Not long ago, I spent an entire day at Laura’s Sewing and Vacuum Palm Beach Gardens store reviewing Brother’s line of Q sewing, quilting and embroidery machines. The first machine that I got my hands on was the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E, one of the most user friendly embroidery only machines I have ever seen.

At A Glance

Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E

Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E

The Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E has all of the essential features that anyone would need to make a machine embroidery experience as pleasant and user friendly as possible.

Four function buttons

Four function buttons

Under the lid, you will find very easy to follow threading and bobbin winding guides. Beneath the needle is a bright LED light along with Brother’s quick set bobbin and see through bobbin cover.

A USB port

A USB port

There are only four function buttons… start/stop, thread tie and cut, needle up/down and presser foot up/down. In all honesty, these four buttons are all that’s necessary do to anything that you could possibly think of.

On the column, there is a full color LCD screen and a series of menu buttons that help you navigate through the 138 on board embroidery designs, adjust the design size and placement, a pivot foot control, on board tutorial and help menu.

A USB port on the right side of the machine allows you to use your own stored embroidery designs, and to download additional free and purchased designs from the web and updates from the manufacturer when necessary.


  • On-screen editing includes:
    • Letter editing
    • Enhanced zoom
    • Resizing
    • Rotating
    • Repositioning
    • Ability to combine designs
  • Advanced needle threading system
  • Automatic thread tension
  • More than 5,000 optional designs available through
  • Upper and lower thread sensors
  • 2 LED lights [one above the needle and one between the needle and column]
  • Quick set bobbin
  • On board memory
  • Trial position/layout feature
  • Rotate pattern 1 o, 10 o or 90o

Working on the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E

Although I would never advise anyone to do this, I actually sat down and went to work on this user friendly machine without referring to the user’s manual or asking a single question about its functions and operation.

This embroidery only machine is actually so user friendly that anyone who is familiar with the workings of a sewing machine can do the exact same thing.

Design options on the screen

Design options on the screen

After threading the machine and inserting the pre-wound bobbin, I attached the 6” x 10” embroidery hoop by simply sliding it into place and closing the clamp on the embroidery unit.

When the hoop was securely in place, I then touched the icons on the screen to scroll through design options until I settled on a single color sailboat.

Finished product

Finished product

When I touched the design I wanted, the image appeared on the screen inside a box that represented the size of my embroidery hoop.

The original design was a bit smaller than I wanted, so I touched the ‘size’ button and a window appeared which allowed me to change my design in a number of ways.

I could have made it larger, smaller, taller, shorter, wide or narrow. I elected to keep the default proportions and just make the image larger.

That was as easy as merely tapping the icon until I was satisfied with the size on the screen. I then shifted the design up a little until it was positioned where I wanted it to be.

I then touched the ‘set’ button and an image appeared on the screen letting me know the number of stitches would be required to finish my design and the approximate time from start to finish.

The whole process took only a few short minutes. The only thing left for me to do was to lower the presser foot and touch the start/stop button, then just step back and let the machine do what it was built to do.


  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Denim
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers


Standard accessories:

  • Needle set
  • 4 Bobbins
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Lint brush
  • Two screwdrivers (1large/1 small
  • L-shaped screwdriver
  • Disc-shaped screwdriver
  • 4 Spool caps (1 large/2 medium/1 small)
  • Thread spool insert
  • Spool net
  • White pre-wound embroidery bobbin thread (60 weight)
  • Accessory bag
  • Dust cover
  • Operation manual
  • Quick reference guide
  • Embroidery design guide
  • Bobbin center pin and instruction sheet
  • Alternate bobbin case
  • Embroidery hoop-6” x 10”

Optional accessories:

  • Embroidery hoops
    • 5” x 7”
    • 4” x 4”
    • 2” x 2”


After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

While running, the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E is so quiet I barely noticed it while I was talking with customers who were observing me put this machine through its paces about just how easy the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E is to operate.

As easy as operating the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E is, I would never recommend it for use by anyone who is not first familiar with the operation of a sewing machine.

With that in mind, I think this is an excellent machine for someone whose sewing skills are at the intermediate or ‘advanced beginner’ level.

Anyone who is a capable home sewer and ready to expand their skills to include machine embroidery would do well to invest in this machine.

An excellent machine

An excellent machine

There is such a small learning curve on this machine, I believe anyone who decides to add the Brother Innov-is to their sewing room will be able to produce an infinite number of embroidered projects within a few hours after getting it home.

This is not a machine for children, however – no matter how well they can perform basic sewing functions. No doubt, a child who already knows the basics of sewing machine operation will want to play around with the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E, creating their own customized embroidery designs.

But this is NOT a toy. The Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E is affordable, but it still costs enough that very few home sewers would be comfortable in allowing a youngster to operate it.

My recommendation is that no child younger than 16 years of age should not be allowed to use this machine – even with adult supervision. Of course, there exceptions to every rule.

I have seen youngsters as young as 12 or 14 who would sincerely appreciate being able to work on the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E. Therefore, the final decision as to when to allow the budding designer in your household to work on this machine is entirely up to the person who makes the investment.

Older teens, young adults and people who have been sewing for many years would appreciate the ease with which they can move from a traditional sewing machine to the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E.

The transition to this embroidery only machine is remarkably seamless. The on board tutorials and easy to follow guides are probably the most essential factors in making this such a user friendly machine.

Although I have been sewing for most of my life, my experience with machine embroidery has been limited to the freehand embroidery designs that I created on my old machines from the 1960s.

Until very recently, I was quite content with performing machine embroidery tasks the old fashioned way… tracing my designs onto water soluble or tear away stabilizer, then hooping my fabric, dropping the feed dogs and then sitting there, guiding the machine through each and every stitch. This machine, however, has me thinking about doing something different.

Before making a final decision to invest in the Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E and adding one to your personal sewing space, I urge you to visit an independent Brother Innov-is dealer in your local area and take a few moments to see this machine in operation.

Ask for a hands on demonstration and see for yourself just how easy it is to create customized embroidery designs in just a little bit of time with a minimum of instruction or guidance from a sales associate.

Brother Innov-is NQ 1400E Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Stitch quality
Ease of use
  • User friendly
  • Affordable
5.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (50 Votes)

11 Responses

  1. Speattle

    I appreciate reading this review. I just purchased one of these machines a few weeks ago, but have yet to unbox it.

  2. Lynn W

    Between the Brother NQ1400E and the Babylocke Flourish, both machine you have reviewed with high remarks. Which machine would you choose knowing both are made my the same company ,but given the choice which would you choose. You reviews are very helpful and I like both but just don’t know which one. Don’t want to buy one and wish later I should of bought the other. I value your opinion. Thank you

    • Vernelle

      Hello, Lynn –

      There is virtually no difference between the Brother NQ 14000E and the Baby Lock Flourish. If I had to make a decision, it would be based entirely upon which machine was the better deal financially.

      • Speattle

        If one likes to stitch out Disney designs, then go with the Brother. It is the only brand that is programmed for licensed Diney/Pixar designs.

        This grandmother of six uses Disney a lot!

  3. Mickey

    I recently purchased a Brothers Scan N Cut – will this machine work with it. I believe the term is digitizing? I think it means it will actually appliqué pattern I have cut on the Scan and Cut?
    Thank you

  4. Pam B

    I just purchased the Brother NQ1400e 2 days ago. I was replacing my 5 year old PE770. I was a little worried that this wouldn’t be enough of an improvement over my 770, but have to say I’m not disappointed! My main reason for wanting to upgrade was the display and the NQ1400 has gone above my expectations. The display is small, but plenty large enough, even for my failing eyes to see a clear image of the design. The other feature that my 770 didn’t offer was the ability to add more than 1 design! This feature alone would have been worth the upgrade for me. Previous reviews noted that when you change colors, the bobbin thread doesn’t always catch. I have not had that happen even once. I suspect that the machines with the complaint might have needed service, or possibly user error. There is a little learning curve with how tight to hold the thread tail when starting out (I learned that with my last machine). If you hold it too tight, it won’t catch the bobbin thread, if you don’t hold it at all, it gets sucked to the back of the work and can tangle up. Brother has really mastered the “user friendly” embroidery, with the touch screen. It is easier to use than my iPhone. I was able to start embroidering using the new features without even cracking the book open. The quality of the stitching is beautiful (so was my less expensive pe770). I considered a used 4 needle machine, but after seeing the size of them and learning the costs of repairs, decided to stick with the home embroidery machine and am so glad I did!

  5. Cynthia Pryer

    I have recently purchased the NQ but I have yet to get really involved in the business.
    I appreciate the information you put forward, I am teaching myself and have had a bit of problem hooping my fabric. I guess practice makes perfect. I am also in need of an inexpensive software program (car trouble after machine purchase). Any advise in that area?

    • lynn

      I purchased the Embrilliance Software and it works well, and it is rather simple to use and there are plenty of tutorials to be found to help you out.

    • Pam

      check out “My Editor” embroidery software. It is free and has resizing capability with stitch recalculation for density. I use it more than the Floriani software that cost me $300. Also, if you get the chance to take a Floriani or other stabilizing class/workshop go for it. I just did a Floriani “event”. It cost me $50 but included a “free gift” worth $500 (a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have bought, but nice to have). I learned a lot about hooping and now don’t actually put the fabric in the hoop most of the time. Hoop the stabilizer and attach the fabric to the stabilizer on top of the hoop. Some of the stabilizer has a sticky surface (peel off a backing) or wet the surface to make it sticky. I had the most problem with hooping too until learning about the different stabilizers and hooping methods! Happy stitching!


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