Quilting is a process of binding multiple layers of fabric to create a thicker padded textile. For better aesthetics, it demands several stitches and can be accomplished either manually or mechanically.
Although a standard sewing machine can be used for quilting, it is better to opt for a dedicated unit.
The former might pose problems like bobbin unthreading, inadequate stitch tension, and needle breaking, unlike the latter.
However, the market thrives with ample models making a choice difficult. This is where this article helps you!
In a hurry? Here are my top 12 picks of the best sewing machines for quilting:
- Brother XR9550PRW Project Runway Sewing Machine
- Brother CS7000i Computerized Sewing And Quilting Machine
- Juki TL-2000qi Sewing And Quilting Machine
- Janome MC6650
- Brother HC1850
- Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine
- Brother PQ1500SL Quilting And Sewing Machine
- Janome 2212
- Eversewn Sparrow 20
- Brother Laura Ashley CX155LA Sewing Machine
- Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter
- Janome Memory Craft 6300P Sewing And Quilting Machine
See the detailed review below.
What Type of Sewing Machine Is Best for Quilting?
Quilting differs from normal stitching as it deals with much thicker materials with differing textures.
Quilting machines are expected to maintain optimum string tension all through the stitches and must be able to switch between various kinds of design patterns easily.
They must be fast and should encompass an extension table and a large working space.
Besides, as is the condition with any other sewing equipment, they must be economical, durable, better performing, noise-free, accessory-rich, compact, easy to maintain, suitable for heavy-duty applications, facilitate easy replacement of defective parts, and less prone to failures.
How to Choose the Best Sewing Machines for Quilting?
There are a variety of factors to be looked for while selecting a machine suitable for quilting. A few important ones are explained here below for your reference.
#1. Throat Space
The area enclosed between the machine’s arm, between the needle and the vertical column indicates throat space.
This is the workspace that limits the size of the quilt that can be handled. Typical arm lengths of long-, mid-and short- arm machines are greater than 18”, 12 to 17”, and less than 12”, respectively.
Larger the throat space, the greater the ability; it would be easy to roll and accommodate large, thicker fabric.
It would further imply longer quilting patterns and less frequent repositioning of the material.
However, long arm machines are less compact and cost more, demanding a better trade-off.
#2. Responsive Stitch Regulator
Stitch regulators are the computerized machine attachments that facilitate the free-motion stitching of quilts.
Responsive stitch regulators help control the stitching speed right on-the-go assuring even stitches and better surface finish.
If switch regulators are not present, then the speed needs to be controlled manually, which will be inaccurate and tedious.
Thus responsive stitch regulators are a desirable feature when aiming for a quilt with balanced, tightly coupled, equally spaced, superior quality stitches.
#3. Needle Speed
The speed with which the needle enters and exits the quilt fabric is known as needle speed. The greater the needle speed, the more the number of stitches per minute (SPM).
Precise control over the speed of the needle is desired to accomplish better stitches of the intended pattern.
Higher needle speed need not necessarily imply fast stitching and quick completion.
Particularly, as the needle starts to move faster, controlling it might become difficult, especially for beginners.
Hence, it is always better to keep the needle speed at the level comfortable for you!
#4. Simplistic Thread Path
The threading path refers to the thread’s direction as it moves from the spool pin to the needle.
This path is machine-dependent and typically includes thread guides, take-up lever, and tension disks apart from the spool pin and the needle.
The thread path is desired to be as simple as possible for quilting machines to ensure quick threading.
It would be much better if the machine is equipped with an auto-threader, as it prevents eyestrain and finger stabbing while facilitating easy rethreading.
#5. Table And Free Arm Area
Table and free arm are the add-on features of a quilting machine that increase its effective workspace. A larger table and free arm area supplement the available throat space and further eases larger quilts’ stitching.
Table extensions provide an increased flat surface and make quilt handling easy.
The free arm allows easy slipping amidst multiple layers along any desired direction.
This gives good control over free-motion quilting, ensuring optimal and stable thread tension, leading to a better and quick finish.
#6. Bobbin Winding And Needle Threading
Bobbin winding and needle threading are the prime aspects that decide the quality of stitches. The easier it is to change the bobbin and thread the needle, the better it will be.
Furthermore, bobbin systems are expected to be jam-proof even when subjected to heavy-duty applications.
Quilting machines with automatic bobbin winding and needle threading save a lot of time.
Separate motors for bobbin operation increase the durability of the actual machine’s motor by preventing it from suffering extra damage.
Stitching thick materials at full speed causes the machine to vibrate vigorously. This will, in turn, result in loud noise, making quilting uncomfortable, especially when practiced for long.
Vibration is further enhanced if the machine encompasses a switching regulator.
One potential solution that can reduce vibration, hence the resulting noise, is pads or soundproof mats.
These vibration pads ensure your machine remains in-place while helping you to follow the stitches with ease.
To obtain a splendid quilting experience, pay attention to the following features:
- Presence of start and stop buttons
- Automatic bobbin winding and needle threading
- Stitching speed regulator
- Presence of optimal workspace
- Extra accessories like feed dogs
- Easy feeding system
- On-click controllable design patterns
- Back-lit LCD panel display
- Easy availability of spare parts
- Heavy-duty compliance
- Adjustable needle positioning
- Less vibration and reduced noise
- Ease of use and maintenance
Top 12 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting
We now present the top three quilting equipment, discussing the prominent features that constitute an ideal quilting machine.
A brief introduction followed by the pros and cons is presented for each of them to present you with a better overview.
Brother XR9550PRW is an excellent sewing machine that will cater to your sewing needs. It is a Limited Edition machine packed with amazing specifications. If you wish to purchase a machine within an affordable price range, this product should be on your list. It is a great gift for starters that is versatile and efficient enough.
The machine has an LCD screen that simplifies the sewing process. This allows you to select your stitches and settings with a single button easily. It has a wide table for easy working with a protective hard cover.
Furthermore, it has 8 sewing feet and an instructional DVD if you have any queries or doubts. The machine has a stitching speed of 850 stitches per minute.
The weight of the product is 18 pounds. Additionally, it has a throat space of 5.75 inches x 3.9 inches. The machine features 110 stitches and multiple embroidery patterns.
Though compact and small in size, it has an amazing performance and is a reliable product. An additional feature of the sewing machine is the automatic needle threader that simplifies your sewing work.
With 8 sewing presser feet and 8 one-step buttonhole styles, the product has everything you want in a sewing machine.
One of the best features of this durable machine is that it comes with a 25-year limited warranty. Hence, this warranty secures your purchase and makes it a must-buy product. Read the full review here.
- Versatile and sturdy
- Easy to use and friendly to beginner
- 25-year limited warranty
- One-step buttonhole styles make it suitable for buttonhole project.
- Stability issues
This is a trendy sewing machine for beginners. The Brother CS7000i is reasonably priced, and it has accessories and features that only the most expensive machines have. It is a sewing machine that is entry-level.
The reviews about this model say that this machine is one of the best quilting machines from the Brother brand as it is inexpensive and easy to use.
The speed of this sewing machine is 850 stitches per minute. It has 70 built-in stitches and 7 one-step auto-size buttonhole styles. It also has an automatic thread cutter and a bobbin winder that is extremely easy to use.
The table that comes with this machine is quite handy as it makes a quilt quite easy. It is also easy to make thick quilts, thanks to the walking foot that comes with this model, as it will guide you through stitching evenly.
This is a computerized machine. If you ever attend any quilting workshop or any shows regarding quilting, you will notice that all the demonstrations are done on this machine.
It is done so because this machine is easy to learn, fun to use and also, extremely reliable and versatile.
If you are looking for a sewing and quilting machine that is also inexpensive but is also durable, then this is the machine that you ought to choose. It is one of the best sewing machines that a beginner can invest in today in the market.
There is an automatic threader, and the LCD screen on the top of the sewing machine makes it easy to change the settings. Another great feature of this machine is that it is portable and light, making it easy to carry around, even to your sewing class!
- Automatic needle threader
- Easy to use
- Portable and lightweight
- Extremely light, so it might tip while sewing heavy quilts.
Are you seriously considering purchasing the best machine for quilting? If yes, then you must definitely consider the Juki TL-2000Qi quilting and sewing machine. The brand Juki does impressive sewing and quilting machines, and this model is no different.
In this model, there is an absurd amount of throat space, making it easier for you to sew heavier quilts. The speed of this sewing machine is 1500 stitches per minute. It also has an automatic needle threader. Also, the cast frame made of aluminum reduces the vibrations while you work.
The quality of stitches that this machine provides will surpass even your wildest imaginations. It exceeds your expectations and gives you quality results in a quick amount of time. However, this machine does not come with an in-detail instruction manual. You can learn a lot from YouTube about this quilting and sewing machine, though.
If you are looking for a modern and advanced sewing machine that can handle multiple fabric layers and different kinds of fabric, this is the right choice. This is the perfect buy for a person who wants to make quilts as this is a machine that can handle all that you throw at it. Read the full review here.
- Excellent quilting power
- Automatic needle threader
- 1500 stitches per minute
- Even feed foot
- Huge extension table
- Large frame
Janome MC6650 is a computerized sewing machine that comes with a quilting kit and also a large extension table.
It has an LCD, multiple built-in stitches, and many accessories that make this sewing and quilting machine a joy to use for years together. The Janome brand machines are known for their build, and this sewing and quilting machine is no different.
This machine has about 170 built-in stitches, and the number of buttonhole stitches is 6. These will help you tackle almost any sewing project that you take up.
The speed of Janome MC6650 is 1000 stitches per minute. You can control this speed, too.
The automatic needle threader present in this model helps in saving your time. All you need to do is pull the threader down, place the thread in a hook, and pull it back. Voila—your needle will automatically be threaded.
The bobbin thread is also bought up automatically without much intervention from you. The automatic thread cutter is another great feature you might want to keep in mind while considering purchasing this sewing machine.
It also has a lock stitch and a reverse stitch button. There is also a needle up or down button and a start or stop button, which lets you sew without using the foot paddle.
- 170 built-in stitches
- Automatic thread cutter
- Needle up or down button
- Jam proof bobbin system
- Automatic needle threader
- We cannot think of anything.
The Brother HC1850 is a little more expensive and a little more advanced than the previous Brother sewing machine we mentioned in this article.
The number of built-in stitches that it has is 130, and it also has about 8 auto-size one-step buttonhole styles. The speed of this model is 850 stitches per minute. It has an automatic needle threader and also a large quilting table. For quilters, it has decorative stitches like feather stitch.
It comes with 8 presser feet, and it has a 25-year warranty. The accessories included with this machine are 3 spool caps, 3 bobbins, 3-piece needle set, 8 presser feet, screwdriver, cleaning brush, extra spool pin, seam ripper, and so on.
This model is straightforward to use, too. It is worth every penny that you spend on it. It is feature-rich, and it also comes with accessories that most expensive machines come with.
- Multiple embroideries and stitch patterns
- Large table that is detachable
- Portable and lightweight
- Extremely light, so it might tip while quilting with heavier fabrics.
The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is extremely inexpensive, and for such a price, this sewing machine does offer a lot. It is one of the favorites of beginners and intermediate quilters because of various reasons.
It is effortless to use with a bobbin system that is drop-in and also. It has an automatic needle threader. It has 600 built-in stitches and 13 auto-size one-step buttonhole styles. Additionally, there are also 5 fonts if you wish to monogram your creations.
You can customize your stitch length, elongation, and also width. Along with this, you can also mirror your stitches if your project needs you to do it. The speed of this model is 850 stitches per minute. It has twin needle settings that are electronic.
If you are a quilter, when you purchase this machine, you get 18 presser feet, a heavy-duty frame, and a huge quilting table to do your quilting projects with ease. You can customize your stitching speed by just moving the lever. You also get a 25-year warranty so you can be sure that this sewing machine will stay with you for a long while.
- 25 needle positions
- 600 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- 850 stitches per minute speed
- Multiple decorative stitches
- Walking foot and quilting bar not compatible
Brother PQ1500SL sewing machine, specifically designed for quilters, is a powerhouse. A great feature of this sewing machine is a knee lever for lifting the presser foot.
You do not need your hands to do it anymore. You can keep your hands on the fabric and keep it in place while stopping to lift the presser foot. It also has an automatic needle positioner.
This machine is also heavy—meaning it will work well if you are using it with multiple layers of fabric or using it with large quilts. This sewing machine’s motor is a heavy-duty one, and it can manage to sew lots of heavy-duty fabric.
Its sewing speed is 1500 stitches per minute. It has a needle threader that is fast. It also has a fabric extension table and a pin feeding system.
It comes with several accessories like the 5 metal bobbins, spool cap, seam guide, cleaning brush, 2 screwdrivers, spool cushion, fabric separator, needle packet, and so on.
The best thing about this model is that you can easily control the machine’s feed dog.
There are about 4 levels of adjustments that you can make to control this and the foot pressure. This sewing machine has excellent reviews online, and it is trendy for quilting.
- Powerful and heavy duty
- Controllable feed dog
- 1500 stitches per minute
- Industrial level machine
Janome 2212 is a basic quilting machine with 12 built-in stitches that can be selected by moving an easy-turn switch selector dial. It houses a 4-step buttonhole and a reverse level to lock the stitches.
This model supports free-motion stitching with an option of adjustable stitch length and width. Janome 2212 is equipped with a 5-piece feed dog and a free arm drop to facilitate easy quilting.
It can readily be put-to-use as it is supplied with numerous accessories, including foot control, zipper foot, screwdriver, blind foot, dust cover, seam ripper, needle set, bobbin, buttonhole foot, and operation manual.
- Ideal for beginners
- Faster stitching speed
- Easy to set-up
- Imbibes drop feed
- Easy-to-switch presser foot
- A good number of accessories
- An exceedingly small number of stitch types
- Relatively small throat space
Eversewn Sparrow 20 is a computerized quilting machine that offers 80 different kinds of stitches, covering both decorative and quilting patterns.
It houses a drop-in hook system, 6 one-step buttonholes, and standard seven presser feet for buttonholes, blind hem, zigzag, embroidery, zipping, button sewing, and overlock.
In this model, the needle position can be moved up and down and varied over 15 different positions that greatly aid in stitching the quilt corners.
Furthermore, the needle movement’s speed can be adjusted to best suit the fabric’s type using a speed selector.
- Start/Stop button
- LED sewing light
- LCD panel
- Automatic needle threader
- Sleek and modern design
- Precision drop-in bobbin
- Relatively lighter than heavy-duty machines
- Comparatively lesser throat space
The Brother Laura Ashley Limited Edition is a great starter machine for beginners. The amazing machine comes with several features and specifications that are hard to miss. If you are looking for a compact and ergonomic design sewing machine, this one won’t let you down.
Laura Ashley CX155LA is a reliable, affordable, and one of the best options that you should consider. It has 155 stitches and 55 alphanumeric, numeric stitches. Furthermore, it also has 8 styles of 1 step buttonholes for those who love to do embroidery.
The stunning machine has a wide table that adds convenience to your work. Also, the easy auto needle threader allows you to get your work done faster. Though it has a compact size, the machine is quite powerful and has an excellent performance rate.
Easily stitch any material with ease. The sewing speed of the machine is 850 stitches per minute. Additionally, the weight of the product is simply 20 pounds. The machine has 100 built-in stitches with 11 sewing and quilting feet. This machine will help you save money and minimize your effort at the same time.
The bright LCD screen displays information that makes your work simpler. Finally, this computerized sewing machine is a fantastic option for those who wish to purchase one.
- Multiple features
- Super bright work area
- LCD screen
- Limited stock
The Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter is a machine that you can trust with confidence. The product has multiple features that make it one of the most recommended sewing machines. This power-packed product is all you need to get your work done.
It has a sewing speed of 700 stitches per minute with a throat space of 6.5 inches. Additionally, the machine has 98 built-in stitches as well. Along with 4 quilting feet and an extension table, this machine is worth your money.
If you are looking for a sturdy yet efficient sewing machine, this product deserves your attention. The automatic needle threader is designed to offer convenience.
It also has a heavy-duty metal frame that guarantees longevity. Besides, the programmable needle up/down is a crucial feature for quilters.
It has an adjustable stitch width and length along with 7 automatic 1 step buttonhole options. Furthermore, the Drop Feed feature is suitable for free-motion sewing. It is the perfect machine to use for your heavy projects.
If you are a beginner, you could consider this one as a starter machine for your projects.
The interesting features and specifications of the machine are enough to keep you hooked. The product here will change the definition of sewing and make the process fun as ever!
- 25 year limited warranty
- Optimum power control
- Portable & durable
- Control panel issues
The Janome Memory 6300P is known to be an all-rounder sewing machine with interesting specifications and features. This power-packed machine is a professional and affordable solution to your sewing needs. One of the best parts of this product is that it is quite affordable yet does not compromise any aspect.
The sewing machine has an impressive 1000 stitches per minute, with 66 built-in patterns. Besides, you will find special patterns as well in this product. Similarly, there are 4 buttonholes and 5 stitches for the speed controller, applique, and advanced feed.
The stunning machine has a throat space of 9 inches x 5 inches. Furthermore, there are Drop Feed and Knee Lift features as well. This is one of the best deals that you can grab for yourself. It works amazingly well with the thickest of materials and sews without a glitch.
The weight of the product is 45 pounds, and it has 4 automatic buttonhole options as well. Since the sewing machine is loaded with several advanced features at an affordable price range, it is the best of the lot.
This consistent and durable sewing machine will outdo your expectations and give you results like no other. It is a highly recommended machine for beginners or starters. Make stitching easy and effortless with the Janome Memory Craft 6300P machine.
- Heavy-duty material
- Variety of features
- High stitching speed
- The bobbin needs to be purchased separately.
Quilting is a fabric-specific process that demands special equipment to ensure better surface finishing and superior quality stitches.
Better quilting machines are expected to have automized operations for needle threading, bobbin winding, speed selection, pattern choice, needle positioning, on and off.
High-quality machines are anticipated to have features like a larger workspace, back-lit LCD panel, numerical display, and easy-to-use switch regulator.
They are expected to be user-friendly, less vibrant, less noisy, suitable for heavy-duty applications, and user-friendly.
Their ready-to-use feature is also expected to be high in accessories supplied, and the customer support offered.
Finally, it is even important to consider factors like budget, application, frequency-of-use, and available space while choosing them.