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Thread: Do you FMQ on a Singer 201 or 301? I have questions…

  1. #1
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Do you FMQ on a Singer 201 or 301? I have questions…

    I’ve tried to FMQ without success on my old Kenmore and inexpensive Brother but due to small throat space and these machines being free standing and not inset into a table I’ve given up in frustration. After reading some postings here about good results using the old Singers for free motion quilting I’ve been working on getting my mother’s old 201 cleaned and repaired. It’s almost done but I’ve been waiting for months for DH to install it into a replacement cabinet.

    I kept reading and saw that some people prefer to FMQ on a Singer 301 due to better results with a vertical bobbin (301) than the horizontal bobbin (201). This week, from Craig’s List, I got a very nice black 301 for a good price ($40, including the cabinet, instruction book and many specialty feet). I do have to replace the cords, which I’m going to order from the Sew Classic website, and get bobbins.

    My questions:
    1. If you FMQ on a either a 201 or 301, what tips do you have?
    2. What type of thread works best for you?
    3. Do you use Singer needles, or do other common brands work?
    4. What size needle?
    5. Do you add a Supreme Slider or other slick surface?
    6. I have some Bobbin Genies – do you use them?
    7. What type of free motion/darning foot do you use? I’m going to have to order a slant shank FMQ foot for the 301. Does anyone know if there is one with an open toe rather than a fully closed circle? I’d really prefer one with an open view if there is such a critter.
    8. Anything else I should know?

    Thanks for sharing your advice and expertise!
    Remember the teakettle...it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!

    A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. ~ Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

  2. #2
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I have not done FM yet on my 301, but I do not use Singer needles. I did order the free motion foot and walking foot. Sorry I can not remember the web site, hopefully someone else will know it.
    After 2 years with the same signature I have been requested to remove it. Bye

  3. #3
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    teracup this probably would have been a good post for the vintage machine thread. lots of 201 & 301 users there.

    here are the threads in case you do not get the answers you're looking for on this thread. btw you got that 301 for a good price. i bought a 2-tone one a few months ago for more with no attachments plus i had to refinish the cabinet. enjoy your machine. Good luck.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t134918.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ll-t43881.html
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  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have a 301 and have no idea what vertical bobbin means. I use Singer needles with Singer machines. There is a slight difference in length of the needles. My 301 will sew with any type thread. It was given to me and it's one of my favorite machines to use.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I have a 301 and have no idea what vertical bobbin means. I use Singer needles with Singer machines. There is a slight difference in length of the needles. My 301 will sew with any type thread. It was given to me and it's one of my favorite machines to use.
    She probably means front loading vs. drop in bobbin I'm assuming

  6. #6
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    i bought my 301 bobbins here on ebay. and here is an open toe darning foot for the 301.

    Quote Originally Posted by Havplenty View Post
    teracup this probably would have been a good post for the vintage machine thread. lots of 201 & 301 users there.

    here are the threads in case you do not get the answers you're looking for on this thread. btw you got that 301 for a good price. i bought a 2-tone one a few months ago for more with no attachments plus i had to refinish the cabinet. enjoy your machine. Good luck.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t134918.html

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ll-t43881.html
    Last edited by Havplenty; 05-11-2012 at 04:52 AM.
    My Quiltboard Blog
    ~Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are..(Marianne Williamson)
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  7. #7
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Thanks for the leads on purchasing bobbins and the foot. Here's a definition of vertical and horizontal...


    Machines come with either a "horizontal bobbin" or a "vertical bobbin."

    The horizontal bobbin is normally a "drop in" bobbin -- when you slide the needle plate over, you'll see a circular depression in which you "drop" the bobbin. There's normally an angled slot you'll pull the bobbin thread through.

    A vertical bobbin requires that you use a bobbin case. You insert the threaded bobbin in the case, pull the thread through an angled slot in the case, then press the bobbin case into a slot under the needle plate. There's usually some sort of door covering this slot -- although older machines like Singer 301s and Featherweights have the bobbin case simply sitting underneath the bed.

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_th...#ixzz1ubwK5zm7

  8. #8
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I bought a 201 a few months ago to see if I could do FMQ on it, as my Janome was useless for it. However, I didn't have much success. The 301 was never sold in Europe, so I don't have that option. Eventually I bought a new Janome and we're very happy together! So far I've kept the 201, as the new Janome doesn't like bulky seams (a common problem, apparently), so I may use the Singer for projects that need a tough machine. But I'll be interested to see what responses you get - when I posted the question, I didn't get many. Don't know if that suggests that this machine generally doesn't work well for FMQ.

  9. #9
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Annesthreads, thanks for your response. After deciding to fix up the 201 I read that some people prefer the 15-91 or 301 for FMQ because of the bobbin placement, which was better for FMQ. I have teken Havplenty's suggestion to post this in the Vintage Machine forum in case you want to follow any responses there: http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ml#post5211048

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