Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Last Blog from Sweden...for now

Greetings! Have you been to to see the latest “peek” at the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line? You will be amazed at all the light. Watch closely to see something that has been most requested by Husqvarna Viking owners worldwide! It is very exciting to see these beautiful presentations of just a few of the features however I can’t wait for you to actually sew and embroider on this fabulous Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line and to create with some of the new features. You really can see all the fantastic time savers and user-friendly new features. You have to experience them. Only a few weeks to wait!!

Click here to see it for yourself.

This is the last report from Sweden for now. Above you see the grass roof on one of the buildings at the Golden Otter in Granna. I can’t believe I did not take a picture of the castle! I’ll be sure to share it next time.

Here is some of the glass at the Granna Glass Factory. We visited it on Sunday and of course added to our glass to bring home.

The town of Granna or Grenna (old spelling and new spelling) is just a few American miles north of Huskvarna on the shores of Lake Vattern. It is said that red and white striped peppermint candy was invented in Granna. Many of the stores on the quaint downtown street demonstrate making the peppermint sticks.

We asked why they were put on these slanted boards so they could continue to roll around once they were cut. While the candy is soft, it must continue to roll or the round peppermint sticks become flat.

Everywhere in Sweden the spring gardens were beautiful and Granna was no exception.

Speaking of flowers and spring, I “sew” enjoyed embroidering one of the huge designs that includes Thread Velvet and appliqué techniques. You can see I’m not quite finished with this design yet and I had to “crop” out the beautiful top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking! We will be showing this design as we tape America Sews.

Our test team in Sweden has been Lynn, Jill, Marcia, Stephanie, Michael, Cathy, Herb and Sue. If you are wondering why we were out “sight-seeing”, it was Sunday! During the week we were testing and stitching on the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line to be sure it is ready for you in June. We are all “sew” very pleased with all the incredible new designs and wonderful new stitches! There are many new features that have been requested by Husqvarna Viking owners and teachers. It will be fun to see if you asked for any of the new tools and techniques you will experience.

I know you will really appreciate the Education Package too. At Husqvarna Viking we want to be sure you have everything you need to learn and enjoy your new Husqvarna Viking!

Here is a group of our testing team in front of our “home away from home” The Huskvarna Stadshotell.

As we traveled home, at the Stockholm airport, Herb and I were surprised to see two young people in front of us wearing their nightgowns, robes and slippers. The young men were in pajamas. It was early in the morning but not that early! It turns out they were handing out breakfast menus for a restaurant at the airport. I couldn’t resist asking if it would be ok to take a picture! Don’t you love the rollers!!

We flew into to Chicago for a wedding. Just off the plane from Sweden our first stop was to meet our Granddaughter Britta, a student at North Park College for breakfast at a restaurant in Andersonville, a Swedish area of Chicago. There was even a huge Dala Horse on one street corner.

There were several Swedish Breakfasts on the menu and Britta enjoyed Swedish pancakes with Lingonberries! By the way, Britta is named for her Swedish Great-Grandmother on her mother’s side, hence two letters “t” in Britta.

We hurried back to our home in Westlake, Ohio to get ready for the big week of training and orientation on the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line with our Education and Sales group from Husqvarna Viking!

Melissa wanted her picture taken with the “where’s Sue” outfit to send to her mom who is an avid America Sews fan. Janie joined in the fun. I did not put in the picture where they both have given me “horns”!

Our people were in from all over the US, Canada, and Australia. We asked Deb to cover the front of the new top-of-the-line but you can tell by her smile how much she is enjoying creating with this new fantastic tool! We were free-motion stitching with the Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator and we also stitched with new accessory feet. I can’t wait for you to use them. One of the new accessory feet especially has been requested by “sew” many!

Everyone loved the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line and can’t wait to begin teaching and sharing it in programs across the US. Please don’t “pump” them for information. They are not allowed to tell you anything until June 15.

Speaking of June 15, if you have not gone to and registered for the “live” introduction of the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line, click here now!!!

Don’t delay! Be sure you are all set up to join in the excitement and fun!
This coming week we will tape the America Sews television program. I’ll try to take lots of pictures and share them with you in the next blog.

Until then, Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Look into Testing...

Wow, I just opened the second preview of the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line!! Now you are really getting to see just a peek at the capability! However, now that I have been sewing and embroidering for several weeks, I can tell you that there are “sew” many new features that you will never see in a video, you are going to be amazed! This new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking does so much! You must experience it!

What did you think of the fabulous design in the largest embroidery area? I just stitched that design out yesterday. You will love it!

If you have not been to the preview this week to “explore the new world of capability” click here.

More news from Sweden.

I promised a picture of our boating excursion with Robert and Annie. Here Robert and I are rowing across the lake. I got involved in the rowing after we got “hung up” and it took the two of us to get the boat off the sand bar. We then realized it was much easier to row these old wood boats with oars made out of two by fours with two people rowing!

It was another exciting week in Huskvarna. Sweden celebrated several holidays on one day. We watched this band march past our hotel on the way to the church at 7am in honor of Ascension Day. This day was also celebrated as the first day of Spring and a holiday similar to our Labor Day. There was a parade later in the day for that celebration. They tell me these have never all fallen on the same day before. You can imagine it was quite a holiday in Sweden.

This is the building where our test group is sitting. The huge Husqvarna Viking logo on the roof is hard to see in the picture because of the way the light is hitting it. We love the Keeping The World Sewing Flag on the right flagpole as we enter the door. Walking up and down this hill has been really good exercise!

In this picture we are sewing through the Accessory User’s Guide and you are going to be “sew” happy with all the timesaving and specialty techniques you will be able to stitch so easily! Here (from left to right) Jill, Marcia, and Lynn covered their top-of-the line Husqvarna Viking for this picture as they were testing the accessories on the table.

Herb jumped up to hide what he has been doing but I will tell you that he has been embroidering constantly and has worked to embroider all the fonts and lettering. With all you get with this new top-of-the-line, this has taken him quite a bit of time.

On the weekend we traveled to the Glass Country about 2 hours south of Huskvarna. This is one of my favorite trips and Herb and I were looking for two wedding gifts. Our first stop is always in the small town of Ekenassjon. Herb and I “stumbled” on glassblower Tony Roco (on the left) many years ago and always stop to see him. His glass is very beautiful, unique and fairly priced.

Marcia loves the “one of a kind” piece she is taking home to America.

As we drove into Maleras (both those a’s need little circles over them!), home of the Glass Factory made famous with the glass of Swedish Designer, Mats Jonasson, there were so many people and cars in this tiny town so far from any large city, we wondered what was happening. Our first stop in this town is always Maleras leather where a family makes and sells quality leather items. It turned out there was an off road rally in the town and the “pit” was the parking lot of the leather factory. Herb said if we didn’t watch out they were going to “slap a number” on our rental car!

Our last crystal stop was Kosta Boda where Herb and I found wonderful wedding gifts!

Marcia really wanted to stop at the Gronasens Algpark to see a moose. We had been driving through forests all day and did not see any moose (or Elk) so we stopped in Kosta at the Elk Park. Marcia and Lynn walked the Algsafari path. It is 1300 meters, not miles! This place has a huge gift shop and everything in it has something to do with Alg/Elk/Moose. We did get a wonderful idea for creating a project with a feature on the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line!

Be sure to go to the preview to see all the exciting news! I’ll have more to share next week and we’ll take a trip to Granna!

Until then,
Happy Sewing!!
Sue H

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Peek from Sweden

Just Imagine! Take a peek! Many of you have already seen the first preview of the new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking! If not, I am “sew” excited! GO to and click on Read More on the main page to see the first of the wonderful “quick films” on the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery machine! I have watched it many times and still see wonderful “peeks” into some of the new features! When the elegant embroidery on the beautiful red dress skirt “swishes” by, you will have your first glimpse of one of the fabulous new embroideries! I embroidered this design yesterday and it is amazing! We are all embroidering it on red jackets to wear the night of the “live” introduction!

I know some of you commented that you could not open and view the “experience the preview, Click here” On the first few days, the “traffic” on the site was so great that some were not able to get in to view. Please go back and try again and if you have a problem, leave me another “comment” below and I will follow up.

Be sure to click on the titles across the top of the screen too! If you have not signed up for the Husqvarna Viking NEWSLETTER, now is the time to do so! You will want to be sure to click on WEBCAST for your personal invitation to experience the LIVE introduction of this most innovative new sewing and embroidery machine. Click on Register Now! and sign up today.

Check out the competition tab too and learn how you can DESIGN AND WIN! Before you leave the site, click on TELL A FRIEND and send this exciting inspiration, invitation and information to all your friends so they don’t miss out!

I must confess I did not know there was a place for you all to leave comments on this blog! My US testing teammates here in Sweden were telling me at dinner how much they enjoyed some of your comments so now I know! Thank you for the good words. Please leave me more comments and let me know anything you would like me to talk about in the blog. Of course there is a limit to what I can tell you about the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line but I’m trying!

More News From Sweden!

What a privilege to be a part of the group in Sweden and our USA team testing the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line! You are going to be “blown away” by the power to create that the new features and techniques will bring to you! Be sure to get your name on the list at your Husqvarna Viking Retailer to be one of the first to see and own this awesome new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking.

It has been very exciting to be in Huskvarna because the Swedish National Hockey Tournament has been going on and the Huskvarna/Jonkoping team HV71 won the National Sweden Championship!! They played 72 games with the final seven game championship competition between Linnkoping and HV71!

Sunday afternoon there was a parade down the main street of Huskvarna to celebrate. The HV71 team was in one truck and others were filled with avid fans.

The team members are wearing the Golden Helmets they received when they won the championship. These pictures were taken from our hotel window! What a vantage point to enjoy the parade!

Even the dogs were carrying flags to celebrate!

On Tuesday afternoon there was a big celebration at the factory to honor the HV71 team!
We took this picture from the window of the building we are working in.

Each team member was introduced and said a few words (in Swedish of course). Husqvarna is a major team sponsor and everyone was very excited about the championship.

As a part of the festivities, there was a “raffle drawing” with all employee numbers. On the left is Anders Andersson, Head of Husqvarna Viking new product development receiving his prize, a HV71 team jersey! Our own Cathy Bansky stood in the autograph line and had a jersey signed by the whole team then hand carried it home to the states!

News about the new top-of-the-line

There will of course be a complete Education Package with your new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line! We have been very busy at the factory testing and finalizing all the printed materials for the new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line!
Charlotta (we call her Lotta) wrote and laid out the User’s Guide for this new Husqvarna Viking and has been proofing and testing it diligently. You are going to love this fabulous learning tool! Here she is smiling because it has just been sent to the printer! One of our key Education people, Marcia just came to Sweden to join in the testing and when she looked at the proof copy, she loved it! We were “sew” happy! Lotta’s office is on the 4th floor of the VSM Office Building here in Sweden and if you look closely, you can look out her window over Huskvarna and Lake Vattern.

Annelie has written and laid out the new Quick Reference Guides. These will slide right under your new Husqvarna Viking top-of-the-line and can be pulled out for quick reference. However, I assure you that this new Husqvarna Viking is “sew” User Friendly and features all the Ease-of-Use you have come to know and love in Husqvarna Viking! As always, the learning curve is very short and easy with Husqvarna Viking.

I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you, but I just received the first Embroidery Booklet for ALL (and there are lots) the designs that will be included with this Husqvarna Viking and it is fabulous! As always, the Husqvarna Viking Design Booklet is in full color of course and many designs are pictured in full size (unless they are too big to fit on paper)! Whoops, did I say that?? Of course, the recommended colors are given for both Robison Anton and Sulky threads and there are illustrations for Husqvarna Viking special techniques on some of the embroideries.

I’ve also had a peek at some of the new Embroidery Collections coming soon and you are going to love them. More new special techniques for embroidery are coming for all Husqvarna Viking sewing and embroidery machines.

One of my testing jobs this week was free motion quilting and embroidery with the Husqvarna Viking Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator. I know many of you already own this wonderful tool for free motion and others have been thinking about adding it to your sewing system. I can assure you that you will be delighted with free motion on your new top-of-the-line Husqvarna Viking with the Fab-U-Motion with Stitch Regulator. If you have not had the opportunity to try this fantastic tool for free motion, be sure to visit your Husqvarna Viking dealer for a demonstration and a “test drive”.
Many people have asked about this stitch regulator for Husqvarna Viking. The beauty of the Fab-U-Motion is that not only do you get a stitch regulator, you get the most ergonomic way to stitch free motion. When you use the Fab-U-Motion platform to support and move your project, you are no longer pushing the fabric or quilt under the needle. No more aching neck and shoulders and sore wrists and hands. The Fab-U-Motion platform smoothly moves the fabric with no pushing. This keeps the fabric flat and eliminates the tucks on the underside of a quilt sandwich and thanks to the stitch regulator, your stitches are even.

Before we went in to work on Saturday, we had to check out of our hotel as it was fully booked for a wedding group. So, the owners, Annie and Robert made special arrangements for us to spend Saturday night at a beautiful golf resort just south of Huskvarna.

Here I am in my “where’s Sue hat” in front of the main hotel building at Hooke’s Herrgarten in Hok, Sweden. Originally, this was a Gentleman’s Estate with this beautiful home and several other Guest Houses. In this “main house”, there were at least 7 “sitting rooms” in the back overlooking the beautiful lake. Every room was furnished with period furniture that had been recovered in beautiful fabrics to compliment the décor of that room. The round tile fireplaces that used to heat the house had incredible needlepoint damper pulls. It was gorgeous down to every detail!

This was the view from the sitting rooms and the dining room where we had a lovely dinner and breakfast. See the little boat in the middle of the lake? We are in it! Hopefully next week I will have some more pictures of us “rowing”. What fun. The Swedish spring is beautiful!

Until next time,
Happy Sewing,