Welcome back to another week of fun with the Husqvarna Viking sewing machines. This week, we’ll be taking a look at the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q. Another awesome sewing machine packed with super features.
Let’s get started!
The Sapphire 965Q has an Interactive Color Touch Screen where all the information you’ll need to sew is right at your fingertips.
One of the things that I love about the touch screen is that whatever stitch you choose will appear in real size right on the screen. The actual stitch length, the width, or whether you want the stitch to be mirrored end to end or side to side, you get to see all the details on the screen.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do a stitch-out on a scrap before you start on your project, but seeing the stitch on the screen can save a couple of steps.
There’s a stylus conveniently located on the side. The stylus makes it easy to select the functions on the screen, although the tip of your finger works just as well.
Look at the back of the Sapphire 965Q. There’s the accessory box to hold the 12 Snap-On Presser Feet that come with the sewing machine. If you’re going to be working on some small, hard to get at projects, it’s easy to reduce the size of the sewing machine bed, by removing the accessory box to reveal the free arm.
However, the more exciting feature about the back of the sewing machine is what’s missing. No presser foot lever. I’ve been using machines with this feature for several years and I absolutely love it. I was working on some very fiddly little bags a couple of weeks ago and it required two hands just to hold all the bits in place. I simply tapped on the foot pedal to lower the presser foot and started sewing. This is a must have feature on any sewing machine!
However, the first thing I did upon unpacking the Sapphire 965Q was to remove the accessory box and install the extension table. This is an extremely practical extension table. Notice how the front edge is curved. Whether you’re piecing something long, like a border, or short, like components of a block, there’s no sharp edge along the front for your project to get caught on.
There’s also a ruler (inches and centimeters) along the bottom so if your project has lots of different sized pieces and you need to be picking up the appropriate one, it’s easy to use that ruler to measure the pieces and get them in the correct spots.
The other thing that’s nice about the extension table is the amount of room it provides for keeping your block pieces handy. There’s 9¾” to the right of the needle and that, combined with the space in front and to the left of the needle provided by the extension table, means there’s lots of room for keeping your block pieces handy.
The other thing that’s nice is that software upgrades can be done via the USB port on the side of the sewing machine.
The Function Panel is on the front of the sewing machine. The various features included on the Function Panel helps with the operating functions of the sewing machine. Things like Speed, Needle Stop Up/Down, Sensor Foot Up/Extra Lift and Sensor Foot Down/Pivot (these are used instead of the presser foot lever), Start/Stop, Reverse and FIX (to anchor the end of a seam).
The two leftmost buttons on the top row are for controlling the speed. There are five speeds on the Sapphire 965Q.
While I use the foot pedal to control the speed for regular piecing, I may want to adjust the speed for other tasks.
If you want to read more, check out our post about sewing machine speeds and when to use the foot pedal.
I’ll chat about a few more of the features on the Function Panel later in the week.
There are three LED lights on the sewing machine that illuminate the needle area. The lights have a long life expectancy so it’ll be a long time before you have to worry about changing them.
All the built-in stitches are shown on the flip-up lid of the Sapphire 965Q. While all the stitches are listed in the manual and are included in the stitch menus that can be viewed on the Interactive Color Touch Screen, it’s handy to have them all visually in front of you when you’re looking for something.
I was looking for the blanket stitch and there are two different ones on the Sapphire 965Q. It was easy to identify the one that I wanted by looking at the stitch diagrams on the lid. The diagrams clearly show the number of stitches in each stitch.
Looking at the flip-up lid made me think of how people set up their sewing machine to sew. I’ve always sewn with the flip-up lid open. No idea why. But many people sew with the flip-up lid closed. I have to keep my hands to myself when I’m teaching a class and see the lids closed! Does anyone have thoughts on that?
There’s also a built-in needle threader. I must admit that this is a feature that I rarely use, although if I’m having trouble to thread the needle, I’ll use the needle threader. I’m fortunate in that I can still thread the needle by eye. For the most part, I sew all of my projects with gray thread so there aren’t many times when I need to thread the needle. However, I was working on a multi-thread colored project a couple of weeks ago and the built-in needle threader was very helpful and saved a lot of time!
The foot control is big and with my new found trick of keeping it in place, I’m not having to search for it under my sewing station. Nor am I sitting on the edge of my chair because the foot pedal has wandered away. This alone has made sewing much more comfortable which is good because I’ve been putting in some long days at the sewing machine.
You can check out this QUILTsocial blog post about my moment with the wandering foot pedal. (It’s the same post I linked to earlier in this post). I should mention that it’s very easy to keep this outdoor mat tidy. A quick pass with the vacuum and all the threads were gone.
Perhaps I should take some time one blog post and talk about the ergonomics of your sewing station. The important thing to remember is, make your environment efficient and comfortable and you’ll enjoy sewing more and you’ll be able to sew longer.
The last thing to discuss today is, you guessed it! The User’s Guide. I know that we think we know everything there is to know about a sewing machine. I mean how complicated can it be? I used to think that way, but after reading the User Guides of the sewing machines that I’ve reviewed, I can honestly say that I’ve learned a LOT. Not just about the sewing machine, but I’ve learned some sewing techniques or tips that I never knew.
While there’s a physical User’s Guide that comes with the Sapphire 965Q, you can also go high-tech and download (for free) the User’s Guide to your tablet. No danger of losing the User’s Guide!
I noticed while reading this User’s Guide, that there’s a lot of great little tips. Not just tips, but WHY you should do something a specific way. I like that. Nothing better than someone telling you to do something, AND explaining why it’s important that the task be done that way. This User’s Guide has a lot of those gray areas covered.
That covers the main physical features of the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q sewing machine. Those physical features make sewing easy and help to make our projects look professional.
Be sure to come back tomorrow as I’m going to share a couple of great tips. I also have a rather embarrassing story to share with you.
Have a great day!