Viking Designer I
by Julie Baird
I love my Husqvarna Viking Designer I!
I purchased it in 2000, while keeping my Viking #1+--just couldn't turn that one in for a trade-in.
My machine is a workhorse when I get into a project. I like to do free motion machine quilting...for hours on end and late into the night. The machine just keeps going.
The feature that surprised me most was the "pivot". When I was looking at the machine, I was like, yeah, well that's nice. However, the first quilt (a courthouse steps in flannel) I made on it went so much faster. With the needle stop down feature engaged, when you stop stitching, the needle ends in the fabric automatically and the presser foot rises up about half way. It's so much easier to slide the next piece under the foot...no scrunching.
Come to think of it...it always makes nice first stitched into a piece...no thread nests or thread throw-up.
The edge-stitching foot is my preference for piecing because I can fine tune the needle position. And I do use a hopping foot (#413 03 76-46), I don't like to quilt with the feet that don't hop.
Since I do machine quilting and machine quilting patterns, people are always asking how long something took to quilt. There's neat little feature that tells me how long the needle has been "going up and down" i.e. stitching. It doesn't count potty breaks or latte breaks, but it does help me answer "how long it took to quilt" questions.
I did purchase an embroidery model and all the extras that come with. I had embroidered with my #1+, but have NEVER used the embroidery on this machine. I just don't have the time with the quilting that I do. So the next Viking I buy won't have the embroidery unit...unless, of course, they throw it in for free.
There are three things I would change on this machine:
1) Make the walking foot less expensive. I've gone through two so far. I do "get" that they wear out because they're a mechanical foot. But at about $80 for the last one, that's just not fun.
2) I'd like to move the needle forward to make it easier to see when I'm machine quilting.
3) Put a thread guide on the far right of the machine so that when I use my metal thread stand, I don't have to have my "safety-pin-fix" duct taped to my machine.
Recommend it to my best friend?
Absolutely...but think long and hard about the embroidery stuff if you're really happiest quilting!