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The Brother PQ1500SL quilting and sewing machine is a high-speed machine that’s a must-have for quilters who are looking for an affordable mid-range quilting machine.
A mechanical sewing machine with only a straight stitch, the PQ1500SL high-speed sewing and quilting machine gets its job done and does it well. With a maximum speed of 1,500 stitches per minute, this straight stitch sewing machine will help you complete your projects fast. It isn’t an entry-level sewing machine, and it isn’t versatile, but it’s not meant to be that way.
While it might take some adjustment to sew with at first, once you’ve mastered its nuances, this sewing machine workhorse will comfort you with its simplicity. Sew thin layers, thick layers, or sew all day long without worry. The machine pierces through almost any fabric. And, the powerful motor will rise to the occasion and create perfect stitches time and time again. Brother PQ1500SL reviews sing its praises as an affordable Bernina alternative. Sew most everything a basic Bernina does but at less than half the cost!
Complete with a knee lifter, a wide assortment of presser feet and accessories, and several automatic functions, the Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine is well-loved by its users.
Read on for more information in my full Brother PQ1500SL review! Learn about its features as well as the pros and cons of this high-speed quilting machine.
Brief Brother PQ1500SL Review of Specs:
- Weight: 24.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.6″ x 7.9″ x 19.3″
- Presser feet: 7 included
- Maximum sewing speed: 1,500 stitches per minute
- PQ1500SL throat space: approximately 9″ x 6″
- Automatic features: needle threading and thread cutting
- Easy bobbin winding
- 4 feed dog height settings; easily drop for free-motion quilting
- Knee lifter option
- 2/6/25 year limited warranty
What are the PQ1500SL accessories that are included?
Here are the accessories and other items that come in the box with this purchase:
- Sewing machine unit, power cord, and foot pedal
- 7 presser feet
- Knee lifter
- Accessory kit: needle packet and ballpoint needle, 5 metal bobbins, seam guide, cleaning brush, fabric separator, feed pin, feed pin changer, 2 screwdrivers, spool cushion, and spool cap
- Operation Manual
What presser feet are included?
The following 7 presser feet will get you started quilting with no immediate need for extra accessories.
- General Purpose Foot – what you’ll use for basic straight stitching on most projects
- Adjustable Zipper/Piping Foot – sew on zippers and piping
- Invisible Zipper Foot – makes sewing on invisible zippers MUCH easier
- Rolled Hem Foot – create a rolled hem on delicate fabric edges
- Walking Foot – evenly feed thick layers of fabric (bulky quilts!)
- Spring Action Quilting Foot – allow you to do free-motion quilting easily
- 1/4 Inch Foot – piece with 1/4″ seam allowances easily and accurately
What stitches are included on the Brother PQ1500SL?
As I mentioned earlier, this is a mechanical sewing machine that sews only a straight stitch. The straight stitch is the most common standard utility stitch and used to be all that was available on sewing machines many years ago. This straight stitch can be adjusted up to 7mm in length.
If you’re wanting to sew buttonholes or other decorative stitches, you’ll need a second sewing machine. Either that, or you can consider a computerized combination quilting and sewing machine like the Brother CS6000i, HC1850, or XR9550prw sewing machines. While these include more stitches and options, they don’t sew at the same quick speed, have the enlarged throat space, or boast such heavy-duty capabilities.
When comparing complicated computerized sewing machines with the mechanical Brother PQ1500SL, you’ll notice the simplicity of this straight stitch machine. It’s powerful, fast, and will piece and quilt even the heaviest of layers with ease.
Here’s an in-depth overview of its best (and worst) features
Fast Sewing Speed and Easy Control
The maximum speed of 1,500 stitches per minute allows projects to be completed faster than your everyday sewing machine, which usually has a maximum sewing speed around 850 spm.
The speed of this machine is also controlled with a responsive foot pedal. This allows you to easily speed up or slow down as you sew curves or change thicknesses along a project. While a speed slider can be a nice addition to a sewing machine, once you learn the sensitivity of the foot pedal, you’ll be controlling it well in no time.
The built-in needle threader keeps you from having to thread the needle by hand if you have poor eyesight or dexterity. Setting up and threading your machine should be a breeze. However, I personally hate the automatic needle threader on my own sewing machine, and many other Brother PQ1500SL reviews agree the threader can be finicky. It takes a bit of patience to learn and finesse to execute, but it can be a lifesaver if you’re not able to thread by hand.
An automatic thread cutter means you don’t have to find your scissors at the end of every seam. Just press a button and both the upper and lower threads are snipped for you. No need to rethread the machine afterward, either. This machine does it for you!
The presser foot pressure is adjusted with a knob. It can be increased or decreased to ensure even stitching along fabrics of different thicknesses.
The feed dogs are also adjustable with four different feed dog height settings, allowing you versatility with your fabric selection. Furthermore, a pin-feed mechanism allows you to replace the feed dogs with a single pin that extends from below the sewing machine. As a result, certain fabrics will feed even more smoothly, and feed dog marks will not remain on the bottom of delicate fabrics like velvet after feeding through.
The needle position is automatically adjusted with the push of a button.
A dial on the sewing machine controls the upper thread tension to increase or decrease the pressure on the top thread. Balancing your tension is important to take full advantage of the Brother PQ1500SL’s ability to sew perfect, even stitches. Threading the machine with the presser foot up is important to achieving good tension adjustment as well.
The PQ1500SL quilting machine also boasts an optional knee lifter, which raises the presser foot. With your knee raising the sewing foot, your hands are free to better control your fabric, removing or re-positioning it as needed.
An oversized, extension table assists with larger quilting projects. Measuring in at 12″x18″, you can use it to hold larger projects to allow for more even feeding. No need to continually reposition the fabric as you sew.
Taking Care of Your Machine
Being a semi-industrial workhorse, this machine needs to be oiled regularly. Oiling is as simple as pouring a few drops of oil into the small holes on the outside of the sewing machine. No need to take it apart like other sewing machines.
If you’re regularly using your machine, also take care to clean the lint and dust out of your workspace before starting a new project. Change needles regularly as well to decrease the likelihood of skipped stitches or damaged fabric.
The Brother PQ1500SL Machine Body Itself
Weighing in at almost 25 pounds, this workhorse quilting machine is not near as portable as some of its less dedicated competitors. That being said, it’s got to be fairly heavy for it not to bounce all over the table when sewing at its maximum speed.
Speaking of bouncing, Brother PQ15000SL reviews comment on how quiet the machine is considering its power!
Perks for Quilting
The Brother PQ1500SL is arguably one of the best Brother quilting machines as it is designed with quilters in mind.
Besides sewing at a semi-industrial speed, at 9″ x 6,” it has a larger throat space than other Brother sewing and quilting machines. It also comes with the impressively-sized extension table, a selection of quilting feet, 4 feed dog heights, an optional pin-feed mechanism, and adjustable presser foot pressure.
Very near to a heavy-duty sewing machine, it sews through almost all fabrics. One of the most annoying things as a quilter is having a sewing machine that will just not sew through bulky layers. Have no fear, the Brother PQ1500SL will pierce even the thickest of quilts with precise stitches.
Is this Brother PQ1500SL a good sewing machine for a beginner?
This sewing machine does have a steep learning curve. It’s not as simple to set up, use, or troubleshoot as some of the more basic Brother sewing machines. You might end up watching several YouTube videos before you feel comfortable taking it for a spin.
Beginner sewists, unless dedicated to quilting and quilting only, may also benefit from having a sewing machine that contains at least a zigzag stitch and buttonhole capability. A less costly machine necessitates less of an investment into a new hobby as well.
Tension, proper threading, and knowing how to adjust presser foot pressure and choose the correct feed dog orientation are complicated processes to a beginner. These processes are much simpler for more experienced sewists to troubleshoot when something goes awry with the Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine.
What is the PQ1500SL warranty?
Many Brother sewing machines come with the 1/2/25 year limited warranty, but the Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine boasts a 2/6/25 year warranty. This means parts and labor are covered for 2 years, electronics are covered for 6 years, and the chassis, or sewing machine body, is covered for 25 years.
Proof of purchase is required, so keep your receipts!
Brother PQ1500SL Pros
As one of the best in its class and price range, this sewing and quilting machine boasts many positives such as:
- Fast sewing speed of 1,500 stitches per minute
- Large throat space and very wide table to accommodate large quilting projects
- It is a very powerful sewing machine that pierces thick layers with ease. Its heavy-duty capabilities allow sewing denim, leather, or even vinyl easily.
- Quiet, considering its speed
- Affordable compared to comparable models of other brands
- Wide variety of accessories and feet included along with knee lifter
Things I’m Not in Love With
- There is no warning for when the bobbin thread is low. Machines with top-drop bobbins and clear tops allow you to visualize the remaining bobbin thread better. No one wants to be sewing and not know they ran out of thread 500 stitches beforehand!
- Lighting is good, not great. This can be fixed with an auxiliary light.
- The thread cutter trims the thread too short at times causing you to have to rethread.
- This is a straight stitch only machine, so no decorative or buttonhole stitches are included.
- The automatic needle threader takes a lot of patience and practice. So much so that you may prefer to thread by hand.
Brother PQ1500SL Review – Conclusion
As you can see from this Brother PQ1500SL review, this sewing machine is not perfect; it has its flaws. All sewing machines do.
However, the price/quality ratio is great for the budget-minded quilter looking for a fast and reliable straight-stitch quilting machine. As it’s not computerized and contains no bells and whistles, you get a stellar quilting machine for such an affordable price. You’re not likely to find a comparable sewing machine for well under $1000 like this one.
Overall, with its reliability, efficiency, effectivity, and included accessories, you can’t go wrong with the Brother PQ1500SL high-speed quilting and sewing machine.