Top 10 Best Quilting Sewing Machine in 2021 (Buyer’s Guide)

No matter your level of experience, if you are a beginner or avid quilter, you just know that you need the absolute best sewing machine for quilting.

Like quilts, a sewing and quilting machine can be any shape or size, with different features depending on what a quilter needs.

Luckily, there’s an ocean of information available to help a quilter choose the best option for their style.

Take a look below for an in-depth look into the best sewing machines, how quilting machines works, everything a quilter should expect from a device, and how each machine’s features could link to their next creation.

Best From The Lineup

Here’s a summary of the best quilting sewing machines based on category.

Top Pick

Singer Heavy Duty 4452

Made with quilting in mind. It offers amazing power when compared to the overall price of the sewer.

Singer Heavy Duty 4452

The Singer 4452 wins as the top pick of this selection, as it was made with quilting in mind. It offers amazing power when compared to the overall price of the sewer.

It is both faster and stronger than its sister units, as it was created to handle heavy or large projects such as quilts. Thus, it makes short work of quilts of any size.

Best Value

Brother CS6000i

Affordable Table included Built-in quilting stitches

Brother CS6000i

The Brother CS6000i is the best value in the lineup, as it is a handy machine that can handle some heavy quilt creation—all without the hefty price tag.

It gives ample design creativity thanks to the 60 built in quilting stitches.

This sewing machine can handle large projects, too, thanks to its free arm.

It may not feature an automatic thread cutter, but for the price and all the features offered by the CS6000i, it would almost be a crime to not grab the Brother CS600i as your next sewing and quilting machine.

Editor’s Choice

SINGER Confidence 7469Q

Ideal for quilt creators and sewing professionals alike, as it has a range of features that make sewing and quilting experience more enjoyable and easier.

SINGER Confidence 7469Q

The Singer Confidence machine gets the editor’s choice, as out of those listed, it is the one that I believe has the most features and accessories beneficial to all crafters, regardless of quilting experience.

The speed makes for a more leisurely sew, which I enjoy more than powering through projects.

So, the speed is ideal, and both the clear bobbin case and front organization space are helpful elements that make the sewing process easier.

Best For Beginners

Juki HZL-LB5100

Perfect basic for quilters to hone crafting skills. This unit gives users enough tools to create projects of all sizes regardless of user experience.

Juki HZL-LB5100

The Juki HZL LB5100 takes the cake for this as it is the perfect basic for quilters to hone crafting skills. Beginners don’t have to worry about getting caught up in a super fast sewing speed and can focus on technique and stitch placement.

It may not have the bells and whistles of some in this review, but this quilting unit gives users enough tools to create projects of all sizes regardless of user experience.

Top Quilting and Sewing Machines

Here are all the full reviews of all the quilting sewing machines from the lineup.

EverSewn Sparrow 20

A high quality computerized machine with features like built-in stitches or large throat space.

EverSewn Sparrow 20

The Eversewn Sparrow 20 is a computerized sewing and quilting machine that is designed for ambitious sewers, but in my opinion, it’s perfect for all levels of quilting experience, especially beginners.

Those newer to the art of quilting can dive straight into their next creation without any hassle.

Just press the Start button and you’re off, rather than having to figure out the machine’s presser foot pedal.

It’s a lightweight computerized sewing machine with a heavy-duty output thanks to its build and its standard features.

Many quilters may be looking for a high quality computerized machine with features like built in stitches or large throat space, and they’ll get that with this quilting and sewing machine.

Accessories including 7 presser feet are;

Zig Zag Foot

Zipper Foot

Overlock Foot

Bindhem Foot

Applique Foot

Sliding Button Hole Foot

Button Sewing Foot

Bobbins

Small Spool Cap

Spool Felt & Pin

L-Shaped Screwdriver

Seam Guide Brush

Seam Ripper

Needle Set

Spool Pin

Dust Cover

Struggle To Thread a Needle?

This sewing and quilting machine doesn’t include a built in threader, but it does include a powerful LED Light threader to make it so you can at least see what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, the one thing this sewing machine for quilting does not have, like some of the other best sewing machine on this list, is a thread cutter.

However, the lack of this doesn’t make a massive impact on the unit’s overall value.

Build

Those who are seasoned sewers may appreciate that this quilting and sewing machine has a full metal frame.

Something less common in today’s market for the best sewing machine, it also helps ensure amazing stability throughout any project.

It packs a punch in terms of performance and capacity for large-scale creations for a lightweight quilting machine.

This is a great machine in my eyes because it keeps control of fabrics, holding onto multiple layers well rather than letting them slide.

Throat Size

The throat size of this machine is perfect for particular elements of quilts such as patchwork as there is ample space to work—I know of quilters making quilts as large as 72X72 with this device.

There is an up/down function that is super helpful, as it allows the editor to dictate needle position—looking for sewing space? This machine has a computerized hook system stop in rotary 163mm free arm length, perfect for the next big quilt.

Embrace the features

Quilters will be thankful for the patterns available (over 80 at their disposal!), varying one-step button holes, and a variety of stitch patterns, including 14 utility stitches, 49 decorative stitches, and 10 quilting stitches.

Looking at other quilting reviews online demonstrates well why this machine is so useful. For example, one experienced quilt enthusiast thought this was the best machine—so much that they swapped their Singer, Brother, and Husqvarna quilt machines for this one.

That being said, there are one or two points to highlight that may affect the quilting experience.

This depends on your quilting needs and how well you work with a sewing and quilting machine.

Settings

This quilting machine does change back to factory reset once turned off, defaulting to a longer stitch.

This then has to be reset to one of the required 80 built in stitches, stitch width (7mm maximum), and 15 needle positions when powered back up.

Quilters looking for a speed demon may not enjoy this computerized model as it offers a top speed of 850 stitches per minute, but those after a machine that can handle work leisurely could find this to be the best sewing machine for quilting.

Specs

  • Color: Fuschia Pink
  • Material: Metal and Plastic
  • Power Source: Power Cord
  • Dimensions: 19.4 x 14.2 x 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 19.75 Pounds
  • Stitch Speed: 850 Per Minute
  • Warranty: 10 Years

Pros

  • Many feet included
  • Variety of stitch patterns
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect for large projects
  • Number of features included as standard
  • Comes with many presser feet
  • Metal framed sewing machine for quilting

Cons

  • Stitches reset when turned off
  • Not the fastest sewing machine for quilting available at only 850 stitches per minute

JUKI TL-2000Qi

A machine that has all the sewing features and accessories you can expect from a high-priced quilting machine, aside from the expensive price.

JUKI TL-2000Qi

I see the Juki TL 2000Qi sewing machine as one of the best sewing machines for home quilt creating.

Build

The Juki TL 2000Qi was built with quilting in mind, as it has an amazingly fast speed of 1500 stitches per minute.

At a speed like that, you’d expect some shake, rattle, and roll—right? Not with this, due to its entire aluminum construction, allowing little vibration and lots of stability.

This is the best device for someone searching for one that has all the sewing features and accessories you can expect from a high-priced quilting machine. At least, without being slapped with the same hefty price.

Knee Lifter

The Juki TL 2000Qi computerized machine makes light work of corners too, thanks to the knee lifter included.

The knee lifter raises the presser foot swiftly, allowing sewers to focus on the stitches at hand and links being made.

The quilting machine also features an easy-to-use automatic needle threader for those who battle threading machine needles when quilting.

There is an included auxiliary table too for those who sew with space. Just attach the table and done.

User feedback for the Juki TL-2000Qi

One note from users across the board is that you must be careful not to rock back on the foot pedal.

This activates the thread cutting feature, which can be a bit annoying in the middle of making quilts

This quilting machine also makes short work of materials that wouldn’t normally run through a traditional sewing machine for quilting, like denim or leather.

Feed Dogs

There have been reports of feed dogs getting jammed in the down position once stuck, and this is a fault that is fairly common in some of the Juki TL 2000Qi sewing machines.

But, it isn’t a dealbreaker.

One way to combat this would be by being gentle with the machine—we all know quilters that are heavy handed!

Specs

  • Color: White
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Power Source: Cord
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
  • Weight: 37.8 Pounds

Pros

  • Knee lifter
  • Handles thick materials
  • Table Included
  • Amazingly fast sewing speed

Cons

  • Feed dogs can get stuck in the down position

Best Value

Brother CS6000i

A handy machine that can handle some heavy-duty quilt creation—all without the hefty price tag.

Brother CS6000i

The Brother CS6000i makes the lineup of great devices, as it is a plucky sewing machine to have as a backup, or as a specific sewing machine for quilting.

With this sewing machine for quilting, designers and quilting enthusiasts can choose from a number of stitches best for their next quilting project—just choose from one of the 60 quilting stitches built into the Brother CS6000i.

Table

Sewing and quilting creators who like space will benefit from the included table, which is easily attached and removed.

The table provides more space for projects like large quilts.

The table can also be removed from the Brother CS6000i quilting machine for those moments when you need to get up-close and personal to the project.

Points To Consider

This Brother sewing machine for quilting does not come with some of the bells and whistles that other sewing machine brands have.

Firstly, it doesn’t come with an automatic thread cutter, which can be annoying when making large-scale projects like quilts.

There is a manual thread cutter that can be used, but if you’re tackling massive quilts or sewing creations, this could prove to be tricky.

Free Arm

For those moments when you’re making a massive quilting creation, this sewing machine has a free arm designed for users to swing out, offering both machine and quilting accessibility.

This sewing machine is not the fastest sewing machine for quilting that’s available either – so it may not be best for those looking for a machine for a home business, or with a number of features to offer.

However, for quilting enthusiasts who don’t find the 850 stitches per minute speed an issue, this sewing machine may be best for their next quilting or sewing project.

Specs

  • Color
  • Material: Plastic
  • Power Source: Treadle
  • Dimensions: 21.75 x 19.02 x 19.09 inches
  • Weight: 13.74 lbs

Pros

  • Nice selection of built-in quilting stitches
  • Table included

Cons

  • 850 stitches per minute
  • No automatic thread cutter

Top Pick

Singer Heavy Duty 4452

Made with quilting in mind. It offers amazing power when compared to the overall price of the sewer.

Singer Heavy Duty 4452


The Singer 4452 is described as a workhorse, as it is a machine that has 50% more power and speed compared to conventional Singer machines.

This machine made it into this lineup with 1100 stitches per minute.

Built-in Stitches

Quilters will love the 32 built in stitches that comes with this quilting powerhouse, which consists of 1 step buttonholes, 18 decorative stitches, 7 stretch, and 6 basic—ideal for a host of projects and quilts of any size.

The stainless steel bed plate allows for smooth fabric flow as well. Its motor is 60% stronger than other Singer machines, allowing it to make short work of multiple layers and thick materials.

Power

This machine could sew crocheting to a thick multi-layered quilt or blanket without an issue. I have sewing friends who use this machine solely for quilting, as it makes the quilting experience fast and easy, even when making warm winter quilts made of thick, fleecy materials.

Quiet

Considering it’s so fast, it is also surprisingly quiet and doesn’t shake despite the pace at which it can sew.

Quilters using this unit can focus their time on creating their next item rather than messing around with the fiddly bits.

One of the features that makes this easy is the automatic needle threader, which threads needles so you don’t have to.

Looking For A Quilting Machine That Has It All?

This machine comes with a host of sewing machine accessories including multiple feet such as; non-stick for leather, and all-purpose.

Included is a 5 pack of 16 needles too, so crafters can rest knowing they have many parts of various sizes and thickness and don’t have to invest in more.

Design

I think this is a fabulous machine for any work space, mainly due to the fact that it is aesthetically pleasing.

The grey metal exterior is classic, matching many styles and interiors. This means users won’t be getting something that looks out of place after purchase.

Given the speed at which this machine can sew, it’s unfortunate that there is no speed control on this quilting machine.

This means that users have to come to grips with how they manage the speed with the foot pedal rather than relying on a control feature.

Specs

  • Color: Grey
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Power Source: Cord (110V)
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 15.71 pounds

Pros

  • Industrial Machine
  • Can handle most materials
  • Extension Table Included
  • Throat Space
  • 1100 Stitches per minute

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • No Speed control

Brother XR9550PRW

Gives the best all around quilting experience for those who may not be familiar with a heavy duty machine.

Brother XR9550PRW

If I were to recommend a machine for absolute quilting beginners, it would have to be this Brother sewing machine.

I think it gives the best all around quilting experience for those who may not be familiar with a heavy duty machine.

At 800 stitches per minute, this machine is not one that could win a race, like the Singer 4452, but speed isn’t what all creatives want nor need.

Features

The first ideal feature for those with less sewing experience is the automatic threading function that threads a needle so you don’t have to.

It comes with 110 built in stitches and 8 presser feet, which is a perfect mix to expand design horizons. This offers a significant amount of stitches compared to ones that offer 30 stitches or less for the same price.

One of the included feet gives users the option of free motion sewing too, which is a useful skill to develop if you’re a beginner.

Free Motion

Free motion on this machine is simple; lower the feed dogs and away you go with your own creative design!

Those who work on projects of varying sizes will like that there is a wide table included with the machine.

This makes it so the workspace can be adapted as needed.

Knee Lift

Depending on the purpose of the machine or how an individual sews, the fact that there is no knee lift may be of issue.

This is especially true for those who like to use the feature to tackle corner stitches. However, the low stitch speed gives you more than enough time to adapt and edit fabric positions as needed.

Specs

  • Color: White
  • Material: Metal
  • Power Source: Treadle
  • Dimensions: 7.01 x 16.26 x 12.48 inches
  • Weight: 19.42 Pounds

Pros

  • Knee lift can be added at separate cost
  • Free motion quilting is an option
  • Over 100 built in stitches
  • Table included

Cons

  • Could be too many stitches to beginner quilters
  • No knee lift
  • 850 Stitches per minute

Janome 3160QDC

A lightweight machine perfect for beginners or professionals looking for a second smaller machine.

Janome 3160QDC

The Janome 3160QDC is a machine that does the job without overwhelming the unit.

Another lightweight machine perfect for beginners or professionals looking for a second smaller machine, this Janome features 60 built in stitches to give designers and creators of all levels the chance to make great individual pieces.

Build

Quilters after a stable machine might be particularly interested in this one, as the aluminum die cast casing ensures the machine is strong and stable.

The machine stitches 820 stitches a minute, so even though this isn’t the fastest machine on the planet, it doesn’t create a racket when working.

This quilting and sewing machine does offer an automatic threading feature so users don’t have to worry about losing patience or becoming frustrated with threading the needle – the machine does it for you.

Other Exciting Features

There are 60 built in stitches with this machine, which is more than enough for crafters to create pieces they’ve always wanted to stand out.

The LCD screen shows stitches in finer detail and how they can be adjusted to suit a design too.

So, designers have total flexibility, however, some quilters have had issues with the LCD screen.

LCD

Looking at some reviews, a small number of quilters have experienced sudden screen feature loss which limits the quilting experience.

Especially if stitches need to be adapted!

Those who like to work with extra large pieces will also like the free arm which comes with the machine, allowing users to adapt their space as needed.

Specs

  • Color: Tan
  • Material: Metal
  • Power Source: Treadle
  • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 20.2 Pounds

Pros

  • Automatic thread feature
  • Free arm
  • Several presser feet
  • 60 stitches included

Cons

  • LCD screen issues reported in very few cases
  • No extension table

JUKI HZL-F300

A mid-range sewing quilting machine that has all the features and accessories associated with a higher price range.

JUKI HZL-F300

This Juki is a mid-range sewing and quilting machine that has all the features and accessories associated with a higher price range.

With a touch of a button, the needle threads itself with the automatic needle threader so users don’t have to take time out of their project.

There are a few users in the quilting community that have mentioned that their automatic threading feature gets stuck occasionally, but this doesn’t seem to be a common flaw amongst other 300 series quilting machines.

Automatic Thread Cutting

There is also an automatic thread cutting feature with this machine, so simply push your heel back on the foot pedal and the machine will do the work.

This, too, could be detrimental until users get used to the feature. The last thing a quilter wants is to cut thread during the middle of a project!

This machine is another perfect one for those that don’t want to master speed control of a faster machine and risk ruining work or injuring themselves—it happens.

Speed

At 900 stitches per minute, the Juki 300 is ideal for quilters who like to work leisurely, rather than as fast as a roadrunner.

However, the stitches per minute means that this machine is not a loud, clunky unit that makes a nuisance of itself. I have one or two friends that use this machine during the night as it runs smoothly and quietly.

Specs

  • Color: White
  • Material: Metal
  • Power Source
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 8.3 x 11.4 inches
  • Weight: 25 Pounds

Pros

  • Perfect for free motion quilting
  • Automatic thread cutter

Cons

  • Automatic needle threader sometimes gets stuck
  • No extension table
  • Automatic thread cutter could accidentally get activated by pushing back foot on pedal

Singer Stylist 9960

A machine with automatic needle threader and free motion quilting unit with a range of built in stitches and designs.

Singer Stylist 9960

If you want an automatic needle threader and free motion quilting unit with a range of built in stitches and designs, then this sewing and quilting machine is for you.

This quilting and sewing machine is one of the best in my eyes, just for the sheer number of design features and stitches available.

So, if you like your quilts to stand out from the crowd, this sewing and quilting machine gives you that freedom thanks to its free motion quilting feature.

Features

This quilting machine also comes with many accessories and features, including 10 presser feet that will allow you to get straight into using your new sewing machine for quilting.

Click the link above for a full run-down of what’s in the box.

Is This Device Right For Your Style?

I think this sewing and quilting machine is the best sewing machine if accessibility and ease-of-use is important to you.

A quilter looking for a clear, readable LCD screen will appreciate this one.

If you’re a quilter that struggles with the whole thread and needle situation, then you will appreciate the automatic needle threader.

That will eliminate the stress from threading a needle.

Speed

It’s worth noting that this is not the fastest machine on the planet at 850 stitches per minute, so if you want one with more oomph, this may not be the best sewing machine for you.

From stories I’ve heard, reviews, and links, it does seem that the automatic threader can break or become damaged on occasion.

However, this seems to be from human error rather than the quilting machine itself.

Some seasoned sewing enthusiasts have found that using particularly thick materials, or trying to pull fabric out of the machine faster than the machine can handle heightens the chances of this error happening.

Knee Lifter

There is also no knee lifter featured on this quilting machine.

This may not be the biggest issue when looking for sewing machines for some, however for others this is vital as it can make turning quilt corners easier.

Specs

  • Color: White
  • Material: Metal
  • Power Source: Power Cord
  • Dimensions: 17.25 x 8.25 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 20 Pounds
  • Warranty: Limited 25 Years | 5 years Electrical, 1 Year Labor

Pros

  • Many feet included
  • Multiple Built in Stitch Options
  • One Touch Selection
  • Heavy Duty
  • Automatic Needle Threader Included
  • Extension Table Included
  • No knee lifter feature

Cons

  • Not the best for businesses wanting the fastest needle embroidery machine.
  • Some heavy use can lead to part or machine failure.

Editor’s Choice

SINGER Confidence 7469Q

Ideal for quilt creators and sewing professionals alike, as it has a range of features that make sewing and quilting experience more enjoyable and easier.

SINGER Confidence 7469Q

I love this Singer, and I consider it highly placed as the best sewing machine goes.

This easy-to-use sewing machine is ideal for quilt creators and sewing professionals alike, as it has a range of features that make sewing and quilting experience more enjoyable and easier, such as a drop feed for free motion sewing and quilting.

Function

This is one of the sewing machines in the lineup that offers potentially limitless possibilities. It features 98 built in stitches – ideal for any quilt project or commission. Those looking to spend less time threading needles and more time creating quilts will appreciate the automatic built in needle threader and SwiftSmart threading system.

Clear Bobbin Cover

Quilters can also keep track of thread with a single glance, as this quilting machine features a clear bobbin cover to keep track of things rather than relying on a screen.

That could distract from the quilt being created!

LCD

The LCD screen on this quilting machine isn’t the biggest, but it provides all the information needed when creating.

I sometimes find that on some sewing machines, the screens can be too confusing or do too much—not with this quilting machine.

Is this device right for you?

This is another sewing machine for quilting that does not go like the clappers, so to speak, with a stitch speed of 750 stitches per minute.

However, for those who like to quilt at their own pace and sewing speed, this could be the best sewing machine.

Throat Space

While this is an amazing quilting machine, it does not have the best throat space when compared to other devices in this selection. But this could be the make or break for some when looking for the best from a quilting machine.

Those looking for a sewing machine with more room might benefit from the extension table included, which can be added in an instant.

Just grab the table, click it in, make sure it’s secure, and voila—more room!

Extension Table

Quilt creators who like their accessories and craft equipment to be in one space will especially like the front storage area of the quilting machine as it gives enough storage area to keep everything together.

This was a lifesaver for me, as I’m the kind of quilt crafter who sometimes has things just strewn around the table—not the best.

Running a home business is stressful, which is why the front storage area is a great addition to the machine’s accessibility. That keeps all accessories in one place rather than being scattered around!

Specs

  • LCD screen can be dim
  • Small throat space

Pros

  • 25 year limited warranty
  • Extension table included
  • Many built in stitches included

Cons

  • LCD screen can be dim
  • Small throat space

Best For Beginners

Juki HZL-LB5100

Perfect basic for quilters to hone crafting skills. This unit gives users enough tools to create projects of all sizes regardless of user experience.

Juki HZL-LB5100

This is another of the Juki quilting machines that would suit any beginner looking to craft their first quilt.

There is an automatic thread feature, so users don’t have to dedicate time to threading a needle.

There’s also a powerful LED light for quilters to see where they are feeding fabric.

Speed

At 750 stitches per minute, this machine has the slowest speed out of those in this review. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fantastic unit.

If anything, the speed makes the sewer a perfect item for crafters who like to take their time.

If this wasn’t enough, there is also a super slow button that can be pressed to switch speed to even slower.

Simply releasing the button also stops the needle exactly where it is, so users can stop mid-creation if needed.

Stitch Tension

Despite the many fabulous features about this machine, there have been reports from one or two users online that midway through a project, the stitch tension can change suddenly.

The speed can be unsteady for some users depending on the project.

Some quilters have found that they need to adjust the speed slider of the machine rather than the foot pedal, as there can be moments of sudden or little stitch speed on occasions.

Specs

  • Color: White
  • Material: Metal
  • Power Source: Power Cord
  • Dimensions: 19.02 x 14.49 x 10.51 inches
  • Weight: 18.11 Pounds

Pros

  • Free motion quilting option
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Stop/Start button
  • Powerful LED light

Cons

  • Tension can change
  • Unsteady speed
  • No Table

How to choose the best quilting and sewing machine

One of the first considerations for quilters is, how often is the machine going to be used? 

No-one else can tell you the definite what is the best machine for you. It all depends on a few factors.

Depending on your craft journey, you may not quilt as much as those who run a business. This means that it may be wise to look for a lower budget machine or choose one that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.

Skill Level

Woman Operating a Sewing Machine

When choosing, it all boils down to your needs.

The second factor is thinking about what features you need from a machine, and questioning whether certain elements are a worthy investment or not.

TIP

If you’re a beginner quilter who struggles threading a needle, then a machine with an automatic needle threader feature would be beneficial. However, if you don’t need an automatic thread, it may be worth going for another machine.

Features

Accessibility should be considered, especially if you’re having issues with your eyes or are a beginner.

You may need a machine with a large screen so you can read text and select the right stitches and designs.

This means potentially having to choose a more expensive quilting machine.

Also, think about how thick the quilts you intend to make are.

NOTE

If you create particularly thick winter quilts with many fabric layers, a machine with feed dogs or gripping material features may be a good choice so you’re not left tackling fabric and running a sewing machine at the same time.

Throat Size

Throat size is something for a quilter to consider as the larger the size, the more room you have to sew with – crucial when working on bigger projects.

If you’re on the market for a new quilting and sewing machine, get as much space as possible for your budget.

Are you looking for space?

Then you may have to look at grabbing a computerized sewing machine with a free arm or a large throat space – a quality machine will come with an extension table included.

What are the advantages/benefits of a quilting sewing machine?

Sewing Thick Fabric
Sewing Thick Fabric

Having one of the best sewing machines for quilting ensures a number of things, the most important in my eyes is that it gives you a lower chance of machine damage or fault.

Selecting one of the sewing machines for quilting from above that fits bigger budgets means that the heavy duty sewing machine will be made of high-quality materials.

What is a quilting sewing machine?

A quilting machine is a heavy duty sewing machine designed with sewing projects in mind.

They are built to have more features than a traditional sewing machine as they come with things like an automatic threader, extension table, or multiple thread cutters to make machine accessibility easier for quilters and their quilting projects.

What is the difference between a quilting sewing machine and a regular sewing machine?

The difference between a regular sewing machine and a computerized sewing machine is that most tend to be physically larger than traditional sewing machines.

A sewing quilting machine tends to pack more of a punch than smaller units that are made to accommodate larger projects and designs.

Quilts are one of the largest sewing projects and need more features and design elements to count for the extra material and usage quilters need.

Designed for free motion quilting as motion quilting is not normally attainable using regular quilting sewing machines

Can you do quilting on a regular sewing machine?

Sewing a Rug
Sewing a Rug

Quilting cannot be done on a regular sewing machine as they are not built with large scale projects in mind.

Most regular units are made to create designs and projects like clothing, which tend to only be a few layers thick at a time.

Trying to create a quilt on a regular machine will probably end up breaking the machine or requiring elements to be replaced if they are damaged – which is more costly in the long run.

NOTE

Quilting requires multiple thick materials that would not pass through a regular machine.

Regular machines are likely to have thinner needles or feet than quilting machines, which would affect the final product, likely giving damaged hems, wonky stitch work and rolled seams.

Who should buy a quilting sewing machine?

Sewing machines for quilting are recommended for avid crafters and quilters who create large designs like small businesses.

Quilting machines are made with the user in mind, so they have more features and include elements than other machines – it’s about choosing what’s best for the purpose.
Your price range can tell you what is a worthy investment – what’s best for business compared to beginners or non-professional quilting individuals.

Why buy a quilting sewing machine?

A normal computerized sewing machine is not made to sew multiple thick layers like a quilting machine.

A machine specifically designed to work with thick fabrics, multiple layers, high-use and large projects.

A quilting machine is an investment to minimize the likelihood of a machine breaking during use.

It will also increase final product quality, offering some of the best final product sewing creations.

How do I choose the best machine?

Sewing Machine Close Up
Sewing Machine Close Up

It very much depends on what’s best for your needs and what you plan on using a quilting machine for.

Ask yourself whether you want all the bells and whistles like an LCD screen, free motion sewing table extension, or an automatic built in needle threader? – the answers to these questions will steer you towards the machine you need.

A quilter should take the time to sit down and consider what they need rather than purchasing something outside their price range or requirement – there’s no point investing in the top-tier market’s best like a brother machine if it isn’t needed.

Skill Level

Think about who will be using the machine as well. If you are a seasoned professional when it comes to creating quilts, then you may be comfortable selecting a unit that would intimidate someone newer to the craft of quilting.

However, if you are someone who is newer to quilting and doesn’t know the ins and outs of a heavy duty machine, it may be best to favor a machine that features elements such as an automatic needle threader, automatic thread cutter, LCD screen, or top drop in bobbin.

Things to consider when buying a quilting sewing machine

Purpose

Think about what the machine is going to be used for, how often, and how much you plan on putting your machine through.

As mentioned above, take some time to think about what you expect, require, and what is within your remit of ability and execution in order to guarantee the very best project or product outcome possible.

Price

Whilst it is crucial to think about what your computerized sewing machine will be used for, the equally most important factor is, what is your price range as that may also limit features like sewing speed.

You can want the best sewing machine in the world, but if it is out of your price range, or not a worthwhile investment for you, then what’s the point?

Experience

Blue Fabric on Sewing Machine
Blue Fabric on Sewing Machine

If you’re a quilting novice or someone with less sewing experience than others, then you may want to spend money on a unit that teaches the basics of the sewing experience rather than jumping feet first into a quilting crafter that has numerous bells and whistles that you may not even need.

Capacity

When quilting or sewing as a whole, it is important to know the limits of what you can create. If you are someone with an immense quilting craft ability then it may be beneficial to invest money into something that can match your sewing skill—it all comes down to individual need and situation.

Function

Similarly, if you run a sewing business, or are someone that depends on a machine with speed, features and much more it may be worthwhile investing more into a unit in a higher price range to get the very best return possible.

Warranty

Not every machine carries the same warranty, it varies between sewing machine brand and product.

One machine may come with a short limited warranty that only covers sewing machine faults of repairs under certain conditions.

Other quilting sewing machine brands may offer a sewing machine with a massive warranty like 25-year warranty coverage, giving some sewing and quilting enthusiasts peace of mind that they can focus their time on the act of sewing or quilting rather than on the sewing machine itself.

Check The Warranty

Before purchasing a sewing machine of any kind take a look at the warranty on offer, and if this is suitable for the purpose of the quilting machine and the life it will have.

Quilting tends to work with bigger, thicker materials than most conventional sewing projects so it’s vital to pick a sewing machine with a warranty that will cover things should something go wrong.

Weight

Industrial Sewing Machine
Industrial Sewing Machine

Will the sewing machine for quilters stay in one spot once it arrives? or, are you the kind of quilter who likes their machines to travel?

If the machine is going to be one that sits stationary then crafters could aim for a machine that is heavier compared to others that may be carried or transported around to events, fairs, or sewing camps.

Portability

Should the machine be one with the intended use of portability, then a lightweight option is suggested – unless you fancy a workout before the quilting has even begun.

Weight is mostly contributed to by the material a frame is made out of.

Lightweight machines are normally made from durable plastic or metal like aluminum compared to heavy duty computerized sewing and quilting machines made of steel for example.

Frame

Just like humans have skeletons, a sewing machine has a frame inside it to keep vital parts protected and it makes it a significant bulk of the unit.

Some units can be made from low quality metals or materials that can affect the final sewing product.

This is because those machines made with lower quality frames can have their sewing stability compromised because the machine shakes or vibrates a lot when running.

Frame Type

Depending on the type of frame and the cover, sometimes this shaking can be particularly loud, especially if it’s a plastic cover rattling against a metal frame.

Many heavy duty sewing units can also be made from heavy, durable frames that offer stability during a project – note the EverSewn Sparrow 20 at the beginning of this article. These frames can have an impact on other factors from a machine, including price.

If a quilting machine is made from high-quality materials, it may come with that price tag.

What’s a Quilting Arm?

How Does a Quilting Machine Work?

In quilting, an arm or long arm is a feature attached to the sewing machine that is designed to make the process of creating a quilt easier.

They can range in length from 10-14 feet (3-4/25 meters), which is more than enough for any quilting project.

These arms are made to attach the three layers of a quilt together at the same time; the top, the batting, and the back – producing a finished quilt.

How Feet Help Projects

The feet on a sewing machine are the interchangeable parts of a sewing needle that can adapt the way a quilt is made.

There are many numbers of different feet designed to have a different outcome and effect on a quilter’s final creation.

For example, a walking foot allows users to sew quilter lines evenly and accurately, while a presser foot holds down the fabric as it’s being sewn.

A darning foot will be of particular interest to quilters too as this gives users the option of free motion quilting – which can make some quilting jobs more personalized or adaptable.

Should A Quilter Make Noise?

Some noise from a sewing machine is normal, as there are a lot of elements working together at the same time to help users create their quilt.

There’s a motor that runs, needles, cogs, feed dogs, and more all running at the same moment – so don’t expect a machine to run silently.

However, there are some noises that quilters should listen out for anything that sounds out of the ordinary when creating quilts.

Faulty Needles

Needles that are bent, dull, or damaged can make sounds when they become bent, hitting the case, throat plate, or feed dogs – sometimes this can sound like knocking – and can come from sewing through thick materials.

The noise could also be an indication of oil or lint build up on the needle too, so make sure the machine isn’t due a clean if it’s noisy.

Needle position

Sewing Machine Needle Closeup
Sewing Machine Needle Closeup

Needle position allows someone to dictate exactly where the needle sews, rather than the machine doing it automatically.

Machines with zig-zag capabilities are likely to have the ability to edit needle positions. Standard machines have three settings, whereas modern quilting machines can have more than that.

Understanding Needle Size

Needles come in many shapes and sizes and the range of numbers used can be confusing especially to beginners.

The two numbers used show the European needle size, and one is the American needle size.

In America needles range from 8 – 18 which makes identifying the thinnest to thickest easy peasy – the thicker the needle, the thicker the thread potential quilting design work.

What is a Stitch Regulator?

A speed regulator is used during free motion sewing by a machine to keep track of the thread speed of a design.

The regulator is a small computer on a quilting machine that constantly examines the speed that the fabric is being pushed through the machine.

It also adjusts the threads to make sure the thread size and pattern is consistent.

A stitch regulator is perfect for those who have a creative design in mind and just want to execute it, rather than having to practice with design in order to get a full finished product.

Winding Up

Thanks for reading my lineup of the best sewing machines for quilting.

If you’re still left scratching your head and questioning what’s right for you, take a look at the final machine breakdown below to see if that helps you find your next quilting companion.

Top Pick

The top pick for the quilting machine is the Singer 4452, as it was literally designed with quilting in mind.

It offers power and speed as well as more than enough throat space to complete a quilting project.

Best Value

The best value for quilters is the CS6000i, mainly because of the amazing speed it has when compared to other sewing machines at the same price.

Best For Beginners

The best machine for beginners is the Juki LB5100, as it gives quilters enough features to learn how to craft, but doesn’t focus on the speed.

Instead, it gives crafters the chance to learn crucial techniques and machine usability.

If you have any questions about which quilter is best for you, get in touch with me on social media and let me know your thoughts and feelings.

Which machine would you choose from this selection?

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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. ✂️ 🧵