Quilting is a creative process and to piece together different fabrics to create a masterpiece, you need the best quilting sewing machine. Sadly, many people still use a standard sewing machine in hopes of creating a masterpiece.
What many people forget is that a standard sewing machine is suited for mending garments, making costumes and dresses. Also, it is used for other light projects.
To piece fabrics together and create a beautiful quilt, you need the best quilting sewing machine. A sewing machine for quilting comes with amazing features that enable you to tackle large projects.
For starters, a sewing machine for quilting is capable of stitching 600 to 1500 stitches per minute. As such, you can complete your projects quickly.
Second, the machine comes with an extra workspace. This is beneficial in that you can maneuver large projects much easier. Don’t forget about the 100s of built stitches, fonts, LCD display, speed control, easy-to-use needle threading system, and stitch selector.
The features above are just a tip of the iceberg. The real task is shopping for the best quilting sewing machine that meets your needs.
To help you with this, I have compiled sewing machines for quilting reviews. In each review, I have highlighted the useful features of each machine, its pros, and its cons.
Want to simplify your shopping?
BEST QUILTING SEWING MACHINE REVIEWS 2021 [LIST OF ALL AVAILABLE TYPES] BUYING GUIDE, & HOW TO CARE]
Quilting Sewing Machine and It’s Benefits
What is a quilting machine?
This can be described as a creative machine that allows quilters to express themselves through thread and fabric. Basically, it is a machine that allows beginners and advanced quilters alike to create masterpieces. They include costumes, window curtains, quilts, and other DIY projects.
What are the benefits of quilting machines to quilters?
Helps you turn your dreams into a rewarding hobby
Quilters have one dream in mind. To create masterpieces using quilting machines. These masterpieces can range from window curtains to costumes and quilts. Since quilting machines have an extra workspace, it is easy to maneuver large projects. Once the masterpieces are done, quilters can sell them on Shopify and other online stores.
Modern quilting machines come with amazing features designed to save you time. For starters, you have the easy needle threading system. This system makes it easy for you to thread the machine. Next, you have the instructional DVD. It helps learners to get started quickly. Inside, you should find short videos on sewing, quilting, and others.
Helps you finish your masterpieces quickly
Modern quilting machines are computerized. As such, they are capable of stitching more than 1000 stitches per minute. For a project that took you several hours to complete, now you can complete it in a few minutes. Also, precision ensures your stitching lasts long.
Saves you money
Buying a high-quality quilt or prom dress is very expensive. To save money, invest in the best quilting sewing machine. With this, not only are you able to make quilts for your home but you can sell your masterpieces online.
As a user, your primary cost will be fabrics and other materials. This is less expensive compared to store-bought prom dresses and quilts.
Regular Quilting Sewing Machine Reviews
You can find the manufacturer video on the product page.
One of the reasons I fell in love with this model is that it comes with a full set of accessories. They include a wide table that provides extra working space. This comes in handy when working on oversized quilts and large window curtains. Other accessories include a bag of needles, extra spool pin, eyelet punch, and a cleaning brush.
This model has a backlit LCD screen display with a useful role. For starters, the LCD display provides vital information. For instance, the type of stitch selected and other settings.
According to sewing machine for quilting reviews, this machine also features a jam-resistant drop-in bobbin. Thanks to this amazing feature, the bobbin stays in place as you work. This ensures that your final work is stylish with durable stitching.
Do you find it difficult to work with dark fabrics? Worry no more. This quilting machine comes with an LED bulb that illuminates the work area brightly. As a result, it is now easy for you to work on dark fabrics.
- Comes with an extra-wide working table
- Has a start/stop button
- Comes with 100 built-in stitches
- Has an LCD display with backlit for easier viewing
- Comes with a manual and instructional DVD for easier use
- The machine does struggle when working on thick fabrics
- The lubricant from the machine emits an unpleasant odor
- Quilting feet not included, and required an additional purchase for free motion quilting foot, though it’s inexpensive.
You can find the manufacturer video on the product page.
Looking for a sewing and quilting machine that comes with a hard protective case? Then you will surely fall in love with this model. Apart from the protective case, the model comes with an oversized table. This is suitable for working on oversized quilts and other large projects.
Do you find it hard to thread the needle? This machine comes with a printed diagram that allows for easy bobbin winding. All you have to do is follow the numbered diagram. This allows you to thread the needle in seconds. With a built-in free arm, sewing sleeves, cuffs, and other cylindrical items are now easy to make.
An easy to use LCD display is available on the machine. At the touch of a button, you can select a stitch and view the selected setting on the LCD display. The maximum sewing speed for this machine is 850 stitches per minute. If this is too fast for you, control the speed using the adjustable sewing speed dial.
- Comes with an LED bulb that illuminates the work area brightly
- Has a built-in free arm that makes it easy to sew cylindrical items
- Has a large table for working on large projects
- The machine is great for DIY projects
- Suitable for beginners and advanced users alike
- Does not work well with thick fabrics
- You need a specialized presser foot to combat presser foot tension
You can find the manufacturer video on the product page.
As a versatile quilting machine, it is perfect for DIY projects at home. That includes quilts, pillow making, and others. Available with 74 stitch functions, 37 built-in stitches, users can select any using the stitch selector. All one has to do is turn the dial. It is as simple as that.
Available stitch options include decorative, heirloom, garment construction. Also, it comes with a 1 step automatic buttonhole stitch.
Just like other quilting machines built by Brother, this model has a jam-resistant bobbin. This feature helps to keep the bobbin in place as you work. Also, users get to enjoy a high level of reliability seen on the masterpieces one makes.
For beginners, the model comes with an instructional DVD. Getting started is very easy. The instructional video covers everything – from threading to stitch selection and sewing.
For large sewing projects such as window curtains, the machine has an extra workspace. To ensure the model lasts long, the manufacturer offers a 25-year limited warranty. Free technical support via phone and online is available too.
- Comes with an auto buttonholer for creating perfect buttonholes
- Has extra workspace for handling large projects
- Easy to use, automatic needle threading system
- Comes with instructional DVD to help beginners learn quickly
- Allows you to create masterpieces
- Built-In Quilting Stitches
- Lacks a protective hardcover
- Comes with fewer built-in stitches compared with other models
This is a computerized sewing machine built by Brother, a company with a great reputation. As an easy-to-use sewing machine, it is built for flexibility and creativity. Designed for beginners and experienced users alike, it comes with 8 style buttonholes. Also, it has 165 unique heirlooms, alphanumeric and decorative stitches. This makes it easy for you to make masterpieces.
Like other computerized quilting and sewing machines, it has a large LCD display. At the touch of a button, you can choose your settings and stitches by pressing a push-button. To confirm your selection, the LCD displays your setting clearly.
Included in the package are eight sewing feet. With this, you can tackle any project. That includes zippers, overcasting, monogramming, buttonholes, and zigzag among others. To protect your quilting machine when not in use, Brother provides a hard protective case. Now, you don’t have to worry about dust or your kids accidentally damaging your machine.
- Comes with a stitch guide for easier selection
- Hardcover is available for protection
- The needle threading system is easy to use
- Has a free arm for sewing cylindrical items
- Perfect for beginners and experienced users
- The LED bulb is not bright enough. You are better off using natural light
- The machine is heavy
- Quilting feet and free motion quilting foot are not included and required additional purchase (though it’s low-cost item).
Computerized Quilting Sewing Machine Reviews
If you are in search of a computerized quilting and sewing machine that will help you create masterpieces, then this is the model for you. As you probably know, Juki is a leader in the making of industrial sewing machines.
This professional quilting machine comes equipped with 225 stitches, 16 professional buttonholes, 4 lettering fonts, and an enormous selection of included accessories.
This model is built with lightweight materials. As such, it is portable but still very strong and able to withstand outside forces. It comes with push buttons for selecting stitches. By pressing a button, it displays your selection on the LCD screen. The screen is backlit to enable you to see your selection clearly.
Under the top cover, the manufacturer has printed a diagram of built-in stitches. This makes the selection very easy. All one has to do is check the diagram and press one of the pushbuttons.
To work on large projects, the machine has an extendable sewing table. Now, you can work on cosplay costumes, dresses, and quilts much easier. Available in white, this model comes with box feed technology.
- The machine is very quiet during operation
- Comes with two LED lights instead of one
- Easy to set up
- An instructional DVD is available to get you started quickly
- Has intuitive controls for stitch selection and other settings
- Does not come with a hard protective case
- Does not have a touchscreen display
- Quite costly
You can find the manufacturer video on Professional Introduction on the product page.
Janome is a renowned brand for manufacturing high-quality sewing machines. What you need to know is that this model is not an exception.
This computerized dream machine is more than a home quilting or sewing machine. While it’s suitable for sewing garments, it is also suitable for professional tailors.
What makes it suitable for professional tailors?
For starters, it has a sewing speed of one thousand stitches per minute. This means professionals are in a better position to finish projects quickly.
If you are planning on working on large quilts, the machine includes a 9 inch to 5-inch throat space. It also has five blanket stitches suitable for applique. To sew the thickest materials, the machine has an advanced feed mechanism. This makes your work very easy.
In the package, a bonus kit is available. Inside, you should find a roller foot, straight stitch foot, gathering foot, and applique foot. All these accessories make your work easier. Now, you can create masterpieces from the comfort of your home or shop.
- Has intuitive push buttons for stitch selection
- Comes with a built-in LCD screen that displays stitch settings clearly
- Suited for quilting and sewing garments
- Can sew at 1000 stitches per minute allowing you to complete the projects much faster
- Built with high-quality materials
- The machine is heavy
- No extra working space is available
- Pretty pricey
As a feature-packed sewing machine, not only can you use it for sewing but quilting, and decorating too. Designed with 130 built-in stitches, this model is perfect for all DIY projects.
The 8 one-step buttonholes are very useful. They enable you to design buttonholes on shirts and other garments. Also, it comes with 55 alphanumeric stitches. This is for monogramming.
It has push-button stitch selectors used to select any stitch for your projects. For every button you press, the selection gets displayed clearly on the LCD screen. To work with dark fabrics, Brother has fitted an LED bulb just above the working table. While you can still work using natural light, the LED light makes it easy to focus on your working area.
According to quilting machine reviews, threading is easier too. Unlike in the past when you had to spend several minutes trying to thread the needle. Now with the automatic needle threader, it takes seconds to do so. All you have to do is touch the lever.
A handy flip chart is built right into the machine. This makes it easy for beginners to select stitches depending on the project.
- Easy to use
- Easy to thread
- Has a wide table for working on large projects
- Comes with several accessories to ease your work
- Lightweight and portable
- The position of the LED light means the user blocks it when threading the needle
- Due to the vibrations of the machine, the power cord falls off frequently
With 185 built-in stitches and 55 alphanumeric stitches, this model is suitable for quilting and DIY projects. Designed with an LCD screen, selecting stitches is now much easier. By pushing a button, your selection is displayed on the LCD clearly. This makes it easy for the user to make changes if needed.
If you had difficulties achieving true designer finish when it came to buttonholes, now you can do so with this model. Built with eight button styles, creating stylish buttonholes is now easy.
Stitch selection is easier too. The machine comes with intuitive push buttons. When pressed, it displays the selection on the LCD screen. To keep the bobbin in place, the machine has a jam-resistant top load bobbin.
Planning on making a prom dress for your daughter or costumes for cosplay? Now you can with this unit thanks to the large working space. The wide table provides enough space to maneuver projects much easier.
- Comes with lots of features and accessories
- Its portable and lightweight
- Great for making prom dresses, cosplay costumes, and quilts
- Comes with an instructional manual
- Easy to use
- The quilting table attachment keeps collapsing
- Since its lightweight, the machine keeps shifting on the table.
Portable Quilting Sewing Machine reviews
Singer is one of the world’s leading brands when it comes to the manufacturing of sewing machines. As one of the most recognizable brands in the world, this model comes with six hundred built-in stitches. Thanks to the large selection of stitches, now you can complete all your dreams – from home decor to fashion and crafting.
For easier selection, the stitches are displayed on the front panel. That includes the top 8 most commonly used stitches. At the touch of a button, you can select a stitch and begin quilting or sewing.
The machine has electronic twin needle settings. By choosing this function, users reduce the width between stitches. One thing you will notice with Singer sewing machines is that they all come with a heavy-duty metal frame. Thanks to this rigid support, all internal components are aligned perfectly. This ensures skip-free sewing. Also, the heavy-duty frame assures you of durability.
With this model, threading the needle is an easy process. You can thread the whole machine in seconds, from the spool to the needle. What makes this possible is the easy threading system with a built-in needle threader.
Also, it comes with an extension table for quilting or sewing large projects.
- Comes with 600 stitches and five fonts. This allows you to add a personal touch to all your projects
- Has an easy to use threading system
- Comes with an extension table suitable for working on large projects
- The interactive push button makes stitch selection easy
- Built with a heavy-duty metal frame assuring you of durability
- One cannot use the walking foot with the quilting bar
- The machine lacks a release lever for removing the bobbin from the spindle
As one of the best portable sewing machine, the model comes with a sewing assistant and a color LCD display. This can guide you through the whole sewing process. By using this feature, you can ensure success in all your projects. Basically, it’s like having a trusted AI assistant helping you all the way.
The sewing machine has over 960 built-in stitches. All stitches are on a reference chart located under the upper lid. Using this chart, stitch selection is very easy. That includes 6 alphabet styles. Now, you can decorate your projects and join different fabrics for a lasting look.
Just like other computerized sewing machines from Singer, this model has an easy to use threading system. By using the system, you can thread the entire machine in seconds. No longer do you have to spend a lot of time trying to thread the needle.
To ensure you continue producing masterpieces for years to come, Singer has packaged the machine in a heavy-duty metal frame. This protects the internal components from damage and ensures your machine last longer.
To make your work easier, the machine comes with several accessories. Some of them include zipper foot, blind hem foot, quarter-inch foot, satin stitch foot, and spool pin among others. A soft-sided dust cover and instructional manual are available too.
- Comes with 960 built-in stitches
- Has an automatic reverse switch and needle threading system
- Has a color touch LCD display for easy viewing of stitch functions and settings
- The heavy-duty metal frame assures you of durability and skip-free sewing
- Easy to use and easy to set up
- Does not have a release lever for removing the bobbin from the spindle
- Cannot use the quilting bar with the walking foot
Looking for the best quilting sewing machine that eliminates guesswork? The Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q Computerized Portable Sewing and Quilting Machine has the Swift threading system combined with the automatic needle threading system. Now, you don’t have to suffer eye strain anymore. To thread the needle, simply take your thread and guide it through the needle area and press the threading lever. It’s that simple.
This model also comes with an automatic pressure foot. By exerting the right amount of pressure, the feed dogs adjust automatically making sewing of light or heavy fabrics easy. Thanks to the 215 built-in stitches, now you can complete any project be it mending a garment, costume making, or sewing cases for your pillows.
When it comes to stitch selection, Singer has simplified the process. Thanks to the LCD screen with backlit, now you can select a stitch and view your selection on the display. That is not all. Apart from the selected stitch, you can view the length and width of the stitch too.
To work on large projects such as window curtains and quilts, Singer has fitted an extra-large working space with a long arm design. Now, you have 25 inches of sewing space. Included with this unit is a knee lifter that allows for a hands-free lowering and raising of the presser foot. Also, it is useful when quilting and pivoting.
● Comes with a 25-year limited warranty
● Very helpful videos are provided by Singer to help you get started quickly
● Durable, as it’s built with a heavy-duty frame that assures you of skip-free sewing
● Has an LCD screen that displays stitch selection
● It also comes with extra workspace for manipulating large projects
● The number of built-in stitches is limited to 215 unlike other models with over 500 built-in stitches
● The LCD display is not touch-enabled
As the perfect electronic portable sewing machine for beginners and experienced users as well, this model has tons of features. For starters, it has an automatic needle threader. This is a huge timesaver as you no longer have to struggle when threading the needle.
Second, it comes with a programmable needle (up/down) switch. This is a crucial feature for quilters, especially when piecing together patchworks. So, if you will be quilting or appliqueing, have the needle stop placed in the down position.
Third, you have the adjustable stitch width and length. This feature helps to keep your seams very strong. Also, it prevents bunching, which is common on some fabrics. Last, you have the drop-in bobbin system. Unlike traditional sewing machines, the drop-in bobbin is easy to use. All you have to do is drop the bobbin in and start sewing.
Additional features that help to make your work easier include an extra-large table. This helps you maneuver large projects such as cosplay costumes and window curtains. Also, the sewing machine comes with a heavy-duty metal frame. This helps to protect the internal sewing components and ensure skip-free sewing.
- Comes with an automatic presser foot pressure control and bobbin winding system
- Has 2 LED lights that illuminate the working area
- Comes with a 25-year limited warranty
- Easy to mount on a table or cabinet
- Has a heavy-duty frame that protects internal components and assures you of skip-free sewing
- The automatic needle threader position casts a shadow on the stitching area
- When feeding the fabric, the pressure foot lifts accidentally
Fitted with an automatic thread trimmer, this portable sewing machine can trim bobbin and needle threads very easily. All you have to do is press the push button and it activates the thread trimming mechanism.
It comes with a reliable feed. This assures you of beautiful seams especially when sewing difficult to feed fabrics. For instance, velvet and leather. With a maximum switching speed of 1500 stitches per minute, you have the option of varying the speed. This depends on the project. The speed control up/down switch can help you set the speed between 200 to 1500.
Another amazing feature is the predetermined needle stop position. This feature stops the needle when you stop sewing. To activate it, simply press the needle up and down switch.
The two quilting feet are for freehand embroidery and free motion quilting. To lower the feed dog, simply press the switch. As you sew, the drop feed makes it easy for you to sew curved stitches much easier.
Thanks to improved technology, threading the whole sewing machine is now easy. The automatic needle threader allows you to thread the needle within seconds. You don’t have to suffer eye strain anymore. Just use the push lever and you can start working on your projects immediately.
- Comes with an enlarged bobbin case making it easy for you to remove and place a new bobbin.
- Portable and lightweight
- Comes with a large working area for large projects
- Bed and arm are made of aluminum. This assures you of durability
- Comes with a speed control mechanism allowing you to sew projects at low speeds
- The LED light is not bright enough
- The plastic extra working space is a bit unstable
- This machine is pretty expensive
Longarm Quilting Sewing Machine Reviews
As one of the best Long-Arm Quilting Machine, it is portable and lightweight. This makes it an ideal tabletop or cabinet mounted machine. As such, you can experience skip-free sewing and quilting.
The model is constructed using aluminum die casting. As you already know, aluminum has corrosion-resistant properties. As a result, the machine is not susceptible to rust. This assures you of a long-lasting machine.
Designed to handle large quilts, the sewing machine has 9 inches of space between the needle. To enable you maneuver large projects, extra working space is available. Using this, you can now make large costumes, large quilts, and even window curtains.
One of the most significant changes made to this model is the improvement in stitching speed. Unlike the previous model, this one has the capability of 1500 stitches per minute. When combined with the automatic thread cutting mechanism, sewing is now much easier.
One thing you will notice is that this model is a single needle lockstitch sewing machine. As such, it is very useful for quilting and straight stitching. Also, it is useful in dressmaking, in the making of home decor items and tailoring.
- Comes with an automatic thread trimmer that trims bobbin and needle threads
- Has a foot controller that helps to trim bobbin and needle threads
- Has a microcomputer that controls the speed mechanism. This allows you to sew at low speeds
- Portable and lightweight
- Made of aluminum die casting
- The LED light is not bright enough
- The warranty coverage of 5 years is less compared to other models
BUYING GUIDE – SETTING UP – HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR QUILTING MACHINE
Quilting Sewing Machines: What Are They?
Contrary to what many newbies to quilting believe, you don’t need a specific machine for quilting. Plenty of typical sewing machines will work just fine. Instead, quilting is a technique that you need to master in the art of sewing. Although most machines will accomplish the job, there are certain sewing machines that perform better.
First, you need to understand quilting. The technique involves joining layers of fabric together to form a thicker material. As such, you need a powerful sewing machine that allows you to hand-feed fabric quickly and efficiently into the machine. You also need a model that will help you to easily remove pins from the fabric during sewing.
Quilts are typically larger than other fabrics. As a result, it’s best to choose a sewing machine with a long arm that gives you enough space. Often, a good quilting sewing machine has a 10-14″ table. With the best machines, the arm will move around while you hold the fabric in place, taking away much of the work.
There are lots of options for quilting sewing machines on the market. Hybrid machines may be better for those on a smaller budget, but options scale all the way up to expensive equipment that makes your sewing experience easier. Finding the right machine for your budget can take some research, but don’t worry; we have done most of the groundwork in finding a machine for you.
How to Choose the Best Type of Sewing Machine for Quilting
Are you looking for the best sewing machine on the market for quilting? There are several features to keep in mind. Of course, your needs will vary depending on how much sewing you do and whether you need a versatile machine. Sticking to the quilting theme, these are the main features to look out for when purchasing a high-quality sewing machine.
- Table: A large table will give you the room you need to work freely on quilts, without the sewing machine ever getting in the way.
- Throat space: Similarly, extensive throat space will give you the best area to work on quilts and other large sewing projects.
- Thread cutter: Having a thread cutter built into your model adds extra convenience no matter what you’re sewing.
- Quilting stitches: These days, some models feature quilting stitches that will make your life a lot easier.
- Decorative stitches: Although not strictly necessary, decorative stitches can help experienced quilters to add unique designs to their quilts.
- Adjustable needle position: Some machines allow you to set the needle to the up or down position. These are better for quilters, as it gives you some extra freedom.
- Frame: Some models feature an embroidery frame. Again, this is not strictly necessary but can be helpful.
Primarily, you will need a machine with a large throat space and table size. For those who intend to do lots of quilting, a quilting stitch is also a necessity.
Setting up Your Sewing Machine for Quilting
Each sewing technique requires a unique way of setting up. So, before you sit down and start quilting, check your sewing machine’s settings. Here is a checklist of the eleven vital steps to take before you get sewing.
- Oil Your Sewing Machine Well
Newbies often overlook this step, but don’t be a sewing amateur! No matter how high-quality your sewing machine, ensure it is well-oiled before you begin. Oiling will ensure that your machine runs smoothly and efficiently. Those using their machine every day may need to oil it up to three times per week. Beginner quilters can oil it after three or so intense sessions.
Check the instruction manual for your model. It may feature a guide as to how often to oil your machine. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you want your sewing machine to last a while and continue at optimum performance.
By the way, you should only use a sewing machine oil. Again, the manual may point you in the direction of the correct oil to use.
- Set up Your Space
Since quilts are so large, you need to give yourself adequate room to work with the fabric. Set the sewing machine on a large enough surface with clear surroundings. Beginners should also choose a space that is quiet so that they can concentrate without distractions. The last thing you need when quilting is to mess up and need to pick out the stitches!
- Select the Correct Quilting Foot
For quilting, use one of the following feet:
- Free motion foot
- Darning foot
- Hopping foot
As usual, consult the instruction manual for the best installation practices.
- Lower the Stitch Speed
Control is essential in quilting. Although it’s tempting to race ahead and finish the quilt as quickly as possible, this is a sure-fire way to mess up your project. Reduce the stitch speed and take your time, and it will reward you in the end.
Remember: Slow and steady wins the race!
- Use the Right Stitch Plate
Quilting works best with a straight stitch plate and a strait stitch pressure foot. Don’t worry if your chosen sewing machine doesn’t come with these; you can easily purchase them from online sites like Amazon.
- Switch off the Thread Cutter
Although thread cutters can be a bonus on your machine, you need to make sure it is disabled during quilting. This technique requires a lengthy tail so that you can clip the thread close to the quilt when you’re finished.
- Turn off the Fix Stitch
Finally, make sure to switch off the fix stitch so that it can’t get in the way. Although they make a nice addition to any sewing machine, they’re a downside if you’re trying to quilt; fix stitches can lead to tie knots on your quilt. As a result, disable it before you begin.
- Decrease the Stitch Length
With quilting, you need to set the stitch length to zero. Relating to next step, this related to the feed dogs. A length of zero ensures that the feed dog will stop moving while lowered; now, the stitch lengths correlates to the speed of the needle. You can set your own pace by feeding the machine by hand, making it much easier to control.
- Lower the Feed Dog
Typically, there is a level or button located somewhere on your machine to lower the feed dog. There should be some information in the instruction manual.
- Use the Stop Down Needle
Newer sewing machine models often come with a stop down needle, which come in handy during quilting. When this needle is in use, you can turn the quilting blocks with ease and reposition your fabric smoothly and efficiently.
- Check the Walking Foot Pressure
Depending on your sewing skill level and what you have sewed prior to your quilt, you may need to adjust the walking foot pressure. Details on how to do this will be in the instruction manual.
QUILTING SEWING MACHINE BUYING GUIDE
If you’re a complete beginner to quilting, you might be a bit lost when looking to buy a new sewing machine. Luckily, we have put together a lengthy list of the best machines to suit you. Before we get into the best machines on the market, though, here is a buying guide to point you in the right direction.
There are several features you need to keep in mind when buying a new sewing machine, no matter what the intended purpose. The following eight features are things you should always look for before investing in a new machine.
- Best Throat Space for a Quilting Sewing Machine
Quilting sewing machines should have a large throat. It allows you to work properly with enough space for a large piece of fabric.
Often, manufacturers classify the throat space as long-, mid-, or short-arm. Briefly, this is what those terms mean:
- Short-arm: 12″ or less
- Mid-arm: 13″ – 17″
- Long-arm: 18″+
As you may guess, short-arm machines are the cheapest.
[I have written a comprehensive article on Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting. Check it out. I hope you will find it resourceful and get a clear understanding of buying a large throat sewing machine.]
- Think of the Free Arm Area
Similarly, the free arm area is especially important when quilting. Long-arm machines often provide the largest table and thus the most extensive free arm area.
Some machines come with table extensions, so this is something to consider when making huge quilts.
- Find a Responsive Stitch Regulator
A ‘responsive’ stitch regulator is one that allows you to fully control the stitch speed. It’s possible to do this without a regulator, but this will make your life more difficult. As a result, invest in a machine with a responsive regulator so that you have maximum control no matter what you’re sewing.
- Consider the SPM and Needle Speed
SPM (Stitches Per Minute) refers to the speed that a machine is capable of stitching at. Remember that, when quilting, you need to go relatively slowly because accuracy is key. Of course, your sewing speed will also be determined by your skill level.
As a result, a machine with an adjustable needle speed is best. It allows you to stitch rapidly when you need to, but will also help you with control and precision during quilting.
Don’t opt for the machine with the fastest SPM, as this is more of a marketing tactic than something useful for you. Instead, a steady, adjustable SPM is best.
- Find a Sewing Machine with a Simple Thread Path
A simple thread path helps you to thread the machine faster, increasing efficiency and ensuring you don’t waste your time.
- Look at the Needle Threading Features
Whether you’re quilting or embroidering, it’s vital to find a machine that allows easy bobbin winding and needle threading. These days, lots of up-market models are self-threading, which saves a lot of time for you.
Older models that don’t do this automatically may be cheaper, and these features are not strictly necessary. However, they will provide you with a noticeable benefit.
- Consider the Vibration
Again, vibration is a factor that you should consider no matter what type of sewing you do. Powerful sewing machines often vibrate a lot, which can be uncomfortable for the sewer. Powerful vibrations can also throw you off course and make it more difficult to be accurate.
Before buying any machine, you should always read reviews to get an idea of the customer experience. If lots of people are mentioning vibration, then you need to consider that this machine may be tricky to use.
As a rule of thumb, a heavy-duty sewing machine will stay in place and vibrate less.
By the way, you can also reduce vibration using felt pads under the machine. If everything else is perfect and the machine’s only flaw is vibration, consider ordering some vibration pads.
- Other Features to Look for
The above features are not the only ones you need to consider when buying a sewing machine for quilting. Here is a summary of the above and some more things to look for in product descriptions and reviews:
- Easy feed system so that you can quickly change the feed dog
- Adjustable stitch speed that allows for slow, controlled sewing
- Automatic threading
- A needle stop down feature for quick and easy repositioning
- Settings that allow you to set the stitch length to zero
- A large table and free arm area, possibly with table extentions
- Quilting stitches
- A sturdy machine without vibration
- Easy on and off buttons
- Warranty and repair policy so that you can get help if anything goes wrong
The Best Brands to Start Browsing
There are lots of brands to begin browsing, and some offer a large range of sewing machines to suit all experience levels and budgets. Some of our favorite brands include:
These brands are all top-rated consistently by customers and reviewers. In part, these stellar reviews are down to the quality of the machines and the choices available. However, it’s also down to warranty and repair policies. After all, machines break sometimes, and it’s always best to have that extra layer of reassurance.
Keep in mind that the warranty may only apply if you purchase directly from the retailer and not from a third-party site.
In some instances, brands offer free classes or booklets with tips and tricks. These are great for beginners to sewing or quilting, so it’s something else to look out for.
Types of Quilting Sewing Machines
Beginners often don’t realize that there are different types of sewing machines. At this point, you might be wondering: “What kind of sewing machine do I need?” Well, here are the basic kinds to help you figure that out.
- Manual: The most basic form of sewing machine is a manual. Nowadays, they’re quite rare, and it’s probably not the option you want to choose. Manual machines use a foot pedal to run the needle, making it a lot of work for you.
- Electric: Most sewing machines these days are electric. The motor powers the needle via an electronic foot pedal. Unlike a manual, this is a lot less work and it allows you to easily adjust the speed.
- Computerized: A step up from an electric machine, computerized sewing machines have a screen that helps you to select settings. Often, they have more settings than a standard electric model.
- Overlocker: An overlocker is the most advanced form of sewing machine on the market today. It’s primarily used for seams, edges, and hems. It’s another form of electric machine, but with more specific settings.
There are plenty of other types, including machines specifically catering to different types of sewing. Do your research to make sure you’re choosing the perfect machine for you.
The Most Important Features to Consider for a Quilting Machine
The type of sewing machine you buy will depend on lots of factors, including what you will be sewing. Fabrics like denim and canvas are harder to sew and require a more powerful machine. Cotton and soft fabrics are easier, however.
For quilting, your sewing machine needs to sew through multiple layers of fabric, so it needs to be a decent machine. Here are some of our most recommended features to look for:
- Stitch width and length: An adjustable stitch width and length is handy for any sewing machine, giving you lots of flexibility with your projects.
- Needle threader: An automatic, built-in needle threader will help you to complete projects quickly and efficiently. Plus, there’s no hassle trying to thread the needle!
- Drop-in bobbin: A top-loading bobbin that you can simply drop in makes for easy loading, again saving you a lot of time.
- Buttonholes: Some machines now have an automatic buttonhole option. It removes the complicated steps of trying to create a buttonhole.
- Free arm: Having a free arm makes it easier for you to sew hems and narrow pieces of fabric.
- Weight: As well as reducing vibration, a weighty machine is less likely to move around and will help you with stability. Look for a sewing machine over 25lbs in weight.
- Speed control: Being able to control the speed is a huge benefit, especially if you’re a newbie to sewing machines. It allows you to stitch as fast as you are comfortable with while maintaining precision.
- Multiple needles and feet: Having options for the needles and feet is also a good idea for beginners dipping their toes into the world of sewing. It will help you to explore your options and learn to sew effectively, sparing you the extra cost of buying lots of new accessories.
- Nice design: Although not strictly necessary, having a machine with a pretty design can also be a great idea.
Remember, before you buy any sewing machine, read the reviews to find out what other people thought. Trust us, it will spare you a lot of disappointment down the line!
How to Care for a Quilting Sewing Machine
Once you have your shiny new sewing machine, it’s imperative to take care of it. After all, most machines don’t come cheap, so you want to make sure that you are extending its lifespan. Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to properly care for your machine.
Here are some tips:
- Change the Needle Occasionally
Unsurprisingly, the quality of the needle degrades with use. It becomes less sharp, less straight, and this can cause damage to the fabric. Regularly changing the needle ensures that your finished project will be polished and professional.
As a general guide, replace the needle for every new project or when working with a new material.
Make sure you use the manual when changing the needle, but generally, you will follow these steps:
- Loosen the needle screw.
- Remove the needle from its position.
- Insert the new needle and push it in place until it hits the stop.
- Tighten the screw.
- Regularly Tighten the Screws
Similarly, all of the screws need to be tightened every few months. Whenever you give your sewing machine a deep clean, make sure you check the screws. Doing so will decrease the chance of further damage and can also lead to less vibration and noise.
- Invest in a Dust Cover
Dust can build up in your machine and cause damage in the long term. As a result, you need to cover it when it’s not in use. Often, machines come with dust covers to keep them protected when not in use.
- Clean Frequently
Clean the machine every few months to remove any dust that has accumulated and make sure everything is working properly.
Begin by unplugging the machine so you aren’t injured. Then, clean out the nooks and crannies using a small lint brush. Cover everything from the presser foot, sewing plate, and the needle.
Those sewing every day may need to clean their sewing machine monthly. However, you could get away with doing it every couple of months.
- Don’t Forget to Oil It
Sewing machines, like many other motorized machines, need oiling every once in a while. Invest in a lubricant to oil up the parts and ensure that your machine is working efficiently. You will need to oil:
- The presser foot spring
- The bobbin casing
- The area under the stitch plate
The manual should include a comprehensive list of parts that require oiling.
- Use High-Quality Thread and Needles
It might go without saying, but high-quality equipment such as needles and thread are much better for your machine. Poor quality products can break and damage your machine. It will also hurt your wallet when you have to constantly buy new needles!
- Don’t Neglect to Service It
Even if your machine doesn’t seem broken, you should consider servicing it once per year. Sewing machine technicians can ensure that everything in the machine is running smoothly and working well, noting potential risks before damages occur.
A technician can also check things like the motor and the gears, something which most of us can’t do ourselves. So, consider taking your sewing machine in for servicing before it starts making growling noises!
Quilting Sewing Machine Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
- How frequently should I have my sewing machine for quilting serviced and cleaned?
This depends on how often you use your sewing machine and the type of projects done. If you have your machine serviced and cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it should operate smoothly.
- My sewing machine is skipping stitches. What might be the problem?
The needle may be bent or it’s blunt. Other reasons include insufficient pressure on the foot or the needle is not inserted correctly.
- Why is my sewing machine running heavily?
This may be due to lint buildup or dirt between the teeth of the feed dogs. Also, your sewing machine for quilting needs oil.
- My quilting machine is not sewing. Why?
Check the power cord and make sure it’s plugged into the electrical outlet. If this is ok, have a technician check the machine.
- Should the weight of the machine be an issue?
In the market, you should find machines weighing between 40 to 70 pounds. Any of these machines can be mounted on a table or quilting frame. What you need to know is that the heavier the machine, the more stable it is.
- Should I protect my computerized sewing machine for quilting from static electricity in my house?
Yes, you should. Static electricity is dangerous to your machine. To protect your machine, use a humidifier when quilting. Alternatively, touch the table before touching the machine.
- How much space is needed for my tabletop machine?
We recommend enough space to accommodate your machine and the extra workspace to maneuver large projects. If you can have a custom-made table to accommodate the machine, the better for you.
- Which thread works best on sewing machines for quilting?
Sewing machines for quilting are high-speed industrial-grade machines that need a strong thread. We recommend you use of quilting thread with high tensile strength.
- How much warranty is offered for sewing machines for quilting?
This depends on the company. Some companies offer a 5-year warranty, 10-year warranty or 25-year limited warranty.
- How do I prevent thin fabrics from gathering?
Place an interlining under the fabric. This should prevent the gathering.
Wrapping it up!
There you have it. The best quilting sewing machine reviews. Using the information above, differentiating between the best sewing machine for quilting and best sewing machine for free motion quilting is now easy.
One thing you will notice when shopping is that some of the models come with fancy features. In the reviews above, I have ensured the information is on useful features, performance, quality, and durability.
By doing so, it is now easier for you and other shoppers to make smart decisions. This is true when choosing the best quilting sewing machine.
So, if you are shopping for the best quilting sewing machine, rely on the reviews above.
If you are a beginner, and still not sure about what must have quilting tools and supplies you should have to start with, you can take a look on our Quilting Tools and Supplies for Beginners guide. We hope, this will help you much!
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