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Sewing Techniques

Today, we are going to try some sewing techniques. Look at how easy it is to sew everything and anything on the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale sewing machine!

Since most of my sewing is related to quilting techniques, I often find myself at a loss when it’s time to sew something different. Today, we’re on a mission. I’m going to use some non-traditional materials and techniques and incorporate them into the quilting world. I do deviate a bit, but I’m on a roll and can’t be stopped.

Needles

I can’t say enough about the importance of using good quality needles. In addition to using good quality needles, here are a couple of tips to remember about sewing machine needles.

1. Use good quality needles

2. Choose the CORRECT type of needle for the project

3. Choose the CORRECT size of needle for the project

4. Change the needle often. My rule of thumb is to wind four bobbins. When the bobbins are finished, I change the needle and clean the bobbin case. I touched on that in this post.

There are several classes of needle types, but almost all domestic sewing machines use the 130/705H system. I asked myself: what exactly is that? The 130 refers to the length of the needle shank, the 705 refers to the flat shank and the H is related to the scarf of the needle. I’m not going to get into a discussion on needles here, but thought you might be interested to know that.

The 130/705H class of needles is recommended for the Designer Ruby Royale.

Various types and sizes of sewing machine needles by Inspira, as well as an information booklet.
Various types and sizes of sewing machine needles by Inspira, as well as an information booklet.

 

The little guide shown above is handy to have on hand.I keep one in the box with my sewing machine needles. It’s not important to know about or have on hand every type of needle, but you should be familiar with those needles used for the type of sewing that you do.

The Designer Ruby Royale will help with needle selection. The Exclusive Sewing Advisor will advise you on the best needle choice depending on the fabric weight and type, as well as the sewing technique you are going to stitch.

Thread related pop-up messages

The other day, I was ripping through spools of thread – more on that in a bit — and I think I encountered every message for thread built into the Designer Ruby Royale.

"Check needle thread" pop up message
“Check needle thread” pop up message

 

"Bobbin thread low" pop up message
“Bobbin thread low” pop up message

 

I do love the graphics built into all the pop up messages. I know, a small detail, but I like the graphics. What can I say!

Winding bobbins

Time to wind a bobbin. Ooops! Something is different. Normally you load the bobbin and use the start button on the Function Button Panel or use the foot pedal. Nope, neither of those things worked. However, a quick check with the on-line Information Menu and AHA – the button for the bobbin winding is on the pop up message that comes on when you engage the bobbin winder.

You can also adjust the speed of the bobbin winder on the screen. Being able to set this speed separate from the sewing machine speed is great. You don’t have to keep changing the speed depending on whether you’re winding bobbins or sewing.

"Bobbin Winding" pop up menu appears when the bobbin winder lever is engaged
“Bobbin Winding” pop up menu appears when the bobbin winder lever is engaged

 

Threading the needle

There is a handy built-in needle threader on the Designer Ruby Royale.

Built-in needle threader
Built-in needle threader

 

In the event you can’t use the needle threader (it doesn’t work with size 60 needles – the teeny ones), you can always thread the needle manually. If you struggle to see the eye of the needle, did you know that the circle in the bobbin case cover is a magnifier?

Of course, I had to try it out! Oh, yes, that makes it much easier to see the eye of the needle.

The bobbin case cover can also be used as a magnifier for threading the needle
The bobbin case cover can also be used as a magnifier for threading the needle

 

Let’s get stitching

I figured if I was going to try different stitches and techniques, there was no better place to look than around my studio. Someone recently gave me a stack of fleece samples. I’d trimmed them to similar sizes and the stack was sitting there. I’d been contemplating how to sew them together. Stretchy things and me don’t always get along. I do have a serger, but I wanted to try sewing these on the Designer Ruby Royale.

Let’s just say that I am hooked. I may never sew fleece on my serger again!

I started by going to the Exclusive Sewing Advisor. I chose Stretch Heavy as my fabric. I used the Quick Help to identify which fabric weight was the right choice. Then, I chose the sewing technique. Fleece doesn’t ravel so, technically, I didn’t have to finish the edge. But, I wanted those two edges securely fastened together to reduce bulk, make the seam lie flat and prevent any rolling. I chose Seam/overcast as the sewing technique.

The Designer Ruby Royale made all the rest of the choices for me. It chose the appropriate stitch, the stitch length, stitch width, sewing speed, thread tension, and sensor foot pressure. The stitch was displayed on the screen with the needle (stretch) and presser foot recommendations. Wow, that was easy! I changed the needle and snapped on the B foot and I was ready to sew.

I did pin the pieces of fleece together as I’m not that good with stretchy stuff. I also used my stiletto (quilter’s awl). This helped to keep the pieces from shifting as I sewed them together.

Sewing machine settings for sewing fleece
Sewing machine settings for sewing fleece

 

Seam and overcast in one step with fleece. I pinned the pieces and used my stiletto
Seam and overcast in one step with fleece. I pinned the pieces and used my stiletto

 

I did chain piece the pieces together and, as I was inserting the new work under the presser foot, I used the Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift to raise the presser foot up to its maximum height. This helped to prevent the top piece of fleece from shifting forward. I also used the Senor Foot Up – Extra Lift whenever I came to a seamed intersection. The Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift allows me to use the stiletto to maneuver the seams to ensure they’re going in the correct direction.

Using the Sensor Foot Up - Extra Lift to allow space to adjust the seam allowances on the top and bottom of the work
Using the Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift to allow space to adjust the seam allowances on the top and bottom of the work

 

Beautiful seam/overcast sewing technique on fleece.
Beautiful seam/overcast sewing technique on fleece.

 

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale made sewing the fleece pieces together a snap. I was so excited, I sewed not one, but two fleece quilt tops. This used up a lot of thread, which was a good way to get rid of some of those half empty spools.

Pieced fleece quilt top
Pieced fleece quilt top

 

Next up? Sewing a straight seam for a quilting project. It’s easy! I chose Woven medium for the fabric type and seam as my technique. The Designer Ruby Royale chose the appropriate settings for this project, as well as, recommending a presser foot and needle.

Note that the Designer Ruby Royale chose to use Thread Portioning for the fleece project and Thread Tension for this project.

Settings for sewing a seam on woven medium fabric
Settings for sewing a seam on woven medium fabric

 

The Exclusive Sewing Advisor will recommend a presser foot, but I can choose another foot if I want. In this case, I choose to use my Quilter’s 1/4″ piecing foot instead of the A foot. I like using the Quilter’s 1/4″ piecing foot as it allows me to piece diagonal seams (for joining binding and borders) and make wider seam allowances (like I do for quilt backings) without any trouble. Some 1/4″ feet use a flange on the right side of the foot as a guide, but I find this gets in the way when I switch to a non-1/4″ seam as mentioned above.

The Quilter's 1/4" piecing foot sewing a seam on woven medium fabric
The Quilter’s 1/4″ piecing foot sewing a seam on woven medium fabric

 

Set up to sew an extra wide seam on a quilt back. I use the guide lines on the throat plate for the seam width. (Note - the seam was already sewn)
Set up to sew an extra wide seam on a quilt back. I use the guide lines on the throat plate for the seam width. (Note – the seam was already sewn)

 

The default stitch length for the straight stitch is 2.5. Personally, I like a stitch length of 2.0. Instead of changing the stitch length every time I piece, I can make the changes that I want and then save the stitch to My Stitches menu.

"Save to My Stitches" button is conveniently located on the large interactive screen
“Save to My Stitches” button is conveniently located on the large interactive screen

 

Saving my new stitch to My Stitches menu
Saving my new stitch to My Stitches menu

 

Next, was sewing on a binding. I like to use a walking foot to sew on the binding because it helps to stabilize the binding and the quilt. I pick “Woven “as the Fabric Selection from the Exclusive Sewing Advisor and “seam” as the Sewing Technique.

Settings for woven heavy and seam
Settings for woven heavy and seam

 

I use the Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift to provide more room when inserting the binding and the quilt under the presser foot.

Using Sensor Foot Up - Extra Lift to provide more room.
Using Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift to provide more room.

 

The quilt top and binding fit nicely under the raised presser foot
The quilt top and binding fit nicely under the raised presser foot

 

The use of the Sensor Foot Up - Extra Lift is especially nice at the corners where you are dealing with a double thickness of binding.
The use of the Sensor Foot Up – Extra Lift is especially nice at the corners where you are dealing with a double thickness of binding.

 

 

 

I will talk about this walking foot more in another post, but I like the markings on the foot. I chose one of the markings (the edge of the opening on the right hand side) for the width of the seam to attach my binding. I do not use 1/4″ as my seam allowance. That is too small and the binding ends up feeling limp as the quilt does not fill the binding.

Using the edge of the opening as a guide to sew on the binding.
Using the edge of the opening as a guide to sew on the binding.

 

A generous 1/4" (more like 3/8") seam allowance to sew on the binding.
A generous 1/4″ (more like 3/8″) seam allowance to sew on the binding.

 

Time to kick it up a notch! Let’s see what we can do with that blind hem stitch. Again, I rarely — and I mean rarely — use this application, but I saw this technique and I thought I would give it a whirl.

Yes! I sewed a quilt sleeve onto a quilt using the blind hem stitch!

Settings for blind hem
Settings for blind hem

 

I chose Woven heavy, but I should’ve chosen Woven medium, since the bulk of the sewing was on the woven medium fabric. Like I said, I’m learning!

Now, I’m a novice at this and, while it works for the quilt sleeve, this is probably not the prettiest blind hem around. I’ll definitely be doing some experimenting with this technique. I’m not sure I’d use this technique for a large quilt, but for small quilts – absolutely. What a time saver!

Sewing on the quilt sleeve using a blind hem stitch
Sewing on the quilt sleeve using a blind hem stitch

 

The quilt sleeve stitched down with the blind hem stitch.
The quilt sleeve stitched down with the blind hem stitch.

 

Blind hem stitch does not show on the front of the quilt
Blind hem stitch does not show on the front of the quilt

 

I liked sewing the fleece so much that it got me thinking about another unfinished project in my closet. Hmmmm, I have a T-shirt that needs the sleeves cut off. I hate long sleeves. Why not try to hem the new sleeves with the Designer Ruby Royale? I think the reason the T-shirt sat so long is because I didn’t know how to attempt the hem.

Settings for hemming a stretch medium fabric.
Settings for hemming a stretch medium fabric.

 

Off with the sleeves!
Off with the sleeves!

 

I pinned the new hem in place, took the extension table off the Designer Ruby Royale, so I could use the free arm, and I started to stitch.

Stitching the new hem
Stitching the new hem

 

The new hem
The new hem

 

My "new" short-sleeved T-shirt
My “new” short-sleeved T-shirt

 

Let me say there was a lot of excitement in the studio after that. I could not believe how easy it was to rehem that T-shirt. All these years thinking it was a hard task. Amazing what you can do when you know how.

This is such a good example of having a very useful tool and having no idea it can do all these tasks for you. Not only can it do the tasks, but very quickly and easily as well.

After shortening the sleeves on that T-shirt, I remembered another T-shirt that I was going to make for my daughter many years ago. The pieces were all cut out. I dug it out and thought: what do I have to lose?

Hemming the sleeves on the T-shirt. You can see the free arm mode of the Designer Ruby Royale
Hemming the sleeves on the T-shirt. You can see the free arm mode of the Designer Ruby Royale

 

The nice seam/overcast edge
The nice seam/overcast edge

 

The finished T-shirt.
The finished T-shirt.

 

I even sewed ribbing on the neck. Once I got going, it didn’t take long to sew up that T-shirt. Imagine how fast I can be now that I know what I’m doing! Of course, I’m on the hunt for more stretch stuff!

I think the biggest problem (at least for me): I buy great tools, don’t read the manual, and then have no idea I’ve all this capability hidden away within the awesome tools.

The Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby Royale is one of those great tools. There are so many things you can do with this sewing machine. Let me rephrase that, I wonder if there is anything you can’t do!  And, if you can’t, then you probably don’t need to do it.

I’ve even more sewing techniques to share with you, but I’ll save them for another day. This has been loads of fun and I’m thrilled that I got a lot of odd jobs done! Tomorrow, I’ll share a small project with you. Have a great day! Ciao!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. Elaine’s Tech Tips column (originally published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine) is now available online in e-book format at QUILTsocial.com. When not quilting, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs, Lexi and Murphy, or can be found cycling across the country. Her blog is crazyquilteronabike.blogspot.com.

4 Comments

  1. oksana

    Such great demos, that I will transfer the fantastic info onto my Diamond, it is like
    a refresher course for me. Thanks

    • Qs_Carla

      A refresher course is always good!

  2. Carolyn Hutchinson

    Looks like there are lots of excellent features on this machine.

    • Carolyn – yes there are some excellent features on the Ruby Royale. And so much to discover when you read the manual! Hope you get the chance to test drive one! Elaine

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