If you’re looking for a machine that has power, speed and can handle thick, multiple layers of fabric, the Brother PQ1500SL is perfect for all your straight-stitch sewing projects.
A mechanical, straight-stitch sewing machine is a great option for sewists looking for a basic machine that isn’t bogged down with seldom-used fancy stitches or computerized features.
Quilters love the large extension table and high-speed capability; folks sewing heavy-duty denim or canvas will appreciate the unique pin feed mechanism that moves all layers of your bulky project together.
Key Features of the Brother PQ1500SL
- 1500 stitches per minute
- 4 Feed Dog height adjustments
- Built-in knee lifter to easily raise and lower the presser foot, so your hands are free to re-position or remove your fabric
- 12”x18” extension table
- Automatic thread cutter button
- Pin Feed Mechanism
- 5.7″ x 8.6″ throat space
- Weight 24.2 pounds
- Dimensions 12.6”x7.9”x19.3”
Pros and Cons of the Brother PQ1500SL
Feed dogs have multiple up and down settings. It also has a pin feed mechanism for pulling all layers of a seam together. This ensures that every stitch is consistent and uniform.
The removable knee-lifter allows for hands-free raising and lowering of the presser foot – a great feature when you just don’t have that third hand!
With a 1500 stitch per minute capacity, this machine is as fast as many commercial machines.
This machine sits solidly on your work table, as it weighs in at over 24 pounds. That weight indicates that it’s built to last and is sturdy enough for stitching heavy layers of fabric.
With stitches up to 7mm in length, it’s easy to use for machine basting.
Easy-to-read, color-coded dials and settings are simple to use, so adjusting tension, presser foot pressure and feed dog position is easy enough for a beginner.
You can set your needle to remain up or down by engaging the up/down needle positioner.
The automatic thread cutter keeps you from continually fumbling for your thread snips.
At over 24 pounds, this machine isn’t so much portable as it is ‘luggable.’
Accessing the bobbin case to insert a new bobbin is awkward.
The automatic needle threader is iffy – it’s delicate and picky, so it takes lots of practice to get comfortable using it successfully.
Some customers report that the thread cutter cuts too short, so the needle needs rethreading.
Others mention problems with the upper thread tension. Customers complain that the upper thread tensioning seems to change as the machine is used and needs to be adjusted often.
The side access bobbin compartment is another area that gets poor marks. If the extension table is in place, one must open three doors to get to the bobbin casing. It’s also a smallish space, and the bobbin must be inserted sideways into the case, out of your line of sight.
The Brother PQ1500SL has basic features that make it perfect for quilting, as well as straight-stitch sewing. As it’s a mechanical sewing machine, there are few computerized or electronic components to break down, so maintenance or repair is minimal.
It’s as fast as many commercial machines, so you can certainly get done in a hurry. You need to get accustomed to the foot pedal and the pressure required to come up to speed and regulate it. Think of hitting the gas too hard in your car; you speed off without the control you need. You have to develop a feel for your foot pedal’s sensitivity.
The machine comes with a large extension table that’s great for quilting. However, the 5.7″ x 8.6″ throat space isn’t huge; a quilter may struggle with sewing a larger quilt. The space to the right of the needle is often as important as the space to the left.
As this machine only does straight stitching, its features may be rather limited for someone who wants to do lots of different things with their sewing machine. For a beginner’s machine, this probably isn’t a good choice. As a machine for someone who intends to own a single sewing machine, it isn’t a sound idea either.
However, if you’re thinking of adding a dedicated quilting machine to your bevy of sewing machines, if you’re looking for a machine that only does heavy-duty straight stitching and is in the medium price range, the Brother PQ1500S should be on your short list.