Saturday, May 20, 2017

Now She's Done It

For almost a year I had a broken Viking Designer 1 in my possession. I bought it at a neighborhood garage sale knowing it needed a new touch screen and that it was an expensive repair but I also knew the D1 was a machine to go after. In my quest to clean up my sewing room, I finally took the machine to a certified repair center where they kept it for a few weeks. When I got it back I was relieved to see that the D1 was going to live up to its reputation: a wonderful stitcher with a nice variety of stitches and functions: needle up/down, thread snip (new to me), built-in needle threader, and a host of features I've only started to discover. This model also came fully equipped with the embroidery unit and was I going to have fun with that!
Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 with embroidery unit attached
If I could only get it working. Correction: it worked but I didn't know how to get the designs to load. As part of a Yahoo group for VikingD1's, I read up on what I needed to have but I had a whole big box of manuals, boxes with CD's for upgrades, cables, dongles, more boxes with cords: what was what? Since I'm not the original owner, I'm not going to be able to update anything and figured I would have to circumvent the whole Viking software route but that wasn't a big loss since it did not come with any of the floppy disks with designs, not even one. They are pretty pricey to buy so maybe that was a good thing. What I could do was download SewWhat-Pro, a program that I could try for 30 days before I bought it. This handy tool would enable me to download designs, edit, and send to a 3.5" floppy disk to be read by the D1.

You read that right: floppy disks! I not only didn't have any floppy disks anymore but I didn't even have a computer with a floppy drive. Amazon to the rescue, I ordered a disk drive and floppies, something I never thought I'd see again. But when I went to put all of this together I couldn't get it to work. I finally took the disk drive and box of floppies to work and had our tech guru, Gene, walk me through the steps and we found out one of the disks was bad. He told me I should format them in the program I was using, SewWhat-Pro, so that was my first clue. The SWP manual was 85 pages of steps and I didn't even know what I was looking for so I finally wrote out what I had, what I tried, and where I wanted to go and posted it to the Yahoo group and they helped me solve it. About four women came forward with steps and suggestions until I finally got to the right place in the manual (p.47) where the steps were all laid out. It worked! Here's my first design:
Motif halfway done
The thread broke once and it stopped and waited for me to rethread. Here's the next time I stopped it:
Almost done...
and the final piece, now complete:
and complete!
This was a free design that I thought might be something I would actually like but, since I'm pretty new at machine embroidery, I had no idea how long this would take. An hour! But it only used one color of thread and I had a spool of rayon I figured would turn out nice. The fabric is from a stack of napkins, or maybe hankies, in various colors that I've had floating around and now I'll actually put them to use as I experiment with design and color. A big thank you goes out to Virginia who wrote out the steps from memory so I could get started and then offered to walk me through the steps over the phone. Now that's a helping community!

Will this be my next hobby? Maybe a diversion? I'm hoping it will be another facet in my sewing machine adventures where I can add a bit of embellishment where it would really be an asset. I remember when I started out with sergers "just to see what they are like" and that opened a whole new world of speed sewing and professional finishing. This might also do the same thing for me but I have a hunch the Designer 1 is going to replace the Viking #1+ as my main sewing machine. Oh, I can be so fickle!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! A shout out! I'm just glad I could help. Besides, it's nice to find another like-minded crafter even if she's hundreds of miles away.
    Virginia R