Sewing Machine Review – Frister and Rossmann Professional Quilter’s Edition QE404

A while back my Janome sewing machine packed in and had to be sent off to be fixed. Meanwhile I was going to be left without a sewing machine for several weeks. Not good! Being an essential part of my business, really can’t work without one, I decided I’d need to buy a new one. The fact that my current machine had stopped working, highlighted the fact that I should maybe have a backup so that I could always have one on standby.

Well, the justification over, the new one I found was a Frister & Rossmann Professional Quilter’s Edition QE404. Not that I’m a quilter, although I dabble in it sometimes, but I was drawn to this one due to all the features it had and there were quite a lot of good reviews for it online. The bonus was that it was priced very reasonably for what you get, £289 and it came with a fantastic freebie bundle. I bought my machine from The Ironing Press Company which has shops on Ebay and Amazon.

Sewing Machine Review

I’ve had a chance now to give it a good run in and I must say it’s been a great choice. All-in-all I think it would be suitable for beginners and experienced alike. One word of warning if you’re buying this. The instruction booklet has been translated into English and has spelling mistakes and bad grammar. There are very clear diagrams throughout, though, so I found it easy enough to follow over-all. Here’s a list of some features:

Stitches: It has 170 plain and decorative stitches, including up to 6m alphabet stitching. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use them all but the range of stitch types is fantastic, there’s even pretty floral ones, animal ones, Japanese symbols, the list is endless. The machine also boasts 5 one-step automatic button holes, with 13 different styles, plus eyelet stitch.

Sewing Machine decorative stitches

Electronic / Computerised: this was a first for me, to have an electronic computerised machine, and I’m very impressed. It has an interactive LCD display screen, small but does the job and shows clearly what has been selected. It’s also helpful if you’ve done something wrong or a glitch arises, as it immediately stops the machine and shows a symbol to indicate what’s wrong. There’s a stitch memory so that you can program your selection of stitching, including number or letter sequences and it can stop at the end of your chosen sequence. Most of the functions are controlled electronically, so at a push of a button you can easily access some very useful features and quickly adjust the stitch length or width.

Electronic Computerised Sewing Machine

Automatic Needle Threader: There’s a lever that you can bring down to help thread the needle. I had this on my old machine but never used it as thought would be fiddly. I tried it on the new one and always use now as it’s really good. It’s a bit difficult to use at first but after you’ve tried it once or twice it’s a breeze. The needle must be at it’s highest position then you bring the lever down and follow the instructions for where to hook your thread. There is a little tiny grabber that goes through the needle eye and, on release of the lever, it pulls the thread though.

Sewing Machine Automatic Needle Threader

Twin Needle Threading: An extra spool pin is supplied which is slotted into place to allow two different threads to be used along with a twin needle. You simply thread up as normal and then put each thread through each needle eye (automatic needle threader can’t be used).

Speed Limiter: I’ve found this to be a really useful feature. You can control how slow or fast you stitch, great for beginners who may prefer to stitch slowly at first and then gradually build up the speed as confidence grows. Even for the experienced though, it’s useful for the times that you need to control the speed you stitch. I like the way the machine starts off slowly and then within seconds it gets up to the maximum speed that you’ve set. If you try to press the foot pedal too fast when you first start sewing, the machine will not start. It stops itself until you lift your foot off and then press it down slower. I found this a bit annoying at first but soon got used to it and I think this would be another good feature for beginners, so that you start off slowly and gradually build up the speed.

Stop/Start FeatureThis function allows you to stitch automatically, without the foot pedal being plugged in. Very useful I think. I tried this on a slow speed to begin with until I got used to using the stop/start button instead of the foot pedal.

Needle Up/Down Function: This is one of my favourite functions on the machine. You maybe wouldn’t think it would make such a difference but it really does. It’s not until you have this feature that you realise what a useful one it is. It eliminates the need to use the hand wheel and makes sewing so much quicker and less fiddly, as a result. A handily placed button is used for setting whether the needle should be up or down whenever you stop stitching. When you start off, you simply position your fabric under the foot as normal and press the button to make the needle go down. Start stitching and whenever you stop, to adjust or move the fabric around, the needle will stop in the down position. When you’ve stopped sewing just press the button to put the needle back into up position.

Reverse Button: Most machines have this feature for back-stitching but, being electronic, this one took a little bit getting used to. It works really well but when you press the button you need to be aware that the machine will slow down (helpful) and there’s a very slight delay (1-2 stitches) before it goes into reverse. So you need to press the button just before you want to go backwards.

Free Arm: This is essential for sewing trouser legs and sleeves. I use this facility a lot when I’m bag making, mostly for stitching around the top edges of bags and accessories. On this machine, you remove the accessories box to allow you to fit trouser legs and sleeves, or in my case bags, over the free arm.

Sewing Machine free arm facility

Quilting and Embroidery: 20 of the stitches have been specially designed for quilting, giving you plenty of variety. The machine also comes with a flat bed table extension to increase working area. The feed dogs can be dropped for doing free hand embroidery or for traditional darning.

Sewing Machine Frister & Rossmann QE404

Sewing Feet: I am so impressed by the range of sewing feet supplied: general all-purpose foot, narrow hem foot, buttonhole foot, gathering foot, blind hem foot, straight sewing foot, overlock foot, cording foot, embroidery foot, walking foot and cutting/sewing foot. I don’t think I’ll want for any other feet ever (apart from a teflon coated one I’d bought separately for sewing laminated cotton).

Accessories and Freebies: I think everything you could need to start sewing comes with this package. As well as all the extra feet (above) it comes with the usual accessories: bobbins, screw drivers, spool caps, button hole cutter, extra spool pin and finger protector. The extra freebies I got were a pack of scissors in all sizes, thread nippers, loads of extra needles in different sizes, a box of 10 large sewing threads, seam ripper and a sewing essentials kit.

All-in-all this sewing machine is a fantastic all-rounder. I love using it and it’s ant-jam rotary mechanism is very quite and works smoothly. It’s capable of sewing all types of fabric, from light weight delicates to heavy denim.


150 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Review – Frister and Rossmann Professional Quilter’s Edition QE404

  1. Hi All, WOW! what a brilliant site, so glad I stumbled upon it, you are all so helpful xx I’ve just had a bad experience with the singer brilliance 680 machine and have had to send it back to Create and Craft (unfortunately they are not very good at refunding your money) so as soon as my refund is in the bank I was hoping to buy the 404, having read a lot of good reviews on it. At the moment I have the Lidl Silvercrest machine and wow what a lovely piece of machinery it is, can throw anything at it and it will take it. It FAB. But I want something more, hoping the 404 will be the ONE!! and for the money it’s right in my price range. I was just wanting to ask if you would say to me “GO FOR IT” as money is really tight at the moment!

    Thanks in advance
    Carol xx

    1. Hi Carol,
      so pleased you’re finding the site and visitors so helpful. I’ve had my 404 for for over a year now and have had a couple of wee hiccups with it but all-in-all it’s quite a good machine. Not quite as high spec as I’d originally thought but it is good value for money and (as long as you get it serviced regularly) it should serve you well. I love all the features it has and am ensuring I make good use of them.
      Susie x

  2. Hi again Susie,
    I mailed you a couple of weeks ago about raising the feed dog on my Frister Rossmann Eurospecial and your suggestion worked. Now I’m struggling to lower the feed dog, can you help me again?
    Also, across the front of the machine are the stitches that can be created, the block on the left has a dot over and these are the straightforward stitches (no problem). What are the 2 blocks to the right with S1 and S2 over. I can find no mention in the instruction book.
    Hoping to hear from you again,

    1. I hope I can help. This is a different sewing machine to mine and I’m struggling to find pictures of it online. Can you send me an image of the front of the machine and the back where the feed dog button is? Send to susieddesigns(dot)uk(a)gmail(dot)com

    1. mine is starting to do the same now, after a fair bit of use. I haven’t solved mine yet! If anyone has any ideas that would be great. x

  3. Hi Ladies,
    I have this machine and have found it invaluable. I have a broken bobbin shuttle and struggling to find a replacement online. Anyone have any suggestions where I could get one?
    Thanks Jo x

  4. Hi I purchased a Frister Rossman 404 quilter proffesional machines last year within the first few months it broke down. It went back to Ironing press company who repaired it and said it was a very rare occurrence. I had a long break from sewing during the winter. When I went to use the machine again it broke down again exactly the same problem with the timing, by this time the 12 months guarantee had expired, I phoned the company who said that they would repair the machine but I would have to pay for the repair and postage the parts are free. I paid this and the machine went away again and was repaired but came back with the casing damaged which the company said must have happened in the post. They collected the machine and put repaired the casing. Now just a couple of months later the machine has gone again with the same problem.

    I am at the end of my tether with this I have tried several times to phone the company and they constantly have a answer machine on. My last sewing machine lasted over 20 years without any problems, and I have had to resort to using that again to complete the sewing for my daughters wedding. Do you know of anyone who has had the same problem?


    1. I think I would want my money back for the machine at this stage. If it has continuously had to be fixed over the first year and still not in working order, I think you might have the right to get a refund under the Sale of Goods act. It doesn’t matter if it’s out of warranty, you are covered for things like this for about 5 or 6 years from purchase. The company will tell you there’s nothing they can do but I think, by law, you have more rights. In the first instance, contact Trading Standards and ask their advice. They will tell you what you can do.

  5. i am becoming very frustrated with my 404 as it frequently puckers up the thread at the back of garment for no apparent reason – any suggestions

  6. hi susie ….have had my machine a couple of weeks its been sewing brilliantly ,now all of a suden the bobbin will not stay threaded. the thread stays in A but jumps out of B after a few stitches .i have cleaned it etc but cant seem to find problem any ideas? thanx

    1. Hmmm. I wonder if it’s damaged at all? When you’re threading up, try using your nail or a needle to get the thread in right place. Try a newly threaded up bobbin in case the one you’re using is wound too tight or loose or thread not good. Use the same sort of thread as using for the needle. Hope one of those things work. Susie x

  7. Morning…I,m from south africa and bought this machine on amazon, thinking there would be a dvd with it. Thnx so much ffor the basic info on the machine. Can u plz send us a tutorial on how to use the machine and what exactly all the different feet are for and how to use it plz. Tnx Caldene

    1. Thank you, I’ve got quite a few different tutorials on my blog for how to use this machine, including a comprehensive instructional one, and use of some of the different feet. Have a look at my previous posts for them.

  8. Hi Suzanne, thanks for your Review! I bought the QE 404 after reading your blog and love it. But I have some romblems, too. For example, there is a gap between the two parts of the housing and the upper thread is sucked into that gap. I wrote more about it here: Did you had a similar problem? Or anyone else? Would be grateful for tips! Thank you so much! Katharina

  9. I meant problems, of course. Another problem is the bobbin thread which is oftenly sucked into the beginning of the seem. Is there any thing I could do to avoid that. But anyway, I love th embroidery!

  10. Does anyone know how the lettering works. I have. Toyed the normal selection of the letter however when you come to the stitching it doesn’t stitch the letter can any one help please?

  11. Hello, being new to sewing I purchased this machine to grow with, the intention is that it is all that I will ever need in a sewing machine, Im not sure if I am not doing something correctly but when I am sewing with the standard foot i am finding it really difficult to do curves yet if i change to the walking foot can do them with ease. Is there something I need to adjust ie feed dogs or is it a case of just practice will sort the problem out.
    Hope someone can help a newbie TIA. x

  12. Are these machines actually made by Frister and Rossmann because mine from the ironing company has arrived today with no name on it and on the packet it says made in china… now Frister and Rossmann are made in Germany I believe.. so are the actually made by Frister and Rossmann as described on their listings on ebay and Amazon?

  13. Hi Susie, I have just bought the 404 quilter professional I have been trying all the stitches out and playing around with the machine enjoying my self , But try as I may I can not get the button hole stitch to work I just get the arrow pointing down and a little box , looking all through the instructions nothing in there really tells you how to use the button foot step by step , I so hope you can help me if not it’s going back all so it dose not sew the little dog right the head and body do not connect.

  14. Hi I’m just wondering if anyone’s stitches is coming out on the wrong side of the material as mine does

  15. I am trying to find an overlock foot, mine broke, Where do I go. I really like this machine. I purchased it in Saint John, N. B. in 1999.

    1. When you used the overlock ear foot did the needle come down over metal of foot?mine does and I can’t see how to move needle to left. Any suggestions please

  16. Hi could anyone tell me why my 404 quilter’s machines is sewing the patterns on the underside of the material, instead of the top.

    1. Check that you have inserted your bobbin in the correct position. I can vaguely remember this kind of problem when I first purchased my machine.

  17. Hello,

    Might be a long shot, but I have a Frister Rossmann Euro Special, without any manuals or instructions etc. Had a really good search online but came up with almost nothing. If anyone can point me in the right direction, or has this machine and would be willing to help me out it would be greatly appreciated.

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