Thursday 17 October 2013

Sewing Machine review

Sew Mama Sew is having a sewing machine review link up. It involves reviewing your sewing machine, likes & dislikes and really would you recommend it to others. To me, this is a would you buy it again now that you have used it for a while question. I think if you would, then it is a great endorsement of a sewing machine. This is the question I have been asking myself, so here are my thoughts on the Husqvarna Viking H600E, entry level embroidery & quilting machine.
I bought my Viking from Coopers in the UK for £848 on a 4 easy payment scheme in May 2012. There was an offer on at the time and delivery was only £9.99. It's essentially the same as the Singer XL550. I did a bit of research and even had a must have and nice to have list, as all the buying guides tell you, but really I wasn't sure what I wanted.

When I saw the Viking brochure with the nice bright and fun projects showcased as well as the massive throat space, adjustable needle position, needle down and automatic thread cutter I decided this was the one for me. It's really good value for an entry level embroidery machine, a bit dear to be sewing home dec. items on and not too bad for a large throat space quilting machine so I went for it. I think the 4 payments swung it in the end.

I haven't used the embroidery function that much. I made cushions for a friend and used it to make a flag for Boston. In my head I had visions of adding fancy details to towels and T-shirts etc, making my own bags and really fancy quilting designs on large bed quilts, without having to learn to Free Motion Quilt, but the reality is I use it mostly for patchwork piecing! I am learning FMQ but it's not easy!

I do like my machine though I haven't named her - it's definitely a she! I really like the look of her. She's lovely and curvy and shiny white and bright in the kitchen where I sew. She is portable but a tad on the heavy side so I won't be bringing her to sewing nights or classes. I would have liked the embroidery unit to have come with a case and slot for the two hoops for storage. I have plans to make my own when I get some of my to do list items done!

My favourite features are the needle down and the automatic thread cutter. I know with a little thought and a simple turn of the wheel I would put the needle down but it's nice to have it automatically do it for you! There is an automatic needle threader which works 85% of the time and this is also nice, particularly when changing thread all the time for embroidery. One little gripe I have is the plastic plunger to activate the needle threader has a habit of falling off especially when sewing with speed. It's annoying having to keep putting it back on.

She does have a little difficulty with bulky seams but most of that is my fault using too light a needle. One thing that drove me mental initially though was the automatic stop when the needle is unthreaded. Sounds like a good thing to have. Well when paper piecing, one of the techniques is to pierce the pattern before sewing to weaken the paper and make it easier to pull away after having added the fabric. You really can't do this with the H600e. It will beep, beep, beep at you and stop after a few stitches. It drives me nuts! So now I have given up on pre-piercing. I sew with a small stitch and try to be careful when removing the paper. To be honest I probably should just use my Lervia €69.00 machine I bought in Lidl for this anyway.

If you are into only quilting then this machine is a bit of overkill really. If you like a bit of everything and are interested in the machine embroidery functions then this is a lovely machine. I hook it up to a small Asus netbook and send embroidery designs from the internet to her. I got these lovely dog themed patterns and put them on this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt (made with a layer cake of Puppy Park) to lift the solids particularly the brown and I love it.

Would I buy it again?  For the price I got it for - Yes!  Linking up to Sewing Machine Reviews at Sew Mama Sew!


  1. Well done, an excellent, very honest review with all the pro's and con's covered

  2. Nice review. I think having embroidery capabilities would be nice but I doubt I would use it much. Love those flowers on the pillow though!


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