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Thread: feather weight 221 and 222

  1. #1
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    feather weight 221 and 222

    I love that look of the feather weights and would love to own one but I know so little about them. What is the difference between the 221 and the 222. What makes the feather weight such a great machine to own and can I drop the feed dogs and FMQ. Thank you all wise quilters who know so much. Grace
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  2. #2
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    I, too, love the look of the vintage Singer Featherweights. I understand that the smaller motor is not good for FMQing. I would only use a FW for piecing and regular sewing, not FMQing.

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    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    The dogs don't drop on a Featherweight....I have heard of folks using them for FMQ anyway, but I haven't tried it to be able to give you a "review".
    The difference between the 221 and the 222 is that the 222 has a removeable bed to make it a freearm. I'm sure there are other small differences, but I couldn't tell you what they are!
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  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I believe the FW has a small attachment cover plate to go over the feed dogs for FMQ and darning. They really are cute machines, but the harp is so small that you can't stuff much volume in there when quilting. I would recommend that you check out the 301 - a little bigger and the feed dogs will lower. I have both a 221 and a 301, and I prefer the 301. It has a needle plate that is marked for seam allowances including the 1/4".

    Enjoy learning about the FW and other vintage machines!

    Dayle

  5. #5
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
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    I have a Featherweight and it is my favorite machine for straight piecing, nothing fancy. I love it! I would never think of using it for quilting, it's small and not much room under the head.

  6. #6
    Senior Member littlesurfer's Avatar
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    I have a few featherweights and love them for piecing my quilts...would never use them for FMQ. I keep one in my featherweight table at all times and use it for paper piecing, also.
    Lynn

  7. #7
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    I have a FW, but only use it for traveling and classes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    I collect vintage Singers-----some Featherweight----some have needed a LOT of tlc ( rust, oxidation, mold ) and have them all up and running----nothing like the joy of hearing that hum-----I have really enjoyed piecing on them because of the even strong straight stitch but not FMQ. Just looking at one makes you smile!

  9. #9
    Junior Member LyndaK's Avatar
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    I have both a 221 and two 222's. The 221 I don't use for freemotion quilting, but you can purchase a plate to cover the feed dogs. I just find it's too much hassle. The 222's have the ability to drop the feeddogs. There is a lever beside the stitch length regulator that puts the feed dogs down into "darning" position of up into "sewing" position. Also the 222 has the marked needleplate, similar to the one on a larger 301. It's a nice thing to have. People swap those out on their 221's as well.

    As far as freemotion quilting on a FW, for small things like placemats, tablerunners, etc, I would consider using it. However, it's small size would make it far too difficult to do a larger quilt. Quilt as you Go is possible on the FW too. Darning and freemotion embroidery are possible and are shown in many of the old Singer technique books. The 222's came with a darning foot, or you can purchase them from various online vendors.

    The 222, or 222K(same thing) has the free arm capability which makes it lovely for children's clothing and dolls clothes. You can get at those little armholes, collars and cuffs! However, note that these 222's are more expensive to purchase than the 221's.

    If you're looking to do larger items, however, consider a Singer 301. It's larger and has more space under the "harp" of the machine for rolled up fabric while quilting.

    The motors on these machines will stand up to a lot of sewing, as long as they're lubricated properly and checked out for carbon brushes that need replacing etc. The wiring should be inspected carefully as well. If you feel unable to do that yourself, a good sewing machine repair person can help you.

    Also, research online. There are a couple of sewing machine mechanics who have put their knowledge online, or in DVD format for a price and it's usually well worth investigating that as well.
    Last edited by LyndaK; 12-27-2011 at 08:44 AM.
    Lynda K
    down on the farm in S.W. Ontario Canada, when I'm not at the trailer!

  10. #10
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    Oh boy are you in for a treat. Last year at this time I was busy researching FW's before I purchased my 222K.
    1. FW 221, The Perfect Portable by Nancy Johnson-Srebo, Amazon had best price I could find.
    2. Those Fabulous Featherweight's by Dave McCallum, has website.
    3. ISMACS website and Graham Forsdyke.
    I enjoyed the research like it was a preparation for baby birth or a new puppy. Have fun, the more you read the more you will want to know.

  11. #11
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    Huh?? Smaller motor, don't think I have heard about that one before, can someone please elaborate.

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    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    Feathjerweights...

    I bought my FW 221 about 7 yrs. ago, and love it! The reasons I like it so is because I can grab it and go to guild. It only weights about 11# and does all of the usual sewing tasks.
    I wouldn't do any quilting unless a small piece with straight lines. I have read it is very hard on the motor to do the quilting.
    The attachments were all included with my machine, altho I have never used them. It would take a walking foot if I could afford the $150 that they cost!! (Dreaming.)
    The upkeep can be pretty expensive, but good daily care can cut out a lot of that. My tech guy has given me some tips to keep from having to have any of the expensive work done.
    You wouldn't be sorry if you bought one. I have seen where they are not very expensive now. I paid $500 for mine but I have seen where you can get one for less than $100. My tech guy re-conditions them and sells them, and always has several. Depending on where you live, that might not be a bad way to go.
    Good luck with one if you get a FW!
    Mariah
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    Martha Tompkins

  13. #13
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    The 221 can be any of several different featherweights, the black ones, the white ones, the tan etc. The 222 (see picture) is the free arm one that was made to be used England (220 power) in the early 1950s right after they were still trying to recover from loss of manufactured goods from WWII. They are noteworthy because they can lower the feed dogs as well. Only about 9,000 were made and so it is one of the rarest. The very rarest version was the black crinkle style make during WWII for the military use. They wanted one that was not shiny.
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    Kathleen Clendennen
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by libber View Post
    Huh?? Smaller motor, don't think I have heard about that one before, can someone please elaborate.
    I saw that statement in this thread. http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...t-t171567.html

  15. #15
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    I teach machine quilting and use my Featherweight when I do so. I also machine quilt large quilts on it. My motor is just fine, and while I admit that getting a large quilt into the harp is more of a challenge than a machine with more space, I have done it more than once and I free motion quilt all the time. So, yes, it is possible to FMQ on a FW. No, I do not cover my feed dogs. I just set the stitch length to zero and away I go.
    Stephanie in Mena

  16. #16
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    Wow , I bet that crinkle one will sew past my lifetime, you sure know featherweight history. I started looking up a little on the internet and it is quite fascinating.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

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