One of the machines in the Brother Q series is the Innov-is NQ 3500D, a sewing, quilting and embroidery machine that offers 35 embroidery designs featuring Disney characters.

I had an opportunity to review this very user friendly combination machine while visiting Laura’s Sewing and Vacuum in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

At A Glance

Brother Innovis NQ 3500D

Brother Innovis NQ 3500D

The familiar Mickey Mouse silouhette on the column is a dead giveaway that the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is in some way tied to Disney characters.

Familiar Mickey Mouse silouhette

Familiar Mickey Mouse silouhette

The particular machine I reviewed also had a removable Mickey Mouse decal on the workspace surface. There is an LCD touchscreen with a touchpad beneath containing a series of function control buttons.

Function buttons above the needle and workspace include start/stop; needle up/down; design stop; thread tie off and cut; presser foot up/down; and a variable speed slider.

Above the needle, you will also find Brother’s advanced needle threader and beneath the needle is a see through bobbin cover and a needle plate with clearly defined seam guides.

There is also an on board stitch selection guide beneath the lid and a double sided accessory case that doubles as work space when the machine is used in the sewing mode and a ruler along with a slot for the knee lift to be inserted on front.

The free arm is accessible when the case is not attached. The Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D also has an embroidery unit which is attached when it is time to create embroidery designs.


  • 290 on board utility and decorative stitches including:
    • 58 combinable stitches
    • 10 one-step auto-size buttonholes
    • 5 sewing lettering fonts
  • 173 built-in embroidery designs
    • 35 designs featuring Disney characters
    • 140 frame pattern combinations
    • 11 embroidery lettering fonts
  • More than 5,000 designs available for purchase through
  • Embroidery area 6″x10″
  • Upper and lower thread sensors
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure[ Automatic Height Adjuster™ … AHA®]
  • Pivot Function
  • Enhanced My Custom Stitch™ allows users to combine and edit custom and built-in sample stitches
  • Embroidery mode on-screen editing enables:
    • letter editing
    • enhanced zoom
    • resizing
    • rotating
    • repositioning
    • combining designs

Working on the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D

The most difficult part of setting up the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D for use is deciding whether you want to sew, quilt or embroider.

Easy to understand threading and bobbin winding guides

Easy to understand threading and bobbin winding guides

Directional arrows to adjust the length and/or width

Directional arrows to adjust the length and/or width

Regardless of the mode you finally settle upon, the process of threading the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is the same. All that is necessary is to follow the easy to understand threading and bobbin winding guides.

The embroidery unit and accessories slide into place and can be removed with ease. It is important to remember, however, to turn the machine off before removing the embroidery unit.

When in the sewing or embroidery mode, the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D can be operated with the accessory case attached, making for a functional useful work surface, or with the accessory case removed, exposing the convenient free arm.

The stitch selection process is as uncomplicated as selecting a stitch design from the stitch selection guide to determine which category it falls into then using the menu buttons to go into that category and using the control buttons on the touchpad located beneath the touch screen to bring up the stitch you want.

Customizing stitches is easy

Customizing stitches is easy

If you want to change the default stitch length and width settings, simply use your finger tip to touch the icon in the upper right hand corner of the touchscreen.

Directional arrows on the touchpad make it possible for you to adjust the length and/or width to accommodate your specific requirements for customizing stitches to suit your needs at the time.

You have the option of saving frequently used stitch adjustments for future use. For this review, I sampled several utility and decorative stitches.

Not only was each stitch perfectly formed, sturdy and well defined, the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is quite, you can tell from the feel of it that this machine is solid and very well built.

I also sampled the machine while in the embroidery mode. The embroidery unit very easily slides onto the machine and locks in place. The embroidery hoop slides onto the unit and is locked into place by a small lever.

Perfectly formed, sturdy and well defined stitches

Perfectly formed, sturdy and well defined stitches

The embroidery designs are easily accessible. Selecting a design starts by first going into the menu and then scrolling through to identify the desired. User friendly on board helps enable users to make adjustments to design size and placement is as easy as can be.

In fact, it was not necessary for me to refer to the owner’s manual during this review a single time. For this part of the review, I decided to combine a frame with a monogram.

Executing this design was as easy as positioning the frame first and then the initial, then touching the start/stop button. When the frame was done, the machine stopped and sounded a soft beep.

Perfectly done design

Perfectly done design

Although I could have changed thread colors, I opted to use the same color for both steps in the interest of time. I simply touched the start/stop button a second time and in less than ten minutes, the entire design was finished… and done perfectly.


  • 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:

  • 13 Snap on presser feet
    • Zigzag foot
    • Monogramming foot
    • Overcasting foot
    • Zipper foot
    • Blind stitch foot
    • Buttonhole foot
    • Button fitting foot
    • Embroidery foot
    • Open toe foot
    • Non-stick foot
    • Stitch guide foot
    • Adjustable zipper/piping foot
    • Free-motion quilting foot
  • Needle set
  • 4 Bobbins
  • Bobbin center pin and instruction sheet
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Cleaning brush
  • Eyelet punch,
  • 4 Screwdrivers (1 large/1 small/l-shaped/disc-shaped)
  • Horizontal spool pin
  • 4 Spool caps (1 large/2 medium/1 small)
  • Thread spool insert (mini king thread spool)
  • Spool net
  • Knee lifter
  • Standard bobbin case
  • Alternate bobbin case
  • 2 Embroidery frames
    • 6” x 10”
    • 5” x 7”
  • Embroidery bobbin thread (60 weight, white)
  • Accessory bag, Hard case
  • Grid sheet set
  • Owner’s manual
  • Quick reference guide
  • Embroidery design guide,
  • Disney, Registration sheet


Optional accessories:

  • Extension table
  • Free motion guide
  • Rolling bag set
  • Pre-wound embroidery bobbins
  • Snap on presser feet
    • ¼” Piecing foot with or without guide
    • 5 Piece embellishing pack:
      • Stitch in the ditch foot
      • Roller foot
      • Piping foot
      • Edge joining foot
      • Gathering foot


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

The Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is an excellent sewing and embroidery machine. It is so easy to use, one might be tempted to use it to teach children the art of sewing and machine embroidery.

However, I strongly encourage budding home sewers younger than 12 or 13 years of age to use single function machines before venturing into the world of computerized combination machines like this one.

An excellent sewing and embroidery machine

An excellent sewing and embroidery machine

It is, however, a good machine for beginners who are in high school, but only high school students who are focused enough to understand that it is necessary for them to first learn and master the basics of sewing machine operation before attempting anything fancy like machine embroidery.

Having said all of that, I think the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is one of the most user friendly combination machines I have seen to date.

I love the ease with which you can select stitches and embroidery designs then execute them using simplified on board aids that are easy to follow even without the use of an instruction manual.

I do not, however, recommend that anyone operate the Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D without first reading the manual and taking advantage of any and all classes in the machine’s use, operation and maintenance before working on it.

The Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D is more than just user friendly. It is solid, well built and does not vibrate at all. It is also affordably priced.

This is one of those sewing and embroidery machines that really needs to be seen to be believed. Very seldom do I come across a sewing machine that I cannot find a single thing to criticize or complain about, but this is one.

Anyone who might be interested in adding a combination sewing and embroidery machine to their sewing room should make it a priority to visit their local authorized Brother Innov-is dealer and ask for a demonstration.

Brother Innov-is NQ 3500D 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 sewing, quilting and embroidery machine
  • Disney characters
  • Affordable
5.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)

7 Responses

  1. kim

    I really appreciate your website & all your reviews. Just wanted to share with people who are in the market for a new machine. Please do your shopping!!!! Locally where I live, sales people wanted at least $1,000 more for the exact models. For example, a Babylock Aventura was quoted to me $3,499 + $299 Gold Standard (warranty). I called a couple of stores 2 hours away & my price was $2,999 including Gold Standard warantee. So buying local does not mean cheaper.
    I also looked at a Brother . In my town, asking price for a discontinued model (which I was not aware) INNOV-IS 2800D, $3,499 + $262 tax. Once I again I checked another store 90 miles away & was given a price of $2,500 (tax included) plus owner is driving to my city to deliver it. It pays to shop around, let your finger do the walking & hagling.

  2. Debbie Arnold

    I have been looking at a quilting and embroidery machine. Could you tell me the difference between the Innovis NQ 3500D and the Innovis NQ2750D?

  3. Lhyatt

    Great review! I just purchased this at my local store thinking I was getting a heck of a deal, almost 1/2 price, lol. Ummm normal price! Yes do your price comparison shopping for sure!

    Where do I get the optional accessories for the NQ 3500D?

    Would like to have also seen a review on quilting abilities for this machine! I have never had to much success trying to quilt on a sewing machine

  4. Teresa Saxe

    I also am interested in this machine and the answer to the question about difference between 3500D and NQ 2750D


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