Did I tell you I broke my machine? My Husqvarna Viking H600e is a sewing machine with an embroidery module. Its essentially the same as the Singer Futura XL550 sewing machine that has slightly fancier plastic but with Husqvarna software for the embroidery motifs. To say that this is a finicky machine is an understatement!
My machine is unnamed; I generally don't name electric items. At one point I was tempted to call her Heidi the Husky but Hideous Heidi kept popping into my head so often it was better she stay the unnamed one!
Don't let the pretty plastic fool you (she really is a good looking machine though, isn't she?) She can straight stitch with the best of them but ask her to do the fancy work she looks like she is up for, trouble brews. I have cursed more and muttered more and walked away from the machine in a temper more than any other piece of equipment I have ever owned - thanks Unnamed One for that!
The trouble is she really wants to be an embroidery machine and I kept wanting her to be the all purpose sewing /quilting/embroidery machine I thought I had bought. I have since learned one size does not fit all.
|Coats on left and Aurifil on right - same 50 weight|
|Image from Wonder thread Guide|
She only likes expensive thread. Gutermann for embroidery and Aurifil for quilting.
She doesn't like thread fed on the horizontal spool even when using the net so I use a doohickey called a Wonder Thread Guide.
This sits on top of where your spool goes and guides the thread through like a cone stand. It's designed to eliminate thread breakage when stitching out an embroidery motif. I leave it on the machine permanently. It helps but I still get thread breakage, even with the expensive thread and new needles. Happens mostly when the machine is travelling from one area in the hoop to another.
You get the best value in shipping by buying 2 so I have a spare one if anyone is having issues with thread and wants to try it. Leave me a comment to enter the giveaway and if there is more than one person who wants this I'll do a random number generator to pick a winner.
Don't get me wrong there is a lot to like about this machine. It has an automatic bobbin winder, push the lever and she winds herself! She warns you when you are about to run out of bobbin thread - so handy! She has a beautiful wide bed and a lovely wide harp space so moving a quilt around is really easy. The automatic needle threader is easy to use and works about 80% of the time but the little handle on the side of the machine keeps falling off so useless really!
The bobbin tension is a nightmare! The manual says do not adjust the bobbin and of course I did! In my defence I had to to get the tension right for free motion quilting (previous post here). It was working like a dream for about 10 hours and then I guess the bobbin slowly came apart as it got worse and worse. I did get my quilt finished but ended up with a broken bobbin case at the end.
28 Euro's later - a new bobbin case, some new Gutermann thread and voila! A perfectly pretty Tula Pink owl all stitched out!
Was this a pain free experience with The Unanamed One?
Nope! 7 thread breaks, a bit of pulling in despite stabiliser and screwing the hoop as tight as I could, 1 curse after first attempt had a massive bobbin jam (jam proof drop in bobbin me a**e) - this came after round 10 of 16 and had to be discarded due to enormous hole ripped when trying to remove said jam proof bobbin, 2 cups of tea to calm down, 3 biscuits as I thought I deserved them after that, and 5 hours later - 1 owl!
It became a needle book (slightly largeish as the owl is about 5" x 8") as an extra to our Summer Tote bag Swap with the Modern Quilters Ireland. I'm looking forward to sharing my bag with you this Friday as it should be delivered to my swap partner then!
The owl is available from Urban Threads along with the Acacia raccoon and can be bought in a machine or hand embroidery option.
I think it was worth the aggravation but I might just take a break and do some quilting on my new Janome before sitting back down to The Unnamed One again for a bit just yet!