June 23, 2017

Husqvarna Viking Designer I (1998)

OK not so vintage but I got this with a half dozen other machines from Darrin.

So on my continuing quest for the perfect machine I am drifting towards the 80s.
To me the perfect machine would combine the cast iron "goodness" from the 60s and the super cool functions from the 90s, maybe some one could make such a thing.

The Husqvarna Viking Designer I is one of the earliest touch screen machines made and has some amazing features which I like. I have to admit that at one point I began to think that this thing was a privilege to use!

I have become partial to needle position (up / down), I like left - right - center, and a few good utility stitches.

I just took it off of Craig's List again after doing another alteration; this thing is really amazing I discovered how best to use the fix. It auto-starts with the fix button lit up if you want to end with a fix you have to hit the button before you stop that way it makes the fix an stops with your foot on the pedal. To top it off you can then hit the auto cut-off  which drags the top thread underneath and cuts it off at about 3/4" (don't know why it doesn't tie the knot for you?)

The thing is very strong and has a lot of features that are with us today.
It does not seem to be phased by leather, I have gone off of Viking machines and won't buy one for any reason because they are kind of light duty and always seem to be touchy on leather.
This one is different so I'm going to give it a chance.

It does ask that you sew a little differently than you did with old Betsy but you don't have to.

Presser foot down with the foot pedal is pretty cool, thread cut-off is excellent, the "Fix" or mini back-tack is nice. All of these functions are at your service on the stitch head.

FYI the thread cut-off actually pulls the top thread down and leaves you with about 15mm of each thread to tie off Amazing!

I don't care for the bobbin winder so I use my off-machine bobbin winder for them too. The bobbins wound on the Designer I always look lumpy and uneven, not that they won't work but this is one of those "things" that I can't get past.

Had it serviced by Husqvarna Viking Technician at the Ultimate Sewing Place in Livonia. That was a great experience because he let me sit and watch and learn while he worked.
As I suspected this machine has a run time meter inside the software and so we discovered that it has a grand total of 2 hrs sewing time and 16 hrs of embroidery time on it.

The reverse switch was bad so the control board on the far left was replaced, he did a general service and software update too. It was great to see the machine internal structure considering the covers are hard to get off and I won't be going in there anytime soon; it's a giant die-cast aluminum truss.

Did some pillow making with it while up north, I like it, need the zipper foot.

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