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Thread: Brother PQ 1500s Free-Motion Foot Question

  1. #1
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    Brother PQ 1500s Free-Motion Foot Question

    I love my Brother PQ 1500s sewing machine for free motion quilting and piecing, but I have a question. The free motion foot works great while FMQ, but it's so hard to see what I am doing. I feel somewhat like I quilt sight-impaired because I cannot see because of the way this FM foot is designed. I went on ebay to find an open-toe FM foot and even found one that looks exactly like foot that came with my Brother machine, only it does have the open toe. I was so excited to buy it and try it. It did fit my machine, but it would NOT operate as smoothly as my FM foot. It sat up a bit higher too and made a bit of a racket when I tried to use it and the bottom line it didn't work or quilt with good stitches. I returned it and explained my reasons as I am explaining here.

    I tried other open toe FM generic feet too and they did not work either. Doesn't Brother make this foot in an open toe for THIS machine? I cannot find answers anywhere. I don't understand why the foot that comes with the machines quilts beautifully, yet no other foot I have tried will work right. I would even be willing to buy a new foot and take the foot I have now and have someone cut out the opening to make it and open toe if that would mean that it would work, but I am a bit afraid to try this as it might not work or be a pricey experiment. But the plastic on my FM foot is getting rather scratched and even harder to see what I am doing.

    I DO NOT have a quilting frame. I have my machine in a table my husband built. I suppose if this were set up in a frame I would be able to quilt without as much of a problem, but I do not have the space for a frame and I use this machine for every kind of straight stitch sewing and quilting of course.

    Has anyone else had a problem seeing while quilting with this foot? Has anyone purchased an open toe FM foot that worked with success? Does anyone know why other FM open toe feet do not work with this machine?

    I really appreciate any responses and answers to these questions.


  2. #2
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    Leah Day has a tutorial on her site on how to cut a closed toe foot to make it an open one. My Janome 1600p doesn't have an open toed foot either & I'm going to get an extra foot & cut it open. I think our machines are similar & my dealer said they are considered light industrial machines & I cannot get an open toed foot for it. I've seen feet online that look like they would fit too- I wonder if it is the same one you bought.

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    I have been dealing with exactly the same problem the last month, I bought an old Singer 15-91 and bought the disk shaped darning foot, I could FMQ with it, but I couldn't see the needle where it touched the fabric or couldn't see beyond making it difficult to follow a pattern line. I went back on line and bought a open toe foot, it doesn't touch down as far as the first one did, I am having to learn it all over again because it feels different, but I think it is going to work for me. I can definitely see where I am going and what I am doing now, much better. I don't know anything about Brother machines, but you may be able to find an another brand - machine that attaches in the same fashion the Brother machine fits. When I was searching I struck out looking for FMQ feet, my search went much better looking for a Darning foot, it works the same and I found many more options. I would call a sewing machine store or repair shop and ask them if theirs another sewing machine that has feet that will interchange with your Brother machine. Hope this helps. I wish you success.
    Mother yourself just as you would your own children, you will be surprised how much better you feel...Debbie Marie

  4. #4
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    That little plastic disc that is in the original Brother fmq foot will pop out. I have same machine and had same problem. Just took a pair of pliers and fiddled it out. Works fine now.

  5. #5
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggiemay View Post
    Leah Day has a tutorial on her site on how to cut a closed toe foot to make it an open one. My Janome 1600p doesn't have an open toed foot either & I'm going to get an extra foot & cut it open. I think our machines are similar & my dealer said they are considered light industrial machines & I cannot get an open toed foot for it. I've seen feet online that look like they would fit too- I wonder if it is the same one you bought.
    I have opened 2 diff feet like she demonstrates...worked great. The foot you bought w /open toe-- thats noisy & clacking?? Might be it is too high above your quilt...can you adjust it down so it barely skims the fabric?

  6. #6
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with my 1500S, and like you Patchouli, I have been afraid to use Leah Day's method to "fix" it. I am going to try Barbo's method. Not as radical as cutting the metal but should improve visability. Thanks for the topic and the information.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Babylock Jane has that kind of foot and I don't have a problem quilting with it. My Daughter has that same machine and she hasn't had a problem either.
    Another Phyllis
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    Emma ~I tried one of those plastic feet like Leah shows where she cuts it for visibility. Those feet do not work on my Brother machine at all. So I did not cut it to make it open. I emailed Brother about this and I hope they can answer me or at least make a foot that fits and works because I told them as owners of this machine we would all buy this foot!
    Last edited by PatchouliMoonStudio; 05-04-2013 at 04:46 AM.

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    Barbo117~ Did you also cut the metal to make it an open toe? Or just pop out the plastic disk? Does it still feel the same while quilting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mermaid View Post
    I have opened 2 diff feet like she demonstrates...worked great. The foot you bought w /open toe-- thats noisy & clacking?? Might be it is too high above your quilt...can you adjust it down so it barely skims the fabric?
    Mermaid~ Those plastic feet don't work with my machine. I bought one to try it before I cut into it and it doesn't quilt. I have tried playing with the pressure and it still doesn't sit down on my fabric like it should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    My Babylock Jane has that kind of foot and I don't have a problem quilting with it. My Daughter has that same machine and she hasn't had a problem either.
    Jingle~ I don't have a problem quilting with the foot that came with my Brother, just a problem seeing where I am quilting. If I keep moving the quilt and quilt going toward me I can see well enough, but if I change directions and go back or to the side, I have trouble seeing. There is more wrestling with the quilt to always be moving toward myself.

  12. #12
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    This machine takes a long shank foot for any kind of foot. Check with Ken's sewing center they carry a FMQ foot for this machine (also the bobbins) Be aware that the part number for Ken's is different then the instruction book but according to Brother's customer service it is the correct number. Another reason for cutting out the plastic is that it can get burrs in the whole causing thread to fray.
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

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    Thank you everyone for responding to this. I emailed Brother to ask them if they made an open-toe FMQ foot or if a generic foot would work. Their response was they do not make this foot for the PQ 1500s, but they would forward my suggestion about this to the department in charge of such things. They also told me using an open-toe FMQ foot that is generic or meant for another brand of machine could damage my machine. Okay maybe that is true and maybe not, but I don't want to take that chance. Besides, the feet I have tried obviously do not work and do make noise and do not quilt well. They didn't answer me about if I were to cut out the Brother FMQ foot I have and convert it to an open toe, if that would work. I didn't think they would respond to that.

    So if they do indeed create an open-toe FMQ foot in the future, how long would it take? A few years? If I altered the one I have and it didn't work, I would have to buy a new foot. If it works I'm good to go. If they start selling an open-toe foot I would buy one. So if I ruin the foot I have I would buy a new foot. If I wait and see if they make this foot in the future, I would buy that foot, either way I would be spending money for a foot. I do not have a saw for cutting the foot properly, so I think I will start by taking the suggestion of popping out the plastic disk first and see if that's all I need. If not I will ask a friend of mine if she can cut out the front metal portion to make it open.

    If I alter this foot I will let you know how or if it worked.

  14. #14
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I also own the Brother PQ1500. I wish it gave a signal when you are running low on bobbin thread. I am so use to seeing when my thread bobbin is getting low on my every day Brother machine but with the PQ you just "run out" without out notice.
    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.

  15. #15
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Patchouli: Will be watching for your update. Thanks for introducing this topic and for your work with the Brother company. As a group we certainly have forced changes in machines in the past.

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    Red face PQ 1500 settings that actuall work with the generic open toe foot.

    [QUOTE=PatchouliMoonStudio;6041877]I love my Brother PQ 1500s sewing machine for free motion quilting and piecing, but I have a question. The free motion foot works great while FMQ, but it's so hard to see what I am doing. I feel somewhat like I quilt sight-impaired because I cannot see because of the way this FM foot is designed. I went on ebay to find an open-toe FM foot and even found one that looks exactly like foot that came with my Brother machine, only it does have the open toe. I was so excited to buy it and try it. It did fit my machine, but it would NOT operate as smoothly as my FM foot. It sat up a bit higher too and made a bit of a racket when I tried to use it and the bottom line it didn't work or quilt with good stitches. I returned it and explained my reasons as I am explaining here.

    I tried other open toe FM generic feet too and they did not work either. Doesn't Brother make this foot in an open toe for THIS machine? I cannot find answers anywhere. I don't understand why the foot that comes with the machines quilts beautifully, yet no other foot I have tried will work right. I would even be willing to buy a new foot and take the foot I have now and have someone cut out the opening to make it and open toe if that would mean that it would work, but I am a bit afraid to try this as it might not work or be a pricey experiment. But the plastic on my FM foot is getting rather scratched and even harder to see what I am doing.

    I DO NOT have a quilting frame. I have my machine in a table my husband built. I suppose if this were set up in a frame I would be able to quilt without as much of a problem, but I do not have the space for a frame and I use this machine for every kind of straight stitch sewing and quilting of course.

    Has anyone else had a problem seeing while quilting with this foot? Has anyone purchased an open toe FM foot that worked with success? Does anyone know why other FM open toe feet do not work with this machine?

    I really appreciate any responses and answers to these questions.

    Hi - Hopefully I am not too late to add to this post. I bought a generic open toe foot for my Brother PQ-1500 and had the same issues. The foot cost $11.99 so I tossed in a drawer. I decided to give that foot another whirl. Finally success and I mean I cannot get a skipped stitch or a knot ball or any of the other issues I had been having. I am not an expert at free-motion but give it my best. This is what I found worked at least for my machine: 100/16 Universal needle, tension set at 2, 1 7/8th's stitch length (one click left of 1 1/2), dogs down and Coats Surlock 100% Polyester thread (3,000 yd roll $2.49 Walmart) top and bottom. The PQ-1500 has become my go to machine. Economical, semi-industrial and oh so handy. I love the machine.

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    The Brother 1500 and the Janome 1600 are essentially identical machines; you might check to see what the Janome's quilting foot looks like.

  18. #18
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    After watching Leah Day free motion u tube I cut out the front section. Never looked back so much easier to quilt.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  19. #19
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I understand your concern about not being able to see with your foot but you should be focusing on the area you are going next and lining it up. I hope this makes sense. Yes, there is a little plastic piece that can be removed carefully with pliers but tape it to something so you won't lose it. I saw Patrick Lose do it on a quilting show.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  20. #20
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I bought the free motion foot Leah has on her website to modify and kept the Brother foot original. Never know when I will want to do a technique and will want it whole.
    I love my life!

  21. #21
    Super Member RainyBC's Avatar
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    I have just ordered an open toe darning foot for my Brother PQ1500s sewing machine from sewing parts on line where they state the part is guaranteed to fit this machine. The price is not that expensive, so hopefully I will not be disappointed. http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/bro...-group-pq.aspx

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    Thanks Cindy V for your response. I will try your suggestions and see what happens. I wasn't able to pop out the plastic disc in the free motion foot, so I still use it.

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    RainyBC all the open toe feet I bought did "fit" the machine, the problem was they did not quilt well and made a funny noise when I tried to quilt. So guaranteed to fit means nothing. I want a guarantee it works! So please tell me did this foot you purchased work well when you quilted?

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    Peckish while the Brother 1500, the Janome 1600 and the Babylock, Juki, etc. are all very similar machines, they don't always use the same free motion foot. The local sewing machine dealers do not give refunds. Credit only and some will not allow presser feet to be returned at all, so that would get too expensive buying feet to see if it works on my machine.

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    DottyMo, Leah Day used an entirely different free motion foot. Hers was easy to cut. The Brother 1500 free motion foot is round metal with a round plastic disc in the center. Much harder to cut and if it didn't work or I didn't cut it properly, it would cost around $50 for another foot to buy. Not worth cutting into that foot!

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