Reported by Christian Tamez
One of the newest sewing and embroidery machines from Husqvarna Viking is the Designer Ruby. Boasting numerous features like a large embroidery field, an exclusive sensor system, touch screen and Swedish design, much like its slogan, this machine truly does seem to be “Love at first touch.” I was eager to give this new gem a go!
Right away this machine took my breath away; the design is beautiful. However there were a few things that had to be tested out, because sometimes beautiful machines don’t sew so beautifully. I have had, in the past, numerous problems with machines and thread tension. So right away, I made a simple baby quilt.
With the exclusive sensor system, this machine is supposed to be able to sense the thickness of the fabric and automatically set the tension according to the thickness of what it is sewing. I’m pleased to say, it does just that. From piecing together my squares to the actual quilting of all three layers, I had perfect beautiful tension from the top and underside of the quilt. Afterward, even when stitching one of the hundreds of included stitches, whether it was decorative or utilitarian, the tension was perfect. I may be going on and on about the tension, but to me it’s one of those keep it or return it situations. This machine definitely passed that test with flying colors. Here’s a close up of the top and bottom stitching from my quilt, you can see the beautiful, even tension.
As an embroidery machine, there was one main thing I needed my Ruby to be able to do, embroider with metallic threads. Previous experience I’ve had with embroidery machines has shown me that not all can handle the beautiful decorative threads available, specifically metallic. So right away I tested out all of the metallic threads I had in my stash on a snowflake tote bag.
All of the metallic threads worked without any problems, and I didn’t even need to change the needle to one specifically made for metallic threads. The Ruby has five different speeds for embroidery and I found that the third speed gave me optimum results for embroidering with metallic threads. Much to my delight this machine passed both of the tests I had set out in my mind, now it was on to start exploring some of its features!
The Designer Ruby has many desirable features, including a thread cutter, which in embroidery mode will pull both top and bottom thread to the underside of your garment and then cut the thread. The sewing and embroidery adviser will automatically set the perfect stitch, width, tension, and perfect presser foot according to what you tell the machine you are sewing. While embroidering, you can use the adviser for guidance as to what needles or stabilizers you may want to use for optimum results.
Something I had never seen before on a sewing machine was the side motion feeding that can be used to create stitches with widths much larger than the traditional 7mm or 9mm widths most machine are limited to; rather than just feeding straight forward or backward, this machine can actually feed from the side to create widths with sizes upwards of 27mm.
Straight out of the box, you have an amazing sewing machine capable of monogramming and embroidering beautiful designs, but when you add the available software you unleash an entire world of creativity. You can design your own logos, monograms, different types of embroidery fills, thread gradients, making your own lace, embroideries made straight from home photos, all made possible when you attach the machine to your home computer. The Designer Ruby has a USB connection which can be used to communicate with your computer, or you can use a USB mouse rather than the included stylus to navigate through your screen.
My experience so far with the Designer Ruby has truly been, “love at first touch” and I’ve been sewing up a storm!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a little video showing you that special foot attachment.
- Easy to use – Large Bright Touchscreen, Brightly lit sewing area
- Heavy Duty – This is a strong machine I did one of those tests where you fold up a heavy-duty piece of fabric into many layers; this machine sewed through it all, and maintained perfect tension the entire time.
- Capabilities- I can definitely grow with this machine, it has more features than I know what to do with! I think I’m going to enjoy learning them all.
- Price- This is an expensive machine MSRP: is 5,999.99. Not only the machine but the accessories: hoops, additional presser feet, 5-D Software (almost $2,000), Servicing the machine, EVERYTHING is expensive, which is definitely the biggest con.
- This machine won’t remember your place in embroidery should you lose power in the middle of a project, a feature that the Designer Diamond from Husqvarna has.
- This machine is so high tech, that they have done away with the lever to manually lower the presser foot. Now you just press a button or tap your foot pedal. While this is nice, I miss being able to lift my presser foot with a lever, as sometimes I need to fiddle around with the placement of my fabric before I start sewing, and this doesn’t require me to completely lower or raise my presser foot just kind of have it float above to show where it’s going to lay
Clearly, these cons do not keep me from loving this machine! Do you have a favorite high-end sewing/embroidery machine? Leave us a comment and let us know!