Regular sewing machines are great for everyday use. But you need a quilting sewing machine if you are a home-quilter. No matter if you are highly experienced at the craft, or are a beginner, there is a quilting sewing machine that would be perfect for you.
When quilting, you need a powerful sewing machine. It needs to have plenty of room to manoeuvre fabric and strong enough to sew through thick layers. It needs to be easy to use yet have enough options to create beautiful designs
Many sewers use a regular home sewing machine for their quilting projects. However, if you have the right machine, the process will be quicker and easier. If you are looking for a sewing machine for quilting, take a look at our list of the 13 best quilting sewing machines.
A quilting sewing machine has been designed for making quilts. It has extra features and a larger workspace. Even though they were made for quilting, they can also be used for everyday sewing projects.
When searching for the best quilting sewing machines. Look for a machine that:
Has a large workspace
Provides high-quality stitching
Has a lot of stitching options
Has a powerful engine
The sewing speed
Can sew layers of fabrics
Is made of metal
Why Would Someone Want a Quilting Sewing Machine?
Quilting sewing machines can also handle regular sewing projects. But regular sewing machines cannot handle all quilting projects. If you love quilting, a quilting sewing machine can make your life easier.
Below are some reasons why people invest in a quilting sewing machine:
Make quilts to sell
Need more fancy stitch options
Need a larger workspace
Make quilts for family and friends
Want to make quilting easier and more enjoyable
Need a reliable sewing machine
Quilting is their passion
Difference Between Sewing Machine and Quilting Sewing Machine
Achieving a clean and professional-looking quilt does not depend solely on your skills as a quilter. In fact, the machine you use for quilting can have a huge effect on the outcome of your quilt.
Larger Workspace Because quilting projects are thicker and bulkier than a regular sewing project, quilting requires more workspace than sewing. Having a larger throat and working areas means being able to maneuver your bulky quilt easily while working on it.
Extension Table Having a larger working area makes it a lot easier to maneuver the quilt you are working on. Thus, some quilting machines have an allotment for an extension table. When buying a sewing machine for quilting, look for models that come with an extension table.
Lower the Feed Dog Being able to lower the feed dog of your sewing machine is handy when you are planning to do free-motion quilting. Feed dogs grip the underside of your fabric allowing you to make a straight stitch.However, when doing free-motion quilting, you have to be able to freely move your fabric or your quilt around without any resistance from your machine. Quilters are able to do this by lower the feed dog of their machine.
Quilting Foot There are lots of different types of sewing machine presser feet. Among them is the walking foot or the quilting foot which is widely used in quilting. We all know quilting is all about working on layers and to be able to work through all the layers of the quilt, you have to use proper presser feet.Using a quilting foot will allow you to feed your whole quilting sandwich evenly through the sewing machine ensuring a smooth and professional look.
Free-Motion Foot Just like the quilting foot, the free-motion foot is a kind of presser foot used in quilting specifically free-motion quilting. By using this foot, you’ll be able to create the perfect stitches and minimize skipped stitches.
Benefits of Using a Quilting Sewing Machine
If you quilt with a regular home sewing machine, you know that it can be a little difficult. Regular sewing machines were not designed to handle these large, bulky projects.
Benefits of using a quilting sewing machine include:
Large Work Area A quilting sewing machine has a large work area. This gives you extra room to move your fabric around freely.
Sew Multiple Layers of Fabric Regular sewing machines usually cannot handle sewing through multiple layers of fabric. Quilting machines are designed to handle layers of fabric without ripping it.
Offer a Variety of Stitches Quilting sewing machines often offer a large variety of stitches.
Fast The best quilting sewing machines are fast, so you can get your projects done quicker.
What to look for in a Quilting Sewing Machine
Quilting sewing machines need to be sturdy and take a beating. So, they need to be made with metal gears and have a strong motor. Using a sub-par sewing machine to quilt can damage a regular sewing machine.
When searching for the best quilting sewing machine look for:
Workspace You will want a large workspace that will give you enough room to manoeuvre the fabric around easily. Some machines also have an extension table and large throat that make the workspace considerably better.
Available Stitch Options When quilting, you will want numerous stitch options. You will also need to be able to adjust the stitch length and width. Sewing machines come with a limited number of built-in stitches.
Speed The faster the stitch speed, the quicker you can get your projects done.
Frame Construction A quilting sewing machine needs to be sturdy and durable. Look for a machine that has a metal frame.
Weight You will want a machine that does not bounce and miss stitches. So, if you have a designated space, you will want a heavy machine that will stay in place. If you need to move the machine around, you will probably want a machine that is light enough to move easily.
Feet Quilting requires different feet. Make sure that the machine you purchase has enough feet for your projects.
Extra Features Look and see what extra features are offered. Sewing machines have come a long way and extra features can make your sewing experience easier and more enjoyable.
Price Quilting sewing machines can vary greatly in price. Before you start looking for a machine, know your budget.
The Quantum Stylist 9600 is a great choice for beginners and intermediate quilters. It is easy to use and fast.
Why We Like the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
With 600 built-in stitches, you will always have the perfect stitch for your quilting projects.
Stitches Selection The Singer Quantum Stylist does not lack stitches. It has 600 built-in stitches that can be used for basic sewing, decorative sewing and quilting.
Set the Speed This machine is fast and can stitch up to 850 stitches per minute. But you do not have to sew this fast. Instead, you have the ability to set the maximum speed.
Tie-off Button Automatically tie off your thread with a touch of a button.
Quick to Setup Sewing Machine Setting up the machine for quilting will not take as much time because of its automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin system. Along with these features, it also has an automatic electronic thread trimmer and an LCD screen where you can control some of its functions.
Comes With a Detachable Extension Table and Sewing/Quilting Feet This sewing machine comes with an adjustable large extension table that you can detach or attach. Along with this, you will also get 13 sewing and quilting feet that you can use in various quilting projects.
The Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter sewing machine is perfect for beginners and skilled quilters alike. It has many advanced features that make it straightforward and fun to use.
Why We Like the Singer Confidence 7469Q
This sewing machine was designed to make quilting easy. It has 98 built-in stitches, 4 different quilting feet, and a large extension table.
Drop & Sew Bobbin System With the Drop & Sew bobbin system, you no longer have to raise the bobbin thread before you begin sewing. Simply drop the bobbin and sew.
Mountable If you have a designated space for this sewing quilting machine, you can mount it to your table.
Heavy Duty Metal Frame The internal skeleton of this machine is made of metal. This helps prevent skipping and premature failure.
Programmable Needle Up/Down and other features Piecing together patchworks when quilting or making appliques is made easier by the programmable needle up/down features of this machine. Along with the drop feed dog, automatic needle threader, and the Drop & Sew bobbin system, setting up the machine for quilting will be a breeze.
Extra-large Table with Four Bonus Quilting Feet Maneuvering your fabric will not be a hassle with the extra-large table feature that comes with the machine. Aside from that, you will also have four bonus quilting feet.
This Brother XM2701 has plenty of features for a beginner. And it can sew up to 800 stitches per minute.
Why We Like the Brother XM2701
This quilting sewing machine is great for a beginner who is just learning the art of quilting. It is affordable and has enough features to get you started.
Buttonhole Feature The Brother XM2701 sewing machine makes buttonholes easy.
Stitch Dial For those that do not like using a touch screen, this machine has an easy-to-use dial. The stitch dial makes it simple to choose stitches. And all the stitches are pictured directly above the dial.
Instructional DVD This home sewing machine comes with an informative instructional DVD. It explains the basics of operating the sewing machine.
Another lightweight sewing machine on our list is this computerized and fully featured 12.7 pounds Janome JW8100. Even with its weight, this sewing machine for quilting is built with a heavy-duty frame making it stable and durable.
Why We Like the Janome JW8100
At 1000 SPM, this machine can create 100 different stitches — 20 Basic and Fashion, 18 Quilting, 27 Heirloom, 28 Home Décor, 7 Buttonholes. Included in this sewing machine is a speed control slider that allows you to set the highest and lowest speed. A feature perfect for beginners who prefer to sew at low speeds.
Control Panel with LCD Screen for Easy Access Using the sewing machine for free-motion sewing is possible with the option to lower the feed. With the feed dog dropped below the needle plate, you can freely move your fabric around while sewing.Sewing is made easy with the backlit LCD screen with navigation buttons for easy choosing of stitches. Other buttons like the start/ stop button, reverse button, locking stitch button, and needle up/down button are conveniently placed right by the needle for easy access.To top it all off, it has a horizontal top-loading rotary hook bobbin with a clear cover for easy setup and to easily monitor the thread supply.
Extension Table and Hard-Sided Dust Cover Included with the machine is a hard-sided dust cover to keep it dust-free while in storage. It also has an extension table that will provide additional workspace when you are working on larger projects.Two quilting feet, quarter-inch foot, and even feed foot are also included.
Pros and Cons of the Janome JW8100
Two quilting feet, hard-sided dust cover, extension table
Strong metal frame
Free arm model
Extension-included 25-year warranty
100 different stitches
Drop-in bobbin system with a clear cover, LCD Screen, conveniently placed buttons, lower the feed dog option
Ability to sew through thicker material questioned
Weighing 14.6 pounds, this lightweight yet heavy-duty Singer 4452 sewing machine for quilting has 32 built-in stitches.
Why We Like the Singer 4452
Six of these are basic stitches, seven are stretch, 18 are decorative, and one fully automatic one-step buttonhole.
Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Quilting With a maximum speed of 1100 SPM, this heavy-duty sewing machine can work through most fabrics faster than other sewing machines. Having a motor that is 60% stronger than other sewing machines allows it to sew through heavyweight fabrics effortlessly.
Monitor Your Thread Supply with the Bobbin’s Clear Cover Preparing your machine for a day of quilting is way easier with its automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin system.The drop-in bobbin system allows you to easily insert and remove the bobbin whenever you run out of thread, plus its clear cover makes it easier to monitor your thread supply.
Various Accessories For Your Machine The accessories included when you buy this Singer sewing machine are the following: soft dust cover, even feed walking foot, non-stick foot, clearance plate, and a pack of needles.
Pros and Cons of the Singer 4452
A heavy-duty sewing machine that can work through thick materials
Speed of up to 1100 SPM
Easy to set up with its drop-in bobbin with clear cover and automatic needle threader
This 32 pounds Brother PQ1500SL Heavy-duty sewing machine for quilting is a good choice for home quilting even though it is more suited for commercial quilting.
Why We Like the Brother PQ1500SL
At a maximum of 1500 SPM, its powerhouse motor can work through large quilts and heavy fabrics.
FAST Needle Threading System, Feed Dog Adjustment, and Knee Lifter Aside from its FAST needle threading system and its jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, quilters will surely love working on this machine because of its automatic thread cutter.You can even alter the tension control whenever you work on other projects with its thread tension control system. Another feature included in this machine is the ability to control the feed dog to four levels of adjustments.Additionally, you will also have a knee lifter that lifts the presser foot making it easier to work on your fabric with both hands.
Wide Table for Large Projects Working on large projects will not be a hassle with this sewing machine because it includes an 11 inch by 21.5-inch wide table. In addition to that, it also has 7 sewing feet, an instruction manual, and more!
Pros and Cons of the Brother PQ1500SL
Industrial level quilting machine
4 feed dog settings
32 pounds heavy-duty power machine
11 inch by 21.5-inch wide table, 7 sewing feet, knee-lifter
FAST needle threading system, drop-in top bobbin, thread cutter, thread tension control system
Right-handed people may find the design of the machine a little tricky to use
Although regular sewing machines can also be used for quilting projects, using a sewing machine specifically made for quilting is still a more efficient approach. To be able to do some of the processes needed for quilting, there are some accessories you need to add to your sewing machine.
Before going through all the essential features of a sewing machine for quilting, let us first take a look at the different types of a quilting machine.
Sewing Machines for Quilting
First, we have the sewing machine for quilting. Although it is pretty similar to a regular sewing machine, it has additional features like a larger work area and extension tables to easily maneuver the project you are working on.
Unlike the other types of quilting machines, sewing machines for quilting are more portable and easier to move around. Due to their size, they are mostly used for personal projects.
Mid-arm Quilting Machine
If you’re planning to work on larger projects, it would be better to use a mid-arm quilting machine than a sewing machine for quilting. Since it has the best features of both the sewing machine and the long-arm quilting machine, it is known as the hybrid of these two types.
Just like a sewing machine, mid-arm quilting machines have a stationary needle and it does not occupy much space. However, its throat space is larger than a regular sewing machine by 2 to 3 inches. In addition to that, with its larger vertical quilting space, you’ll be able to work on thicker quilts in this machine.
If you are used to working on sewing machines, the position of the mid-arm quilting machine might take some time to adjust. Mid-arm quilting machines are positioned in front of the quilter to allow more free space on each side of the table.
Similar to how long-arm quilting machines are used, mid-arm quilting machines are positioned in front of the quilter. Working in this position gives you more free space on both sides of the table.
Long-arm Quilting Machine
With its size and powerful motor, long-arm quilting machines are usually used for industrial purposes. This machine is capable of handling heavier materials and bigger projects.
However, because it has a more powerful motor, it occupies more space and also costs more than the other types. That’s why this quilting machine is targeted to those who make quilts for business and not for personal use only.
NO MATTER IF YOU ARE A CASUAL QUILTER OR A SERIOUS QUILTER, INVESTING IN A QUILTING SEWING MACHINE CAN MAKE QUILTING EASIER.