Quilting is like the art of painting, except the fact here you paint with needles! Quilting is a craft that requires some artistic skills coupled with dedication and passion for mastering it. It involves stitching firmly together two or more layers of fabric like cotton, wool or feathers in a decorative design to create a quilt. This is just the first step in the process of creating a quilted garment. It involves many more steps like designing, binding, piecing, applique, etc. to make a beautiful quilted garment. Now that we know what the term quilting means, let’s find out more about the best sewing machine for quilting and see how quilting is done.
What is best sewing machine for quilting?
As mentioned earlier, quilting involves stitching together two or more layers of fabric to make a quilt. This is done with the help of a needle and thread. Quilting can be done by hand or with the help of a sewing machine. Quilting by hands can be time consuming and tiresome, which is why quilters prefer sewing machines to get their quilting done.
These machines are taking over quilting these days. They play a pivotal role in quilting as they are responsible for stitching the fabric neatly in a decorative pattern. Now that the importance of the sewing machine in quilting is clear, utmost care should be taken while purchasing one for your quilting needs. There are sewing machines with different features in various price ranges that are flooded in the market. This article will help you to choose the most suitable one for you.
There are a few factors which quilters must consider before looking around. Listed below are a few of the factors/questions that every quilter should ask themselves before investing in one.
This is one of the important factors to consider before buying one. What purpose will the sewing machine serve the quilter? If quilting is just a past time you wouldn’t want to spend your hard earned money in buying an expensive product. If you are planning to take quilting as a serious profession then it is best to buy a high quality product with advanced features that would serve you well in the long run. Having a clear intent saves your money and goes a long way in your quilting experience.
Cost of the sewing machine
Now that the intent is laid out, the next important factor to consider, is the amount of money you are willing to spend. Sewing machines come in various prices. If quilting is just a past-time, it is not wise to spend huge amount of money in buying an expensive one. Instead, opt for a less expensive one or a pre-owned one which is in a reasonably good shape. All said and done, it is purely up to the quilter to decide on the amount they are willing to spend.
Brand and features
The next major factor to consider is the features you would like your machine to possess. You might want to consider how straight the stitches are, if it has an automatic needle threader and many such features. It is also important to choose the best brand. You would want to buy from a dealer who would provide after sales service and repairs. This is important since like any other piece of appliance, sewing machines too end up having issues and you would like to get it serviced by the dealer. So do the research and decide on a brand or dealer who has a good history of providing the best after sales service and repairs.
Space and size constraint
This is a factor that one must consider if they have an allotted space, where the sewing machine will go. In such cases care must be taken to buy a machine that is not too big to fit the designated space in your place.
Warranty, service and maintenance
Another factor to consider is the warranty. It would be best to check and make sure your sewing machine comes with a warranty. In addition to the warranty, ensure that the manufacturer provides a good repair and maintenance service in case you run into problems.
Consider these factors wisely before purchasing. Next, let’s move on to the features that one should be looking for. Following are some of the features that are found in a good sewing machine.
Ease of use
One of the basic features to look for is if it is easy to use. This includes factors like good built-in lighting, easy use of controls, better speed control, makes a minimal sound, great stitch quality, etc. One must test drive to see if the machine lets you do these tasks without much hassle.
Straight stitch, zig zag and blind hem stitch
The primary purpose of a sewing machine is to stitch together two or more layers of fabric. So the next important feature is if it can produce a great straight stitch which is essential for both quilting as well as piecing. The best machine should produce a zig zag as well as blind hem stitches if you are a planning to do any machine applique.
It is advised to do a test drive on the machine which you intend to buy to check out whether it produces these stitches efficiently. The machine must be able to adapt to the changes in the needle tension when the threads of varied weights and thickness are used. High quality machines let you fine tune and perform tension adjustments with ease.
A good motor
A good motor is essential for efficient performance. Care should be taken to ensure that the sewing machine comes with a good motor that does not overheat on prolonged and constant use. The best machines come with an energy efficient motor which produce minimal noise.
Make sure that the sewing machine comes with a wider and higher stitching area. This space is otherwise called as harp space. This might come in handy while doing large projects that require sufficient space for stitching them up.
Needle up/ needle down feature
This feature does not come with all the sewing machines. This is a feature that enables the quilter to choose the needle position when the machine stops. This feature is great for machine applique, quilting and piecing. This gives a leverage to hold the fabric.
An automatic needle threader
Look for a product that comes with an automatic needle threader. This feature found in some of the best sewing machines enables you to thread thick and thin needles with ease. It saves a lot of time spent on manually threading the needle.
Different types of feet
There are a wide range of feet available depending upon the model and make of your product. Some of them are walking foot, which is mostly used for straight line quilting. A free-motion or darning foot: This is the striking feature in some of the best sewing machines. This is because they provide free-motion quilting which yields better results. A one toe-open, daring foot is a slight variation in the free-motion foot. It has an open toe darning foot on the left and a closed toe foot on the right which provides better visibility while stitching. An edge stitching foot is predominantly used for piecing.
Trouble-free access to bobbins
If you are a quilter who prefers to change the thread quite often, it would be a good idea to buy a machine that comes with a feature which facilitates easy access to bobbins. Bobbins that loads from the top are much easier to load. Bobbins that are easy to wind can be of a great help during quilting.
A feet dog that facilitates drop or cover
During a free-motion quilting the quilter will be in charge of pushing the quilt through the machine. At times like this it will be great to have a feed dog that facilitates lowering them. The best sewing machine comes with a lever or a button to lower the feed dogs so that they do not get in the way during free-motion quilting.
Adjust stitch length
This is a feature that comes with some of the best models. This feature allows to adjust the length and width of the stitches at the push of a button. However, this does not apply to blind hem stitch or blanket stitch.
Power foot and pivot function
This feature provides the ability to produce just half a stitch by pressing the back of the foot with your heel. A pivot function is a feature in which the presser foot raises up a bit with the needle down in the fabric once you stop stitching. This helps in saving a lot of time, especially while you are chain piecing.
Some of the modern machines are accompanied with this feature, where it allows you to set the machine to a constant speed. This can be reset according to your needs. This feature is a big help when stippling.
This fancy yet very useful feature is a recent addition to some of the best sewing machines. As the name indicates, these help in achieving a regular even stitch while you are doing a free-motion quilting with the feed dogs down. This feature, though expensive provides an added advantage for beginners who struggle to make even stitches.
The next feature you should be looking for is whether it is portable to a certain extent. Make sure that the machines come with a travel case if you intend to carry it along with you when you travel. The travel case should be equipped in such a way that it protects the machine from bumps during the transit.
Ability to perform embroidery
This feature is for all those who are interested in machine embroidery. If you are one of them, then ensure that you look out for a model that will help you achieve this. If you are unsure whether you will pick an interest in machine embroidery in the future, opt for a quilting model for now and upgrade to the large throat space when you need.
Straight stitch throat plate
Straight stitch or single stitch throat plate is just like your regular throat plate. The only difference between the two is that the single stitch throat plate has a small round shaped hole through which the needle passes to make a stitch, while in a regular throat plate that comes with the machine has an oval shaped hole. This feature is a big help while stitching complex designs.
Ability to do a blanket stitch applique
Test if the sewing machine comes with a feature that has a method of blanket stitch applique. This is important since doing an applique means that you need to stop the pivot at precisely the right spot in the stitch pattern specifically around the curves and points. When you buy a machine that comes with this feature ensure that you are comfortable with the method the machine uses. One way to know this is to do a test drive before buying the machine.
We have seen some of the essential as well as advanced features that are found in the best sewing machines for quilting. This guide should help you do a good research and know your needs well in advance before you set about buying one. This will save you a lot of money as well as let you have a machine which is just right for you. So, get yourself a good product and keep calm and indulge yourself into the craft of quilting!
But before starting reviews I also want to mention that you can read other articles on my site too like Best Kitchen Knife Set For The Money, Best Knife Sharpening System , Best Air Compressor Under $300 and Best Guitar Amplifier For The Money.
The Janome 8900QCP sewing machine is a dream come true for people who love to work on large projects like quilts, slipcovers, and window treatments. Those who sew frequently and use their machine for a variety of projects will love the ease and versatility of this particular machine. It is also ideal for people who take on more intricate, time intensive projects since many features of this sewing machine helps to ensure they remain comfortable while they work.
Owners could definitely describe the Janome 8900QCP sewing machine as being a very spacious work station. This sewing machine features a foot long free arm and an 11 inch by 4.7 inch work space. The Janome sewing machine operates on an AcuFeed system, where it feeds the top layer of fabric in sync with the bottom layer of fabric. This machine offers 270 stitches, including 11 buttonhole options, and 3 monogramming fonts. This machine features needle up/down selection, and has options of sewing speeds that can reach 1,000 stitches per minute. Options are chosen on an LCD touch screen. The Janome sewing machine also comes with a built-in, one-hand needle threader and an automatic thread cutter. The machine has plenty of storage space with double accessory bins as well as upper storage. As if it did not already have enough bells and whistles, the Janome sewing machine has 5 ultra bright LED lights in 3 different places across the machine.
This Janome machine is quiet yet powerful. The foot long free arm and large work area allow the owner to work comfortably on items like quilts and window treatments. While this machine is capable of tackling larger sewing and quilting projects, it does not take up a lot of space in a room. Nothing can beat the versatility of the Janome sewing machine!
The AcuFeed system allows the owner to work successfully with any fabric imaginable, from thick quilting materials to fabrics that are soft and delicate. With so many stitch options and the simple touch screen to choose them, this Janome sewing machine makes projects practically foolproof.
Owners will also love the automatic thread cutter because it makes work so much easier from the very beginning. The LED lights provide what Janome describes as shadow-free sewing, allowing the owner to sew for hours without any eye strain.
There is not much of a downside to the Janome 8900QCP. The only problem users might encounter is that the sewing machine might eat the fabric, meaning that the fabric gets pulled into the hole where the bobbin thread comes up and the thread tangles beneath it. This can happen on any machine, however if the wrong needle or thread for the fabric type is being used, or the tension on the sewing machine needs to be adjusted.
Since this Janome machine is so versatile and can be used for embroidery or work on delicate fabrics, the hole where the fabric could potentially go is larger than some other sewing machines. For the majority of users, this really should not be much of an issue.
This product is a great purchase because it is efficient, reliable, and designed with the user’s comforts in mind. This particular Janome sewing machine is one of the most versatile sewing machines around!
The Laura Ashley PC660LA Machine is a limited edition model from Brother that offers you sewing, quilting and basic monogramming functions. This beautiful looking computerized sewing machine is designed for ease of use. It allows you to come up with your own unique personal design statements thanks to all its features.
Who Is This Product For?
Anyone working with thick layers of fabric like denim will appreciate working with the Laura Ashley PC660LA. Also, if you are always changing stitches on your designs you will find the machine handy as it comes with a variety of stitches. Unlike other machines, you will be pleased to learn that Laura’s alphanumeric stitches all look great once you are done stitching. People that often handle large projects will also benefit from this machine. In addition, it can be used for both quilting and sewing needs.
- The machine comes with 303 built-in stitches including 10 types of one step auto-size buttonhole styles.
- It has 165 alphanumeric styles that come in handy during monogramming. The backlit LCD display is also large enough to enable easy viewing.
- Laura Ashley Limited Edition PC660LA Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine offers a super wide stitch width of up to 7mm and a stitch length of up to 5mm.
- The Laura has 14 different types of specialty feet. These include the button sewing foot, overcasting foot, the buttonhole foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, quilting foot, blind stitch foot, walking foot and ¼’’ quilting foot.
- The machine has a 25 year limited warranty. It has a dimension of 21.2″ x 12.6″ x 16.1’’ and weighs 30.1 pounds.
- It has a Jam resistant Quick-Set™ drop-in top bobbin and an advanced easy needle threading system.
- The machine’s extra wide table ensures you have enough work space, especially for big tasks like making curtains or upholstery.
- The LCD screen display clearly shows you the selected options to avoid any confusion. It is conveniently located at the front of the machine.
- Selecting stitches are easy. Just use the button conveniently placed below the LCD screen and above the chart of the stitches.
- Laura Ashley Limited Edition PC660LA has a start and stop button and a speed control function which gives the user greater control over the machine.
- The automatic needle threading system is handy and easy to use. With just a touch of a lever, which is situated on the side of the machine, the thread is immediately pushed right through the needle’s eye. You no longer have to struggle bending into the needle just to push a thread through.
The biggest downside of the Laura Ashley PC660LA Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine is that its LED light is slightly dim. However, this does not affect the performance of the machine in any way.
Put every aspect of this machine into consideration, it is clear that the Laura Ashley CX155LA is a worthy purchase. It is the best machine for anyone looking forward to design and create their own clothing line. The machine is also great for simple home uses and décor projects. It carries with it all the amazing functions a home seamstress would need.
3.) Brother SE400
The Brother SE400 combination computerized sewing and 4×4 embroidery machine are designed to incorporate technology in sewing and embroidery. The fact that this machine is computerized allows users to use a variety of customized decorations in a convenient manner. This is facilitated by the many outstanding features that this machine is endowed with.
Being computerized also provides the users with more options when it comes to using this machine. This machine is meant for upcoming designers who like to sew, do embroidery, do crafting and do home décor projects in a convenient and simple manner.
Amongst the outstanding features of this machine includes that it has 67 build in stitches and 70 build in designs for the users to choose from. It also has five lettering fonts which allow users to choose the fonts of their preference. This machine also has an easy to view backlit LCD touch screen display which allows the users to clearly view the stitches, designs and fonts used in this machine.
Being connectable to a computer enables users of this machine to access and import thousands designs for embroidery which are easily accessible from the internet. This is facilitated by that this machine has a USB port and a USB cable. The machine also has an automatic one touch thread cutter which is easy and convenient to use, especially while cutting the bottom and top threads. It also has an easy Bobbin system which allows it to be used more conveniently.
The SE400 is also endowed with a handle which makes it more portable. Its dimensions are twenty point three inches by fifteen inches by fifteen point two inches and its total weight ten pounds. This means that it fits even in rooms with moderate space. For ease of use, this machine comes with a detailed manual and tutorial lesson which includes images.
It is evident that this SE400 sewing and embroidery machine is endowed with various outstanding features which make sewing and embroidery convenient. Most of these features are technologically oriented and as a result this makes this machine more efficient. The machine also provides the users with a wide variety of options to choose from. Therefore, this machine is a great purchase.
4.) SINGER 9960
Having a sewing machine is essential when you have to stitch your clothes in different styles and designs. When you search for the sewing machines online or in your local electronics store, you will come across different types. Each type has different features and benefits, so it is important to buy one that will suit your needs and budget.
Computerized sewing machines are among the best sewing machines that you will find on the market. They are particularly designed to operate more complex tasks such as embroidery, crafts and quilting. One particular type of computerized sewing machines that you will find to be interesting is the SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist. If you usually do embroidery, crafts and quilting, this is the sewing machine you should invest your money in.
This sewing machine has a lot of likable specifications. They include:
- 600 built-in stitches that include thirteen styles of fully automatic one step buttonholes as well as five different fonts that give you endless project capabilities when you are stitching.
- Automatic needle threader as well as top drop-in bobbin system that allows you easy and quick setup of the sewing machine.
- Electronic auto-pilot as well as speed control that gives complete control of sewing speed. This in turn makes difficult sewing areas easier to handle for error-free results.
- This sewing machine also has stitch editing capabilities, something which allows you to have control over the look of a stitch pattern with mirror imaging and elongation.
- There is also an automatic thread cutter that trims the lower and upper threads after you are done sewing. This makes the sewing work faster and easier.
- Other specifications include an extension table that gives you an extra-large sewing area, a hardcover that increases its durability and free accessories that expand your creative possibilities.
- This sewing machine is very easy to use. It has attachments as well as on screen instructions that will help you if you find any trouble when processing your projects.
- It uses computerized operation that makes it a dependable, durable, time-saving as well as steady sewing machine. You will be sure of committing fewer errors and getting more precise results when using it due to the computerized feature.
- It is a machine that gives you more convenience. This is made possible by the stitch button selection feature that has an array of optimum settings to choose from. It also has a bright LED lamp that allows you to use the machine without trouble in a dimly lit room.
The problem with this machine is that it does not have very handy needles. If you want to have a great time when using it, you will need to look for better and stronger needles that will not give you a hard time when you are working with thicker fabrics. Another possible downside is the many features that it has. It may not be that good if you are just starting to learn how to sew.
The SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist is a great purchase because of the fact that it is very easy to operate. Its parts are properly labeled, so you can easily understand how to use it even if it has many features. Even if you are a newbie at sewing, you will find its functions to be very simple to understand.
There was a time when sewing machines were used to mend clothes or tailor simple clothes. Not anymore. Sewing machines today are capable of helping you churn out designer clothes and see your imagination and creativity materialized on fabric.
Brother XR9500PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine with 100 Built-in Stitches and Quilting Table is the most modern and technologically advanced sewing machine. This sewing machine is completely computerized and automatic. This is a limited edition model, so it is packed with features that are surely going to amaze you and deliver wonderful results.
- 100 built-in stitches
- Stitch width = 7 mm, stitch length = 5mm
- Latest needle threading mechanism
- Drop-in top bobbin system
- Equipped with a button to control speed
- 140 stitch function
- Drop feed mechanism
- Bobbin winding mechanism
- LED stitch selection
- Single step buttonholes
- Fitted with LED screen
- Equipped with foot pedal
- Built-in sewing font for creative monogramming
- Built-in quilting system
- Comes with 7 presser foot
- Drop feed mechanism
- 3 x 12.7 x 17.6 inches dimension
- 9 pound weight
- Needle position button
The Brother XR9500PRW Limited Edition Project Runway Sewing Machine is a great choice for those who are passionate about making creative designs on clothes or tailor clothes professionally. It is as good for simple creative designs as for heavy duty stitching, including quilting, so it is suitable for all kinds of uses. This sewing machine is incredibly user friendly and easy to use. Also, professional stitching requires a lot of effort, and this sewing machine would considerably reduce the effort as most mechanisms are automatic. It is very affordable, so does not burn the pockets. It is very difficult to find so many features packed into a sewing machine that is so reasonably priced. Plus, it is very sturdy and durable, so it will last a long time and bring good returns.
Top 10 Products Bought With Sewing Machines For Quilting
Quilting is a craft with much history, dating back to ancient Egypt. Its popularity as a hobby has risen in recent years, with there now being 30 million quilters worldwide. It is easy to understand the appeal. Still, as with any new project or hobby, shopping for the necessary tools can be overwhelming when you are just setting up. Other than your sewing machine, there are other accessories you will need to get started. We have a list to help you. Here are the top 10 products which are frequently bought together with a best sewing machine for quilting.
Of all the different types of textures and weights of fabric available, certain types are favorites for quilting. Those most commonly chosen are Quilter’s Weight Cotton, Home Decor Weight Cotton, Voile, Essex Linen, and Quilter’s Linen. If you are new at quilting 100% cotton is the best choice for a fabric, as it is easy to work with. More experienced quilters may use fabrics that stretch such as polyester, but they are more complicated to work with.
Batting is the white insulation sewn between the fabrics to give the quilt its soft texture. Check the washing instructions. With most brands there should be no need to wash the batting before you use it, and it should be machine washable after it is quilted. It is important to check the size also, to ensure the batting is large enough for the quilt you will make. There should be a 4 inch excess of batting on all sides of the quilt. You will need to decide on the weight and fiber content of your batting, according to what you will use your quilt for. Some batting, for example, is warmer than other types.
Quilting thread should be high quality 100% cotton. When piecing it is best to use either a neutral color, or a thread that matches your fabric. The better quality thread produces less lint, appears smoother, and is easier on the machine. For piecing, use a 50 weight cotton thread and a 40 weight for regular machine quilting. The 40 weight is heavier than the 50 weight.
Rotary cutters are useful because they cut through fabric fast and efficiently. You can choose from different sizes of blades. The most common sizes of blade are 40mm and 60mm. Some cutters allow you to cut through six to ten fabric layers. Some have features such as a safety lock, special handles for comfortable cutting, or are built to enable left-handed use. A safety lock is good to have as you can lock it after each cut for safety purposes. Buy a blade that is right for your project. You don’t want to use a small cutter on a great many layers of fabric, or the other way around. Scissors and rotary cutters have their different uses. For example, cutting fabric into smaller pieces is sometimes easier with a rotary cutter than with scissors.
You need a cutting mat in order to use a rotary cutter, and to protect the surfaces you are working on. With the self-healing mat type the cutter marks disappear, enabling the mat to last longer. Good quality cutting mats can last for years. The mats have grid-lines in inches to assist with cutting. The self-healing mat will help the cutter to operate smoothly and safely. You’ll have a choice of colors and sizes when buying a mat. If you have space for a larger mat, then you will have more space for working with your fabric.
A quilter’s ruler is a plastic ruler that allows you to cut strips or shapes through layers of fabric. This type of ruler has grid lines which you can see on dark or light fabric. You can buy different kinds of rulers, such as rulers with a 45 degree angle, or square rulers which are good for squaring up blocks. Your first choice should be a 6 x 24 inch ruler. A ruler that is at least a quarter inch thick is best, as it supports the blade as it cuts. The rulers with non-slip grips on the underside, help to stop the ruler from slipping on the fabric.
You need scissors appropriate for cutting through plastic, paper, and fabric. A good heavy-duty pair of shears should stay sharp and cut through anything. They should be lightweight and with blades that are not too long. Use larger scissors for cutting through more layers. A smaller pair of scissors can be handy for cutting out tricky shapes.
You can buy a design wall in order to arrange your quilting blocks so you can see the design they are creating. Some design walls have grid lines to guide you when arranging the quilting blocks. This will help you plan your quilt with regard to your color choices and where the fabric should be placed. Consider the space you have available when buying your design wall. There are also tutorials online for building your own design wall.
Clips are fairly new to the world of quilting. Wonder Clips are a brand of clips made by Clover, which are used to clip layers of fabric together while you are sewing. They are handy for quilting as they are flat enough so they don’t get in the way while you sew. These clips are handy for fiddly tasks such as attaching the quilting binding. They are good to use when the use of a great many pins in layers of fabric may be cumbersome.
While you are cutting the fabric into shapes or marking where to sew, at different stages you will need marking pens or pencils. You may need them to transfer quilting designs. Often the marking can be removed with a damp cloth. You can also keep a supply of sharp pencils on hand for marking fabric. The sharper the better for accuracy in marking the fabric.
These accessories for your quilting project are just a start. You can also put other items on your list such as patterns, stencils, cutter refill blades and basting pins, and the list goes on. Good luck on your quilting project!