Find out the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting – 2019 Update

In an overcrowded market where everyone's looking for the best value for their money, how does one point to any particular one and consider it the best quilting machine?

The best sewing machine for quilters would have to be adjudged based on its individual specifications, usefulness to the user and many other factors, including cost and durability. 

Best Comparison Table for Quilting Sewing Machines

Brother CS6000i
TOP FEATURES: Automatic needle threader, Adjustable sewing speed, 60 decorative stitches, 7 one-step buttonhole styles, Lightweight
BUILT IN STITCHES: 60
LED LIGHTING: Dual
WEIGHT: 13 lb
SIZE (inches): 16 x 6.7 x 11.4
SINGER Heavy Duty 4423
TOP FEATURES: One-step buttonhole, Top drop-in bobbin, Built-in needle threader, 1100 stitches/min
BUILT IN STITCHES: ​23
LED LIGHTING: ​NA
WEIGHT: 14.6 lb
SIZE (inches): 15.5 x 6.25 x 12
SINGER 7258
TOP FEATURES: 7 fully automatic buttonholes, One-step buttonhole, Programmable up/down needle, Instructional video
BUILT IN STITCHES: ​100
LED LIGHTING: LCD screen
WEIGHT: 14.8 lb
SIZE (inches): 14.5 x 7.5 x 12
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
TOP FEATURES: Instructional video, 850 stitches per minute, up/down needle, Snap-on presser feet, 25 variable needle positions
BUILT IN STITCHES: 600
LED LIGHTING: LCD screen
WEIGHT: 28.2 lb
SIZE (inches): 17.2 x 8.2 x 12
Brother PQ1500SL
TOP FEATURES: Large extension table,Auto thread trimmers, Knee lever,Thread tension dial, Drop down feed dog, 1500 stitches/min
BUILT IN STITCHES: ​1
LED LIGHTING: ​Yes
WEIGHT: 33.4 lb
SIZE (inches): 7.9 x 12.6 x 19.3
JUKI TL-2000Qi
TOP FEATURES: 1500 stitches per minute, Presser feet,Automatic needle threader, Large working area, Heavy-duty, industrial frame
BUILT IN STITCHES: ​1
LED LIGHTING: ​Yes
WEIGHT: 37.8 lb
SIZE (inches): 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8
JUKI TL-2010Q
TOP FEATURES: Presser foot pressure, Needle up/down control, Quilting feet,Knee lifter lever, Max speed control, 1500 stitches/min
BUILT IN STITCHES: 60
LED LIGHTING: Yes
WEIGHT: 25.4
SIZE (inches): 17.75 x 9 x 8.5

These are some of the many factors that one bears in mind when out shopping for one of the top rated sewing machines.

Factors for Choosing a Sewing Machine for Quilting

For quilters, it's extremely important to find just the best sewing machine for quilting, suited to their level of doability.

However, there are factors that everyone looks for in a good sewing machine for quilting. Let's see what they are.

What's Your Purpose?

The quilting machine you buy depends on what you're going to do with it. Is it to merely dabble in once in a way or one that you want to spend your time with to fuel a passion?

Once you answer this question honestly, you can decide how much money you are keen to put down on buying a sewing machine for quilting. The expensive ones are highly durable, so think about it. 

A Nice Price

Much depends on what you consider a nice price. Perhaps under $200 suits you better than the higher range ending in $600. Cheap sewing machines that cost about $200 are beginner level machines with all the necessary features, including multiple stitches.

The sewing machines in the premium category (between $200 and $600) come with a slew of features such as needle down position, start/stop button, easy electronic buttons, wider throat, and several decorative stitches. In fact, everything that makes life easier for you. 

Throat Space

Also called the harp space, this is the amount of room between the needle and body of the machine where the motor is kept. This area will be of utmost importance to you when you sew in the middle of your quilt. To work comfortably, you will need to have a large harp space. 

Automatic Thread Cutter

This is a time-saving feature, so look for it. All it needs is a press of a button or the use of a foot pedal. Worth looking out for. 

Knee Lift

This lever protrudes from a machine to lower and lift your presser foot. This too is a time-saving feature as it lets you use both hands to hold the quilt.

Speed Control

With the speed control feature, you can control the speed you want to work at. 

Needle Up, Needle Down

What is the position of your needle when you stop sewing--up or down? By default, the best position is the downward one as it keeps the needle in place and is time-saving too.

Presser Foot Pressure

While quilting in a straight line, you can apply pressure to the quilt using the presser foot. Some sewing machines let you adjust this pressure, depending on whether you're sewing a thick or a thin quilt.

So, it's good to have an adjustable presser foot pressure feature, or your straight line quilting will be puckered.

How Heavy is It?

Though usually an ignored factor, this is a matter of great importance to anyone selecting one of the really good quilting sewing machines. If you don't have a large enough table to place this machine on permanently, it will mean closing it up and carrying it to another spot until the next use.

This could be a big negative and will discourage you from using it as often as you would like to.

Quilting Sewing Machine Reviews

If you're looking to choose from among the best quilting sewing machines available in the market right now, read on.

We've featured here the seven top rated sewing machines, each belonging to the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level. Choose the one to go with, based on individual features. Here we go:


BEGINNER LEVEL

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine Review

It's not difficult to see why this model is considered the best today. Already in the list of the best Quilting sewing machine for beginners 2019, it is dense with thoughtfully designed features that render it great value for money.

Check Out Its Features

Easy to Use and Portable: This is by far the best sewing machine for quilting. Highly user-friendly, it has a stitch selector feature that lets you see the various stitches on offer and decide the one to go with.

Automatic Needle Threader: An automatic needle threader enables pushing the thread through the needle's eye perfectly.

Adjustable Sewing Speed: With this feature, you have better control over the machine and your work.

Extra-Large Table: If you're creating a large quilt or any other item, the CS6000i gives you a much larger work table to produce your craft comfortably. 

Stitches Per Minute: This electronic quilting machine gives you a maximum of 850 stitches per minute.

In-Built Stitches: This ingenious device for machine quilting comes with 60 stitches which include fancy stitches and seven one-step buttonhole styles.

Presser Feet: To give you more value for your money, this machine comes with nine presser feet which include buttonhole, zipper, over casting, blind stitch, monogramming, zigzag, button fitting, spring action quilting foot and walking.

Integrated Free Arm: Being a free arm sewing machine, the CS6000i can very easily simplify complex quilting projects. This enables you to quickly sew trouser legs, sleeves, and any other cylindrically-shaped items. 

Pros.
  • Setting up the machine from threading to the bobbin is very easy
  • Backlit LED display provides more light to the work area.
  • The user is in control thanks to the adjustable sewing speed feature
  • 60 stitches to choose from
  • Workable with or without the foot pedal
  • Its feature-rich quality makes it the best sewing machine for the money.
Cons.
  • Its storage space is insufficient.
  • Some users recommend using their own needles rather than what come with the machine.

SINGER Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine Review

One of the most modern computerized quilting machines, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 has been rightly described as a ''workhorse'' as it does all your heavy stitching and quilting projects.

It can work with ease on heavy material like denim with as much flair and accuracy as with lightweight sheer fabrics. 

Check Out Its Features

High sewing speed: Its powerful motor allows you to quilt your items accurately and quickly, thereby saving time.

Adjustable presser foot pressure: The adjustable presser foot pressure feature makes this quilting embroidery machine versatile enough to also work on sheer fabrics.

Range of inbuilt stitches: This machine has 23 stitches built inside it, including a one-step buttonhole, affording consistent stitches.

Easy-to-thread bobbin: Being easy to thread, the bobbin here is easily visible to the user, and you can anticipate when the bobbin is falling short of the thread.

Stitches per minute: Due to its powerful motor, this machine can make about 1100 stitches per minute, allowing you to finish your projects quicker.

Built-in needle threader: With the help of the threader, the needle can be threaded easily and without any strain on the eyes.

Top drop-in bobbin: The drop-in bobbin is both easy to fix and remove. With the help of the see-through view cover, the quantity of bobbin thread can be monitored.

Singer sewing assistant app: This helpful app can render users all the assistance they need, anytime regarding sewing different kinds of fabrics and using a variety of techniques.

Social media presence: By having a presence on social media platforms, users can connect with other sewers and learn valuable tips and tricks.

Pros.
  • It gives 1100 stitches per minute.
  • Automatic needle threading.
  • Its 23 integrated stitches can help produce any number of decorative items.
Cons.
  • In-built stitches are too few.

SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine Review

This is an extremely popular computerized quilting and sewing machine that won Consumer Digest's award as the “Best Buy” sewing machine.

Check Out Its Features

100 Integrated stitches: Its fantastic 100 built-in stitches include 9 basic stitches, 8 stretch stitches, 76 fancy stitches, and 7 fully automatic buttonholes. Many of these stitches are for several kinds of sewing, like quilting, heirloom crafts, decorative sewing, fashion sewing, and home sewing.

Automatic needle threader: With the entire machine being threaded in a matter of seconds, the Singer Stylist 7258 is ready for use. The fully integrated needle threader threads the needle smoothly, thereby eliminating users' eye strain, backache, and frustration.

Stitches per minute: This expert machine sews a maximum of 750 stitches per minute, enabling projects to be finished fast. By using the speed control lever, users can set the maximum speed they want the machine to work at.

Push button stitch selection: Users can select the stitch they want to use by just pressing a button. Automatically, the best settings for tension, length, and width come into play and are easily customizable with adjustable measurements.

Well-lit workspace: The LED lighting keeps the workplace highly illuminated, thereby eliminating any eye strain or headaches. A long-lasting bulb here works for 100,000 hours and keeps cool regardless of the time the machine is used.

6 Inbuilt buttonholes: This machine comes with six one-step buttonhole styles, allowing you to make accurately sized buttonholes every time.

Pros.
  • It has an automatic bobbin winding feature.
  • It's loaded with 100 stitches.
  • It has 10 specific-use presser feet.
Cons.
  • Stitch selection is time-consuming, considering there are 100 options.
  • A walking foot is not included.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Machine Review

This is perhaps the best singer sewing machine that can stand up to all the rigorous tests you subject it to.

Check Out Its Features

600 integrated stitches: With this, you also get 13 fully automatic styles of one-step buttonholes and five different fonts. This means that once you attach the buttons, you can even do some embroidery.

Automatic thread cutter and needle threader: With these features, you can thread the needle and get the unit starting within just six seconds!

Top drop-in bobbin: This feature becomes extra user-friendly with the transparent plate through which one can see the amount of thread left over in the bobbin. Automatic bobbin winding is also an option.

Electronic auto pilot: This machine is equipped with a foot pedal, though some sewers could prefer to use the electronic autopilot feature. With this, you can sew without using the foot pedal so it will inform you when you make a mistake and point out the same to you.

LCD screen: The modern look of this machine is what draws one to it. Not only is it computerized with an LCD screen but it also comes with a digital information adviser, through which you can select your length, width and presser foot. Edit your designs with editing features and mirror imaging.

Pros.
  • The patterns are programmable, allowing for several designs. 
  • There are many accessories thrown in. 
  • The self-cutting thread is extremely helpful.
  • 60 decorative stitches give the user a lot of choices.
  • For all levels of users, speed control is a big asset.
Cons.
  • This machine lacks the quality of a good buttonhole.
  • A quilting tray is not available with this product.

Brother PQ1500SL High-Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine Review

If you are serious about sewing and quilting, you simply must have this machine. Part of the mid-priced machine range, this is one of the preferable midarm quilting machines that stands out from the others due to its extraordinary speed, enabling it to give you 1500 stitches per minute!

Check Out Its Features

Mechanical sewing machine: Since it does not have any decorative integrated into the machine, it is called a mechanical sewing machine. Neither does it have buttonholes or any computerized options.

Being a straight stitch machine, it has just one stitch--the straight stitch, making it a very basic use stitch for all projects. However, this stitch is considered perfect for quilting as they go through several layers of material with ease.

High-speed stitching: This machine is capable of producing 1500 stitches per minute. This reduces the time period allotted to each project and makes it time-saving.

Time-saving: Its three features--Auto Threader, Thread Trimmers, and Needle Positioner--help the quilter finish making a quilt.

Integrated knee lever and extension table: With an in-built knee lever, a quilter can have his or her hands-free for raising or lowering of the presser foot so that he or she can concentrate on working with the fabric.

The extension table, measuring 12" x 18", gives the quilter ample workspace to complete projects without needing to re-position the material.

Pros.
  • Though the machine works very fast, its speed can be controlled by the foot pedal.
  • The 4 feed dog settings enable the use of many types of fabric.
  • Auto thread trimmer
Cons.
  • There isn't any indicator to show the bobbin is empty.

JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine Review

Yet another straight stitch machine, this one too works at the speed of 1500 stitches per minute. It is ideal for dressmaking, quilting, tailoring and making other items and is one of the most affordable long arm quilting machines you'd love to own.

Check Out Its Features

Automatic Thread Trimming:This feature uses the foot-controlled trimming system which enables trimming the top and bobbin threads with ease. It works best when both hands of the quilter are engaged. An automatic thread trimming button also trims the top and bobbin threads.

Computer Controlled Speed Adjustment: The ultramodern Juki TL-2000Qi has an integrated microcomputer which can adjust the speed control, and lets you sew at slightly slower speeds on sheer fabric or thicker materials.

For serious quilters, this feature makes working with several layers of fabric absolutely easy.

Easy Presser Foot Pressure Feature: At the head of the quilting machine, there's a regulator that facilitates adjustment of pressure of the presser foot. This helps when you're moving from project to project, using different materials, so that you get a unique sewing experience each time.

Automatic Needle Threader: If you're a serious quilter, you'll know why this is such an important feature--after all, no one likes to thread a needle manually. So, here the machine does it for you so you can start work quickly.

Spacious Bobbin Case: It has a large bobbin case which comes with a latch that helps to take out bobbins and replace them. This gives you more room to work with and makes it easier for you to replace the bobbin.

Pros.
  • It works at a fantastically fast speed.
  • It is excellent at straight stitching.
  • It has a large workspace table.
  • It produces perfect stitches and tension.
Cons.
  • It does not come with a zigzag stitch.
  • It is on the expensive side. 

ADVANCED LEVEL

Juki TL-2010Q Long Arm Quilting Machine Review

Of exceptional quality and features, this computerized long arm quilting machine comes with a matching price tag too.

Check Out Its Features

Foot Controller with Thread Trimming: These features enable trimming the needle and bobbin threads by pressing down the foot controller's heel side. The large-sized foot controller can control the start and stop speed.

Automatic Thread Trimmer: This device trims the bobbin threads and needle simultaneously at the point of sewing by the light press of a pushbutton.

Large throat area: Its large throat area of 8.5” width x 5.9” height gives you more space to work with your project and complete it faster.

Stitch speed: The maximum stitch speed of this Juki quilting machine is 200, and it can produce 1500 stitches per minute. So, if you're an industrial seamstress, you can work comfortably and meet all your deadlines.

Professional quality features: Industrial and home sewers can reap the benefit of using this machine, thanks to its many features such as easy bobbin replacement, needle up/down control, automatic thread trimmer, automatic needle threading, adjustable feed dogs, knee-lift lever, etc.
These features help sewers work faster and more comfortably.

Robust and durable: As long arm quilting machine reviews go, this one too is simple and robust in design, which renders it just right for both easy projects and heavy duty ones. 

Pros.
  • Its many features enable good quilting projects to be undertaken. 
  • Being a mechanical machine, it is robust and durable.
  • It can be used to sew through several layers of heavy material.
Cons.
  • It's pretty expensive.
  • It needs frequent oiling, especially if you use the machine regularly.

Ultimate Guide on Best Sewing Machine for Quilting and Common FAQs

Quilting is a unique sewing job. Quilters arrange 2-3 layers of fabric one after another, stacking them one upon one for making a thick padded material. Ideally, quilting is done in three layers: these are the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material

Quitting is best done by a sewing machine, but all sewing machines are not the right one for quilting. If you want to work on quilting with professional expertise, you should buy the best sewing machine. Before you start market stroll, let’s know first about the quilting.

What is a Quilting Sewing Machine?

A quilting sewing machine is a specialty sewing machine, somehow different from a conventional stitching machine. It is built with some quilting friendly add-ons and some extra capabilities than a traditional sewing machine model, which a quilter find generally helpful for managing its quilting projects. 

Quilting is the process of sewing two or more layers of fabric together to make a thicker padded material, usually to create a quilt or quilted garment. Typically, quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material, but many different styles are adopted.

Stitch plays a critical role in the quality of the quilt. The quilt is used for enjoying extra warmth when used and two or more layers of fabric together, make a creative decorative piece. The process of patching the top and bottom of the quilt includes the methods of sewing the pieces together… is done by this machine.

Unless you plan to sew by hand, quilting machine is a must-buy for you. The machine helps you effortlessly to sew a 1/4" seam allowance is the standard one.

Different Types of Quilting Sewing Machine?

Quilting is a creative job, and there are quilters with different skill levels.  For obvious reason, there are multiple types of quilting machines to complement their skill level and the manifestation of creative ability.

Primarily there are three types of quilting machines. These are Computerized, Electrical, and Mechanical varieties of quilting machines.

  • ​Computerized quilting machine.
  • ​Electrical quilting machine.
  • ​Mechanical quilting machines.

From the aspect of functionality, there are mainly two types of quilting machines. These are:

Longarm quilting machine: Longarm quilting machine is a user-friendly quilting machine version, which a quilter uses for sewing a quilt top, quilt batting, as well as the quilt backing into a completely finished product. Quilting with a longarm machine takes significantly lesser time than hand quilting or traditional quilting method.

Mid arm quilting machine: It's a hybrid quilting machine and stays amidst a domestic common sewing machine and a longarm quilting machine. This variant is earning huge popularity, and the variety of machines available in the market is overwhelming.

Difference Between a Quilting Machine and a Sewing Machine? 

All quilting machines are sewing machines, but all sewing machines are not compatible with doing quilting jobs.  There is an easy-to-find line of differences between a quilting machine and a sewing machine.

Workspace: We need a large workspace to operate a quilting machine.  The workspace in a quilting machine I mostly measured by the machine’s throat.  The simple equation is longer the machine, the throat will be wider, and depending on these two factors larger is the work area.

In making a quilt, large workspace is always an advantage for the quilters

Extension table: extra space is always advantageous for quilting. Hence some quilting machines come with in-built extension table. Most of the usual sewing machine has the option to add an extension table, but they don't come with this table extension from the factory.

Foot option is a vital difference:  The foot option in a normal sewing machine and quilting machine are of different types. Quarter Inch Foot, Free-Motion Foot, Even Feed Foot are some of the options of the foot in quilting machines, which are generally not available with a normal sewing machine. 

The number of stitches: Decorative stitches are available with most of the quilting machines because these stitches add a different and elegant look for the quilt. These decorative stitches may not be available in general sewing machine.

Speed of sewing and inherent stability: quilting is a professional job, and professional quilters love to combine speed and tenacity while sewing their quilting. Unless you have bought an advanced professional sewing machine, usually quilting machines can work at a higher speed than a sewing machine.

What is The Best Thread to Use for Machine Quilting?

Machine quilting thread is in cooperation functional as well as decorative, and the best machine quilting thread for one project may not work as well for another.

Quilting threads grip the layers of the quilt sandwich together firmly, making dints in the project wherever the stitches are seamed. The dints and the thread together add a pretty finish to the quilt.

  • ​Quilting threads are generally made from natural fibers like wool, silk, cotton, flax, and jute. Some threads are renewed from cellulose, and few are made from synthetic fibers, like metallic, polyester, and nylon varieties.
  • ​Cotton, rayon, metallic are some of the most popular threads perfect for machine quilting. Rayon, as well as cotton threads, come in unalike weights.
  • ​Metallic threads offer their typical features that may have advantages and disadvantages.

Heavier weight threads are more obvious when used for quilting. A 40-weight thread is a general choice for quilting while 30-weight threads are extra noticeable. Lighter 50-weight threads are lighter in texture and usually get blended into the fabric.

Thread weight is only one of the factors for selecting the best machine quilting thread. The combo effect of thread’s color blend against the fabrics as an important part of the design the only an expert quilter’s prerogative.

Popular Thread Brands in  the North USA Market:

  • ​Coats & Clark
  • ​Maderia
  • ​Guterman
  • ​Mettler
  • ​Metrosene
  • ​Robison Anton
  • ​Sulky
  • ​Signature
  • ​Valdani
  • ​Superior
  • ​YLI

Many types of threads can be used for machine quilting, and quilting thread can either contrast or blend with the fabrics used to make the quilt.

​What Does a Quilting Foot Do?

The purpose of a quilting foot (generally called a walking foot) is to evenly feed all three (or more) layers of the quilt piles through the sewing machine at the time of quilting.

This presser foot is used by quilters for creating straight or mildly curving stitch lines or for channel quilting.

Quilters use this walking foot when they are performing the following actions:

  • ​Fastening binding to the quilt
  • ​Making a rag quilt
  • ​Piecing with a knit or slippery fabric like fleece
  • ​Matching of the plaids

A quilting foot is helpful for machine quilting. A fabric-sandwich (quilt pile) is mostly made up of three layers--the quilt top, the internal batting, and the quilt backing--all hulking layers can easily get shifted while sewing them together with a fixed presser foot.

Quilter will find that walking foot is a perfect helper at the time of working with bulkier layers, like a rag quilt as well as a denim quilt.

A quilting foot can help a quilter in sewing the binding. A walking foot can keep all the fabric layers from shifting out of the target place.

Also, this walking foot increases efficiency in matching plaids, stripes, and other mottled fabrics. Once pinned at one place finally for sewing, this special foot helps in fixing the set-in or patterned fabrics from getting hackneyed.

Can I Free Motion Quilt With a Walking Foot? 

It is a bit difficult. Experienced quilters may try the task, but beginners must not try to get this done.

Free motion quilting is factually FREE, which means you have entire freedom of movement of the quilt on the machine. Usually, a quilter allows the machine to feed the fabric forward using the little teeth termed as feed dogs that grasp and move the fabric evenly.

Functionally, a walking foot pulls the fabric from the top. It is obvious that with the walking foot, the working project will work smoothly as you are ongoing with the sewing. If your quilt is dripped properly, all the layers will work beneath the needle at the same speed consistently with the walking foot.

However, straight-line quilting without using a walking foot typically create numerous kind of troubles for the quilter. It is so not that wise to attempt working on free motion quilt without a walking foot.

What is The Best Stitch Length for Machine Quilting?

The best stitch for machine quilting may slightly vary from one quilting project to another.  However, most of the machines have a default stitch length, which is 2 - 2.5 mm. It is a huge one, but this mark is the yardstick to adjust your stitch length according to your need depending on the quilt you are working on.

It is prescribed to adjust your machine’s stitch length to slightly smaller than 1.5 mm to create a secure and tight stitch texture for securely locking the fabric pieces together.  However, the ideal length of stitch may vary from the layer of fabrics you are using in your quilting.

If you are quilting about a 1/4" circle, the stitches should be smaller so that you create a circle as a substitute of the octagon shape. Alternatively, if you are quilting about a 4" circle, the stitches should be longer to make the quilting line smooth and tight enough.

So, precisely, the length of the ideal stitches is the best decided by the lowest element in the quilting design.

However, there is a global rule for making the best stitch for a quilting project.

  • ​Shortening the stitch length lowers the quantity of fabric that is fed below the presser foot beforehand the needle comes down.
  • ​Lengthening the stitch length enhances the amount of fabric fed below the presser foot beforehand the needle comes down.
Final Verdict

So, what's the best sewing machine for quilting 2019? From those reviewed here, you would know that it should have some exceptional features that will enhance your sewing experience.

If you're choosing a beginner level machine, you'll look for something easy to operate, but if it's an advanced one you want, it should have ultramodern features that help you meet all the challenges of your projects while simplifying your tasks.

So, here's to 2019--a year of creating the best quilts ever!!