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|Viking:Topaz 20 (Sewing Machine)|
|Viewed 1835 time(s)|| |
4 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Helpful
by 2 people Very Helpful
by 12 people
|About QGVB |
|Member since: 5/3/12 |
|Reviews written: 7|
|sewing machines reviewed: 5|
|Posted on:||11/18/12 2:43 AM|
|Approx price paid:||$2000|
|Had this machine for:||2 months|
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- Needle Threader
- Embroidery Stitches
- Drop-In bobbin
- Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
- Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
- Embroidery Machine
- Auto Threading
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|What QGVB likes about this machine|
(Preface: My sewing level is a little beyond "beginner" and I've been quilting for around 4 years. I have no experience with garment sewing so my review is based on quilting only.)
I REALLY like this machine.
I am highly satisfied with the grip of the presser feet and its ability to maintain good stitch quality with my quilt sandwiches. I traded up after 30 days after purchasing the Tribute 140c. I respected that machine for certain features but I like the Topaz better for handling thicker fabrics and quilt sandwiches. I am also interested in embroidery so I'm glad I traded up.
*Had I tested machines more thoroughly as I ought, I would have taken an actual quilt to sample on because both machines sewed a pretty 6"x6" patch but I didn't really know how it would handle until I threw an actual sized project at it.
The stitch quality is very pretty and sufficient. Truth is I like Pfaff stitches which produced STRAIGHT STRAIGHT stitches thru and thru, none of the slightly slanted stitches. While I am very intrigued by the rumor of "PERFECT stitches" on other machines, I am drawn to this machine because I think it is very well-rounded in strengths and features and delivers a lot of bang for the buck.
I enjoy free motion quilting with this machine and even greater so at high speeds! At high speeds it feels almost industrial- it really punches! At slower speeds- I'll talk about that in my dislikes.
The harp space has totally spoiled me... I don't know if I can go back to a regular harp size and not feel totally cramped!
Aesthetically the colors of the Topaz are gorgeous and eye- pleasing color to me. They are calming and classic. And I like sitting down to a computerized machine where I can focus on the needle and the cloth instead of a distractive screen. Someday I may want a full color computer interface but not now.
Ahh the Hover foot. I like it a lot but need practice when sewing slow. I'm still getting the hang of the presser foot so that I don't keep activating the hover function and subsequently hover, unhover, hover unhover which breaks the momentum :/ but thats user error.
An additional thing to mention about why I like this machine is the availability of online support for this model found on Yahoo.
I have not tried the embroidery unit yet but have a very good idea how that will go as I have a Platinum 950 and most of the functions have not changed, only the buttons have been changed. Am looking forward to embroidering with the large hoop size when I'm ready!
This machine satisfies everything I'm looking for, including the price for a sewing/embroidery machine combo. At times the grandeur of the investment hits me starkly-two THOUSAND dollars on a sewing machine. But I justify that its as much as a computer and lasts much much longer and does more. It'd be nice if the software for digitizing were more affordable...
Now I am trying to keep my head down and develop my sewing skill set. It is a great temptation to stay in machine-research-mode and I easily fixate on all the other machine offerings out there. But I feel very happy to have selected this one! Its a keeper for the long haul and I hope to create a lot of beautiful projects.
Feel free to check out some recent projects I've completed. www.sewitty.com
**UPDATE** I have done a bit more embroidery. First digitizing and importing an external design and secondly embroidering a 5x5 quilt with one of the already preloaded designs. I found the process of hooping, navigating the menu to select my design and hoop size to be very easy. I'm very happy with the stitch out quality and machine ease of use.
Today I ran into some issues while embroidering- thread breakage and top thread being too loose and getting tangled. Wanted to mention what my dealer said in case it helps other topaz users. They are just basic checkpoints that I found useful:
-When using the separate thread stand: skip threading around the first metal piece (marked A in the manual) and thread directly into guide B. And that any resistance anywhere along the thread path can cause the needle to bend slightly which will make the thread break.
-He also said the Topaz is configured to embroider with 40 wt rayon thread whereas I was embroidering with 100% cotton. So that can be reconfigured in 5D organizer settings per design, OR he said to manually lower thread tension to between 2.4-2.8 (basically you can play with it and fine tune this).
-And then needle size for embroidery he handed me were the Schmetz universal embroidery needles size 130/705 H-E 75/11, 90/14.
-Another thing to add about embroidery issues is that I converted a font in 5D quickfont and I set the settings so the satin fill would be very dense and I believe that can possibly cause problems with needle breakage if combined with wrong size needle or thread.
Buying this machine I went through infatuation before purchase, purchase, blind love and disappointment, buyers remorse, acceptance, recommitment, love! Just used a Viking 30% coupon off notions/accessories to purchase a 24x24 table for under $100!! Super excited to get it and do some quilting and try my hand at apparel!!!
What QGVB does not like about this machine
I don't like the sound of this machine at low-medium speeds- it feels kind of grate-y like it needs oiling (manual says it is self-oiling). I try to fit in my sewing after the kids are asleep and my sensitive sleeper tends to wake when I sew. I have resorted to turning on some form of music as white noise. Sewing faster gets louder but less grate-y sound.
The tension balance has been visually nice, but its not perfect- I recently did a quilt with colorful strips on top and white on bottom and attempted to use colored thread on top and white thread on bottom. Even after adjusting there were sprinkles of color showing throughout. Depending on what designs I had free motioned, the imbalance was fine, to very bad. The worst offenders were any kind of stippling. They can be adjusted but apparently difficult to achieve perfect balance. I took the quilt sample to the Viking instructor at my dealer and she said she always does the same color thread top and bottom for that reason. She sews on a diamond and apparently faces the same challenge. Perhaps that is difficulty on any machine? I can concede to use same thread colors top & bottom for the small projects I do for now.
Wish I could turn off the hover feature sometimes but am not aware that this is possible.
Plastic seems great for warding off signs of wear on the sewing bed but it is not very smooth for free motion quilting. I plan to purchase the teflon piece to help my fabric slide more easily.
Extras- I'm not impressed by the Stitch in the Ditch foot- the metal piece isn't lining up well and helping me sew in the ditch- I'd rather remove it for a foot that increases visibility so I can eyeball it.
**One more thing- I wish the pre loaded embroidery designs were current- some are classic but a few are really outdated!
**Low bobbin warning is early and bothersome. During embroidery when the alarm sounds I turn my speed to the lowest setting and continue hitting the start/stop button until I estimate the bobbin actually will run out. That way I waste less thread than tossing the remaining thread on the bobbin**
The 5d embroidery software that comes with the machine is a bit quirky and not very intuitive. My husband is a techy so he helped me figure stuff out. Here's a prime example! I tried to convert and generate a ttf font file to embroidery it just would not work. And then my husband changed the machine setting to Diamond model and it saved without issue??!!! Scratching my head over that but it works.
Also designed text in Adobe illustrator and turned it into embroidery to stitch out. It did not stitch out well. Brought the font into quickfont and converted it there- it was much better but there were still holes in certain letters where it didn't convert well. So its not perfect.
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