Well, Keith and I have just returned from a fabulous trip to Las Vegas where we attended the 29th annual Husqvarna Viking convention.This year, a brand-new Top-of-the-Line Sewing and Embroidery Machine, the Designer Epic, was launched along with a new embroidery software, Premier+, and the Designer Jade 35, a sewing and embroidery machine that is the ideal machine to personalize any project.
It was a whirlwind week that started out with a surprise appearance by Sue Hausmann, the former host of the PBS TV show, America Sews with Sue. Sue is presently a spokesperson for Sulky threads and it was great to see her on stage as she took us through all the embroidery machines that Huqvarna has made, starting with the stand-alone Huskygram and the first sewing and embroidery machine, the #1+ all the way through to today’s new machine, the Designer Epic. I was impressed with the Epic when I heard about it, more impressed the next day when I sat down with Sue (Hausmann) as she showed me some of the new features of it, and even more impressed when I spent a day and a half working on it to learn all the new features. It didn’t take much to convince me that I needed one of these machines in my sewing room! While we were in Las Vegas, Keith spent 3 days being trained on the servicing of this machine and he was just as impressed with the inner workings as I was with the way it sews and embroiders and all the features of it. You can sure see why the slogan “Made for Sewers by Sewers” is important – the people from the R & D department in Sweden were so proud to show us all the features that they have put a lot of effort into to bring to us.
Let me tell you why I’m so enthusiastic about this new machine. To me, it has revolutionized the home sewing machines, much like the Designer 1 did when it was launched in 1998 and was the first embroidery machine that didn’t need special memory cards or to be connected to a computer to run it. It’s pretty hard to come up with my favourite feature though, there are so many! From the beautiful interactive touch screen that reminds me of working on my ipad – all the gestures that we have learnt to use on our smart phones work on this screen from pinching, swiping and spreading, to the joyOS Advisor feature that is filled with illustrations, videos, project instructions and tutorials to guide you through every part of the machine, I came home raving about all the features. There are simple things like bobbins that are 30% bigger than the previous models, a fabulous, fully automatic needle threader, and the largest sewing and embroidery areas on the market. One of my absolute favourites though is the wifi connectivity of the machine. The Designer Epic will connect to a wifi network in your home (with no chance of it catching a virus!), automatically install updates as they come available, and even has its own app to run on a smart phone or tablet to alert you to when it’s time to change a thread or fill a bobbin. And the MySewNet Cloud function will give you 100mb of storage in the cloud that you can access from both your computer and your Designer Epic so that I can create or download an embroidery design from my computer, store it in the cloud, and access it in seconds from my machine – no need for cables or USB sticks. On top of all this, it has Husqvarna’s exclusive Sensor System that automatically and continuously senses the thickness of your fabric and adjusts the machine as needed as you sew for perfect, even feeding, the Deluxe Stitch System which gives you perfect stitch results on both sides of the fabric, several exclusive stitch techniques such as sequin stitches, dimensional stitches and theme stitches, a great new market-leading LED light system that virtually eliminates shadows, and a new telescoping thread path that lets you use any spool size up to large cone thread easily. All in all, I can’t say enough about how much I love this new machine!
For someone who is just starting out with machine embroidery, the Designer Jade 35 might be just the machine for them. This machine has a nice selection of sewing machine stitches, a large sewing and embroidery area, includes Premier+ Intro embroidery software, and comes with 70 beautiful embroidery designs and 1 font – but part of the included software lets you turn any of your computer fonts into beautiful embroideries (QuickFont) so really, you have unlimited fonts available! I loved the handy slide out accessory compartment that stores your foot control and power cord when you’re not sewing, and the sleek, modern look of the machine. This is a great machine at a great price point!
Last but not least, the Premier+ Embroidery software. This software will work with virtually all brands of embroidery machines and it has so many new features that I love. There are several new fonts with effects that include appliqué, needle felting, twin and wing needle, and multi-colour gradients, new “Super” Designs that let you choose from over 1300 adjustable designs with different stitch options such as colour, sepia, line style, 3 types of appliqué, felting, twin and wing needle effects, more fill patterns, and lots more. I love that it will now save files that will let me cut my appliqué shapes for machine embroidered applique out on my Silhouette Cameo cutter so that my appliqué will always be perfect, and now it also lets me see how my embroideries can be embellished with crystal gems and sequins and will create templates for these to cut on my Silhouette cutter as well.
My week in Las Vegas flew by with just not enough time to spend playing with all these new tools (toys?) for my sewing room. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of everything I ordered while I was there. In the meantime, after being home for 2 days, Keith and I are off again to Toronto for the annual fall Creativ Festival so I’m going to have to be patient to get my hands on these new HusqvarnaViking products.
If you would like to see either the Designer Epic or the Designer Jade 35, or the Premier+ software in action, along with demonstrations of many of our other brand new sewing and quilting notions, books and more, I hope you’ll register for our “What’s New from A Great Notion and Husqvarna” evenings coming up later this month at both stores. Join us Tuesday Oct. 20th from 6:30 – 9:00 in our Surrey/Langley store and Wednesday Oct. 21st from 6:30 – 9:00 in our Abbotsford store for these events. For a $5 registration fee we’ll have a great evening showing off all the latest and greatest in the sewing and quilting worlds with refreshments and door prizes. Every attendee will also receive a $10 gift certificate!
Hope to see you there!