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Need help choosing between two sewing machines!

by Chris
(Chambersburg, PA)

Does anyone have an opinion on the quality of Brother vs. Janome sewing machines?

I am looking to purchase a second machine for free motion quilting. I have narrowed it down to either the Brother PQ1500S or Janome MC6300. The price difference between them is $300-$400. The Janome comes with more stitches but not sure if worth the extra money.

Would value your opinions!


Chris, I'll put this out here is hopes that some readers will respond. I'm a satisfied Viking gal and don't feel qualified to comment on the specific machines.

But in the meantime, I'll address the specific questions about more stitches.

If you are a 'crazy quilter' or into machine embroidery or have kids or grand-babies on the way where it'd be fun to 'play' with the extra stitches then I'd go for them. If you are an art quilter and embellish your work with extra stitching, then go for it.

But if this machine is strictly for free motion quilting then skip them.

The 'go-to' stitches for quilters are a good straight stitch, a zigzag and possibly a blindhem-like stitch if you do or may do machine applique. Everything else is pretty much gilding the lily as far as quilting goes.

When you test drive your choices, sew a regular quilter's seam allowance and then inspect the stitches. If they're nice and straight, EXCELLENT! But if they're wobbly, see you if you can 'fix' it with a simple tension adjustment or different needle. This is a simple check for stitch quality.

Then my best advice is to bring and quilt on things that you expect to work on. Take the time to put the machine...and the sewing machine dealer...through their paces. Sewing machines are a big invest, not something that in a year you want to have to replace.

If there's something you don't understand and can't make work, get the dealer to show you.

Good, knowledgeable dealers will be able to help you. And though it isn't a perfect predictor of how the dealer will be after the sale, if they're unwilling to help on the front side when there's money to be made, I wouldn't expect their service to get better after the sale is made.

I hope I don't sound too harsh on the dealer aspect, but I've had several emails lately about dealers that pretty much ignore the quilter after the sale is made. It's a poor way to conduct business both for the consumer and for those dealers who do do a good job supporting their customers. A good dealer is a big part of the 'which sewing machine to buy' decision.

Chris, I hope this has helped with your decision making a bit. Readers, let us know what you think about the two machines, both good and not-so-good! Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Need help choosing between two sewing machines!

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Best Sewing Machine?
by: Anonymous

The best sewing machine is the one that you sit down to and fall in love with.

What do you want to do with it? If it is all quilting, you won't need anything more than a straight stitch and if you want, a zig zag is nice too.

I have a top of the line Janome machine and I went out and bought just a straight stitch Juki 2010 which I absolutely love. It is super fast and never ever misses a stitch. It can sew thru multiple layers and I love the knee lift and thread cutter.

BUT...there are others out there that will do similar work. Buy the best you can afford, you will have it awhile! There are many brands out there but remember to buy from a dealer so you can go back to them if you have any problems.

Dealers even stand behind their used machines. I suggest trying out many different brands until you feel the most comfortable with one.

Good Luck!

choosing a machine
by: Anonymous

Get a Bernina -- go to a nearby store and have them demo and then sew on it for a while.

Brother vs. Janome
by: Donna,in BC

Hi There,

I have owned the Brother 1500 for more than eight years and have never once regretted purchasing it. I use it primarily for machine quilting, (free motion and regular ) and it has never let me down. There have been times we struggle with thread shredding but if I stick to good thread and a fairly large needle it is great.

I don't use this with a frame, just as a sit down. and have quilted many quilts of all sizes on it.

I have also used this to piece quilts on and it does a great job of that as well.

Good luck with your purchase!

Janome hands down!!
by: Anonymous

I just purchased a Janome DC2011. I've only been sewing quilt tops on it and LOVE it. I also have a Bernina, had it for 8 years. But been having lots of trouble with it. Janome all the way. I've never used a Brother.

Thank you!
by: Chris

Thank you so much for your quick response and great advice!

I, too, am a Viking Gal (Topaz 30) but am not happy with its performance on free motion quilting--although I love the embroidery features and other stitches. I appreciate your advice though and think I may opt for the machine with just straight stitching since I only need it for free motion quilting. I will be purchasing the machine on-line, (kind of scary that I am not test driving) because I can purchase it on a layaway plan. I did test drive a Janome at the quilt show last week and loved the feel of it but if the Brother has a good reputation and can save me money than I may go with that.

Hopefully the readers out there will share their opinions.

Thanks again!

Machine search
by: Doreen

Here are some thoughts: I already have a Bernina 440QE but was looking for a dependable, minimal feature machine and did purchase the newest Juki (last Nov.) and have done much quilting since then.

Love it and recommend it highly.

Reichert's was great to work with and the shipping was no problem. I live in S.E. Minnesota.

The best on your search!

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