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Thread: FMQ with Singer 201-2?

  1. #1
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    FMQ with Singer 201-2?

    I've been reading reviews of the older Singer machines and the 201-2 model keeps popping up as a very good machine. I am interested in learning free motion quilting and wondered how this machine might do for that? I have a modern Janome that I will continue to use for piecing, but the harp is just not large enough for FMQ without straining. Since the new straight stitch machines with a 9" harp run $600 up, I thought about the 201 since it has a 8-1/4" harp. I've found a fully reconditioned one for $225.00. My primary hesitancy is the drop in bobbin, as I know the vertical bobbin is better for FMQ. Does anyone have experience, good or bad, using this model for FMQ?

  2. #2
    Junior Member NewbieToQuilting's Avatar
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    I have the same question. Look forward to reading responses!

  3. #3
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I FM quilt with my 201-3 all the time. My machine is the same as yours but it is the Canadian version and has the belted motor instead of the potted one. You drop the feed dogs by flipping the head back and loosening a big screw and sliding a bolt and then tightening the screw again. The manual shows how. The machine has a good stitch for quilting and I haven't had any trouble with the bobbin. It holds a lot more thread than my Janome 6500, has a better stitch and does not veer off at seam junctions. The machine is fast and powerful and best of all, I got it as a freebie including the cabinet.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Shelbie,

    I'm glad I read Belfrybat's question. I've had my 201-2 for close to a year now and didn't realize it had a feed dog drop feature.

    Duh ..... where's my sign? You'd think as much cleaning and oiling as I did I'd notice the screw there ..... sigh.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Junior Member NewbieToQuilting's Avatar
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    Joe, you are too funny...I'd love to meet you & your wife someday!

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Newbie,

    If you're ever up this way give us a yell and if we're ever down that way, we'll give you one.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I've not been successful in doing FM with my 201 treadle, I have better results with my 15-90 or 237 treadles.
    Sharon

  8. #8
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    The 201 is a great machine for all kinds of sewing, including free-motion quilting and embroidery, but I would much prefer to do FMQ on my 15-91's.

    The bobbin holds almost twice as much thread, so you have far fewer bobbin changes. Once you get going with FMQ, even the large class 15 bobbin runs out in 10-15 minutes, so it could be only 6-8 minutes for the class 66 bobbin that the 201 uses.

    The bobbin in the 201 is horizontal, which makes the likelihood of skipped stitches higher than the 15, which has a vertical bobbin.

    I did my first free-motion quilting on a Touch & Sew 750 years ago (slant needle and horizontal bobbin) before I even knew that it was called free-motion quilting or that the type of baby blanket I was making was called a "wholecloth" quilt.

    Years later, I started quilting with another slant-needle machine with a horizontal bobbin - the Singer 401.

    I started doing a lot of reading and found that I needed to seek a 15-91 - and a gorgeous one dropped into my lap at a very good price. Even after replacing the wiring and having the motor cleaned and re-wired, it cost only $200 - the same price as my rickety little plastic Brother machine.

    I've gotten several 15's since then and a couple of 201's. I absolutely love them all, but when I've got a large quilt to work on, it's always the 15. Smaller quilts, I will do on one of the Kenmores because they are fabulous free-motion quilters, too.

  9. #9
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    I love my 15 for FMQing.

  10. #10
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I have done some FMQ on my 201-2, and it worked great. Some have said that because of the horizontal bobbin it doesn't work as well as some others, but it does work. I didn't have any problems.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Junior Member
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    Hi Sister,
    I have a 201-2, my Mother bought it for me when I was about 13. I am 69, still love the machine as my 'go to' for pieceing. I have the plate that goes over the feed dogs. I tried that method, however I want to try dropping the feed dogs from the underside of the machine. With a 222 and a 403 that do it with the flick of a lever, I just have not done the feed drop method and my 201-2. Reading your email sparked my interest, so I will try it once Thanksgiving and house guests have departed.
    My 201-2 has a 'birthdate of April 1946. It came with a art-deco style cabinet, still in it and I decided not to restore the cabinet, just enjoy the patina and the fact that it looks like a desk when the lid is closed.
    I encouraged you to learn all of the little nuances of the 201. When I was in jr.hi I started making my own clothes, I just loved to sew. I had an outstanding Home Ec teacher in HS, ( she is 99 and I go to Bainbridge Island, WA) to visit her, I am so thankful for all that I learned from her. The summer before I went off to college I sewed my own clothes because I wanted to, not because I could not afford store-bought ones. I used to come home from sewing baby clothes at a factory in Oregon, then head down to the laundry room area and sew all evening with the 201.
    I have always said that machine sews ( stitch straight and true) better than my other two. I would not part with it for anything. I am hoping that my younger niece will want it someday, as I do not want to see it leave the family.
    If you learn to drop the feed dogs from underneath before I do, please let me know how it went. The directions are in the original owners manual, which I have. Peacefully, Libby McDonald

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