Reviewing Ruby

I read the blog Sew Mama Sew, and decided to participate in Mama’s
Sewing Machine Reviews as currently featured. Good idea, I really like to read sewing machine reviews that are real testimonials that aren’t being presented for purposes of commissioned sales or something like that.

What brand and model do you have? Husqvarna Viking Ruby

How long have you had it? about 3 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? about $5K

What types of things do you sew? quilting, machine embroidery, clothing, bags, pillows, home dec, hats, toys

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I sew at least one project a week. I sew a lot of fleece things, which generate lots of lint, so she gets some wear and tear.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I adored Ruby until I had to put her in the shop, and she stayed in there for more than 90 days, all during November and December; that really put a damper on my holiday sewing plans last year!

What features does your machine have that work well for you? the machine embroidery feature works very well most of the time. I traded up for Ruby; I had a Viking Topaz 20 before, and I didn’t have as good an experience with her and machine embroidery, or maybe I was more of a novice when I had that machine. But Ruby seems definitely more smooth and accomplished than her predecessor Topaz 20. I like the automatic thread cutter button. I have many specialty feet to experiment with; some work better than others.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? She sometimes shreds thread as it runs from the spool through all those mechanisms down into the needle. The shop employees will say it’s because you used cheap thread, however, it happens with all different brands from time to time. Yes, it’s worse with cheap thread (Coats and Clark), but it has happened with their favorite brands to recommend, too (Robison-Anton rayon and Madeira). Sometimes she produces bird-nesting underneath seams and I can really find no apparent reason. I re-thread the machine and maybe or maybe not will have more bird-nesting. I re-thread again and no bird-nesting. Maybe there is a little burr inside that mysterious thread path. When the repair guy tries it, it doesn’t bird-nest for him, of course.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I don’t think they make this machine anymore, the new model that replaced it is the Ruby Deluxe. When I attended training classes for using my new Ruby, one of the class members had a problem with her machine from Day 1; she asked for a replacement machine and they wouldn’t give her one because she had bought a floor model machine. When mine was in the shop for 90 days, the problem was the motor. I think that if I buy another machine, I will research a lot and not buy a Viking next time, even though I have tons of accessories for a Viking. I bought the Viking from a local shop, so that I could be sure of ongoing maintenance and tech support, but I was disappointed in the customer service during that crisis when she stopped working so soon after purchase. They had promised to keep me updated, but I had to initiate every query. I had to borrow back my old mechanical Janome from someone I’d lent it to for basic sewing during the time Ruby was in the shop, and the Janome was a champ. The next town south of me (an hour’s drive) has a Janome shop. Good customer service means a lot to me.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Cost, reputation of company, tech support, customer service, buttonhole making capability, training opportunities.

Do you have a dream machine? I once dreamed of trading up to a Husqvarna Viking Diamond Deluxe, but I don’t think the features are worth double the cost of my Ruby.

I also have a Brother serger for overlocking seams, a Husqvarna Viking serger that I mostly use for coverstitch, and an old Singer Merrittlock serger that I haven’t been able to get working, plus a little collection of toy sewing machines.

Ruby

Ruby

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ethgran
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 18:46:17

    I wouldn’t trade my old 1130 Bernina in for all the tea in China – well, I don’t drink tea so maybe it’s better to say for all the chocolate in …. umm . . . wherever it comes from. It has been a champ through thick and thin. Good thing I’m not particularly interested in machine embroidery, eh?

    Reply

  2. Marilyn
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 19:29:05

    One thing you want to consider before buying a new machine is that as of 2-1.5 years ago or so..Husq, Viking, Singer and Pfaff are all owned by the same company..If that tells you anything:) That is also why your friend might be having probs with her new machine…..

    Reply

  3. paisleypedlar
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:42:52

    I have been thinking about trading up my Brother Innovis 30 for some time and your post has been really helpful especially as I also hate reading the reviews which are obviously designed to sell something, I’d far rather hear from real folk what they think; so a big thank you for this one!

    Reply

  4. Trackback: Brother-ly Love | paisleypedlar
  5. Barb
    Oct 21, 2013 @ 08:58:53

    I have a Viking sapphire , designer1 and just bought a used Diamond. I love my machines. Sorry you didn’t have a good experience with your dealer

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Sew Happy | Project Remnant Redo
  7. mamajoyx9
    May 26, 2014 @ 12:45:49

    Great review! I wish I would have read it before I bought my Diamond Royale!!!! I think you are right – the features sure are nice but NOT worth the 100 percent increase in price. I just bought mine a couple months ago, and it has been in the shop for 3 weeks now. The dealer’s in-house repair guy who they used as a major selling point hasn’t even looked at it yet. Frustrating. And I am left wondering if I need to buy a back-up machine for this 10-grand machine that was supposed to be my dream machine.

    Great blog! Hope you’ll stop by my shop sometime and take a look at the designs I’ve digitized using Viking’s 6D Premier. http://Www.21Reasons.Etsy.com.

    Blessings, and happy stitching!
    Alyson

    Reply

  8. Taye Ganga
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 23:59:28

    I gotta say I LOVE my Ruby. Honestly I cant imagine giving her up for anything.

    Reply

  9. Gayle Alstrom
    May 15, 2015 @ 07:55:30

    I only have a Kenmore. Would love a Bernina some day.

    Reply

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