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Thread: Comparing Kenmore 3/4 size, Featherweight or 301?

  1. #1
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    Comparing Kenmore 3/4 size, Featherweight or 301?

    Hi all,
    I have a Featherweight that I take to my quilting group but am wondering whether I "need" something tougher, maybe one of the portable Kenmores like a 1040, or a Singer 301. I like my Featherweight but you know how this addiction is... I always wonder if i need more machines. Do any of you have suggestions about whether to add to my portable collection? I have three other Kenmores that stay in cabinets, so, no shortage of options at home.
    Ila in Denver

  2. #2
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    You're not likely to get too many people telling you not to get more machines around here.
    You have to make up your own mind. Ask yourself what your likes and dislikes are for your featherweight and what features you might want that it doesn't have or that another machine might do better. A 301 isn't going to weigh much more and shares the same bobbins as your featherweight. I think it's a slant shank machine so feet won't interchange though. I don't recall seeing too many people complaining that their featherweights are fragile. They're tiny but they seem to hold up well. I'm not familiar enough with the Kenmores to know if you would like one better or not.
    That or just go out and buy at least one of each so you can try them all.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  3. #3
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    No, my Featherweight is not fragile. It's a little tank. I love it -- I just worry about larger pieces of quilt tops feeding through with those tiny little feed dogs. Once my blocks are pieced on the FW, I do the rest of the assembly on a Kenmore in a cabinet. So, I think your comment has made me realize that what I want is a portable machine that can handle larger chunks of piecework, if that makes sense. Depending on what stage of quilt assembly I'm at, I might want something heavier, but not too heavy to drag to my car... a 301, then... maybe.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Lots of people love those little 3/4 size Kenmores. They start at the 1030 and go up for 4 or 5 models, each adding a new feature or two.

    Cari

  5. #5
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    I think there's a kenmore 1020 as well but never seen one. I have few, 301, and a 3/4 kenmore. I haven't sewn on any exclusively but one bee a lot of the quilters are using fw, another sewin a quilter has a painted 301..never seen the kenmore being used..seems like newer machines after tha tut all it takes is one person to show up with something cool...my aunt uses her fw for binding seems like and she hasn't had a problem. Don't think I'd try quilting on mine since I do bigger quilts but might try a baby quilt sometime. All I do at quilt thingies us piece and sometimes a rag quilt

  6. #6
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    The little kenmore is still small would prob have more room with the 301

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    A good lightweight 3/4 size machine is a Japanese clone of the Singer 99K-10. They are made from aluminum and are the same as the 99s but don't weigh any more than the FWs. They have more room under the arch, stronger motors and share the same feet and accessories. The only supply difference is they use Class 66 bobbins and are top loading. Many folks don't like the top loading part. Me ... I prefer it.

    These machines can be seen badged as Bantams or just named as my SEWMOR 303 is:
    Name:  IMG_5138.JPG
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    Notice the feather through the logo.

    These are what I'd go for if I wanted a 3/4 sized carry around machine. Oh ... right, I already have one

    Joe
    I love the old iron and wood machines. They're solid and reliable.
    Founder of IAAA - I Am An Anachronism .

  8. #8
    Senior Member oldtnquiltinglady's Avatar
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    Joe, you're right about the Spartan. I have one that is beautiful and light and sews like a dream. I use it when I am holding classes; let the ladies have their choice, FW, 301, Spartan, 99k, and new Janome (if I take on that many students at one sitting.). My room gets crowded quickly.

    And, yes, I do see the feather. But I had to go back and really look.
    Make every day count for something!

    JoAnn

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The Kenmore does more stitches.... I love the little 185s 99s and Spartan machines, too. I have a little Domestic machine that only weighs about 10 or 11 lbs - it is a neat little machine - it runs backwards. I have a 3/4 Montgomery Ward that does zz, too. Why be so mainstream - there are lots of little machines out there. Have fun and enjoy what comes your way. FW has the big advantage of status.
    Last edited by miriam; 08-25-2014 at 11:09 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Here is a link to a very ancient post - it is a fun read:
    You've just gotta love the 'Little Old Ladies' (3/4 size or smaller vintage machine)
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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