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The positioning tools on the DESIGNER EPIC 3 for exact applique placement

by Elaine Theriault

The week has gone so quickly! There’s so much more I want to share about the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3, but there’s no time. So, I’ll settle for sharing a couple of embroidery features I LOVE for positioning my designs exactly where I want them to be.

You saw the prep work on my quilt border and how I digitized a design in the mySewnet Embroidery Software. Today, it’s all about stitching a motif in place.

In addition to sewing down the vine on the border, I had to cut all the applique shapes. I had created the SVG files in the mySewnet Embroidery Software, so cutting all the shapes using a digital cutter didn’t take long. I used a variety of fabrics from the quilt, and I cut a few extra – just in case! It’ll be easy enough to return to the digital cutter and cut more if needed.

Pink, green, and yellow pre-cut shapes for applique

The pre-cut applique shapes (wrong side showing)

It’s time to assemble the supplies. I love using the pre-wound bobbins for machine embroidery, the Metal Hoop 180 by 130, and the Hoop Adaptor since this hoop doesn’t have the new attachment system on the DESIGNER EPIC 3. I’m using a Tear-A-Way stabilizer.

A roll of stabilizer, a rectangular metal hoop, and a package of white bobbins for the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

Assembled supplies for my embroidery project

I also pulled some matching threads for the applique on the shapes.

Five spools of thread – yellow, orange, pink, red, and green

Threads for my machine embroidery applique

My quilt is on the design wall, and I took two of the paper templates created in the mySewnet Embroidery Software and roughly cut them out to better visualize how the designs will appear on the quilt. I’ll use them to help me when I position the border on the hoop.

Two paper templates on a white border with a green strip beside a colorful quilt

Two paper templates to guide the placement of the embroidery

It’s time to hoop the border. I LOVE using the Metal Hoop as it makes hooping a ready-made item much more manageable. There are four raised notches on the Metal Hoop, one at the center of each side of the embroidery area. My printed template has reference lines that help me center the design in the hoop. I want the design to be centered (more or less) and eyeballing the reference line with my thumbnail positioned at the notch is close enough. I can finish the position later.

A paper template of a floral design on white fabric; Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

Positioning the quilt on the metal hoop using the paper template

Once I’m happy with the position, I use the magnets to secure the quilt on the Metal Hoop. What can I say about metal hoops? They are the best! Best of all, they are FAST and easy to hoop bulky or odd-shaped items. I LOVE these metal hoops. If the design is not perfectly aligned, that’s OK, as there are some fantastic tools in the DESIGNER EPIC 3 to help line things up.

TIP Use no more than eight magnets per hoop.

A paper template on white fabric in a metal hoop using magnets; Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

The quilt border in the Metal Hoop

Then, it’s over to the DESIGNER EPIC 3 to start the positioning process. In the Hoop Options tab along the bottom of the screen, I’ll change the hoop size to Metal 180 mm by 130 mm. I can adjust the screen’s background color if needed, but the colors I’ve chosen for my applique show up nicely on white.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

The Hoop Options menu

I want to be able to scan the hoop so the image of my quilt will appear on the embroidery screen to help with the placement. Really? Yes – just wait. It’s amazing. I should mention that I’m still in Embroidery Edit at this point.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

Start Hoop Scan

Once I touch Start Hoop Scan, the embroidery arm will move into position and ask me to attach the hoop. I LOVE the new hoop attachment system, and you can check it out in this previous blog post.

An embroidery arm on a white sewing machine; Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3

The embroidery arm moves into position to scan the hoop.

Here’s a video of the hoop scan process. Each time the embroidery unit stops, the camera takes a picture. It’ll quickly piece those pictures together to give us one image that’ll show up on the embroidery screen.

Here’s the image the DESIGNER EPIC 3 pieced together of my quilt in the hoop. WOW – You have to love this feature, and it’ll be helpful to position the applique. Imagine what it can do when you’re working on any sort of premade item!

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine

The embroidery design imposed over the hooped quilt border

Notice how the applique barely covers the raw ends of the bias tape. No problem, I can use the Move tools to move the applique around. Or I can grab the design and move it with my finger.

I’ve moved the design too far to the bottom, and I now have a red line around the perimeter of the embroidery area, which is not good. It’s a safety feature, alerting me that I must reposition the embroidery before advancing into Embroidery Stitch-Out.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine

The embroidery design is outside the stitchable area (red box)

I intentionally moved the motif out of the stitch area to use the “Move into Hoop” function to bring the design just inside the edge of the stitch area. The editing tools are excellent, and I love the flexibility they offer. If you don’t remember what each function does, use Quick Help to identify those buttons. But this is one screen where I’d spend time learning all the functions. The more you know, the easier it is to use the tools.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine

The embroidery motif is now in the stitchable area

However, I wasn’t happy with the placement, as I felt the design was off-center, and the position of the quilt in the hoop didn’t allow me to rotate it. No problem – I unhooped the quilt and repositioned it. And this was my new starting point, which looks more balanced. As before, I can fine-turn the position before I start stitching.

A paper template of a floral design on a white background

A paper template to assist in hooping a quilt border

This time, when I scanned the hoop, I was much happier with the placement of the design. Being able to see exactly where my design will stitch out is huge! I already love this feature, and I’ve only completed one design.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine

The embroidery design is in the correct position on the scanned background

If I want to be even more exact in visualizing the placement, I can use the projection to show the embroidery directly on the quilt. The clear, bold outlines of the applique made it a breeze to see where the embroidery would stitch out. Wow — this is exciting stuff!! If I wanted, I could use the Embroidery Edit tools to move or rotate the motif.

A green vine of fabric on a white background with multi-color circles

The embroidery motif projected onto the quilt border

If the design needs tweaking, I can use the Move Hoop option. But I was OK with the placement and was ready to start stitching.

A screen on a computerized embroidery machine

Use the Move Hoop option if necessary

Inserting the Stop commands is automatic when creating appliques using the mySewnet Embroidery Software. The placement stitch identifies where to place each applique shape. I applied a fusible web on the back of my fabric before cutting the shapes out.  I’m not going into detail about which fusible to use as there are many options.

Carefully position the applique shapes within the placement stitch, as you want the finishing stitch to cover those raw edges. The software has a 1 mm default margin for the applique piece, but you can change it if you desire a wider margin. For my first try, it worked pretty well.

A green petal with rows of stitching on the perimeter on a white fabric

The tack-down stitch and the underlay for the satin stitch edge

I should also mention that the first stitch I chose yesterday for the leaves was the mossy stitch. Although the sample turned out OK, I must explore these motif line options in greater detail. So, I switched back to the satin stitch. I decided to keep all the raw edge applique finishes the same throughout the quilt. Will anyone be able to tell the difference between the satin stitch in embroidery and sewing modes?

A green leave with moss-like stitching in green thread

The mossy stitch finish

I had to be careful as I was doing the embroidery. This quilt is HUGE, and I needed to be mindful that it wasn’t interfering with the movement of the embroidery arm. I found it best to stack the most significant part of the quilt to the left of the embroidery arm and ensure that the front wasn’t hanging off the table.

A colorful quilt on a white background under the head of an embroidery machine

Manage the bulk carefully when embroidering a large item

Here’s the first motif for the border. There’s NOTHING more exciting than embroidering something that you designed yourself. Hey – I know my limitations – I kept it simple, but it also fits with the style of the quilt. The applique is NOT complicated; anything more complex would have looked out of place.

Orange, red, pink, and green applique on a white background

An embroidered motif

Of course, I ripped off that stabilizer and hung the quilt back on the design wall. OH – I LOVE it. The proportion is right; I like the placement and can’t wait to do more.

A colorful quilt with a white border and a green vine

The first motif in the border

I added the two templates to other locations to see how they look. I could print enough templates for the entire border, but I’ll make this up as I go. I’ll start by doing the center of each border. Then, I’ll move into the corners and print two-flower and one-flower templates to fill in the gaps.

A colorful quilt with a white border and a gree motif

The quilt with one motif embroidered and two paper templates

Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far, and it’s fantastic. I can’t wait to finish the entire quilt.

A colorful quilt with a white border with a green vine

The quilt with eight motifs

I’ve learned a lot while working on this project, and that’s what this is all about. My first quilt I pieced wasn’t perfect, so I don’t expect this one to be. What I learned here will be applied to the next one, and YES, there will be another project like this. I can’t wait to find another UFO or tackle one of those applique quilts that has been sitting on the shelf for a while!

I loved using this fantastic sewing and embroidery machine, with some help from the mySewnet Embroidery Software, to finish off a UFO. I couldn’t be happier!

A gold and white sewing machine with an embroidery unit


Thanks for following me this week, as I used the Husqvarna VIKING DESIGNER EPIC 3 to help me finish some of my projects. I hope you also learned something or got some inspiration to finish a project. Be sure to visit your nearest Husqvarna VIKING dealer to get a test drive in person. You’ll love it!

Have a super day!


This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: HV DESIGNER EPIC 3 | Preparing your project for projection embroidery


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