Singer 201-2 Update

Free Motion Fun on “Betty”

I realized I haven’t really posted an update on using my Singer 201-2 in a while.

I’ve named her “Betty” and she’s become my main sewing machine.  I hardly ever use my Janome 415 anymore unless I’m doing an appliqué stitch on something.  Piecing, quilting and binding are a cinch on my Singer.

I do oil her regularly and I don’t often have to clean out lint since the thread I usually use doesn’t have a lot of lint in it.  Winding bobbins are pretty easy, the thread feeds just fine off of the Sulky cones and I don’t have a thread tension problem anymore even while Free Motion Quilting.

I do eventually want to purchase a new marked needle plate since it would be a nice thing to have on the machine while using my walking foot.  I also want to get a Supreme Slider for when I’m doing FMQ as I’ve heard good things about it reducing friction.   Leah Day swears by it.  I know some people go as far as using a quilting frame like the one John Flynn has on this machine but I don’t know if I’m ready for that.

Results of chalk marking

I did get some new templates and a new chalk pounce for quilt design marking.  It worked out okay.  I sometimes have trouble gripping the fabric as I’m doing my FMQ designs.  I know some people use a hoop that sits on top of the fabric but I don’t know how that would work for me.

The photo on the left is the “after” picture of a design that I marked using the new chalk pounce.  Using the pounce the first time I had to really rub it several times over the template.  Then as you are doing your free motion some of it rubs off in other spots so by the time you get to a certain corner it is way lighter than it was in the beginning.  I may have to mark a block at a time or something.  For dark fabrics this works great though.  That fabric is the backing of a sewing machine cover that I worked on this past weekend.  It will be reversible.  I’ve just gotta finish sewing the binding on this week and stitching it down.

I took my Janome 415 to a quilting bee yesterday and it was SO loud.  I need to take it apart and clean out the inside.  Something is causing it to be that loud.  The noise started when I tried free motion quilting on it several months ago before I got my Singer 201-2 and ever since then it has been loud.  I’m hoping a good cleaning and oiling will take care of the noise.

The only drawback of my Singer is that it is built into the cabinet.  The presser foot is actually built in to it.  I’m sure I can clip the cord and attach my own presser foot but I don’t know if I want to do that right now.  It isn’t exactly the lightest thing to tote around to sewing classes weighing 30 pounds.  It would be nice to take it out at some point.  I hope that one day I can afford a decent sewing cabinet for both my machines.  Would also be nice if I could afford a nice Pfaff.  Maybe one day.


  1. Fitness Asylum says:

    wow. this quilting stuff is very technical.
    also, why "betty" and not "veronica?"
    oh yeah, it must be the "B" rule at play in your house again

  2. Anonymous says:

    I just bought a 201 off ebay. Reading your blog makes me feel like it was a good decision. I have a Pfaff and if I was happy with it, I wouldn't have gone looking for an old Singer. If you buy a Pfaff, spend the extra money. They one I have (I think I paid $600 for it four years ago) does a great 1/4 inch seam. However, going over four layers causes it to skip. Readjusting the tension, top and bottom, does not fix it. Just a word to the wise. It is a rule that I have to name my 201? Happy quilting, Maura

  3. Maura – Naming your 201-2 is something fun! I hope you enjoy your 201. Get it serviced, especially after ordering it off of Ebay.

    The only thing I wish it had was a needle/down and up feature for free motion quilting. It wasn't too hard to automatically turn the wheel as you were FMQ but it is something I wish I could have added to it.

    If you can't splurge and get a nice Sewing machine with all the awesome features the 201-2 is a great option for quilting.

    • Mrs Anderson says:

      I have just bought a 201k off eBay, which I intend to use for quilting, and I’m just running through possible names for her. The front runner is ‘Clyde’ since she was made in Clydebank, which is pretty near where I live. Ohmygosh, I’m excited and nervous all at once!

  4. I had not thought of a name until reading this blog..Cannot remember where the 201-k I have in my table now was made but when Mrs. A mentioned Clyde it makes me laugh..My name being Bonnie and my hubby is Clayton instead of Clyde i think it might be Clayton…lol
    I have several Singer sewing machines; 2 201-k s one for home and one for our trailer a singer 1915? that is a hand crank and was used at our cottage as we had not hydro..just cannot part with it and another singer the one that size which is between the feather weight and the regular 201-k is in peices at this moment…there is also a kenmore and a small Janome as well.
    Right now I’m sturggleing with the 201-k and jonome that they are both skiping stiches. I’ve been looking to see if i can find some fixes for this problem as I have a quilt on the go every day and when I go to MFQ them it is SOOO furstrating..when the Singer works it is a dream and I can FMQ for hours with out burning out a motor . Have done that in the past with one of the others.
    My husband and I rewired both of the 201-ks this spring as the wires had become very brittle. There are lots of woring diagrams on line and it was not to bad to do. We also add longer cords to plug them in instead of using extention cords as i have had to do in the past.
    If anyone has any ideas on the skipping when FMQ i’d like the input.
    Thanks B&C