It was an enormous privilege to receive my Husqvarna Designer EPIC™ 2 back in late November 2019. Unboxing it I was like a child on Christmas morning! In all honesty weeks later I still get a huge thrill when I turn it on, see the red laser guideline appear under the needle, hear that little jingle, see the screen light up and delight in it wonderful colour scheme. I have to confess that I was never at the point of fully knowing my first Epic so I wonder if I will ever know about all this machine’s capabilities. Safe to say it is an incredible machine with so many “Epic” features. What is there not to love?
Those of you who know me are probably aware that I hated the royal blue of the first Epic, although I still have that original machine. I bought the rose and burgundy model and its base is a shimmering rose gold. Gone are the sharp edges of the Epic screen and after turning it on, it was immediately apparent that this screen is much more responsive. As well as being a high specification embroidery and sewing machine it is a beautiful machine to look at.
There is so much I have yet to test out and discover but here are my thoughts and conclusions so far. My machine was connected to my wireless network and I then signed into MySewNet account. It was several months here in the UK before I was able to register my machine and subscribe to the online library of designs. Make sure you select the correct language so you able to do this. My settings were on English USA which was why I could not select my dealer here in the UK and fill in the form to complete the registration. Every time I turn my machine on there seem to be new blogs and projects, so this is very much a learning class in itself, as well as new designs every week! Too much for me to absorb when my digitising takes first priority.
My tool box was packed away with the box as I prefer to keep the embroidery unit in situ and keep my tools and feet in a tray beside the machine. I am currently in the process of designing an embroidered machine mat with pockets for these so that there is more space on my work top. This may well be available as a tutorial in the future.
Once all connected I had an software update to do which took quite a long time even with a very good internet connection. Then I removed the red bracket that sits to the right of the needle area. This is a new feature and provides security when the machine is in transit like the similar red lock for the embroidery unit, so do keep it for when you take the machine anywhere. The red lock had to be removed from the embroidery unit before I slid it into place as I intended to embroider a design immediately. Full of anticipation I removed the presser foot ankle from the presser foot bar with my universal tool, so I could attach the Sensor Q foot and this seemed to be an easier process than on my first Epic. A turn of the hand wheel helped it slot into place and the little screw was placed back and tightened to secure everything. There is more room under the sewing head which could be the reason for this process appearing to be easier.
So that means that there is plenty of room for bulky items like quilts and a huge bonus for me as I do not have small hands! I have a big box of pre wound bobbins bought from my dealers, Coles Sewing Centre in Nottingham, so for me there was no need to wind any bobbins. I love the new style bobbin area which is no longer black.
Lastly I popped a Schmetz top stitch (my preferred needle for all embroidery and recommended by my dealer) needle in and selected new design to load my first design, one specially digitised for this momentous occasion. This design will be part of a new collection coming later this year called Rose Gold Lace.
It included one colour way that was stitched in Rose gold metallic thread from Superior threads. Perfect for the first embroidery on my EPIC™ 2 so the embroidery matched my new machine perfectly. This design will probably evolve as I work in the collection.
Over the weeks that I have been embroidering on my EPIC™ 2 I have not come across many annoying features at all. As with the previous Epic, regular removal of tiny thread cuttings is required in the area around the thread cutter knife. If I fail to do this I get thread breaks after a thread is cut and the machine moves to a new area within the hoop.
The bracket at the back on the left is carefully pushed over to the right. For safety’s sake it is probably advisable to turn the machine off when you are doing this. Be aware of the sharp knife as you remove all threads from under the brushes and blades. It may pop out, but do not worry. Hold it with some long handled tweezers and slot it back in place starting with the hole on the left side and then dropping it into the little hole on the right. Make sure you push the bracket back all the way to the left before replacing everything.
Sometimes it is not possible to connect to MySewNet which can be very annoying but it seems to be improving as the weeks go by. I have a 8GB USB stick which I can load my designs on if I cannot send them directly to the EPIC™ 2. The only other little annoyance is that the automatic threader refuses to work without fail, the first time I use it after turning the machine on. Once I have manually threaded the needle it does not happen again. I am sure my dealer will sort this out for me, but as that is the only issue I am experiencing it is not worth the 4 hour journey to get it solved at the moment.
I have to confess that I have yet to try out the ribbon attachment or the special programmable foot. A couple of weeks ago I received my 260 x 260 hoop which I have anticipated for several years now. Even though the hooped area is square making the tension equal on all sides, the stabiliser and/or fabric need to be secured with the clips that come with the hoop. These were not required for the smaller 200 x 200 hoop so I was surprised to see them. I try as much as possible to use these more than I have done in the past, believing that they would not have been added to this or any other hoop if Husqvarna did not think they were a necessary requirement for perfect embroidery, which we are all aiming to create.
There have been no apparent improvements that I would have liked to see in this machine. In truth it really does all that I would want and more. It has meet with all my expectations and although I have my both Epics in my embroidery studio, I prefer to use the EPIC™ 2 as it is the superior machine in so many ways. I have tried embroidering on both at the same time but as I was testing designs from the same collection I almost needed two of every thread colour. It was quite a feat not to get confused! Using my first Epic for sewing seems the best option for me at the moment, and it also gives me a little more space on my work area as I can remove one embroidery unit.
The question you are bound to ask me is “Is the EPIC™ 2 worth the price?” I have to say “YES it is. Definitely!”. The screen is as responsive as my iPad Pro, many features are intuitive and it has the superb Integral Dual feed (IDF) giving perfect feeding with layers and quilts and so much more. If like me you have problems with keeping your stitching straight the laser guide lines will be very useful. A few things are in different places on the screen and the buttons are slightly different from the first Epic.
The whole design of the machine is pleasing to the eye, and to one who is passionate about colour it is remarkable. If you are not familiar with the first Epic then it may take a while to be comfortable with the EPIC™ 2, but spend time little and often and your confidence will increase and you will be hugely delighted. I have placed its PDF manual on my iPad so I can have that alongside as I am in learning mode. Take a class if possible and you will have great fun and make new friends.
After all if everything a machine did was familiar and there was nothing to learn, it definitely would not be worth the investment. There are lots of videos on the machine which cover every aspect of it capabilities and I suppose this is the reason why the videos on YouTube are so short and lacking in information.
So far I have produced two videos but I aim to do more in the very near future.
I hope you found this informative. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Happy embroidering from Hazel