Top 10 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting [Review]

by Leanna Levine | Last Updated: January 27, 2017

Best Sewing Machine For Quilting

As shabby chic remains a trend and people are becoming more interested in one-off and unique pieces, quilting is a great way to add style and character to your home.

Whether you’re adding an extra blanket to your bed or a throw over the couch, a hand-made and original quilt adds cozy character to any room.

Working with your hands and making something beautiful yourself is a great accomplishment, that provides a sense of satisfaction - a feeling that is way better than buying homeware in a store.


What Is A Quilting Sewing Machine?

A quilting machine is specifically designed to sew the patches of the quilt together.

The main difference between a quilting machine and a regular sewing machine is the fact that:

  • quilting machines are able to stitch thicker layers
  • quilting machines can handle sewing heavier fabric

While long arm quilting machines are still available these are very difficult to use, and take up a lot of space, so aren’t particularly popular.

Standing at a machine weighing up to fifty pounds and pushing parts of it back and forth is uncomfortable and bad for your joints. For this reason, smaller machines are now more popular.


A quilting machine may require a special presser foot, or may have one built in, however this will be a necessary feature.

If you are looking to quilt occasionally alongside other sewing projects, then it may be possible to adapt a regular machine to your needs with accessories.

However, if you are largely going to use your machines for quilting, a specific and specially designed machine will produce better results and will last a lot longer.


Why Do I Need A Quilting Sewing Machine?

For any kind of project, buying the right tools is essential, and this applies to quilting.

While quilting can technically be done on any sewing machine, you will finish your quilting projects faster working on a machine fit for that specific purpose.

Having more space, certain needle features, stitches, and feet will help you simply and easily throw classic looking quilts together.

A quilting machine saves time and effort, and produces better quilts.

What Are The Different Types Of Quilting Sewing Machines?

There are some great quilting machines for beginners, and what you buy does depend on what you are specifically looking for in a machine.

For beginners, there are some relatively low cost machines that will work well, while more advanced quilt sewing fans may require something that can handle heavy duty use and fabrics.

Both computerized and electronic sewing machines can produce great results, as can a variety of brands like Brother, Singer, Janome, Husqvarna, and Juki.

There are some really high end options available for anyone with a more generous budget, or looking to get into quilting full time and perhaps make it a business.

What To Look For In A Quality Sewing Machine?

One key aspect to look for in a quilting sewing machine is plenty of space under the arm. There should be enough space for the rolled up quilt to fit underneath it while it’s being worked on.

There should be a built in or accessory walking foot or dual feed foot to prevent the wadding from slipping while it’s being sewn.

Several other feet could also be hugely beneficial, such as a quarter inch foot or a free machine quilting foot.

Accessories like a quilting guide can also make quilting a lot easier, as can a needle up/down feature and a lockstitch, where zig-zag and other kinds of stitches aren’t particularly necessary.

As quilts can be quite large, an extension table is desirable to some crafty quilt makers, though it’s not essential.

Our Selection of the Top 10 Best Sewing Machines for Quillting

As there are so many quilting sewing machines available it can be very difficult to choose the right one for you.

Amongst thousands of options with different features in varying price ranges, picking just one can be overwhelming.

To help narrow down the search, this top ten list of quilting sewing machines contains a whole host of machines with various add-ons and features, helping you to narrow down your search, and find a great machine that meets your exact requirements.

Brother XR 3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine by Brother

Brother XR3774 Full-Featured Sewing and Quilting Machine with 37 Stitches, 8 Sewing Feet, Wide Table, and Instructional DVD View on Amazon

The number 1 spot when it comes to sewing machines is taken up by this low cost and unassuming offering from Brother, which is Amazon’s Choice – a hefty title indicating the best possible balance between cost and quality.

Check out the reviews on Amazon here.

The Brother XR3774 has very few bells and whistles, however these are not generally needed in order to create beautiful quilts.

Priced under $200, this is user friendly with a needle threader and a top-drop bobbin, and really amazing value – including a wide table for large projects like quilting, 74 stitch functions, a one step button hole, and 8 presser feet including one for quilting.

This weighs just under 20 lbs so it’s a little heavy to carry around, but could easily be moved around the house and stored away while it’s not being used.

While this is amazing for a beginner, this is also versatile enough to really grow with sewers who are looking to advance and develop.

What we liked:
  • Low cost
  • Specific quilting features
What we didn't like:
  • For some people it’s taken a while to get the hang of keeping it threaded
View on Amazon

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist by Singer

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover View on Amazon

Just over 28 lbs, the SINGER 9960 machine is heavy, and best used by people who are happy to set up the machine in their home, and not need to move it around much.

There are plenty of automatic features which make this a pleasure to use and allow you to experiment with your creativity.

The automatic thread cutter, needle threader, and stitch width and length are all user friendly, as is the auto pilot and speed control feature.

Thirteen 1-step button holes and 600 stitches mean you can try out different styles on the quilts you make, and the extension table allows more than enough space to work on a quilt.

Needle up/down and a heavy duty metal frame mean that this is equipped to handle thick materials or multiple layers of fabric, and of the 18 included presser feet, there is one specific to quilting. 

What we liked:
  • Automatic features make this easy to use and provide excellent quality quilts
  • Features with quilting in mind such as needle up/down, a presser quilting foot, and features to embroider and embellish your work
  • Capable of handling heavy fabric and multiple layers of material
  • Heavy duty metal frame
What we didn't like:
  • No ¼ inch foot is included which some quilters like having, straight stitch and quilter foot will have to do
View on Amazon

Brother CS6000i Feature Rich Sewing Machine by Brother

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Quilting Table, and Hard Cover View on Amazon

Entering the top three, there’s this model from Brother which is best selling within it’s category on Amazon, having received over 6500 rave revies.

Check customer reviews here.

Also price below $200, the Brother CS6000i sewing machine is great value and perfect for quilting as it comes with a quilting table as well as other appropriate accessories.

The generously proportioned table is the perfect amount of space to work with your quilt, while a walking foot is great for stitching multiple layers, and the quilting foot and guide makes the whole process nice and simple.

So many accessories are included that this machine could guide you to making just about anything. It’s easy to use, and comes with seven different quilting stitches, as well as numerous other decorative, heirloom, buttonhole and regular stitches.

What we liked:
  • User Friendly
  • Many stitches and features specific to quilting
  • Work space for big projects like a quilt, light for detailed work around the needle
  • Decorative stitches can add flair to your quilting designs
What we didn't like:
  • The only real issue people are experiencing is with bobbin tension
View on Amazon

Juki TL-2000Qi by Juki

JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine View on Amazon

The Juki TL-2000Qi is a bit of a splurge at around $700, however if you’re passionate about quilting and are looking for a long term investment, then you will be extremely happy with this machine.

At 1500 stitches per minute this is a high speed machine that is easy to use with features like an automatic needle threader, and convenient thanks to features such as an extension table, which is included for extra work space and a more spacious sewing environment.

This is a powerful machine with one pedal control, and operating on a semi-industrial level.

This machine has been received really well by avid quilters who have left rave reviews.

The quilting features included such as adjustable feet making free motion quilting a breeze. There are no problems at all stitching through multiple layers of fabric, or even very thick fabric when you use this machine.


Pros:
-Specifically designed for quilting
-High speed, works on heavy fabrics
-Powerful, durable, long lasting
-Many features including feet and accessories that make all kinds of projects possible
Cons:
-Very expensive
Requires some setting up before it’s ready to go

What we liked:
  • Specifically designed for quilting
  • High speed, works on heavy fabrics
  • Powerfull, durable, long lasting
  • Many features including fee and accessories that make all kinds of projects possible
What we didn't like:
  • Requires some setting up before it's ready to go
View on Amazon

Singer 4423 High Speed Heavy Duty Sewing Machine by Singer

SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate View on Amazon

The Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is an amazingly low cost machine, which clearly sacrifices no quality in maintaining it’s low price point, as it currently has a 4+ star rating from over 2000 happy customers.

Despite being less expensive than many other options, costing only $100 and $150, this is still high speed, and has a metal interior which is great for skip-free sewing, and also means that this will be very long lasting.

The one downside of this machine is that it is not strictly meant for quilting, it is instead an all purpose machine, with 23 built in stitches, and no presser foot specifically for sewing.

A quilting guide is included with the accessories, however customers have reported successes in quilting, as well as using thick materials such as denim and leather.

This is a great machine for all kinds of sewing, quilting included, and has some easy to use features that also make this an excellent choice for beginners.

What we liked:
  • Low Cost
  • High Speed
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • Easy to use with an automatic needle threader
  • User friendly top drop-in bobbin system
What we didn't like:
  • No specific quilting features, instead relying on all purpose aspects
View on Amazon

Brother PQ1500S High Speed Quilting And Sewing Machine by

Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine View on Amazon

Some sewing machines are a great combination of value and quality, while there are some machines that are extremely high quality also have a huge price tag to go with it.

The price of Brother PQ15SL is between $600 and $700, but with a 4.5+ star rating it would appear that customers consider this machine money well spent.

This machine is designed with quilting in mind, and is simple to use thanks to features such as an auto needle positioner and an automatic needle threader.

This is also a really high speed machine, so if you’re ambitious in the size and scale of quilts you want to make, then this could be the perfect option for you. This sews up to 1500 stitches per minute.

At nearly 35 lbs this machine is big and solid – making it perfect for long term and frequent use by an avid quilting and sewing fan, but not particularly useful for someone who will occasionally bring their sewing machine out to stitch the odd item or make one or two quilts a year.

This machine is an absolute dream to use, and comes with pretty much every accessory and feature that you could possibly want.

What we liked:
  • Incredibly strong and sturdy
  • Comes with every possible feature a quilter could dream of
  • High speed, easy to use, and many quilters are particular fans of the free motion quilting feature
What we didn't like:
  • A bit more expensive than other quilting sewing machines available
View on Amazon

Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter Computerized Sewing And Quilting Machine by SINGER


         
          
              
              
                  SINGER 7469Q Confidence Quilter Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
              
          
      View on Amazon

While this machine has received relatively few reviews the fact that it is specifically a quilting machine affords it 7th place on the top ten list.

The Singer 7469Q has a very respectable 4+ star rating, and is beloved by quilters who are thrilled with how it handles heavy duty fabrics.

For this amazing quilting machine however, there is a fairly hefty price tag, as this does come in between $200 and $300.

The fact that this has a solid metal frame does mean that it should be very long lasting and a sound investment, however people’s budgets will vary.

The features that are most conducive to quilting include the bonus quilting feet and extension table, allowing you all the space you need to work on a large quilt.

There’s also a programmable up/down needle, plus a drop feed and automatic needle threader which makes quilting as easy as possible. Darning and embroidery feet mean that you can use this machine to create beautiful designs on your quilts.

What we liked:
  • Specifically designed for quilting
  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • Multiple quilting feet and other desirable features like needle up/down
  • Computerized machine result in perfect designs
What we didn't like:
  • This weighs 23 lbs, so is fairly bulky and awkward to move around or transport
  • A dust cover is included, but not any kind of carry case
View on Amazon

Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine by Singer

SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet and Metal Frame View on Amazon

Over 2000 happy customers have left overwhelmingly positive reviews for the SINGER 7258, taking the 8th spot on the top ten list of quilting sewing machines.

Priced between $100 and $200, this is a great budget option, and the ten presser feet included in your purchase make this perfect for quilting and crafting.

This comes with an easy threading system and an automatic needle threader, which when combined with an LED light makes this very user friendly.

While this is simple enough for beginners to use with ease, it does weigh almost 20 lbs so is not ideal if you fancy taking it to classes, or carrying it to a sewing or quilting group.

Singer is another great brand of sewing machine, and this particular model has won two Consumers Digest awards. Coupled with the 4.5 star rating on Amazon, you can reasonably believe that this is a great and reliable, high quality and low cost machine.

The heavy duty metal frame makes this perfect for the thicker materials often used in quilting, while the needle up/down and stop/start button are desirable qualities for a machine being used for quilting. 

What we liked:
  • Award winning machine from well known brand at a low cost
  • Several features specifically sought after by quilting fans
  • Easy to use and user friendly
  • Metal frame is more durable and long lasting than plastic
What we didn't like:
  • Very heavy so may only be appropriate for people who can leave it out, as it wold be awkward to move around
  • LED light could be brighter
  • Some customers believe there should be more work space around the needle
View on Amazon

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine by Brother

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine with 130 Built-in Stitches, 9 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, and Instructional DVD View on Amazon

Number 9 in this list of quality quilting machines is also computerized – this time from Brother, a well-known low cost brand.

This comes in at $150 - $200, and any computerized machine under $200 is worth considering as a total bargain.

This is especially designed for both sewing and quilting, which makes this a very versatile machine which absolutely fits your quilting purposes.

The fact that there are 130 stitches is almost irrelevant for someone who will be using this exclusively for quilting, however the decorative feature could really help make your quilt stand out.

These decorative features include eight one step button holes and decorative stitches.

A detachable wide table is included, which comes in very handy when quilting, and an attachable foot especially for quilting is also included when you purchase the machine.

There are 14 quilting stitch functions altogether which allows you to really experiment with styles and designs, and come up with all different kinds of quilts.

With a 25 year limited warranty, you can be confident when you make your purchase with this well known brand.

What we liked:
  • Versatile machine, with adjustable sewing speeds and a wide table perfect for quilting
  • 14 different quilting stitches
  • Drop feed for free motion quilting
  • Easy feed so heavier materials shouldn’t be a problem
  • Under 11 lbs so easy to transport and carry around
What we didn't like:
  • Mostly plastic, so easier to break and harder to replace than a metal option
  • No handle or case
  • Some users find that the bobbin doesn’t unwind as neatly as other models
View on Amazon

Janome DC1050 Computerized Sewing Machine by Janome

Janome DC1050 Computerized Sewing Machine with 1/4 Inch Seam Foot, 2ea Size and 12 Needle Pack View on Amazon

Number ten on the list is this offering from Janome.

Like many computerized sewing machines, it is more expensive than an electronic or manual option, coming in at a $300-$400 price point.

The Janome DC1050 Computerized Sewing Machine is an all-rounder of a sewing machine, and is good for quilting as well as home décor or dressmaking.

This machine does include features that are great for quilting such as a start/stop button and memorized needle up/down.

When you are looking to embellish and decorate your quilts, you can utilize the other features of this machine such as three one step button holes and fifty different stitches.

As a high end brand, this machine may cost more than people are looking to pay, however it’s actually a bargain for a machine of this quality.

Weighing in at under 16 lbs, this is light enough to move around the house, from cupboard to craft area, but may be tougher to carry to and from classes. A 4 star rating from almost 100 happy customers confirms that this is a good and reliable sewing machine.

What we liked:
  • Janome is a great, high quality brand
  • Computerized machines ensure perfection
  • Capable of handling heavy fabrics
  • Sold at speciality quilting stores as well as amazon, showing it is fit for purpose
What we didn't like:
  • Can be very noisy to use
  • No standard extension table is included, so you may need to make additional purchases before you can properly use it
View on Amazon

Conclusion

Overall, any one of the machines on this top ten list would be an amazing purchase for quilters who are new to the craft or advanced and experienced, it all depends on your budget, and the specific features you find essential to a quilting sewing machine.