Welcome back! The Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35 was full of surprises yesterday – everywhere I looked there was another storage compartment. Isn’t that design amazing?
I bet you’re saying that there are a lot of buttons on that sewing machine and they look intimidating. Once you know how those buttons can make your sewing experience loads of fun, you’ll appreciate how amazing the Jade | 35 truly is.
Let’s have a look…
I’ll be covering the functions all week. Today is a quick overview of some of them. We definitely want to get some sewing in as well because it’s one thing to have a feature-rich sewing machine, but I know you’re asking “how well does it sew?” I’m going to leave you hanging on that one – for the moment.
Below is a close up of the function buttons on the Jade | 35 so you can refer back to it to see the placement of the various features that I’ll be chatting about.
The Exclusive Sewing Advisor is on the right hand side of the function panel and is a fabulous tool. By selecting the type of fabric that you’re going to work with and then choosing the sewing technique, the Jade | 35 will automatically select the best stitch, the stitch width and length and the thread tension for you.
The column of buttons on the left hand side (A – G) allows you to choose the type of fabric – you can choose between woven or stretch (knit). You can also choose the weight of fabric from light, medium or heavy. In addition, you can also select the vinyl/leather option.
This is a fabulous feature and for those who are new to sewing, this takes a lot of guess work out of starting to sew. Or if you’re like me and do a lot of work with woven fabric, but need to sew some knits from time to time – then I don’t have to figure out how to set the machine. I simply choose the fabric type and let the sewing machine take the guess work out of the equation.
Not only can I select the type of fabric that I’m working on, but I can also select the sewing technique that I want to do. These are options 1 – 7 in the right hand column. I can choose a regular seam, overcast, seam/overcast, baste, blind hem, hem and buttonhole. Again if you’re like me – I don’t use some of those techniques every day and I would have to stop and think about how to set up the sewing machine. With the Exclusive Sewing Advisor – I just touch a button.
Remember, the Exclusive Sewing Advisor is just that – it’s an advisor. It’s like having a teacher at your side. If you feel that you need to make some adjustments to the settings – you would prefer a longer stitch width or length or feel the tension is off a bit – you still have the option to over ride the choices, but the Sewing Advisor will get you started and that is worth a lot!
There are a lot of buttons in this next section. When you get started, the most important buttons to remember are the light grey buttons on the left hand side. The ‘OK’ button selects any of your choices on the graphic display and the arrows are navigation arrows to help you scroll through various menus.
I would have preferred to see the embroidery buttons a bit more separated from some of the other features, but then I haven’t used the embroidery unit yet and many of the function buttons do double duty when the embroidery unit is attached so it may make logical sense that they are positioned where they are.
I’m just to tell you what the features are for now, and over the course of my review, we’ll be having a more in-depth look at the features so you can really understand what the Jade | 35 is capable of.
The two buttons that look like the needle is hopping (how technical is that!) are to use with the embroidery unit – that allows you to step through the design one stitch at a time. I know – it’ll be much clearer when we get there. The two buttons with the spools are also for use with the embroidery unit and allow you to step through the embroidery design color by color.
The bottom row of that section has the mirror end to end and the mirror side to side – we’ll touch on those tomorrow. They are great features – you’ll love them. I recently worked on a sewing machine that didn’t have that feature – oh boy – I was practically doing gymnastics as I wrangled my project under the presser foot to get the stitch going where I needed it to be. The middle button is used to rotate designs when in the embroidery mode.
In the grouping on the right hand side, there are more options when using the embroidery unit like selecting a different hoop size, information about the embroidery design and the bottom button in that column is for checking the corners in embroidery mode.
The button with the tools on it is exactly that – allows us to make some changes to the default settings, there’s a menu for selecting stitches (top right hand side), the next two are for the built in alphabets and lastly an option to program your own stitch sequences.
The power in these buttons is enormous. As I walk you through how those functions work, you’ll be amazed.
When getting started with regular sewing, the only button you need to remember is ‘OK’.
This next set of buttons is right over the sewing area. I should mention that the buttons in the left column do double duty when the Jade | 35 is set up in embroidery mode. But I’ll cover those when we get there.
On the left is the needle stop up/down with an indicator light. While this feature is useful for sewing, it is an absolute necessity for applique and free motion quilting. This feature will become your best friend.
The STOP button is great when doing decorative stitching, although it has other uses. Let’s say that you want to stitch only one sequence of a decorative stitch or you want to end your line of stitching at the end of the stitch sequence. Use the STOP button to do that.
The FIX button ties off your line of stitching. I love to use this stitch when starting a line of applique stitching or quilting. If sewing seams that require an anchor stitch at the beginning or the end – this is a great feature to have. What requires an anchor? Y seams or mitering corners. We’ll get into that a bit more later this week.
The CUT function will cut your thread at the end of a line of stitching.
The buttons on the right are 10 commonly used stitches. Rather than go through the stitch menu, they are very handy. Just push the button to select the stitch, then you can adjust the length and width to suit your project.
This next set of functions is directly above the needle and allows me to control the speed of the sewing machine. The START/STOP function allows me to start and stop the sewing machine without the use of the foot pedal. Notice how it is conveniently located above the needle. And the U-shaped button is the reverse.
I think this is just a personal thing, but once I get the sewing machine set up – I like to sew with that lid closed (provided my thread is in the horizontal position).
Once I set my stitch length and width, needle down, I can close the lid on the Jade | 35 and still have access to the important functions that I need – like the FIX and CUT buttons, the START/STOP and the reverse button. If I need to change something, I flip the lid up.
Most people I know sew with the lid up. Do you sew with the lid flipped up?
The graphics display gives you all kinds of information. Not only do you see the number (1:01) of the selected stitch, but you see the visual stitch, the speed level (bottom left), the length and width of the stitch, the tension setting and much more!!
And, any messages (thread breaking, empty bobbin, etc.) will pop up on the screen. The pluses and minuses at the bottom allow me to change the length and width of the selected stitch. The ALT button has to do with applique and we’ll touch on that another time.
Obviously the garbage pail is delete!
This is a small detail, but I love it. There’s a red line on the plastic bobbin case cover indicating the 1/4″ seam line.
Notice how that line matches up with the front edge of that Quilter’s 1/4″ Piecing foot. It’s interesting to note that this foot doesn’t come with the Jade | 35. But I discovered this foot last year and I now have many of them – one for each sewing machine and a few spare. There’s NO need to move the needle right or left anymore. You have a single hole for the needle to pass, the front edge of the foot is narrow to give you the 1/4″ guide and the back part of the foot is wide so it sits on the feed dogs and helps guide the fabric. Can you tell that I love this foot?
The needle plate also has numerous markings or guides on both the right and left-hand side of the needle to assist you when sewing various projects.
Room to sew
One of my must-have features on a sewing machine is a decent space to sew. Yes – I can add an extension table, but if I don’t have to that’s even better.
I have sewn a lot on the Jade | 35 with NO extension table. There’s loads of room in front of the needle to line up your seams and it has worked perfectly. I measured – there is 3 1/2″ in front of the needle and there’s 3 1/2″ to the left of the needle.
The beauty of this is that I can pack my foot pedal and my power cord in that gorgeously designed storage box. Load the machine into the car and not worry about taking anything else. No table needed.
I even sewed borders on a quilt with the Jade | 35 and there were no issues with space. If I were going to be doing free motion quilting, then I would want more space on the left-hand side but for piecing – the amount of space is perfect.
There are four menus of built-in stitches. Menu One is Utility Stitches which are outlined in great detail in the User’s Guide. I seriously recommend that EVERYONE read this section in the guide. I learned a lot by reading that page. Menu Two is all the Quilt Stitches, Menu Three is Satin and Heirloom stitches and Menu Four is Decorative Stitches.
The variety of stitches within these four menus is huge. There isn’t much you can’t do. And did you check out Number 39 on Menu 4? It’s the bicycle stitch. I didn’t think they would put it on this sewing machine, but they did!!! That means I would be able to make my personalized tags. Check out the tutorial for those.
Keep in mind the first 10 stitches aren’t listed on the lid as they have their own function button on the front of the sewing machine.
The Jade | 35 comes with the standard spool pin which can be used in either the horizontal position or the vertical position. There’s a second spool pin which allows the use of two different threads.
Presser foot pressure dial
On the left-hand side of the sewing machine, there’s a handy thread cutter and also a dial that we tend to ignore. That dial is the presser foot pressure dial. I’m going to do some exploring this week with that. But for normal sewing no need to touch!
And on the other side of the sewing machine, in addition to the hand-wheel and the sockets for the power cord and the foot control, there is a USB port for loading embroidery designs.
Wow – so not only is the Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade | 35 a well thought out sewing machine from the design aspect, but it’s packed with features that are found on much higher priced sewing machines.
Imagine you’re looking for a new sewing machine. Imagine you’re looking for one with embroidery capabilities and you don’t have a big budget. Hmmmmmmm – SANTA!!!!!
All kidding aside – the Jade | 35 is pretty jam packed with features. I know you want to know how it sews. More details on that tomorrow, but if I were you and looking for this type of machine, I’d start writing that letter to Santa! I was impressed and I’ll tell you why tomorrow. Have a great day! Ciao!