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Thread: What is a good vintage machine for FMQ?

  1. #1
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    What is a good vintage machine for FMQ?

    I dearly love my Singer 403A, but it's not so great for free motion quilting. The feed dogs don't drop and there is no stitch regulator foot. Anyone have suggestions on what other vintage machine works well for FMQ?

    ~ Cindy

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    None of the vintage machines have stitch regulation. Are you talking about a hopping or darning foot for free motion quilting? Yes, the 403 has a slant, darning foot available. But, I agree with you that they're not good for free motion. If you search through the vintage section, you'll see many people rely on their 301's for FMQing. I have many vintage machines that FMQ well. The 301 is one of them, but I have many others that do a fine job. The 400 and 500 series Singers are kind of unusual in that respect only because of their design.

  3. #3
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    Thanks...I'm using a darning foot on my 403A. Someone had mentioned to me that Bernina has a stitch regulator option available. Although, I don't know if the older machines do and the new ones are just too expensive. Besides, I really love the vintage machines that are sans computers and plastic, especially the old Singers. I've seriously considered a 301...maybe I'll look into getting one.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Vintage Berninas do not have stitch regulation. Only the newer machines do.

  5. #5
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have the 401A and have never had a problem free motion on it. I use it for everything with no problems. I had to buy a darning foot for it to make it work better.

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Crafty Pat - glad to know. I recently found my 401A and with lots of help from this wonderful board I got it up and running. I was hoping to try it on free motion. Would you please tell me what foot you are using and where you got it?

  7. #7
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I've done small amounts of FMQ on both of my 431Gs. It's essentially the German cousin of the 401, but with an open arm and the ability to chainstitch. They do fine. I used the darning foot that came with the machines, it's a 161596, almost all metal, but the very end of it. It squeaks though, and I douse it with Tri-flow when it does it. This foot from Alphasew may do the trick - P60417, though I don't love it, it seems like there's a "blind spot" from the plastic, which is slightly absurd, considering that it's clear plastic.

    I've also found that these machines seem to like a faster stitch speed for some reason, but not too fast, or you create eyelashing in corners.

    Many people choose not to drop the dogs to FMQ, including Leah Day, so don't let that hold you back. http://www.daystyledesigns.com/doiha...myfeeddogs.htm

    That said, I do find the 301 much easier to FMQ on. It "just works" where as it feels like I'm "concentrating" on the 431 to get a good result.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 431G, 411G, 503J, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99k, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Ultralock 14u64a (Serger), Pfaff 130-6, and a Kangaroo coming Nov 2013.

  8. #8
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    I have a variety of 301s. I leave one set up with a large quilt on it, another for smaller quilts, one for piecing. I use an all metal darning foot because of the great visibility. I use Isacord thread. They work phenomenal. I am partial to the LBOW ( light brown, oyster white) models. My 401 matches (use for zig zag). They are all steel gears, no belt, slant needle gives great visibility.
    Linda

  9. #9
    Junior Member totosmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropit View Post
    Anyone have suggestions on what other vintage machine works well for FMQ?

    ~ Cindy
    Hi Cindy. My small collection includes new and vintage Berninas as well as two 301s, a 201, and a 15-91. By far the easiest one to do FMQ on is the model 15. In fact, my 15-91 is always set up with its darning foot and the feed dogs down so that I can do FMQ at any time. And, even without any sort of stitch regulator, my results are attractive -- not perfect yet, but lovely. I will admit that I spent some time practicing on the model 15, but I would have done that anyway.

    If you come across one, I would definitely take the model 15 for a spin.
    Dorothy in PA

  10. #10
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    I use a 15-91 for FMQ'ing and love it! The feed dogs drop on the 15-91.
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

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