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Thread: Looking for FMQ info on Singer 201 and 301

  1. #1
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Looking for FMQ info on Singer 201 and 301

    I posted this in the main section but it was suggested to ask in this forum as well. I'm working on cleaning up a 201 to try free motion quilting -- heard that the large throat and straight stitch were great for FMQ. Then I read that the bobbin can cause some issues but the vertical bobbin case in the 15-91 and 301 were better for FMQ. This week, from Craigs 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 Im 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? Im going to have to order a slant shank FMQ foot for the 301. I'd like to find one with an open toe for better visiblity if possible. What workds for you?

    Thanks for sharing your advice and expertise!

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    301 here. Singer needles only. A yard of plastic from JoAnn's for the quilt to slide on. Any thread at all from shiny rayon to good old C & C. I choose by color. The only one I've had to adjust the tension slightly was Isacord polyester. No Bobbin Genies. I only sew with size 11 needles. My foot came from april1930sshoppe, though sew-classic has the same one. It's not particularly open, but it works for me. I do like the see through plastic with an opening in the front. I've never had bird nests on the back or skipped stitches with this machine. Have fun.

    BTW, you have a bargain there. I'd like a black 301.
    Last edited by irishrose; 05-12-2012 at 06:26 AM.

  3. #3
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    I FMQ on a 301, piece on a 401. I use Organ needles, size 14. I get them and the foot from Sharp Sewing, who has free shipping. I got a new light bulb there too. They are very helpful. I found them on ebay. You can call them also. I use Isacord polyester and order it from sewingmachinewarehouse in Fl. I use a plexiglass table that I bought for my new Pfaff which I sold after struggling with FMQ on it for a year. I don't use bobbin genies, I have them, don't need them. I do very dense machine quilting inspired by Leah Day, freemotionproject.com, and I just love, love the 301. The feet screw out of the way, and it does not skip a stitch and hums along. Let me know if any other question- I am always learning, too.
    Linda

  4. #4
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Thanks so much. I want to gather everything I'm going to need and clean and oil the machine. It will likely be a month or more until I get my machine set up...have to order the cords and FMQ foot. My DD is moving out of state at the end of June and is taking the futon from my sewing room, so I'll be moving everything around to get the 201 and 301 cabinets in. The existing 301 cord is cracked with exposed wires so I won't be using it until I get the new cord. I have a lot of Essential Thread from Connecting Threads so likely will be trying that out first. I've been reading Leah Day's project as well. I'll try Isacord if the Essential Thread doesn't work.

  5. #5
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    irishrose how do you use the yard of plastic on your machine when fmq? what are the bobbin genies used for?
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  6. #6
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    teacup jo ann's sells the singer machine oil in store but the singer motor lube is sold through their website. i ordered my singer motor lube from ebay.
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  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I cut a hole in the vinyl in the needleplate area and secure it with a little tape, then I spread the vinyl over the sewing area - which is the fold out extension of the cabinet, plus an adjacent cabinet and an ironing board set at an angle on my left. It makes the quilt easier to slide around and was $4 well spent. You don't need the weight of the quilt fighting you as you FMQ.

    I know nothing about Bobbin Genies except I think they are silicone disks to help a bobbin spin more freely. I don't need anything like that with the 301 and I have enough other machines with vertical bobbins that I don't feel the need to ever FMQ with a horizontal bobbin.

  8. #8
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    301 cords are easily found on ebay for not a whole lot. There is a lot of 301 stuff there. I bought my 2 301s there.
    Linda

  9. #9
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I have a 301. I got the large clear plastic FMQ foot, and it works great. I did have to take the bottom thread guide including the screw off for the foot to clear. It works great, and I really enjoy it. I use whatever thread....C&C is what I used last with no problems. I use Schmetz needles mostly. No glide tools or spray. I don't have a 201, so can't give you any info. Have fun!!

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the information

    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    I cut a hole in the vinyl in the needleplate area and secure it with a little tape, then I spread the vinyl over the sewing area - which is the fold out extension of the cabinet, plus an adjacent cabinet and an ironing board set at an angle on my left. It makes the quilt easier to slide around and was $4 well spent. You don't need the weight of the quilt fighting you as you FMQ.

    I know nothing about Bobbin Genies except I think they are silicone disks to help a bobbin spin more freely. I don't need anything like that with the 301 and I have enough other machines with vertical bobbins that I don't feel the need to ever FMQ with a horizontal bobbin.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information! Good to know that they type of thread may not be an issue.

  12. #12
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Teacup I've been wondering many of the same things, in fact just posted my own thread to ask questions about the 301, 201 and 15 series. These are all very helpful answers you received!

  13. #13
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    I have used Bobin Genies and they work fne. They come several in a package, so all my machines now have one. The metal bobbins seem to drag more and are louder than the plastic bobbins. My machine is not picky about bobbns as long as they aren't Chinese.
    Donna Quilts
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  14. #14
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    I have used Bobin Genies and they work fne. They come several in a package, so all my machines now have one. The metal bobbins seem to drag more and are louder than the plastic bobbins. My machine is not picky about bobbns as long as they aren't Chinese. Singer 301s are the biggest bargain around right now. Won't be for long though.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    I have a 201.

    1. If you FMQ on a either a 201 or 301, what tips do you have?
    Go slow! There's no need to go fast, and you'll have better stitches and quality.

    2. What type of thread works best for you?
    I've used Aurifill and Connecting Threads thread without issues.

    3. Do you use Singer needles, or do other common brands work?
    I use Organ needles, the 100/16 size I think. Never had an issue.

    4. What size needle?
    See above.

    5. Do you add a Supreme Slider or other slick surface?
    Nope!

    6. I have some Bobbin Genies do you use them?
    No, but I'd like to just to see if it improves matters at all.

    7. What type of free motion/darning foot do you use? Im going to have to order a slant shank FMQ foot for the 301. I'd like to find one with an open toe for better visiblity if possible. What works for you?
    I used to use the Big Foot (purple and clear plastic), but then I bought the FMQ foot from Sew-Classic, and it seems to work well and allow enough visibility. I really wish there was one as high quality as the Juki feet for example for our machines.

  16. #16
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! I've not read anyone saying to go slow on the 201. I'll be trying it soon.

  17. #17
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    I have 201-2's and 301's in my collection of vintage sewing machines and haven't had too much luck with the 201-2's. I like the 15-91's and my Necchi Supernova best for fmq.
    Lynn

  18. #18
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Yeah, I found that I needed to go slowly with the 201 and tighten the upper tension to avoid getting little loopies in the back. It's a wonderful machine once you tune it to your needs, and I'm never going back to a modern machine--unless I get a long arm, that is!

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