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Thread: Singer 301A and Kenmore 1802

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Singer 301A and Kenmore 1802

    I have both of these machines and wondering which one would be the best to quilt on. The 301A is in a cabinet and not portable (she is my avatar). The Kenmore 1802 is heavy as lead but is portable if I put it in a case and cart around. I've had the Kenmore since 1971.

    I'm new to the quilting world so I don't need a lot of fancy stuff and don't have the money for a new fancy dancy machine! I love my old machines....just not sure which one is 'better' as far as quiliting is concerned.

    I also have my 1964 white Singer 221 FW that my Mom bought for me to learn to sew on when I was 15...just worried about quilting anything larger than a baby quilt or the motor might just burn up. Yikes...don't want that. Just finished my first quilt using this little girl and she pieced and quilted my wall hanging almost all by herself. It's like she knew what to do without me! See my other post to see a pic of the quilt.

    Appreciate your advice!

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Well, here's my answer.

    Use them all. You will decide as you use them which does what you are trying to do the best.

    Personally I like lots of room under the arch and around the needle. Modern type squarish machines, or those with the two piece plastic bodies are not even on my list of machines to use.


    As for the motor on the 221 .... lube it properly and keep the belt adjusted and it's gonna be fine. That is not a week kneed motor.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I don't think your avatar is a 301. Does it have a number on a small plate under the stitch regulator? It may be a 400 or 500 series. Does the Kenmore have a vertical bobbin? The FW and the 400 will piece well and the 400 will sew anything you want it to. Usually a vertical bobbin like the FW has FMQs better, but lots of people have luck with horizontal ones. I would not FMQ anything larger than a placemat or table runner with the FW, especially a precious little white one.

    Why buy a new machine? These old girls were meant to do whatever we ask of them. I am FMQ on the 301 right now and a Montgomery Wards 15 clone has snowballs started. I'm thinking of a 15 in cabinet, but I really don't need it.

  4. #4
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    Irishrose is right. A 301A is smaller and has a handle for portability. That is a 401 in your avatar.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I think I would quilt on the Kenmore. The Singers are awesome machines ... My Mother's 401 is the first machine I ever sewed on, but it has a horizontal bobbin and the throat plate raises up instead of the feed dogs lowering, so the throat plate keeps the quilt from sliding as easily for FMQ. The FW (I have 2) is a great piecing machine but doesn't have the harp space for quilting much. Your Kenmore is just a workhorse. My mom got a 70's Kenmore to sew knits since the 401 didn't have any stretch stitches. Then they got me one as a HS graduation gift ... I still have mine and so does my Mom. You don't need a new machine to quilt on ... Keep them cleaned and oiled and they will serve you well.
    Last edited by Skyangel; 08-30-2012 at 10:46 AM.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  6. #6
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Maybe my eyes are fooling me, but I thought it was a Rocketeer there in your avatar (Singer 500 series)
    A 301 makes a fantastic free motion quilting machine because of the vertical bobbin. I was amazed at the difference in control I had with mine.
    Last edited by BuzzinBumble; 08-30-2012 at 04:34 PM.
    Lara B.
    ... My husband lets me buy all the fabric I can hide.

    http://www.buzzinbumble.com/


  7. #7
    Senior Member DanofNJ's Avatar
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    Actually, the avatar is a Singer 403a. Identical to 401a except no built in cams...have to use the top hats.

  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Good ID, Dan. I don't know the 400 series, but I do know my two 301s - one very well and one in the get acquainted stage.

    Stitch124, you can still get a 301 for under $100 on ebay if you aren't fussy about color and if you are patient. If the Kenmore won't FMQ, you might want to consider it.

    This one is buy now for $59.95
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-SING...#ht_841wt_1178

    This one has the cradle that you can turn around and sell for at least $25.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-1951-Si...#ht_746wt_1178 Whoops, no cord with this one so that's another $15 ish.
    Last edited by irishrose; 08-30-2012 at 06:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanofNJ View Post
    Actually, the avatar is a Singer 403a. Identical to 401a except no built in cams...have to use the top hats.
    You are correct - I have one - it is my 'go to' machine... I love it.
    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
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Yup I was wrong - definitely not a Rocketeer, but a 403A. I did not know that the 403s look so different than the 401s - a bit spiffier.
    Irish Rose has a great idea - you could get a 301 for not too much and they sure are great quilting machines!
    Lara B.
    ... My husband lets me buy all the fabric I can hide.

    http://www.buzzinbumble.com/


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