Which Viking?

lamdAugust 28, 2008

I'm glad I found this forum! I am new to sewing and looking to buy my first machine. There is a viking dealer and from what I've read on this forum they are very well-liked machines.

Now I have to decide which to get. I would like one I can grow with and am interested in quilting, home projects and kid's clothes. I wanted to get some objective advice and not just listen to the salesperson. Of course, I fell in love with the embroidery machine , but that may have to wait ($3000!).

Any guidance is much appreciated! Thanks!

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I've had two Viking machines and I love them. I suggest you read up on the various models on the Viking web site to help you decide which model is right for you.

If you plan to do some quilting, you will need the ability for the machine to drop the feed teeth for free motion quilting. The "needle up/down" function is very helpful, especially for doing machine applique. You will definitely want a machine that can do a zig-zag stitch and be able to control the size of that zig-zag stitch. A machine with a few decorative embroidery stitches can allow you to make lots of nice gifts and add special touches to home dec projects.

If you plan to piece blocks for quilting, go ahead and get the special foot for piecing. It is not expensive and so helpful. The walking foot for machine quilting is expensive (probably up to $100 now), but I wouldn't be without it.

You can always "trade up" in a few years to one of the $$$$ embroidery machines like the Designer series. I would look at the Sapphire and Emerald series if those fit your budget. Be sure to ask them about classes for your machine and take advantage of them. You will learn so much more than just on your own.

If you have further questions, I'll be glad to try to help.


Here is a link that might be useful: Husqvarna Viking web site

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 11:02AM
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You might want to check out the sewing machine reviews on patternreview.com. There are reviews for every model of Viking , past and present (along with the other brands). With all the top-of-the-line machines coming out from all manufacturers, you may be able to get a great deal with a pre-owned. I would love to find one of the Viking Lily's or a 1+ for my daughter.

After 20 years of lusting after the upper Vikings, I finally took the plunge and bought a D1. My other machine is a Viking 105. It has maybe 7 stitches on it. But, I have been quilting on it for years. Made skating costumes, home dec, children's clothing, heirloom items, etc. Oh how I wish I had decorative stitches when my girls were little. I knew nothing about embroidery when I bought the D1 but figured that hopefully, someday, I would have granddaughters to sew for. By golly, they will be wearing fanciful dresses!

You should be able to do what you want on any of the Vikings. One just may be more suited for quilting, one more for the decorative sewing, etc.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:15PM
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Thank you for all the info Teresa and flameon58, extremely helpful! My local shop has a used (less than 1 yr old) Emerald I'm considering.

Can I ask you one more question? Do their embroidery machines work well for sewing only or do most use a separate sewing machine? Just curious since many times bundled products don't work as well.

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 5:49PM
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That would be a question you should ask the dealer. I do not feel qualified to answer about embroidery machines, because I am totally not into that. LOL!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Absolutely, the embroidery machines will work for regular sewing. I sew more than I embroider. I am now finding out why people have so many machines. LOL! I have been sewing a lot of burp cloths for friends who are having new grandbabies. Well, I am doing sewing, serging and embroidery. I would love to keep the embroidery unit on at all times but I just don't have the room to have 3 machines out all the time.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:27AM
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I have a Viking Scandinavia 300 and a Viking Huskylock 936 serger. I'm a guy, so the only "clothes" I've ever sewn were sweaters for my 3 terriers. I got the viking embroidery machine, and actually have done some embroidery onto some clothes. I like both machines real well. They are powerful enough for the stuff I've used them for (binding the edge of carpet, sewing spa covers, awning covers, motorcycle covers, upholstery, lawn mower grass catcher bags).

Compared to the old singer I inherited from my mother they are much smoother and easier to use. Both sew leather very nicely.

The 936 is the only serger I've ever used. Threading is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, though it is time consuming. The diagram in the manual could be better, so if you get the serger have the salespeople give you a threading lesson and take lots of notes.

I bought the software and all the attachments for both machines when I first got them. I figured they would probably be the only sewing machines I'd ever buy. Anyway, I'm happy to report the instruction booklets are generally well written (though I wish they were in bigger type). And all the attachments I've used so far worked well (I still haven't used them all).
The only downside is the foot controls are very light weight, which some may like, and they move easily on my laminate floors. The solution was to just use the foot control "backward" so the high part is what my foot rests on.

If you get the Viking I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed mine. I don't sew very often. So it's been great to have such nice machines.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:24AM
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Hi Lambd--a kindred spirt--I too like quilting, sewing for kids and Vikings.
I've owned 2 Vikings--a Daisy (very similar to the Scandinavian 100) and I now have a Platinum 750. Both discontinued.
Both great machines for what you plan to do. I'd look at any of the Vikings folks mentioned before me--except for the Saphire--I've read quite a few less than favorable reviews on that machine. Even the dealers at my local Viking store don't seem thrilled with it.
But one warning about Vikings if you plan to use it for machine quilting--Plan to spend some big bucks on a walking foot and a darning foot. And that goes for the extension table also. They do sell "Quilting Kits" for some of the machines listed (not the Saphire, because I think it comes with everything).
But other than that--I love Vikings.
If the cost thing turns out to be an issue, I'd look at Baby Locks and Janomes--a little less expensive, but both have pretty good reputations.
Have fun shopping!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 5:32PM
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You mentioned the Sapphire getting bad reviews. I purchased the Sapphire 870 one year ago next month and am truly not happy with it. My dealer won't do anything for me except upgrade to a more expensive machine and I'm not going there with another Viking. Is your dealer doing anything for dissatisfied customers? Just curious, to see if I can find a different approach. Also, what are most of the complaints? thank you, Wanda M.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 6:39PM
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I am considering a Sapphire 850 or 870. Why aren't you happy with yours?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 1:06PM
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I bought it because of the large harp area, larger than any machine I've seen, and before I knock the Sapphire I have to tell you I own a Designer SE. I liked it at first, but when I tried free motion quilting my thread kept breaking, needle broke,& plus when I lowered the speed it kept on going the fast speed, I've had it less than a year, and am taking it in to be serviced next week, so maybe it will be better. But I think for the amount of money you pay I believe the machine should perform better than it does, it is very loud when sewing & just doesn't live up to the standards of Husqvarna Viking. It has wonderful features, thread cutter, lots & lots of designs, for quilting and regular sewing. And like I said maybe if I didn't have the SE I wouldn't be so picky. Before you buy please try it at your dealer's. The machine has been out for a while now and from what I'm learning it doesn't get many recommendations. I'm being honest with my situation and don't by any means want to discourage you. Good luck, Wanda

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 7:56PM
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Thanks for the input, Wanda. I hope you get yours working to your liking. I'd hate to spend that much money and not have it work well. I'm sorry to hear that it is loud, too. (I have a 36 year old Kenmore, so this would be quite an upgrade for me.)

I'm interested in using it mainly for piecing quilts and perhaps some machine quilting eventually (I'm a new quilter). I'm also interested in using some of the fancy stitches for embellishment.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 9:27PM
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check with the dealer and see if he has some "gently used" machines on sale. my dealer does right now and you can get a machine that might do embroidery. i have a D1 and a 1+ and love them, yes they were an investment but with 3 girls in 4H. i never want to hear about not getting a project done for lack of the time on a machine. i also teach sewing to others so the machines are used alot.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 4:01PM
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I have a viking 1100 and I HATE it.I keep it only because it does make nice buttonholes,which I do about once a year.The bobbin doesn,t hold much thread so I am forever refilling it.I have 2 very old bernina 830 which I,ve had for 28 years and they still sew great.I'm big on sewing, mainly quilts,and have 8 sewing machines,4 embroidery,4 regular,and a serger.whoops I guess I have 9!My cousin bought a viking Rose last year and has not been very happy with it either.Bernina is the best!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:25AM
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