Monday, April 21, 2008

News from Sweden!

We arrived in Sweden to a beautiful sunny day. Two days later it was snowing and we were thankful for the studded snow tires still on the car.

I went straight to the factory for a meeting and then my first real “long sew” on the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line! Wow! You are going to be amazed! This blog is a special way for me to leak information about the new top-of-the-line to you so here goes! This new Husqvarna Viking has several features that are the biggest in the sewing machine industry! You may wonder if you will still be able to take your new Husqvarna Viking to class or move it around. Yes! You know Husqvarna Viking Listens and one of the things you have asked for is even more portability and you will have it.

Here you see part of our testing team celebrating Herb’s birthday on Saturday with cake brought to us at breakfast by the young couple that own the hotel, Annie and Robert. From left, Herb, Sue, Cathy Bansky, Stephanie Dilworth and Lynn Lunoe.

We have been testing all the functions of the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line all week including stitching all the embroideries and they are “out of this world”! We are also very excited about new stitches!! Can’t tell you more yet, but soon I hope!

We also have been finalizing the Education Package. Every Husqvarna Viking sewing machine comes with a complete Education Package and of course we want every piece to be perfect for new Husqvarna Viking owners. It is hard to explain how much goes into creating the User’s Guide with step by step exercises, fabulous Quick Guides for instant reference at the machine, built-in Quick Help with the touch of a stylus or a mouse, the Info step-by-step User’s Guide, also built right in, the wonderful Accessory User’s Guide that not only shows you all the optional accessories that will save you time and make specialty technique sewing easier but also includes instructions on how to use each foot.

We have a wonderful group of people at the factory in Huskvarna working on these materials. They start them in English and it is our job to proofread all the text and go through the exercises on the new top-of-the-line to be sure that everything is just right for the new owner. Once we finalize the English version, then it goes to translation for 14 other languages. Quite a project!

So, we have all been very busy, sewing, embroidering, reporting, testing, proofing, and “sew” much more getting ready for the launch of this fabulous new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking in June!

Sunday was our day off and Stephanie Dilworth, Director of Education and Training for the USA was leaving the following week so we went to the Husqvarna Museum. Ihad to go wearing my “where’s Sue hat”!

Below is Stephanie at the foot of the Huskvarna falls, however, there is virtually no water coming down the falls. Go back to the first blog to see the falls with water. These falls are why Husqvarna began here—because the falls created the power to run the machinery.

Today, the falls are in this pipe and the water goes into huge generators near the entrance to the museum to provide power for a large area of the Smaland. As you look up the road, you see the Husqvarna Museum on the left in the building where sewing machines were manufactured in the early 1900’s. Today, this building is right next to the huge Husqvarna factory complex.

On the walls of this room, just inside the Husqvarna Museum, you see all the logos of Husqvarna from the very beginning. The one on the left, the first, was designed from the image of looking down the barrel of a rifle because manufacturing arms is how Husqvarna started on this very site in 1689. Today, a several of the retired employees from the Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machine group play a very active role in managing the Husqvarna museum including Ingvar who was the lead mechanical engineer for many years and responsible for many of the innovations and Husqvarna Viking “firsts” we enjoy today. Also, Rolland who produced the early video tapes that came with Husqvarna Viking sewing machines to teach people how to use them. Husqvarna Viking was the first to include a step by step Video Handbook first in Beta then in VHS and of course more recently as a CD, DVD, and online. Innovation at its best!

In the lower part of the picture, there is a glass cabinet with a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 870 Quilt Sewing Machine. The beautiful log cabin quilt around it was created by Shar Jorgenson from Starbuck, Minnesota, USA. The new Sapphire series of Husqvarna Viking sewing machines made history in the industry when it was introduced last year by bringing top-of-the-line features to the consumer at a very affordable price. All Sapphire models feature the exclusive Husqvarna Viking Sensor System and the exclusive Husqvarna Viking Sewing Advisor—until now only available on top-of-the-line models, plus the largest sewing area and longest free arm, dual lights and much more. Of course, every Husqvarna Viking is jam proof, winds the bobbin from the needle, automatically brings up the bobbin thread, and sews like a dream! Many entry level sewers and people coming back to sewing and quilting now can afford to make their sewing easier and much more fun with a Sapphire! A new Sapphire is a wonderful gift for Mother’s Day, Graduation or a special wedding.

We enjoyed seeing many of the home appliances Husqvarna has manufactured through the years.

We really got a kick out of the early stoves and couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it is that we no longer have to cook with stoves like this today.

Even the orange cast iron pots were made by Husqvarna!

How about the big rollers covered by a net in the hair of this homemaker?

And here is her sewing machine. What do you think of the light? Light is so important when we sew and of course we know the E-Light on the Husqvarna Viking Designer SE gives you the most light of any sewing machine and the brightness and the color are adjustable for your sewing environment and for the color and type of fabric you are sewing. Wow! If you are wondering, your new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line will have even more light featured!! Can’t say more!

This first microwave from Husqvarna manufactured in the 1950’s was way ahead of its time. It wasn’t until about 25 years later that the microwave really took off in the states. Can you imagine your kitchen without a microwave today? That would be like not having a Husqvarna Viking Huskylock serger in your sewing area! While the microwave will never replace the stove or oven, it certainly has a place in quick food preparation. I feel the same way about my Huskylock 936. It will never replace my Husqvarna Viking Designer SE but I don’t know how I ever sewed without it!

Aren’t we glad we don’t have to wash clothes in one of these early Husqvarna washing machines!

As Stephanie and I entered the sewing machine area of the museum, we were still talking about the early stoves, kitchens, and other appliances and thinking about how many people are still sewing on their older sewing machines. When they redo their kitchen, they replace the appliances, however, too often their sewing machine is not replaced. I truly believe that more people have been discouraged from sewing by their old sewing machine than by anything else. Those of us that own a Husqvarna Viking Designer SE know the joy that sewing on a quality top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking brings to us and to those we share it with whether it be with gifts we have made them or letting them create with us. I told Stephanie, Herb can’t wait for the new top-of-the-line to come in June because he thinks he is getting my Designer SE (you see he got my Designer I when the Designer SE came out). Maybe you have someone special in your life that would enjoy your Designer SE when you bring home the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line!

I must share an e-mail I received this week. It is from Roberta in Florida. Early last year, Roberta sent me a package. Roberta owns a Designer SE and her husband saw her hooping fabric and had an idea. Together they made the first Hoop Base. If you have not seen the Hoop Base, which is designed to be used with the Hoop Grip (sold separately), visit your Husqvarna Viking dealer. When I opened my package, I called Herb at home and asked him to bring over my Hoop Grip which was mounted on a heavy wood cutting board. He came right over, unscrewed the Hoop Grip and quickly screwed it into the predrilled holes on the lightweight white Hoop Base that has non slip feet on the underside and specially placed “holes” for tightening the screw on every hoop size. I loved it and immediately our Notions Buyer, Theresa Robinson and I called Roberta and began arrangements to have them make the Hoop Base for us to sell as an accessory with the Hoop Grip.

I had to tell you the story because Roberta’s e-mail this week asked about the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line and how they would like to have a Hoop Base ready for it. I appreciated that she recognized the need for confidentiality and asked me my thoughts. Well, Theresa and I figured out a way to give them enough information to make it happen without revealing any “secrets” but here was part of Roberta’s reply. (“I’ve been telling my SE that I love her, but her days are numbered because there is a new baby coming LOL”) Don’t you love it!!

I have to share a couple of the Husqvarna Viking machines from the museum. The knee control on this zigzag model is amazing. You would pull down the silver wire knee lift and operate the machine that way.

And look at the tension dial. I am “sew” glad Husqvarna Vikings today have automatic tension!! Another Husqvarna Viking first!

I had to share this picture because it shows how innovative the Husqvarna Research and Development Engineers really are. This is a working model of an embroidery unit developed many years before we ever saw embroidery on a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. Isn’t it fabulous that Husqvarna engineers are always working on the next generation and new features! I can tell you it has been a joy this week to be visiting with them and having the opportunity to “experience” the next generation of Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line!!

Husqvarna Viking has led the way in innovation and “Firsts” in the sewing machine industry.
Pictured above is the “World’s First Writing Sewing Machine”, Husqvarna Viking model 6690. The year was 1980 in the USA. Talk about “Firsts”! The Husqvarna Viking 6690 was the first programmable computer sewing machine! This opened up so many new opportunities with interchangeable cassettes for lettering, decorative stitches, utility stitches and all could be programmed into combination.

The special Limited Edition Linnea model pictured above commemorated the 100 Year Anniversary of Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machines 1872-1972, and one was presented to Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Quilters loved the programmable letters and numbers to create labels for their quilts. Moms would identify kid’s clothing and some were even using the letters as a decorative trim. Little did we know then that this was just the beginning of Husqvarna Viking “Firsts” that would lead the way in embellishment and innovative creativity!
Speaking of Husqvarna Viking Firsts, this model 960 introduced in 1982 was the first Husqvarna Viking to feature the exclusive Sewing Advisor. We called it the “World’s First Thinking Sewing Machine”! I remember well how excited sewers would get when it was demonstrated. I would ask them “Do you ever wonder what stitch and stitch settings to use for a certain technique?” Just tell your Husqvarna Viking what type of fabric you are sewing and what technique you want to sew, Seam, Seam Overcast, Baste, Blind Hem, Buttonholes, etc. and your Husqvarna Viking automatically and instantly sets everything for you! I’ll never forget my daughter-in-law inviting a friend over to Blind Hem a skirt because her friend knew her machine could do a blind hem but had no idea what stitch to use or how to set it. So she came over and touched Blind Hem on Lori’s Husqvarna Viking and hemmed her skirt with great success.

The Exclusive Sewing Advisor is still found only on Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machines and your new top-of-the-line will be no exception. Stephanie and Jill have been checking all the stitches and settings to be sure that when you sit down to sew, you will save so much time by just touching a button. Automatically the stitch, stitch length, stitch width, tension, sewing speed and sensor foot pressure are set for you. You do not need to know what stitch to use for what and where to set them. Plus, the best presser foot, needle, stabilizer if needed, etc. for your technique and fabric are pictured. Your Husqvarna Viking Sewing Advisor does it instantly and takes all the guesswork out of your sewing! What a timesaver!

What fun to bring you this blog. I hope you are as excited as I am about the next few months! I can’t wait for you to sew and embroider on the new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking!

Until next time,
Happy Sewing,


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the blog about the new Viking. You certainly have aroused my curiosity and I'll be counting the weeks until its unveiling in June. Pat

Sandy said...

Sue,my husband has already talked to my dealer! i am so blessed! He has informed me that a 'new arrival' will be blessing my sewing room soon! I am reading your blog like it is a sonogram of my firstborn! Thanks for all you do for us. I can't wait for the 'birth'!!

Louise said...

Enjoyed the Husqvarna Museum -- we are all blessed with our sewing machines of today. Thanks Sue for the updates

Mary said...

Hmm real interesting. I really hope that there are more than just a few "new stitches" on the new tol!! A LOT more!!! For the reported price I want to be able to decide what stitches I want.


Catherine said...

I sure hope the new machine doesn't have all the glitches that the video has!! Today's video needs at least 25 minutes to watch so be warned.

Anonymous said...

Oh darn another machine to make my once in a life time investment "Designer 1" lose more value!

Anonymous said...

HI Sue,

I just hope you see this even if you cannot respond. I received the teaser email re the new TOL, but the video doesn't play. After a few minutes, there are about 3 seconds of music and it stops. Do you think it is the amount of traffic to the page or does something need to be fixed?

Anything you can do from your end would be appreciated.


msshy said...

Hi Sue
I can't play the video either - I get a tease of the music and then it stops.

I currently have 2 Designer SE's so this TOL has to be very special for me to trade them in for this new machine. My husband and I are really looking forward to see what this new machine offers.

Diana said...

I am going to be the first to get the new TOL from my dealer. I'm so excited. Keep the hints coming, Sue! This is so much fun.....

Anonymous said...

The Welcome Video downloads in 3 to 5 sec. viewing increments. Always fun to see something new being developed bit by bit!
My concern...what is the price...the economy is NOT good...price of fuel & groceries is a basic priority over extras like a sewing machine...please be practical in price so many can enjoy the new technology.

Anonymous said...

While I was interested in seeing the "Welcome" video, the slow reveal (2-4 seconds of video and 30 seconds of waiting over and over) was more annoying than helpful. I hope the machine will have an option for the old embroidery packages to be compatible! I have a fortune invested in them.

Janet said...

Dear Sue,

I have try to download the video. To many stop with the music. Then nothing.

Please see if someone can correct this.

Designer SE Owner!

Sue Hausmann said...

It's Sue!

Thank you all for your great comments. I am so glad you are checking out the preview of the exciting new top of the line machine! In reading your posts, I have heard that the videos were running slowly for you. Well, I am happy to report that things are much better now and the video is running great. Check it out. There were just so many of us trying to peek that the site slowed down to a crawl. I guess that shows how excited you all are to see more. Stay tuned for my next blog!

Dotty said...

I only get music. Is there supposed to be more?

Katriina said...

Hi Sue ~ I'm a dyed-in-the-wool "Husky" fan. I still own a 6690 but the motherboard died a painful death about a year ago. Any idea where I can still get one? I'm sewing on another make at the moment and really miss my Husky.