What do you think of the Integrated Dual Feed (IDF) and the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance I talked about yesterday? Those are just two of the new features on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 that will make your life as a quilter so much easier.
I hear it all the time from sewists and quilters. “I don’t use the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.” Why is that? Partly, I think because people are afraid to venture into the unknown.
Today, I’m exploring the use of decorative stitches as it pertains to quilting or for decorating your project.
The Designer EPIC 2 has over 840 built-in stitches with a width of up to 54mm for some of them. Also, there are some very exciting exclusive stitch techniques. I’ll touch on a couple of them today.
Let’s get started.
I love the serpentine stitch, which is D5 on the Designer EPIC 2. It’s a great stitch for quilting. I had another set of zippered pouch covers cut and I wanted to quilt a grid using the serpentine stitch. In my desire to speed up the process, I wanted to minimize the number of lines I would have to draw, so I used the Adjustable Laser Sewing Guidance.
I drew a diagonal line using the Clover Chaco Liner and proceeded to stitch out the first line of serpentine stitching. I used the default settings for the stitch.
The serpentine stitch moves side to side so it was a wee bit trickier than following the straight line from the previous day’s post. However, it still worked amazingly well and I saved a lot of time by having to mark only one line to stitch the entire side.
When working with decorative stitches, you should always make sure you’re starting a new line of stitching at the beginning of the stitch sequence. The last thing you want is to have practiced the stitch, then start on your project and not be at the beginning of the stitch sequence.
So how do you know you are at the beginning of the stitch sequence? It’s so easy on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.
If you use the Cut Function on the Function Panel, the stitch sequence will always reset to the beginning.
There’s also a Stitch Re-start function on the Function Panel that’ll reset the stitch to the beginning of the stitch sequence.
While I have all that available to me, sometimes, I need a visual reminder I’m at the start of the stitch sequence. If you look closely at the beginning of the line of stitching on the Interactive Touch Screen, you can see a black dot at the beginning of the line of stitching. If the dot is there, you’re at the beginning of the stitch sequence. If the dot is not there, you’re not at the beginning.
How easy is that?
Like the grid I quilted with the straight lines yesterday, it was so easy to stitch these lines, so I stitched them in both directions to get a diagonal grid. As I suspected, the fabric is so busy the lines of quilting aren’t that visible. I’m OK with that and I knew that would be the case.
What better place to experiment when using a busy print and blending thread colors? If it doesn’t look perfect, that’s OK.
I did get an interesting quilting pattern although the wavy lines don’t match up. That’s next to impossible to make happen because I was stitching out diagonal lines and my starting point on the fabric wasn’t the same because of the 45° angle.
Still, I’m very happy with the results.
But wait! I’ve got something very exciting to show you.
Decorative stitches in embroidery mode
The ability to bring decorative stitches into embroidery mode is so exciting I want to spend hours to see what exciting patterns I can create.
Yes – you read that right. The Designer EPIC 2 allows you to bring in almost all of the 840+ decorative stitches into embroidery edit to create your designs, including all but one of the exclusive stitch techniques.
That means I can bring in any stitch and create a pattern I can use to decorate a garment, a project, or I can use for quilting. I’ll have more tips on the type of stitches to use for quilting as the week goes on.
What is the advantage? I no longer have to draw lines or worry about keeping the fabric straight. If the item is in the embroidery hoop, the stitching will be straight and even.
I’ll get back to that Serpentine stitch (D5) in a minute.
This design below uses the K17 stitch from the Omnimotion stitch menu. The width of that stitch is 36.5mm. While it’s perfectly fine to stitch this stitch out in regular sewing mode, it would be a challenge to get multiple lines of stitching exactly lined up.
I brought 11 rows of the stitch into embroidery edit and created a pattern. This took very little time and look at that pattern. Isn’t that exciting?
There are oodles of editing tools in embroidery edit which allow you to mirror, duplicate, move, scale, and rotate the designs. I won’t go into detail about embroidery edit, but suffice it to say the options for editing are huge. Not only are the options huge, but they are easy to use and very flexible.
Once I was happy with the design I created using the Omnimotion stitch, I didn’t have time to stitch out the design. I wanted to save the file so I could stitch it out the next day. Oh darn, I don’t happen to have a USB with me.
No worries. The Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 is connected to the WiFi in my house and I keep it connected to mySewnet account. I simply saved the file to mySewnet account where it will be easily accessible when I want to stitch the design out.
I mean – how easy is that? And my mySewnet account will follow me wherever I go. So if I’m teaching a class and I want that file? As long as I haven’t removed it from my account, I’ll be able to access that file on any of the mySewnet enabled sewing and embroidery machines. I love it.
Here’s my embroidery file stitched out on a solid piece of cotton.
Isn’t that amazing? I brought in 11 rows of the Omnimotion stitch and lined them up with great precision. I could never do that in regular sewing mode.
This could be used for a cushion, a zippered pouch, journal cover or anything else you want to make.
I’m making a zippered pouch with this pattern. You can never have enough zippered pouches. They’re great for storing things.
For the second side, I decided to eliminate some of the lines of stitching. Oh shoot – there are four lines of stitching. I was aiming for three. That’s OK.
If I wanted to add some lettering or another decorative stitch, it would be very easy to import them into the embroidery edit mode. The possibilities are endless.
Bringing decorative stitches into embroidery edit
Bringing the decorative stitches into embroidery edit is so easy. I’m spending the rest of today chatting about the three options you have to import the decorative stitches into embroidery edit.
You’ll want to start with a clean work surface. Choose your hoop size and start browsing the stitch menus.
Using the Stitch Menu icon (second from the left along the top of the screen), I can bring any of the 840+ stitches in the Designer EPIC 2 (except for Menu M – Theme Stitches) into embroidery edit. If I bring in decorative stitches this way, they’ll appear on the screen as individual stitches. They are not connected to each other.
Why would I use this method if the stitches are not connected?
I might want to bring stitches in from the O Menu (Single Motif). These are best used as individual motifs and using the Stitch Menu icon in embroidery edit is the best way to bring in this kind of stitch.
What if I wanted to add the single sequin stitch to my embroidery design. I would select that stitch by using the Stitch Menu icon in embroidery edit.
Yes – isn’t that exciting you can embroider sequin stitches? Now you do have to manually place the sequins, but still – that’s super exciting.
While that’s a great way to bring in one stitch at a time, it’s not very practical if I want to create lines of stitches.
If that’s what I want to do, I’ll use the Program icon at the bottom of the embroidery edit screen. Here, I can load any stitch I want. I can create a sequence of the same stitch or I can add any number of different stitches.
You could lose serious time by experimenting with all the options. The best part? You get to see the stitch sequence on the interactive touch screen before you commit to stitching out the design. This is a huge time saver!!!!
I also have the option of modifying each stitch individually. I can change the length and width as well as mirror the stitch. Change one or change them all – it’s totally up to you.
The tools are very intuitive and so easy to use. You’ll have no trouble learning this.
One important thing to mention is the length of the stitch sequence is noted as you add and subtract (or change the size) of the stitches. Once you have the proper length of the stitch sequence, you can select the checkmark at the bottom of the Program screen and the line of stitching will appear in the embroidery edit screen.
You can go back to Program if you want to start a brand new sequence of stitches or hit duplicate to add multiple columns (rows) of the same stitch sequence. To create my pattern, I created the first line and then duplicated it 10 times. Then I repositioned the additional lines using the Position tool.
The 3rd way to bring decorative stitches into embroidery mode is through Design Shaping. This is a tool found on the bottom of the embroidery edit screen. If you think you would never remember which icon is which – there’s an easy solution to that. The question mark you see at the top of the screen is the Quick Help function. Touch the question mark and then any icon on the screen and you get a pop-up message with information about that function. It’s brilliant.
Once I’ve selected Design Shaping, I can choose from the list of shapes. I chose a straight line.
Note: In the photo below, the row of stitching on the left, was created using the Program feature. I left that line of stitching on the screen so you could see the difference between these two methods of importing decorative stitches into embroidery edit.
Once my shape (the straight line) appears on the screen, I’ll go through the stitch menus and choose the stitch(es) I want to put on the shape. I chose the same stitch. This time, I get to select the number of stitches I want to appear on my shape.
You can’t modify the size of the stitch in Design Shaping. If I needed to change the width or length, I can make changes to the stitch and save it in mySewnet. Then I can easily bring in the modified stitch from mySewnet instead of from the built-in stitch menus. The bottom line – anything is possible.
I’ve now increased the number of stitches from 1 to 6. Notice the stitches are not connected to each other. In order for them to connect, I’ll continue to add stitches until they connect.
Using that same Omnimotion stitch, I’ve created a couple of other shapes using the Design Shaping tool. The top one is the Wave and the bottom one is the Circle. There’s a lot of flexibility in using the Design Shaping tool and you can incorporate more than one stitch onto the same shape.
For the fun of it, I went back to the serpentine stitch (D5) and using the Program tool, I brought in lines of stitches and placed them on a diagonal grid. Now I can achieve absolute precision in placing those lines of stitching. So if you didn’t like the casual look of the one I did in sewing mode, bring the stitch into embroidery edit to make it perfect.
If you don’t like the pattern created, move the lines to get a new pattern. Can you believe those lines of the serpentine stitch are diagonal? It sure doesn’t look like it. I didn’t bother to experiment further with this pattern, but you get the idea that you can create pretty much anything. I did not modify the original serpentine stitch, but I could have to get way more options.
It appears I like diagonal grids. I love this pattern I created.
This time, I used a straight stitch (A2) to create the diagonal grid. I found a motif in the built-in embroidery designs that fit nicely into the squares created by my grid pattern.
Using the position tools on the bottom, I was able to get all the motifs lined up both vertically and horizontally. And it was very easy to create!!!
I’m hooked – I want to make more patterns.
The previous pattern I stitched out was stitched on a solid piece of fabric using stitch n tear. and was hooped with Inspira Tear-A-Way. I’m making it into a zippered pouch, so I’ll fuse some fusible fleece to the wrong side of the embroidery stitch out. The cover won’t be quilted, but I’m OK with that. I just like the feel of something soft inside my pouches.
For this design, I decided to embroidery all the motifs using Tear-A-Way in the hoop on a solid piece of fabric. Then I added a piece of fusible fleece to the underside of the hoop and created the quilting lines by stitching the diagonal grid pattern through the Tear-A-Way and the fusible fleece.
It’s all about experimenting to see what you like. What I love is the flexibility and the fact that while there are better methods than others to use, there is technically no right or wrong way to do anything.
I hope you’ll look at your decorative stitches a wee bit differently now. The ability to edit the stitch widths and lengths, mirroring, rotating, combining and all the other editing features truly make the 840+ built-in stitches the tip of the iceberg.
The tools of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 make all this so easy to use. I may not surface for a long, long time as I continue to experiment with various stitch combinations that I bring into embroidery edit.
Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I’m doing some ruler work!
Have a super day!