Husqvarna Viking Rose Review

Husqvarna Viking Rose Review
Husqvarna Viking Rose Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease Of Use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
Beginner: Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Intermediate: Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.

Husqvarna/Viking Rose review: The Rose is one of those sewing machines that are capable of sewing and embroidering professional looking stitches at a fraction of the cost.

The embroidery feature is not as sophisticated as a lot of newer sewing/embroidery machines, but the designs that it does offer are excellent for adding fancy borders and trims.

Husqvarna Viking Rose

Husqvarna Viking Rose

The designs that come standard on the Rose could also be used to embellish children’s clothes, accessories and the fronts of blouses and shirts.

While on vacation, we visited a sewing buddy who had recently purchased a Husqvarna/Viking Rose at an incredibly low price. She bought it from a woman who had stopped sewing altogether because her eyesight was failing.

The owner’s instruction manual was nowhere to be found when she bought the machine, and finding one over the internet was a bit of a challenge for her.

Luckily, however, she already has an extensive sewing background that spans about 25 years, so the absence of the manual was only a minor inconvenience.

Nevertheless, she ordered one on-line for about $10, just to make sure she was not missing anything critical in terms of usage, machine capability or care and maintenance.

At the time we visited her, the manual had not yet arrived in the mail.

When she invited us to take a look at the Husqvarna/Viking Rose and check it out, we were impressed by the clever way it was packaged.

The next thing that caught our eye was the sleek styling of the machine itself and the LCD window, which displayed the stitch selection, stitch size, presser foot, tension adjustment and needle position.

Pros

  • Molded plastic cover/carrying case
  • Easy stitch selection and execution
  • Easily expanded work space with ruler
  • On-board accessories kit

Cons

  • Foot pedal and electrical power cord could be easily lost or misplaced
  • Cannot produce large embroidery designs
  • No tech support except when purchased from manufacturer authorized dealer
  • Owner’s manual not available on manufacturer’s website

At A Glance

The Husqvarna/Viking Rose comes with an interesting molded plastic cover that doubles as a carrying case. It has a compartment on top that is built to hold the foot pedal and electrical power cord when it is not in use.

The box containing the accessories doubles as part of the detachable work space. The front part of the work space is tucked away on the back of the machine, nestled under the cover until it is ready for use.

When put into place, it combines with the accessories box to form a work space large enough to handle medium to large size sewing projects. When these two pieces are removed, the functional free arm is exposed.

Accessories box forms a large work space

Accessories box forms a large work space

In addition to the 40 on-board stitch design options, extra design cards can be purchased from the manufacturer or on line for an almost infinite number of embroidery design options.

The Viking Rose is not a brand new machine. It is old enough to have an established track record and modern enough to satisfy most if not all of the desires of today’s home sewer.

We do not recommend the Rose for the machine embroidery enthusiast.

However, it is an excellent alternative for the person whose main focus is clothing construction and home dec sewing but wants the freedom of adding an embroidered accent here and there.

Features

Whoever designed the cover/carrying case that came with the Husqvarna/Viking Rose was a true genius.

Carrying case of Viking Rose

Carrying case of Viking Rose

The foot pedal and electrical power cord are stowed away in the back of the case. A 14 inch ruler decal is affixed to the base of the machine on the front.

In addition, the front part of the extension table is etched with a 12 inch ruler and detaches to fit snugly on the back of the machine when it is not in use.

The back part of the extension table is actually an accessories kit that is tucked away on the back of the free arm.

The thread spindle and bobbin winding mechanism are cleverly tucked away under the flip top cover.

In you happen to be one of those people who prefer the look of perfection even when you are working; then this cosmetic feature can be very important. If, however, looks don’t mean much to you, then this feature is totally insignificant.

The Husqvarna/Viking Rose features both a foot pedal and a start/stop button, which operates the machine whenever the user decides that it is not necessary or convenient to use the foot pedal.

The easy to understand push button stitch selector literally puts at least 40 stitches right at your fingertips.

An added benefit is the fact that the tension is adjusted automatically as soon as a stitch is chosen.

The drop in bobbin and threading functions are so simple you may be lulled into believe it is almost possible to change threads almost without even looking.

Depending on the sewing project and its intricacy, users of the Husqvarna/Viking Rose can set the needle to stop in either the up or down position.

Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose

The push button stitch selector is not only easy to understand, it is just as easy to use. Just touch the button bearing the image of the stitch you want, and voila… it’s done.

For this review of the Viking Rose sewing machine, we played with several of the different stitch options, including the three different buttonholes – keyhole, rectangle and oval shaped.

Push button stitch selector

Push button stitch selector

With only one exception, each of the stitches came out perfectly. The only exception was the darning stitch, and we suspect that the problem was with the user, not the machine.

We concluded that the absence of a manual, there was possibly a missing step that would have alleviated the snag we encountered.

Changing the snap on presser feet was a bit clumsy, but not clumsy enough to make working on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose uncomfortable or even challenging to the point that it is not a good sewing machine to work on.

The electronic display screen automatically tells the user which presser foot to use, choose the proper presser foot presser tension adjustment.

It also helps guide you through the steps necessary to save a favorite stitch and all of the settings in its memory.

The many decorative and heirloom stitch options that come standard on the Husqvarna/Viking Rose give the user lots of options.

Because the Rose does not have a USB port, it is not capable of accessing embroidery software and programs available through the manufacturer’s website or creating any of the larger embroidery designs available on more expensive and today’s more sophisticated sewing and embroidery machine models.

However, data cards are still available via the internet that are capable of giving the user access to many embroidery, decorative and heirloom stitch options.

Since the Husqvarna/Viking Rose was manufactured in the late 1990s, the owner assumed it would need to be taken to a sewing machine repair specialist for routine servicing and cleaning.

She did, in fact, take it to her local sewing machine repair shop for servicing shortly after receiving it to make sure everything was in proper working order.

During that initial visit, she learned that this machine, like practically all other electronic sewing machines, must be serviced at least once a year, more often if the machine is in heavy use.

She shared with me that she was not particularly pleased with this fact, since the price tag for servicing sewing machines of this type in her area is about $100 per visit.

We don’t think she would mind our sharing her comment that as good as this machine is, she will use it only when she wants one of the decorative stitches, and rely, instead, upon her old metal, mechanical sewing machine for every day use because she can clean and service it herself, and avoid the expense of taking the Husqvarna/Viking in for professional cleaning, more frequently than is absolutely necessary.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

The contents of the accessories kit include, a tray holding six snap on presser feet and spare bobbins.

Accessories kit

Accessories kit

The tray can be lifted out to reveal a compartment holding a screwdriver, an oil dispenser, a lint brush and a seam ripper.

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

When it’s all said and done, we think this is one of the best sewing machines in its class.

Although our friend got her machine for a paltry $250, prices for a Husqvarna/Viking Rose of this vintage and in good condition range from about $300 to $700 on e-bay and other on-line sites.

The economical price most certainly makes it possible for the home sewing enthusiast to get a good sewing and embroidery machine without breaking the bank.

The stitch quality is superlative and the machine is so easy to use, it is a perfect choice for just about anyone who wants to expand their basic sewing repertoire to include decorative borders and machine quilting.

Superlative stitch quality

Superlative stitch quality

The easy to use buttonhole foot and options for three professional looking buttonholes are both definite plusses.

Because the model that we reviewed cannot be connected to the internet, we recognize that there are definite limitations on the number of decorative stitch and embroidery pattern options.

Therefore, we do not recommend this machine for anyone who is considered to be a machine embroidery enthusiast, or someone who spends a lot of time working on large machine embroidery projects.

If, however, you are interested in a good used sewing machine that is capable of rendering small professional looking embroidery, heirloom and decorative stitches as well as superior quality buttonholes and great straight stitching capability, then take a look at the Husqvarna/Viking Rose.

Just make sure that when you get your machine, the owner’s manual comes with it. Otherwise, be prepared to purchase the manual separately.

It’s the only way to guarantee that you will be getting the very best out of your new acquisition.

We have no doubt that as soon as our friend receives the manual she ordered, she will discover that her machine is capable of all kinds of great things that she never even imagined.

We found the rulers on the base of the machine and the extension table to be a bit distracting.

Rulers on the base of the machine

Rulers on the base of the machine

They both start at the one inch point, but they overlap in such a way that if you use the extension table, about half of the ruler on the base of the machine is blocked.

In our opinion, it is not usable at all. If you can only use it when you are using the free arm, why bother to put it there?

The placement makes one wonder if perhaps it would be easier to simply use a tape measure and ignore the ruler decal altogether.

While the carrying case/cover is a great idea, it is easy for someone who is not well organized to misplace or even lose the electrical power cord and foot pedal.

We like the concept of storing the foot pedal and power cord in the cover, but it might work better if the opening had some sort of cover to keep these components in place.

Husqvarna/Viking has an on-line registration feature on its website allowing owners to register their machines and giving them access to all of the corporate resources for technical support, creativity tips and incentives.

However, this service is restricted to people who purchase their machines from approved sources. The site clearly states:

Please be advised when purchasing HUSQVARNA VIKING® sewing machines from an unauthorized dealer that these machines are not covered by the HUSQVARNA VIKING® warranty. Service and support for such machines will not be provided by our authorized dealers, SVP Worldwide nor any affiliates. In particular, kindly note that authorized dealers are prohibited from selling HUSQVARNA VIKING® machines over the internet; therefore, any HUSQVARNA VIKING® sewing machines purchased online will not be covered by the HUSQVARNA VIKING® warranty. http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us/3296.htm

With this policy in mind, anyone interested in acquiring a Husqvarna/Viking sewing machine the way our friend got hers must be aware that technical and creative support provided by the manufacturer will not be available to them.

43 Comments

  1. How is she transferring embroidery patterns to her card? I have the machine and never used it to embroider. I can’t find the dongle..don’t even know what it looks like. Not sure how you get files onto the care to use in the machine.

    • It used to be a two step system to write to the Rose cards, but now you can get something called the Amazing Designs Little Max Box. It takes the design from your computer to the card without use of a dongle. You can get it with or without the blank card from a lot of different places. It will convert any design you have to the HUS format for the rose. Google search: Amazing Designs Little Max Box to find one. As far as the original way, it was a box, a dongle, and you needed a parallel port on your computer. I hope this helps.

      • My friend has the little max to use with her Rose and hates it!! Too confusing!! Go to any of the sales sites and enter Husqvarna Rose and find the dongle & reader writer. Soooo much less hassle

    • In answer to Lenora’s question, you need the dongle, converter box, and computer cable from Husqvarna. I was given all the original parts when I bought my Rose 2nd hand. I found out that to transfer designs from the CD to the Rose I had to use a computer running Windows 98 to access the software that transfers designs to a writable Rose cartridge. I used it once successfully, but would rather use pre loaded design cartridges.

  2. Lenora –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    The Rose that I used for this review belongs to a sewing buddy who lives quite a distance from me. During the review, I did not embroider, but sampled different utility and decorative stitch options available on the machine. In an attempt to get an answer to your question, I called to ask if she ever uses her Rose to embroider and the answer was ‘No. I’ve been quite happy with the machine but have never attempted to embroider anything more than a border on a collar or cuff using some of the standard decorative stitches that came with the machine. That’s all I really need… or have time for.’

    I’m sorry her answer wasn’t more comprehensive. Perhaps you can get a more satisfactory answer from your local Husqvarna/Viking dealer.

    • I have a Rose and have used it for embroidery; although not recently. There is a separate embroidery module that comes with the machine. Embroidery cards are purchased separately. They go into the slot on the side of the machine. It does a good job, but the cards are expensive; at least they were a few years ago. What I like best about my Rose is the wonderful free motion stitch it does. The only drawback is the small throat space. I have had my machine since the late 90′s and although I don’t use it every day (I have a Quilt Designer II and a Bernina 820 also), I love my Rose. IT HAS NEVER BEEN SERVICED AND IT SEWS BEAUTIFULLY, SO DON’T BELIEVE THE PERSON WHO SAYS IT HAS TO BE SERVICED EVERY YEAR!!

      • I actually just spoke with one of the top Viking techs in the US this mornings — he’s one of the guys who teaches other Viking dealers and techs — and he told me that these machines only need to come in once every 5 years or so even though the techs like to tell customers to bring them in every year. I just brought my mother’s Rose in for service because she wore down her feed dogs after 13+ years of happily sewing everything from draperies to wedding gowns. The machine has never needed servicing prior to this, and still stitches beautifully. My mom loves her Rose.

  3. I have had my Rose since the late 1990 and have never had an problems with it or service done to it. I don’t sew every week but I have made a couple quilts, probably 100 dolls, several costumes, etc. I have used the embroidery for tea towels and it works very nicely. I never bought any additional embroidery cards because of the expense but I have a friend who has bought many through Ebay. I love the case because I don’t leave the machine out all the time. The case is such a perfect design, the cord and manual fit in the top section and I always put the foot pedal inside under the machine arm, for storage. This machine is so easy to use you barely need a manual. I have also been able to find videos online to show me things I have been confused about in the past. My machine came with the optional quilting package and embroidery package. Every once in awhile I consider getting a new machine but then come to my senses and realize this machine is reliable and does everything I want it to do.

  4. I just wanted to comment on my pleasure at reading these comments. I just bought a Rose on ebay at the top range of the prices mentioned. I haven’t received it yet but is comes with the embroidery unit and the quilting package plus just about everything ever provided for it so I think it was a good deal. I really think I will primarily use the features on the machine itself as mentioned above but I wanted to try some of the embroidery options without spending thousands. I am very happy to read about what sounds like a top quality machine. I found this by googling to see what embroidery options were useable on this machine as there are some gorgeous things on Ebay. I think I will have to research a bit more about the “cards”. Thanks for this informative review and comments!

  5. I recently bought a Rose and am delighted with it. The lady who enquired about the embroidery card might like to try what I did. I purchased an Ultimate Box and card which allows me to download free designs of the internet (not a plug, just a method for me to access embroidery motifs without paying an exhorbitant price from Husqvarna). The only thing you have to be careful of is downloading designs that fit the embroidery hoop limits. The Rose has quite a small embroidery area, but as this is my first embroidery machine I still very happy with what she can do. At the moment I using one of the Rose’s built in stitches to embroidery motifs to be attached to a dress bodice (like the Threads #161 dress). After a few initial hiccups which were fixed with a good service, she sews like a dream. The Rose is my second Husqvarna machine, my first is 24 years old, been serviced once and still sews like a dream. Happy playing with your ‘new’ machine.

  6. Hello! I am considering purchasing a used Viking Rose from my local quilt shop and am doing some research online. I am looking for an entry-level embroidery machine and the asking price for this machine can’t be beat! Could anyone please tell me about the fonts that come standard on the machine? I am trying to find some info online since the store selling it is closed today….I read somewhere that it comes with 2 letter styles? Approximately how large of a letter can you embroider? I am looking to make some personalized items for my children and would love to be able to embroider 1″ – 1 1/2″ letters. This post has been a huge help – thank you all so much!

  7. Did you get an answer to your question about moving the needle on the Rose. There are 25 needle positions. Use the stitch width button (+). (That is the fourth button over below the screen with the + and – signs with a zigzag line between.) Adjust the width between 0-6 for different positions.
    The needle should move to the left of center. Click on the mirror image button (that is the third button over below the screen with the two half square triangles). The needle should move to the right of center.

    Hope this helps.

    • How do I get the machine to sew in a straight line (not zigzag)with the needle over to the right though?

      • Don’t worry, I have sorted it but will keep an eye on this site – thank you in anticipation.

  8. Is there anyone out there who would be willing to give me a call and do some quick brush up for me…. I haven’t used my machine for a couple of years and have forgotten how to do “stuff” … I’m stuck on fill patterns and conversion from digitizing to customizing …. HELP!

  9. Can you increase the size of letters and numbers on the viking rose embroidery machine?

    • I would like to know more about this as well. So far I have only been able to produce about half inch letters. I’ve increased the stitch length and width to maximum machine seems to want me to but those letters are just too small. I really want 1-1 1/2 in. At this point unless someone can tell me how to get it this size on my Rose I am going to purchase an embroidery alphabet card and do so this way. Thanks for any help you can offer!

      • You need to increase the design size … you can go up to 4×4 … what software are you currently using ..VIP?

      • I am curious about the lettering too. A friend of mine gave me the Rose and I am trying to learn all I can. Being a novice at embroidery this seems very complicated. I had hoped the built in the letters would stitch bigger than .5″. Am I missing something that will make them bigger? Also, any suggestions where I can purchase a card with the alphabet?

        • Lisa … have you sold your 4D yet?

  10. I have had my Rose for 9 years and its great. I also have a Designer which I love, just wish it could do USB ports.
    I want to start free motion quilting on my rose but don’t see how to do that in the book and I can’t seem to do it. I lowered the teeth and put FM foot on but it won’t go. Can you tell me the secret please.

    • Regarding your free motion question, I use my Rose to free motion quite often. In fact, it is the machine I use to teach free motion even though I own a Bernina 820 and a new Bernina 710. Couple of thoughts:
      Is your free motion foot a spring action foot made specifically for free motion — and not a darning foot?

      Did you put the pressure foot down?

      Did YOU move the fabric rather than waiting for the machine? In free motion, YOU have to move the fabric in order for the machine to stitch.

      If you have done all of the above and you have the feed dogs down, there is no reason why your Rose shouldn’t do beautiful free motion. Of course, it takes practice to get even stitches and nice curves. That part comes with time. My Rose loves Sulky rayon thread and either Aurifil or Bottom Line made by Superior in the bobbin. You may have to do some tension adjustments to get your stitches perfect. It usually means loosening the top tension.

      Good Luck.

  11. Barbara -

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    By ‘it won’t go’ do you mean the machine won’t sew or the fabric won’t move? The machine should sew, but the fabric won’t move until you move it. That’s what free motion means. You take control and move the fabric whichever way suits you… from side to side, in circles or back and forth.

    If this explanation is too simplistic, I apologize, but this is the only explanation I can come up with for the machine not ‘going’.

    Happy Stitching.

  12. What adjustment do I need to make if my Rose is suddenly making a “birds nest” under the sewing place (behind the bobbin) …. I just had to purchase a new bobbin case … it worked great in the store …. got home … worked for 2 designs and then started making the nests!!! … HELP … don’t know how to fix this????

    • Figured it out … operator error … had my density to high!

  13. Meant to say sewing plate!

  14. Does anyone know where or how I can get an update for my dongle on my Rose machine. I bought a new laptop and it’s not recognizing my dongle. Any help would be much appreciated. Still using my old windows xp to get my designs for now but would like the update. Can’t afford a new machine.

    • Have you tried calling micro-soft? They are pretty good if it’s an XP problem. Also they just had 2 purple dongles on e-bay. I’ve picked up several “spare” parts for just in case. I love my Rose … you just get 0 support from Husqvarna on it. My only problem with it is I have “hoop envy”!

    • Hi
      Had this problem with my rose ,have a software fix to the dongle problem, the reader /writer box will work on win 7 as long as you
      have the 64 bit version, it can run Xp application’s.Let me know if I can help on banger123@virginmedia.com

  15. My Rose is about 11 years old, and in semi-retirement. I think the feed dogs may be worn, as standard servicing hasn’t helped it’s occasional poor feeding. With easy fabric (2 layers of medium weight cotton) it works great. Embroidery still works, though it’s a bit loose and designs aren’t always perfect.

    Sadly, the touch-button pad is getting sick and my service place says it would cost $$$ to fix it. It seems that this is a common problem–I’ve found lots of references to it on line, but no help in fixing it. So…I’ll just keep the Rose around as a backup as long as I can get some function out of it.

    • So far… mine is still going strong … Hallie … Did you ever use the plus hoop?

      • Comment

  16. I have and have used the 3-position Rose hoop, splitting designs with Embird. However, it was tedious and I haven’t done it in a long time. I never got the “mega hoop” or whatever they called the all-four-side hoop, though I coveted it for a while.

  17. Manual for this machine can be downloaded from the Husqvarna website
    http://new.husqvarnaviking.com/SiteMedia/Products/Machines/Support/Rose_605_manual_EN.pdf

  18. I have had my Rose since 2001. I absolutely loved it and had a lot of fun using it. Now since about 2008 it has sat in the basement because it is not compatible with the window versions and I cant afford to purchase all these other things to get it to work. Does anyone have any suggestions

    • This might not work for you but I have a separate laptop for my Rose … bought one on e-bay ….. now there is no problem with other software updates.

      • thank you

  19. Just bought a Viking Rose and I can’t find a youtube instructional video, I get lots on the Eden Rose, the new one?
    Any idea where I can look. I am a beginner and need all the help I can get.
    This website helped me decide to buy my Rose.
    X

  20. There are lots of “things” on e-bay for the Rose …. just do a search for Viking Rose

  21. I have had my Viking Rose 605 since about 1995! It’s been used only infrequently, but now I am retired from my previous occupation and ready to jump back into my hobbies. I have done some research and found out that the VR605 only works with Win98. This is disappointing, as I just recently purchased the 4D Pro Embroidery System off eBay and now have to resell that, because the 4D software only works with XP or Vista (not sure about Win 7 or 8). I am curious about the Ultimate Box I: from what I have been able to determine, it will work with the VR605, but is it only Win98 compatible or will it work with newer versions of Windows? And how would Embird software fit in with that? I am frustrated and bewildered at all the tech stuff, and I can assure you I cannot go out and purchase all new Babylock Ellisimo Gold 2 (my ultimate fantasy!)! Any direction or help you can offer would be so appreciated! I just want to use my VR605, have a few more design options other than purchasing the expensive cards, and make things for my house, my daughter and my grandbaby! I used to LOVE to sew–I want to have that feeling again! I spent 20years in the military and I can use a computer, but I am starting to get bleary eyed from all my research. My husband says to just get rid of all of it and find a new hobby! (That’s NOT gonna happen!) So, please help!

    • Hi sandi

      all is not lost , the rose software is useable on windows 7 or 8 I use it on 7, but it has to be the 64 bit version, the easiest way round it is to buy an old laptop with the correct cable fitting on the back, and use it just for designs, most have xp and can be picked up for a few pounds, done this a few times here in the UK
      for members of this site, if you contact me I can walk you through it, I also have a complete machine for spare parts if anyone needs
      them including embroidery arm and plus hoop, mail me on banger123@virginmedia.com

    • Sandi … have you sold your 4D yet? I just upgraded from my Rose to a P 950E … the only reason is for the bigger hoop size. Liked everything about my Rose except for hoop size. Would be interested in updating my software also. ?

    • I have the Rose 600/605 and am using the Ultimate box to save designs on to the ultimate card that your Rose can read. If you have design cards that were purchased for the Rose originally those cards can be read with the Ultimate box and then saved to your computer if you want. If purchasing the Ultimate Box you will need to also purchase a programmable card with the box. If you have an original Rose re-programmable card you CANNOT write to that card with the Ultimate box.

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