Sunday, June 12, 2016

Enter into the World of Embroidery

I knew it was going to happen one day where I would get my hands on an embroidery sewing machine. There were a few of the Viking 1070, 1100 and #1 where you can create, sew, and store your stitches and even a #1+ with the embroidery unit and hoop to make larger designs. But now I have found a Viking Husqvarna Designer 1 with so much more.

Our neighbors had a garage sale and I finally made it over on the third day of the sale. There she was, the familiar Husqvarna logo with a hard plastic cover, a large plastic case for the embroidery unit, and a very large box of "extras" that I couldn't begin to identify. On the tag it read: needs $300 computer chip. I walked away. Yes, I walked away. Then a man sitting at the sales table called out "I'll make you a deal!" and I was sorely tempted but said I'd have to think about it and really needed to mow my lawn.

Lawn was done, I was very hot and sweaty, but I made my way back and asked if the machine would work without the computer chip, thinking it might have been a problem with the embroidery unit and not the machine itself. So he calls his sister and seems to have a long conversation with her. It appears the offer he gave me was lower than she wanted to go but he would go ahead and sell it to me, his offer stands. We walked it back home and into the garage where he saw my workshop machines and cabinets, saying they were some really nice ones. Well, they were a far cry from the Designer 1 in all of it's plastic and outdated computer glory but I was very happy with my purchase. Here's what I got:

Viking Husqvarna Designer 1: the main part of the machine
Here she is, the basic head with buttons on the left for speed, raising and lowering the presser foot, start and stop (no foot control needed but I still have one anyway), thread cutter, and others I haven't used yet:
Left side push buttons for basic features
The front opens up to show all of those changeable presser feet:
Snap on presser feet and bobbin storage
There is a similar compartment on the back with a sensor buttonhole foot, straight stitch needle plate, light bulb remover, and spool pin end caps. Wow. On the right side is a touch screen for changing settings and functions. I go ahead and plug it in, everything fires up, and I can stitch a straight line. Success! Then when I use the touch screen - - - nothing happens. I guess that's what the $300 computer chip is all about. I dig through the rest of the goodies to find:
Writing pad to connect to computer (comes with a mouse and stylist)

Books, manuals, ideas!

Embroidery unit in carrying case

3 hoops, including the Mega-Hoop!

Reader/Writer box

System 5 software upgrade
What is all of this stuff?

A/B box, VHS instructional tape

I think I'm going to find out! Contrary to the comments about the machine not working, I turn it off and on a bit and find out it does work. I try out the touch screen the can get it to stitch rather nicely:

Straight stitch, hears, alphabet, and even a leaf cluster
Now I'm mystified: it does work? Score! I go back later, after a nap (hey, I mowed the lawn when it was close to 90 degrees!) and reading the manual, but this time the touch screen doesn't work. And it didn't work several hours later. And it didn't work this morning. Now how's that for giving me just a taste of what it could do and then shutting back down? Yes, I can still straight stitch but no length adjustment so it doesn't function as it should until I get it fixed. It didn't take too much time for me to agree to take it back to where it was originally worked on to see about that computer chip but WOW, this is a nice machine that appears to have many upgrades. I also have a spare laptop ($10 at Salvation Army in Superior, Wisconsin) that runs Windows XP that I believe it the system used by the updated software. This might be a very big project but not a bad way to dabble into machine embroidery.

I love garage sales.

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