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Lost in the jumble? Here’s how to organize your sewing machine accessories

by Elaine Theriault

I’m so excited to be back! I’m looking forward to chatting about two of my favorite things – sewing machine accessories and organizing.

I’ll be using the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 for the sewing this week. To get more details on this fabulous sewing machine, check out my previous week of blog posts.

A white sewing machine with black and teal trim; Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

Let’s face it – it’s easy to get excited about accessories for our sewing machines, and I love walking into my dealer and scouring the accessories board to see what I’m missing.

Then we get those accessories home, and where do they end up? Some people are very diligent and have a system for organizing them, but sometimes, they end up like this.

Many packages of sewing machine presser feet in a drawer

A drawer filled with sewing machine presser feet and accessories

Or here.

A plastic tray with dividers filled with sewing machine presser feet

Various sewing machine presser feet

Neither of those options is good. If my feet are in that drawer and I need to find a specific one, I must empty the drawer and go through all the feet. Since we’re in a rush most times, even though this is our hobby and we should be relaxed, we often are not! At least all the accessory feet are in their original packaging, so it’s easy to identify which foot is which.

The second option isn’t great either. It’s a smaller container, but the original packaging is gone. However, when I went through the container, I realized that most of those feet are the standard accessory feet that come with the sewing machines. Shhh – I have a few Husqvarna Viking sewing machines, and I don’t usually keep any of the feet with the sewing machines. Why? I’ve no idea – just a habit I developed a few years back.

I found a few of the Utility Foot A in that plastic box.

5 versions of the Utility Foot A arranged on a blue background

Several versions of the Utility Foot A

OH – if each of those feet represents a sewing machine – NO – I’m sure I’ve purchased one or two extra ones along the way. I’m sure!

The evolution of a presser foot

Did you notice the two presser feet in the front are slightly different from the ones in the back row? There are no markings on the feet, and one of them is narrower than the others.

Like everything else, changes occur over time – thanks to feedback from users and consumers like us. Notice the addition of the red markings that can act as guides for various sewing techniques.

Here’s something else you may not know about presser feet. Depending on the maximum stitch width for your Husqvarna Viking sewing machine, the presser feet are different widths. My first sewing machine had a maximum stitch width of 6mm, and now the maximum is 9mm. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s a huge difference.

Three metal presser feet for a sewing machine in three different sizes on a blue background

The Utility Foot A in 6mm, 7mm, and 9mm

The Utility Foot A on the left is a 6mm foot, designed for my first Husqvarna Viking sewing machine I bought many years ago. The Utility Foot A in the middle is for 7mm sewing machines, and the one on the right is for the 9mm machines. In this case, it’s for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, which has a cutout in the back for the Integrated Dual Feed system.

If you have sewing machines with different width presser feet, it’s a good idea to sort the presser feet by size and label them. It’s OK to use a 7mm foot on a 6mm machine, not so great if you use a 6mm foot on a 7mm sewing machine and try to stitch at the maximum width. You’ll end up with a broken needle or worse!

Thankfully, there’s a pop-up message on the Designer EPIC 2 reminding you to check the stitch width if you are using a narrower presser foot.

A pop-up message on a computerized sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

A pop-up message to ensure the stitch width matches the presser foot

The other concern is how the presser foot engages with the feed teeth. The presser feet and the feed teeth work together to feed the fabric. If the presser foot width doesn’t match the feed teeth, you’ll get very uneven feeding, resulting in poor quality seams.

Look what happens when I put one of the earlier ¼” piecing feet on the Designer EPIC 2. The presser foot is so narrow it doesn’t even touch the feed teeth. You’d get very uneven feeding with this setup.

A narrow metal presser foot doesn't touch the feed teeth on the sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

An older version of the ¼” piecing foot doesn’t even touch the feed teeth.

However, if I put the 9mm Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P on the Designer EPIC 2, the presser foot fully engages with the feed teeth for an even feed while sewing.

A metal piecing foot sitting on the stitch plate of a sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

The 9mm Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P fully engaged with the feed teeth

Look what happens when I take the 6mm ¼” piecing foot and put it on the Opal 670. It doesn’t give me good coverage with the feed teeth, which would not provide good feeding.

A metal presser food on the stitch plate of a sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

A 6mm piecing foot on a 7mm sewing machine

When I attach the 7mm Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P, the foot covers the feed teeth, and the feeding will be perfect.

A metal foot sitting on the stitch plate of a sewing machine; Husqvarna Viking Opal 670

The 7mm Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P provides complete coverage of the feed teeth.

Use the Accessories User’s Guide as a resource

If you’re like me, you’ve accumulated a lot of accessories and presser feet over the years, yet you don’t use them as often as you should, or you have no idea what they are or how to use them. Sometimes, we forget why we purchased them, or we’ve forgotten how to use them.

Here’s an invaluable resource for you.

A book of sewing machine accessories

The Accessory User’s Guide

It’s the Accessories User’s Guide. I have a hard copy of the guide, which isn’t easy to get. However, you can download a PDF version of it for free.

This guide is like a bible to me, and I use it all the time. Not only does it list all the accessories for the Husqvarna Viking sewing machines and sergers, but there’s also a hoop compatibility guide for each of the embroidery machines. You’ll find diagrams and instructions on using the various presser feet or accessories.

Written instructions on using a sewing machine foot

Instructions for using the Clear Piping Foot

I mean, it doesn’t get better than this. You’ll find the name of each presser foot, its purpose, a photo of the presser foot in action, and instructions on how to use the presser foot. The part number is listed, and there’s a series of circled numbers, which I’ll explain in a minute.

Not only is this guide valuable for identifying our presser feet, but the tool is a good learning resource. While hands-on classes at your dealer are worth taking, there’s a lot of educational material in this free guide!

It’s a great idea to go through all your presser feet, find it in the User’s Accessory Guide and then do some samples – more on that tomorrow. I’m guilty of buying a new presser foot and felt I now knew how to use it because I’d purchased it!

HA – I soon learned that’s not the case. I have to open the package, get some sample fabric, and try it out. I’ll make many mistakes, and only then can I call myself competent with the presser foot! So, keep that thought in mind – you know where I’m going with this.

OK – so back to those little circles – what the heck do they mean? They’re there to help you buy the correct presser feet for your sewing machine!

Inside the front of the User’s Accessory Guide is a chart of all the Husqvarna Viking sewing machines, which fall into nine groups, depending on the technology associated with that grouping. Things like the maximum stitch width, the width of the feed teeth, Integrated Dual Feed, and so on.

A list of sewing machines

The sewing machine in Group 6, as listed in the User’s Accessory Guide

If I scan the list, I find the Opal 670 right at the bottom, so I know any accessory with a 6 in the circle is appropriate for the Opal 670. Now it’s so easy to get the right accessories.

A list of sewing machines in a group

The Designer EPIC 2 is in Group 9.

Category 9 is for the Designer EPIC 2, a 9mm sewing machine, so the presser feet are wider and have the cutout in the back to work with the Integrated Dual Feed system (if applicable).

This information will help you sort through all your sewing machine feet if you have multiple machines.

If your presser feet are still in the packages, you’ll see the name in multiple languages, part numbers, and sewing machine groups in the little circles.

A metal presser foot sitting on a white and red label

The front of the packaging for the piping foot

The back of the packaging has several pictures you’ll also find in the User’s Accessory Guide or online. If you’ve sewn for a while, this may be all the information you need to use it, while others may want all the details in the guide.

A label for a sewing machine presser foot with pictures of a piping foot

The back of the packaging for the piping foot

Back to storage

So, how should one store their sewing machine feet? One way is to use the accessory tote you can purchase through your local dealer.

Inside are many zippered pockets, which greatly help sort and store those presser feet. The pockets are large enough to hold the labels in the packages, or you can use a labeler and add your labels.

A clear pouch with zippered pockets holding metal sewing machine feet

Sewing machine feet stored in zippered pouches

I’m in the process of sorting all my presser feet that come as part of the accessory kit for the various Husqvarna Viking sewing machines I own. I have all my Utility Feet A in one pocket, all the B in another, and so on. I have some small plastic bags, and I’ll put the various sizes in a baggie and then put that category in one zippered pouch. You can purchase extra pages for the zippered tote!

However you decide to sort your presser feet, this accessory tote will be convenient! Now, why haven’t I used this before?

Should I need to go to class, I’ll grab the feet I need for the machine I’m taking, and I’ll be good. The rest of the feet can stay home in the tote.

The new presser feet have the stitch width engraved on them. While it’s possible to tell the different widths apart, this helps to keep things under control.

A metal presser foot with a nine engraved on the back

The presser foot size engraved at the back of the foot

So, you know what I’m going to say next – you have work to do! If you don’t have a copy of the User’s Accessory Guide, you need to go and get it.

Then dig out all your presser feet. Are they organized? If not, then you have a job to do. If they are, you can go through the guide to see which ones you’re missing. Make a list so you can avoid buying duplicates the next time you’re shopping.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at a couple of the presser feet and learn how to make better use of them.

Be sure to check out the Husqvarna Viking Opal 670 or the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 while you’re at the dealer. They each have a place in your studio!

On that note, have a great day!

Ciao!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Piping vs welting – What’s the difference? Which presser foot works best?

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2 comments

Sue Ryckman April 4, 2022 - 11:12 am

Thank you! I have an Epic 95Q that I purchased a year ago, 2 weeks before I moved! My LQS has been fantastic to help me over the phone, but otherwise I’m learning through mostly error! 🙂 Quilt Social has been so helpful with this machine features! Now it’s Sew Mastery lesson time. Thanks so much for these articles!

Reply
Christi March 22, 2022 - 3:55 am

I have an Opal 670 and I don’t think the 1/4 in foot I had from my Rose works well on it at all. I wish the 670 had a better choice for 1/4 in foot.

Reply

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