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Self-paced learning through built-in tools on the Designer EPIC 2

by Elaine Theriault

It’s a strange time right now and most of us are observing physical distancing. For the sewists among us, this is fabulous news. We have to stay home (guilt-free) and what are we going to do? Sew of course!

How many of you have wished for extra time to learn something new? Either a new technique or to properly learn all the features and functions of your Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 sewing and embroidery machine. This time of self-isolation is the perfect time to tackle something new.

Even as shops open up, it may be some time before shops and customers feel comfortable in a crowded classroom setting. So this week, I’m showing some amazing features of the Designer EPIC 2 that brings self-learning to a new level.

All week, I’ll focus on the built-in learning tools and learning some new techniques. Be sure to come back each day to learn something new.

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 sewing and embroidery machine

Using a book to learn

Two books come with the Designer EPIC 2. The first is the User’s Guide. It’s not a huge document, but at 180 pages, it can be intimidating. The guide is well laid out with chapters focused on sewing, embroidery, programming, and so on.

The User’s Guide provides diagrams and details of the functions and features of the Designer EPIC 2. There are some exercises in the guide to help you learn a new technique.

The User’s Guide for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

Here are a couple of tips for learning from the User’s Guide:

  • Have the glued spine of the book replaced with a spiral coil binding so the book can lie flat beside your sewing machine. This makes life easier when trying to follow along on the actual machine.
  • Pick a quiet time and choose one chapter or one section of a chapter. Go through the section while sitting at the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. Touch the buttons to see what they do and practice the exercises to visualize the features and functions. It’s one thing to read the manual, but if you don’t see the reaction of the button pushed, it’s harder to make it stick in your head.
  • Make notes or write down questions if something doesn’t make sense. Sometimes coming back to that section the next day will give you a different perspective on what was being said. Or save up those questions for when you do get a chance to chat with your local dealer.

The second book is the Sampler Book which gives the stitch-out details for the over 750 embroidery designs and 8 embroidery fonts built into the Designer Epic 2.

I’ll be chatting more about this book later this week.

Sampler Book for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

There’s another physical resource that can be very helpful for learning. This book is in very limited supply (I believe you have to buy it), but don’t worry – I’m going to show you how to get it for free. It’s the Accessory User’s Guide which shows all the current accessories. It’s broken down into chapters by sewing type – quilting, heirloom, embroidery, etc.

The instructions for using a particular foot or other accessory are clearly outlined on the pages which is what makes it a valuable book.

With new presser feet, new sewing machines, new accessories being released often, you can imagine, this is a very difficult book to keep up-to-date. Which is why it’s hard to get.

The Accessory User’s Guide for Husqvarna Viking

Together these three books weigh a lot and hopefully they’ll get worn out. They’re not difficult to navigate, but they are cumbersome and in the case of the User’s Guide, next to impossible to obtain a copy, even if you want to buy one. I have to find a safe place to store the books I’ll remember, I need my reading glasses every time I want to look something up, the pages don’t stay open if I don’t have spiral bindings and well, you get the picture.

Learning with a physical book is OK, but there’s something even better.

Downloadable PDFs

I know this solution isn’t for everyone. It took me a while to move over to this way of thinking, but once I wrapped my head around it, I’m in love with it. I rarely check the physical books.

The User’s Guide, the Sampler Book, and the Accessory User’s Guide are available to download for free from the Husqvarna Viking website. The User’s Guide and the Sampler Book are available at the bottom of the page for the Designer EPIC 2.  Check it out on the bottom left under Documents and Charts.

I accessed the website on my tablet so I could download the PDF versions of the books onto my tablet.

The downloadable PDF version of the User’s Guide for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

The Accessory User’s Guide is also available for download. Really? You mean anyone can download the accessory guide? For free? Yes – now – you can sit down at your leisure and flip through the pages to see all the great accessories you don’t have and you need.

And of course, you can check out the instructions on how to properly use the accessories you do have. You don’t have to download the Accessory User’s Guide if you don’t want to. You can view it online. Click on Accessories on the black bar and choose the Accessory Catalogue.

I know – you want to download it. By accessing it as I indicated above, you get the  PDF version of the catalog. Then all you need to do is download it. Again, if you do that on your tablet, you’ll now have the PDF version of the Accessory User’s Guide.

Now that was easy!

The PDF version of the Accessory User’s Guide for Husqvarna Viking

If you don’t want to download the Accessory User’s Guide, the instructions for using each of the presser feet and accessories are also available on the Husqvarna Viking web site.  You can choose to filter through the Accessory options menus or you can search for the particular item you’re looking for. I prefer to filter through the menus as I may not use the correct name when searching. You’ll get the same instructions that are included in the Accessory User’s Guide.

If necessary, you’ll get an explanation of what the foot does and how to use it. Here’s an example of the Free Motion Echo Quilting Foot.

Either way, you’re covered for a lot of remote learning.

Here’s the other thing to keep in mind about remote learning. What happens if you use the wrong foot for a task? Or you do it a little differently than it says in those instructions? If it works for you and you’re happy? Then it was a success. Do not be afraid to experiment.

The Sampler Book can also be downloaded on the Designer EPIC 2 website.

But wait – there’s more.

I’ve heard customers asking for a printout of all the 840 built-in decorative stitches on the Designer EPIC 2. You can scroll through the Stitch Menus on the Interactive Touch Screen, but customers want to be able to scan through them when they’re not sitting at their machine. So yes – you can download this document to your tablet as well.

At a glance, I can see both screens of Heirloom Stitches or all three screens of the Quilt Stitches.

I’m trying to get rid of paper in my life as much as I can, so if I can download something to my tablet, then I’m good with that. It’s great to have access to this document so if you’re creating a project or writing a blog post and you’re not right beside the Designer EPIC 2, it’s easy to find a decorative stitch and get the stitch number at the same time.

The Stitch Chart for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2

My only beef with this process is with the tablet I’m using. It doesn’t allow me to sort PDF files into file folders. I’m learning to live with that limitation.

Make sure when you bring your PDFs into your tablet you learn how to maneuver around the tablet software so you have easy access to your documents. There are lots of ways to help you flip from the front to the back and wherever else you want to go. You can search, make notes on the pages, and bookmarks pages.

The page thumbnails of the PDF along the bottom of the tablet screen

Now here’s one of the reasons I love the documents on the tablet. I’ve flipped the pages of the User’s Guide to the Table of Contents. This is exactly what you see in the physical book. But when I touch the topic in the index, guess what happens? Yep – the tablet flips me to that very page! No unnecessary flipping through pages to find page 48. Just touch the topic and you’re there. How easy is that?

The index of the User’s Guide on the tablet

Now I’m on the page for bobbin winding. Let’s say I can’t quite see the detail in the diagram or I have to find my reading glasses to read the text or my tablet is small.

The page on the PDF for bobbin winding

My tablet has a capacitive touch screen so I can just stretch the picture and guess what? The text or picture gets larger.

That’s a huge improvement over the physical manual. You can’t beat that feature. Plus the fact you don’t have to worry about finding the darn User’s Guide in the first place.

The diagram on the tablet has been stretched to allow better viewing of the details

Built-in User’s Guide

Here’s where the beauty of the Designer EPIC 2 comes into play. I’m now sitting down at the Designer EPIC 2 to sew. For the life of me, I can’t remember how to wind the bobbin. And my tablet is downstairs. What am I going to do?

The User’s Guide (the complete user’s guide) is built into the Designer EPIC 2. Seriously? Oh yes – it’s amazing!

The User’s Guide is always available regardless of what you’re doing on the Designer EPIC 2. Touch the small icon at the bottom right of the screen and guess what? There’s the User’s Guide complete with instructions on how to navigate it.

Navigation instructions for the built-in User’s Guide in the Designer EPIC 2

I can search for a topic or a feature I don’t quite understand.

Using the Search function to find a topic in the User’s Guide

I can browse the topics and features in alphabetical order. This is like the index at the back of the physical User’s Guide.

The topics and features are listed in alphabetical order

Or I can browse the Table of Contents of the User’s Guide. If I pick a chapter, I can drill down to the specific topic I want.

The Table of Contents of the User’s Guide

I’ve chosen to look at the bobbin winding technique. This is the same topic I referenced when I was viewing the PDF version on my tablet. Do you notice it’s identical?

The bobbin winding page of the User’s Guide on the Interactive Touch Screen on the Designer EPIC 2

Should you need to see a little bit better – you forgot those darn reading glasses or you can’t quite make out some detail in the photo, the Interactive Touch Screen on the Designer EPIC 2 is also capacitive. All I have to do is stretch the diagram and now I can read the text without my glasses or get a closer look at the detail in the diagram.

The diagram is stretched on the Interactive Touch Screen

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

I know what you’re going to say. There’s a function button on the screen and you have no idea what it is so how can you search the User’s Guide?

Wait – There’s a Quick Help feature. Touch the question mark at the top of the screen and then touch whatever button you need help identifying. A pop-up message will appear with the name of the function. If you need more information about that feature, you’ll be asked if you want further information and the appropriate page in the User’s Guide will open.

Now it doesn’t get any easier. Have a peek at this video to see what I mean.

Isn’t that great information? We’ve always wanted time to learn something new but always seemed so busy. Or we don’t know where to go to get the information. Learning on our own means we’re really going to learn it and we’re learning on our own time and at our own pace.

Dig out the User’s Guide – I mean – the one built into the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. Pick a topic and explore it.

I’m going to spend the entire week showing you how to use the educational tools built into the Designer EPIC 2 to increase your knowledge and skill level for this amazing sewing and embroidery machine.

Be sure to come back – there’s way more excitement scheduled for tomorrow as I look at the JoyOS Advisor and Design Shaping.

Have a great day!


This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Tips for learning from the JoyOS Advisor


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