Were you impressed with the piecing abilities of the Husqvarna Viking Tribute 150C? I was – this machine makes a super second sewing machine for retreats!
As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to substitute the Tribute 150C for my usual sewing machine as I have piecing, applique, and quilting to do. Today, I’m looking at how the Tribute 150C performs with machine applique, and I have both raw edge and invisible applique to do.
Let’s check it out.
I’m starting with the invisible machine applique. Invisible applique means I don’t want the stitching to show, and seam allowances are added to each shape and turned under the applique.
Here are the supplies I need. I can use an invisible thread or a thin (60 – 80wt) thread that matches the applique shape, and I like to use a size 60/8 needle when using thin threads. In the bobbin, I use a bobbin weight thread. You can buy pre-wound bobbins or wind your own.
Depending on the thread you use, watch if there are notches at the ends of the spool. If so, ensure the notch doesn’t interfere with the thread coming off the spool, which can cause the thread to catch and break a needle. In this photo, you can see the notch on the right-hand side about mid-way up the spool.
I used the thread in a horizontal position for all the applique and chose the appropriately sized spool cap. You want the spool cap to match the end of the spool of thread to allow the thread to pull off the spool smoothly.
I always add seam allowances to my invisible machine applique and use various methods to turn those seams to the back of the applique. In this instance, I used a bias tape maker to turn the edges under and glued the bias to the background.
You can choose any stitch for the invisible applique, but I find a zigzag is the best. And my preferred settings are a stitch length of 4.0 and a stitch width of 1.5 wide. I want to use a narrower stitch width, but I’m not sure my eyes can handle the narrower width! If you can – go for it!
Thread the sewing machine, and we are ready to go. Wait! We need to choose the correct presser foot. While the Exclusive Sewing Advisor recommends the Utility Foot A, there’s a bar at the front of the foot that blocks my view of the points and indents which commonly occurs with applique.
Remember the box of five bonus feet? One of them is the Open Toe Applique foot. I won’t do applique without it!
The needle swings left and right as it creates the zigzag stitch. Your job is to keep 99% of the stitch on the applique shape, in this case, the green. However, when the needle swings to the right, you want it to fall directly onto the background, just skimming the edge of the applique. This technique ensures that the edge of the applique is completely secured. You’ll end up with a small flap along the edge if you don’t stitch into the background.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you must pivot as you go around curves. In this case, you can see the fabric getting a bit bumpy on the right-hand side. I must lift the presser foot slightly to release the build-up and continue. Because the presser foot lever is handy right behind the needle, this is easy to do.
Ensure the presser foot is always down when stitching. If you attempt to sew and the presser foot is up, you’ll get a pop-up message on the screen.
Don’t forget to pivot around those curves and corners. Pivoting eliminates puckering, and while you don’t need to pivot often, you need to pivot! Always pivot with the needle in the fabric on the fullest side of the curve. In this instance, that’s the outside edge. The pivot is like driving a car – it’s not an aggressive movement, just a slight turn of the fabric is enough.
Here’s what it looks like when finished. See how the zigzag stitch sits mostly on the applique fabric while one side of it falls directly into the background.
It’s not always easy to match the thread colors, so I go for the best match I can with the thread colors I have on hand. I’m thrilled with the results! There’s a gap between the two stems as a flower will go there, and the stitches are not as visible in real life.
Here’s what it looks like on the back. OK! The Tribute 150C did a fantastic job! The quality of the stitches is impressive, and I didn’t change any settings, not even the tension. The only thing I adjusted was the width and length of the stitch, which you can play around with to find a length and width that you like. If you want the zigzag to show, you may pick a thicker thread and the appropriate needle to go with it.
Am I happy enough with the results to do an actual applique project with the Tribute 150C? Hey – that was a real applique project that needed to be sewn, and I’m thrilled with the results.
Now, I also have some raw edge applique to finish off. This technique is where I use a fusible product to fuse the applique shapes onto the background. I’m not a fan of the raw edges, so I like to stitch over them using either a satin stitch or a blanket stitch. I’m using the satin stitch today.
There are three preset widths of satin stitch on the Tribute 510C. Pick the one closest to the stitch width you want and adjust accordingly.
I chose stitch 1:31, the middle stitch with a default width of 4MM. You should play around with widths and stitch them out to know exactly how wide 4MM is. I’ll often change the width within the same project depending on the size of the applique shape.
As I’m now working with a satin stitch, I can use the stitch length to adjust the density. The default is 0.8, but if I want a denser line of stitching, I can reduce that setting. You don’t want to go too dense, which can cause the stitches to jam.
This time, I’m using a thicker thread, and my favorite is the 40-weight threads used for machine embroidery. I still use the bobbin-weight thread in the bobbin, and I’ll use a larger needle – the 80/12 works great. Because this stitch is denser, I need an Inspira Tear-A-Way stabilizer on the back of the work to prevent puckering.
And yes – you guessed it – I’m using the Open Toe Applique foot again. Like we did for the invisible applique, you want to keep 99% of the applique stitch on the applique shape (the green), and when the needle swings to the right, it should skim the edge of the applique shape and go into the background. This technique ensures the edge of the applique shape is inside the satin stitching.
I like to pull my bobbin thread to the top so it doesn’t make a mess on the back or create loops on the top. I use the Needle Stop Up/Down to make this happen easily.
It was so easy to do the straight lines of the stems, but when I came to the leaves, I had to go around some sharp points. However, it’s super easy when you know this little trick.
Again, you’ll likely need to pivot on the curved sides of the petal, just like we did for the invisible machine applique. When you arrive at the point, stop with the needle at the outer point of the petal.
Lift the presser foot and pivot so the next satin stitch goes down the center of the petal. Remember – you are always pivoting on the outermost part of the applique shape. Take one stitch.
Then pivot again, so the next stitch goes back onto the already stitched line of satin stitching and repeats when you get to the other end of the petal.
And there you have it – a great example of satin stitching that took so little time, yet the result is impressive. Am I impressed with the satin stitch of the Tribute 150C? You bet! Would I use this to do an actual project of my own? Guess what? This is an actual project I’m working on, and I’m thrilled with the results.
Here’s what the satin-stitched flower looks like next to one with no stitching. I love the look of the finished edge! I love that it doesn’t take much time to do this. I used to buy a lot of fabric, but now I buy a lot of thread. I could have used a contrasting thread color or a matching one – there’s no right or wrong, only what you prefer.
And here’s a tip if you’re doing sharp curves or smaller circles. You’ll have to pivot, but this time, you must pivot more frequently. Again – always pivot on the outer side of the applique shape. The more you pivot, the smoother the lines will be.
And this is the back before I tear the stabilizer away. You’ll see that the top thread appears around the satin stitch’s edges and is supposed to look that way. You don’t want the bobbin thread to show on the front. After I tear the stabilizer away and give it a good press, the block will be ready to be stitched into the quilt.
So, are you impressed? Imagine being a new sewist and getting those excellent results right from the start. I’d be so happy that I’d want to continue sewing. If my results were not so great, I’d be discouraged!
And even better, I didn’t have to adjust the tension for either of those techniques, even though I used different thread weights in the top and bobbin! I just threaded the machine with the appropriate thread and matching needle size, and away I went.
Yep – I’d be thrilled to use the Husqvarna Viking Tribute 150C as my second machine for retreats and classes because I know I’ll get excellent results!
If you can, stop by your Husqvarna Viking dealer and test drive one for yourself.
Tomorrow is the last day, and we’ll look at quilting.
Have a great day!!