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Summertime and the SEWING is easy!

Summertime and the sewing is easy, let me show you how!

Time to have a little fun with the Husqvarna VIking H|Class 100 Q.  I have been talking about how the machine is perfect for sewing at the cottage, or the backyard. Well the weather was perfect yesterday and how could I resist. 

Especially when the backyard is perfectly set up for sewing.

I set up a small folding table in the gazebo (which is wired for power), got a comfy chair and in minutes the sewing machine and my project were good to go. What an ideal setting – I could hear the waterfall and smell the lilacs. It was so peaceful and the H|Class is NOT a noisy machine so it did not disturb my idyllic setting.

Might as well run another test on the H|Class 100 Q. This time it was curved piecing. I was able to merrily chain piece those blocks with no problem.

I got a beautiful curved seam.

With a very consistent seam allowance. The other thing to note is that this fabric is batik. I find that the tight weave of a batik is often difficult for some machines to handle and you may end up with skipped stitches. Not on this machine. It did NOT skip one stitch.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a SEW ALONG. In preparation for that, I thought I would share this little how-to. It involves appliqué and you’ll be able to use the little block in a variety of ways. 

I quickly drew this little posy flower. Now we are going to try to applique it.

I traced the petals and the center on the matte side of freezer paper.

Then I cut out the shapes on the drawn line.

Ironed the shapes to the WRONG side of my fabric leaving room for a 1/4″ seam allowance around all the edges.

Next cut them out leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides.

Next step is to turn the seam allowance to the wrong side of freezer paper templates. I like to use starch and press the seam allowance, you can also baste with needle and thread or use glue. The nice thing about the starch is that it is easy to remove the freezer paper template.

You can see the seam allowance has been turned to the wrong side. Now I am able to remove the template so I can place the shapes on the background.

Then using a water soluble glue, I adhered the shapes to the background.

Now it is time to stitch. I put the Open Toe Appliqué Foot on the machine. I used bobbin weight thread in the needle and in the bobbin. Selected the Stitch 02 – Zigzag and set the machine to stitch an elongated zigzag. Length was 3.0 and width was 1.0. Remember you’ll probably have to play with the settings on your own machine to get that elongated zigzag. It’s time to start stitching!!

It took a few tries to get the hang of when and how to use the FIX button. Essentially this button (which is located right above the needle) is an excellent feature for appliqué. It stitches several times in place to tie a knot. Otherwise it can be a challenge to stop and start appliqué stitching without a mess or having to tie off the ends on the back.
A HUGE time saver!

You can see the FIX button here – right where you need it.

I also used the Needle Stop up/down button which is an absolute must when appliquéing. Once I got the hang of the machine, it wasn’t too difficult to get it to stop exactly where I needed it to so I could pivot my work. If the needle was on the wrong side, a simple tap of the very responsive foot pedal moved the needle to the correct side for the pivot.

My stitched posy – Invisible Appliqué

I was having so much fun and certainly did not want to have to go indoors, so I decided to make a few more posy blocks. This time I tried fusible appliqué.

I drew the petals (no worrying about reversing this simple pattern) onto the paper side of the fusible.

Rough cut around the shapes and fuse the shapes to the WRONG side of your fabric.

Cut out on the drawn lines. Make sure to leave a little bit extra on the bottom part of the petal so there is a bit of overlap under the center. Otherwise it will be hard to make everything fit perfectly.

Fuse the posy to the background and choose your favourite stitch. In this sample, I used the Stitch 10 – the satin stitch. I used a 40 weight embroidery thread on top, stabilizer underneath and a bobbin weight thread in the bobbin.

I used Stitch 09 – the blanket stitch on this posy. Again, I used a 40 weight embroidery thread on top, bobbin weight thread in the bobbin and NO stabilizer.

In no time, I had a beautiful row of flowers!

I wanted to give you a couple of tips on sewing machine maintenance. Over the years I have heard every story in the book about how often the needle needs to be changed. Oh yes – some of them would make your hair curl!

I like to change the needle about every eight hours. But my eight hours of sewing might be accomplished in one day, while yours may be over several months. We MUST get our priorities straight! Anyway, a rule of thumb that I found helpful is to wind four bobbins. When the four bobbins are used up – it is time to do some house cleaning.

At that point, I change the needle, take out the bobbin case and clean as much as I can using the brush provided. If you have a small vacuum, that’s great. I would be careful with compressed air. While you are removing the dust from the bobbin area, the force of the air is driving that dust and lint INTO the machine and you want to get it out!

A dirty bobbin can mess up the tension on your machine big time. So it’s very important that you keep that bobbin case clean. I once had a woman in a machine quilting class ask where she could buy a replacement for the FELT PAD that was in her bobbin case. Ah – that’s lint and shouldn’t be there!

On that note – have fun with the posies. “What size should you use for the background?” Whatever size you want, but 8 or 9 inches is fine. Make a couple – try out the various stitches on your machine and some of those threads that you have been saving.

Features and quality of output on this portable machine are awesome. See you in a couple of weeks with the SEW ALONG.

Have an awesome day!

CIAO!

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. She is a teaching specialist at Northcott and loves going to work in a warehouse full of fabric. 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.

3 Comments

  1. Betty Hedges

    Thank you for giving the stitch setting! As with my machine I’m not always sure about my settings. This very helpful! I don’t have an embroidery machine so instructions on a regular machine are great. Have a great day! Betty

    • Qs17admin

      So glad to be of service!

  2. Ruth

    Thanks for the quick review on applique – it’s been a while since I did any.

    Am interested in the different types of threads – I get quite confused these days with all the differing types. What do you mean when you say “bobbin weight” or “embroidery” thread?

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