“Familiar Feature”

If you’re like me, you have been getting quite a few emails from Husqvarna Viking talking about a feature called Stitch Positioning, found on the newest machines.  It is great to be able to place decorative stitches exactly where you want them on your project with accuracy and consistency, which is what this feature does.  Did you know that if you own certain older models of machines, both Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff, you may already have a version of this feature?  In past machine models, being able to place a decorative stitch where you want it was accomplished by using the Alternative button or icon (presented as Alt or a picture representation).  On the newer machines, this feature may be seen as a new type of icon on the display screen, but the effect is much the same.  Essentially, the machine decides which decorative stitches can be positioned to the left or right of center needle position based upon the width of the stitch.  For example, if the decorative stitch is wider than the stitch plate allows, the Stitch Positioning/Alternative feature will not be available.  If the decorative stitch is able to be reduced in width, the machine will allow you to have more flexibility in the stitch’s placement on the stitch plate by moving the stitch’s starting point to the left of center needle position or to the right.  My Husqvarna Viking machine has a plate opening width of 7mm and my Pfaff has an opening of 9mm.  If I would like to position a decorative stitch, it must be a smaller width than 7mm on my Husqvarna Viking or 9mm on my Pfaff.  Take a look on your machine or in your owner’s manual to see if you have this terrific feature.  If you do, see if you can use it on your next project! 

This is what the Alternative feature’s icon looks like on my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Royale. Usually, if the icon is on a display screen, it will appear next to or close to the width adjustment icon. Some of the older Pfaff machines have this feature in the actual function buttons that are on the front of the machine.
When the icon is activated, it turns what used to be displayed as a 7.0 into a 0.0 display. Also, you will notice that the plus and minus on either side of the 0.0 is not active. That’s because, as the stitch is loaded onto the machine screen, it is already at a 7.0mm width. My Husqvarna Viking cannot stitch greater than 7mm, so in order to activate this feature, I will need to decrease the width of the stitch.
This is what the icon looks like on my Pfaff Creative Icon. This stitch width of the loaded stitch is 9.0mm. See the two circles under the number 9.0? The first circle is activating the stitch width feature…
…and the second circle activates the Alternative feature. Both the plus and minus on either side of the 0.0 are inactive because the stitch itself is 9.0mm: the maximum stitch width for my machine.
Let’s take a closer look at this feature. On my Pfaff, I have chosen the stitch I would like to position.
The stitch is 9.0mm in width, so in order to position this to the left or right of center needle position, I need to reduce the stitch’s width.
If I reduce the stitch width from 9.0mm wide down to 6.0mm….
…the plus and minus (denoting left and right of the center needle position) become active. I can now move the entire stitch to the left or to the right of center needle position.
In this case, the -1.5 is showing that I have moved the entire stitch 1.5mm to the left of center needle position. Why would I want to do that? Maybe I would like to sew this stitch right along the very edge of my fabric for a decorative finish. If I don’t move the stitch placement, my presser foot may run off the edge of the fabric and leave me with a puckered and wavy stitch. By moving the stitch, I can sew with my entire presser foot on the fabric, giving me a professional look.
On my older Husqvarna Viking machine, I have chosen a stitch that is 7.0mm wide. When I touch the ALT icon…
…the plus and minus on either side of the 0.0 are inactive. Why? You got it! Because my stitch is already at a width of 7.0mm: the maximum stitch width my machine can handle.
If I go back to the width adjustment and change the stitch to a width of 5.0mm, I am now 2.0mm smaller than my maximum plate opening, so….
…the plus and minus on either side of the 0.0 are activated. I can now move my stitch to the left or right of center needle position.
The -1.0 shows I have moved the stitch 1.0mm to the left of the center needle position. I must admit, I use this feature mostly to move my stitches to the left of center needle position. I usually am guiding my fabric along the right side of my presser foot, so moving the stitch to the left just works for me.

Remember, this feature allows you to move your stitch on the fabric without moving your presser foot. That’s a really big deal! You will always get a much cleaner stitch if your presser foot is moving along completely on your fabric. This allows the fabric to move through the feed teeth in a straight line with the least amount of distortion possible. Whenever your presser foot runs off the fabric, you can be sure there will be trouble ahead! Happy Sewing!