Your Guide to Picking the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting

Industrial quilting machines are large in size and expense. Unless you own a warehouse, you likely don’t have the large space to store and operate these massive machines.

Luckily, sewing machines have vastly improved over the years and certain models can be used for quilting. Today, we have many compact, portable, and affordable machines to choose from. No warehouse needed!

This guide will help you pick the best sewing machine for quilting based on your needs. To help you choose the perfect machine, we considered quality, build, versatility, and price during our selection process.

Our Top Picks

Best for Beginners: Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine ($729.80)

“Great for beginners and experts alike. Very easy to use, and manual is great when you run into any issues.”

Best Value:  Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine (226.17)

“Wish I had bought this one first! Great value and easy to use. I am not an experienced seamstress but now I am looking for new projects.”

Best Features: HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine ($330.01)

“I love this machine…It has some great features, and I love the “needle down” programming (but you can change that if you don’t like it.)”

Best Overall: Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine ($729.80)

“I am absolutely in love with this machine! I have had a Singer Curvy for basic sewing for the last 8 years, but I wanted to upgrade to a quilting machine. After much research, I chose the Juki as it had great reviews…”

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

“…I was looking for a simple (not too complicated), economical, and reliable sewing machine. After looking at different models… I decided on this model. So far it has performed perfectly, and the wife loves it.”

FAQ on Sewing Machine for Quilting

There are certain factors you need to consider before you make a selection. These factors help you narrow your selection down based on your requirements. To help you do that, you need to consider the following questions:

1 – What are Your Intentions?

Choosing a sewing machine based on your intentions is paramount. Will you use it just for quilting? Do you need it for sewing fabrics or embroidery? Take your time to think about your needs to help guide you in your selection.

You want a machine that can fulfill all your needs. Your intentions should help guide you in knowing the exact functions to look for in a machine. It will also make sure that you make the most of the machine you purchase.

2 – What are the Components of the Machine?

Tons of different components make up a sewing machine. The ones you need to consider when making a selection are:

  • Throat plate: Also known as the needle plate, it is the gap between the presser foot and the needle.
  • Presser foot: The foot presses down on the fabric when sewing to keep it in place.
  • Bobbin and bobbin case: Machines either have a top drop-in or front-loading bobbin. The bobbin contains the thread you will use for stitching.
  • Stitch selector: This allows you to select which stitch to use. Machines either come with buttons or a dial for stitch selection.
  • Stitch length selector: This can be manual or electronic, depending on the type of machine you have. The length of the stitch also varies; for quilts, the ability to choose longer stitches makes the process easier.
  • Foot controller: Pedal that you press to control the speed of the stitches.

3 – What are Your Brand Options?

You will find a variety of brands to choose from when selecting a sewing machine. You want to make sure that the manufacturer is known for quality and reliability. The brands currently in the market that provide both are: Brother, Singer, Kenmore, Juki, Bernina, Janome, and Juki.

You can’t go wrong with them. They have been in the sewing machine manufacturing business for decades and provide exceptional after-sales services.

4 – What is the Price and Warranty?

For most buyers price and warranty are usually on top of the consideration list. You want to get the best deal and make sure you don’t overspend on the machine.

Price is a factor that is determined by the type of machine you want. There is a difference in price between manual and electronic options, the former is usually lower costing.

The second factor that impacts price is all the offerings of the machine. A machine that stitches 1,500 stitches per minute, offers over 150 stitches, and has a body made of aluminum die-cast will cost you more than an option that features a plastic body, stitches at 800 stitches per minute, and offers 50 stitches.

Think about your budget and only look for options that fall within it. Looking at others will only tempt you to spend a little more.

Warranty is important because you never know when something can go wrong with the machine. Who better to seek help from than the manufacturer, if something was to go wrong? Reliable manufacturers provide a warranty that ranges between 15 to 25 years.

Our Top 5 Picks Review

Let’s now take a look at the top five sewing machines on the market today.

1. Best for Beginners: Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brother is one of the most reputable sewing machine manufacturers on the market. The XR9550 is a fully computerized machine that is designed for both beginners and experts to create durable garments and quilts.

You can also find an XR9550prw model or the project runway model. Both have the exact specifications, just different branding.

The sewing machine is straightforward to use. You have the speed slider, stitch selection guide, and LCD on the front. The display shows you the selected stitch, length, and width, which you can change to your preference.

It comes equipped with 110 built-in stitches and 8 one-step buttonholes. So, you can pick which particular type of stitch you want, from straight, zig-zag, to decorative. It also has a built-in free arm, which is perfect for stitching quilts.

The XR9550 is ideal for beginners because it guides them through the stitching process. Simple things like indicating which presser foot to use makes it easier for beginners to learn and make quality quilts.

Brother provides a 25-year warranty, so you can expect to quilt for years to come. Priced under $250, you won’t find a more reasonable computerized sewing machine for quilting.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 16.3 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 10.1 pounds
  • Stitches: 110 built-in
  • Maximum sewing speed: 850 stitches per min

Pros

  • A lightweight machine at just 10.1 pounds provides effortless mobility.
  • A beginner-friendly machine comes with automated features and a DVD to help beginners learn how to use it.
  • Brother is a well-known reliable brand.
  • Budget-friendly and comes with tons of accessories.

Cons

  • It has a lot of plastic parts, which can break.
  • It’s not an ideal machine if you’re planning on doing a lot of heavy-duty sewing.

2. Best Value: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

You can find an upgraded version of the CS6000i, the CS7000i, but we felt this was a better pick for our list. Like the XR9550, it features a computerized setup that guides you on quilting.

The sewing machine is compact and comes with tons of features like an automatic needle threader and quick setup. It also comes with a sturdy quilting table that can withstand the toughest of quilt projects.

You don’t get as wide a selection of stitches as the XR9550, but the 60 stitches it comes with should be enough for most quilters. It features an adjustable LCD screen that shows the stitch, length, and width you’ve selected.

One problem with the machine was the placement of the light. The light doesn’t highlight the area you are stitching. You’ll need an overhead lamp if you want to brighten your stitching area.

The CS6000i also comes with a 25-year warranty and is reasonably priced under $250. It enables you to quilt with ease and is recommended for beginners and advanced quilters.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Weight: 17.4 pounds
  • Stitches: 60 built-in
  • Maximum sewing speed: 850 stitches per minute

Pros

  • It’s easy to set up, comes with an auto-threading feature.
  • The sturdy and wide table is perfect for quilting.
  • It comes with a 25-year warranty.

Cons

  • The light is poorly positioned.
  • The plastic body can wear down with time.

3. Best Features:Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine

The Brother HC1850 features are a step above the XR9550 and CS6000i. It has more stitches (coming in at 130), a larger LCD screen, and eight presser feet. You’ll have everything you need for sewing and quilting.

With the HC1850, you can sew and quilt with ease. You get tons of decorative stitches that you can use to make your quilts stand out. You also have the option of feather stitch for over seams or appliqué on the edges.

The machine is portable. Weighing only 10 pounds, you can easily transport the machine anywhere you think it’ll come in handy. The detachable table is perfect for mobile quilting.

This is another Brother machine priced under $250, and it comes with a 25-year warranty. The product is sure to satisfy the quilter in you.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Stitches: 130 built-in
  • Maximum sewing speed: 850 stitches per minute

Pros

  • You have 130 stitches to choose from to make your quilts unique.
  • A detachable table provides for a mobile quilting experience.
  • The machine only weighs 10 pounds.

Cons

  • It’s lightweight. While it helps with portability, it also makes it challenging to take on larger quilting projects.
  • The auto-needle threader didn’t work as well as with CS6000i.

4. Best Overall: Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine

In terms of quality and versatility, you can’t get better than the Juki TL-2000Qi. It is the best sewing machine for quilting on our list. But it comes with a hefty price tag, so it might not be ideal for quilters on a budget.

The sewing machine comes with a large throat space. The extra space makes it easier for you to quilt. It’s also the fastest machine on our list, stitching up to 1,500 stitches/min. It is also the best-built option with a durable aluminum die-cast frame, which reduces vibration as you quilt.

The stitches it produces are far beyond expectation. The fact that it stitches so quickly and efficiently makes quilting more enjoyable.

As wonderful as the machine is, we feel it’s more tailored towards individuals that have experience quilting. If you’re a beginner, try getting some experience before you upgrade to this machine.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
  • Weight: 36 pounds
  • Maximum sewing speed: 1,500 stitches per minute

Pros

  • The design is sturdy and durable.
  • It has exceptional stitching quality.
  • It has an even feed foot.

Cons

  • The machine is heavy, weighing over 36 pounds.
  • The machine is expensive.

5. Best Budget: Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine

We round off our list with another Brother sewing machine. The most pocket-friendly of them all, the XR3774. The entry-level sewing machine is not computerized like the other Brothers products we feature. But, it still functions well.

It doesn’t have an extensive selection of stitches, but it does have enough features and decorative options to make quilting fun. The quilting table makes it easier to manage your quilting process. At 800 stitches/min, you can quilt more efficiently.

The sewing machine comes with a lot of features like an automatic needle threader, a bright LED light, and large throat space for a low cost. The spacious free arm provides enough area for you to quilt comfortably.

The XR3774 is perfect for beginners and advanced quilters who are budget-minded. It doesn’t offer as much pizzaz as the other options, but it’ll get the job done.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15.3 x 5.8 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Stitches: 37 built-in
  • Maximum sewing speed: 800 stitches per minute

Pros

  • It has a large table and throat for spacious quilting.
  • It has many features, such as auto-threading, bright LED light, and decorative stitches.
  • It’s inexpensive at under $150.

Cons

  • The plastic body is not very sturdy.
  • It doesn’t have an automatic thread cutter.

Our Final Thoughts

It takes more than fabric and needle to quilt. You need a reliable sewing machine that is designed for quilting.

Out of many machines on the market, only five were reasonably priced and made quilting easy and fun. We hope this guide has helped you pick the best sewing machine for quilting based on your needs.

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