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Forum > Sewing Machines > Extra harp size of Brother 1500S etc worth it? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Extra harp size of Brother 1500S etc worth it?
Compared with harp size of typical DSM
monkeymoto

monkeymoto
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Date: 8/31/12 2:14 PM

Can't decide whether to purchase the Brother 1500s or one of its "siblings"... Is the extra harp size worth the $600-$700 for quilting? The harp size on my Bernina is 7.5" to the right of the needle and 4.5" high. Thinking of skipping the $170 Bernina walking foot and probably $30 darning foot and heading straight to the ss machine with the bigger harp... But is the little bit of extra harp room worth it for quilting? This is one of those things that is hard to test drive at the store!

SouthernStitch
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Date: 8/31/12 4:22 PM

You sound like me! I desire extra harp space too, and this has been an option. I saw and fell in love with the Juki version.
If you quilt a lot, Or do anything where you need more room, I think it's well worth it, and much less expensive than the machines with large harps and all the bells too. These machines are known to free motion really nice, and have a superb straight stitch. The harp space isn't what is just to the right of the needle, and the Juki at least has more height than many. Not sure about the others.

My Bernina also has 7.5 to the right, and less than 4 inches high. I say figure the entire square inches, when comparing, not just the area to the right.

The only thing holding me back is that I know I'd rather a machine that has the large harp area and also can do more than just a SS.

Good luck!

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
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Date: 8/31/12 4:49 PM

When you compare it to the price of sending out a quilt, if you can afford it, the extra space would totally be worth it. That said I love how my Bernina sews FMQ, and didn't really like how the brother I tried did free motion quilting. I tried the nx2000. Sospace is good but try the machine, I think useability and look of the stitches is more important. You can fit a lot of quilt into most harps.
-- Edited on 8/31/12 5:33 PM --

bessiemae
bessiemae
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Date: 8/31/12 4:58 PM

OH!!!!!!

I just bought the PS1500! My dealer also does sales and service for a renown couture bridal designer......whose seamstresses use the PS1500. They carry whole lotta needles for for fine sewing. Nifty little workhorse that has an amazing stitch and can be used with a variety of quilt frames. And it will sew faux emu.....just saying.......The pin feed is to swoon over! Fabulous manual, included. I've learned so much about sewing just from reading the manual......concealed zippers...linings...and how to sew velvet with a light fabric using the included separator.

And it comes with a walking foot, if you need it.
I, too, struggled with the harp space on my general machine ( Babylock Melody/Brother Innovis NX650Q) vs. investing in an additional SS machine vs. a larger, $$$$$ general machine. Honestly, I don't use all the features on the BL/Brother, so not so keen on an upgrade. After much research, I opted for the SS machine.

Not regretting it! My general machine has 7 great feed dogs and does 850 stitches/ minute. The PS 1500 has a scary powerful motor that blows through everything! Stitch regulators are also available after market. Might get one...if I frame it.

No buyer's remorse. Only mild annoyance that I didn't get one earlier!
-- Edited on 8/31/12 4:59 PM --

------
Brother Innovis NX650Q; Brother Nouvelle 1500; Brother CS6000i; Brother 1034D; Janome 1000CPX

SouthernStitch
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Date: 8/31/12 5:06 PM

Good for you, Bessie Mae! I'm afraid I'd have to have one that has speed control though! I like to go fast, but only sometimes. I have wondered about the pin feed. So you still need a walking foot even with the pin feed? And could you elaborate some on the fabric separator? The Brother is certainly less money than the others.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Date: 8/31/12 5:19 PM

I've been MQ'ing for many years now, and I find the table space to the LEFT of the needle is way more important for quilting large pieces than the area under the arm. You will never need to shove more than 1/2 a quilt under the machine, and as you quilt out from the centre, less and less will be under there. But you will have to deal with the weight of large quilts hanging off the edge of the sewing bed or table, pulling on the needle, for the entire job. Whatever machine you end up with, quilting will be MUCH easier if it is recessed into a table, and if there is plenty of support surface behind the machine, and to your left.

Jennifer in Calgary

Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
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In reply to Jennifer Hill <<


Date: 8/31/12 5:31 PM

Quote: Jennifer Hill
You will never need to shove more than 1/2 a quilt under the machine

For me, this is not true. There are some intricate designs that I cannot quilt upside down. To do them, I need to put the entire quilt under the machine so I can have it right side up. On my current machine (Bernina 430) I can fit a twin size fully under the free arm, so using your method of quilting from the middle, I could quilt a king size, if I didn't do intricate designs. But I would have to make sure it was a design I could do upside down, or the small harp size would mean nothing bigger than a twin, or maybe a full.


As for space to the left, and the back, which is just as important, I can always add more. I just line up folding tables along the left and back of my set in quilting table (a gidget I got for just over $100) and I have as much space as my room will allow.
sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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In reply to Jennifer Hill <<


Date: 8/31/12 5:35 PM

That does just make ALL the difference...having the quilt supported vs hanging off in back or at the side. Having it recessed is as much--if not more help--than the extra inch or 2 in harp space. Many newer machines are now coming out with 10 and 11" harps...so the 9" harp isn't as faboo as it used to be but i'll say that inch or does make it enough easier for me that I would not use my standard machine for anything larger than a generously sized baby quilt. also i've found that the type of batting used can make a huge difference!! i'm going w/ very thin batt in some cases lately and it gives you much MUCH more room ..i could probably handle a much larger quilt w/ the very thin batting on my standard sized machine.

bessiemae
bessiemae
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Date: 8/31/12 5:52 PM

Pin feed is an evil spike that rises from the feed dog underworld. It spears velvets, crushables, and " hard to handle fabrics" along the seam line to pull them through the feet. While pin feed is engaged, the feed dogs are barely perceptible above the throat plate, to assist with feed, but prevent fabric damage. If you're feeling lucky, you can just drop the dogs entirely and pin feed away.

The fabric separator is a crazy little screw on to the harp bed bit of spikiness. It is a swing arm with a 2 prong fork that fits in between the layers of fabric and nestles the needle between the tines.

" Use the separator to neatly sew two hard to manage fabrics together by keeping them from interacting with one another before the needle sews them together in a perfect seam."

Other cool toys the PS1500 comes with: a commercial screw on seam guide....needle down...and thread cutter. Side vertical bobbin.

She ain't "purty" like Bernina or Pfaff. Or even the Babylock-Brother kissing cousins. In fact, she's kinda ugly....but she'll get the job done. Bit of a peasant, this one.

------
Brother Innovis NX650Q; Brother Nouvelle 1500; Brother CS6000i; Brother 1034D; Janome 1000CPX

PortlandMaine
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Date: 8/31/12 7:41 PM

There are larger harps on newer machines - but, they wont have the speed or power of this kind of semi industrial machine.

The space in this harp is nice -- Im a little math handicaped - but, the extra height in the harp on these machines makes the total harp space equal to some of the harps that are 10 or 11 inches long but with less height. I think thats right -- i spent time figuring it once .. I think the 7700 had the same amount of space as these machines.. I could be wrong -- mabe it was the 10 inch Pfaffs.. I cant remember.

------
Quilting up a storm!

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