Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Husqvarna Viking I

Mom is very proud of her sewing machine.  She thinks it the best sewing machine ever made.  Yesterday we went to Foam and Fabric Outlet.  I told her I would make a little bag for the front of her walker (it is the Cadillac of walkers,  four wheels , hand brakes, a little seat, a basket)

"What kind of fabric do you want, Mom?"


"Can your machine handle four layers of denim?"

"Of course, it can."

Today I got out the card table, the iron and cut out the rectangle for the bag.  My intent was to sew the envelope, turn it right side out, and sew it together up the sides, make the gussets and attach it to the walker.

I am not a designer and I mis-calculated. Actually my design required a machine that could sew through eight layers.  Hers couldn't do it.

"Well, there is a way to make the machine do it.  I know there is.  Here, if you lift the presser foot up you can get it under there and then it will do it."

"No, Mom, that isn't the problem.  The machine isn't powerful enough. I don't want to damage the machine. "

"Yes it is, I know it will do it."

"Nope, this project is done.  I am not going to risk damaging a 20 year old computerized sewing machine."

She protested some more,  but there was no arguing with a sextagenarian.  Never mind that she is a nonagenarian and trumps me by 33 years.  I have a new found POWER in my seventh decade.

"I will take it home and finish it and send it back to you. "

So then I went to a different project with totally different fabric.  I changed the needle and re-threaded the machine.  I had a terrible time with the tension.  Big loops on the bottom no matter how high I set the tension.  I tried increasing the pressure on the presser foot, no better.  I tried changing from medium to light setting on fabric type.  It was not working at all.

"How do you change the thread tension, Mom?"

"I can't remember, look it up in the manual"

Finally I just gave up and re-threaded the machine and VOILA.  Nice stitches.

I really don't like this machine.  It was summarily an unpleasant sewing experience.  I finished the three projects and put the sucker away.  The photo above is taken from the internet. If I can get to it tomorrow I will take a photo of hers.  Busy day planned tomorrow.  Lots of errands and then of course, dinner with the ladies.  (I believe that I bring the average age at dinner down by at least one decade, if not two)



  1. Did you try the denim again after re-threading and switching to a different needle?

    1. Oh, the machine worked fine with the denim. It was just that it could not handle how thick the seams were. 201-2 here I come.

  2. I hear you about the newer machines. While they do do some things wonderfully, and sewing with some whistles and bells can be nice (needle up/down stop), the power to plow through heavy tightly woven fabrics is lacking.
    I'm sewing a heavy coat right now and went to my older electronic Pfaff (1171) and let the "newer" computerized one take a rest. It was nice to have a little extra lift for the presser foot to negotiate some of the heavy seaming under.

  3. I'm sure that they enjoy your company... if anything at all are you the "designated" driver? I take a group of ladies out to lunch about every month or so, for someone's birthday. I'm still in my 50's (near the high end) and the next closest is around 76 up to and including a little lady who is 94 or 95. I forget actually; she does water aerobics several times a week and honestly she looks like she is just starting her 80's! Lots to learn from this sweet women. Only a couple 3 are still married, the rest are widows. It's a treat to be included!
    Hope you get your project done!

  4. I have a Viking Quilt Designer - it's the reason I got my first vintage machine. It just couldn't hack the insulated coverall repairs, and the way the motor was complaining, I wasn't going to force it. The 15-91 I got didn't even slow down for the seams. Since then, I've had a couple more 15-91's pass through (gotten for the cabinet or attachments) and now 2 201-2s (one is stuck).

  5. Yes, I had that machine. Now I have the quilt desinger II or something.
    I really MUST get at my 15-91s. I like the vertical bobbin for really heavy stuff.