Welcome to the Quilting Board!
The 401 is a good machine and worth having. Oh! There is a curved stitch on it, I think #10, which is great for straight-line quilting, especially over seams. You can get part of the design on each side of the seam, strengthening the seam, and it looks good.
2. Oil the machine. I oil mine with every 8 hours of sewing, but maybe more often with fmq. Make sure the bobbin area is clean.
3. Drop the feed dogs. It's the screw under the bed to the back.
4. Set the stitch on zero (the line between forward and back).
5. Bring up your bobbin thread before you start. Loosen top tension a bit.
6. Use gloves for traction.
7. Practice on small quilt sandwiches.
You've done a beautiful job of the quilting on your quilts.
I've had five 301s through the years and have never been able to successfully do FMQ. The darning foot just doesn't seem to work properly. I use them for piecework and a Singer 15-90 or 237 treadle for FMQ.
Iswan, I have a 301 and want to try fmq on it. What is the all metal foot that you use, and where can I look for one. Thanks.