Best Sewing Machine for Quilting
Quilting is a stylish and creative process which is made quicker and easier by using a sewing machine for quilting as opposed to old fashioned hand quilting which used to be time consuming. The top sewing machines for quilting have some great add ons to make your quilting process easier and more enjoyable.
When looking for a sewing machine for quilting, you should look out for some key features such as; free motion, working space, stitch length and the presser feet.
Thats why we have put together a list of the top sewing and quilting machines that are on the market currently and compared them, to help you decide the best one for you to purchase when making your quilts.
Our Top Pick – Brother Innovis 1800Q Sewing & Quilting Machine
The Brother Innovis 18000Q is slightly more expensive than other sewing machines on our list. This model has 232 built in stitches to choose from, 10 buttonhole styles and 5 fonts. Its 21cm workspace means quilting or free arm stitiching has never been easier and it can also be used for dress-making or home furnishings.
The best specs of this quilting machine has to be its SFDS (Square Feed Drive System) which allows you to have a super accurate feed when stitching and save your special quilting stitches with its machine memory.
The quilting machine also has an ICAPS fabric sensor system which allows the system to detect different fabrics thickness, making sure you have an even stitch all over your quilt and avoid any uneven lines or dragging.
Other features of the Brother Innovis 1800Q are; automatic thread cutting to save you time, LED lighting, multi-directional stitching function, automatic thread tension, lower feed dog for free motion stitching, bobbin winder, adjustable sewing speed, pivot function, presser feet, knee lifter and more. All these additions make this machine perfect for quilting.
Overall, the Brother Innovis 1800Q sewing and quilting machine is the best quilting machine on our list, its wide space table, stitch variety and ICAPS fabric sensor is great for quilting and stitching thicker materials at an adjustable speed, keeping your quilting stitches neat and tidy.
Notable downfalls of this machine has to be its 8.3″ throat space, this smaller throat space may still limit just how big of a quilt you can sew when using this sewing machine, but it should be okay for most standard size quilts and is considerably larger than some other models. The quilting machine is also on the heavier side of 11.5kg which may mean the quilting machine is less portable.
- 232 built in stitches, 10 button hole styles and 5 fonts.
- Adjustable sewing speed.
- SFDS and ICAPS sensor system.
- 21 cm work space.
- Knee lifter.
- Automatic thread cutter.
- Foot presser.
- LED light.
- Lower feed dog for free motion.
- Good beginner sewing machine.
- Free motion.
- Heavy weight means less portability.
Bernina 475 Quilters Edition Sewing Machine 4 Series – Number Two
Next up is the most expensive but very high quality sewing and quilting machine. This Bernina 475 quilting machine can do up to 1000 stitches per minute making it one of the quickest machines on our list, it also has a total of 200 stitches to choose from when sewing with this machine, with a work space of 7″ and an extension table for large quilting projects.
Features wise, this quilting machine is full of automatic features to save you time when quilting or sewing and has a patch work foot #37 for straight stitches and seams with a 1/4″ allowance, meaning you can sew the patchwork quilt of your dreams quickly with its fast stitches per minute and also neatly!
Automatic features wise we have; auto thread cutting, auto needle up/down, auto threading and automatic tension, which all save you a huge amount of time when quilting and sewing, thus leaving you to tackle the fun creative part.
Lastly, the two most notable features of this machine has to be its hands free system and its adjustable pressure foot presser. The hands free system on this machine is great as it allows you to lift or lower the presser feet via the knee lifter, meaning your hands are left free to guide your quilt or other fabric. Its adjustable foot presser also lets you reduce pressure for thick materials and increase pressure for thin materials with ease, making it one of the perfect sewing machines for quilt stitches.
Other notable features of this sewing machine include; easy to navigate touch screen with high quality colouring, perfect 5.5mm stitches, 10 button holes, adjustable stitch length and width, mirror stitches, font stitches, font loading bobbin, lower feed dog for free motion and foots for customisable stitching.
Overall, this is the best machine for quilt stitching feature wise, although its price may be high you can’t beat the automatic features of this sewing machine and high quality build with a seven year guaruntee. Its hands free system and 1000 stitches per minute means you can enjoy being creative quilting. It also has a really large work space and table making it perfect for queen sized quilts or larger.
Downfalls of this sewing machine has to be its expensive price and heavy weight which will mean this machine is not transport friendly, however if portability and price doesn’t bother you then this is one of the best quilting machine to invest in on our list!
- 1000 stitches per minute.
- 200 stitches to choose from.
- Patchwork foot lets you create patchwork designs effortlessly.
- Adjustable foot presser.
- Hands free system.
- Automatic system.
- Seven year guarantee.
- Perfect for quilting.
- Quite expensive.
- Heavy weight means less portability.
Brother Innovis M280D Sewing Machine and Embroidery Machine – Number Three
The Brother brand have some of the best quilting machines on the market, this Innovis M280D truly is perfect for quilting due to its 125 built in embroidery patterns and fonts, of which 45 include special Disney characters, the sewing machine also has 181 built-in sewing stitches of which are 109 decorative ones making it perfect for unique quilting. This machine has a huge amount of in-built designs to choose from, making it a great sewing machine for beginners.
One of the best features of this Brother sewing and quilting machine is its ‘My Custom stitches’, this allows you to create your own 7mm decorative wide stitches for sewing rather than just using the built-in stitches, therefore giving your design more personality.
Extra features of this quilting machine are it’s high quality LCD touch screen which has a USB port, allowing you to connect your flash drive and preview your designs with on screen editing, this can also be connected up to the Brother’s software for custom designs.
The quilting machines foot is also longer for thicker fabrics, making it perfect when layering your quilt. Lastly, it also has; a bright LED light for working, top and bottom thread cutter, fast bobbin winding system, extra space for embroidery with hoop, 10 button hole styles, free arm sewing and a lower dog feed which is great for free motion embroidery.
This best quilting machines weight comes in 9kg and is easy to carry/store. Its accessories include; eight foots for different kinds of stitching, an extension table, spare needles, foot controller, manual guide, scissors, cleaning brush, automatic needle threader to save you time and more.
Overall, the Brother Innovis M28oD sewing machine is one of the best sewing machines for quilting due to its lower feed dog and extension table which is perfect for free motion quilting, giving you more control and freedom when it comes to stitching your design. Along with its extension table allowing you to have more space when designing your quilt. The 181 built-in sewing stitches and its ‘My Custom stitches’ option are also two of this sewing machines most impressive features.
Disadvantages of the Brother Innovis M280D sewing machine has to be its smaller throat space, which is fine for sewing but may be a pain when stitching a thicker quilt. The machine is also on the lighter side which is great for transporting but may topple over when using for heavy quilting.
- 181 built in stitches with 125 embroidery patterns. (special Disney characters included)
- Light weight for transporting.
- Extension table means more space for quilting.
- Lower feed dog.
- Different presser feet for quilting.
- Option for needle down.
- Affordable sewing machine.
- LCD colour touch screen.
- 7 point feed.
- Three year warranty.
- Free motion option.
- Light weight may mean more chance of sewing table falling when quilting.
- Little throat space for larger quilts
Brother FS70WTS Sewing and Quilting Machine – Number Four
The Brother FS70WTS sewing machines for quilting is one of the best budget machines on our list. This machine is extremely light weight which is great for transporting and comes in three different sizes.
It has 70 different stitches varying from straight to zig zag giving customisation to your patterns. It also comes with an extra wide table for quilting along with a free motion quilting and embroidery foot.
The slide speed button and start/stop button gives you full control when using your sewing machine without the need to use your feet.
The machine sewing wise has an automatic needle threader to save you time when sewing and a quick set bobbin to avoid any surprise thread jams.
Extra additions of this machine include; automatic stitch selection/width and length, LED light, automatic bobbin winder, 7 included foots, instructional DVD which is great for being one of the best sewing machines for beginners and a three year warranty ensuring confidence in your purchase.
Overall, this machine is one of the best sewing machines budget wise for quilting, its variety of built-in stitches, automatic needle threader and free motion make it great for entry level or even advanced quilters. Not to forget this quilting machine is also extremely light weight making it great to carry around or transport.
The downfalls of this machine has to be its lack of some specifications, it has no option to customise your stitch or sew fonts, it also lacks automatic tension adjustability and a knee lifter which means you will have to do this manually when sewing.
- Very affordable.
- Free motion for quilting.
- Good sewing machines beginners wise.
- Adjustable sewing speed.
- Extra wide table gives more quilting space.
- Automatic needle threader.
- 7 different foots included.
- Very light weight.
- Limited variety of stitches.
- Smaller throat.
- No automatic tension.
- No option to customise stitches.
- Light weight may mean machine may be unbalanced when heavy quilting.
- No knee lifter capabilities.
Which is the best sewing machine for quilting?
The top sewing machine for quilting has to be the Brother Innovis 1800Q machine, this sewing machine may be a little on the expensive side but is worth it if you are looking for the best quilting machine durability wise.
This sewing machine boasts high quality features such as automatic thread cutters and a fabric sensor system to allow you to get the best sew on your fabric. Its the best machine quilting wise due to its large workspace and knee lifter.
Second on our list is the most expensive but also the best- Bernina 475 Quilters Edition Machine 4 Series. This sewing machine is hands down the best machine for quilt stitching, the only reason we placed it second place is due to its heavy weight and higher price.
Features wise this sewing machine is perfect for quilting due to its automatic and hands free system, along with its large work space and extension. If you have a higher budget and are looking for a durable quilting machine, the Bernina 475 is the way to go.
Next up is the Brother Innovis M280D machine, this is one of the top sewing machines for quilting and is the Brother brand which means its a durable design and great for beginners.
The best features of this Brother sewing machine is its ability to memorise your custom stitches and has a long foot specifically for quilting, along with free motion due to its lower feed dog.
We think this is overall a great sewing machine and is very affordable but it lacks some features for quilting compared to other quilting machines on our list, its light weight may also struggle to handle larger and heavier quilts.
Last on our list is the Brother FS70WTS quilting machine. This machine is the best choice budget wise on our list and has some great options for quilting stitches such as its free motion for quilting and extra wide table, however compared to other sewing machine specifications, we feel this machine may not be as good for quilting as others on our list.
Therefore, to conclude the best sewing machine for quilts has to be the Brother Innovis 1800Q due to its durability and options that make quilting much more enjoyable and easy on your sewing machine. All these quilting machine prices with reviews can be found on Amazon.
How do I choose the best machine for quilting?
When buying the best machine for quilt stitching you need to keep in mind some special features that will make your quilting process much easier than sewing on a normal machine. Features such as stitch variety will not be that important when quilting as you use a straight stitch, but features such as knee lift are super important as they allow you to be hands on with your quilt when stitching so as your can control your quilts position and guide it through the machine.
We’ve put together some key features to look out for below-
Being able to control the speed of your machine is necessary when quilting as this ensures you are comfortable during the creative process, this is most essential if you are using free motion so as you have more control over the stitching on your quilt.
Workspace and throat space
It is important the machine you choose has enough space and an extension table for quilting, if you choose a machine which is too small this will make your quilting process much more difficult as you will be restricted on the movement of your quilt when stitching.
It’s great to have an automatic system on your machine when it comes to quilting, having an automatic thread cutter or automatic thread tension save you time and hassle when you get to the end of your quilt line. This allows you to fully concentrate on the fun part- getting creative!
Needle up and down
Having your needle in the position down improves accuracy and keeps your stitch neat, make sure you machine allows you to set this as this will save you time when sewing and make your work easier.
A knee lift can be an overlooked feature of a sewing machine but is important for quilters. A knee lift enables you to use your hands at all times when sewing, which can be great when controlling and guiding your quilt.
Presser foot pressure
By putting pressure on the presser foot you can hold your quilt in place while sewing and adjust the pressure needed depending on the thickness of your quilt, this allows you to have a smooth stitch without any pull or drag.
Free motion stitching
A free motion presser foot allows you to have control when using free motion to stitch, along with the option to lower the feed dogs, most machine purchased for quilting will come with this foot.
Can I use a normal sewing machine for quilt stitiching?
A normal sewing machine can be used for quilting, however a machine made specifically for quilting often have extra add ons that make your life much easier such as; a larger workspace, extension table, free motion foot add on and a faster sewing speed.
How big should the throat space on a sewing machine be for quilting?
A throat space of over 8″ should be enough for most quilters, the bigger the throat space the larger the quilts you can sew, its up to you and your budget.
Does the variety of stitches matter when quilting?
No, as when you do quilt stitching its in a straight-line, however having the option to put embroidery patterns can be a unique touch to your quilt.
How do I take care and maintain my quilting machine?
A quilting machine comes with a cover as an extra, make sure you use this cover after using your machine, this will keep any dust out when your machine is not in use. A lot of machines also come with cleaning tools to clean your machine, make sure to deep clean your machine at least every three months depending on how much you have used it.