Hello everyone, and welcome to a super exciting week. I’m bursting to share my experience with you!
Years ago, when I first took up quilting, I saw a sit-down quilting machine with a long throat space. The quilting machine was an industrial model and wasn’t for sale, but I did get to spend a wee bit of time playing with it. What freedom!
While I can quilt on my domestic sewing machine, I struggle to get comfortable and find that I’ve got my arms out like I’m trying to fly, resulting in neck pain and frustration. I think back to the industrial quilting machine, and I remember how easy it was to use.
Today, however, I’m thrilled to share my unboxing experience with the Husqvarna Viking PLATINUM™ Q160, a stationary quilting machine, which is the equivalent of the early industrial machine I saw, but way better.
So, what is a stationary quilting machine? It’s similar to your domestic sewing machine in that you move the quilt under the needle. The PLATINUM™ Q160 is a dedicated machine for quilting (although I did other stuff with it – wait for that), but the beauty of this machine is the amount of space you have to manipulate your quilt. Add in the fact that the throat area sits flush with a large, flat surface, and you’ll be in for a treat when you sit down to quilt.
I’ll be playing with the PLATINUM™ Q160 all week, and today, I want to share with you just how easy it is to set up this machine.
A heavy-duty, adjustable height table is part of the PLATINUM™ Q160 package. And did you know there’s a built-in stitch regulator? More on that later.
While one person can set the PLATINUM™ Q160 up, there are several spots where an extra pair of hands are welcome. The actual quilting machine is heavy, so make sure you have someone who can lift it. You’ll find all the hex tools required to set up the table and the machine in the boxes.
Let’s have a peek at what the setup is all about.
The PLATINUM™ Q160 comes in two boxes, one for the table and one for the quilting machine and accessories. The flat one is the table, so it’s best to start with that one.
There’s a detailed set of instructions for the assembly, and it’s always a good idea to check that you have all the bits and pieces before you start.
The top of the table comes in three sections – the two side pieces and the shelf where the quilting machine sits. Assemble the table upside down; so start by laying out those three pieces and insert the screws.
There’s a saying – do as I say, not as I do? Well, that’s the case here. I grabbed four screws from the bag and didn’t check the length. So in the photo below, I used the long screws, not the short screws. I must admit I wondered why those screws were so long as I installed them!
Notice the long slot where the shelf will be attached to the side pieces? Place the shelf in the lowest position (which in the picture is the top of the slot) since the tabletop is upside down.
Use the short screws to put the tabletop together. I was so excited to get started that I didn’t pay attention, and yep – I had to take them out and use the short ones.
Once the tabletop is together, it’s time to put the legs on. The beauty of these legs is that they’re adjustable. So if you want to sit down to quilt, you can, or if you want to stand to quilt, you make the legs longer. I highly recommend you construct the table first and, before putting the PLATINUM™ Q160 into the table, test the height. It’s much easier to adjust the height if you don’t have to deal with the weight of the quilting machine.
The base of the legs fits into the square brackets on the two side sections of the tabletop – remember, you are building the table upside down!
Here’s a little tip for inserting those legs. They fit snugly, and you must ensure the leg section stays parallel to the floor so both ends slide into the brackets simultaneously. If the leg section goes crooked, you’ll have difficulty getting them in the proper position, and this is where the second pair of hands is convenient.
You may need a gentle push to get those legs entirely into the bracket. I used my foot, and it worked just fine.
The holes in the legs must match up with the holes in the brackets of the tabletop. Now you can use more of the short screws to secure the legs in place.
To further stabilize the table, the long screws secure the legs to the middle of the tabletop. Near the bottom of the photo, you can see one of the short screws for securing the three tabletop pieces.
The last part of the tabletop assembly is to take the bottom part of the legs and insert them into the top part of the legs. There are notches on the bottom section of the legs and release handles on the top. Select the desired table height. When I set up the machine for sit-down quilting, I use the bottom-most setting, so the table is the lowest it can be. I find it very comfortable, and I easily quilted for hours.
I have some tips on height adjustment coming up. Remember, the table is still upside down at this point.
Before adjusting the height, add the crossbar on the bottom at the back and the leveling feet.
It’s best to have someone help you flip the table right side up, and now you can test the table’s height. Sit down at the table with the chair you plan to use. Is it comfortable? What is the position of your elbows relative to the table? Are your arms parallel to the tabletop? Could you sit here all day?
You can use the height of your sewing table as a guide. But remember, if your sewing machine sits on top of the table rather than in the table, you’re working at a different height than the PLATINUM™ Q160, as it sits down in the table.
I found it easier to flip the table upside down to adjust, so you’re only pulling up or pushing down on the bottom section of the legs, not the much heavier tabletop.
If you follow the instructions in the assembly book, this table is super easy to set up. If I had not messed up those long and short screws, I could’ve had it assembled in 30 minutes!
Now comes the fun part – unboxing the PLATINUM™ Q160. OK – so this has a stitch regulator and wires and cables, and will it be complicated? Nope – it’s so easy, and it only takes another 30 minutes to set up the machine and get ready to quilt.
Be mindful of the weight of the quilting machine. It’s heavy, and it’s best to unbox it with two people. Carefully tipping the box helped get the machine out, rather than trying to pull the box off. Keep the pink foam pieces together, as you don’t want the machine to come out of the box and fall over. The stitch regulator comes in the flat box inside, so remove it before you take the machine out.
Here’s the quilting machine after lifting off the protective foam. OH – this is so exciting! You get some practice spools of thread, a fantastic bobbin winder, the User’s Guide, cords, and some accessories.
I set aside the extra stuff and lifted the machine into the table. It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to start quilting.
The instructions to set up the PLATINUM™ Q160 are in the User’s Guide, so be sure to get it out. You’ll find all the necessary hex keys in the small bag of supplies.
Add the four-spool thread stand to the back of the PLATINUM™ Q160. The screws are already in place; loosen the screws and position the holes in the thread stand over the screws. Tighten the screws up, and the thread stand is in place.
Now it’s time to add the color touch screen to the front of the PLATINUM™ Q160. It’s a simple job requiring two screws. The hinge on the back of the touch screen may be tight, and you must pivot the hinge to make it easy to insert the screws. When you start to quilt, adjust the touch screen so you can readily see the controls.
See how I pivoted the touch screen to a vertical position. Next, connect the touch screen to the PLATINUM™ Q160 with the short cable. Since this is the only external cable, the quilting machine looks clean and sleek, and your quilt won’t get caught.
So far, so easy, and we’re almost done. The next step is to remove the table insert with the built-in stitch regulator from the box. Slide it into the table from the front, ensuring the two cables don’t get caught along the edges of the quilting machine.
After you push the insert flush with the front of the table, you may have to adjust the position of the quilting machine so it sits tight against the insert.
Swing the two brackets, under the front of the insert, into place and use the black knobs to secure the stitch regulation insert to the tabletop. Oh my — it’s so easy, and it’s almost time to play!
Plug the connector from the stitch regulator into the back of the machine, and don’t forget to attach the power cord.
I mentioned there are two cables with the stitch regulator. One connects the stitch regulator to the quilting machine, and the other attaches to the foot pedal. So now you can operate the quilting machine automatically or with the foot pedal. More on that later this week. Make sure they’re connected well; it looks like I could’ve attached them better.
That’s it! I can’t believe how simple it was to set up the table and the quilting machine. It didn’t take long, and I was impressed with the quality of the entire machine.
And here it is – the Husqvarna Viking PLATINUM™ Q160 is set up, turned on, and ready to quilt!
That wraps up today! It took me longer to write this post than it did to set up the PLATINUM™ Q160. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the functions, and later, we’ll dive into quilting and the accessory feet. You’ll love this quilting machine, so be sure to come back tomorrow to get all the details.
Have a great day!
This is part 1 of 5 in this series