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Thread: PQ 1500 - need some answers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    PQ 1500 - need some answers

    Got this last month, I like it, but there are a few strange things.

    First off - I have an older Pfaff, and like a lot of Pfaffies, we did almost everything in classes - including adjusting tension, bobbin tension, dropping feed dogs. Thread painting. If it was possible on that machine, we did it.

    That said - the 1500 has the same type bobbin case. I took mine out to change thread color, and the tension was loose. If I picked up the bobbin by the thread, the bobbin just slid down. This has happened twice with 2 different Brother bobbin cases. Does the machine vibrate them loose? The Pfaff stays put.

    How far down do the feed dogs go? Even when on the lowered setting they must still be up a bit. I covered the feed dogs and used a slider. There were marks on the back of the slider where the feed dogs hit. They were lowered.

    I can feel a hitch that I can't find in the threading. Aurifil and Prescencia curl like pigs' tails. The stitches look as they should, balanced, but coming down from the takeup lever, the thread is curled. I've used all these threads on the Pfaff, and nothing except clear thread has curled like that. I can feel some resistance like a burr somewhere when pulling the thread from the needle with the foot up. I have an upright spool holder on the Pfaff.

    I don't want to have to return the machine - if there is an easier solution I'd appreciate it. The machine is threaded as in the manual, since the Pfaff uses the same bobbin system I have no trouble in remembering which way the bobbin goes, I wind the bobbin slower than most and make sure it is filled evenly. The machine is cleaned and oiled. I've checked everything I can think of except flossing tension disks.
    Last edited by Weezy Rider; 02-18-2013 at 07:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    I have the Baby Lock Jane, which is the larger duplicate of your machine..made by the same company and looks identical just bigger - no problem with my tension in the months I've been using her. my feed dogs go all the way down when I have it on the fully dropped setting - there are three or four settings (not sitting at my machine right now). As far as the curling threads - try putting the thread spool/cone in a cup at the back of the machine then run the thread up and through the channels to see if that takes care of that issue - I have not experienced that situation myself. At the very least, try calling the repair shop to see if they can give you any tips to avoid a shop visit.
    Kate

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    It sounds like maybe this isn't the machine for you. I've seen you in other forums with the same complaints, and apparently all the answers you got there haven't helped. Maybe it's time to go to the dealer and either have them address the issues or exchange the machine for one you like better.

  4. #4
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    If my stitches were coming out nicely, I wouldn't worry about it. I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
    Bernie

  5. #5
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I have this exact machine, and had a lot of problems at first...Here are some links to threads I posted here, some have pics of things that helped me...One big thing is the free motion foot that came with the machine does not fit it...meaning it is totally off on size, one of my posts has a pic of what I mean...also I ended up ordering a 2nd bobbin case...that way I have one that I turn the screw on to tighten/loosen tension as needed..and the other one I leave at default (or the way it came...lol)..
    Here are the links:
    I need help with tension issues...machine not me...yet!!...
    Needle breaking with fmq..weird hollow pop sound..and a bit o' whine...
    FMQ....finally I think I got it!!...for now, anyways...
    Picture of FMQ feet for Brother PQ1500
    If you have any other questions, please feel free to pm me...it took me a while to get used to this machine, but now I do love it, especially for piecing, the pin feed really helps, and my fmq is getting better, but that is on me, NOT the machine... I did just buy the Janome Horizon 7700, mainly because my 1500 is straight stitch only...and I wanted as large a bed as I could afford on a domestic machine that has other stitches...haven't had a chance to try her out yet, tho...
    Take care,
    Kif
    Last edited by kiffie2413; 02-18-2013 at 02:47 PM.
    In the garden of life everyone has a row to hoe, some people just have more weeds...

    Always do right, it will gratify some and astonish the rest...Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I didn't see where you ordered the new foot for the Brother. I have this machine and I have the hollow popping sound too! Do you have a link where you bought the foot?
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I did the modified foot from Leah Day, got the popping noise, figured that one out and adjusted the elastic on the foot.

    No one has answered about the feed dogs. Are they slightly closer to the top than normal?

    I've tangled with and can usually run any machine. I can also hear a difference in sounds when the machine decides to pull a fast one. I bought the machine from All Brands as the local dealer was not interested. It would be a pain to return it if it is an idiosyncrasy of the machine and can be lived with or got around. It does everything else well. I do a lot of SITD. Does a great job. It pieces well. Just used the walking foot - that works. It went over junctions on a raggy quilt that would choke my Pfaff unless I dug out the hump jumper.

    On reflection - maybe it was the raggy. I was using flannel, cotton and muslin backing. Maybe that isn't de rigeur for FMQ. I changed threads and I got all the rest of the stencils FMQ. I had fabric I didn't want to cut up and made a single block and FMQ block designs on them.

    I haven't had eyelashes or the usual rats nests. I will get one loop only, not where I stop, and it feels like something is jerking. Then it will sew OK again. It could have been the crappy flannel I got from Joanne as the practice stuff is doing OK. I've tried a new needle, but will try a topstitching needle. I did wash the flannel. The last time I did this, I was using the embroidery machine.

    I am looking for another FMQ foot, but I want one with a metal bar that attaches to the shaft, not that nylon piece.

    Thanks for the replies.

    I like machinery. I like to know how machinery works and why it works. Well running machinery is a joy.
    Last edited by Weezy Rider; 02-18-2013 at 04:13 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have the 1500 which I also purchased from All Brands. The feed dogs go all the way down. I have it doing FMQ right now and I can't feel the feed dogs at all when I run my finger over them.

    The FMQ foot that came with mine is all metal. It was a closed circle which I hated so I cut the front of it open to make a nice wide C shape. This works much better for me. My FMQ was horrible for a long time, but I had never done it before. It's passable now so I assume the problems were me, not the machine.

    I have had no thread curling issues. I use only 2 or the 3 holes in the top thread guide. The only threads I use are cheap. Coats and Clark, giant cones of serger thread from Joann's.

    All in all, I love this machine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    Thanks - I accidentally covered the feed dogs with a slider (mine has a cutout) There were black marks on the slider where the feed dogs hit it even though they were in the lowest position. I can slightly feel mine.

    The serger thread and some of the other threads like King Tut didn't curl. The only time it is a nuisance is when the thread is so curled that releasing the tension on the thread pulls the thread out of the needle. That can be worked around if it's that common. I have a feeling the curling is caused by that thread guide on the top.

    I do like the machine. It does everything else so well that if something is NOT a mechanical problem, I can work around it. It's just that all the reviews are not mechanically specific. Most just say thread breaks all the time which is no help.
    Or that it's no good for FMQ. I can get thread to break all the time in any machine.

    My Pfaff 2170 must have the lousiest thread cutter in the industry. It cuts too short, thread gets caught, and in one instance, it actually might have tried to short a circuit on the board. I can live with it - I turned it off and I just cut threads the old-fashioned way. I wouldn't trade for a new TOL.

    If you go back and read the posts from the gentleman about his wife's Janome 6600, everyone chimed in with hints.
    The ones about the lint collecting were good. That's an idiosyncrasy of the machine - now he knows and can deal with it. The 1500 seems to be either all love or all hate and not too many hints in between.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    I have this machine and the main thing about it is, it needs to be oiled FREQUENTLY. By that I mean, every time you use it. I know it sounds like a lot, but it makes a difference. Just a drop in each port. I use a pin point oiler. The race hook should be oiled with each bobbin change, again, just a small drop. These machines operate so quickly that they build up a lot of friction, and oil is needed. I lauged that you compared this machine to your Pfaff. I have also had many Pfaffs over the years and that is like comparing oranges and apples. Did you know you can just remove the feed dogs? If all you do is FM, then I would do that. I used mine on a frame until I purchased my longarm, and I removed the feed dogs...then put them back when I wanted to use it for regular piecing. It is just a matter of a few tiny screws...but put them where you can find them! A visit back to the dealer might not be a bad idea, you might pick up some good pointers that way. Best of luck to you, I know this can be frustrating.
    Michelle Guadarrama

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