|Husqvarna Viking Topaz 30|
When I first had the idea to start quilting again, and having lost the ability to hand sew. I started looking for a sewing machine that could help me on this adventure of adapting to a new way of doing things.
There are no blogs out there discussing how a person with difficulties can sew. So I started this blog.
Well my first machine was the Husqvarna Topaz 30. It had all the features I thought I could possibly ever want or need. And it came previously loved at a really good price. So it was an investment, however if I discovered this would not work, I would not be devastated at the investment for an experiment.
Well I discovered I could use a sewing machine. I still have many difficulties and future posts will discuss how I have overcome these issues. But now let's discuss the Topaz 30.
This machine came with a great deal of baggage, there are many horrifying reviews on this machine. But since this was a path of learning and discovery, and the price was right, I decided to go with my Dealers recommendation.
At A Glance
|Topaz 30 Function Keys|
The Topaz 30 is an older machine. It does not have a touch screen or all the fancy alignment features many of the newer models have today. But it gets the job done.
Above the needle are the function keys most used: Start/Stop, Needle Up/Down, Fix, Scissors, Reverse Stitching and Speed Control.
The right side of the machine has a small monochrome screen. But it works well. To the right of the screen you have four 4 rows of buttons. From Left to Right Top to Bottom: Hoop Selector and Position selector (Current Stitch, Parking, Bobbin, etc), Rotate design 90 Degrees, and Embroidery Information.
Second Row: Stitch Minus, Up adjustment, Stitch Plus
Third Row: Left Adjustment, Ok, Right Adjustment
Fourth Row: Thread Color minus, Down Adjustment, Thread Color Plus
The keys below the screen are pretty much your standard Husqvarna Viking Keyes: Stitch Selector, Settings, Alphabet, and the Famous Sewing Advisor.
|Topaz 30 Menu and Control Keys|
Working on the Topaz 30
Winding the bobbin and threading the Topaz 30 is made easy by the on board guides that are clearly identified, a beginner would have no problem navigating the process
Once the machine is threaded, before you select your stitches, it is necessary to identify the type of fabric you will be working with in order to assure that the automatic tension setting is properly engaged. I had a few skipped stitches when I forgot to follow this step .
You must use the famous HV Sewing Advisor on the lower edge below the screen.
A: Woven Light
B: Woven Medium
C: Woven Heavy
D: Knit Light
E: Knit Medium
F: Knight Heavy
1: Straight Stitch
2: Overcast light
3: Overcast semi light
4: Overcast Baste
5: Overcast 3x ZigZag
6: Overcast Hem
7: Overcast Buttonhole
|Topaz 30 Stitches|
The Stitches are shown on the lid of the machine. There are several different stitch groups, and each group has several different options. While this looks complicated, it is not that hard to comprehend.
After selecting the group simply dial up the stitch number on the touchpad and you are all set. The stitches produced by the Topaz 30 are some of the best I have seen. They are smooth accurate and beautiful.
I have rarely had to alter any settings like Tension when using the Sewing Advisor to first setup my tension and sewing environment.
|Closeup of FSL Motif|
The embroidery options are pretty amazing on this little machine. However there are some thoughts. The manual says the machine can accept various embroidery types. I have only been able to stitch VP3 files, standard Pfaff/HV format. I have not been able to use VIP, EXP and several others. So I stay with the VP3 and they work amazingly.
The Large Hoop (360x200) is amazing. However, I am quilter so I tend to use the 200x200 hoop the most. But this machine embroidery system is fantastic.
It is very easy to align items in the hoop. Not the precision of many modern machines. The Brother/Babylock with their laser, or the Bernina with the MM alignment. But my Topaz 30 has gotten the job done.
Moreover, the auto jump stitch trim and the thread snips are wonderful and simple, and make cleaning up your embroidery designs easy and quick
I have used the machine to make Freestanding Lace, Applique and even Piecing in the Hoop projects. It has not failed yet.
There are many articles out there about how bad Husqvarna Viking machines have become, I agree and disagree with these assessments.
First off, I had major tension issues and Thread jams and breakage. There was a huge software update that repaired a great many of the tension issues. I also found that my needle was just a hair from perfect center. But my dealer updated and repaired needle alignment issues, I pretty much use this machine for embroidery and quilting, so I tend to use the straight stitch plate all the time.
And finally my Topaz 30 had major issues with thread it just did not like. The machine disliked Coats Dual Duty, and it hates every type of Gutermann Thread I used. It does not like Polyester, and Metallic thread at all
However, I have found it really likes Amann Mettler Silk Finish 60, Fils Au Chinois Cotton and Silk Thread. It also like ScanFils Cotton 60. It really seems to like using the thinner threads #60 to #120, natural fibers like Cotton, Silk and Rayon.
But since I found my thread and had it serviced and updated this machine has become a joy to use.
The HV Topaz 30 is a good sewing and embroidery machine and produces surprisingly high quality stitches. This machine is excellent for intermediate beginners, you must have mastered understanding of how to thread and basic knowledge of tension issues.
I personally enjoy my Topaz 30, but it does have its pros and cons. This is not a machine I would recommend for a beginner, as I have had my difficulties, and my days of wanting to throw it out the nearest window. But once you understand what it needs and desires, the Topaz 30 forms amazing stitches and is an amazing simple embroidery system with a large hoop.
Would I buy the Topaz 30 again, For the price I got yes, but can a recommend it. Yes and No. This machine does have a learning curve, and there are so many newer machines that are unbelievably simple to use. But if you can get a good deal, and have a basic understanding of a sewing machine then Yes go for it.