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Thread: Dying to learn FMQ! Machine suggestions needed. :)

  1. #1
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    Dying to learn FMQ! Machine suggestions needed. :)

    So, I am really wanting to learn how to FMQ. My problem is that I have a bargain basement Singer machine. The Promise 1409. I don't have a very big budget but I know I'm gonna have to get a better machine for FMQ. I would love to hear your suggestions for a decent machine priced at/around $500 for learning to FMQ. Is this even possible? Embroidery would be nice, but is certainly not a necessity. I'm open to different brands and am not opposed to used if it was a good deal on an excellent machine. I went to Hancock the other day just to look at their selection of machines, and they had a Bernette 92C for $300. I am having a hard time finding anything about it though. Anyway, please feel free to give your thoughts and suggestions! Oh, and thank goodness for tax refunds! LOL


    Thanks
    Candace

  2. #2
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I don't think you need to spend a lot.. Why not buy a vintage machine.. I have a Singer 66, and Singer 99.. I love both.. The singer 66 has a big harp, and the 99 is nice for piecing..
    Barri

  3. #3
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Check out the Brother PQ-1500S at All Brands, it was 600.00 a couple of weeks ago w/free shipping. it has an extension table,thread cutter, drops feed dogs - four settings, thread cutter, about 9" harp/throat. It is straight stitch only, goes high speed for FMQ, has FMQ,1/4" , a couple of others and walking feet. Can't beat it, others have said Juki makes it and also Baby Lock machines. Best price of any of the above machines. It has to be oiled, has very good manual for it's care. Good luck.
    Another Phyllis
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  4. #4
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I have done some FMQ on my Singer 66. Like Barri1, I recommend a vintage machine because of the larger harp area. I've also heard that vertical bobbins are supposed to be better for FMQ than horizontal bobbins, and this was borne out by my own experience, practicing FMQ on a 201 (horizontal) and 66 (vertical). The 66 did better.

    All you really need is a reliable machine with plenty of harp area, and which has the option to drop the feed dogs (my 66 did not, so I removed them for FMQ).
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member cizzors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    Check out the Brother PQ-1500S at All Brands, it was 600.00 a couple of weeks ago w/free shipping. it has an extension table,thread cutter, drops feed dogs - four settings, thread cutter, about 9" harp/throat. It is straight stitch only, goes high speed for FMQ, has FMQ,1/4" , a couple of others and walking feet. Can't beat it, others have said Juki makes it and also Baby Lock machines. Best price of any of the above machines. It has to be oiled, has very good manual for it's care. Good luck.

    Me and my sister have, for the most part, bought nothing but Brothers (he, that sentence is kinda funny). I've been practicing FMQ on and off but it was frustrating. Just before my sister had her back surgery, her Brother PQ 1500S showed up and I've been breaking it in! Wow. Big difference on just the first try. Has nothing to do with the large harp (although it helps). Maybe it's the gazillion stitches it can do in a minute with the speed it has. Great machine for $600.
    Never outsmart your common sense.

    Karen

  6. #6
    Senior Member fixfido's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of vintage machines for FMQ. I wouldn't trade my Singer 201 or 15-91 for anything. They do fantastic FMQ!! So does the vintage Kenmore I bought at the thrift store for $5 last week. Just please don't feel that you have to spend a ton of money on a machine to do excellent FMQ work....you definitely do NOT.
    Life has given me so much more than scraps, but I make quilts anyway!
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  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixfido View Post
    I'm a huge fan of vintage machines for FMQ. I wouldn't trade my Singer 201 or 15-91 for anything. They do fantastic FMQ!! So does the vintage Kenmore I bought at the thrift store for $5 last week. Just please don't feel that you have to spend a ton of money on a machine to do excellent FMQ work....you definitely do NOT.
    Exactly. You can get a Singer 301 for $100 or so and it will do exactly what you need.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Brother PQ1500S is a straight stitch machine that many use here for FMQ and love. It runs around 500. Haven't seen a bad review of it yet, people say its a little work horse. The juki and babylock models are more expensive

  9. #9
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    I too am learning how to FMQ and I am currently working through Don Linn's book 'free-motion Machine Quilting'. According to Mr. Linn, the one absolute must for a sewing machine is a foot pedal that can smoothly control the speed of the machine from slow to fast. Apparently some machines launch from slow to flat out in a lurch - so you might just want to test this.

  10. #10
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    Thanks ladies! I will definitely take these suggestions into consideration.

    Candace

  11. #11
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    I FMQ on a brother that was 200 I'm learning but wasn't hard to do my first lap. I do with what I can afford. Try and find something that comes with accessories. Mines a CI6000 and it came with a walking foot, darning foot and the even quilting tool you attach to the walking foot. Great deal for me! Get the most for your money and look at feet for the machine because those are an investment too. Cheap machine with expensive feet or expensive machine and expensive feet. Make sure it all fits in your budget. Invest in batting while you have the money too!!! Goes fast when you can quilt your own quilts!
    *Rachel*

  12. #12
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    Check out Leah Day's web site. She teaches free classes for FMQ on regular machines and it a wealth of infor.
    Judy

  13. #13
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I purchased the on-line FMQ class from Craftsy. It is called "Quilting a large quilt on your sewing machine"(or something close to that title). It was the best $29.99 I ever spent. I highly recommend it.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixfido View Post
    I'm a huge fan of vintage machines for FMQ. I wouldn't trade my Singer 201 or 15-91 for anything. They do fantastic FMQ!! So does the vintage Kenmore I bought at the thrift store for $5 last week. Just please don't feel that you have to spend a ton of money on a machine to do excellent FMQ work....you definitely do NOT.
    I agree wholeheartedly. I use my Singers 201s (I have 2) for piecing and my Singers 15-91 (I have 3) for FMQ. You just can't beat these machines and for the most part you can get one for under $100

  15. #15
    Super Member sewellie's Avatar
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    What's a tax return? I think I got one one time long ago.
    sewellie

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  16. #16
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    I have always been told it doesn't really make a difference what kind of machine you use to free motion quilt. You are the one guiding the quilt and it takes a lot of practice so I wouldn't worry about quilting with the machine you have. Later you can always upgrade but I would suggest you at least try it with your machine.

  17. #17
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    I use a brother machine. Biggest suggestion...gloves, very thin with tips of fingers rubber..watch as many utubes as possible first. Relax you shoulders , practice on a few sandwiched pieces to get tension right first. Write down each tension setting and stitch length on your practice sandwitches to know your machine settings. Have Fun! Did not have to have 500 dollar machine. :0) PS i always have a song in my head to keep rythem...suggested in one utube "seminar"
    Last edited by chairjogger; 03-19-2012 at 10:20 PM.

  18. #18
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    Whatever you get, you might want to try it out first, if at all possible. Lots of good, workable machines show up in garage sales at very low prices. ($50 or less) However, before you do FMQ on your precious quilt, practice on something else, like maybe a potholder. My guild has a lovely LA. The "experts" try to get everyone to work on a scrap sandwich, just to loosen up and get the feel of it. I have done most of my FMQ on a variety of home machines. Dropping the feed dog is important. I always use a embroidery/darning foot.

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