The Best Sewing Machine for Quilting under $500 – A Top 5 Review

Quilting is an ancient art form that can be a relaxing and productive use of your time. Even if you're not a professional quilter, quilting can calm your nerves and provide a much-needed reboot after a long day. 

While quilting can be done in many ways, including by hand. Using a sewing machine is much more popular because of the efficiency and precision it provides. With so many options available on the market, we compiled this list to make your shopping experience a little easier. 

Today we’ll review the best sewing machine for quilting under $500. Let’s get started.

Our Top Picks

Best Balanced: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine ($226.17) 

“For the price, this machine cannot be beat! It offers features not available in most lower-priced machines.”

Best Balanced (Option 2): Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine ($330.01) 

“I've found a new home with Brother. I'm going to look at some of their higher end machines since this one is so impressive.”

Best Beginner: Brother XR9550 Computerized Sewing Machine ($195.82)

“Great for beginners and experts alike. Very easy to use, and manual is great when you run into any issues. All the preprogrammed stitches and provided presser feet are simple to use, including the monograms.”

Best Budget:  Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine ($299) 

“I am just tickled with the needle threader! What a PERFECT thing for aging eyes! I got this for the smaller amount of stitches and the threader.”

Best Advanced: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Portable Sewing Machine ($449.99)

“It will work with the most delicate material to canvas duct! Just be sure to use the appropriate needle. I love this machine and have had it for a month and a half. Excellent for the money!”

FAQ on Quilting Sewing Machine 

1 – What are Your Intentions? 

If you need a workhorse for intense sewing production, the products on this list aren’t for you. But if you’re quilting as a hobby or a lite profession, the products reviewed here will be more than suitible to meet your needs. 

All sewing machines aren’t meant for quilting. You mustn’t run out and buy the wrong sewing machine. If it doesn’t say quilting, stay away from it!. You don’t want a sewing machine that can just stitch torn fabric together. What you need is a quilting machine that can produce a work of art. 

2 – What are the Components of the Machine?

A quilting machine comes with several different components. If you’re a beginner, it’s crucial to keep these components in mind to get the best possible experience from your sewing machine. 

The main components of your quilting machine will include presser feet, a needle, a needle clamp, a needle plate, an arm, a bed, a bobbin, a bobbin winder, a bobbin case, and a slide plate, among others. 

3 - What is a Presser Foot?

A presser foot is an attachment that gives you stability when you sew or quilt. You can use this attachment to hold the fabric down as you sewing.  

4 - What is a Needle?

The needle on a sewing or quilting machine comes in metal construction with one pointed end and a hole at the other end for inserting the thread. It is one of the most important parts of the machine. In modern sewing machines, you often get the option to let the machine thread the needle for you. 

The component that holds and tightens the needle on the machine is known as the needle clamp. This keeps the needle steady in one plane and makes sure that it does not move, giving you a proper stitch. 

A needle plate is also present on the machine, just below the needle. This is a large plate that makes sure the needle does not hit the machine when pierced into the fabric. A needle plate comes with strategically placed holes and measurements on it.

5 - What is a Bobbin?

The bobbin on a sewing machine holds the thread on the lower side. When you start sewing on your machine, the thread from the needle and bobbin are combined to form a stitch. 

On your machine, you will also find a bobbin winder. This is useful in auto-winding the thread to the bobbin instead of doing it manually. 

To give you proper tension on the bobbin thread, you also have a component called the bobbin case on your machine. This lets the thread bundle around the bobbin thread and then pulls it up from the needle plate to give you a proper stitch. 

6 – What are Your Brand Options? 

There are multiple options available in the market today, but for the sake of this review, we have only taken into consideration the ones that fit within the budget mentioned, $500. Within this price range, you must keep quality and reliability in mind, don’t settle for cheap. 

7 – What is the Price Range?

Sewing and quilting machines can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars for the basic options to a few thousand dollars for more advanced options. For the purpose of this review, all the options mentioned in this list are below $500. If you are on a tight budget, we also have an option for a machine that costs much lower than this price point. 

Our Top 5 Picks Review

Now that you have a brief understanding of what to look for in a sewing machine, let’s take a deeper look at our top picks. 

1. Best Balanced: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

This sewing and quilting machine comes with 60 unique built-in stitches. These include decorative stitches along with 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes. 

The machine makes needle threading a stitch. The sewing machine’s automatic needle threader flawlessly pushes the thread through the needle. For helping you hold the thread below the needle, there’s a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin. 

The total kit includes a hard protective case, a wide table, 10 sewing feet, a needle set that includes a twin needle, and 3 bobbins for holding your thread in place. 

The LCD screen lets you switch easily between your stitches with the touch of a button, giving you a better idea of what stitch you’re using. 

Review:

According to a verified Amazon user, the machine has many brilliant features but can come with a few tension problems. 

"The machine is quiet, I find the light to be just the right brightness, threading and winding the bobbin are easy, and I really love the adjustable speed control."

Specifications:

  • Brand: Brother
  • Color: White
  • Items included: Machine, protective case, wide table, 10 sewing feet, needle set, 3 bobbines
  • Product dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Item weight: 13 pounds

Pros

  • 60 built-in stitches with a variety of quilting options 
  • Easy access to changing stitches and an LCD screen for better accessibility
  • Automatic needle threader to help save on time and effort
  • Adjustable speed control for better customizability

Cons

  • Some issues with tension in the thread
  • More apt for casual use than regular, everyday sewing and quilting

The HC1850 sewing and quilting machine is another computerized option on the list. It has a metal construction and 185 unique built-in stitches. These include 130 sewing stitches, 8 styles of auto-size buttonholes, and 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches. 

With the lever depressed, you can easily push the thread through the needle by using the advanced needle threader and drop-in top bobbin. Other accessories include a wide table, 8 feet, and instructional DVD for an all-around sewing experience.  

The HC1850 also comes with an LCD screen with a one-touch option to change and select your stitches for different layers of fabric. So whether you’re quilting, sewing, or decorative stitching, this sewing machine is packed with tons of features. 

Review:

A verified Amazon user has claimed that as an absolute beginner, he managed to get the machine working by watching the instructional videos that arrived with the package. 

"When it arrived I was a bit overwhelmed, but after watching the instructional DVD a few times over I managed to thread a needle and a bobbin within an hour or two. I purchased this about 6-7 months ago and have made blankets, pillowcases and attempted pajamas."

Specifications:

  • Brand: Brother
  • Color: White
  • Items included: Machine, protective case, wide table, 8 presser feet
  • Product dimensions: 19.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches
  • Item weight: 10.14 pounds

Pros

  • A massive collection of 185 built-in stitches that you can switch easily
  • LCD screen keeps track of your stitch patterns
  • Advanced needle threading function for easy feeding

Cons

  • Not the most inexpensive item on the list
  • Can not be used straight out of the box 

This machine comes with a total of 165 built-in stitches. The machine has 8 presser feet to help you hold the fabric flat as your stitching. 

The stitches include 110 utility, decorative, and heirloom stitches, along with 55 alphanumeric stitches. There is also a feature for an automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin for your convenience. 

For larger fabrics, the machine comes with a wide table. Other accessories include a protective hardcover and instructional DVD. 

There is also an LCD screen on the machine that lets you know which stitch you're using – you can switch between them with just a button. 

Review:

According to a verified Amazon user, the machine comes with many great features and works well, but he had a problem with the LCD backlit display.

"The only reason I gave it a 4 star review is that I feel the light could be brighter and a warm color, and the opening is too small for me to reach my size hands into so I need tools to hold the needle to change it."

Specifications:

  • Brand: Brother
  • Color: White
  • Items included: Machine, protective case, wide table, 8 feet, instructional DVD
  • Product dimensions: 13.5 x 20 x 17.9 inches
  • Item weight: 19.36 pounds

Pros

  • 165 built-in stitches for even more variety in sewing and quilting
  • Convenient LCD screen for one-touch operation
  • Drop feed for free-motion quilting and sewing
  • Quick change presser feet for zigzag, buttonhole, zipper, overcasting, and blind stitch

Cons

  • Needle opening too small for people with large hands
  • Can be difficult to clean

For an inexpensive upright sewing and quilting machine, the Brother XR3774 is a worthy contender. It only comes with 37 built-in stitches, fewer than the other products in this review. Considering the price, it’s still an excellent option for casual quilting and sewing. 

The 8 sewing feet are great for sewing all kinds of fabrics, styles, and quilts. There is also a wide table included in the package that helps you out with wider fabrics. 

Like similar products on this list, the machine also comes with an automatic needle threader that flawlessly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin to hold the thread in place. 

Review:

According to a verified Amazon user, the machine is a good fit for beginners after a few sewing sessions.

"The speed is difficult to control. This is unfortunate for beginners like me who are still getting used to the process and need to take their time."

Specifications:

  • Brand: Brother
  • Color: White
  • Items included: Machine, protective case, wide table, 8 presser feet
  • Product dimensions: 15.3 x 5.8 x 12 inches
  • Item weight: 15.87 pounds

Pros

  • Pretty easy-to-use machine that’s great for beginners/intermediates  
  • Extension tables and extra sewing feet for added space
  • Top bobbin feature for quilting a wide range of heavy fabrics 
  • Low-price 

Cons

  • No LED screen on machine
  • No adjustable speed settings

The case for best sewing machines comes down to features and reliability. And that’s what you get with the Singer 9960. The machine has 600 built-in stitches that include basic, stretch, and decorative stitches. These stitches are excellent for fashion design, quilting, home decor, and crafting. 

You can also choose from many font options for personalization. The advanced needle threader makes it easy for your machine to thread from the spool to the needle's eye in seconds. 

The machine also comes with features like mirror imaging and stitch elongation to make sewing and quilting easy. This helps your finished product look more refined and professionally stitched.

The machine has adjustable sewing speed and comes with variable speed controls with a maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute. This will make an excellent choice for both beginners and advanced users. 

Review:

A verified Amazon user confirms that the construction of the machine is sturdier than the previous models.

"The table gives lots of space and I appreciate that it is sturdier than the one on its older, smaller brother. The light is fairly bright but like most machines, they really could do a better job designing this so that we don't all go blind looking at small details. The drop in bobbin is always a nice option and I appreciate how quickly it makes bobbin changes."

Specifications:

  • Brand: Singer
  • Color: White
  • Items included: Machine, extension table, sewing feet
  • Product dimensions: 19.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches
  • Item weight: 10.14 pounds

Pros

  • 600 stitch options to choose from
  • High-speed stitching at 850 stitches per minute
  • Multiple accessories for a varied experience
  • Electronic auto pilot mode to make stitching easy

Cons

  • The most expensive option on the list
  • Too complicated for beginners

Our Final Thoughts 

Quilting is an interesting method of sewing that can be a productive use of your time. Sewing machines provide the best of both worlds: tech and art. Sewing machines are the technology used as the medium to express your art. 

You can use the sewing machines on this list to create pieces of leisure art. No matter your experience, skill, or budget, you can benefit from all the sewing has to offer. 

For this article, we have reviewed the most popular sewing machine for quilting under $500. 

So which will you choose? 

Whichever one you pick, make sure it’s the best fit for you. 

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