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
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.
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.
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
- Ability to combine designs
- Advanced needle threading system
- Automatic thread tension
- More than 5,000 optional designs available through iBroidery.com
- 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.
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.
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
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Needle set
- 4 Bobbins
- Seam ripper
- 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”
- Embroidery hoops
- 5” x 7”
- 4” x 4”
- 2” x 2”
|After each use||Monthly*||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|
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.
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.
- 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.
- User friendly