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Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

One of the newest sewing and embroidery machines from Husqvarna Viking is the Designer Ruby Deluxe Embroidery Machine. 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!

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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!

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Christian Tamez

Christian Tamez has been crafting and creating for years. More recently, heʼ’s been happy to share some of his ideas and collected techniques for crafting through his YouTube channel. Always happy and eager to learn something new, he looks forward to meeting new crafters and seeing their creations. He currently resides in Narragansett, Rhode Island

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28 Responses to Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby

  1. Annette A. March 14, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    WOw that is quite the sewing machine. I would love to have a sewing machine that did all that cool stuff.

  2. d March 14, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I love the snowflake totebag. Very cute.

  3. SuZeQ March 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh Ruby, Ruby, please be mine.

  4. janine March 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    5999.99 (gulp) Would so love to have this but, with the price tag being what it is, it would be a cold day somewhere hot before I could afford it…lol It’s funny because the other day I saw a crafting blog titled, ‘cheaper than therapy’. I’ve never needed therapy but, just based on what I’ve spent on crafting so far, therapy can’t cost that much more :P Love the machine…wish I could afford it!!

  5. VickiT March 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I LOVE the Ruby so much and have been drooling over it in my Viking dealer store since it arrived. I can’t afford it however which is really sad. I have a Viking D1 which was purchased back in 2004 and have purchased tons of extra presser feet and hoops and the Viking machines all share the feet so that would be a huge plus for me if I bought the Ruby. The biggest con for me in thinking of spending that much money is the concern of how long they’ll keep that machine on their sales floors. My D1 is now outdated and not being sold unless you are lucky enough to find one which has been traded in. What’s really sad is just about 3 yrs after buying my machine they released the SE and once that was out they stopped updating the stitches for the D1 claiming the D1 was updated as far as it could be done for stitches and then along came the Diamond machine and they stopped talking about the D1 entirely even to have it disappear off their website.

    When I buy a machine that costs this much money I expect to be able to have it continue the capability to get updates since that WAS a big selling point to buying an electronic/computerized machine. But, nope. All that money spent and now my machine is already a dinosaur in 6 yrs. I hope Viking starts thinking about the customers and realizing this is a lot of money to spend on a machine and that not all customers are going to continually replace these machines because not ALL of us can afford to buy a new machine every 2-3 yrs.

    I will say though that these are awesome machines and my D1 has not had to have more than one major part replaced in the years since I’ve bought it. That’s a huge plus.

    • Joan Reed December 9, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Oh boy, I have to agree with you 100 o/o. I have the D1 and I have invested in feet and programs. The feet are not a waste.

  6. Debbie March 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Wow… great review.
    If I had that machine I’d have to be sewing for the president or someone deserving of something sewn from such a costly machine.
    I have a Brother SE350 sewing/embroidering machine. It totally changed my sewing life. I fell in love with sewing all over again. It sews great. I’ve had it 3 years now and still love it. Needle up..needle down, threader, thread cutter etc. It does have a small 4×4 embroidery field but that’s okay. I really wanted it for the sewing part. I’ve even made Capri-Sun bags and sew through eight layers and it never had a problem. I’ve made a quilt and it handled my quilting with no problem. This machine was $369 and worth every penny. You can use your computer with it and a special devise ($120) to be able to download patterns from online.
    I would have a difficult time buying a machine that costs as much as some cars.
    Thanks so much for the review. I always enjoy seeing what’s out there.

    Have a great day,

    Debbie

  7. Heart Song Urban Farm March 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    I dream about things like this! Gosh.. I don’t think you could get me away from it.. haha..I’d have to be surgically removed from it! Lucky you! I hope you get to keep it! :)

  8. Sue in CT March 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    I don’t have a high end sewing/embroidery machine. I have a very basic Brother machine that is great to sew that patch on with but definitely don’t lend to much of an imagination as far as stitches or embroidery goes. I have found I quickly outgrew this basic machine however the prices stop me from purchasing another.

  9. Condo Manager March 15, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Amazing work. It is such a very fantastic and really like it very much. This is such a very wonderful work.

  10. Condo Manager March 15, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    Amazing work. It is such a very fantastic and really like it very much. This is such a very wonderful work.

  11. Anonymous March 20, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I’ve been embroidering on a Janome Memory Craft 350e (with software) for about 3 years. My friend came over yesterday with her new Viking Designer Ruby and software.

    Janome does a better job of illustrating exactly which portion of the design is about to be stitched in the current color. Also has an easier to use needle threader. Manual presser foot lever. Software has a better font selection. Very easy to electronically reposition the hoop starting point over center mark on fabric, maybe Viking has this but it wasn’t so easy to find.

    Viking has the larger machine throat and larger selection of hoop sizes (much larger than my Janome) – nice! Don’t like not having ability to raise/lower presser foot myself or just haven’t found it yet, it should at least be an option! Like the idea of auto tension setting, but it didn’t appear to be working too well on the canvas we were sewing and we had to manually change the tension.

    At first glance I’d consider stepping up to Viking because of the large hoop capibility, but not convinced just yet! I also have a Brother sewing machine, which I would no longer need. Think I’ll wait until my friend has more experince with her machine.

  12. PaysonPixie January 12, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Have to replace my Designer SE – house flooded and it was sitting in over an inch of water. Is the Ruby the equivalent machine or should I look at the Diamond?

  13. Mary January 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    OOOOO! I just test drove a Ruby yesterday and plan to purchase! Thanks for the review, it was informative and pointed out a couple of things the salesman didn’t. I want it more now! It’s on sale for $3799, so I just can’t pass it up!

    • Karen February 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Can you share where you found the Ruby for $3799? That almost makes it affordable.

      Thank you!
      Karen

    • Tina February 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      I am also interested in where the Ruby is for this price. WOW. I was just priced one at “sale” price for $4300. Thanks

      Tina

  14. Jan August 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I’ve owned a Ruby for couple years now. Since I’m retired, I sew EVERY day. No problems with my Ruby. Updated from a Designer SE. The Ruby does so much more. Thread cutting as a design stitches out is fantastic feature. This is my third machine embroidery machine. Started with a Rose – oh, those “chips” were expensive. Love being able to download from the internet. This machine has forced me to come into the computer world. Enjoy it so much. My Ruby has been worth every penny!

  15. Brother se350 November 10, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    What’s really sad is just about 3 yrs after purchasing my device they launched the SE and once that was out they ceased upgrading the stitching for the D1 declaring the D1 was modified as far as it could be done for stitching and then along came the Precious stone device and they ceased referring to the D1 entirely even to have it vanish off their web page.

  16. Jennifer January 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I am fortunate enough to have the Ruby. I thought my husband was crazy when he bought it for me, and in fact ,tried to bring him to his senses. I must say I love it! I’m so glad he didn’t listen to me. Look for them as trade ins. We just got lucky, in that someone purchased it, then decided she had to have a Diamond. It was never even used! We saved a lot of money that way, so keep checking with your dealer.

    In regards to reviewer comment about the presser foot: The Ruby automatically raises the presser foot just enough to hover over the stitches every time you stop stitching. Not all the way, just enough.

  17. Donna January 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    My D1 had a plastic storage case for the embroidery arm attachment. Now I am the extremely happy new owner of the Viking Ruby which I purchased used. It had very low hours on it and although I got a very small trade-in allowance for my old D1, I am happy that I stepped up to the Ruby. My problem is finding a storage case like or similar to that of the D1. I have this huge red carrying case fitted with styrofoam that protects the attachment and hoops and takes up a lot of room. It is also a lot of work to put the attachment away or get it out to use. Any ideas?

    • mari February 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      . I’m glad you got a nice storage case. I got card board boxes fitted with Styrofoam for protection of machine and attachments. the hoops are on their own. I have the purple dongle ……In my instruction book it tells how to use portrait stitch and family tree……the icons also come up on the bottom of computer screen….when I click on these the pop up tells me to go to configure to activate the dongle. I go there…. pop up tells me its activated ????? I ask the dealer about this,,,, she said I would have to purchase about 1 or 2 thousand dollars more software to have that option of stitching portraits.??? or I could up grade to the professional for a couple thousand…. and I had only had my machine a couple months ……… is this so? then WHY do I I have the instructions and icons??? i have a $ 6,000.00 ruby. I told my husband he was crazy for buying it,,,,,, wayyyyyyyyyyyy to much money. but he thought I should have it.

  18. Jerry January 19, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I bought my wife a new Ruby in Feb 2012. In July 2012 it had to go in for repair. Problem was diagnosed as something came loose on the main circuit board. Then just a few weeks ago, it is back in the shop. This time the diagnosis was a bad power supply. Power supply arrived and machine is still not operational. second diagnosis is a bad main circuit board. After spending $5,000+ on this machine, I have lost confidence that it is going to continue being a good machine for my wife – especially when the warranty runs out. Meanwhile, I am hunting for a service contract for the machine. Any recommendations?

    • karen April 2, 2014 at 1:56 am #

      I bought the Diamond 2 years ago and have regretted it ever since. I can sew for a couple months then it will start shutting down in the middle of projects. It got so bad it would not even start. Have had it in for repairs 4 times and he cannot find anything wrong with it. Seems to always work perfectly for him! Wish I could get my money back. Will not buy Viking again.

  19. Carol February 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I recently bought a used Ruby–.20 hours on it (no warranty). Has anyone had this problem – I was sewing and the bobbin became empty so I rewound it and put it back in my machine. When I tried to begin sewing again the machine shut down and rebooted. Keeps doing it.

  20. Ann February 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Read with great interest, just home from seeing the Ruby and falling in love! We think we’ll be buying it in the next few days…I can hardly wait!

  21. Kandice March 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I have the 600E and it is terrible, had it almost a year and it has only been operable a couple months. It countinually shuts off and I have to take it apart to get the thing to turn back on. The embroidery is nice when it works, but skips stitches and such. It is a terrible machine. They want me to upgrade to the next one a topaz or ruby but from reading some of the other comments I am not so sure its worth it. I have wasted so many hours trying to get it to work right. I have read the manual, watched videos, read tips, etc… I am afraid that I dont like the quality of Viking machines. Any tips? I have been looking at the brothers and they seem much better for the price. Any idea how to return the 600 E that has never worked and is always in the shop?

  22. jacques July 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    The 600e is not actually a husqvarna product,it is made by singer for husqvarna viking so they can cater for the low end market,I have a brother innovis 4000 and although the embroidery is absolutely perfect the sewing side of the machine leaves a lot to be desired.I hope the designer ruby has better sewing stitch quality.

  23. Elizabeth Matthews April 14, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Can someone please tell me how to change the blade on the thread cutter… I cant figure out how to lift the little arm…

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