Most of us don’t have the money or the space in our sewing rooms to own a long arm quilting machine. Not only do they take up enormous amounts of room, long arm machines can also be hard on your body as you have to stand while working and push and pull a 20 to 50 pound quilting machine head. Working like this day after day can lead to numerous joint issues. This is why many are deciding to use a regular sewing machine for quilting.
Sewing machines have improved over the years and there are now a number of excellent models that are perfect of the at-home quilter. You should have no trouble choosing a suitable quilting machine whether you are a beginner or more advanced quilter.
Quilting Machines for Beginners
Below you will find some of the best quilting sewing machines that are perfect for the beginning quilter. The sewing machines in this list are inexpensive, have excellent reviews without losing any of the must-have features or accessories.
The main difference between the quilting machines in this list and the more advanced machines is their ability to handle heavy duty or thick layers of fabric. The ones featured in the beginning of this list are good home quilting machines suitable for everyday sewing and light to medium fabrics. If you are looking for something that will handle heavier fabrics then I suggest you skip down to the section: “Sewing Machines For Advanced Quilters” below.
Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine
The Brother CS6000i is an extremely popular entry level sewing machine. It has been the #1 seller on Amazon for a number of years and for good reason. It inexpensive and packed with features and accessories that usually only come with more expensive machines.
Included are 60 stitches, 7 styles of 1-step buttonholes, auto-needle threader and for your quilting needs, a quilting table. The table is a nice touch and makes it much easier when creating your quilt. Thicker quilts are also a breeze to work with thanks to the walking foot and the handy quilting guide will space out your stitching evenly.
The CS6000i is also an easy machine to use. If you ever attend quilting shows and sign up for any workshops, you’ll find that this is the machine that they often use in their classrooms and for good reason. Beginners have an easy time getting up and running with this machine, is very fun to use, versatile and very reliable. If you want an inexpensive sewing machine that can do almost anything, then this one is hard to beat.
Brother Project Runway Sewing Machine
Inside you’ll find 100 stitches, 8 styles of 1 step buttonholes, auto-needle threader and also includes an over-sized quilting table. One of the accessories that I excited to see included was the see-through open toe quilting foot. It can make feeding your quilt through the machine much easier as you are able to keep a watchful eye on the fabric as it feeds through the needle.
Just like the Brother CS6000i, you’ll find the Project Runway sewing machine very easy to use. The manual and videos are very helpful and will get you working on your first project in no time. This is another great beginner quilting machine that you are sure to love.
Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting and Embroidery Machine
This Brother sewing and quilting machine includes 130 stitches, 8 styles of 1 step buttonholes, auto-needle threader and also includes an over-sized quilting table. This machine can sew, quilt and embroider with ease. For quilters, the decorative stitches, like the feather stitch can be used over seams or to appliqué along edges.
Like the Brother machines before, this one is very easy to use as well. Also, for the money (usually under $200), this machine is outstanding. You get a ton of features and accessories that are equal to machines much more expensive.
Brother Laura Ashley Limited Edition
The second last sewing and quilting machine that I recommend for beginners is the Laura Ashley Limited Edition computerized sewing machine, also made by Brother. This wonderful little machine is cute, inexpensive reliable and packed with features and accessories.
The Laura Ashely CX155LA comes with 155 stitches, 8 styles of 1-step buttonholes and for those that are also interested in embroidery, 55 alphanumeric stitches. Of course this machines also comes with an extra wide table for us quilters, 11 sewing and quilting feet and an easy auto-needle threader to help get you to work as soon as possible.
This machine is powerful enough to go through thicker material like multiple layers of denim and creates perfect stitches. You’ll be happy with the results this machine produces. For the money and all of these features, this machine is a real steal and one that I most often recommend for beginners looking for a home quilting machine that won’t break the bank.
Singer Confidence Quilter
The Confidence Quilter includes 98 stitches, 7 styles of 1-step buttonholes, auto-needle threader and drop-in bobbin system. One of the nicest things about this machine is that it was put together with quilters in mind. You get 4 different quilting feet and a large quilting table to work from. The programmable needle up/down feature makes appliqué and quilting much easier and the Drop Feed is perfect for free motion sewing. The frame is also solid metal so it won’t go tipping on you when working with large quilts.
For the money, you can’t go wrong with this machine. It is perfect for a beginner, but has enough features to keep you interested when you become more experienced.
Sewing Machines for Advanced Quilters
If you are a more advanced quilter and want something powerful, reliable and carries all of the quilting features and conveniences you desire then you need to spend a bit more money. The machines in this list are all great choices, but do have varying features and capabilities so make sure to read as much information and reviews as you can before making your decision. The quilters below are listed from least expensive to most expensive to help you find the machine that suits your needs and budget.
Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist
This machine is very easy to use with a fast auto-needle threader and drop-in bobbin system. The Quantum Stylist includes 600 stitches and 13 styles of automatic 1-step button holes and you will also get 5 different fonts for those that are interested in monogramming your creations. You have amazing control of your stitch elongation, width, length and even mirror imaging that allow to you customize the stitching to suit your project’s needs.
For quilters, you get a nice sized quilting table and heavy duty frame as well as 18 different presser feet. For those just starting out or when you need very precise stitching, you can adjust the speed level with by simply moving a lever. You also get: 25 needle positions, 7mm stitch width, automatic reverse, horizontal threading and even a 25 year warranty.
If you want a quilting machine that does everything, but doesn’t break the bank then you can’t go wrong with the Singer Quantum Stylist. You can see my in-depth review of this machine here.
Brother PQ1500S Quilting and Sewing Machine
The Brother PQ1500S High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine is a powerhouse and was designed specifically for quilters. You’ll be pleased with some of the features on the PQ1500S like the auto needle positioner and knee lever for lifting the presser foot. This is so handy when you need a bit more room and want to keep your hands free to move the fabric. It is also nice and heavy, which is a must if you work with large quilts or lots of heavy fabric. You’ll have no trouble working with multiple layers of fabric as the motor is very powerful and can sew up to 1500 stitches per minute.
One thing I really liked about this machine was the ability to control the feed dog. You have 4 levels of adjustments you can make that will control the feed dog and pressure foot pressure.
Juki TL-2000qi Sewing and Quilting Machine
If you are serious about quilting, then you should seriously consider the Juki TL-2000qi. Juki is known for making quality sewing machines and the TL-2000qi isn’t any different.
This Juki quilter is a true workhorse; it achieves speeds of 1500 stitcher per minute, has auto-needle threader and its aluminum die cast frame reduces vibration while you work. You will find that the stitch quality this machine consistently delivers will surpass even your biggest expectations. It produces flawless results with any stitch you ask it to perform and does so quickly and efficiently. The instructions are a bit sparse for this machine, but I found tons of videos on YouTube that were great in helping to learn the functions of this machine.
When looking for an advanced quilter that is able to handle all types of fabric and multiple layers then you really do get what you pay for. This Juki sewing and quilting machine is able to handle anything you throw at it and is a great buy for anyone who is serious about their quilting.
Janome MC-6300p Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The Janome MC-6300P is one of the best home sewing and quilting machines you can buy without breaking the bank. Many really high end machines will cost anywhere from $2000 to $3000. The MC-6300 can often be found for under $1000, which is a steal.
This machine was built for quilters, it comes with 66 stitches, 4 buttonholes, knee lifter, 9″ x 5″ throat space (great for large quilts), 5 stitches for applique, speed controller, advanced feed (used for very thick materials) and built in thread cutter. This is just a small sample of what you get with this machine.
In every test I tried with this machine it passed with flying colors. It can work with the thickest of quilts without slowing or missing a beat. It is consistent and powerful and best of all fun to use. I can’t recommend this machine enough.