For those larger sewing projects, a lot of people opt for a quality quilting sewing machine. These products give you plenty of range for sewing larger material with comfort. When you don’t have a huge space or budget to accommodate a long arm quilter, the next best thing can be affordable, and easy to use.
This is why we have compiled a list of the best quilting sewing machines. When you want to make your own quilts, the product you buy must be reliable in how it sews different fabrics together. You need more than a reputable brand which is why we have found the leading products, and go into greater detail so you know the benefits of each one. That way, you can find the ideal machine for your needs.
- Editor’s Choice
Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9980 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Beginners
Brother XR3774 Full Featured Quilting Machine with 37 Stitches (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Stitches Per Minute
Brother Quilting and Sewing Machine, PQ1500SL (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Free Motion Quilting
SINGER Confidence Quilter 7469Q Computerized Electronic Portable Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Stitches Per Minute (
JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Accessories
Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine w/Hard Cover (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
This isn’t just one of the best quilting sewing machines, Brothers CS6000i is one of the best sewing machines full stop. The mix of a reasonable price, high-end build quality and lots of features makes it impossible to ignore. With 60 built-in stitches, there is plenty for the beginner and intermediate sewer to get their teeth stuck into and beyond that, it continues to impress. It is easy to get a new quilting project started thanks to the automatic needle threader and the adjustable sewing speed keeps you in control.
The wide table makes it perfect for quilting and any number of large projects, with 850 stitches per minute, you’ll breeze through large quilts so you can move onto the next one. In terms of sewing, there is a free arm function that allows you to make cylinder shapes and repair sleeves. If you are stitching dark fabrics then the LED light will come in handy, and the hard case cover will protect it when it is in storage better than a lot of the fabric covers will.
- Wide table is ideal for quilting
- 60 built-in stitches
- Includes hard cover
- 850 stitches per minute
- Automatic needle threader
Best Affordable: SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9980 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Offering a massive 820 built-in stitches, this is a heavy-duty quilting sewing machine. Even though it has a sturdy build, it is still portable and covers all the basics such as offering an automatic needle threader and can be used for basic sewing, quilting, decorative stitches, home decor, and a lot more.
The versatility is partly down to the 13 included presser feet so you can take your pick from zipper, overcasting, downing, embroidery, blind hem, button sewing, to name a few. Of course, you get to use Singer’s reputable name every time you switch the machine on so when you use the stitch memory and editing function and navigate through the LCD display, you know it is going to be an enjoyable experience.
- 820 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- 13 presser feet included
- Free motion quilting option
- Can be a bit pricey for some budgets
Best For Beginners: Brother XR3774 Full Featured Quilting Machine with 37 Stitches
You shouldn’t be surprised to see another Brother sewing machine on the list, they are one of the world’s oldest and most reputable sewing machine brands after all. In the XR3774 you get 37 built-in stitches that won’t overwhelm the beginner but gives everyone else enough to experiment with. The wide table gives you plenty of room for your quilting needs and it even comes with 8 presser feet with everything from a zipper, zigzag, walking and quilting feet, and more.
You’ll find that it can speed through large quilts at 800 stitches per minute and with a built-in needle threader and top drop-in bobbin, Brother has gone to great lengths to make t as easy to use as possible. Although it is considered an entry-level sewing machine, a lot of people will be thankful for the instructional DVD that makes it easy to learn how to use some of the additional features once you build up your confidence. it has a modern design and has a free arm feature.
- Offers 37 built-in stitches
- The wide table is perfect for quilting
- Built-in needle threader
- Includes an instructional DVD
- Some people will want more stitch optons
Best For Stitches Per Minute: Brother Quilting and Sewing Machine, PQ1500SL
This is among the most powerful quilting sewing machines wth its 1,500 stitches per minute. This means you can finish your quilting projects in double the speed than a lot of the other brands can offer. The wide table accommodates plenty of material so you can take on larger projects and with every purchase you get 7 presser feet, a knee lifter, and an instruction manual.
The versatile free arm opens up more possibilities so if you are looking for a machine that can sew sleeves and other cylinder shapes then this is a great option. You get Brothers 25-year limited warranty when you purchase and a feed dog adjuster so you can use it for a multitude of fabrics, even velvet. There is also plenty more customization, including being able to control the thread tension and a heavy-duty build that reduces the vibrations.
- A powerful motor that gives you 1,500 stitches per minute
- Wide table is perfect for quilting
- Includes 7 presser feet
- Professional level machine
- Can be a bit loud when at full speed
Best For Free Motion Quilting : SINGER Confidence Quilter 7469Q Computerized Electronic Portable Sewing Machine
There are lots of features for you to learn to use with this neat quilting sewing machine from Singer and besides the style of the design, it is built with quilters in mind. This is because it comes with 4 quilting feet with an extension table to open up space and give you more room to fulfill your quilting projects. You can also adjust the stitch length to meet the demands of the different materials that you work with and the needle is programmable to move up or down wth a drop feed to meet the needs of free sewers.
There are 98 built-in stitches which is a generous amount compared to others in the price bracket. Because we mentioned it is made for quilters, you shouldn’t be surprised to find the additional presser feet that are specifically for quilting. You don’t have to worry about any skips in the sewing because the frame is heavy-duty and gives you an accurate, reliable sewing experience every time.
- Includes extension table and 4 quilting feet
- 98 built-in stitches
- Drop feed for free-motion quilting
- Good value
- The LED light isn’t as bright as some people like
Best For Stitches Per Minute (: JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine
For the price, you might have high expectations and the general consensus is that this professional-grade sewing machine lives up to them. At 1,500 stitches per minute, it is one of the most powerful quilting sewing machines you can buy for at-home use. This means you can get through large quilting projects at lightning speed. The automatic needle threader keeps the setup simple. Although it is powerful, it doesn’t vibrate as much as we thought it might.
This is because of the aluminum die-cast arm and bed that works to keep it stable. A lot of people find the heavy frame to be one of the best features as it doesn’t budge unless you want to move it. This isn’t an entry-level machine, it is a very capable quilting machine for anyone who needs super-fast sewing.
- 1,500 stitches per minute is very fast
- Automatic needle threader
- Large table for quilting
- Sturdy build
- Can be a bit pricey for some people
Best Accessories : Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine w/Hard Cover
Although a hardcover isn’t the kind of feature to encourage you to buy a professional level quilting sewing machine, it is good to see from Janome. Beyond this, there are plenty of useful features including a large extension table and 60 built-in stitches. Also, the 3160QDC has an automatic needle threader and make it easy for you to change your bobbin because of the top-loading system.
There are plenty of useful buttons including the thread cutter and reverse stitching and on top of this, Janome gives you lots of accessories to get yourself started. At 820 stitches per minute it is powerful enough to speed through large quilt designs and comes with 10 presser feet as part of the package. There is ample room in the 7 inches of throat space so you can take on projects of all sizes ensuring this is a quilting sewing machine that means business.
- 820 stitches per minute
- Includes 10 presser feet
- 60 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Can be a bit pricey for some people
Anyone who likes to take on larger sewing projects will know, a reliable quilting sewing machine is a difficult purchase. This is because a lot of reputable products offer similar things, but there are some subtle differences. When you get it right, a quilting sewing machine can be put to a lot of use but you need more than a wide table to be able to make light work of your projects.
This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. When you know what to expect from a quality product, you’ll be able to tell the reputable ones from the products that are going to have you scrambling for the warranty.
There are certain things a sewing machine must have for it to be suitable for quilting. Not every product is made the same so make sure you have an eye on the following:
Large Throat Space
If you want to be able to feed large pieces of material past the needle, then the quilting sewing machine needs to have the space to accommodate it.
Without this, a sewing machine cannot call itself suitable for quilters. An extension table makes life a lot easier when you are working with larger materials. Quilters need a flat surface to work with so this is one of the most important things to look for.
Up/Down Needle Position
Any sewing machine that has such flexibility is ideal for quilters. Being able to stitch with as much freedom as possible is vital to a quilter and being able to move the needle up and down allows you to fit different types of materials.
Specialist Quilting Stitches
You read all about built-in stitches and the more the merrier for a lot of serious sewing enthusiasts. A beginner might not need quite so many but the more you get with your machine, the better. This is because you are likely to get more specialist quilting stitches that suit your needs.
Also, consider a product that comes with decorative stitches as they can add a little flair to your designs.
Stitches Per Minute
Whilst you don’t want the machine to work at the top speed on every project, and the faster you go the more mistakes you are likely to make, it is still good to know the power is there.
You can pick up an excellent quilting sewing machine for a reasonable price and get 850 stitches per minute. This is an ample amount for most people’s needs. The professional or well-accomplished sewer will want something more and some high-performing machines give you 1,500 stitches per minute should you need it.
There’s no getting away from it, making buttonholes is tricky. Some modern sewing machines make this fiddly task easy and allow you to sew a buttonhole in one step. Plenty of the more advanced models will give you different options and designs to choose from.
This is more than having plenty to choose from, different quilting tasks require stitches of various lengths and widths. You don’t have to go for a $500 machine to unlock this feature as it is quite common with quilting sewing machines to give you lots of options for your projects.
A Variety of Presser Feet
Some presser feet make it easy for the quilter to complete their projects with accuracy and speed but this is only going to be the case if the product you buy comes with additional presser feet. You might find the all-purpose presser foot to be a little limited and anyone with more experience than a beginner will want as many as possible.
Because quilting involves stitching different fabrics to one another and working with different colors, it can be important to buy a quilting sewing machine that has a decent LED light. Most come with them as standard but some are better than others. The reputable brands tend to have LED lights with a long lifespan, meaning you won’t have to change the bulb for a long time.
There are two main techniques to choose from and whilst most people find straight line quilting easier, it is important to find a machine that allows you to use both.
The straight line is often favored by the beginner because it leaves less room for error and helps you to maintain a consistent stitch.
Free-motion stitching will require you to use different skills at the same time. This will mean you need to ensure the tension is right and try to correct uneven stitches until you are well-practiced. However, it does give you a lot of freedom to make curves and patterns where straight line stitching does not.
Unfortunately, the upkeep of a quilting sewing machine is something that beginners tend to neglect. Either that or they know very little about the upkeep of a machine.
Because there are a number of moving parts working at high speeds, the machine will require regular oiling. Check it every few uses and at the very least, once a week when in use.
If you are bringing your quilting sewing machine out of storage then it is good practice to oil it before you use it again.
Although a lot of people like to use a sewing machine with a lot of stitches per minute so they can get their quilting projects finishes in good time, there is something to be said for taking your foot off the pedal a little.
Accuracy is key when it comes to quilting so make sure you don’t get carried away with the top speed of your machine. For better control over the fabric, go at a sensible pace.
There is no getting away from the fact that every sewing machine vibrates. The more powerful the machine, the more likely it is to vibrate a little heavier.
However, there are certain ways you can ensure it doesn’t vibrate so hard. A heavy-duty body made from metal is often the sign of a well-built machine. It can be harder for a sewing machine to provide reliable stitches when the vibrations are extreme, not to mention what it can do to the user during prolonged use.
Felt pads under the machine can help and some brands even provide a mat. A heavy machine might feel like something you want to avoid but heavier machines tend to vibrate less.
Although there are some advanced products that will cost you nearly $1,000 there are plenty of options that are worth considering for less than half that amount.
A beginner won’t need to spend much more than $100 – $150 for a decent product and although this might give you fewer built-in stitches, the best sewing machines in this price range will last a long time.
Anyone looking for something with a bit more power and greater stitches per minute, with more options for different projects can find something suitable for $300.
The professional sewer or anyone who needs an advanced quilting machine can find that $500 goes a long way when you find the right model.
This depends on the machine that you buy but most reputable brands make it easy for beginners to get started and for the more experienced quilter to get enough satisfaction from the features.
If you want an easy product, look for one that has plenty of built-in stitches including a variety of quilting designs and one that has a top drop-in bobbin that is resistant to jamming, as well as automatic threading.
For those who are starting their quilting journey afresh should look for a machine that comes with an instructional DVD or one that has plenty of tutorial videos available online.
There are a few things you can do to protect your machine from the effects of wear and tear. We’ve been over the need to oil it to keep all the moving parts in good working condition but there are other things to remember.
To start with, you’ll want to keep an eye on the sharpness of the needle. They become blunt over time which can make them less accurate and difficult to use. Some people advise changing the needle before you tackle a new project and since needles can be picked up pretty cheap, this isn’t a bad idea.
A protective cover is important too as dust can build up and get into the small spaces, affecting the delicate parts. Don’t forget to clean it regularly and once a year, take it to a professional for a service.
This is how you ensure the quilting sewing machine you choose operates at a high standard for as long as possible.