Friday, October 12, 2012

Finally Discussing My Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875Q

HV 875Q

I finally have some hours behind this machine, so I thought that I would share my thoughts on it!
But first a little story:
Although my Husqvarna Viking 875Q may have not have been my first choice I will say that I love this machine!

My fist choice was the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 7700QCP but the $3200.00 price tag is what shops around here are asking for and that is what kept me from investing in this machine.

Little did I realize that you can walk into a shop to wheel and deal like you would in a car dealership.
Well, its part of the learning process!

If you are interested in the Janome check out Lee's review of her machine *here!*
I will say if you are looking into Janome just to let you know that what the dealer told me is that they are all the same machine on the exception with the higher the price tag the more bells and whistles you get.
Basically the more automatic they get and the less manual settings you have to deal with.

Unfortunately  I did not look into the Pfaff, Bernina or Babylock machines only because they did not appeal to me.

If you are interested in a Pfaff, Rachel has a really great review on her machine *here!*

I did have the opportunity to buy a used but very much like new Jukie, and I was tempted until my husband offered to buy me my Viking.

The only reason why my husband offered to buy the machine was because my Singer Confidence was on its last leg, and he bought himself a motorcycle.

You can read more about the whole story of how this came about *here!*

My Fist Machine

I could have taken the Singer to get fixed but I believe it would have cost more to have it fixed than invest into a new machine.

Not to mention that after I bought the Singer I was told that the gears were made of plastic and that they burn out easily!
I could have not been more ticked off to hear that.
However, in the end of it all my Singer was a great machine to learn how to sew from.

In the mean time of having a nearly burned out Singer (grant it my Singer is four years old and I sew pretty much every day) my mom offered me to use her old machine a White 5839, which White also happens to be a division of Husqvarna Viking.

white machine 2

And even though it was a borrowed machine I could not keep it forever.

Before the decision was made to buy my own Viking I had some wish list items I wanted on my "next new machine:"
  1. A wide throat space: I do not have the privilege to afford take my quilts to a long arm quilter.
  2. Metal Gears!!!!!!! Can not stress that enough!
  3. To go over leaps and bounds!!!! Has to work through the tough materials like jeans and so on. My Singer could not do that!
  4. Has to keep up with me and my every say sewing!
  5. All automatic! No more manual for me please!!!!
If I could had realized it at the time I wish I knew about the dual feed action.
That would have been on my wish list too!
My Viking does not have that feature but the Janome does!

I did do my own research and took the advice from Consumer Reports, (by the way great short video in that link) and look at what would work best for me. 
I even looked into while I could get it for free of what machines were the best for my situation.

On there here a ton of praises over the Janome but when it came to the Viking that I have there was some negative reviews and a lot of vague reviews is in "I really love this machine!!!" 
But the most common thing said about the Viking is that after folks took their machine into the shop for its two year tune up... "it just did not run the same."

Which is a note to self to take it into the dealer who specializes in Vikings when my two year tune up comes around!

Hopefully it will help!

Nonetheless, when my husband bought me my very own Viking (read more about it *here*) I could not have been more thrilled.
It did meet the things I required and a little bit more than I realized.

And now that I have had some time behind it, I am just going to go through some of the things that are not discussed in the reviews!

For instance I found that I have to keep the lid cover open while I sew to allow the light bulb to vent.
If not that whole area gets extremely hot.

But I do love that there are two lighting areas to see better with!

Stitching selection

I do love the multiple stitch selections.
I also realized with this machine I did not have to go out of my way to buy the Quilters Foot Package but to be honest I glad that we did because the walking foot alone is $120.00.
Where as the Quilter's Foot Package is $124.00, which includes the walking foot, quilting line guides, 1/4" foot, and the spring darning/stippling foot.
However, with the 875Q you get all the feet you need except the walking foot, and the machine can be set up on a 1/4" seam.
Even though this machine can be set up for the 1/4" seam I use the 1/4"foot that came in the Quilter Foot Package because it has a guide on it.
So I get that 1/4" perfect every time.

The control panel looks complicated but in all actual reality its really not.

Control pannel

Its just one of those things where you sit down with the owners manual and see what all those lovely buttons do!
Once you get them down its like an; Aha moment!
Then you're like... man that's so cool!

I will say that the panel is a saver when it comes to the screen.
I have heard of nightmares of where some folks had the touch screens on their machines and the screen ends up getting ruined.
I was told the reason why that happens is because the owner of the machine will touch the screen with a pair of scissors, or a needle, and you are not supposed to do that.
You are supposed to use your fingers on a touch screen!

Nonetheless the screen on the Viking is pretty easy to keep up with and will inform you of all you need to know, and no, there is no need to touch the screen.

For instance on this screen it is telling me that my material weight is on woven heavy, which is where you need to be set for, for quilting and piecing.
It is tells me what needle to use: I use an extra sharp 90 needle.
It is also telling the recommended foot to use, which is foot B, and finally what speed I am in, and where my stitch length and width is at.

Screen view

The screen will tell also you that your bobbin is nearly empty.
I'll tell ya its nice to have this feature but it can also be kind of annoying.
But if this ever pops up on you like this, be sure to know that you can continue on sewing until your bobbin is completely empty just do not press the okay button cause the warning will pop back up again.

Bobbin running low

On the other side of the machine just above the needle is another panel for your needle and presser foot commands.

More controls

Unlike most machines that have the knee lift the Viking Sapphire does not have that feature.
And at first I was kind of bummed but tell ya the truth I am glad that it does not have the knee lift feature, cause I know myself and I would probably knock into it constantly if I had that feature and it would drive me nuts!
So I am glad to have the up down buttons right where they are.
I am also glad that the needle up down button is on here as well.
I do have the manual hand crank on the machine, which I still use from time to time but the automatic needle lift is nice is get the thread up from the bobbin.
You can even allow this machine to run on its own and that is what the start stop button is for.
The fix button will help when ya get into a jam or machine overload.
The U turn button is your back stitch button and speed for your speed

Out of all three machines in the Sapphire series the 875Q is the only one with the automatic thread cutter.
Dose it make it any uber than the other two in the series? ...No!
Its just an nice extra to have.

Um ...Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Besty has the 835 Viking and you can see the difference between all the bells and whistles of her machine and my machine.
I will be honest Elizabeth's machine and my machine are the same exact machine the only difference is that I or my husband paid for all the bells and whistles.

Another nice thing about owning a Husqvarna Viking machine is that you will never ever have to oil it!

However, you will be required to change your needle every six hours.
If not your machine will start preforming badly.
So you will be buying needles like mad or better yet take time to invest some stock into!

I also did try the embroidery on this machine and I will tell you that you will need to have your material interfaced before stitching and I recommend using the A foot instead of the B foot.

One other thing I like about this machine compared to the Janome is that it has a free arm.
I still like to make garments, and bags.
If I had gotten the Janome I would be struggling when making garments and bags.
No that making anything else other than quilts on a Janome is impossible but it would just get frustrating.

So what is the worst I have run into so far on this machine?

Well.... this!!!!!

Hot mess with the cutter

The automatic thread cutter is a very sensitive part on this machine.
It is even stated in the owner's manual that it is a sensitive part and to be careful when dealing with it.
I have had it where it did not compute correctly and I end up with the mess in the photo.
Not to mention the part that looks like a monkey wrench that catches the thread for cutting, if it is not in the right position it will cause the thread to get tangled up too!

This machine for me runs like a dream, and I have no complaints.
I know for some people the sensor system on theses machines would drive them nuts but what you have to realize is that you can not rough neck these machines.
They are the type of machine if you treat them right, they  will treat you right and preform with the greatest precision you will ever see a domestic machine do!

With that said if you are interested in owning a Husqvarna Viking Machine feel free to check them out.
Even though this machine was not my first choice, I can vouch that Husqvarna Viking machines are really great machines to own.

My mom has owned one for years and so have many other of my family members.
I can even vouch the countless praises that others who own them and love them, and they do not own the high end machines either.

I will be honest if I did buy the Viking Emerald in stead of the Singer, I would still have that machine.
But the Singer gave me the opportunity to happily upgrade to the machine that I have now.

Lord, you work in mysterious ways sometimes, and in this case I am so thanking you for it!!!!

Anyway if you are in the market for buying or investing into a new machine give the Husqvarna Viking a try.
Who knows you might like it!
I know that I like mine!

Best of luck and thanks for reading!


FYI: I walked out the the floor model, and we got it on sale around the Fourth of July for $1800.00.
Not to mention we ended up with a good financing plan.
I do recommend to ask shop owners how their financing plans work and find the best plan that will work for you.
Also don't be afraid to shop around, I did and I am glad that I did!


Anonymous said...

Thanks this helped a bunch. Just got a singer for Christmas but going to upgrade to this machine. Happy now with the singer but legally not on 5 yrs. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Sorry "probably not in 5 yrs."

Anonymous said...

I didn't think that this machine could do embroidery. I want to make sheets with embroidered edges. Can the width of the stitches be changed?

Jennifer said...

It can only do stitches no larger than 1/2 inch. Basically to decorate a quilt label or some tea towels on a smaller scale.

LynCC said...

Nice review. I, too, love this machine. I've never once had a tension problem with quilting. I like how the floating foot can "learn" various thickness as you're working. Just figured that one out! Also - I didn't see you mention the nifty feature of lifting the foot during needle-down sewing with just a tap of the foot pedal. LOVE that! Sure wish I could transfer that function to my little ol' Singer that I use for piece work. :D

Jennifer said...

You're right Lyn I did not mention it at all now that I looked over it. It is a nice feature on this machine! I tend not to for some reason out of old habits utilize as much as I should.

Kathleen said...

Just bought one, and am finding it very different to my basic Brother, but so far so good. Have been trying out quilting stippling and grids, and found the sensitivity to be an issue, as you said. But with a bit of care and attention, have found the stitches to be consistent and even, and the start/stop button is great for FMQ, you can concentrate entirely on the qulting without having to think about foot control!
The tension upper and lower I am having to fiddle around with but the felt circles and reel holder seem to be keeping it in check.

Just got it today,and have been sampling all afternoon! At least I have a few days to try it out to be really sure its a keeper :)

gini weslowski said...

I bouught a Viking Sapphire a few years ago and have had nothing but trouble. Tension is a CONSTANT problem, it takes about 3-4 times longer to accoplish anything because of thread breaks, ripping out seams where the tension was messed up, frustration and on and on. I've owned Vikings before and loved them, but I think they are being made somewhere else and quality is in the toilet. I'd kill for my old Kenmore....

Elizabeth said...

Thank you Jennifer for your easy to read review. My husband just got me the 875 for Christmas and I'm beyond excited to begin my adventure!

Crzyquilter said...

Just read your review. Wondering how it is going after all this time. I'm looking at a slightly used model so want to be sure before I buy. What is the largest quilt you have quilted on your machine?

Jennifer | Gable House and Co. said...

So far so good! I learned that these machines are not to be rough necked around with. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. Every now and then I do have tension issues but its a result of my error than the machine's error. I learned that if you start sewing with no fabric under the foot to start for the needle to punch into the thread will skip out of the machine and unthread itself. The cutter sometimes glitches out, but it is also the most sensitive part on the entire machine. So when it does glitch out I just hit the cutter button again and it all goes back to normal. After two years I have learned it quirks and I know how far it can and can not be pushed. The largest quilt was an 80" x 80" quilt and a 70" x 90" quilt. I recently passed on quilting a 110" X 115" just because I do not have the space in my home plus I was not willing to fight with a quilt so large.

Jennifer | Gable House and Co. said...

Oh, no problem! And Congrats on the new machine!

Nina Vaughn said...

I heard these were really great machines. I received one as a gift a few years ago and never use it. The problem is I don't I thought I would eventually learn but never did. It is now time to sell it. please contact me for further information. Again this unit is brand new in the box. 1200.00

Sheltered Stitches said...

Jen! Can't thank you enough for the fine picture of the bobbin area! I was showing my 875 to my husband's aunt tonight and I got a thread jamb. When I took off the metal plate, that little metal piece on the top right that does the tieing off when you press STOP had popped out and I had NO CLUE where it went ! A quick Google tonight found your site and bingo saved me a trip to the local shop tomorrow!

Thanks and happy sewing! BTW I got mine Nov. '13 from a buy back deal! I also hesitated, but hubby said go for it.. $1100 with the extension table and 3 years service!

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