For about two years now, I've been sewing on a Brother CS6000i. It's a delightful machine for sewing quilt tops, bags and other small items, but I was getting more and more frustrated with trying to actually quilt on it. It seemed like a battle to even do straight-line quilting with my walking foot, let alone try and free-motion quilt. I never even gave this machine a name, although (spoiler alert) it's now been dubbed Little Brother.
So I started looking around for a machine that I could really quilt with, but that was within my budget (a tall order, for sure). I honestly don't remember where I first read about the Brother Nouvelle 1500S (aka PQ1500S), but from reading the reviews on Amazon it seemed like a good fit for me, both with regard to capability and price. Meet Big Brother:
|Big Brother! (Slightly crooked and with NCIS's Agent Gibbs in the background.)|
I have now been doing piecing with Big Brother for about a month, and I've quilted one (small) quilt on it so I feel like I can do a decent review.
Throat space! I feel like pretty much anything can fit easily.
Needle-down stop button
Even feeding feed dogs
|Check out the difference in the throat space!|
The threading is much more complicated (I still look at the cheat sheet)
Side-loading bobbin (awkward!)
Side-threading needle (again, awkward!)
Big Brother is HEAVY.
Only straight stitch (not even zig zag)
Knee-lift for presser foot
Notched 1/4" foot instead of a flat edge
No more auto-tension adjustment/correction
|Quarter inch foot on the left, walking foot on the right.|
|These are pretty much the only knobs on Big Brother!|
All in all I'd say I'm pretty satisfied with my purchase. I've had to learn about manual thread tension adjustment and like I mentioned above, the threading's not exactly intuitive, but I'll get there. I'm also having to get used to using a pedal again, as Little Bother had a start button you could push instead of using the pedal. (I know, I know, only weenies use a start button instead of a pedal.) Both machines also came with a nice assortment of feet, extra bobbins and a few extra needles, as well as extension tables. Little Brother came with a hard plastic case/cover, whereas Big Brother's cover is soft vinyl (not that I really use the cover anyway).
My plan moving forward is to keep both machines, using Big Brother for quilting and piecing, and keeping Little Brother for decorative stitches and the like (for napkins, etc), as well as maybe some piecing. After all, you can never have too many sewing machines, right?!
Linking up with Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles!