Last night I pulled out my old sewing machine (and the only other machine I have owned). It is a New Home JA 1508 model sewing machine. Very basic, has a few decorative stitches, uses dials to set stitch length and so forth, nothing fancy (no needle up/down). Stitch was great, looked as good or better than what I get on my Janome 4800. Fabric fed through great (chain piecing).
Back when I was looking to upgrade to a more "modern" machine, one of the reasons was that I wanted to learn to FMQ. I was under the impression that the feed dogs had to drop or it was a no-go. Until I started reading on this forum - I still believed that (thought the machine would blow up or something if one tried it without dropping the feed dogs! ). First I tried it with the darning plate on (my FMQ foot from my 4800 fits this machine). It worked!! Seemed a little bit harder to move the fabric, so I decided to try without the darning plate. Even better!! I did try FMQ on my 4800 in this manner (feed dogs still up) - didn't seem to work as well for me as with the feed dogs dropped. But was thrilled to see it working in this older machine.
While I probably wouldn't FMQ on this machine (harp space is just a bit smaller than on my 4800), it is nice to know that in a pinch, on a smaller project, I could do it. Also, am thrilled with my new sewing machine set up. Two machines, one set up for FMQ practice, the other for piecing. I will practice my FMQ more if I don't have to change everything around on my machine to go back and forth between piecing and quilting.
Now I just want to figure out some sort of carrying case for this machine (so if I take a class I can take this one).