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.