“HV Patchwork Program”

In last week’s blog I talked about the Pfaff Patchwork Program and promised this week I would show all you Husqvarna Viking owners how, you too, can create your own patchwork program.  It’s easy.  It just takes a few more steps and a little more trial and error. 

First of all, start to think of your programming capabilities outside the box of just decorative stitches and lettering.  You have the ability to save any stitch, be it in a longer program or in a program of one stitch.  For example, if you manage to create the perfect blanket stitch in length and width for your project, save it into your machine’s memory so you can recall it time and time again.  This is what you will do for your patchwork program.  You will create a program made up of straight stitches, the exact length you need for the piecing you are doing and you will save it so it can be accurately repeated any time you want to use it.

Before doing anything, remember to set your Sewing Advisor!

You will need to decide what straight stitch length you wish to use for your piecing project.  I tend to use a 2.0 stitch length because it’s tight enough to hold my pieces together but long enough to remove easily should I need to.  I also tend to use the needle in the center position and create my ¼” or scant ¼” seam using my piecing foot.  If you would like to use your needle in another position, a little to the left or right of center, make sure you start your program with that stitch placement.  All other stitches in your program will follow suit if you use a duplication feature.

Find the PROG on your machine to open the programming feature.

Open your programming feature.  If you cannot remember how to do that on your machine, check your owner’s manual.  Most machines will have it on the front function buttons, as in the entry level machines in the line like the Jade 35, under the “gem” in the machines such as the Topaz 50, etc. and on the screen on the more top of the line machines.  All the Husqvarna Vikings tend to use the PROG abbreviation.  Once your program is open you will need to enter one straight stitch, using the stitch length and needle placement you want to use.  If your machine has a Duplicate option, this is a great time to use it.  You will need to enter the number of stitches needed for your machine to span the distance your piecing requires you to sew.  These estimations may help with how many stitches to add to your program:

1 mm stitch length = 24 stitches per inch

2 mm stitch length = 13 stitches per inch

3 mm stitch length = 9 stitches per inch

4 mm stitch length = 6 stitches per inch

5 mm stitch length = 5 stitches per inch

6 mm stitch length = 4 stitches per inch

Once in PROG I selected the center needle straight stitch…
…and chose a 2.0mm stitch length.

My piecing is going to span 4” using a 2.0 mm stitch length.  I multiply 13 x 4 to get a total of 52 stitches.  This is where I start to experiment.  I program in 52 stitches and use a Stop at the end of the program.  I now have to stitch out the program I just created and see if it’s perfect.  If it is, I save it.  If it’s not, I make the adjustments needed and test it again.  As it turned out, I only needed 42 stitches to create the same length program as I did last week on my Pfaff.  Once happy with the program, I save it to my machine and, viola!  I now have my own patchwork program I can use any time I am piecing 4” blocks!  Each time I stitch out the program it will stitch 4” and then stop.  I make sure to use the needle down option so when I’m finished sewing each block it’s easy to align each new block in my piecing and I’m golden.  By the way, this programming technique also works on a Brother machine, like the Dream Machine, Luminaire, etc. 

If your duplication icon has a triangle or dot next to it, long touch for more options.
The long touch gives me this keypad to enter in the number of duplicates I want.
Don’t forget to add the Stop to your program or you’ll be sewing endless 2.0 stitches! Yikes!
With my Stop confirmed on the screen, I’m ready to start stitching out my program.
With the accuracy of my program confirmed in my test stitch out, I’m ready to save the program to my machine.
The “Save” feature takes me to the menu where my programs are stored. I touch the first empty slot and…
…my program is saved so I can access it over and over again!
On the left is the Patchwork Program I created last week on my Pfaff and on the right is the program I created this week on my Husqvarna Viking. Identical!

Happy Sewing!

“Patchwork Program”

For many years now, Pfaff sewing machines have had a wonderful feature called the “Patchwork Program”.  Some of you who own a Pfaff may have purchased it because you were shown this feature and knew immediately how valuable it would be to a sewer who enjoys piecing quilt tops.  It works much the same way as creating a sequence, just with fewer steps.  Husqvarna Viking machines have traditionally not had this feature.  In order to emulate this on an HV machine, you need to go through multiple steps.  We’ll talk about that next week.  If you are a Pfaff owner, follow the pictures below to create your own patchwork program.  You may find this Sewing Mastery Video helpful if you are new to this feature.  Upon arriving at the URL, go to page 3, video #53.  Once you get the hang of using this feature, you will find so many instances where it comes in handy!  Your next piecing project will be done in a snap. 

For this explanation, I have marked a four inch square. The patchwork program will be used for my vertical lines, simulating putting blocks together for piecing a quilt top.
After choosing a straight stitch, choose Stitch Repeat.
Once Stitch Repeat is chosen, choose Patchwork Program.
The symbol at the top of the display screen means the Reverse button must be pushed to end the program.
Once you have sewn the length you wish to repeat, press the Reverse button once.
Start at the top of your first block and sew slowly and accurately until you get to the bottom of the piece.
When you get to the exact spot where you want the stitching to stop…
…press the Reverse button once.
Once you touch the Reverse button, you will notice the screen has changed from the Patchwork Program to the Single Stitch Program. This is because the machine now treats the newly created program as one stitch that will repeat over and over, once each time you start to sew.
As long as you start in the same place each time, you will end in the same place. This allows you to fly through your piecing. You may use your foot pedal or the stop/start feature for this sewing. If you are using the stop/start feature, you may want to slow the machine for your own comfort. You also may want to use the needle down feature to match your pieces as they go through the presser foot.

If you think you would like to use this same Patchwork Program for future or continuing projects, you may save it into your machine’s memory! This allows you to turn your machine off and still have the exact program to use the next time you turn on the machine. Happy Sewing!

“Starting Over”

There are so many really great features on modern sewing machines that it’s sometimes hard to remember to use them all.  For me, the stitch re-start feature is one of the most useful.  When I was teaching the “Sewing Machine Basics” course, I would always make a point of making sure customers knew where to find this since I myself, use it so much.  This is a feature that has been on Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff machines for a very long time, so if you have an older machine, the feature might be on your machine’s model.  Each machine is a bit different, but check your owner’s manual for the symbol and see if your machine has it. Essentially, this feature allows you to re-start a decorative stitch or a sequence of stitches, so you can precisely line up these stitches however your project demands.  I use it when creating rows of stitches that I want to line up or match.  I also use it when I want to make sure my stitch is starting at the very beginning of the stitch after I have been sewing said stitch and want to start it again.  I have done this, for example, when using the machine’s stippling stitch on a quilt.  As I have come to the end of a row of stippling stitches, I have used the stitch re-start feature to begin the stitch exactly the same way I did on my first pass of stitches.  This way, everything lines up and looks more professional and less like “bless your heart, you made this yourself, didn’t you?”  See if you have this feature and think about how you might use this to your best advantage.  Happy Sewing!

This is the stitch re-start symbol. On my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Royale, it’s on the front of the machine. Other HV machines have it as an icon in the information section of their display screen.
My Pfaff Creative Icon has the stitch re-start button on the front, too.
My Brother Luminaire has the same re-start feature. It just has a different looking icon.
I use this stitch re-start feature with programed stitches. In this example, I created a program using two stitches: #2 and ….
…and #15.
I put these two stitches together and …
…repeated them using the mirror image feature.
I added no “stops” to the program, so it stitched out as a border. My goal with this program would be to create embroidered fabric with matched rows of stitching.
For precision sewing I draw lines to follow, using erasable markers. I line up the line on the fabric with the middle marking on the presser foot. This is on my Pfaff.
This is on my Husqvarna Viking. Start the design in the same place at the top line each time the stitch re-start is used.
By now you can see that the different stitch sequences are lining up with each other perfectly.
Remember, once a programed series of stitches is loaded into the sewing mode, the mirror image feature can be used and the entire program will be mirrored. Cool!
The mirror image starts the program in a different spot. The stitch re-start will recognize this and reproduce the new start point time after time, as long as the program remains mirrored.
The two rows on the left were stitched on my Pfaff and the other three were stitched on my Huqvarna Viking. Remember not to over guide the fabric: let the machine do all the work so the designs will line up correctly, having been fed through the machine at the same pace each stitch out.

“Four Directions”

Machine sewers are used to stitches that move forward and backward as well as side to side, as in a zig-zag stitch.  Just about every sewing machine can do these directional stitches.  As you move up the line in the Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff machines, the ability to go in even more directions becomes an option.  On both my HV Designer Diamond Royale and my Pfaff Creative Icon, there is a stitch menu that allows the machine to sew in four directions: forward, backward, left and right, without pivoting the material.  Each machine gives a number of stitch options for this feature, but I have chosen the satin stitch for this explanation since I felt it was easiest to see in the photos.  If your machine has this feature, there is probably one of two ways to make this stitch work.  If your machine is like my Designer Diamond Royale, there is an icon at the bottom of the display screen that, when pressed, changes the stitch direction without you having to change the orientation of the fabric in the machine.  Keep the fabric still and the machine will stitch a square for you.  You just need to decide how big that square will be.  My Pfaff Creative Icon does not use an icon on the screen to press but uses the reverse button on the front of the machine.  Each time the reverse button is pushed once and released the stitch changes direction.   This feature allows you to sew in awkward areas where moving the base fabric would be difficult; say sewing a patch on the top of a sleeve.  I use this feature most often when sewing the handles onto the walker bags I make for my local rehabilitation center.  I’m able to insert the bag into the machine and sew on the handles without having to turn the bag.  This is not only more convenient, but is also much faster that pivoting the fabric.  I just choose the straight stitch for this operation and I can go through 20 bags in no time!  If your machine has this feature and you have not tried it, give it a try and see what you think.  Happy Sewing!

On my Pfaff Creative Icon, the four direction stitches are found in menu 9.2. There are 9 stitches to choose from.
I chose stitch #5 and loaded it onto the screen.
The screen shows me the stitch will first go to the right of the presser foot.
This icon tells me I must press the reverse button to change the stitch direction.
The reverse button is found on the front of my machine.
The stitch starts off going to the right…
…then forward, towards me.
Next the stitch goes to the left of the foot…
…and then backwards. Remember, you do not hold down the reverse button, but simply press it once to change stitch direction.
On my Designer Diamond Royale, the four way stitches are in the S menu.
The machine offers 17 stitch options. I chose #5, the satin stitch.
This icon at the bottom of the screen changes the stitch direction.
The stitch starts off going to the right of the foot, just like my Pfaff.
Touching the direction icon once sends the stitches forward, towards me.
Touching the icon again sends the stitches to the left…
…and one more touch takes the stitches backwards.

“Alternatives”

I like to experiment with different stitches, both decorative and utility, to see what kind of effects I can get to add that little touch of “unique” to my projects.  One of the ways I can change stitches on my machines is to use the “alternatives” feature whenever it appears.  The “alternatives” feature is present on many Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff machines and allows you to change the position of a stitch, the density of a stitch or the elongation of a stitch.  This feature is used for the decorative or satin stitches on the machine.  If you have an older Pfaff, the “alternatives” button might be on the machine front and have a symbol of a stitch veering off a straight path (as on the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2) or may be found as the letters ALT on the older Husqvarna Vikings (as on my Designer Diamond Royale).  If you have a newer machine, either a Husqvarna Viking or a Pfaff, you will find a triangle or dot on the length or width icon indicating you have more options for that icon than what is currently showing.  If it’s unclear to you whether or not your machine has this feature, check your owner’s manual.  This feature is one where the machine decides whether or not it will be available.  Not all stitches can be changed by the “alternatives” feature.  The changes you can make are also decided upon by the machine.  Sometimes the machine will make a change to the stitch, but only after you change the width of the stitch first, as in the case of stitch positioning.  For example, if you lessen the width of a satin stitch, you are suddenly able to change that stitch’s positioning, to the left or right of the center needle position.  Density changes can be made to a stitch, allowing the stitch to appear more or less dense.  Elongation of a stitch makes the stitch longer without affecting its density.  It adds more stitches to the pattern to create a longer stitch pattern and uses fewer stitches to create a shorter stitch pattern.  The satin stitch remains the same density, but gets either longer or shorter.  This works out really well when working with borders that need to be a certain size, as in the case of decorative stitches being used in conjunction with the circular attachment.  As you get closer to the starting point of your circle, you may want to change the elongation of your stitch to meet the beginning and the ending stitches perfectly.  Once you experiment with this feature, you will find many uses for it that you didn’t even know you had!  Happy Sewing!

With a straight stitch chosen on my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond Royale, there is no “alternatives” icon to be found on the screen.
When a satin stitch is chosen, the icon appears. This is telling me I have more options for this stitch.
In the case of this satin stitch, my machine will allow me to move it’s positioning from the center needle position….
…to the far right of the center needle position.
When I choose this scallop, the machine allows me to change the stitch density…
…from very dense to…
…a stitch that is much more open.
For this stitch the machine allows the elongation to change. I can have the design go from circles…
..to ovals without changing the density of the satin stitches that join the ovals. Pretty cool!
My new Pfaff has the same feature. If a straight stitch is chosen, there are no alternatives offered.
Once a satin border stitch is chosen, two circles appear under the width icon.
By decreasing the width of this satin border stitch, I can now change its position to the far right of the center needle position. Look for these features on your machine.

“Appliques and Patches”

If you own an embroidery machine, you may have a feature called “Design Applique” (Husqvarna Viking), “Applique Creator” (Pfaff) or “Applique” (Brother).  This feature allows you to create an original applique, or in my case, a patch that can be used anywhere.  I was asked to make some patches for my nephew’s wife who is currently making pre-school music teaching videos to support her music teaching business that has had to go from in-person classes to online learning.  She is teaching the concepts of loud (forte) and soft (piano) and needed some patches to put on her hand puppets.

The only difference between an applique and a patch is how you use it.  An applique stays on a base fabric as an embellishment and a patch is stitched out on stabilizer and then torn away from the stabilizer to be attached to a back pack, garment, towel or anything you want.  Each machine has a little different method of creating the applique, but they all do the same thing in the end.  The patches I made were made on the Brother Luminaire.

First, I had to look for some clip art of the symbols for forte (f) and piano (p).  Once I found what I was looking for, I scanned the images into my machine so it could convert the clip art into embroidery language (in this case, PES).  (On the Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking, this step would need to be done using the add-on software that is purchased separately from the machine.)

After finding the clip art I wanted, I put it into a Word document, printed it and then used the included magnets to attach the paper to the scanning hoop for the Brother.

Once the images were scanned, I chose my material and added fusible stabilizer to the back to give it body and strength once the patch was complete.  In this case, you do not want fabric to have a soft “hand”, so I chose a bottom weight cotton fabric and a heavy weight fusible cut away stabilizer.

This is a heavy cotton fabric. I used this for the front of all the patches.
I wanted the material to be rather stiff when the patch was complete so I used fusible stabilizer on the back of the fabric.
This fusible stabilizer gives the fabric a lot of body.

Once the stabilizer was fused to the back of the fabric, I put some tear away stabilizer in my hoop and was ready to start.

I created my patches by following the directions in my manual and changing the stitch out order to first stitch a placement line where I placed the top fabric and then a tack down line to secure the fabric. Next came the actual embroidery for the center of the patch.

After the placement stitch and the tack down stitch, I skipped to the embroidery design. I did not want the embroidery to show on the back of the patch.

Once the embroidery was done, I put a piece of felt on the back of my hoop, covering the placement line I had stitched out previously.  I ran another tack down stitch to attach the felt to the back of the patch and then removed the hoop from the machine so I could cut away the fabric on both sides of the hoop, close to the tack down stitching.

I added a small piece of felt to the back of the patch and stitched it down with another tack down stitch.
Once the felt was attached to the back, I trimmed both the front and back fabrics close to the tack down stitching. They are now ready for the finishing satin stitch around the edges.

Once the fabric was trimmed, I placed the embroidery hoop back on the machine and finished the patch with the satin stitching around the perimeter of the patch, catching both the front and back of the patch in the stitching.

This is the finished patch from the front….
…and from the back. They are now ready to be attached to the puppets’ chest.

The satin stitching on the outer edge tended to tear the stabilizer, so I did have to float a separate piece of tear away stabilizer under the back of the hoop, but it was very easy to remove.

The Brother machine also has an option to create an applique in the shape of the embroidery design used.

The patches are now on their way to being YouTube stars on the front of their new puppet friends. Happy Sewing!

The patches on the top row can be made by the Husqvarna Viking and the Pfaff. The bottom row is exclusive to Brother.

“Creating Stitches”

Many of you who own a Pfaff or a top of the line Brother have a feature called “Stitch Creator” (Pfaff) or “My Custom Stitch” (Brother).  For most customers, this is probably one of the most intimidating features on the machine, but if you take some time to play with it, I think you will find it one of your favorite features.  On both machines, you are able to create your own decorative stitch which you can stitch out and/or save and use as part of a larger sequence.  This is perfect for those of you who have an artistic propensity and can picture a stitch in your head.  It is a simple plotting program for the machine, placing stitches on an X and Y axis.  Make the stitches small enough and you will even be able to create the look of curves!  For those of us who are more technician than artist (that’s me!) you can also use this feature to edit existing stitches on the machine and make them unique to your project.  Again, once the stitch is changed you may stitch it out or save it to use again and again.  The Pfaff machines allow you to put any stitch into “Stitch Creator” except buttonholes and those stitches that are over 9mm in width.  The Brother machines allow you to edit selected stitches which you will see once you are in the “My Custom Stitch” feature.  Whether you want to create a whole new stitch or edit an existing one, grab your manual and give this feature a try!

On my Creative Icon I enter the feature by choosing Stitch Creator. On other machine models, this may be a button or icon near the Sequence Creator, the feature I talked about in last week’s blog.
This is the decorative stitch I have chosen to edit.
I decided to remove the stitches that make up the middle pattern. I followed the directions on the screen and in my manual and….
…this is how it looks with the middle stitches removed. Once I am ready to sew the pattern…
…I press “OK” and the machine moves the stitches to the sewing mode, ready for me to stitch out.
On my Brother Luminaire, I enter the feature by pressing this icon.
Once in the “My Custom Stitch” feature, choose the decorative stitches the machine will allow you to edit.
I chose to use a stitch from the second category of choices.
I chose this stitch and, once again, decided to edit out the middle section.
This is how the stitch looked before editing.
By following the on screen icons and the directions in my owner’s manual, I removed the zig-zag stitches in the center of the decorative stitch.
This is my new edited stitch.

The above pictures give you just a cursory glimpse of this great feature.  Both machines give options such as mirror imaging and even triple stitches rather than just a single stitch. This video may help those of you who own Pfaff machines.  Though it is made to explain the Creative 3.0, the feature works the same on any machine that has it.  I did not find a video to help the Brother owners, but you may find that the above video may help you too, it just shows different icons than on your machine. Happy Sewing!

“Programming/Sequencing Tips”

There is such a variety of stitches on the machines today that it’s often difficult to make a choice, but don’t forget you can create your own program (Husqvarna Viking), pattern (Brother) or sequence (Pfaff) of stitches with ease.  Most machines that are computerized machines have the ability to create a series of different decorative stitches anywhere from 50 – 99 stitches long, strung together the way you think they look best.  You can use lettering and/or decorative stitches together in these creations and use them as a border, as your own created embroidered fabric or even for just something as mundane as putting a name into clothing when staying at summer camp (those were the days, weren’t they?)

If you haven’t given this feature on your machine a try in a while, you may want to take some time to experiment and see what you come up with.  If you create something you really like, remember to save it into your machine’s memory.  Every machine that can program/sequence has a least one memory space.  The further up the machine line you go, the more memory space you get.  If you have forgotten how to access the programming/sequencing feature on your machine, refer to your owner’s manual.  In fact, you may want to keep the manual handy if you are a little rusty with this feature, since there are usually quite a few choices you can make for your creation. 

The Husqvarna Viking machines will all have a place that says PROG to get into programming.
Pfaff machines allow you to enter Sequencing mode with the term Sequence Creator or with a button on the machine that has an A, then a heart, then the letter B.
Brother machines give you the option to create a pattern once you have chosen character decorative stitches. You will find an icon that is a group of stars followed by a single star. The single star puts the machine into programming mode.

Every machine will allow you to change the length and width of your chosen stitch, which can sometimes make quite a difference in the look of your creation.  You will also have a mirror image feature and most machines have the ability to duplicate.  Remember, while duplicating, make the changes to the original stitch first then duplicate it.  The changes will be duplicated with the stitch and you will not have to make the same changes to the same stitch over and over.  Also, don’t forget to use the multi-directional stitches on your machine if you have them.  They can create patterns that appear to step up or down and can create some very pleasing effects.  Lastly, remember to add a Stop or a Stop and Snip to your program/sequence.  If you forget this step, you will be creating a border that will stitch out indefinitely.

This is where having your manual handy will help you remember the different icons that give you your choices on changing length, width, mirror image, delete, duplicate, etc.
Remember to long touch those icons that have a check or multiple dots, like the icon for width on my machine that says 8.4. The extra dots below the zig zag give other options for changes to the stitch.
The Brother machine gives more options for editing if you open the edit window, which in this picture is on the far right, already opened.
Husqvarn Viking machines use a heart icon to save your program.
Pfaff also uses a heart icon or a heart with an arrow for saving your sequence.
Brother either uses the word “Memory” or the icon of a pocket for saving your pattern.
Adding a Stop is optional. Stop command gives you a program/pattern/sequence. No Stop added at the end of your creation = a border.

 Finally, if you have an embroidery machine that allows you to use the sewing stitches while you are in the Embroidery Mode, you must enter your Programming/Sequencing through the Embroidery Mode.  Sewing stitches and embroidery stitches are in two different languages.  Programming/Sequencing in Embroidery mode allows the machine to translate into the language it needs to stitch out your creation in the hoop.  Happy Sewing!

“Have You Seen These Posts?”

I have been so busy making face masks, zippered bags to keep them in while in the car (you never know when you’ll need a new mask while you’re out and about) and other projects pertaining to COVID-19 that I have not been keeping up with my sewing Facebook pages for Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff.  I thought you might be in the same boat, so I made a point of catching up today and wanted to share a variety of projects they have posted that you might want to take a look at and try.

Since there are many machines in both lines, the posts are geared towards a variety of skill levels and machine features.  Since there is only one site address, you will need to scroll through the posts.  Because of this I have given you some posting dates that may speak to you.  Remember, you can access these Facebook pages anytime, even if you don’t have a Facebook account, through the Husqvarna Viking or Pfaff websites.  You will find the link at the bottom of each site’s home page under the title “Connect”.  Have a wonderful week and Happy Sewing!

Husqvarna Viking

June 3, 2020 –   Laptop Case Project

June 1, 2020 –   Thread Painting – put those free motion quilting skills to good use!

May 27, 2020 –   Embroidering your own coloring book

Pfaff

June 1, 2020 –   Tutorial on Double Ribbon Stitches

May 27, 2020 –  Creative Icon – Tutorial on the use of the Design Placement feature of the Sew Notice App.

May 26, 2020 –   Use of elastic with Ribbon Stitches to create a pencil holder

“Did You Know?”

Today’s sewing machines use the metric system for all of their measurements and displays.  Sometimes that information can be a little difficult to translate since, in this country, the metric system is not as common as it is around the world.  You can use a metric ruler or other measuring methods to help, but what about the numbers displayed for your stitch length?  The numbers used for stitch width are clear.  They give a direct metric measurement of how wide the stitch is, but what about the numbers used to identify the stitch length?  Those numbers are not as straight forward.

First, let’s be clear:  all stitches cannot be sewed at all stitch lengths or widths.  Sometimes a limit will be put on a particular stitch because it is not able to be formed correctly if it goes outside a set of parameters.  When you reach the maximum or minimum length or width for a stitch, your machine will not allow you to go any further, which it may signal to you with the sound of a click or beep.  This is especially true when working with decorative stitches.  They can skew easily and are usually confined to very narrow parameters.  For normal straight stitches, these restrictions don’t apply because a straight line of stitches are not prone to being skewed.  The following are the straight stitch length equivalents from millimeters (mm) to stitches per inch.

1 mm stitch length = 24 stitches per inch

2 mm stitch length = 13 stitches per inch

3 mm stitch length = 9 stitches per inch

4 mm stitch length = 6 stitches per inch

5 mm stitch length = 5 stitches per inch

6 mm stitch length = 4 stitches per inch

I hope this helps with your next project.  Happy Sewing!