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Let’s get stitching!

I’m going to start today by making a confession. If you have been following my blog posts you may be wondering if any of the sewing machines have a needle threader. Well, the answer is YES – the Sapphire 960Q has a needle threader. However, I seem to be very unsuccessful in making it work. But- I’m happy to note that I got it figured out! It would seem to be a combination of my lack of coordination…OK… so it was all related to my lack of coordination.

The good news – I persevered and now I can say that YES – there is a needle threader and it WORKS.

Yes - the needle threader works!
Yes – the needle threader works!

 

 

I would also like to mention that one must be careful when threading this sewing machine. There’s a very slight change depending if your thread spool is in the vertical position or the horizontal position. Ask me how I found that out. I had the spool in the vertical position (not sure why) and my thread kept breaking. I tried a different type of thread. I even tried a new needle. Nope – the thread kept breaking. What next?

OK – I got out the manual and read how to thread the needle. Ooops – once I made that slight change – no more breakage. Just goes to show that we can solve our own problems and also how much valuable information is in the darn manual.

That little mechanism on the left hand side of the picture is called the pre-tension guide. If your spool is in the horizontal position, you need to use that guide. If your thread is in the vertical position, you do NOT use that guide. Trust me - you can't cheat on this one.
That little mechanism on the left hand side of the picture is called the pre-tension guide. If your spool is in the horizontal position, you need to use that guide. If your thread is in the vertical position, you do NOT use that guide. Trust me – you can’t cheat on this one.

 

 

One more interesting little tidbit before we get into the stitches. I was stitching merrily away and I hear BEEP and this warning message popped up on the screen. Don’t touch the screen. You can just keep on sewing, but be warned that you’re almost out of bobbin thread. That is a nice feature to have. 

Bobbin thread low POP-UP message
Bobbin thread low POP-UP message

 

 

QUILTING STITCHES

There are many categories of stitches on the Sapphire 960Q. The categories include Utility, Satin, Heirloom, Quilt, Vintage, Decorative, Omnimotion, Specialty and Tapering Stitches. Each category is easy to find as they’re contained within their own menu. The number of stitches within each category varies, but there are three of four screens within each category with stitches to choose from.

The stitches are all outlined in the pop-up lid of the sewing machine and also in the manual.

The A-Utility stitch menus in the manual. These layouts are screen shots from the sewing machine.
The A-Utility stitch menus in the manual. These layouts are screen shots from the sewing machine.

 

The H -Specialty Stitches menu options.
The H -Specialty Stitches menu options.

 

 

Since I’m predominately a quilter, I like to take my favorite stitches I use for stitching for a test drive.

If I were just piecing, then I would only be concerned about the straight stitch, but I like to applique and so it’s important to see the variety and flexibility of the various stitches that are commonly used for applique.

The first one I looked at is the satin stitch. There is an entire category devoted to satin stitches with a total of 46 different stitches! A number of the satin stitches are also in the J – Tapered Stitches category. That means you can taper the beginning or the end or both ends of your stitching line. And there are numerous options for the degree of tapering.

Look at this incredible satin stitch in the picture below. The large one is 7mm wide. You can see that the density of the stitch changes as you look from right to left. I increased the density of the stitch until the area underneath the thread was completely covered.

The density on the left is probably a bit too much and if you were to use this density, you should probably use two layers of stabilizer. I only used one and there was no puckering until I got to the very dense part when the fabric just started to pucker.

The narrow satin stitch is the narrowest you would likely use. Anything smaller and what’s the point? The end of this row of stitching is one of the points where I was having trouble because the machine wasn’t threaded properly!  See – it looks ugly. That’s why we read the manual!

The end of this row of stitching is one of the points where I was having trouble because the machine wasn't threaded properly! See - it looks ugly. That's why we read the manual!
The end of this row of stitching is one of the points where I was having trouble because the machine wasn’t threaded properly! See – it looks ugly. That’s why we read the manual!

 

A couple of varieties of the satin stitch
A couple of varieties of the satin stitch

 

 

The next stitch that is very important to me is the zig zag. In addition to the basic zig zag, there is also a three-step zig zag and a two-step zig zag. For my test stitching, I wanted to see the basic zig zag stitch.

There is a lot of flexibility in the zig zag stitch. The length ranges from 2 mm to 12 mm and the width from 0 to 7.00 mm. With that much flexibility it shouldn't be a problem to find something that suits your project.
There is a lot of flexibility in the zig zag stitch. The length ranges from 2 mm to 12 mm and the width from 0 to 7.00 mm. With that much flexibility it shouldn’t be a problem to find something that suits your project.

 

 

Just wanted to note that sometimes you have to over ride the tension of the sewing machine. You can see that the top tension was too tight for some of the stitch outs above. After loosening the top tension, the stitch (the narrowest one) became more balanced.

I wanted to point this out because I have heard from many people who have auto-tension on their sewing machine and they assume they do not have to know how to change the tension. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the event that your fabric/thread/stabilizer combination isn’t doing what it’s supposed to – you have to over ride the settings to get it right!  I could have played with this more, but it’s good to see the bad and the ugly not just the good.

Here are a couple of stitch-outs of the blanket stitch. Actually the larger one is technically an overcast stitch, but it can be used for the blanket stitch. Again there is a lot of flexibility in the width and length of the stitch. The stitches can also be mirrored so that continuous line of stitching can be on the right or the left.
Here are a couple of stitch-outs of the blanket stitch. Actually the larger one is technically an overcast stitch, but it can be used for the blanket stitch. Again there is a lot of flexibility in the width and length of the stitch. The stitches can also be mirrored so that continuous line of stitching can be on the right or the left.

 

 

There’s a neat category of stitches on the Sapphire 960Q called the Omnimotion stitches. The maximum width for normal stitches in 7 mm. However the Omnimotion stitches are formed side ways and can be up a maximum width of 40 mm. This is awesome. Imagine the possibilities using these stitches for trims of bags, pouches, bookmarks, sashings, quilt block frames  and many other items.

To stitch out the Omnimotion stitches, you need to use the S Foot. It is much wider than a normal foot. The wider foot helps to stabilize the fabric as it is shifted right and left under the foot.
To stitch out the Omnimotion stitches, you need to use the S Foot. It is much wider than a normal foot. The wider foot helps to stabilize the fabric as it is shifted right and left under the foot.

 

Aren't those Omnimotion stitches gorgeous?
Aren’t those Omnimotion stitches gorgeous?

 

I've been intrigued by one of the feet - the H foot which is the Non-stick glide foot. It's used when you're sewing on vinyl, leather, foam and other items which may stick to a metal foot. No time like today to give it a whirl.
I’ve been intrigued by one of the feet – the H foot which is the Non-stick glide foot. It’s used when you’re sewing on vinyl, leather, foam and other items which may stick to a metal foot. No time like today to give it a whirl.

 

 

I used the Exclusive Stitch Advisor to set the machine to sew on leather. All the settings were adjusted and I was advised to use the H foot and a 90 Stretch foot. I cheated and used a 90 leather needle. The stitching came out beautiful. Can you imagine that stitch as a decorative stitch in a border or sashing?

Have you thought of a project that you can dress up with all those stitches? I have several floating around in my head.

Recently I answered a survey regarding my sewing habits. One of the questions was “What inspires you to start a new project?” That was easy to answer – ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. That is why I get into trouble with having too many UFO’s on my plate.

I hope you enjoyed this adventure into the stitches of the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q.

Tomorrow we are going to check out a couple of other interesting features of interest to quilters and on Friday, I will have a small project for you. Let’s get stitching indeed!

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.

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