Are you looking forward to learning to quilt and wondering what sewing machines can help you make quilts?
Are you looking for the best sewing machine for Quilting to buy?
Are you a beginner quilter and want to know if there are any beginner-friendly quilting machines available?
..how about me being an experienced person give you several great options for choosing the best quilting sewing machine?
It is always a good idea to seek advice from an experienced sewist before you buy a sewing machine.
It really helps you to know if the sewing machine you have selected is right in terms of functionality, durability, cost, etc., and eventually will help you make the final buy decision.
Being a beginner, we don’t have much idea about sewing machines and if we don’t do the research work before purchase, we may end up buying something that is not useful for us which results in wasting our hard-earned money and time.
You don’t want that!
I’m sure you don’t!
I’ve seen, in many such cases, people who want to buy a sewing machine to make quilts check just one thing, whether a particular model of the sewing machine is able to simply make a quilt or not, and just go ahead to make the purchase.
They really don’t bother about other functionalities that they might need in their quilting sewing machine.
Later when they spend some time playing around with the quilting sewing machine they bought, they get to know their quilting machine doesn’t have particular features to attain the quilting-related task.
It is very disappointing!
But I will not let this happen to you…
..because I invested a lot of time in research, experiment, and testing, and created a list of the best sewing machines for quilting below that I’m going to discuss in detail.
Quilting is actually the stitching that holds three layers of the quilt. It is basically the next step of stitching that beginners are eager to learn.
Quilting is indeed a necessity for those who love to show their quilting skill to family members and relatives.
A lot of us do believe that quilting can be one of the most hectic things to do. But it is not so, it can be done easily if you have a good quilting machine.
Hence, you must buy a sewing quilting machine that has all the necessary features required for quilting.
Wondering what are those features?
Key Features of a Quilting Machine
Before I discussed the important features of a quilting machine.
You need to decide if you are looking for a simple quilting machine or an advanced one.
Also See: Top Serger Sewing Machines
Not all sewing machines are capable of making nice quilts.
Hence, if you are buying a sewing machine for quilting, you must check it has all the features that I’ve discussed below.
An advanced quilting machine will help you do regular sewing and quilting.
In that case, you can look for the best sewing cum quilting machine
Or you can go for a quilting and embroidery machine as well.
With this type of machine, you can make beautiful quilts and decorate them with embroidery designs.
But, if you are looking for such a type of sewing machine, you must be ready with a good budget.
Let’s see the important features of a quilting machine.
Of course, since you are buying a sewing machine for quilting, you must check if the sewing machine you are going to buy has quilting stitches.
The more the number of quilting stitches, the more choice you’ll have.
Since quilts are larger projects you need a sewing machine with a large work area to comfortably handle the fabric.
Check if the selected quilting machine has a quilting table with it.
Some of the great sewing machines come with a detachable extension table which is pretty convenient.
The advantage of a detachable quilting table is that you can attach it to the sewing machine while making quilts and remove it when you have to store it in a sewing cupboard.
Easy Thread Tension Controller
Manual or automatic, check if the quilting machine has a thread tension controller.
You always have to adjust thread tension when you make a quilt. It doesn’t remain the same as needed for regular sewing work.
Free motion Feet
Although not very important but check if the selected quilting machine has more free-motion feet apart from the one that comes with the quilting machine.
Most of the quilters do not know about it but if you can get more free-motion feet, it will be good.
What are the Prices of the Quilting Machines?
There are several great quilting machines and the price for the same depends on the features, durability, specification, and accessories.
It can vary from a hundred bucks to thousands of bucks.
One of the cheapest & best quilting machines that I’ve ever seen is Brother CS6000i which you can grab for just over a hundred bucks.
Also see: Best of all Heavy duty sewing machines
However, Janome 6300P which I’ve included in this post costs just under a thousand bucks.
The thumb rule says the more features a quilting machine has, the higher will be the price.
If you are buying a quilting machine for home purposes, my list in this post has several great options.
However, expert quilters who probably want to use the quilting sewing machine for their business can opt for the high-end quilting machines from this post.
Best Sewing Machine for Quilting – Detailed Reviews
So now you know the key features that you must look for in a quilting machine at the time of purchase, let’s go ahead and see what are good quilting machines available.
Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
SINGER 9960 is an advanced sewing and quilting machine with modernized features that make your quilting experience even more beautiful. Its heavy-duty metal frame accounts for the skip-free quilting and for durability.
The SINGER 9960 is a computerized quilting machine that suits the requirements of many people because of the plethora of features it comes with.
SINGER 9960 comes with 600 built-in stitches which is the highest for the quilting and sewing machines falling within this price range.
These 600 built-in stitches include stitches for quilting, 5 alphanumeric fonts. It also has 13 styles of 1-step automatic buttonholes that are very useful.
This sewing cum quilting machine also comes with features like an automatic thread cutter and a needle threader. The automatic needle threader helps beginners sewists use this sewing machine more conveniently.
The automatic needle threader also helps with reducing stress on your eyes.
One of the best features that a quilting machine must have is Needle Up/ Down. You can set the needle to stop down when you are making a quilt.
SINGER 9960 is an advanced sewing and quilting machine but very easy to operate. Its super easy threading system helps you get started as quickly as possible as you can thread the whole sewing machine within seconds.
The fairly large LCD screen panel displays the stitch you are currently on and the buttons given just below helps you choose the stitch of your choice.
All the buttons are named for the function they intend to. So there are least chances of getting confused as to which button does what.
It comes with easy loading top drop-in bobbin with a transparent plate that helps you keep watch on the supply of thread through the bobbin.
SINGER 9960 is a real workhorse and able to stitch at 850 stitches per minute which is pretty impressive.
Although you can set the speed based on the requirement. I’d recommend beginners to stitch at low speed sometimes.
The quilting machine with a detachable extension table that lets you conveniently work on your quilt.
The other notable features of SINGER 9960 sewing and quilting machines are an automatic tension controlling system, automatic reverse, snap-on presser feet, etc. It is shipped with a handful of accessories that you need in due course.
Pros and Cons
- 600 built-in stitches
- Stitches for Quilting
- 13 styles of automated single-step buttonholes.
- 10 presser feet
- LCD Screen
- Auto Electronic thread trimmer.
- Automatic needle threader.
- Quilting Table for making quilts.
Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway
If you are looking forward to taking your quilting passion to a professional level then the Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine is one you should get for yourself.
They are the limited edition sewing machine models for aspiring fashion designers and crafters.
This portable yet powerful computerized quilting machine comes with 110 built-in stitches which include stitches for quilting, heirloom, decorative stitches, and stitches for regular sewing works. It also comes with 8 styles of one-step automatic buttonholes.
It has an LCD screen where you can read various things such as the stitch you have currently chosen.
The pushbuttons around the LCD screen lets you change the stitch easily.
Below the LCD screen, the quilting machine has a stitches chart given with a proper numbering system that lets you select the stitch of your choice easily.
The machines stitching speed is quite good. It can stitch at 850 stitches per minute.
However, you can control the speed with a slider as per the need.
Included is the large size extension table that is very helpful at the time of making quilts.
You can attach the table whenever you work on a large fabric and remove it when you have to store it in a small space.
The other important features of Brother XR9500PRW sewing and quilting machine is the automatic needle threader which is a savior for most people (like me haha!), Needle Up/down position button, easy and quick setup top drop-in jam-resistant bobbin, automatic thread cutter, easy bobbin winding system, etc. It also comes with a Free Arm feature for the collars, sleeves, cuffs.
Pros and Cons
- 100 built-in stitches.
- Quilting stitches.
- Quilting Table.
- Fonts for Monogramming.
- 8 styles of single-step buttonholes.
- Drop feed and Free motion.
- Free arm.
- Speed controller
- Not good for heavy material such as denim, leather, etc.
- Small letter size.
The Brother PQ1500SL is an extremely powerful sewing and quilting machine for handling the heavy workload. It is a great choice for large scale production of clothing items in a production house.
But that doesn’t mean its not a good choice for home use! It is a straight stitch sewing machine and capable of stitching at 1,500 stitches per minute.
You will hardly find any faster sewing machine that could sew at speed of 1500 stitches per minute under this price range.
With features like an automatic thread cutter, built-in needle threader which is automatic too, 4 feet dog setting, F.A.S.T bobbin winding systems, Brother PQ1500 SL is one of the most powerful and feature-rich sewing and quilting machine.
The quilting machine has a knee lifter that helps you pull the needle up/down whenever needed.
It is more of a commercial-grade sewing and quilting machine but a great choice for home quilter as well.
Brother PQ1500 SL quilting and sewing machine comes with a built-in large sewing area that is really helpful at the time of making quilts.
But since it doesn’t come with a detachable table like the other sewing machine, it requires a little bigger space for storage.
The other notable features of the Brother PQ1500 SL sewing and quilting machine is an automatic thread cutter, reverse stitch lever, and manual thread tension controlling dial.
Also, it has a rotatory dial to select different stitches. It comes with a FREE MOTION QUILTING feature that helps to make the quilt easily. The work area is well illuminated by an LED light.
Pros and Cons
- 1500 stitches per minute (that’s massive)
- Four steps setting for extreme control.
- Automatic Needle threader built-in.
- Drop feed control.
- Automatic thread cutter.
- Adjustable zipper foot.
- 4 feed dog setting.
- F.A.S.T bobbin winding system.
- Auto needle positioner.
- Shorter power chord.
- No indication for empty bobbin.
Whether you are beginner or an experienced quilter, Brother CS6000 is quilting machine that takes care of all the needs of the quilters.
Easy to operate and portable, the CS6000i offers an extensive variety of sewing & quilting stitches and comes at an affordable price.
The CS6000i is intended for usability with its simple to-view illuminated LCD screen, automatic needle threader, and adjustable sewing speed controller.
This portable yet highly powerful sewing and quilting machine is one of the best machines out there under this price range.
It has plenty of positive feedback from real customers who have used this sewing machine in various stores.
Brother CS6000i sewing and quilting machine come with 60 built-in stitches including stitches for quilting, decorative stitches, etc. It also has 7 different types of one-step auto buttonholes.
Most of the quilting machines under this price range don’t come with an automatic needle threader but this quilting and sewing machine has it. So, you need not bother about threading the needle.
The machine has a super brightly illuminated work area that helps you work in bad lighting conditions as well.
Its Free Arm feature helps with making sleeves, pants legs, collars, etc. One of the most amazing things about the Brother CS6000i sewing and quilting machine is the stitching speed.
This inexpensive machine can sew at 850 stitches per minute speed. The sliding lever that can be used left and right can be used to set the optimum stitching speed according to the requirement.
The small LCD panel displays which stitch you are currently on and push buttons given close to the LCD screen can be used to choose the stitch of your choice.
Its extra-large detachable extension table helps you maneuver quilts. Remove the extension table when you have to store it.
It has an easy bobbin winding system and the directions of the thread are shown by the diagrams.
Also, it comes with an easy threading system that again depicted by the numbers helping you thread the machine within no time!
The other quilting specific features include the walking foot that helps with feeding multiple layers of fabric easily. Also, the included quilting foot makes it easy to place the right stitches.
It is sold with 8 different quilting and stitching feet and a hardcover to save your quilting machine from dust.
Pros and Cons
- 60 built-in stitches including quilting stitches.
- Good for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advance Sewist.
- Walking foot and Quilting feet to make nice quilts
- Automatic thread cutting
- Automatic needle threader
- Super easy bobbin winding.
- Free arm for sleeves and cuffs.
- Extra-large quilting table
- May face difficulty with a heavy fabric like leather.
- Automatic backlit LCD panel that wouldn’t let you adjust the light.
Singer S16 Studio Industrial
If you are planning to purchase a heavy duty sewing machine which is able to handle heavy quilting jobs every day, you must consider buying Singer S16 Studio Industrial Quilting and Sewing Machine.
It has lots of great features such as an easy threading system, a Separate bobbin system yet very portable that makes it easy to store.
Apart from that Singer S16 Studio quilting machine can stitch faster than other comparable sewing & quilting machine.
It is able to stitch 1,600 stitches per minute which is way faster.
It has an automatic needle threading system and programmable needle up/down for making quilting an easy and interesting task.
This machine is able to perform both the tasks, Sewing and Quilting without any problem and its beautiful design gives a premium look.
Its heavy-duty metal frame makes sure you use the sewing machine at full speed without shaking.
It has a 60% more powerful motor than other quilting machines that help to stitch at a fast speed without any problem.
Though the maximum speed of this sewing machine can be controlled easily with a controller.
Singer S16 comes with a sideloaded rotatory bobbin system and you can handle the thread tension with the dial.
Since its a True Straight Stitch machine, there are no built-in stitches, and comes with a limited 25 years warranty. It also comes with a built-in automatic thread cutter and a knee lifter to raise the presser foot.
Just like the Brother PQ1500 SL sewing and quilting machine, it is an industrial sewing machine and has a reverse stitch lever to reinforce the stitches.
Pros and Cons
- Heavy-duty sewing machine.
- Faster speed -1,600 stitches per minute.
- Easy threading system.
- Automatic Needle Threader.
- Programmable Needle Up/down for Quilting.
Brother HC1850 – Affordable for Beginner Quilters
If you are looking for a mid-price range sewing machine for quilting, the Brother HC1850 is an ideal choice.
With all those features that one needed in a quilting machine, Brother HC1850 is an award-winning sewing machine that doesn’t cost you huge money.
This sewing machine has a great design and it’s a computerized sewing machine that does many things with just the press of a button.
Among the important features especially for making quiltings, the Brother HC1850 sewing machine 130 built-in stitches that help you decorate the quilt with different stitching patterns.
It includes 8 Single step automatic buttonholes.
The flipchart given at the front of the quilting machine helps with the quick selection of the stitch.
It has about 170 stitching functions for Quilting, heirloom, and decorating items.
It includes fonts for monogramming, decorative, and stitches for Quilting & heirloom stitching.
It comes with 8 styles of 1-step auto buttonholes. Its automatic needle threader and super easy threading system, quick-set bobbin, easy bobbin winding are quite helpful for beginner quilters.
Its a stylish sewing machine with an extension table that lets you handle the bigger project or the Quilt pretty easily.
This extension table can be detached from the sewing machine so that it becomes easy to store when not in use.
Brother HC1850 front size has a stitch flip chart that lets you chose the stitch pattern of your choice with ease.
It comes with special features for quilting purpose that makes it the best choice for quilters having a limited budget.
Among those quilting features, 14 stitches function for quilting, a feature to do free-motion quilting, and quilting foot for spring action.
The other notable features are a back-lit LCD screen that displays important information such as a selected stitch.
The small push button adjacent to LCD Screen is used for changing stitch and to control the stitching speed.
Pros and Cons
- Special features for quilting such as free-motion quilting, spring action quilting foot, etc.
- 170 stitch functions for quilting, heirloom, and decorating items.
- Removable wide quilting table.
- Lighter in weight (not a con for some quilters)
The Janome MC-6300P Professional Heavy-Duty Computerized Quilting Sewing Machine has something great to offer for those who are trying to become a professional quilter.
It is because of fact that this quilting machine can stand heavy workload without getting tired.
With the availability of 66 stitches with 4 buttonholes, Knee lift, and drop Feed Control, this heavy-duty computerized quilting machine can handle a variety of quilting tasks with ease.
It also has an automatic thread cutter with and memorized needle up/down which is quite helpful for making quilts. It is a real workhorse and can sew pretty faster. It is capable of stitching at about 1,100 stitches per minute.
The other interesting features of the Janome 6300P sewing machine are automatic bobbin winding, automatic thread tension controller, and an automatic thread cutter that comes with a memorable feature that tells the quilting machine when and where the thread needs to cut.
The quilting machine has an easy viewable LCD Screen which shows the stitches and other notifications.
Below this screen, the machine has buttons to adjust the length and width of the stitch.
If you have to reduce the width, press the “-” button and the “+” button whenever you have to increase the width.
Do the same to adjust the length of the stitch. It is shipped with an extension table that helps with maneuvering quilts.
It also comes with a knee lifter which is a most wanted feature for the quilter as it helps with raising feet up/down without the use of hands allowing you to work on your quilt without any interruption.
Pros and Cons
- Sewing speed more than 1000 stitches per minute.
- 66 stitches
- LED Display.
- 4 buttonholes
- Drop feed control
- 9-inch sewing space for a comfortable sewing experience.
- Bobbin indicator.
- Speed controller.
- No free arm option
Getting Started with Your Quilting Machine
Whether you have purchased a new quilting machine or working on your old quilting machine, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
Keeping these things in mind can improve the life of your quilting machine and the quilting experience.
Before you go ahead and use your quilting machine, it is good to oil the different parts of your machine.
It helps with the smooth functioning of different parts and it will ultimately improve the life of your quilting machine.
All the quilting machines are given small holes through which the oil goes to different parts of the sewing machine.
Look for the manual which location your quilting machine has those small holes and pour oil drops in there.
Set Stitching Speed
The quilts are thick because they are made with several layers of fabric.
Even the fabrics of quilts are thick and become thicker when they are placed over each other.
For this reason, It is advisable to set the stitching speed to low.
Attach Quilting Table
Quilts are required to maneuver easily, otherwise making quilts will be very uncomfortable.
Attach the quilting table with the quilting machine with the help of screws spread the quilt evenly.
Also see: Best Sewing Machine Tables/Cabinets
In order to work on the quilts, you need a specialty foot.
All the quilting machines that I’ve discussed above come with the darning foot which is also known as free-motion quilting.
You need to attach the darning foot before you get started with making the quilts.
Set the needle position down when you are working on a quilt.
It will make the quilting machine stop when the needle is inside the quilt.
You just have to raise the presser foot and you can easily turn the direction of stitches.
Disable the Automatic Thread Cutter feature if your quilting machine has it
I don’t know what way other quilters do but I cut the thread only after the whole quilt is made.
Hence, I prefer to stop the automatic threader cutter feature.
How to maintain a Quilting Machine
The quilting machine has to be maintained in order to keep it good for sewing and quilting.
A machine is a machine, you have to save it from dust, and moisture and you can do it on your own.
If your quilting machine is not maintained, it will start to pose problems and then you have to take it to the service station.
The most common problem with the quilting machine is the jam of parts of sewing machines.
There could be several reasons as the parts become rusty due to moisture or dust causing parts to not function smoothly
You can maintain your quilting machine on your own.
It doesn’t require any special training, just follow the tips that I’ve mentioned in this section.
Don’t leave it idle for a long time
A quilting machine is a machine as I pointed out before that needs to be put in use regularly for smooth functioning.
Keeping it in use often will help different machine parts work smoothly.
Regular Oiling of the quilting machine
The most important thing as far as the maintenance of the quilting machine is concern, is proper oiling.
You need to oil different parts of your sewing machine so that there is no friction between them and move smoothly.
The sewing machine oil is a mixture of a few substances that not only help with the smooth functioning of parts but it will extend the life of your quilting machine as well.
Buy a Hardcover
Many quilting machines such as Brother CS7000i come with a hardcover that saves your sewing machine from dust.
The hardcover also protects your quilting machine from accidental damage.
You can’t afford to get your quilting machine’s LCD screen broken by the football your kids are playing with. Hardcover is a savior in that case.
You need to store your quilting machine well.
Have a dedicated space for it so that you can place your quilting machine after its use.
A covered space will not only save the quilting machine from dust but also from accidental damage as well.
What Needle do I need for Quilting?
You can not use the same needle for making the quilt as you do for regular sewing tasks.
The quilts are thick having several layers of thick fabrics and we need a needle that can handle the thick fabric.
There are two needle numbering systems:
You can follow any of these two needle sizing systems because both of them have one thing in common, I’d say there is a thumb rule!
The bigger the number, the thicker will be the needle.
According to the American needle sizing system, needle size varies between 8 to 18 while as per the European sizing system, it can vary from 60 to 120.
For making the quilts, you need a thicker sewing machine needle. Test it as per the fabric you are working on.
There is a quilting machine for everyone’s requirements.
If you are a beginner sewist, you can opt for the low-end quilting machine.
However, experts can buy some high-end quilting machines.
The high-end quilting machines are a bit costly.
You must choose a sewing machine that has features like quilting stitches, quilting tables, Walking foot, etc.