Top 5 Best Midarm Quilting Machine (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

Tired of laboring to squeeze your quilt through the throat space of your domestic sewing device? Maybe you don’t have the space nor want to splurge on a large machine?

If the answer to any of these is yes, it might be time to invest in a mid arm quilting machine.

A mid arm quilting machine makes quilting bulkier projects simpler due to the larger throat space, helping you create the design of your choice.

I’ve reviewed 5 of the best mid arm quilting machines available for you to check out.

When it comes to mid arm quilting machines, you only want the best!

What is the best mid arm quilting machine?

This is a good question, especially with so many options available on the market today.

I’ve rounded up my review into 3 categories to give you some more food for thought.

Top Pick

Grace Qnique 15R

A computerized quilting machine, with 15” throat space for you to make the biggest projects come alive.

Grace Qnique 15R

The Qnique Quilter 15R is my top pick for quilters.

It’s a really simple machine to use, whether attached to a frame or a simple flatbed table.

You can choose how to set it up, either with the motor to the right of the needle, or a setup more like long arms with the needle facing front.

I think it really closes the gap between long arm and domestic sewing machines.

Easy To Use

It’s comfortable to use, with the easy change bobbin and the convenient oil ports.

You can purchase the model in a bonus bundle, which includes otherwise expensive accessories.

The motor has been revved up to a powerful 2000 stitches per minute and the stitch regulator helps to keep your beautiful sewing consistent the same length.

M- class bobbins fit this machine so you can sew for longer without having to refill.

Bobbin Winder

The bobbin winder motor runs separately, so you can refill the bobbin without having to run the machine.

The stitch regulator is an awesome feature usually found only on a long arm quilting machine.

You might be surprised at how easy it is to quilt using a frame! It could be the best mid arm quilting device on the market. You really don’t have to be a professional to own this expert machine.

Best Value

Juki TL-2010Q

A high performance quilting machine, perfect for home use and for professionals who need industrial standard quilting machines.

Juki TL-2010Q

The best value mid arm quilting machine is the Juki Tl 2010Q.

It’s an upgrade of it’s brother, the Juki 2000Q and comes with an addition of a slide speed control.

Quilters can crank the speed high or slow it down for safety if someone is learning to sew.

While it doesn’t take up the same amount of space as a heavy duty industrial machine, it works the same way.

This machine only does one thing: straight stitch, but it does it very well.

Stitching

Customers report how consistent their straight stitches are, coming out perfectly every time. 

The build quality is high, being mostly made of metal without having any electronic components.

A benefit of this is that if the power goes, you won’t lose any of your stitch settings.

Compact

It makes a good option for a home quilter who doesn’t have enough space for a large quilting frame, but wants the precision and freedom of freehand machine quilting on a high end machine.

It’s economical, yet they do not compromise on any features that might be added on a long arm machine.

Best Computerized Mid-Arm Quilting Machine

Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200

A great mid arm quilting machine for quilting and other sewing projects. It has the 170 Built-in stitches on display on its fold away panel.

Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200

The best mid arm quilting machine that’s computerized for quilters is the Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200.

LCD

The easy-to-read LCD screen display shows you everything you need, along with hosting control buttons.

You can edit the visual of the stitch you’ve selected changing the length and width and see the visuals on the screen, so you don’t have to test run on a scrap every time you want to change a stitch.

Guide

It gives you pointers on which presser foot to use as well—minimal trial and error!

Features include 170 built in stitches, 3 alphabets, and 10 buttonholes. The automatic tension means less difficulty when sewing, hopefully one more thing off your mind during use.

Speed Control

The speed controller makes this a great machine for a beginner who wants to use a computerized machine, going down to 200 stitches, whilst pro quilters can accelerate this up to 1000 stitches per minute.

It’s ideal for use on all sewing projects, from delicate work to thicker quilts and leather. It’s really high quality and reliable.

Best Mid-Arm Quilting Machines

Here is the full lineup…

Best Value

Juki TL-2010Q

A high performance quilting machine, perfect for home use and for professionals who need industrial standard quilting machines.

Juki TL-2010Q

The Juki TL – 2010Q is a high performance quilting machine, perfect for home use and for professionals who need industrial standard quilting machines.

Build

Like industrial sewing machines, the Juki TL -2010Q is almost made of all metal.

It offers one basic straight stitch, easily adjusted in length with the manually operated dials.

The speed control slider will slow the speed down to 200 stitches per minute, which helps the user concentrate on slower free motion quilting with the drop feed system.

Features

The features include a knee lift for the presser foot, adjustable presser foot sensor control, automatic thread cutter, and needle up down button.

The built in bobbin winder for safety makes it so that you cannot sew while you are winding the bobbin.

The large throat space and extension table add weight to this machine, so it stands strong during high-speed sewing.

Accessories

The generous accessory bundle includes a walking foot, two free motion feet 1/4/ inch and 1/5 inch seam foot, adjustable zipper foot (also good for piping), narrow hammer foot, presser foot, and a compensating foot for top stitching – wowza!

If that wasn’t enough, you can add a frame to the machine if you prefer to use it standing.

It’s fuss free, smooth, and easy to use.

Minimum maintenance is required, so even for a novice there’s nothing major that could really go wrong.

Specs

  • Unit dimensions: 25.7 x 14 x 18 inches
  • Throat space: 8.5 x 6” (W x H)
  • Stitches per minute: 1500

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Industrial strength for home quilter.
  • Generous accessory bundle.

Cons

  • Manual thread tension control can be tricky.
  • No numbered thread guide for threading the machine.

Juki 2000Qi

It is a one stitch workhorse that comes with a lot features.

Juki 2000Qi

Build

It’s constructed from aluminium die-casting to ensure premium industrial quality sewing.

It is a one stitch workhorse that moves both forward and in reverse.

There is no speed slider with the Juki 2010QI, unlike its brother Juki 2010QI.

So, the speed has to be controlled with the pedal.

Features

It comes with a 13 inch extension table that can be attached, providing extra work space for bulkier quilts.

My favourite feature is the knee lifter, but the device also includes bright LED lights, needle up / down control, presser foot sensor, an automatic needle threader, and an automatic thread cutter which can be employed from the foot pedal.

Tension control is automatically controlled and it has easy access oil ports.

Presser Feet

The different presser feet included are a free motion foot, presser foot, straight stitch foot, quilting foot (yay), and a walking foot.

Customers say it’s relatively straightforward to troubleshoot any issues guided by the included manual and online quilting workshops.

Specs

  • Unit dimensions: 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
  • Throat space: 9”
  • Stitches per minute: 1500
  • The Juki TL 2000QI is a lightweight and moveable mid arm quilting machine.

Pros

  • Standard bobbin size
  • Raise and lower feed dogs.
  • Low vibrational operation.

Cons

  • Only straight stitch
  • Requires frequent oiling (if used on a regular basis).

Best Computerized Mid-arm Quilting Machine

Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP

A great mid arm quilting machine for quilting and other sewing projects. It has the 170 Built-in stitches on display on its fold away panel.

Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP

The Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP comes with a large 11” throat space, key to be able to bring king sized quilts to life comfortably.

Build

It’s a computerized mid arm quilting machine with an LED screen, control buttons, and 5 bright LED lights.

Its easy-to-change stitch plates point to its overall intuitive build.

A table extension boasts extra room for those larger projects.

This is a great mid arm quilting machine for quilting and other sewing projects, with the 170 built in stitches displayed on a fold away panel for your guide.

Features

Features include a 7 piece feed dog system, memorized needle up/down switch, sewing needle guard, extra high presser foot, and a detachable accessory case for free arm sewing. The automatic thread cutter saves you the scramble for the scissors.

Customers love the attention to the top-load in, full rotary hook bobbin system, and auto declutch bobbin winder.

Clear Case

The clear case makes it easy to see when the thread is running low.

Another bonus is this Janome comes with an abundance of storage for the accessories included. You can even open the side cover of this mid arm quilting machine for easy cleaning!

Specs

  • Unit dimensions: 20.4" x 12.4" x 9.1"
  • Throat space: 11”
  • Stitches per minute: 1000

Pros

  • Good attention to detail with the bobbin.
  • Reliable quality stitching.
  • Dual feed attachment.

Cons

  • Computerized system.
  • Needle threaders can be challenging.

Top Pick

Grace Qnique 15R Midarm quilting machine

A computerized quilting machine, with 15” throat space for you to make the biggest projects come alive.

Grace Qnique 15R Midarm quilting machine

Build

The Qnique Quilter 15R is a computerized quilting machine, with 15” throat space for you to make the biggest projects come alive.

I’m a fan of this dual purpose machine, either for stand up or sit down use.

It can be attached to a frame, giving the feel of a long arm quilting machine.

The motor has been improved from previous models, as it can now sew up to 2000 stitches per minute—great for intricate detailing.

Features

It’s compatible with Quilter’s Creative Touch Software, so it brings the computer-automated quilting system to your home.

It boasts LED lights, LCD colour touch screen, and quick-access control buttons that sit on the handlebars.

The comfort grip handles put the control and power in your hands. Built in stitch regulators keep the stitch length beautiful and consistent, matching the speed movement of the quilting machine.

Cone Holders & Bobbin Winders

The dual thread cone holders and automatic bobbin winder are two of the best characteristics of this machine.

It’s one of the best mid arm quilting machines at the moment.

Customers comment on how smooth it is during free motion quilting, gliding over the material with its smooth motion wheels and tracks.

The bonus pack includes extra bobbins, needles and needle guards. It is compatible with many other mid arm quilting frames for stand up use.

Specs

  • Unit dimensions: 23 x 15.5 x 19
  • Throat space: 15”
  • Stitches per minute: 2000

Pros

  • Powerful motor for a quilter
  • Stitch regulation
  • Stand up mid arm quilting machine

Cons

  • Higher end of price range for mid arm machines
  • Need a large quilting space for the frame

Janome 1600P-QC

A straight stitch only industrial style sewing machine. It doesn’t sew as fast as an industrial machine, however, it’s a workhorse compared to regular machines.

Janome 1600P-QC

The Janome 1600P – QC is a straight stitch only industrial style, one of the best mid arm machines.

1600 spm means it doesn’t sew as fast as an industrial machine, however, it’s a workhorse compared to a regular sewing machine.

Build

The all metal aluminum casting means the quilting machine is sturdy, lightweight, and easily transportable.

An ample throat space of 10” is accompanied with an additional 4” to the left of the needle. You’d be able to squeeze king size quilts through, awesome for quilters of all levels.

Features

While it’s not one of the newest mid arm products on the market, it comes with high tech features, such as an automatic needle threader and thread cutter.

The up/down memory prevents needles snapping by accidentally being left in the wrong position.

An independent bobbin winder means you don’t have to unthread your mid arm to wind the bobbin.

Control

Mechanical dials control the thread tension, stitch length, and presser foot pressure.

Customers report how this mid arm is good for piecing and free motion quilting that will sew through even the thickest of fabrics.

Though there’s no stitch regulator, this is a great machine for all your quilting needs and would be easy to teach with.

For your professional sewing needs, this brings heavy duty, mid arm quilting home (without the long arm quilting price tag).

Specs

  • Unit dimensions: 16 x 26 x 18
  • Throat space: 10”
  • Stitches per minute: 1600

What is a mid arm quilting machine?

Qnique Quilter 15R
Qnique Quilter 15R

The best mid arm quilting machine is made for quilters and lies in between your home domestic machine and a long arm quilting machine.

They have a larger throat size, which is the space between the needle and the back of the arm head.

They offer more opportunity for the user to complete projects that are beyond a home sewing machine’s capabilities.

Function

Used for making whole quilts, mid arm quilting machines are similar to long arm machines, but without the giant frame or price tag.

A mid arm quilting machine’s throat space will typically vary from 10”–17” long, proving they have the ability to handle even the largest king size quilts.

Why should I buy a mid arm quilting machine?

Are you an experienced quilter, but fed up with the struggle of squeezing your project through a tiny space?

Or, even a beginner quilter who wants to learn before making the plunge into a long arm machine?

If so, investing in the best mid arm quilting machine could serve you well.

Space

They have a larger work area, offering around 2–3 times more space than a regular home sewing machine.

The options for extension tables and quilting frames mean that the vertical space below the arm is increased.

Control

You choose the control with a mid arm quilting machine.

Many of them offer a stitch regulator so you can be assured you will have accurate stitches with more speed control.

Due to their high powered motors, they also work much faster than a domestic machine and come with many features, including an array of feet to help you see more of the project you are working on.

They’re perfect for people with intermediate quilting skills.

What’s the difference between a long arm and mid arm quilting machine?

There are a few differences between long arms and mid arms, starting with the space.

Mid arm quilting machines for home use are similar, as they’re smaller models than the long arm quilting machine, but bigger than a domestic sewing machine.

Here’s what a mid-arm sewing machine looks like…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxN3kFUM6QI

Throat Space

Throat space for a mid arm can go from 9”–17” and long arm machines can typically be 18”–24”.

When using mid arm machines, the material will still need to be basted first, whereas on a long arm machine, the fabric is tightly reloaded onto rollers that hold the fabric taut whilst sewing.

Design

Mid arm machines are usually sit down models, but with a long arm, standing is required.

On mid arm machines the user will have to create the design while pushing the material through manually.

With long arm machines, there are usually computer guided systems that allow the user to load a pattern into the system and be sewn by itself.

Money Considerations

Price also varies.

A mid arm machine can be anywhere from $1000 – $5000, whereas a long arm machine is considerably more.

If you’re not planning to start a serious homemade quilting business at home, a mid arm machine could be more suitable for you.

Quilters might be able to find a good deal on a mid arm machine if they can find a high quality second-hand machine.

Do you need the best mid arm quilting machine to quilt?

The short answer is no.

You can be a quilter using your home sewing machine, provided you have the right tools (walking foot, ditch quilting foot, free motion quilting foot) and you are ready to learn.

Even once you have the right feet, thread, and needles, it could still be a struggle trying to fit the quilt through the workspace as the throat size is usually much smaller on home machines than mid arm quilting machines.

Knotting

Knotting is also a good alternative to using a machine where you will knot the fabric together using pearl cotton or yarn ties.

If you don’t have a quilting machine, knotting is great as it can add beautiful design elements.

Things to consider:

Quilting on a Machine
Quilting on a Machine

Buying any type of machinery is not for the faint-hearted, and there are lots of things to consider before making the purchase.

Here, I’ve rounded up my list of things to consider.

Purpose

The purpose of mid arm sewing machines is to make quilts from scratch.

You should think about what you want to do with your machine, for example whether you will use it for home business, or home décor personal use.

Why do you want a mid arm sewing machine?

NOTE

They can be ideal if you want more room to maneuver around during crafting. Mid arm quilting machines are the perfect hybrid between domestic and long arm sewing machines, and a good investment if you can’t make up your mind on a long arm quite yet.

Price

The cost of the best mid arm quilting machines can be between $1000 – $5000, maybe even more.

If you’re seriously considering making the investment, it could be worth visiting quilting expos, where retailers could be more likely to drop the price to make sales.

Additional accessories can be costly so see what’s included in the package, or try to find a bundle deal.

TIP

Don’t forget insurance for the machine you’ve invested thousands in.

Be honest if you’re using it for business or for personal use to ensure it’s covered.

Warranty

The best mid arm quilting machines come from companies that offer an extensive warranty cover.

Be sure to ask if every part of the machine is covered or if the warranty is limited.

Would you be covered if you had to visit a local repair shop, or would you have to post your machine away if anything happens?

I’d hate to have to rely on a courier service for repair parts when I’ve got projects to work on! 

Build

Horizon Memory Craft 8200QCP
Horizon Memory Craft 8200QCP

Mid arm quilting machines come in different builds and sizes, and the material can play a huge factor in the machine’s lifespan.

Typically, machines that are made from plastic live shorter lives than those made of lightweight aluminium, like heavy-duty machines.

They can also be easier to repair than plastic models.

TIP

Talk to people at quilting workshops or classes if you’re learning, as everyone has an opinion and a favorite build.

Size

The machine sizes are roughly the same as a machine you might have at home; it’s the extension table that requires a larger workspace.

Weight

Carefully consider if you are planning to move your machine around or if it will remain stationary.

Most mid arm machines are pretty heavy, so a handle can be useful.

If your machine weighs 40lbs, it’s unlikely you’ll want to cart it back and forth from your cupboard everyday.

The heavier the machine, the less likely it is to vibrate when in use on high power.

Throat space

Quilters, you cannot deny the labor it takes to try and squeeze a large bundle of material through the tiny throat space of your quilt!

Mid arm sewing machines offer you a larger throat space than a domestic machine, making it easier to craft thicker and larger projects.

They’ve been designed to help you make quilts efficiently, especially with free motion quilting.

TIP

Try to imagine the biggest quilt you will ever make, maybe king size? Will that fit through the throat of your potential purchase?

Stitching

Sewing a Rug
Sewing a Rug

Mid arm quilting machines can be used for regular sewing too.

You’ll have to be careful of the tension and the speed if you’re doing delicate work.

Built In Stitches

Computerized quilting machines typically come with an array of built in stitches that can be used for any other type of sewing project you have on the go.

Others offer one straight stitch, a feature typically found on industrial style sewing machines. This can be beneficial for higher production.

A long arm quilting machine typically offers high quality stitching.

Stitches per minute

For some, the stitch per minute isn’t an important factor when purchasing a mid arm sewing machine.

A truly fast machine will sew very quickly, but higher stitches per minute also means it can make mistakes very quickly.

The thought of sewing through scraps of material at 4000 spm sounds fun, but ruining the intricate design on a beautiful piece you’ve spent hours on?

Not so much. Most mid arm quilting machines offer a variety of speed for you to play around with and find your comfort zone.

Features

The features of mid arm quilting machines are endless.

Depending on whether you have a computerized mid arm quilting machine, some of the features might be different. My favourite features include:

Stitch regulator

A mid arm quilting machine may offer a stitch regulator.

The special feature of a stitch regulator helps ensure even stitching during free motion quilting.

It is essentially a tiny computer attached to a long arm quilting machine that constantly adjusts the stitch speed to accommodate the fabric speed during sewing.

Function

A stitch regulator will sew at the speed you are moving the machine when free motion sewing.

If you’re going too fast, it’ll let you know! You can preset the type of speed on the stitch regulator you want so you can baste fabrics before making the final sew.

LED lights

Sewing Machine Light
Sewing Machine Light

Most quilting machines come with LED lights to illuminate your workspace so you can see what you are doing crystal-clearly.

It’s no fun trying to sew with shadows blocking your view.

These are especially important when long arm quilting.

Automatic Needle Threader

This feature does what it says on the tin.

Quilters can guide the thread through the machine and into a contraption that will thread the needle for you—a life saver!

Bobbin Winder

A bobbin can be problematic when quilting.

At some point, you will run out and have to reload.

An automatic bobbin winder stops when the bobbin is full.

Some models come with a separate motor for the bobbins so you don’t have to run your machine to refill.

Conclusion

That’s an intensive list of my top 5 quilting machine products, and I really hope it’s brought you some insight.

Top Pick

Just to recap, my top pick and best midarm quilting machine, is the Grace Q’Nique 15” quilting machine.

The company has been in the sewing and quilting business for years, and really understands their consumers’s needs. The machine will sit on a table, or stand using one of their Grace frames.

Best Value

Best value has to be the Juki 2010Q.

This really is a workhorse of a quilting machine, perfect for simple straight motion stitching.

Juki is a brand known for their reliable and durable products and this has high end machine quilting features.

Best Computerized

The best computerized quilting machine is the Janome 8200.

It’s absolutely packed with computerized features to make your sewing experience.

It’s a yes from me!

You want the best of both sewing worlds? Or, want to be able to make larger quilting products without taking up half of your home?

If yes, mid arm quilting machines could be for you. Good luck with your choice, and happy quilting!

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Kris Daub
Kris Daub
[email protected] byCurated I'm a maker at heart! I love to create and tech others to create. I particularly sewing and hand crafts like ebroidery. I also love larger home decorating projects. ✂️ 🧵