Quilting is a trade that’s been around for centuries and it’s still very popular to this day. The problem with long arm quilting machines is that they take a large area of space and many quilters have problems with their back and joints because they have to push it around. This is why many people turn to regular sewing machines designed especially for quilting.
The performance of these machines has improved over the years and the market has some amazing models that are just what you need for your quilting projects. Read on to see which machines are the best and what their features are.
What are the Benefits of Quilting Machines?
Quilting is often practiced by old women and lonely housewives. They begin quilting to keep their minds and hands occupied and many reported feeling better after doing it. So what are the benefits of quilting?
We are living in a world full of stressful situations that take a toll on our physical and mental health. Quilting is a great way to calm down. The repetitive movements in quilting activate the parasympathetic nervous system that calms our mind down.
It’s Good For Your Health
Exercise is important for our health, but according to researchers from the University of Glasgow, so is quilting. Their study was done a local quilting group and they proved that quilting has almost the same effect on our bodies as exercise.
Quilting Makes You Happy
Quilting takes a lot of time and effort and when you finally finish a project, your brain is flooded with dopamine and serotonin that make you feel happy.
Quilting Keeps You Healthy
Because of the increase in brain chemicals, the risk of heart attack and stroke is lowered and the calmness of the brain results in better overall health.
There are two basic types of machine quilting, free motion, and straight line quilting. Both of them need a bit of practice, but straight line quilting is easier.
Straight Line Quilting
The first thing you need to do to prepare for straight line quilting is to replace the presser foot with a walking foot. This specialized pressure foot allows the quilt sandwich to move through the machine at a steady rate. You can make gentle curves with a walking foot but you need a free motion machine for anything more complicated.
Free Motion Quilting
Free motion quilting allows you to quilt complicated designs just like you would do with hand quilting. It does take a bit of practice to create perfect stitches. You can accomplish much more with a machine like this than you would with your hands.
Quilting has changed as years went by and we don’t need expensive long arm quilting machines anymore. Most sewing machines can quilt, and they are much less costly than long-arm machines, and they take far less space in your home.
Sewing and quilting machines that cost less than 300 dollars are regarded as machines for beginners. This is the lowest price category and these machines are affordable, and they have most features you need for your quilting projects.
The intermediate price range is between 300 and 600 dollars. As you can expect, these machines are made to be more durable, and they have more features. These machines are not meant for beginners since they utilize many advanced sewing and quilting processes.
Quilting and sewing machines that cost over 600 dollars are top of the line. They have all the features you can dream of, and they need expert skills to operate.
Our Top 5 Quilting Sewing Machines
Brother PQ1500SL High-Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine
OUR RATING: 9.8
The Brother PQ1500SL was designed to tackle problematic materials, and it’s great for large sewing and quilting projects. This is a high-speed stitching machine that can sew up to 1500 stitches every minute. This model has a number of features that make it a great choice for sewing projects. It has an adjustable pin feed mechanism, a knee lifter and extension table that’s designed for quilting.
The F.A.S.T needle threader is implemented in the automatic thread cutting process which saves you a lot of time. You can easily get the automatic processes done with a simple push of a button, and you will be all set for sewing. This machine stands out for its ability to handle tricky materials that other models often can’t handle. The 25-year warranty speaks of its quality so you can rest assured that this machine performs exactly as promised.
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
OUR RATING: 9.4
If we had to describe the Brother HC1850 Computerized sewing machines with three words, they would be versatile, reliable and feature-packed. This is a machine that’s packed with features that make your sewing and quilting projects easier. You can use it to complete projects from basic monogramming to quilting and decorative stitching. It offers an amazing 130 unique stitches and 8 styles of one-step buttonholes. If that’s not enough, there are 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches to choose from.
If quilting is your thing, the model features a spring action quilting foot and a wide detachable table. You can also quilt using free-motion. The machine includes 8 presser feet, a chart with all the stitches, easy to select buttons, adjustable sewing speed, automatic processes and more. This model was made to be lightweight, and you can take it anywhere you want with you. It comes with a 25-year warranty.
SINGER 7469Q Confidence Quilter
OUR RATING: 8.8
The SINGER 7469Q sewing machine is a great choice for skilled quilters and beginners alike. It offers tons of advanced features that make sewing more fun while saving you some time too. The automatic needle threader and Drop & Sew bobbin system allow you to set everything up in minutes. You use 98 built-in stitches and seven automatic one-step buttonholes that give you unlimited options and crafting possibilities.
The needle up and down can be programmed with a touch of a button. If quilting is your passion, the SINGER 7469Q is the perfect choice because it comes with four quilting feet and a large extension table for quilting. You can adjust the width and length of every stitch to fully customize your project. The machine has a heavy duty metal frame, automatic thread cutter, automatic reverse and many other features. It comes with a 25-year warranty and a ton of free accessories.
Laura Ashley Limited Edition CX155LA
OUR RATING: 9.1
The new Laura Ashley Limited Edition CX155LA computerized sewing and quilting machine is here. It is a model that offers dozens of features you’ll find very useful. With 155 built-in stitches and eight styles of one-step buttonholes, you can let your imagination run free. This model combines top quality at an affordable price, and it’s capable of tackling all kinds of sewing and quilting projects.
It also includes 11 sewing and quilting feet you can use to create unique designs. One touch of a button and you can select the stitch you want to use. It will be displayed on the LCD screen at all times. The workspace is large, and it’s perfect for large quilts and window curtains. It’s the perfect sewing and quilting machine that will help you decorate your home just the way you want it.
Janome Magnolia 7318
OUR RATING: 9.2
It’s hard to make a sewing and quilting machine that stands out in today’s market, but the Janome Magnolia 7318 does just that. The horizontal full rotary hook is a feature that allows you to quickly finish your sewing projects without losing any quality when it comes to stitches. The maximum speed is 830 stitches per minute which is pretty fast.
Unlike many other machines in the same price category, the Janome Magnolia 7318 offers only 18 built-in stitches including the 4 step buttonhole which features a balance adjuster that allows precise sewing. All sewing machines made by Janome are made to last. The 7318 model has a couple of automatic processes that save you time. This machine is perfect for all sewing and quilting projects as well as home decoration and more. You can fully customize the width and length of every stitch.
How to Choose a Quilting Machine
Quilting takes a lot of time and patience, especially if the project is large. That’s why many quilters either love or hate their sewing machines. You have to do some research before you buy the right quilting machine for yourself. We are going to go over the steps you need to take to get what you need. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing your first sewing machine.
Before you decide to spend the money you work hard to make on a sewing machine, you should first think about what you want to do with it. Do you want to practice quilting as a hobby, or is this a craft you want to spend a lot of time on? This will give you a good idea on how much money you want to spend. Cheaper sewing machines are not that durable, and they don’t have as many features so prepare yourself to pay more if you want a top of the line machine.
There are two price range levels for beginners when it comes to sewing machines. The first one includes machines that are under 200, and the other, more expensive category includes sewing machines between 200 and 600 dollars.
Sewing machines in the lower price range can be purchased in almost every craft store. They can be mechanical or computerized, and most of them offer all of the basic features you need to complete your sewing projects.
Machines that are in the 200 to 600 dollar range have extra features for quilters. Many of them feature a start and stop button, a wider throat that can hold big quilts, high-quality stitches, they are easily controlled with buttons. Some models offer hundreds of decorative stitches.
Do the Research
You’ll need to get online and do some research on the major sew machine brands and their models. Visit websites of each company and check as many reviews on Amazon and other websites to get the complete picture. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Visit Local Dealers
Seeing the machine you found on the internet in person makes a big difference! Go to the local dealer and ask about the machine. You can even take it for a test run, but make sure to bring some fabric you can test it on. This way, you’ll make sure that your choice is the right one.
Shopping Local vs. Online Purchasing
Buying a machine from a dealer is always safer because you know exactly how it works and what it does. If you want to save some money, you can order the same model online. Most sewing machines come with accessories and a user’s manual so you could learn how to use it. Both ways work fine, so stick with your gut feeling when you finally decide to make a purchase.