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Thread: Brother PQ 1500s - does anyone have this machine?

  1. #1
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Brother PQ 1500s - does anyone have this machine?

    I tried to do a search but got way too many hits, so thought I'd start a new thread. If there is an existing thread, would you point me to it? I just acquired a Brother PQ1500s machine for a song and a dance ($150.00) and wondered if anyone has one and would like to chat about it. I got it from a person who had purchased it at auction so she knew nothing about the machine. It appears to have all the accessories and was packed in the original box. I haven't even threaded mine yet, but was surprised that the needle is turned to the side like the vintage machines -- haven't seen that in 35 years or more. The instruction book is woefully inadequate from a quilting standpoint. So... before I start the engines, does anyone have any hints or advice on the machine? I plan to oil the machine and set it up this afternoon.

    Two questions right off the bat. I couldn't find any info on bobbin type in the instructions and the official Brother bobbins are over $1.00 each on Amazon. Are there generic bobbins available that are cheaper? Also the instructions state to only use feet the came with the machine due to the pin feed. Is there a 1/4" quilting foot with a guide that is made for this machine? I much prefer to use one with the guide. Thanks in advance for any pointers you might have.

  2. #2
    Junior Member TShooters's Avatar
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    I'm interested in buying this machine/model also, and will be interested to read reviews on this thread, and your impressions when you try it, Belfrybat.

    Thanks!
    Count your life by smiles, not tears. Count your age by friends, not years.

    "I, myself, am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

  3. #3
    RJ
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    Junior Member RJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
    I tried to do a search but got way too many hits, so thought I'd start a new thread. If there is an existing thread, would you point me to it? I just acquired a Brother PQ1500s machine for a song and a dance ($150.00) and wondered if anyone has one and would like to chat about it. I got it from a person who had purchased it at auction so she knew nothing about the machine. It appears to have all the accessories and was packed in the original box. I haven't even threaded mine yet, but was surprised that the needle is turned to the side like the vintage machines -- haven't seen that in 35 years or more. The instruction book is woefully inadequate from a quilting standpoint. So... before I start the engines, does anyone have any hints or advice on the machine? I plan to oil the machine and set it up this afternoon.

    Two questions right off the bat. I couldn't find any info on bobbin type in the instructions and the official Brother bobbins are over $1.00 each on Amazon. Are there generic bobbins available that are cheaper? Also the instructions state to only use feet the came with the machine due to the pin feed. Is there a 1/4" quilting foot with a guide that is made for this machine? I much prefer to use one with the guide. Thanks in advance for any pointers you might have.



    I have a Brother 1500 that I have had for about 8 years.....It is my "go-to" work horse---use it for all my piecing--used to have it on a hinterberg frame and machine quilted with it.....it is a wonderful no frill machine---no electronics
    to go out.....you can manually adjust tension if needed---needle threads from the side as that is where the needle threader is. The walking foot that comes with it is the best I have ever used...easy to clean---easy to maintain--I have
    sewed thru thick jeans and even leather. You will love this machine.

    If you have ever had trouble with your machine grabbing the leading edge of fabric when starting a seam and going down into the hole----you will not have that problem with this one

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have the juki tl98q which is a 'twin' to this machine. the needle is 'sideways' because of the position of the bobbin. i use cardboard prewounds in my machine [and i use mine on a frame]. hope that helps a little
    Nancy in western NY
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  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have the Brother Nouvelle 1500S. I'm think they are just about the same if not totall the same.

    Mine uses bobbin 55623s. It came with 150 bobbins when I bought it, so I've never bought more. Here is a link to Allbrands that shows the bobbin. http://www.allbrands.com/search?search=bobbin+55623s

    Mine came with several feet. It has a 1/4" foot but not the type with a guide bar. I've never used that kinds so I've never looked for it. I will say I have put other feet on it that didn't come with the machine and have had no problems.

  6. #6
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I bought the Brother Nouvelle 15000S a few months ago to use on a quilting frame. I have to admit that I still am using my older Brother machine for all of my sewing needs. I just can't seem to get use to this new one. I love the feature it has of cutting both threads but I miss being able to SEE when the bobbin thread is getting low. I ended up packing it up in the pretty purple case that it came with. I plan to get it out again sometime and try and use it more often...but I really love my older machine even more.

    Here was my set up when I first bought it.

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    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Daughter has the machine you are talking about. She loves it and pieces and quilts with it. It does need to be oiled. It is a straight stitch only and that is what both of us do. I would snatch it up in a heartbeat.
    Another Phyllis
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    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    I have had the Brother 1500 for several years. Keep it cleaned and oiled and it will be a workhorse for you. Be sure to thread it properly. I have miss threaded mine on occasion and it has problems with that. I use mine for piecing and quilting and it is wonderful! Sounds like you got a great deal. It has a 1/4 inch foot, but no guide bar on it. I use a sticky note on the machine for that. As for the bobbins, I'm not sure of the cost.

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I have a Brother Nouvelle 1500s, the same machine as nygal pictured. Of the six machines I own, it is by far my favorite. It is an absolute workhorse. On my machine, the pin for the pin feed is removable. My machine came with a 1/4" foot and has markings on the plate for 1/4", 1/2", and 5/8" seam allowances. I've used paper-sided bobbins in this machine with success. I've also purchased metal bobbins in bulk from a friend who runs a quilting supply business out of her home, they are the basic L bobbins you can purchase anywhere.

    For $150, you got a great deal!

  10. #10
    Junior Member phranny's Avatar
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    I have that machine and I love it. At 1500 st per minute, it really goes! I bought it with a frame similar to the one pictured above, but found the quilting area to be painfully small, especially once you start rolling the quilt. My machine repair man said it needs a drop of oil every four bobbin changes, and I do that religiously, on account of the high speed at which it can be run at.

    I use it mainly for piecing now, and it truly is a work horse. It does not have a 1/4" foot, but a tip I learned from Bonnie Hunter was to tape an old key card from a motel room out a 1/4 inch and this provides a nice edge to work against.

    Enjoy your new machine!
    phranny ~ I cannot call my day complete. 'til needle, thread, and fabric meet.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have a 1/4" foot for mine but it does not have the guide. If your needle comes unthreaded when using the auto thread cutter, only thread through one hole of the three hole bar on top. I never thread more then one hole. The manual is about worthless but gives some info. It needs to be kept oiled, it uses a lot of oil as it is all mechanical. There is an adapter for it that will let you use the Brother snap on feet. It works fine. The bobbins I use are solid on one side and have the small grid of holes on the other side. I guess the solid side may go one way in the bobbin case but I never check which way mine goes. It sews fine either way.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 12-05-2012 at 10:23 AM.
    Got fabric?

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    this machine has been my go-to girl for about 10 years and she sews as well today as she did on day 1!! Keep her oiled and do your normal machine matience weekly and your girl will give you years of great sewing. I have done about a million quilts from start to finish and I love to FMQ....everything from baby size to King size without a frame....but that is just me!! Find a good sewing machine store and you can pick up metal bobbins for about a dollar apiece....just make sure they are made for the Brother machines. You found/got a GREAT DEAL on this workhorse of a machine. FWIW....I never sew petal to the metal, just a nice easy speed when I FMQ and have gotten great results...remember to drop the feed dogs!! Enjoy her....

  13. #13
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=phranny;5700193]I have that machine and I love it. At 1500 st per minute, it really goes! I bought it with a frame similar to the one pictured above, but found the quilting area to be painfully small, especially once you start rolling the quilt.

    phranny, I found the same problem with the frame I bought. I felt I was spending so much time rolling and unrolling than I was machine quilting!! I will have to get mine out and just get use to using it for my sewing.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  14. #14
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I appreciate knowing the size of bobbins as I couldn't find that anywhere in the instruction book! And it never occurred to me it could be used in a frame, but I doubt I will as I want to learn FMQ either on her or the vintage Singer I bought a couple of weeks ago. I am now sewing machine rich!

    I tried the machine out today and am really happy with the way she sews. The only "ought" I have is the walking foot doesn't have the hole for a guide, and it appears the guide that comes with the machine can't be used with the walking foot (dumb if you ask me). The Janome does have the hole and it's so convenient to pop the guide in to follow a previous row of stitching -- up to 3" apaart. Does anyone have a suggestion for a work-around, as I really don't want to have to mark all those lines on the quilt.

    Tomorrow I'm going to test the free-motion foot as it is different than others I've used in it has plastic in the circle with just a small hole in it.

    Oh, and I need to name her. So far I have Jan (Janome), Bess (vintage Singer) and Lemon (modern Singer not even worth the price of lemonade).
    Last edited by Belfrybat; 12-05-2012 at 03:49 PM.

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    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    My 1500 has a 1/4" foot which is actually a Juki foot and loves oil!

  16. #16
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    I bought the Brother Nouvelle 15000S a few months ago to use on a quilting frame. ..Here was my set up when I first bought it.
    nygal, can you please tell me what type of frame you have? I've got frame fever. :-) Thanks, Laura

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    I bought a high shank adapter and 1/4 inch foot with guide from amazon. Been using it a year with no problem. I also paid $150 for mine from Craigslist. Mine came with an add on for the walking foot guide. It is just a holder for the guide that attaches to the back of the walking foot with double sticky tape. No idea where she got the adapter.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    That's a great deal!!! Congratulations
    The Potomac Quilter
    Innova 26 with Lightning Stitch and Autopilot

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    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Will someone explain to me what pin feed actually is, just curious
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

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    I also have the 1500 and it's a work horse. One of the best investments I ever made.

  21. #21
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    Will someone explain to me what pin feed actually is, just curious
    A pin feed is a little pin that sticks up from the feed dogs and helps with difficult-to-sew fabrics, such as velvet, suede, etc. My manual says it's good for quilting but I've never used it for that. The pin moves up and down with the feed dogs.
    Here's a pic of it sticking up at the back of the feed dogs:

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    Here's what it looks like out of the machine. The needle in front of it is just for a sense of scale.

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  22. #22
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    My frame is by Ken Lund. He has sold a lot of them. In the picture I posted above it shows the wheels that came with it from the kit. But my dh ended up changing them to four coaster roller wheels. That way I was able to do swirls much easier. For under $200.00 I was glad to be able to see what it was all about. But in all honesty the space that was available to actually quilt in height wise at a time was not very much and I found I was rolling and unrolling the fabrics more than actually quilting.

    When the mood hits I want to get my machine back out and give FMQ a try with it.

    Here is Ken demonstrating his frame..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F24UUQdBW5I
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  23. #23
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I use the pin feed with regular piecing. My fabric pieces sew perfectly even.
    Got fabric?

  24. #24
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I have a PQ1500 Brother machine also and love it...my biggest problem is that I don't really have the time to use it ...it is great for both piecing and for quilting...I mostly use it for quilting though as my other machine is a Bernina, and I do have the 1/4" foot with guide for that machine, and sometimes don't want to be going so fast when piecing...can get a bit ahead of myself with the Brother.

  25. #25
    Senior Member madamepurl's Avatar
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    I love this machine. It does love the oil, but that's not an issue at all. I just giver her a sip every now and again. I find it does nearly perfect piecing and can take heavy seams without an issue. I would never part with her. She's my star.
    - Rose

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