Welcome back to day two with the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q. Today, we’re going to explore the sewing menus of the sewing machine. If you missed the physical features of the Sapphire 965Q, check out yesterday’s post.
And I’m going to tell you what happened when I was sewing with the Sapphire 965Q. It’s a good lesson for us all.
I might as well get the story out of the way right off the top. If you’ve been following my blog posts on QUILTsocial, you know that when I get the pop-up message shown below, I stop, clean out the sewing machine, wind five bobbins, change the needle and get right back to sewing. Well, that’s if I’ve run out of my five bobbins. Otherwise, I just put in a full bobbin.
You can check out my QUILTsocial blog post on The Five-Bobbin Challenge if you didn’t read it before.
I have to say that I’ve been so focused these days that the last time this message popped up, it startled me!
Yes, there are pop-up messages that appear on the Interactive Color Touch Screen to alert you to things that need to be addressed. While it’s tempting to touch that checkmark in the top right-hand corner – don’t! If you do, you’ll be canceling the alert and you’ll get another one once you’ve stitched a few more stitches.
When you get the alert, you should pay attention to the sound of the sewing machine. The sound will change the second the bobbin runs out. Then it’s time to change the bobbin. Or you may want to stop and change the bobbin immediately when you get the alert.
I always listen to the sewing machine and the most I’ve ever gone with an empty bobbin is an inch or two unless I’m talking to someone and not paying attention to what I’m doing.
The other day when the bobbin ran out, it was time to wind the bobbins and change the needle. The needle had been giving me a bit of grief because I had sewn over a pin. I know, I shouldn’t sew over pins. I don’t normally sew with pins, but I was sewing on a border and it needed to be pinned.
I cleaned out the bobbin case area (lots of lint after five bobbins), changed the needle and wound five bobbins.
Then I started to sew. WHOA! What’s the matter? If I’d been having trouble before, I was having some major trouble now. I honestly thought something was seriously wrong with the sewing machine and how was I going to explain that? I hadn’t really done anything (other than run over the pin). OK – so the needle hit directly on the pin. (YES – I should have changed the needle immediately, but I was so close to finishing my five bobbins. I confess, I was a bit worried.
I did continue to sew for a bit – it was a new needle after all. But after much popping and finally a snag in my fabric, I had no choice but to stop.
I changed the needle and VOILA – like a brand new sewing machine. There are two reasons for what happened. It’s possible that I got the old and the new needle mixed up when I changed the needle. Or did I get a bad needle? I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. I must pay more attention next time!
You can see in the photo below, the stitches on the two diagonal seams are NOT well formed. They are holding together, but they look awful! That’s the result of the BAD needle. The stitches should look like the vertical seam on the left.
Thankfully, everything worked out. I’ve got a new needle, the sewing machine is happy, I’m happy and let’s get back to sewing!
I shared that story with you because whenever I teach a class and the question of how often to change the needle comes up, people are shocked that needles actually dull and/or get burrs. Yes, and they can damage your fabric, they can cause the tension to do crazy things, and the integrity of your seams can be weakened. Change the needle!
Interactive Color Touch Screen
So, let’s talk a bit about some of the features in the menus on the Interactive Color Touch Screen.
Note there are three tabs at the top of the screen. The tab on the left is the Sewing Information tab showing the details of the currently selected stitch, including the stitch width and length, as well as a full-size image of the stitch. The recommended presser foot, the tension setting, and needle size are also shown. The black dot represents the start of the stitch sequence.
The middle tab is the Stitch Menu tab. The screenshot below shows the first page of Menu A – Utility Stitches. All the menus are laid out in the User’s Guide for easy reference. The currently selected stitch (A1) is highlighted and a picture of the actual stitch size is located on the left of the screen.
The tab on the right is the Start Menu which will take you to the Toolbar. The Toolbar contains the Stitch Menu, the Stitch Font Menu, Program (where you can program your own stitch sequences), the File Manager (where you can open, copy, add, and move your files) and the SET menu.
The first option on the toolbar is the Stitch Menu which you can see on the left. Rather than scroll through the multiple pages per Stitch Menu, you can go directly to the menu you want by selecting the appropriate menu from the buttons on the left.
There are five alphabets in the Stitch Font Menu
In the SET menu, there are three additional screens. One for the Sewing Settings, one for Stitch Settings and one for Machine Settings.
While all those menus may appear complicated, there really isn’t a need to dig down into them for basic sewing. But it’s nice to know that you have the flexibility to adjust the settings depending on what kind of sewing you’re doing.
In the screen below, you can see that the stitch length is 2.0 and it’s red. If the stitch length/width has been adjusted from the default (in this case 2.5), it’s highlighted. The picture also reflects the shorter stitch length. It’s easy enough to change the stitch length by pressing the up or down arrows to the right of the stitch length.
The stitch width is set to 0.0 and if the selected stitch had a width to it (like a zigzag), I would use the arrows below that number to increase or decrease the stitch width. Because a straight stitch is chosen, using the arrows that change the stitch width will move the needle to the left or the right depending on where I need the needle to be. There are 29 needle positions for maximum flexibility in getting the needle positioned in exactly the right spot.
The Husqvarna Viking Saphire 965Q has a great built-in feature – the Sewing Advisor. A close up of the functions is shown below. I can choose the type of material (woven, knit, leather/vinyl) I’m working with, the weight (light, medium or heavy), and the technique I wish to do (seam, overcast, seam/overcast, baste, blind hem, hem, buttonhole).
The Sewing Advisor will automatically select the appropriate stitch. It also sets the thread tension, the stitch length, and width based on the options I’ve chosen. I’m able to override those settings in the event I should need to.
You can see in the example above that I chose Woven Medium as the fabric and the technique is seam. The tension was set to 4.6. I also get recommendations on the type of needle, the size of the needle, and which presser foot to use. It’s like having your Family Studies teacher at your side.
Here’s one of the features that I love. You can get a straight stitch throat plate for the Sapphire 965Q. It’s easy to pop in and there’s a built-in safety feature which is automatically activated when the straight stitch throat plate is in place. You can also manually select the feature from the Sewing Settings menu (Stitch Width Safety). So if you’re using the straight stitch throat plate and then decide to change from straight stitch to a zigzag, you get a beep and nothing happens. You can’t move the needle, you can’t select a non-straight stitch until you remove the straight stitch throat plate and you get a pop-up message. I love that idea. You can toss those sticky notes away!
I’m a quilter, although I do make other things like bags, clothing and what not. There’s a lot of flexibility on the Sapphire 965Q to do anything I want. However, the majority of my time is spent piecing or quilting. Here’s the best part. Use the single hole throat plate AND the Quilter’s ¼” Piecing Foot P together for a fast way to set up for sewing every time.
When I’m ready to sew, I simply turn on the Sapphire 965Q, lower the default stitch length to 2.0 from 2.5. And I’m ready to sew. I don’t have to put on another foot, I don’t have to move my needle or make any other adjustments. And by having multiples of that piecing foot on my various machines, I get the SAME seam allowance regardless of where I’m sewing or what Husqvarna Viking machine I’m sewing on. That is a huge time saver!
I like to keep things simple and it couldn’t be more simple than this.
There’s so much more to cover on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q. I’m going to try and cover some of the other features as I explore a couple of sewing techniques over the rest of the week.
I’m always on the quest to improve my techniques. My current one is how to improve the binding by sewing machine technique. Check out tomorrow’s post for some great tips on how to perfect that machine sewn binding.
Have a great day!