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Selecting a sewing machine

wandaromero | Posted in General Discussion on

I am looking to buy a new sewing machine and have almost decided on a Viking.

My first love is quilting but when I see the beautiful embroidery, I think I should buy a machine that does both.  

The quilting machine I am considering is the Viking Sapphire.

The embroidery machine I have looked at is the Viking SE.

Are there any quilters out there that use the Viking SE to quilt on as well as embroidery?  


ready to retire


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    I've used the Viking Designer 1 to quilt.  The Viking's floating presserfoot works fine for me, but you can buy a special dual feed foot if you wish.   The D1 was the "top of the line before the SE came out, then the SELE, the next new model will be out this summer so the prices should keep improving on the other models I think.   The SE's run between $3-4,000 around here if that helps.  The SELE more $$$$ but also more bells and whistles and you can get full trade up if you decide to get the new model I think. 

    I also have the Viking Rose embroidery/sewing machine which also does fine for quilting, in fact I prefer it for free motion work.  Both do absolutely beautiful embroidery and perfect stitching.  Love my Vikings!  The feet for mine are almost all interchangeable too. 

    Hope this helps!  Oh, I bought the new 4D software this year, it is incredible!!!  Mary

    1. Digi | | #2

      Hi Mary:  Say, would you please tell me about the 4-D Software?  As you might recall, I own the Pfaff 2170 and I'm given to understand that the new software for it is similar/same-as, the Viking software.  I've got the "newer" old Pfaff software and am thinking about getting the new 4-D as I understand that it is a lot easier to use.

      I think the name of my software is the VIP Custom ...and all the other programs that go with the VIP software system.  It's great ...but ...it is sometime difficult to emerge all the different programs into one design.  Thanks Mary, for any help you can give.


      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        I had the basic VIP Customizing but I never found a digitizing program that I liked so this is the first time I've really invested in the whole deal.

        I bought Pfaff 4D Creative Suite and it is incredible!  The programs work well together and really enhance each other.  It is very user friendly, state of the art, can't say enough positive things about it.  I believe it is the same as the Viking 4D except for the packaging and logos.  (I don't own Pfaff machines, but my dealer has more Pfaff stuff in stock than Viking as his wife is a Pfaff lover from way back.)  The classes are helpful, but what I really like is the 4D computer club and 4D Block of the month club from Pfaff.  We are making a mini quilt using different aspects of the software.  It makes it fun to learn.

        Go to http://www.pfaffusa.com and http://www.husqvarnavikingusa.com and read everything they say about the software as there are several places that have demos and such.  There is also an online tutorial at both companies websites so you can watch it.  (Unfortunately, it isn't interactive other than you can slow it down and repaly it.)

        Then, I will help you in any way I can.  I am taking my time learning it all so it really sinks in. 

        You can input all the threads you own into Thread manager's "My Threads"!  When you put a design on the screen, you can switch your colors to ones that you already have.  The thread base is huge with most brands, weights, types.  You can print out "my threads".   You can set your Disk Manager to output files to most embroidery machine formats, if not all.  You can copy to disks, cards, machines, memory sticks, whatever.  You set it up for two different machines if you want.  It will read most formats desigsns.  You can zip and unzip files..

        Oh, there is so many things, I don't know what to tell you about.  Splitting designs is easy and quick.  You can zoom in and out, resize, see 3D or 4D designs and print them.  The graphics are clear and sharp, so easy to see it all.

        Fabric Decorator is fun to play with too. 

        Oh, there is an ENCORE function, you can copy, paste, and encore multiple copies of a design to surround the hoop, circle, straight or curved line, etc.  I'm finally using some of my tiny "collar point" designs in the Encore function on the 4D Embroidery.

        I highly recommend this software!!!  I love it!  oh, if you do a search here, under my name, we have discussed the software in a few threads.  Mary

        1. Digi | | #5

          Thanks so much Mary, for all that great information.  I went to the website and started reading, but still have a lot to explore.  However, what I've read so far is really impressive and looks to solve all the issues I've had with my current version; i.e. it just isn't that simple to integrate all the different elements of the package, which is what I'm looking for.

          I'll get back to you when I have more questions.  In the meantime, Happy Sewing!

          1. MaryinColorado | | #6

            One of the things I really appreciate about the new software, is the Title bar, Menu Bar, and Tool Bars at the top of the screen in all the modules, everything is right there.  There is a "Help" function that is right there all the time to assist you with questions.  You can Be in one module and incorporate another's features with a click of the mouse.  No more cumbersome steps.  If the title is in grey, you can't use that function with the Munu you are in.  If the title is colored, you can.  Simple.

            Maybe you could pick up a 4D pamphlet too, it has an overview.  Another thing that I like to do is bring up a design (or several), work with them, save them to either the clipboard or 4D Organizer.  Then make more changes, save as I am happy with each step.  That way if I make a mistake I still have the previous step ready to go.  It is simple to go to 4D Organizer and delete the excess copies with a few mouse clicks. 

            Design Optimizer enhances the quality of stitches and the speed.

            You can also "Undo" several steps instead of just one.  Such as if you change a threadcolor several times, you can click "undo" several times and get back to the original color.  You can make part of a design "disappear" temporarily while you work on another part of it.  You can "create embroidery design then, just from the visible stitches if you choose to!  Fun!

            The screen is so clear, it is easy to work with, especially with the zoom feature.  When you split or combine designs, you can tell it to remove the underlay of excess stitches instead of having to do it manually. 

            You can turn embroideries into appliques too.  You can "morph" designs several ways with the click of your mouse, if you don't like it, click "undo".

            If you go through the tutorials, starting with 4D Organizer might help.  Instead of just being a place to "store" designs, you can do alot more. 



          2. Digi | | #10

            Hi Mary,  The strangest thing has happened ...I responded to this message from you several hours ago, and I don't see it posted.  Anyway, I thanked you again for all the additional information and also asked about the price of the software. 

            In the meantime, I called the dealer where I bought my Pfaff 2170 and the VIP software, and they told me that they would "give me a deal" if I would just turn in my old dongle in trade for the 4-D Pfaff software package.  Anyway, if I got it soon, the cost would be $1100.  I wonder if that is for the entire package that you have or if it is for a limited/partial software of the 4-D.  Any ideas on this?

            They are now closed, so I can't call them back; (probably closed early for Easter).  They are going to send me a brochure on the 4-D though, as I have moved quite a distance from them.  It's all academic right now though, as I just can't afford the new software.  If I work hard enough though, perhaps by my birthday ...;-)?  We'll see.

            Thanks again, Mary.  I'll keep you posted and, if I am lucky enough to get it ...or rather "when" ...I'm sure I'll have a few more questions.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #11

            If that is for the Pfaff 4D Suite, that's a great price in my opinion, as it's the full set of programs.  Wow!  The original quotes I got from several dealers in Colorado was $2200.00-$2400.00.  I feel it is an excellent value at the $1500 I had to pay.  (Although it did hurt my pocketbook!)  I've waited 11 years for them to make a really good software package, that's why I just had to have it!  Mary

    2. wandaromero | | #4

      Thank you, Mary.

      Your advice does help.

      Are you happy with basic straight stitching on your designer I?   Is the harp area as large as the harp area on machines marketed for quilters like the Viking Sapphire? 

      I need to spend a few hours inside the Viking store.

      So many projects...so many things to learn....so little time.

      Ready to retire and quilt....

      1. MaryinColorado | | #7

        If your main love is quilting large quilts, perhaps you should focus on the best machine for quilting.  A really large harp, sewing surface, larger table or quilting frame, knee pedal, cruise control, dual feed, etc...I'd love to get one of those longarm machines with the lazer point computerized ability to either follow a pattern or use manually.  Then I would make queen and king sized quilts galore!  But then, for me, money and space must be considered too.  (Even though I'd love to have one, it just isn't "right" for me at this time, in fact, I might even prefer to upgrade to the new top of the line Hus/Viking sewing/emb. machine that's coming out this summer.  If money were no object,  both are totally tempting for different reasons.)  I can't even tell you which I would choose if someone offered to give me one or the other.

        My main love is artistic fiber play.  For me, that meant the Husq/Viking Sewing and Embroidery machine.  It has perfect stitch quality and it would take me a week to tell you all that I love and am able to do with my machine.  I do quilt, but not the queen/king sized.  It's about 5 years old, this year I bought the 4D software, which retails for around $2,200, I got a special deal and a sale price from my dealer.  I joined two clubs specifically for learning the 4D software and all the amazing things that can be done with it. 

        If you want to explore machine embroidery, you could get a seperate machine, maybe one that does embroidery only.  The reason I mention this possibility, is because machine embroidery isn't just a matter of buying the embroidery capable machine.  There is the cost of software, designs, hoops, a variety of stabilizers that are right for each fabric or technique, embroidery threads, etc.  Then, if you really love it, you might want to upgrade to a machine that takes larger hoops. 

        I also have the H/V 936 Huskylock serger, which is another dream machine that does a zillion more things than just edge finishing seams.  We have to really think through what machine or group of machines will suit our personal needs.  What is realistic for you?  Good luck in your search, I hope you find that "perfect" machine that is right for you!  Mary

        1. Palady | | #8

          >> ... have the H/V 936 Huskylock serger, ... <<

          Are you familiar with this Yahoo group?  You well may be, but for lurkers, it requires "joining" Yahoo.




          1. MaryinColorado | | #9

            Yes, thank you for asking.  Mary


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