This is a review for the high speed Brother PQ1500SL quilting and sewing machine. Specifically designed with quilters in mind, this sturdy machine offers excellent quality stitching super fast but also smoothly and evenly.
Features and Specifications
As all experienced quilters know, a good sized quilting table makes all the difference, particularly when you are sewing a large quilt. This Brother sewing machine comes with a large extension table measuring 12 x 18 inches. It is easy to level the table with it’s adjustable feet and also measurements on it which is very convenient.
There are only minor complaints regarding the table:
- The table has to be removed in order to give better access to the bobbin. There is a little door in the table which you can open but it is a little fiddly.
- Once the fabric has passed the needle, there is little support from the extension table for the fabric due to its depth. This is only a minor note and a positive is that it does have a generous width.
Multiple Feed Dog Settings
There are 4 feed dog settings on this machine which you'll find extremely useful when working with varying thicknesses of fabrics and multiple layers. The settings include:
- Feed Dogs Down (for free motion quilting)
- Pin Feeding
- Lightweight Fabrics
- Medium and Heavyweight fabrics
The pin feeding is a great advantage with this machine as it will hold slippery or very thin fabrics in place and will allow for very accurate piecing, keeping your fabrics straight. It is also useful when putting binding on quilts.
We like the fact that the feed dog settings and presser foot pressure work well together. This machine is capable of sewing through multiple layers of fabric, batting and interfacing incredibly smoothly.
Automatic Thread Cutter
Having an automatic thread cutter is a helpful feature when machining quilts, speeding up the process and saving a lot of fiddling about.
We love this feature at it is such a time saver, however sometimes the thread is cut a little short leading to the needle unthreading which can be frustrating. However, if you raise the pressure foot before cutting the thread this problem doesn't occur.
Responsive Foot Pedal and Fast Stitching
This is a very fast machine cabable of sewing 1500 stitches a minute! However, if you want to sew slowly, you can. The foot pedal is incredibly responsive so rather than slamming your foot down on the accelerator, it’s a good idea to lower your foot gently on the pedal and take it easy until you get used to the speed.
If you are an experienced seamstress you will probably be delighted with the fact that the machine has the capability to sew super fast as you will whizz through your sewing projects in no time.
One thing to bear in mind is that if you use a cheap thread and sew at a fast speed, your thread is likely to break. Make sure you buy good quality thread or, if you prefer, simply sew a little slower.
The great thing about this quilting machine is the quality of the stitching, even at fast speeds. It delivers smooth, even stitches which make every quilting project a real pleasure.
Although the foot pedal is responsive and you can use your foot to guide the speed, the machine doesn’t have a separate speed control or a start/stop button.
Other Great Features and Accessories
The great aspect about the Brother PS1500SL is that it comes with everything that makes a quilter’s life easier. As well as the features mentioned above, it also has a knee lifter which speeds up projects enormously and a full range foot pressure adjustment. It also comes with the following feet:
- General purpose foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Adjustable zipper foot
- Invisible zipper foot
- 1/4" foot
- Spring action quiliting foot
- Walking foot
The ¼” foot doesn’t have an edge guide and no quilting guide comes with this model so you may wish to purchase these additional items separately if required.
Other accessories include:
- Needle packet
- Ballpoint needle
- Spool cap
- Fabric separator
- Feed pin
- Feed pin changer
- 5 metal bobbins
- Seam guide
- Cleaning brush
- 2 Screwdrivers
- Spool cushion
We love the large throat area on this model. Large quilts require plenty of space and although this isn’t a long arm quilting machine it is certainly the next best thing providing plenty of room to manoevre your fabric.
This machine doesn’t come with an array of stitches but just the one straight 7mm stitch. However, this is sufficient for a majority of quilters and the fact that this stitch is of excellent quality is extremely beneficial.
The fabric control is fantastic with this machine with the variable feed dog settings allow the fabric to run through ever so smoothly. This saves a lot of frustration that is present with owners of cheaper models.
Despite the strong, fast motor, this is a very quiet sewing machine.
This is a good sturdy machine with a strong and fast motor. It sews like a commercial machine and weighs 24.2 lbs which means it doesn’t move around while you’re sewing. Despite its weight it is not as heavy as the more commercial models meaning that you can move it when necessary.
The Brother PQ1500SL offers fast but excellent quality stitching which is smooth and even.
The table and throat are perfect for quilters with both being a good size.
The main bugbear with this machine is the bobbin. First of all, it is in a difficult location being to the left side of the machine. It can be awkward and fiddly to change, particularly if you are right-handed. You also can’t see when the bobbin thread is getting low. It would be great if the capacity of the bobbin was also greater.
Although it has an automatic needle threader, it isn’t easy to work out as on other Brother machines and doesn’t work with some of the feet.
Manually threading the needle can be problematic as it threads from the left rather than from front to back. Again, this may not be such a problem if you are left-handed but for the majority of people who are right-handed it could be a nuisance. Having said all that, if you read the instructions thoroughly before you start this does help a lot.
The Brother PQ1500SL is a great model for machine quilting and excellent for free motion quilting. It has everything a quilter needs and will provide you with a top quality machine.
Is this a Good Quilting Machine For You?
This is not a machine that a beginner would be too comfortable with as it is a lot more complex than some more basic machines. There are some adjustments that would be more suited to a more experienced machine quilter.
However, if you are experienced with quilting on a sewing machine and are looking to upgrade to a super fast but quiet machine with a good sized space to work the quilt and you don’t mind just having the one straight stitch, this would be a great choice. This is particularly the case if you work with heavy duty or thicker fabrics and multiple thick layers.