Brother PQ1500SL ~ why I bought a new sewing machine
Or really anyone who is interested in hearing more about my new quilty BFF. I never know how to start these posts so I guess maybe I’ll just jump right in.
Meet Bianca…my new assistant.
I have been quilting for 17+ years and thought I was perfectly happy with the machine I had. Penelope the Pfaff was about 14 years old and was the top of the line when I got her. She has a bunch of built in stitches and IDT, the Integrated Dual Feed system Pfaff is known for. She could do a mean button hole and hem jeans through 4 layers of denim like nobody’s business.
She didn’t like to Free Motion Quilt and her throat space (the area between the needle and the right side of the machine) was a bit wimpy. I started researching other machines over a year ago. What can I say, I’m an over analyzer. Some of the features I was most interested in were the things Penelope was lacking. A larger throat space, the ability to easily FMQ (free motion quilt) and speed. Penelope was more of a slow and steady kind of girl. At this point I am making custom memory quilts for my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/ALCcreates
and I need some speed.
Where does one go when researching sewing machines…the interwebs of course. I poured over quilting websites and blogs. I read a million Instagram posts and at least a zillion reviews on Amazon. I knew I didn’t want to invest in another computerized machine as I was still planning on keeping Penelope, just giving her a rest for now. I also knew that I wanted a heavy duty, industrial type machine. A workhorse that had only a few features but did it’s job REALLY well.
I also wanted to be able to have her serviced locally and not spend a million dollars on parts and accessories to get started. I had narrowed it down to 2 machines.
The Brother PQ1500SL
and the Juki TL-2010Q
To be honest the machines are incredibly similar. Both are considered industrial or heavy duty machines. Both are non-computerized. Both sew 1500 stitches per minute (crazy fast!). Both typically come with an extension table and both have a larger throat space. The Brother has 8.75″ and the Juki is 8.5″.
So why did I choose the Brother? Well it came down to reviews and local service options. I have a local store that is an authorized Brother dealer and can service or repair Bianca at anytime. I had read enough reviews about the Juki and not being able to service them locally that it was cause for concern. I know a LOT of people swear by their Juki’s and I’m told there is even a private Juki Facebook page but at the end of the day we all have to do what is best for us and what we feel right about. The only negative slanted reviews I read about the Brother were that it was “too fast” or “too heavy” but neither of those were of concern to me.
In the end I have to say that I am THRILLED with my decision. I have made close to a dozen custom memory quilts with various different substrates since I got her and not had one single problem. I have straight line quilted in record speed and Free Motion Quilted a throw sized quilt for our couch with not one single issue. She is a heavy duty girl and crazy fast but I knew that from over a year of research.
Some other accessories I have purchased for Bianca include
Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers
A Sew Slip Quilting Sheet
And more Organ needles
I’ve also purchase some rulers and adhesive strips to use while Free Motion Quilting. I had to get a specialty ruler foot to use with them. So far I am loving them but still learning to use them to their potential. I’ll report back when I have more info about them.
For the record…yes I am sewing at my kitchen table for the time being. It’s like the arctic tundra in my basement at the moment I like to keep things real around here. Is it an ideal situation…nope but I’m making it work.
So friends I hope you enjoyed meeting Bianca and maybe I peaked your interest in a new assistant 🙂
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