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Unboxing the Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q

 

Welcome, everyone. I’ve got some very exciting news today. I received a HUGE box from Husqvarna Viking. What’s in the box? Oh – I’m so excited – let’s check it out.

 

What surprise awaits in that big box?
What surprise awaits in that big box?

 

Oh my – it’s the brand new Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q. Wow – that box is big! I wonder what the sewing machine looks like. Open it! Open it!

 

The box for the Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q
The box for the Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q

 

Oh my – this is really, really exciting. I don’t even know where to start with all the features.

 

Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q sewing machine
Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q sewing machine

 

The Epic 980Q is strictly a sewing and quilting machine, no embroidery which is great if someone simply wants an awesome sewing machine.

Here are the first things that came to mind when I turned it on. Oh yes – I turned it on right away.

  • Huge space under the arm of the sewing machine. Awesome for quilting quilts.
  • Bright lights – those lights are so bright, there’s no danger of not seeing what you’re working on.
  • Space for two cones of thread on top.
  • The thread holder as part of the thread path. I love that threading system.
  • Large screen – what’s hidden within that interactive touchscreen?
  • Similar control panel to other Husqvarna Viking sewing machine models, so no new learning curve.
  • An automatic needle threader.
  • It’s heavy – this is not the sewing machine that you’ll take to retreat or sewing classes.
  • The flip-up lid is relatively small and out of the way.

I couldn’t hold myself back. I wanted to test it out right away! I got some bobbins and wound them. Look at the cool bobbin winder on the side of the Epic 980Q. It’s so cool and funky – it’s almost a shame that it’s hidden on the side of the sewing machine. There’s a separate motor so you can wind bobbins while you keep sewing. I know that sounds weird, but I was in such a deadline mode that I actually did that!

 

Bobbin winder on the side of the Epic 980Q
Bobbin winder on the side of the Epic 980Q

 

When you engage the bobbin winder, you get a pop-up message on the screen that allows you to change the speed. This is great because if you’re winding invisible thread, you don’t want to wind that at full speed. Winding invisible thread at full speed will either break the bobbin or compress the bobbin so much, that you won’t be able to get it off the bobbin winder.

 

Five-speeds for winding bobbins
Five-speeds for winding bobbins

 

After loading one bobbin into the bobbin case, I placed the other four bobbins in the accessory case at the front of the sewing machine. I’m determined to keep my sewing area tidy and stop losing things or having them drop on the floor. This is very handily located right at the front of the sewing machine. It’s also a storage area for the presser feet.

 

Accessory box for storing bobbins and presser feet
Accessory box for storing bobbins and presser feet

 

I can’t get over the amount of space there is on the bed of the sewing machine. It’s huge – I mean really, really big. I measured it. There are over 12″ of space to the right of the needle. Imagine when you need to quilt a big quilt? Or your applique is in the middle of a large piece of fabric? This is going to make things very easy.

Even when piecing, this space is very much appreciated. I put some of my pieces in that space which helped to keep them organized. I love having this much space and I must say that when I went to work on my smaller sewing machine, the difference in size was very noticeable.

 

Accessory box for storing bobbins and presser feet
Accessory box for storing bobbins and presser feet

 

I should mention that there were a few times that I actually found that light to be a bit too intense. Depends on how sensitive your eyes are to light. Some days, I’m good and some days, not so good. Guess what? You can dim those lights! That’s awesome. On the days when I’m having light sensitivity issues, I can reduce the brightness and on good days, I can leave them at full power.

This little detail means a lot to me and shows that someone was thinking of the end-user when they put this sewing machine together.

But what’s inside that interactive touchscreen? Oh – there’s so much, I don’t even know where to begin.

Below is a screenshot – just to give you an idea of some of the features. This sewing machine hooks up to the internet, and despite my technological incompetence, it was a snap to connect. That allows me to save files on the mySewnet Cloud and I can get updates without having to use a USB stick.

The entire User’s Guide is inside the sewing machine. You can view it like a hard copy in the form of chapters or you can use the search function to find what you’re looking for. I’m a big advocate of reading the User’s Guide. I’ve learned so much in the past from reading the guides. I haven’t had a chance to read this entire guide yet. There’s so much!

There’s a JoyOS advisor. You know the saying, knowledge is power. Well, if there’s some sewing technique that you’re not familiar with, you’ll find it in the sewing advisor.

Not only are there sewing techniques like inserting zippers (4 different ways), collars, dimensional stitches, etc, but there’s a section on quilting techniques. If you’re new to quilting, this is an amazing feature. The Knowledge Center provides information on stabilizers (very important to get the correct stabilizer to make the job simple) and there’s also a QuickStart guide.

 

Epic 980Q screen with many options
Epic 980Q screen with many options

 

Below is the list of quilting techniques that are included in the JoyOS advisor.

 

Quilting techniques described in the Joy OS advisor
Quilting techniques described in the Joy OS advisor

 

The interaction instructions for each of the topics may appear on more than one screen depending on how you have the JoyOS advisor screen configured.

In this screenshot, you can see that I have five choices: I can have the information on the bottom of the screen, on the top, on the left or the right or full screen. Very flexible depending on how much of the screen you need to see versus reading the instructions.

 

Techniques for ¼" piecing described on the interactive touchscreen
Techniques for ¼” piecing described on the interactive touchscreen

 

In addition, you can let the JoyOS advisor do all the work when setting up for different types of sewing. You simply choose the type and weight of fabric that you’re sewing with and what technique you’ll be doing and the sewing machine will select the stitch, stitch length and width for you. Of course, everything can be overridden if you prefer.

 

The basic sewing screen that shows all the important information for sewing
The basic sewing screen that shows all the important information for sewing

 

It all sounds complicated, but it’s not. I basically turned on the Epic 980Q, wound those bobbins, and started sewing. The only thing I changed was the stitch length. As a quilter, I like to use a 2.0 stitch length, not 2.5 which is a normal setting for sewing garments.

There’s so much to talk about with this machine, I thought I’d break it down and look at the features that are important to a quilter. I know there’s a lot of cross-over in the garment sewing world and the quilting world and if I have time, I’ll include a few other things as well.

Tomorrow, we’re going to look at some tips on piecing and why the Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q makes a great machine for piecing.

I have to go sew something!

Have a great day!

Ciao!

 

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: 6 tips for successful piecing

Elaine Theriault is a teacher, writer and pattern designer who is completely obsessed with quilting. 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.

4 Comments

  1. Sue Witkowski

    I just got my Epic 980Q last night and I was so thrilled! I have never sewn on a machine of this caliber. It was really easy to set up (I did struggle with the WiFi a bit but I think it was my internet at home as the weather was bad). It was expensive but well worth it. Also got the service agreement and free classes – totally worth the cost!

    Can’t wait to finish my king size Hunter Star Quilt!!!

    I do have a question, does this machine have an automatic tie-off? It doesn’t sway my love of the machine but was curious.

  2. Konnie

    Hi. This machine looks interesting. Does it have a knee lift?

    • Konnie – It doesn’t need a knee lift. The presser foot raises up AUTOMATICALLY. Saves you having to coordinate your knee. One of the BEST features of the machine.

  3. Christy

    What does it retail for?

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