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5 great features of the NQ900 sewing machine

by Christine Baker

During my September blog posts on QUILTsocial I showed you many of my favorite hand embroidery stitches, and we created a lovely, embroidered panel.

A beige piece of linen fabric embroidered with the word Needles and an assortment of multicolored flowers and leaves shown on grey fabric. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

The completed embroidery piece

I hope you’ve had time to finish your hand-embroidered panel, because this week we’ll make it into a needle roll for storing all your hand embroidery needles. To do this I’ll use my wonderful Brother NQ900 sewing machine.

A white, grey, green, and blue baby quilt featuring an elephant motif is shown displayed on the bed of a white and blue NQ900 sewing machine from Brother. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

The Brother NQ900 sewing machine.

I first introduced you to the Brother NQ900 in my QUILTsocial post –  6 features I love on the Brother NQ900 sewing machine. During that week I showed you how to make the adorable baby quilt shown above, so if you have any baby showers to go to in the next few months, check out that fast and fun pattern.

I loved testing the NQ900 sewing machine so much, that when it came time to send it back to Brother, I asked if I could purchase it! We’ve done a lot of sewing together since then, and I still find it to be a great machine. Like I said back in 2017, the NQ900 has lots of great features and after more than four years of using this machine, here are the ones I still find the best!


The first thing to mention about this machine is its portability. At just 23lbs, the Brother NQ900 is so easy to take along on vacation, to classes, on a quilt cruise, or as I’m going next week, to quilt retreat!

A white and blue NQ900 sewing machine is shown set up on a brown table with an assortment of sewing tools and notions on its right side. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

The NQ900 sewing machine set up at quilt retreat.


The extension table on the NQ900 is not only huge, but it also has fold-up legs so it can be easily stored or slipped into a bag to take along with the machine. I can’t tell you how much I love this feature – especially when I see other quilters struggling to transport their extension tables!

A white NQ900 extension table is shown with its legs folded and a yellow cutting mat and two yellow gridded rotary cutting rulers. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

The extension table legs fold up for travel or storage.


The needle threader on this machine blew me away when I first tried the machine, and it still works just as great today as it did on day one! It’s so easy to use, I just had to make a little video to show you. The needle threader can be used with machine needles 75/11 through 100/16.

A short video showing how to use the needle threader on the NQ900. Brother NQ900 sewing machine: 


I still love how this machine won’t stitch if the presser foot is up. If the foot is up, the stop/start button glows red and the machine beeps if you put your foot down on the foot pedal. This is a wonderful feature, especially when using the free-motion quilting foot as it prevents you from getting those huge bird’s nests of thread on the back of your quilt. Here’s what each color means:

  • Green: The machine is ready to sew or is sewing.
  • Red: The machine can’t sew.
  • Orange: The machine is winding the bobbin thread, or the bobbin winder shaft is moved to the right side.

A close up photo of the red stop/start button on the NQ900 sewing machine. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

Red glowing start/stop button


Another super feature is that you can’t thread the NQ900 when the presser foot is down. A little cover, called the upper thread shutter, slides over the take-up lever and prevents you from pulling the thread through. If you thread your sewing machine when the foot is down, you may not get the thread between the two tension discs and when you sew, the tension between your top and bottom threads may be completely unbalanced. I see this happen a lot when I’m teaching beginner machine quilting classes, so I wish this feature was available on every machine!

A closeup photo of the top of the NQ900 sewing machine showing the closed upper thread shutter that prevents the sewing machine from being threaded. Brother NQ900 sewing machine

The upper thread shutter is closed, preventing the machine from being threaded.

Now that I’ve reacquainted you with the Brother NQ900, tomorrow we’ll use this great machine to get “rolling” on our project for the week!

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Use 505 Spray and the NQ900 sewing machine to easily baste your project


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