I have recently purchased a Bother 1500 with a Grace frame. I love the whole set up as long as my thread is not breaking. Since I have had my thread breaking I have got to know my 1500 very well. Turns out the bobbin tension was too tight, the frame was not level and my bobbin had a scratch on it. I learned how to fix the bobbin tension from Cindy Needham's class on Craftsy, Design it Quilt it. She is a wealth of knowledge, if you are interested in free motion quilting of feathers or backgrounds you must check it out. http://www.craftsy.com/classes/quilting-techniques


  1. Hello April.... I came across your blog on Pinterest. Your quilting is just gorgeous! I see that you are using a Grace frame and a Brother 1500. I'm ready to purchase a frame and machine myself. The Gracie queen is the frame I've decided on, but am not sure on the machine. My budget will allow the Brother or the Janome 1600. The side load bobbin seems like a nice feature. Also the auto thread cutter. Do the feed dogs drop on the Brother? Any insight you may have would be very much appreciated. I'm so inspired by your work, I'm determined to learn my way. Thank you for your time.


  2. Hi Ruth,
    I have not used the Janome but from what I can see online it look like the better machine but the price is also higher.
    I bought my Brother used at a local sewing store and I paid $600.00.

    Brother - cost less, the feed dogs do go down
    Janome - will not sew unless the presser foot is down, this is very important because if the presser foot is up the brother will still sew and a rat mess happens underneath, the side bobbin is great, I have to move my machine over to the side to change the bobbin, and it looks like the thread system is easier, which is always nice.

    Here is something else to think about, once you have you frame and machine you will want to upgrade ASAP.
    The upgrades that I made:
    The Metal Carriage is a must have mine glides almost as well as a Long Arm you can find it here for $147.00 http://www.kathyquilts.com/Grace-Company-Carriage-Upgrade-Replacement-Carriage-for-Grace-Frames-KathyQuilts.com.html
    The Stop Start control box which you can find here for $56.00 http://www.overstock.com/Crafts-Sewing/Grace-Speed-Control-Box-For-Quilting-Sewing-Machine-GC-020-NEW/8486804/product.html
    A light that snaps on the frame or I use a small clamp lamp that I had around the Grace lamp is here for about $47.00 http://www.kathyquilts.com/Grace-Company-Gooseneck-Lamp-and-Brite-White-Bulb-for-Grace-Machine-Quilting-Frames-and-Crafting-KathyQuilts.com.html
    Maybe Later a Ruler Foot and some rulers, this site is great http://www.finishingtouchesquiltingstudio.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3134568
    You can also replace your plastic track for Stainless Steel Rods that are 1/4 inch which you can get 8 foot long at Lowes or Home Depot unfortunately I am unable to find 12ft YET. My husband suggested a metal factory
    These upgrades make my quilting so much better and I am use to putting the presser foot down now. I hope this helps, I am seriously thinking about going to a Long Arm in about a year and turning all of this into a business.
    Let me know if you have any other questions, I would to help.

    Thank you, April Wells


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