Did you run around and gather all those tools and supplies? That is the hardest part of any project, and I usually forget something and have to stop and locate it.
Today, we’ll start stitching using the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, the Circular Attachment, and the new set of templates. But we’re not making circles – we’re making hearts! Seriously? Yep!
I decided to jump right in and start with one heart and why not try applique? While the templates don’t show you can do applique, you can, and I’ll show you how. The heart’s top circular part ranges from 6mm to 16mm. This template set requires the Circular Attachment, which is a separate accessory. Please see this tutorial on how to use the Circular Attachment.
Even though there are instructions, I like to draw a map on paper to help me understand the stitching sequence.
You must know the two pin placements (A and B on the drawing), the direction of the stitching (marked by arrows), and when to remove the pin and stitch in a straight line.
The first thing is to choose the heart size you want and mark the fabric. You may want to stitch out a sample heart of each size to help you with the placement. You’ll see more of that tomorrow when I make my table runner with three hearts. Remember, the numbers on the template correspond to the diameter of the top circular sections of the heart.
If you’re making one heart, the alignment isn’t that critical, and at first, until you understand how the sizing works, give yourself lots of extra fabric. Depending on your marking tool, you may want to iron the fusible stabilizer (Fuse N’ Tear) to the wrong side of your fabric before you mark. Some marking tools don’t take kindly to heat and can leave permanent marks.
You should have six points of reference. The center on the top row is where you START And STOP, the two points on either side are for the pin placement, and the two on the outer edges are where you will stop to remove the pin and stitch in a straight line down to the bottom center point. While it may sound confusing, it’s not. That’s why you draw that map!
As I’m doing an appliqued heart, the first thing to do is to create a placement line of stitching so I know where to position the applique heart fabric. I chose the smallest heart using the 6mm mark on the Circular Attachment. When you want to change the size of whatever shape you chose, never use the push pin to move the slider. Use the flat ribbed surface to move the slider, as the pin will bend and break, which is not good.
I’m getting set up so I can start stitching. I’ve inserted the push pin in the A dot (the right-most dot on the top line) marked on the fabric, and then the push pin is inserted into the circular attachment. Rotate the fabric so the needle is at the center dot on the top line. Trust me, this all makes sense when you have the fabric and the sewing machine in front of you!
The Designer EPIC 2 has a built-in walking foot called the Integrated Dual Feed (IDF).
If the IDF is not engaged, but the Designer EPIC 2 knows it should be, you’ll get a pop-up message on that gorgeous large screen reminding you to engage the IDF.
It’s a good idea to gently pull the fabric away from the pin as your fabric rotates around. The fabric will want to shift, and the end of the stitch line will not line up with the start point, so be sure to do this step. I used a straight stitch for this part.
I stitched around the circular top of the heart until I reached the extreme right-most dot.
Now I have to remove the pin from the fabric and stitch a straight line to the bottom dot. Should I have marked a straight line with my water soluble marker? No need for that. I used the built-in laser on the Designer EPIC 2. So simple.
Turning the laser on is super simple, as there’s a button on the function panel, and it’s the second from the bottom on the right-hand side.
A small pop-up menu appears on the screen when the laser function is activated. You can position the laser up to 30mm on either side of the needle, which is excellent for stitching half-square triangles without marking. You can also adjust the brightness. I love this feature and use it often. No more marking of anything for me!
Then I stitched to the bottom dot keeping the laser lined up with the dot. I rotated the fabric, used the laser to line up with the outermost dot on the other side, and then stitched to the next dot. Notice there is no push pin in the A or the B dot.
Then I put the push pin into the B dot and stitched the final half circle, ending at the starting point.
There’s my placement stitch for the applique heart. That’s how easy it is to stitch a heart using the circular attachment, and I could use a decorative stitch or be content with the straight stitch. But since I want an applique heart, this is the first of three steps. My center was a wee bit off, but that’s OK as this is only the placement stitch, and it was my first heart, so I think I did pretty well!
When you want to do applique, it can get tricky as I have to mark the applique fabric with the same dots as the background.
So, I did that and then lined up the dots on the applique fabric with the dots on the background. Some people like to mark the dots on the stabilizer on the back, which is great, but you need to know where to stop and start, so I marked and matched, which didn’t take long.
Then using a straight stitch, repeat the stitching of the heart shape to tack the applique fabric in place.
And on the wrong side of the fabric (the side with the stabilizer), you can see my two lines of stitching – one is the placement stitch, and the second is the tack-down stitch.
Now I’ll take my applique scissors and trim very close to the tack-down stitching, but not cutting through the tack-down stitches. Oh, I forgot to mention the scissors in my tool list. You must use good quality applique scissors when trimming excess fabric!
I’m using the circular attachment to stitch a third time, but I’ll use a satin stitch to enclose the raw edges. I have numerous satin stitches, but I picked a medium width (4.0mm) and narrowed it to 3.0mm. The maximum width is 9mm on the Designer EPIC 2.
I’ll use the push pin and the circular attachment for the curved sections, while the laser will make it easy to do the areas of straight stitching. You must be able to see those reference dots, so you know where to stop and start.
When you get to the point, stop on the outer side of the fabric to pivot around the point, ensuring an excellent point with your stitching, which is a fundamental principle of machine applique and applies even in this unconventional stitching method.
See how the satin stitch covers the raw edge. Don’t forget that you can move the needle 30mm to the left or right if things don’t align as you would like, however, I didn’t need to move my needle.
And here’s my completed applique heart. It looks fantastic, and look at those beautiful curves and those straight lines. It was a breeze with the Designer EPIC 2 and the Circular Attachment!
Even the center join is perfect! WOW – I’m very impressed. Machine applique is not something you do quickly, and it was worth the time to use the Circular Attachment to get perfect results.
Isn’t that amazing? I love the Circular Attachment, and this new set of templates takes it beyond circles! I’ll make this applique heart into a mug rug, which you’ll see later this week.
Let’s not forget all the great features of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2, which made it so easy to create that applique.
Be sure to pop back tomorrow, as I’ll be looking at creating more hearts with the Circular Attachment, the new template set, and the Designer Epic 2.
Have a super day!