Viking DesignrSE or Bernina Artista 730?
Hi, I just joined this group. I am in the market for a new sewing/embroidery/quilting machine. I currently have a Pfaff 1475 CD, which I have had for at least 15 years, and I think it is time to expand my sewing machine capabilities and experiment with quilting and embroidery. I am currently looking at the top of the line Bernina and the Viking Designer SE. I would also consider the top of the line Pfaff, but there aren’t any dealers close to me. I have had a demonstration on the Bernina Artista 730E and also the Viking Designer SE. Both have all the bells and whistles, but it is overwhelming trying to make a decision.
Does anyone have either the Bernina Artista 730E or the Viking Designer SE, who could give me any feedback on these machines to help me make a decision?? I would appreciate it.
I have the Husqvarna Viking Designer I and love it, the Designer SE has different softwear which may be an improvemet.
Both companies have websites, you may want to check them out. I love the Bernina website, very user friendly and lots of wonderful options. Part of my decision was the dealership location.
So many choices, we are so blessed by His Grace.
Thank you for your reply. I just took the plunge 2 days ago, after driving myself crazy with this, and bought the Viking Designer SE. I did check out the websites. I agree, the Bernina website is very nice. It was a very tough decision, and I hope I made the right one. No matter what, I feel I will love this machine.
I paid $5900.00 for the Designer SE and got the Spring Fling free designs (supposedly $2500 worth of designs). They also gave me 20% off the 3D Professional Software package. The warranty is I guess the standard warranty, 1 year on labor, 5 years on electrical and 20 years on mechanical defects. They will also give me free unlimited one on one classes on my machine--as many as it takes me to learn all I need to know.
The dealership that is close to me is a very small Viking Exclusive store, but very new, so I think we will be learning together. The 2 female owners are very nice and eager to help. I did have a choice of buying at a dealership in a JoAnn fabric store--that has been around many years, but it took me 50 minutes to get there at the least busy time of day. The trip home, taking an hour, helped me make up my mind to buy from the local dealership. I got a better deal on the Viking Designer SE than I could have gotton on the Bernina, and the Bernina dealership would have been 15 minutes farther away.
As far as machines, it was a tough decision. I loved the idea of the Bernina Stitch regulator--a definite plus, but then the presser foot sensor system on the Viking DSE totally impressed me. I haven't sewed on my new machine yet because I spent a day installing the different designs and software onto my computer, and looking at the cd's about the machine, etc. I was even more impressed when viewing the CD Demos and the instructional advice that was on the CD's. The education system that you get with the machine is wonderful. I am very excited and can't wait to start sewing and experimenting on my machine. I recently stopped working and plan to have fun doing many quilting and embroidery projects. My head is soaring with ideas.
I also ordered the 3D Professional software, so my design possibilities will be endless. I feel I am set for life. Being new to the Gatherings Group, I am sure I will be learning lots and hopefully able to share lots with everyone.
If you were making a choice now to buy a machine, and money were no object--having experience with a Viking Designer machine, would you buy the Designer SE or the Bernina Artista 730E (their top of the line machine)? Can you tell me some of reasons why you love your Viking Designer? Of course, any advice you can give will be appreciated.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You are going to have sooooo much fun!!! I don't want to post my personal email for everyone to see and don't know if this site has a way to keep it private or I could be more candid. I will say you got a better price than I could get here as far as I can tell, the pachages vary so much.(by a few thousand dollars! ) Also I feel that you purchased from the best place for you. It will be exciting to be involved with a new shop too.
Don't be intimidated by your new "baby". The D1 is so user friendly, so the latest has got to be even better!!! So many bells and whistles!!! I have had mine for a year and also own their top of the line serger which is incredible. Also I have the Viking Rose Embroidery machine which my grand daughter (12) just loves and has adopted as her own. These machines are incredible! As you take classes and decide what projects you love you will be buying new feet. I have most of the feet available....oh my, it is so easy to get carried away.
My latest thing is a quilting foot so I can do free motion embroidery and fabric collage, crazy quilting just wasn't enough! Also I got the specialty bobbin case which is adjustable so I can put huge threads in it that don't fit through needles. (like Glamour, Perle Crown Rayon, etc.) For this I recommend you checkout Bonnie Lyn McCaffery's website. I bought her "DigiBobbE CD which is great!
If you are into Heirloom, check out Martha Pullen's website and you may be tempted to join her embroidery club which is a great deal. Also you will have to try out the wing needles and the heirloom stitches built in to your machine for this. Beautiful on cotton batiste, etc. I get her newsletter and have even bought dolls from her site.
Stabilizers are important! The right one for the right technique and fabric are important. More soon, gotta go eat, I've been too busy today to have breakfast or lunch and it is allready supper time.
lol!!! Mary from Colorado
Sounds like you really got a good deal! Where did you purchase from? maybe I can contact them too!!!
How is it going for you? What do you like the most? What is causing problems? I would like to know as I am searching for something good too!
Thanks. Hope to hear from you.
Hi Debbie,I have another question. I told you I got the Loralie Designs. I put them on my computer last night. It really stumped me how I can't see the designs on my computer. I talked to a computer whiz at work and she said that the Adobe Acrobat is expensive. (That is what it says use on the package. We discussed more possibilities. She said that I might not can see them on the computer, but I might be able to see them on the emb. machine. That sounded reasonable to me. I know you have the digitizing software and all of that, but do you remember if it shows up just on the machine? I am so frustrated that I'm about ready to throw the computer out the window. I still can not get the some Monogram Wizard designs downloaded on my memory stick, although designs from a floppy downloaded on it just fine. HELP!
Debbie, your email I tried to send you did not go through. Mary
If you are pretty ambivalent why dont you have a look at the embroidery designs and which are more to your tasten . I love the Viking designs . They seem to employ people like Kafe Fassett to do some work for them and I would think having that capability would be great.
Thanks for your input. I have purchased the Viking Designer SE, and am excited about my new machine. I still have to learn all about how the embroidery unit works. I haven't had my class yet on that part, but I am sure I will love the machine. I made my decision based on what I have read from happy owners of both, and I got a much better deal on the Viking DSE than I could have on the Bernina. I look forward to sewing some beautiful creations with my DSE. /Debbie
Picking out a machine is like selecting shoes, they look great until you walk in them all day! I just purchased the Viking Designer 1 and am lusting after the SE. I couldn't afford the price tag and had purchase a used Designer 1, it's a great machine that can do everything an SE can except no USB port (that's changing) and limited onscreen changes to designs in the machine. My best advice is go where you can get the classes and support. Pfaff and Viking are great machines and companies but the retailer with the best support for classes is the way to go. My mother is thinking of purchasing a Viking too and she is very concerned about classes. My dealer provides unlimited classes for machine training and embroidery training as long as you own the machine plus 6 hours of software training for each program you purchase. What will you need the most from the dealer? Only you and the dealer can answer these questions.
It sounds like we will be able to update our Designer 1's to the dongle device soon. I hope the cost will be reasonable. Just waiting for the dealer to get the shipment and call me. MaryL
I just purchased the Designer SE and, like you, have been putting software in my computer. I have played-sewed on my new machine, testing out designs. I didn't have the big stabilizer that I need so, I didn't do well with the embroidery. I pieced stabilizer over the top of another one. All was going well for a while. My machine locked down and wouldn't move. It was stuck. I turned off the machine and started again. It did the same thing. There was a big bump of thread where it keeps stopping. I'm saving this to ask them about Saturday. I am overwhelmed by everything one can do with this machine. Good luck with yours.
Hi again! I just posted to you on the other thread about the internet.
I think this is a stabilizer problem but first: did you take out the bobbin and really clean out the area? You may have some orphan threads left in there.
Whenever I have a problem with any of my machines I do these things one at a time and if they don't work, go to the next item.
1. completely take out the needle thread and rethread it
2. rethread the bobbin or loopers completely
3. clean the machine (I do this frequently anyway and yours is new)
4. Correct thread for purpose? Also some machines like one brand of thread better than another though I don't have that problem with Vikings. Are you using specialty fine bobbin thread for the embroidery (although I often use Rayon embroidery thread in the bobbin too with the Designer1). Are you using embroidery thread in the needle?
5. Did you use the right needle and is it inserted okay?
6. Did you set the machine for the fabric weight and type you are using?
7. You use different stabilizers for different fabrics and depending on how dense the stitching is.
Sometimes I just have to walk away for awhile and come back. You can check what stitch number you are on, write it down, and come back later to complete the embroidery as long as you don't remove the hoop which may get it off kilter.
Hope this helps! I think your machine is probably just fine! There is a learning curve with these you will do just fine. I was afraid to use the embroidery unit until after taking the classes so you are more brave than I was. Now I even do free motion quilting and embroidery on my machine. MaryL
It is either thread tails in the bobbin case or maybe, it's the thread. It was Metrosene thread that I switched to, I think, but I went back to the silky rayon emb. thread. I have had a 1+, so I know how to embroidery. I do have this happen at times, just can't remember what was wrong. When this happens, I just quit. I thought that the machine might have a place to stick a CD and a floppy disk, but it doesn't. It just has the embroidery stick, which is great, and the usb cable. My computer is in the other room. The embroidery stick does have a right protect that you can just switch off if you need to, (I thought that was pretty cool). It says it has embroidery designs on it already. I asked the girl on the phone at the dealership how to get them off and she said since I was coming in Saturday, they will tell me.
Sorry, I forgot that you had the other emb. machine...I just remembered a problem I encountered with the larger hoops when I switched from the Rose to the D1....I forgot to use the little metal hoop clamps. That really makes a difference for me with the hoop tension, could that be it? Mary
Oooh, tell me, tell me, what metal hoop clamps???????
They are in a teeny tiny ziplock bag, maybe in the box the hoop came in? They are about 1/2 inch each and they clip onto the inner hoop. There should be a diagram of this somewhere in the useres manual or emb manual? Mary
Surely, I didn't lose them. What exactly do they do?
Maybe they don't come with the Designer SE but I thought they did...Will ask Dbran and let you know. They help hold the fabric taut in the hoop, it really makes a difference on the D1 but maybe your hoops are more like the new quilting hoop and don't need them. Mary
No, they are not like that quilting hoop. They are pretty basic, just bigger and the release is on the left instead of the right. Can you get those quilting hoops, yet?
One new quilting hoop is out that looks really cool but I have not bought it. I am saving up to have the upgrade for the D1 so I can have the dongle device too instead of using the disks. Mary
What in the heehaw is a dongle devise? I am way behind on these things, apparently. Do you know what the quilting hoop cost? I really don't need to spend. I need to be good.
the dongle device is what I called the memory stick that you put your designs into the machine with instead of using disks. H/V calls it a USB device, sorry.
Don't say sorry. I appreciate you keeping me up to date. I'm about to be off work. Have to go fight the traffic. Have a nice weekend!
try going to husqvarna/viking.com I think there may be a problem with the sensor Q foot. You might try turning the sensor q foot setting off temporarily and using the r embroidery foot instead. Ask the dealer about this. Mary
I was using the r foot. Is there a switch to turn off the sensor Q foot? I guess there is or you wouldn't tell me. The woman at the dealership said that she thought it was just the bobbin coming out of the threading. She didn't see the presser foot locked up, but she did see the little bird's nest on my project. I have another question. My memory stick works great, but my computer won't recognize it when I want to down load from my Monogram Wizard Plus to the memory stick. I go through the motions and my computer ask for ####code for the dongle. I don't have trouble except for the Monogram Wizard Plus designs. Do you know of a code? Does anyone?Thanks.
Hi, sorry I was so long at answering your query. I am still learning my machine and trying to find more time to play with it. I have embroidered several camp shirts with Loralie SEWPHISTICATES designs from Cactus Punch--I LOVE those designs. I've also gone to a couple embroidery club classes and learned to make the ultimate pillowcase in a class. I took my machine to Ocean City, Maryland for 3 weeks with me to play with it and to learn my new 3D Professional Software. Thereto, I need so much more practice, but I stitched out a portrait of my father in law in Picturestitch and did several embroideries on t-shirts. I like the way you can change to the thread brand you want to use for each color and it will bring up the corresponding color in that brand. Makes it easier for me. I use Madiera Poly Neon Embroidery thread and have had no problem with it. I just love watching the machine do its thing when embroidering. My dealer is now offering classes to learn the 3D software suite, and I took my first one Saturday. It was very basic and most helpful. We are going to have one each month to continue our software education--very useful.
As far as problems with my machine, I had one in Ocean City--with my first embroidery, where I broke 7 needles trying to figure out what could be wrong. Well, I had not opened the book to see how to hoop my material, and I had hooped it wrong. My material was hooped over the hoop instead of under it, causing it to be raised from the machine about 3/4 inch and stupid me just thought it was the machine and never even thought to check out if the way I hooped it was correct. I have also jammed it up much like you did, and it was because of either not being in the needle guide, or my larger spools were grabbing and winding the thread around the pin causing it to jam up. Here is a link to the best place I found to buy Madiera Thread--on large spools--at a great price:
Madeira Embroidery Thread
Have you found out what the problem was with your machine???
I have been using a heavy tear away stabilizer for most of my embroidery, and it seems to work well. I don't think I have clamps either for my hoops although I have never used the mega hoop, so maybe I do for it. I don't remember seeing them. I did get some kind of sticky puffy fabric frame to use for one of the hoops for lightweight fabrics to hold the fabric--at least I think that is what it is for--haven't used it yet. I did not actually hoop my lightweight stretchy t-shirts--just hooped the stabilizer then used a sticky spray to adhere the t-shirt fabric to the hoop. This was the recommended procedure by my dealer, in order to not have hoop marks left on the t-shirt. Those t-shirts came out great--much better than I thought they would. I still have lots of them to embroider.
Wish I could sew all the time, but lots going on at the moment keeping that from happening. I hope you get your problems resolved and have lots of fun with your new DSE. It is an awsome machine.
I did find little clips for my mega hoop in the box. The other hoops do not need them. I'm still not sure what caused the little bird's nest of thread under my project. The dealer said it could have been pieces of thread in the bobbin case. I am having trouble getting my Monogram Wizard Plus design downloaded on my memory stick. I can download other things off of a floppy disk to it. Is there a certain thing you have to do when you hook it to the computer? I know they downloaded a monogram on it at the store, but I can't remember if it was hooked to the machine. It did go on the memory stick I believe. Any suggestions? I haven't got the 3D Professional Software, yet. It's on back order from Husqvarna. They said it was sitting at the dock and they haven't underloaded it, yet. I don't have the internet at home. I hope I don't need it to run the Monogram Wizard Plus program to the memory stick. It said something about going to http://www.needle something, I forget. I use the spray adhesive on my t shirts, also, when embroidering. I like the cut away stabilizer for t shirts. Happy sewing!
Hi. You know, I have had the 3D Professional software since I purchased the DSE, so I always download or save things to the 3D organizer then onto the stick when I want to print them. My 3D Professional is set up to send to my memory stick as 1st choice, and my sewing machine as 2nd choice. It is easy to send to the memory stick through 3D Professional, but I don't know how to otherwise. I would think you could just treat it like a separate drive or disk when you plug it into the usb port on your computer. Did you get the 3D organizer disk that comes with the machine and install that??? You should be able to do the same thing through the 3D organizer program. If not, your dealer may be able to help you.
I haven't tried the cut away stabilizer. Will give it a try. I did buy some, just haven't used it yet.
Sew Happy. Debbie
I put every CD that came with Designer SE on my computer. I will figure it out. I don't give up easily, it just takes a while. I wanted to share with my Threads friends this website I just found. Maybe you already know of it. http://www.threadandmore.com/ Looks like reasonable prices. I went to Hancock yesterday, just to get a couple more cones of black and white thread. You know they didn't have it out and I had to ask for it. One of the ladies ask me what it was for and did I have my own business. I told her that I just use it for myself. I don't think she even knows about sergers. Isn't that weird to be working at Hancock and not know that much about the stock? Well, they just moved our store from downtown to another area and most of the women quit because it was too far for them to drive. Kiley listed some more serger books. I have the Singer one. I might have one from Nancy Zieman, also. I want you all to know how much I appreciate all of this information. It is opening my eyes to a lot that is out there.Thanks!
There are several great stabilizers for knits. I like to use "Stiffy" by Sulky for heavier knits, like fleece and sportswear or outerwear. You hoop the stabilizer, use a pin to gently run a diagonally crossed line across the top layer and peel it away. Stick your knit item to this tacky part. It is tearaway.
One favorite is "Hydrostick" which you hoop. Using a postage stamp sponge bottle or foam brush, etc. you dampen the top of the stabilizer to activate the glue, lay on your fabric or item. After embroidering, tear it away. I got this at Nancy's Notions website and use it with her "window" technique. This saves on stabilizer cost. There are several on the market like this I think. I leave the windows on the hoop and just make sure they are the right size for the embroidery, that way I rarely have to mess with the "Hooping process" just stick the stabilizer to the "window" for each project. Lazy me....saves arthritic fingers stress too. It dissolves away.
America Sews makes nice stablizers
http://www.hoopitall.com has great ones too. I love the S-dSV adhesive backed water soluble stabilizer which leaves a soft feel. It is great for heirloom work, sheers, lace, knits, etc. Alot stiffer than other water soluble I think, preventing distortion and slippage. This is probably my favorite of all. It takes longer to dissolve than the others but is worth the extra time.
With t shirts, I like to leave at least a soft n sheer cutaway by Sulky to support the stitches and provide a soft surface next to the skin. I just slip this under the hoop and it stays in place fine, especially if you push the baste function before embroidering.
I am not promoting one brand or another here, just sharing what works for me.
Hoop this helps...MaryL
I wrote down all the stabilizers you suggested. I bought a bunch of them at the Husk. dealership. I just can't remember the names of them. One was a water soluable. Thanks for the description of them. Do you mean you put the cutaway under the hoop?
Yes, they showed me how to do this at the dealers. Be sure to use the baste function button so it will be basted to the rest of the layers so it won't slip around. Also it was cut close to the size of the hoop. This was to provide a soft layer close to the skin as well as to support the stitches after washings and drying.
I just bought a new stabilizer that I am so excited about. Have not tried it yet. It is Floriani no show mesh fusible. It is peach colored sheer cutaway, so is close to my skin color. Should be great under white and sheer, etc. Like when you make white pants with flesh colored pockets as shown in Threads mag.
Have you seen the black stabilizers? I use them alot too under dark fabrics.
They just keep coming up with more and more wonderful products! I am sure you will find your favorites. I got a bit carried away and have an entire drawer full of just stabilizers! Be sure to keep them packaged in airtight bags. They are affected by dryness as well as humidity. I keep mine in ziplock bags. Sew fun fun fun, Mary
I did not know they are effected by dryness. Living in the south, we have lots of humitidy. It's good that you have a drawer full of stabilizers. I got 3 big size rolls at the dealership and they were definitely not cheap. I have used black, but I didn't buy any black this time around. I'll regret that later, I'm sure.
Was reading through your posts, recalling what it was like when I purchased my first embroidery machine after using a Singer Golden Touch & Sew for 100 years. All I wanted to do was sew and especially embroider. I bought a Brother Pacesetter 6500 and thought that would satisfy me until I saw the Innovis 4000 a few months later. Sold the 6500 on ebay and wheedled, cajoled, whined until I got my husband to go along with the investment in the Innovis. It really is terrific! All of that is beside the point. The point is that somewhere along the line, I wasn't able to download designs onto my memory stick after having done it successfully before. It turned out to be a locking switch that I had accidentally moved on the end of the memory stick that write-protected it. A slip of the switch solved the problem.
I finally received the 3D Professional software. Talking to the dealer, I realized I would have to get the internet at home to register the memory stick. It took all evening to sign up and then install the programs. I'm pooped! I do think I have the problem solved now. Thanks for the input. I was getting desperate.
Hi, I'm sorry I did not replay to your recent post--have been neglecting my e-mails per a project I have been doing for the past couple weeks. I see that you have solved your issues. I do recall having the same frustration of not being able to see the actual designs on the computer until I installed the 3D Embroidery Professional software--then like magic they all appeared. I especially like the fact that I can change the thread colors to Madeira, and print out a template before sewing.
There is so much to learn about the software--I am just beginning to learn, and my dealer is starting to offer a once a month class on the 3D software. Is your dealer offering any classes on the software? The books that come with the software are good, and you can learn well from them if you do the exercises that they give to help you learn. I took a picture of my father in law, cropped out all but his face, and used it to try out the picturestitch program. It only uses 4 thread colors, and it is amazing how good the picture turned out, and it was easy to do. You might want to try it out.
I, also read a comment about the lock switch on the memory stick, that if moved into lock position, will keep you from being able to transfer anything onto your memory stick. Well, I had just that same thing happen when I was trying to transfer a design onto my memory stick, and I was beside myself trying to figure it out, then I looked at the stick and noticed the switch, and moved it--WAALAA--it worked again. I don't know how it got moved, but at least I learned what that switch is for now.
I hope you have lots of fun with your new software and your amazing machine.
Oh, I still have a mess to work out. I try to go into 3D Embroidery and I keep getting the Hasp not found (-3). I have been working with tech support. Everyday they tell me something else to try. If it doesn't work tonight, I am going to literally scream. It might make me feel better, but I don't think so. I just want to see that hoop like she showed me at the dealer.
Do you have your dongle attached to a usb port on the computer, and is the red light on??? That is what it is looking for.
Yes, I have it hooked to a USB port and the light is on but I still get HASP not found (-3). I am ready to scream, literally. I hope they can help me today at technical support.
I know it has been a while since anyone has posted to this topic but I am presently looking at the DesignerSE and would like to know if anyone has experienced any problems since they last posted. I have a 1# with all the software and am looking to upgrade to the new one. The 1# has served me faithfully for the past 9 years and I have loved every minute of it, but it is time to upgrade. Please let me know any pros or cons of the SE.
Edited 9/24/2006 1:28 pm ET by craftyfox80
I have had trouble with my new Designer SE. It is under warranty, so I am not worried about it now. I thought I was doing something wrong. It was the machine. The dealer has not had to send one back until now. It said it had an upper thread break when it did not. It would lock down if I was in embroidering something and I ignored the broken upper thread notice. Another woman had the same problem. Go to yahoogroups.com and join the Designer SE group. I think I will love it when I get it back. I have also posted under fabricholic in Gatherings, couldn't get the name Trans Am Lady, again. I should have it back in about a week. I, also, had the 1#. It was a sweetie. If you get the Designer SE, remember the dongle is plugged in to USB port to access your software. The Memory Stick is plugged in to download designs so that you can carry it to your machine and have the designs accessed from your machine, without having to have your machine connected to the computer. Oh, my name on the yahoogroups was tiredofbooboos. I work and didn't have time to go in for classes and have not really sat down and did the exercises that came with the machine. Good luck with your machine hunt.
Thank you for your response. I will go to the Designer SE group and check them out. Let me know how your machine is when you get it back.
I'll do it.Marcy
I just got a Loralie design. It is the one on Cactus Punch's website. I went to a store and bought it on my lunch break. I really like the ones in their swim suits. It cost a lot more though. I can't wait to put one on a shirt.
Hello; I am new to the site and got here through the Designer (viking) website. I also had debated on the two machines and after much deliberation I also purchased the Designer machine. I have to say I LOVE IT!!
I really think the Bernina had all of the bells and whistles but after reading all about it; it was dissapointing when I actually sewed on it. The Designer won me by a long shot. So last night I came home with the machine and I am in heaven.. as you can see I am here typing at 5AM!! I couldn't sleep thinking about my new "toy".
I am here reviewing the website a little further and I will wait to doadditional reading (and drink a cup of coffee) before starting my first project.
Best of luck with your machine.. I know I will have fun with mine.
Hi, Olivia. I am excited for you. Every time I use my machine, I find more that I love about it. I think I will be discovering new and exciting things that my machine can do for years. I never actually sewed on the Bernina, so I was glad to read your comments that you chose the Designer after actually sewing on the Bernina. I was very impressed with the demonstration on the Bernina, and my decision to buy the Designer was very tough, but I am so happy with this machine, that I could not imagine the Bernina being any better. I mainly chose the Viking because the dealer is very close to my home--since I loved both machines, and of course, I got a much better deal on the Designer than I could have gotton on the Bernina.
Anyway, I share your excitement and wish you many, many years of sewing pleasure with your new toy.
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