Best Sewing Machine for Quilting - Top Reviews For 2020

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While some people learn and like to quilt by hand, a quilting machine can smoothen out the entire process and turn it into a less exhausting experience. There are plenty of people unaware of the existence of a quilting sewing machine, and it’s about time we explained what that is and what to look for in the best sewing machine for quilting.

Quick Comparisons Of The Best Sewing Machine For Quilting

IMAGE BRAND FEATURES
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Brother FB1757T
  • Dimensions: 5.87 x 15.31 x 12.01 inches
  • Weight: 14.55 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 3
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Baby Lock Jazz II
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 27.5 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 9
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Janome 4300QDC-B
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Weight: 14.3 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 7
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Elna Elnita EF72
  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 21.4 x 15.5 inches
  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 21.4 x 15.5 inches
  • Presser feet included: 12
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Bernina 350
  • Dimensions: 19.4 x 14.8 x 17.1 inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 7
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SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 8.2 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 18
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Brother CS6000i
  • Dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 8
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Brother PQ1500SL
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 12.6 x 19.3 inches
  • Weight: 33.5 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 7
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Juki TL-2010Q
  • Dimensions: 25.7 x 14 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 6
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Brother XM2701
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 6
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Quilting Sewing Machine vs. Regular Sewing Machine

Some of you might be wondering if your current sewing machine can handle quilting or if you need a completely different machine for that. The answer is quite simple: while you can quilt with any type of sewing machine, one that’s designed particularly for quilting will take the experience to a whole new level.

Woman seamstress work on the best quilting sewing machine

While you’re sewing machine is probably good, a quilting machine has more features that are dedicated to this particular type of sewing. What are some of the things that make quilting machines better, you ask? Well:

  • Quilting sewing machines have a wider table because the entire process usually requires you to with larger pieces of fabric at the same time. The extra working space is absolutely welcome in such a sewing scenario. Check our list on long arm quilting machines.
  • Quilting machines also have stronger thread tension. This makes them better for sewing through multiple layers or thick fabrics, especially on ones with interfacing. With a regular sewing machine that has weaker thread tension, you risk not getting the job done and end up being frustrated due to stuck needles and torn threads.
  • Those of you that have a basic sewing machine might not have the possibility or the ease to switch threads while you’re quilting. Quilting sewing machines that are designed particularly for that will make it easier to switch threads.

What to Look for in a Quilting Sewing Machine

As you know, quilting implies sewing together several pieces of fabric. So, what does a sewing machine need to have in order to be good for such a craft?

a closeup shot of a cloth, sewing needle, presser foot - stitching process of a sewing machine

  • A powerful motor is the first thing you should look out for. For instance, if you want to start an upholstery sewing project, you should know that your quilting machine should have a motor that’s more powerful compared to the requirements for a basic quilting project. For your home quilting needs, a quilting machine with a 50W motor should just about have you covered.
  • Also important in quilting: stitch length. In sewing, there is a process called basting, which is a term used to describe a temporary stitch that’s meant to hold pieces of fabric together. When you’re quilting, basting is of uttermost importance, because if you try to use pins, you will find it harder to work. Basting is a process that involves a lot of stitch removal, so having a large-length stitch will prove to be very useful. When your stitches are large, there’s less basting involved, which brings you close to the final quilt a lot faster.
  • Large tables are important in a quilting project because you’ll have to handle plenty of fabric in the process. That means that you won’t be stuck with making small blankets for the rest of your life, and can easily handle larger-sized projects. Sewing machines with extension tables are the best option for quilting. Check out our recommended sewing tables here.
  • For the optimal quilting experience, you want to have special presser feet that are designed for quilting. If you already have a sewing machine, you can buy these separately, but a quilting machine will already include them in the package. Speaking of presser feet, you are much better off using a free motion presser foot. With this foot, you can add stippling to your design, which is a cool and easy way to embellish your quilting projects.

Buying Considerations And Features For Beginners

Couple looking on laptop shopping for a sewing machine for quilting , while woman's hand holding a credit card.

If you’re just learning your way around a sewing machine, there is no need to invest in a very expensive one. However, you must still dodge the frustration of buying a machine that just doesn’t feel right or is too bad or basic. For those of you that are new to the world of sewing, here is what you should keep in mind when you’re looking to invest in the best sewing machine for quilting:

  • If you have a budget in mind, stick to it. People who are just learning how to use a sewing machine (be it a regular one or a model designed for quilting) are sometimes tempted to invest a lot of money in one because “expensive is better”. While that might sometimes be the case, you might actually discover that you don’t like quilting, yet you’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a quilting sewing machine. So, if you’re a beginner, don’t get carried away by fancy digital screens and tons of included stitches.
  • Even if you don’t need a gazillion stitches, you still have to inform yourself on which ones are available in the quilting sewing machine you want to purchase. Even people who quilt for living will tell you that they generally stick to a number of limited stitches when working on their projects (some of the most common ones are zig-zag and straight stitches).
  • Quilting machines with a drop-in bobbin are the easiest ones to use because it’s placed at the top of the machine, meaning that it doesn’t require a separate bobbin case.

Janome 4300QDC-B Sewing and Quilting Machine with Bonus Quilt Kit! Best sewing machine for quilting

  • Look for quilting machines that have a button allowing you to raise and drop the needle as needed. Having this feature will help you in your quilting process considering the fact that you can stop stitching with more control over the action. This prevents the fabric from shifting under the needle.
  • Machines that have an automatic thread cutter are a good choice because this means that you need to have a pair of scissors always at hand for when you need to cut the thread. That translates into less clutter on your sewing table.
  • Having a machine with an automatic needle thread is also a good idea for both beginners and advanced users. The automatic needle threader will do the tedious job of threading the needle with a simple push of the button, so you won’t have to do it manually every time.
  • Throat Space: If you plan on working on large quilts, it is best if you look at the throat space or width of your sewing machine. Having a throat which is as large as possible will make your job a whole lot easier.
  • Pay attention to the size of the spool that can fit on the quilting machine you want to buy. Some of the less expensive and more basic models are only able to house small spools of thread, which means that you will have to change it very often. This can be a nuisance when you have to work on big projects.

Tips for Sewing Machine Quilting

How to Quilt with a Sewing Machine for Beginners. Throat space

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never quilted before or if this isn’t your first project; we’ve put together a list of tips and trick that are bound to give people of all levels something new to test and learn, to enhance the experience of using a sewing machine for quilting and getting amazing results every time:

  • Since quilting implies working on large sewing projects, learning how to manage your workspace is really important. Avoid clutter and make sure that you use a sewing machine for quilting that allows you to easily maneuver the fabric while you’re actively sewing.
  • Using the right needles is very important. The best needles for a sewing machine are sharp ones, which are thick and powerful enough to resist piercing several layers of fabric at once. You want to look for needles that are labeled for quilting machines, as universal ones are most likely not strong enough.
  • You want to use the same colors for the top and bottom threads if you don’t have a machine with perfect tension. When these two threads have a high contrast and the tension of the machine isn’t what it should be, then you will surely notice dots of thread on the other side of the material.

Best Sewing Machine for Quilting

  • Free-motion quilting is something that you should practice on a daily basis, and you will see improvement in about a week. If you don’t believe us, just practice on different squares of materials every day, label them with the current date when you’re done, and by the time you reach the eighth day, you will notice the evolution.
  • Preparing the quilt layers is just as important as the actual quilting process itself. You need to make sure that the backing and the batting are six to eight inches longer and wider than the quilt top. Make sure that there are no loose threads, no pieces of fabric hanging anywhere, and no dog ears left untrimmed.
  • If you’re serious about trying on as many projects and if you’re truly passionate about quilting, then how about keeping a binder with quilting designs? You can fill it with sketches and print outs that you want to try. You can also have one with patterns you mastered and samples to it as you go. Those who are looking to quilt on a professional level (for money), might find that a binder with their work samples very useful in attracting potential clients.
  • Check the tension on your machine constantly, as this is a tricky feature that can go bonkers any minute and ruin your stitches. There are a lot of reasons why your sewing machine can end up having tension issues: a dull needle (a new needle is best for every eight hours of quilting), clogged bobbin case/bobbin area (use a special brush to remove lint each time you change the bobbin), tight quilt top/backing (requires loosening the tension), etc.

Top 10 Sewing Machines for Quilting Reviews

Now that you have an idea about what the differences between a quilting machine and a regular sewing machine are, and what to look for when you’re buying a new quilting companion, let’s dive into some of the machines that have received honorary praises from quilters all over the world.

1. Brother Model FB1757T Quilting Machine

Brother FB1757T Sewing Machine with Quilter Extension Table
  • Dimensions: 5.87 x 15.31 x 12.01 inches
  • Weight: 14.55 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 3
  • Number of stitches: 17
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Despite its relatively low price, the FB1757T sewing machine is a great addition to your sewing hobby if you plan on working on quilting projects and are on a limited budget. It comes with 17 built-in sewing stitches that are more than enough for someone’s quilting needs considering the fact that the variety of options covers the main quilting stitches you’ll need.

Even if this is a budget pick, it comes with an impressive number of features that can satisfy the needs of beginner to more advanced quilters. You have the stitch selector dial that makes it easy for you to navigate through the available stitches. The working area is lit by a light that’s bright enough to compensate for lack of powerful natural or artificial light.

The drop-in bobbin is jam resistant, which is a huge plus considering that plenty of other budget picks have this problem. Other features that might be of interest include the upper thread tension control dial, the easy tension adjustment, and the easy bobbin winding system.

Who Should Purchase This?

Those of you looking for the best sewing machine for quilting for less than $200, will love to see what the FB1757T has to offer.

Pros:

  • Good price.
  • Easy bobbin winding system.
  • Reverse sewing feature.
  • Easy to thread.
  • Controls upper thread tension.
  • Jam-resistant drop-in bobbin.
  • 25 Year Limited Warranty

Cons:

  • Lightweight, might not be stable for large projects.

2. Baby Lock Jazz II Model Sewing Machine

Baby Lock Jazz II Sewing and Quilting Machine
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 27.5 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 9
  • Number of stitches: 18
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The Jazz II sewing machine is actually one of the most impressive quilting machines we’ve seen so far, and we believed it deserves more recognition. While it might be a bit overpriced for what a beginner quilter is willing to spend, it comes with the perfect variety of features that beginners need in order to get a taste of what quality quilting should feel like.

It allows you to program the starting position for your needle, a feature which helps streamline the quilting process considerably. The built-in needle threader makes it easy to have the machine ready for your quilting projects. The automatic bobbin winder reduces the time needed to wait when you run out of thread.

It comes with 28 built-in stitches, plus an operating speed that goes as fast as 1,000 stitches per minute. The working area is lit by no less than 6 LEDs, offering you perfect vision even in poor light conditions.

Who Should Purchase This?

The Baby Lock Jazz II quilting machine is the best product for beginners that want to avoid frustrations. If you decide that quilting is not for you, it certainly won’t be because of anything the machine did.

Pros:

  • 9 presser feet included.
  • 6 LED lights over working area.
  • 1,000 stitches per minute.
  • Dust cover included.
  • Free-motion stitching.

Cons:

  • A bit expensive for beginners.

3. Janome Model 4300QDC-B Quilter

Janome 4300QDC-B Sewing and Quilting Machines with Bonus Quilt Kit!
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Weight: 14.3 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 7
  • Number of stitches: 300
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How about a Janome quilting and sewing machine that comes with a quilting kit? It includes 300 built-in stitches which should suffice in terms of stitch variation and versatility. The one-hand needle threader (as the name generously implies) is extremely easy to operate and makes the whole quilting process run a lot smoother.

The built-in thread cutter eliminates the need for having a pair of scissors next to you at all times. The machine comes with a quilting attachment kit in order to make the quilting process a lot easier even on what appears to be a rather basic computerized sewing machine. The slider located on the front of the machine allows you to adjust the stitching speed on the go.

Other features that might interest you include the stitch pattern memorizing capability, the included instructional DVD, the American alphabet stitching feature, and the auto-declutch bobbin winder.

Who Should Purchase This?

We wanted to add the Janome 4300QDC-B to this list because we love the fact that it includes a quilting kit. It is a great purchase for beginners, but also for people who want to upgrade their basic sewing machine to one that handles quilts as well.

Pros:

  • Quick speed change.
  • Includes quilting kit.
  • 300 built-in stitches.
  • 7-piece feed dog.
  • Locking stitch feature.
  • Auto-declutch bobbin winder.

Cons:

  • No automatic thread control tension.

4. Elna Elnita Model EF72 Quilter

Elna Elnita EF72 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine with good throat space
  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 21.4 x 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 33.2 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 12
  • Number of stitches: N/A
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The Elna Elnita EF72 sewing machine is another product worthy of people who are serious about quilting, only this time we’re talking about a fancier piece of equipment. It is a product that successfully combines the power you need with the reliability of a premium item. It can reach sewing speeds of up to 1,000 spm, which is more than enough to step up your quilting game.

This machine is a regular powerhouse that comes with a variety of presser feet included (such as open-toe and closed-toe feet, satin stitch foot, zipper foot, overcast foot, and more). The LED screen is lit so that you can have plenty of visibility when navigating through the settings and features even in poor light conditions.

It comes with plenty of features that are bound to be useful for most quilters, such as an automatic bobbin winder, a 7-piece foot dog, a dust cover, a reverse stitch button, adjustable thread tension, and more.

Who Should Purchase This?

The Elna Elnita EF72 sewing machine is designed for sewers that want to invest in a more advanced piece of equipment, but also for those who would actually use the many features of a more high-tech piece of equipment.

Pros:

  • Up to 1,000 stitches per minute.
  • Back-lit LED display.
  • Reverse stitching button.
  • Automatic bobbin winder.
  • Automatic thread tension.

Cons:

  • Expensive.

5. Bernina 350 Quilting Machine

Bernina 350 Patchwork Edition Sewing & Quilting Machine
  • Dimensions: 19.4 x 14.8 x 17.1 inches
  • Weight: 17 lbs
  • Presser feet included: 7
  • Number of stitches: 115
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The Bernina machine is one of the best models you’ll find that can cover for quilting and regular sewing needs. It is just as reliable as every other Bernina product, With a sturdy built and a variety of features opening gates for multiple types of sewing projects.

It has a memory function that allows you to store up to 30 pattern combinations that are easy to access every time you turn on the machine. The Bernina 350 comes with no less than 115 stitches for all your sewing needs, including 52 decorative stitches, 11 quilting stitches, and 20 utility stitches.

There are plenty of useful presser feet included as well, such as a zipper foot, a reverse pattern foot, and a blindstitch foot. Other features that have drawn our attention and will most likely be useful to you as well include slide speed control, three manual thread cutters, nine needle positions, a dust cover, and a built-in needle threader.

Who Should Purchase This?

The Bernina 350 is an excellent sewing machine for people who like to alternate between quilting and regular sewing, as it comes with features adapted to both activities.

Pros:

  • Color touchscreen.
  • 9 needle positions.
  • Stitch memorizing.
  • Dust cover included.
  • 3 manual thread cutters.
  • Reverse sewing.

Cons:

  • A bit expensive.

6. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 good sewing machine
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 8.2 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Presser feet included: 18
  • Number of stitches: 600
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Singer will always be one of the top brands in the world, and the 9960 stands proof of its awesomeness. We have to specify that this particular model was not designed particularly for making quilts, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do an excellent job.

There are plenty of specifications and features that make this machine quite a champion amongst its brethren. This computerized machine has more than 600 stitches to impress you with (plus an 850 stitches-per-minute speed) and yes, quilting stitches are included in that array. The LCD screen will guide you through the different settings and current options of this Singer beauty.

It comes with 18 presser feet, features a heavy-duty metal frame for maximum durability, allows you to select the stitches with the press of a single button, and it comes with an extension table which, as we’ve already established, is a priceless asset for quilting projects.

Who Should Purchase This?

If you want to choose the very best from the very best, which is a machine that can handle quilting as well as different other sewing projects, this Singer model is a best-buy.

Pros:

  • 18 presser feet included.
  • 600 stitches.
  • Heavy-duty metal frame.
  • Extended arm.
  • Built-in needle threader.
  • 13 buttonhole styles.

Cons:

  • Not very portable.

7. Brother CS6000i Quilting Machine

Brother CS6000i quilter
  • Dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Presser feet included: 8
  • Number of stitches: 60
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This Brother quilting machine is giving us plenty to talk about. It is a computerized machine that features an automatic needle threader, which is really useful when you want a smoother quilting process. It features a sliding button that offers users the possibility to adjust their sewing speed in a second.

Since it’s computerized, it features an LCD display that grants full control of the machine and the information you need to know to see your quilting project through, such as the current stitch you’ve selected. As all good quilting sewing machines, this one also comes with a large extension table that will hold the fabric in place for easier maneuvering.

Other features of this model include bobbin windings, an arm designed for easier sewing of sleeves and cuffs, eight feet for quilting and sewing, plus a hard protective case that’s useful for both storage and transportation.

Who Should Purchase This?

People are going bonkers over this Brother quilting machine, as it’s one of the brands that will always stand out in its industry. If you like to buy products that other people have positively reviewed, the CS6000i should be on your list. But if you’re looking for something else, check out our other Brother sewing machine reviews.

Pros:

  • 8 presser feet.
  • 60 stitches.
  • Protective case.
  • Extended table.
  • Automatic needle threader.
  • LED-lit working area.
  • 25 Year Limited Warranty

Cons:

  • Requires plenty of cleaning.

8. Brother PQ1500SL Quilting Machine

Brother PQ1500SL machines
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 12.6 x 19.3 inches
  • Weight: 33.5 lbs
  • Presser feet included: 7
  • Number of stitches: 1
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Brother is here to amaze once again, only this time with a more professional-like machine. With quite a spicy price tag to accompany it, this machine does manage to deliver more power than the previous two models ever could.

It can reach speeds of up to 1,500 stitches per minute, which is way more than what a sewing hobbyist needs, but good enough for people who sew on a professional level. Just by examining a few of the features, you can tell that this Brother sewing machine was designed for people who need true power.

Some of the features include: a built-in LED light to illuminate the working area, a fabric separator that can help you streamline your quilting project, heavy-duty construction for maximum durability, an extension table that serves the large fabric purpose, plus foot pressure adjustment.

Who Should Purchase This?

Sometimes, it’s all about the speed, particularly for those of you that sew for a living. With the Brother PQ1500SL, you will get torque that equals to 1,500 stitches per minute, which is pretty impressive and extremely useful when you’re sewing at an automatic fire.

Pros:

  • 1,500 stitches per minute.
  • Feed dog adjustment.
  • Extension table.
  • Knee lifter.
  • Automatic thread cutter.
  • Built-in LED.
  • Fabric separator.
  • 25 Year Limited Warrant

Cons:

  • Only includes a straight stitch.

9. Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine

Juki TL-2010Q sewing
  • Dimensions: 25.7 x 14 x 18 inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 6
  • Number of stitches: 1
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We’ve labeled the Juki TL-2010Q as being the most solid sewing machine we’ve seen so far, but there’s so much more to it than that. If you feel discouraged about the sewing machine only having on straight stitch, know that there are plenty of other features that will knock your socks off.

First off, it’s a machine that’s clearly designed for quilting and applique, especially since it features an extended table that gives you the freedom to work with large fabrics. It allows you to control the speed of the quilting machine (which can also reach about 1,500 stitches per minute, by the way).

With a simple turn of the dial, you can adjust the stitch length. Underneath it, you will find the reverse stitch lever, which is great for backward stitches that will complete your projects. With this Juki model, you won’t be afraid to sew anything from rubber, fur, or leather, to upholstery, synthetics, and fine fibers.

Who Should Purchase This?

Some of you just want the best sewing machine for quilting that can last, and we totally get it. But you have to be willing to spend the money to get one. The Juki TL-2010Q is designed to last, with its aluminum die casting and sturdy casing construction, but is still rather cheap coming in just under $1000.

Pros:

  • Good for all fabrics.
  • Plenty of accessories.
  • High stitching speed.
  • Automatic needle threader.
  • Speed control.
  • Extended working table.

Cons:

  • Only has one stitch.
  • Noisy bobbin winder.

10. Brother XM2701

Brother XM2701 quilter
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches
  • Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Presser feet included: 6
  • Number of stitches: 27
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Here is one more for the road and, you’ve guessed it: it’s another Brother sewing machine. This model is lighter and more portable compared to the ones we’ve shown you above, mostly because it’s designed to be a more conveniently-priced product and not the best-performing quilting machine your eyes have ever seen.

But, despite its rather low price tag, the XM2701 delivers more than you’d expect. It features no less than 27 built-in stitches, which already opens up a world of sewing possibilities. It features an easy-to-use threading system that’s based on automatic needle threading.

There is a rotary dial that allows you to select between the 27 stitches. The quilting machine is delivered with six presser feet, including zipper, zigzag, narrow hem, and blind stitch. It is a great machine for people who are just at the beginning of their “quilting careers”.

Who Should Purchase This?

While the Brother XM2701 isn’t a fierce quilting beast like the other models in this review round-up, it does manage to meet the basic requirements for easy to moderate quilting projects for beginners as well as seasoned sewers. It’s a great starter quilting machine. We’ve included it on our best sewing machine for quilting list because it is, nevertheless, an incredible sewing machine considering how inexpensive it is.

Pros:

  • 27 stitches.
  • Six presser feet included.
  • Automatic needle threader.
  • LED-lit working area.
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Convenient price.
  • 25 Year Limited Warranty

Cons:

  • No extended table included.

Bottom Line

Patchwork orange-green block, quilting fabrics, sewing accessories, with a sewing machine for quilting

Quilting can turn out to be quite a complicated part of sewing, particularly if you’re not using the right machine for the job. The machines we’ve just shown you should help in your search for the best sewing machine for quilting, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide how much money you want to spend on a product like this, how many stitches you need, or what other features are important to you.

But if you’re truly passionate about quilting or about sewing in general, don’t be afraid to invest in a better sewing machine for quilting, with more features and goodies that will surely come in handy along the way. And if you didn’t find one that you like, check out our other sewing machine reviews from brands like Janome.