging along and your presser foot hits one of those seams and then just CLUNKS through the intersection. The seam allowance goes crazy, the stitch length is a mess and well – the sewing is just not smooth.

The EXCLUSIVE SENSOR SYSTEM will sense the extra thickness of the fabric and make the necessary adjustments to the pressure of the presser foot to ensure smooth feeding of the project.

Trust me – you have to sew something bulky on a machine with this feature to really appreciate it. Once you have this feature – you’re very hard pressed to sew on a machine without it.

My small portable sewing machine does not have this feature and I miss it. However the light weight of the portable sewing machine outweighed the benefit of the EXCLUSIVE SENSOR SYSTEM.

I’ll sew the bulky seams on my home sewing machine because the EXCLUSIVE SENSOR SYSTEM makes a huge difference in the appearance of my quilts.

Other functions

The Sapphire also has a scissors function, reverse, and needle up/down. Needle up/down is a MUST for me on any machine. That just makes it easier to sew whether you are doing applique (needle down for pivoting is a must), free motion quilting (to avoid big stitches because your quilt moved) and piecing – holds your work in place while you grab the next pieces to sew.


We all love to sew in a class – if something goes wrong – the instructor is there to help. Well the Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR is kind of like that instructor. On this menu below, you choose the type and weight of fabric that you are going to sew. Light to heavy, woven or knit or leather. Next choose the technique – seams, overcast, basting, etc. The sewing machine will do all the work – it chooses the stitch length, the best stitch, the tension and several other items.

You can over ride any of these settings with your own settings. This is very important as you get more creative and test out different kinds of threads and techniques.



The Interactive Colour Touch Screen

The screen provides a lot of information to help me sew the best possible projects. The current settings are displayed on the screen as are warnings about improper settings.

In the screenshot below, you can see the machine is set for a straight seam. The Exclusive SEWING ADVISOR is telling me to use the A Foot. There is even a picture of the foot in the event that I don’t know what the foot looks like. The machine is set for Woven light fabric and for sewing a seam. The suggested needle size is 70, the tension is set at 4.0 (but the plus/minus signs on either side allows me to override that tension if I want to). I don’t have to search for that setting – it is right there on the screen. The screen also shows me the stitch length and the stitch width (not shown in the picture).

There is no guessing – everything is easily accessible. I don’t have to search through several menus – I just turn on the sewing machine, attach the correct foot and I’m ready to sew!

Sewing machine stitch on the computer screen

Sewing machine stitch on the computer screen

Machine Settings

Of course – the Sapphire 960Q does more than just the basics. There are a few bells and whistles that makes the sewing machine shine.

I can choose the language to appear on the screen, the audio repeat will repeat error messages in the event that you didn’t hear it the first time! We are all in denial that our bobbin is running out!

The lock screen is extremely useful if you have a habit of bumping the screen and making changes. You can lock the screen until you hit the OK button that will appear on the screen. Great feature if you have the machine set to do something specific.

Machine settings screen

Machine settings screen

Stitch Settings

The Stitch Settings allows you to adjust the pressure foot pressure and to balance some of the decorative stitches. If you’re sewing on some speciality fabrics you may find the stitches are unbalanced and these settings allow you to bring them back in line. Not something you would be doing every day, but nice to know that you can over ride the system to make it do what you want!

Stitch settings screen

Stitch settings screen

Sewing Settings

The sewing settings menu is the one you would use the most.

If you’re using a twin needle – turn on the feature and choose the width of the needle.

If you set the Stitch Width Safety – the sewing machine needle is LOCKED in the center position. This is fabulous if you’re using the straight stitch presser foot. No danger of breaking needles. I LOVE this feature.

The remaining features can be turned on or off depending on your needs. Sometimes you want the machine to always tie a knot (FIX) and other times you don’t need it. This menu allows you to set these functions (from the Functions panel) to meet the needs of your current sewing project. They will stay on until you turn them off.

Sewing settings menu

Sewing settings menu

Stitch Menus

There are numerous stitch menus on the Sapphire 960Q.  While they are all displayed in the pop-up lid of the sewing machine, you will need to choose the appropriate menu on the screen to select the stitch you want.

The stitch menu on the Sapphire 960Q

The stitch menu on the Sapphire 960Q

Notice in the above screenshot – the symbols to the right of the screen allow you to mirror the stitches top and bottom, left to right. An extremely useful feature depending on your project.

Wow – there are a LOT of features on one sewing machine. The nice thing is that they are all useful features. Sometimes you buy a product with loads of features, but you only use a few of them. The features mentioned here are all ones that you would want to incorporate into everyday sewing.

Not only do the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q features make the quilting easy and the sewing more enjoyable, but they help remove some of the more stressful elements – like having to deal with tension. No more broken needles because you forgot to change the foot and many others.

Tomorrow we’re going to look at some of the stitches on the machine.

Have a great day!




Anne Brown November 23, 2018 - 11:48 am

I can’t seem to get the feed dogs to raise on my new Sapphire 960Q. When I was practicing some of the stitches, everything seemed fine. Now the feed dogs are down and I don’t know how to raise them. The manual is not very helpful. Can you help? Thanks

Elaine Theriault November 23, 2018 - 12:19 pm

Anne — once you deselect the mode of free motion, AND touch the foot pedal, the feed dogs should pop back up on their own. They’re automatic. Good luck.

Kathy E. December 12, 2015 - 5:55 pm

Elaine, I have really enjoyed your series of posts on the Viking Sapphire. I’ve learned something from each one of them and I’ve had my Sapphire for over a year now! Even though I’m no pro at free-motion quilting, I hadn’t even thought of adjusting the speed using the button. Yep, that’s a “duh” moment, but one I will certainly use! I also like your idea of using the “stop” button when using decorative stitches…so handy! Thank you!

Elaine Theriault December 13, 2015 - 8:36 am


So glad you enjoyed the series on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q. I love that sewing machine, but you probably already know that. I’m so glad you learned a few tricks – that’s what it’s all about. Making life and quilting/sewing easier! If you get a project finished – send it my way so we can post it. Enjoy the Sapphire. Elaine


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