Insightful sewing machine reviews

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt Review

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt Review
Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt Review
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease Of Use
  • Maintenance
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: 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 – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.


The Husqvarna/Viking jewel series includes a line of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines that in some ways set the standard in their class.

The top of the jewel line – the Designer Diamond deLuxe – is the epitome of affordable home sewing and embroidery machines.

The Sapphire 875 is the equivalent when it comes to home quilting machines designed to fit the household budget.

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 875 Quilt

There are three sewing and quilting machines in the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire series… the 875, 855 and 835.

The 875 is the leader of the pack, offering the user more stitch options, features and accessories than the other machines in the Sapphire series.


  • Fix function
  • Exclusive Husqvarna/Viking Sewing Advisor
  • Ergonomic design
  • Sensor buttonhole foot


  • No presser foot lever – learning curve for long-time sewers

At A Glance

An LCD screen and a touch pad for selecting stitches

An LCD screen and a touch pad for selecting stitches

We hesitate to use such a trite comparative phrase, but when you first look at the three machines in the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphires series, they all look alike. On there surface, there really isn’t any perceptible difference.

Each machine has an eye-appealing pastel blue face plate; an LCD screen; a touch pad for selecting stitches; a stop/start button; and buttons that raise the needle and presser foot, reverse the sewing direction, cut the thread, and tie it off at the end of a seam or a series of design stitches.

There is also a needle plate with seam guides conveniently etched onto it and a ruler decal on front that is marked in inches and centimeters.

The accessories case conveniently doubles as part of the oversized work space, putting presser feet and other sewing room essentials right at your fingertips.

To expose the free arm, simply slide the accessories case is to the left. When the free arm is no longer needed, simply slide the accessories case back on and snap it into place.

An exposed free arm

An exposed free arm


Although all three machines in the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire line appear the same, there are some distinct differences when it comes to the features available on the 875.

In addition to the features described above, the following standard features are also available on the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875:

  • 175 utility, decorative, quilting, heirloom stitch options
  • 5 alphanumeric fonts
  • 7 one step buttonholes
  • Decorative tapering
  • Built in needle threader
  • Fix function
  • Bobbin sensor
  • Automatic tension adjustment
  • Mirror side to side and end to end
  • Sewing advisor
  • Two bright LED lights
  • Extended work space
  • Pattern restart
  • 5 speeds
  • 12 languages

Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875

Threading the Sapphire 875 was easy… that is until we attempted to raise the presser foot lever.

This computerized sewing and quilting machine doesn’t have one. Rather than the customary lever to raise the presser foot, there is a pair of buttons conveniently situated on the front of the machine that raise and lower the presser foot.

A pair of buttons to raise and lower the presser foot

A pair of buttons to raise and lower the presser foot

After many years of sewing and raising and lowering the presser foot the old fashioned way, this new feature took some getting used to.

We were impressed by the fact that the bobbin could be wound while the needle was still threaded.

Wind the bobbin without thread removal

Wind the bobbin without thread removal

Identify and program the type of fabric by weight and thickness

Identify and program the type of fabric by weight and thickness

This is an excellent and much appreciated time saver when working on large projects with a single spool of thread… no more removing the thread from the needle to wind the bobbin and re-threading it after the bobbin is in place.

With all of the wonderful standard features on the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875, this reviewer believes the most valuable feature is the way the machine is programmed to display the all of the setting requirements for each fabric type on the LCD screen based upon the selected stitch.

The first step is to identify the type of fabric by weight and thickness and program it into the machine by selecting one of seven buttons, labeled A through G.

A represents light woven fabric, B medium weight woven fabric, C heavy woven fabric; D lightweight knit, and so forth. G, the highest setting, is for heavyweight leather and vinyl.

An on board quick reference stitch guide is inside the top cover, making it as easy as possible to Identify the desired stitch.

Once the stitch is selected, the LCD screen will display the needle type, presser foot and needle type best suited for executing the stitch on the type of fabric with which you are working.

Best suited options are displayed on LCD screen for executing the sticth

Best suited options are displayed on LCD screen for executing the sticth

For this review, we used a medium weight woven fabric and tested several utility and decorative stitch options.

Selecting the stitches and getting perfect results were possibly easier on the Sapphire 875 than most of the other machines this reviewer has ever had the pleasure of working on.

Each of the stitches we sampled came out perfectly. The quality and speed were exceptional, so fast, in fact that we were temped to change the speed setting from the highest setting to one of the slower speeds.

A perfect stitch

A perfect stitch


  • 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


The accessories case

The accessories case

Just as there are more features available on the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875, it comes with more standard accessories than the Sapphire 855 or 835.

They include:

  • 11 snap on presser feet
  • Accessories case
  • Lint brush
  • Seam ripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Quilting bar
  • Extra bobbins
  • Extra needles
  • Spool pin
  • Spool caps (2 – 1 large/1small)
  • Owner’s manual
  • Hard cover


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
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

Of all the sewing machines we have reviewed, the Husqvaqrna/Viking Sapphire 875 is the only one with so many features and bells and whistles that we feel comfortable in recommending for use by beginners of all ages.

The reason for this unusual recommendation is the easy to follow graphic tutorial. The people at Husqvarna/Viking have named it the Sewing Advisor, and that’s exactly what it is.

With this feature, almost anyone could sit down and virtually sew like a pro in no time at all.

While we recommend this machine for sewers of all ages, we strongly urge parents and teachers to be around to provide close supervision for sewers under the age of 12 or 13 years.

The Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875 is easy enough for a child to operate, but no sewing and quilting machine in this class should be operated by a child who is not fully cognizant of basic sewing machine operation and safety precautions.

Nor should a child be allowed to operate the Sapphire 875 without having an adult in the room at all times.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price … $2,499… makes the Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875 affordable, and within the reach of many household budgets, but definitely not a child’s machine.

This is the type of machine that is used primarily by a proficient intermediate or advanced sewer in a home were sewing is taught to other members of the household under close supervision.

In time, as they become adept at working on the Sapphire 875, beginners will be able to work alone, confidently producing professional looking garments, accessories and gifts for friends and family as well as accent items for the home.

The intermediate or advanced home sewer who chooses the Sapphire 875 will not be disappointed.

It is definitely among the most ergonomically designed sewing machines on the market today, reducing the possibility of aching shoulders, necks and backs after long hours of sewing.

In addition, the fix function which cleanly ties off seam ends, and other state of the art features are all designed to save time and energy while helping to make the overall sewing experience fast, enjoyable, efficient and comfortable.

The only adjustment we anticipate would be the same one that we had to make during the review… pushing buttons to raise and lift the presser foot … a minor inconvenience that is quickly and easily overcome.


  1. I love love love this machine, love the advisor~ my mom and I went in on it together, but my dad and I are the two using it the most. My dad has never sewed a day in his life until now….. He is a mans man, (carpenter, hunter, fisherman and Honey do everything kinda man) He retired a couple years back and hass been bored stiff. At 68 years old he is now a quilter. He can run this Saphire 875 better than me! He is loving it, and him and I have found a new bonding passion for father and daughter. Mom makes her quilt tops and Dad and I quilt them.. We are using it with the Majestic steel frame.

  2. I love this machine. It is the top of the line sewing machine with all the extra’s a home seamstress, quilter, crafter can ask for. It is so quite as my husband noticed, he said, “I knew it was a quality machine when they were demonstrating it and all I could hear was a mild hum.” I also like the speed control so I can slow it down when teaching. It is also easy to learn and use. The instruction book gives step by step instruction with excellent pictures for guidance. The reason I did not give it a 5 rating it lacks one feature, the option to move the needle right, left or center as my Designer 1 had. However, the presser feet have visible markings so I can adjust. I would absolutely recommend this machine for all sewing levels.

    • I just read your review about the Sapphire. I am looking at one now on sale. I do have a Designer 1 myself, but I do not use the Embroider Features or hoops at all. I am a quilter. I would love some input from you if I should just keep the Designer or move forward with the Sapphire.

      Thank you for your time. I have used the needle right, left or center, but I guess I could live without it!

    • Cheryl, I have likely misunderstood your comment concerning a lack of the option to move the needle as the 875Q has a very convenient ability to shift the needle in tiny increments all the way to the extreme left or right of center.
      This is not part of your comment but since I don’t want to take up two posts I want to add a response to the reviewers opinion that not having to use a lever to raise the presser foot might be a hard adjustment to us long time (55 years) sewers. I can tell you–not so. It was very, very, VERY easy to adapt to the convenience of the machine lowering the presser foot for me when I start to sew and to hitting one button to raise the presser foot, tack the seam end AND cut the thread. My, my, I feel like a sewing diva. It’s was such an easy adjustment that more often than I care to admit I start sewing on my serger with my presser foot up! I guess it’s obvious I like my 875Q. Now, to learn to quilt.

    • Why would you ever think you cannot “move the needle right, left or center?” You can fine tune needle position to an
      amazing number of places on almost any stitch choice! I LOVE my Sapphire 875 – after trying most of the competition. Have found nothing I would change about the Viking machines. Over the years I have bought a total of 5 Viking sewing and/or embroidery/sewing machines without one minute of trouble with any of them. If you use only excellent quality thread, read all directions and actually follow them, you will lovee any Viking machine!

  3. Hello, Elaine –

    Making the decision to move from the Designer 1 to the Sapphire might be a challenging one. There are a few things to take into consideration and not necessarily in the order in which they are listed below:
    1. What kind of trade-in allowance can you get?
    2. Will you use the additional quilt options on the Sapphire if you make the switch?
    3. Can you accomplish what you want to do with the Designer 1?

    My personal feeling is if the Designer 1 does all you want it to do, then why make the investment in another machine. If, however, you are in the market for a machine that can do more than the one you are currently using, then by all means, move on up to the Sapphire.

    They are both excellent machines.

    Happy stitching.

    • Hello Vernelle;

      Thank you so much for replying to my e mail. You make some very good points. The sewing machine shop would take 30% if I gave them my machine on consignment, or $400.00 off a Ruby machine that I went down and also looked at. Designer 1 only worth 6 -800.00. It is certainly in my best interest to keep it even if I bought a Sapphire. This Sapphire will have an upgrade in Sept. I am told and will come with a large touch screen for about $200.00 more. So, for now, I will keep what I have, start investing more time in learning about Embroidery perhaps, and be happy with the great machine I do have. I could get quite a few quilts quilted professionally for the price of a Sapphire. Problem solved as I wouldn’t need that large open bed. Thanks again for your input!

  4. I loved everyone’s comments but I have a Huskystar 224 which is a great machine. It is a level below the computerized ones but being a quilter I am ready to move up. Is amyone willing to tell me what they paid for the Sapphire 875? You can burst my bubble before the store does. Although I did get a coupon for a free $300 quilt kit when I buy one in July.

    • Hello Christine. Here is a quote I got two weeks ago on a deal in Canada.

      Sapphire MSRP is $2599, and it is on clearance pricing for $1799. There is also half price luggage available and it comes with a Quilter’s Kit valued at $320. This weekend as you know, we are paying the tax, so your final price would be $1799 or $1928.95 if you take the luggage. Your total savings here (with luggage) is $1468.87

      So you can see the MSRP price. I do want to tell you that the current machine is not touch screen which I love on my Designer 1. The touch screen is coming out on the Sapphire apparently in Sept. It will cost about two hundred dollars more. You may be seeing some sales now as the new machine will be coming out. It looks like a wonderful machine and if you are a quilter the larger bed is a plus. Hope this helps.


      • Thank you for all the info. It gave me a lot to think about, I am a thinker when it comes to a big purchase like this will be. I an intereted in the touch screen so will probably wait for the newer one.

        What do you do with your machine? Do you quilt at all? I have been quilting for six years now, it is a strange story how I started but I love it. I would rather sew than almost anything else but it is not realistic.

    • Christine,
      You may have already made the plunge, but wanted to answer your request for purchase price on 875Q. I paid $1799.00 for mine. I did not get any “freebies” with the purchase.

  5. Christine, If you haven’t already purchased, I just bought the 875Q for $1499.99. No freebies, but this machine is wonderful. I just opened the box and started sewing! This machine brought back all the joy of sewing that I have been missing while struggling with the cheap, old, clunker that I was using. Why didn’t I upgrade years ago? Now, I’m lusting after the Ruby or Diamond…..just not sure I can justify the price when this is so good!

    Happy sewing!

  6. I am looking at the Husqvarna 875 Sapphire and I am just wondering what it means in the brochure when it says free motion with any quilting stitch. Usually free motion you do the work (control) so just wonder if you put it on one of the quilting stitches it will free motion a specific stitch.

  7. My wife THOROUGHLY enjoys her 835, so Santa bought her the 875 this year. Wonderful machines!! However – question: how do you open the USB port cover on the right-hand side of the machine???
    I do NOT want to risk breaking or splitting something.
    Many thanks and a very Merry Christmas to all!!

  8. Wow, I have read everyones wonderful comments and although I agree this machine has a lot of pluses. I have a lot of aggravation with mine. My problem is with free motion quilting. It skips stitches and tension is all wrong.

    The upper thread breaks and I’m using quality thread (Mettler 100% cotton with a silk finish) . I have rethreaded, re-round bobbins and changed out needles.

    I’ve also cleaned every thing from the bobbin area to tension disc, changed the thread disposition. I am so frustrated that I’m ready to get rid of this thing. I’m returning to the store today to buy new thread in hopes I just have a bad thread or old thread.

    I tested a Gutermann thread in a light color last night and it did well. So I hope that solves the problem. Right now I’m frustrated.

    If this doesn’t fix it I won’t keep the machine. If it does, then I have to say I do love the features. I have been sewing for many years and bought this machine for an upgrade.

    Also, my machine is very loud when it sews. Is everyone else’s? Maybe I just got a bad one. I wouldn’t be surprised, that’s my luck.

    • I heard these were really great machines. I received one as a gift a few years ago and never use it. The problem is I don’t sew….lol I thought I would eventually learn but never did. It is now time to sell it. please contact me for further information. Again this unit is brand new in the box. 1200.00

    • I got mine a year ago, like it except I cannot do free motion quilting. I agree thread keeps breaking, tension not right. I hoped to learn FMQ but too am admitting it was a big big mistake to choose it. Internet is full of Bernina tutorials but cannot find any Husqvarna tutorials which would hopefully help.

      • I finally found a good set-up for free motion quilting after having a lot of difficulty. Top stitch needle – spring motion foot – same polyester thread on top and bobbin (Superior Om ni) – regular tension and settings and use the start/stop button instead of the foot peddle. Hope it works for you.

    • Your comment rang true with me. I tried to take my machine back when I first bought it because of the thread breaking issue. The sales people at my store really worked with me, and I have found a solution. The big breakthrough was using polyester thread (good quality) and a denim or topstitch needle because they have bigger eyes, putting less tension on the thread. I was relatively new at machine free-motion quilting and had to gain some expertise so that I didn’t move the fabric too quickly. If you are quilting, make sure the bulk of the quilt is on the table, not hanging off the front, as this puts strain on the thread. My machine is only noisy when I’m quilting in a spot with lots of seams meeting and batik fabric. Don’t give up!

  9. I also have the 875Q and absolutely love it. I do have one problem . The tension unit has locked up three times in the past year and had to be repaired. I finally noticed this past week that the thread is somehow getting looped around the uptake thread loop. I am wondering if this is the cause of the problem. The thread pops off the thread guide and then is loose in the top of the machine. It occurs randomly but seems to happen when I am using the down needle position or the thread cutter. I thought that the thread may have been coming off the spool too fast and caused the extra buildup of thread so I put a felt circle on the thread spool. Luckily I have learned to recognize the different sound the machine makes when it begins to loop since this causes extra power for the machine to pull the thread.

  10. The Sapphire 875 was my first Viking for quilting and loved it, but then I thought I wanted to get into embroidery so I traded it in for the topaz 30. Wish I had just kept my Sapphire.

  11. I purchased my Sapphire 875 in 2012 and was truly loving the machine. I sewed both apparel and did quilting with the machine. This spring, all of a sudden I had issues with the tension (long loopy threads underneath — top stitching looked fine). I went online and followed all the suggestions (rethread, rewind bobbin, new needle, clean out under the plate. I brought it to my local JoAnn which has a HV center and had it sent out to repair. A week later it came back and, after only a few minutes sewing the same issue appeared. I had the machine sent out again. When it was returned, I was able to sew two little dresses and one quilt top and then, again, the problem is back. Tomorrow I will be bringing the machine back again. Since April, I have sewed more on my old $300 Singer machine than on this beautiful $1700 machine. Has anyone else had this issue?

    • I am having tension problems with my 2010 model. It has been sent out for repair, but still bogs up in the bobbin. I’m trying to free motion quilt now and the thread keeps breaking. Something is not right.

      • I just got my Saphire 875 back from the 3rd repair … Have not sewn yet (lots of company). The first two trips they did “repairs” but this last time they replaced a part in the tension mechanism .. The machine seemed to work fine in the store. Hopefully when I have time to sew next week it will work as it did before.

    • I started having the exact same tension problem (long loops of thread underneath) in the last two months (I have an 855). I only use Guterman thread and Viking bobbins – it’s frustrating to have to stop and manually adjust the tension, when I paid so much more to have a machine that would do it all automatically (I am an apparel sewer and use my machine 12-20 hours a week). I have recently ordered a Janome, and depending on how well that goes, I may be leaving the Viking family.

      • Viking replaced the entire tension unit for me. Fortunately I had purchased a 3 year warranty that included cleaning and issues for the three years. My problems cost me time, not money. The machine was back in a week … so far, so good. I know what you mean about frustration. I also only use Guterman thread and the Viking bobbin … and, I am meticulous about keeping the machine clean. It also sounds like we use our machines about the same amount of time each week so it is important to have something dependable. I’m hoping my Sapphire will be the dependable machine it was for the first year and a half. If I have tension problems again, I don’t know what I will do. Good luck with your Janome.

  12. Ladies –

    I thank you for sharing your experiences here on Sewing Insight. This kind of dialog and exchange is what I had hoped for when starting this website. I will share your concerns and experiences with the two Viking dealers who allow me to review the machines in their inventories. Hopefully they will be able to share some insights or solutions to your problems with the bobbin.

    Whatever their replies, I shall post them here for you.

    In the meantime… Happy stitching.

  13. Could someone please tell me the best blanket stitch setting on the 875? I want to use it for applique.

    • Hello, Eleanor –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      The precise blanket stitch you use will depend upon the fabric you use and the finished appearance you want. My suggestion is that you play around with your Sapphire 875 a little bit to determine your personal favorites. Bear in mind that your settings may need to be adjusted as your fabric choices change.

      Happy stitching.

  14. I’ve had mine 2.5 years now. When it works it’s amazing but it’s a real prima donna and often
    has issues. It rarely now cuts the thread, if it does urn usually only cuts the top thread not the bobbin thread and it then tells me there’s threwds under the stitch plate that I need to remove. I’ve had the whole cutter replaced but it still only works intermittently. The tension system completely failed
    About a year ago and was replaced but it still intermittent loses tension. It chews up fabric especially knits. I do love the big throat, on board storage for all the feet and bobbins, all the fab stitches, how it adjusts for all fabrics and mostly does that very well. It’s heavy and sturdy and fast. I just find myself using it less and less in favour of a vintage machine that just sews everytime I turn it on and doesn’t complain like the Husqvarna does

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