While others may decide to use a standard sewing machine for quilting, the results tend to vary. A sewing machine is preferred because it is faster, making it easy to stitch together the quilting layers. The tension of the standard machine keeps getting off more often, and the bobbin comes out unthreaded. Therefore one is recommended to choose the best sewing machine when preparing to quilt.
To ensure you have the best sewing machine, put the following factors into consideration; large working space, accessible threading features, adjustable stitch characteristics, and the power to sew for longer while still maintaining the same stitch precision.
Let’s get cracking on which is most suitable for the tasks at hand.
Types of Sewing Machines Suitable for Quilting
Mechanical sewing machine
A mechanical sewing machine is a manual or domestic sewing machine because the user manually does the settings on this machine. A manual machine features are few, thus preferable for beginners since the concept is simple to understand. Similarly, it is cheaper than both electronic and computerized sewing machines.
Although beginners can operate these machines without experience, they cannot make decorative stitches. Additionally, they, at times, become irritating since one keeps on threading the needle repeatedly. The modern version of a manual machine has some advanced features like an LED screen that enables one to choose the stitch pattern.
Electronic sewing machines
An electronic sewing machine consists of more advanced features than the manual sewing machine. Likewise, the electronic sewing machine involves combining elements from both the computerized and manual sewing machines.
An electronic machine is used by most expertise and professions since it forms quality stitches. The purchasing and maintenance cost of an electronic sewing machine is very high because it requires a technician who will repair it and consumes power; if one does not do regular sewing, a manual machine suits you best.
Computerized sewing machines
They are machines mainly developed for large scale and industrial production. The machine uses a very high technology that makes these machines have internet connection or computer cards. Hence new designs can be downloaded from the internet and put into practice. These machines also contain most automatic features where the stitch strength, thread tension, and sewing speed is controlled automatically.
A computerized sewing machine requires an instructor who will guide you on how to operate it. In most cases, the company that has developed it gives a manual that gives you the instructions.
Review of the Best Sewing Machines for Quilting
1. Best For Sewing and Quilting – Brother XR 3774 Sewing Machine with Built-in Stitches
Brother XR3774 is a quilting machine that is very easy to use, especially for beginners. It is consists of features that enables one to design various projects, including a quilt. The modern model is at an affordable price, and it looks great from a general view. Brother XR3774 can be used to carry out a range of projects; it can operate at the speed of making 800 stitches every minute.
It contains a jam-resistant top drop-in bobbin and in-built needle threader features which are similar to those of the best sewing machines, thus making it more convenient. A comprehensive table is available that makes Brother XR3774 good for bulk projects like quilts. Similarly, the free arm enables one to sew cuffs, pants, and sleeves without much struggle.
An instrumental DVD in Bother XR enables beginners and advanced users to start their machines quickly. Additionally, the stitch functions are numbered, making the selection of stitches quick and easy.
2. Best Computerized – Brother XR Sewing Machine For Quilting with Wide Table
It is a computerized sewing machine that contains 110 in-built stitches, including decorative and heirloom stitches. It has a comprehensive table offering enough working space, thus convenient for large projects, including a quilt. Similar to Brother XR3774, Brother XR, too, has a free arm that enables one make cuffs, pant legs, and sleeves.
The machine contains an automatic needle threader that pushes the thread through the needle’s eye by only touching the lever. It has a large LCD that displays all the settings, including the stitches selected. Brother XR comes accompanied by accessories, including a set of needles, bobbins, twin needle, spool caps, an instrumental DVD, and many others that an individual requires to get started with the machine.
3. Best Portable – Singer Computerized Sewing Machine For Beginners Quilting
It is a sewing machine that has proven to be the best for both beginners and advanced quilters. Beginners prefer these machines since they contain a drop-in bobbin system and an automatic needle threader, making it very easy to use. It features 13 styles of automatic one-step buttonholes and 600 stitches. It also favors those interested in monogramming their creations since it has five different types of fonts. The machine grants one control of the width, length, stitch strength, and mirror, enabling you to customize the stitches to rhyme with your project.
Features a large-sized table, massive frame, and 18 distinct pressure feet relevant for quilters. The sewing speed is adjustable, done by moving a lever. Singer quantum sewing machine comes accompanied by an automatic reverse, 25 needle positions, horizontal threading together with a warrant of even 25 years. Therefore, for one interested in purchasing the best sewing machine that can carry out almost all types of projects without breaking their banks, then singer quantum stylish suits this.
4. Best Fully Featured For Professional – Janome Computerized Sewing Machine with Hard Cover
Most people enjoy using this sewing machine, especially when quilting since it comes along with a quilt kit and an extension table. Like other Janome machines, the computerized Janome sewing machine is of high quality. It’s featured with a start/stop button; thus, there is no need to use a foot pedal to operate; therefore, one does not get easily fatigued.
It consists of 100 in-built stitches, a metal frame on the inside, and one has control over the needle’s speed which is done by a slider. Besides the machine coming with many advanced features, many people complain of it not being the best for quilting. Similarly, when one is winding the bobbin, its speed is deficient. It has an LCD that enables one to view various stitches available and select the one that suits them. The warranty of the machine is limited to 25 years.
5. Best For Beginners – Brother CS7000i Sewing Machine For Quilting
It is one of the best and most popularly used sewing machines. It is the best machine that suits beginners because it is cheap and easy to understand the concept and principles under which it operates. It is a machine worth buying since it is more affordable and contains features and accessories that are also present in other expensive devices.
A walking foot and a quilt guide enable one to space the stitches when quilting, thus makes the work easier when creating thick quilts. Brother CS is very reliable, versatile and one enjoys using it. It is easy to thread using this machine since it has an automatic threader. The selection of the stitches to use is quicker and faster since the LCD screen helps.
Those attending classes can easily pack and carry the machine with them since it is light and portable. It is the best sewing machine that can fit very well into your budget.
How to Pick the Best Sewing Machine For Quilting?
Most people feel intimidated when choosing the best sewing machine for quilting since they cannot go about it. For example, one recommended that you consider factors such as speed control, stitches feed dogs, and walking feet when one wants a Brother machine. The following are other factors that one should consider too.
• Sewing habits
From a general perspective, one should consider their sewing habits. For instance, those who want a sewing machine to be attending classes with it or be moving it from one place to another will go for a lighter weight sewing machine. Due to the lightweight, it can be packed and thus easy to carry around. On the other hand, for those interested in sewing while seated in a particular place, a heavy machine suits them since no need to keep relocating.
When considering space, one should look at the working area and the throat width of the machine. The throat is vital because it enables one to determine whether it is too tight, which may stitch a queen size quilt since the available space is smaller. While checking on the working area, its necessary to check if the machine has an option that will allow you to add an extension to help increase the functional space. Sufficient working space helps in holding the weight of the quilt while sewing.
• Threading features
The sewing machine should have accessible threading features that allow one to change from one stitch to another according to the pattern and stitch they desire. It should contain fine quilting units that will enable one change to mid-stream stitches and apply customs characteristics. At the end of it all, it makes working more comfortable and improves the quilt’s quality.
• The possibility of adjusting the stitches
Consider whether you can easily adjust stitches in terms of width, length, and the room or distance between each stitch. for one to quilt correctly, the units should have a width of up to 7mm, which is useful in coming up with many designs. It also allows one to be more accurate with each stitch.
A powerful quilting machine should sew for long hours, ensuring that the same stitching precision is maintained. It makes the stitch come out very beautiful and similar to a cross quilt.
Why Sewing Machine is Used for Quilting?
Below are some of the reasons why a sewing machine is used for quilting.
• Fits on a limited space
Most people have limited spaces in their sewing rooms, making a sewing machine suitable compared to a long arm quilting machine requiring enormous room. Hence several sewing machines can be installed in the sewing room, ensuring no delays when sewing.
• Easy on your body
Working with a sewing machine is more comfortable since it is not too high, so there is no need to do it while standing. Hence it is users friendly. On the other hand, a long-arm quilting machine requires one to stand while working, making one tire so quickly and very uncomfortable since it requires one to keep pushing and pulling the quilting machine head. Doing with a long arm quilting machine a day after the other may cause joint issues. Many therefore end up using a regular home sewing machine for quilting due to the above reason.
Most people prefer using a regular sewing machine since it’s cost-effective and affordable compared to other quilting machines. Specifically, the Brother sewing machine is not expensive and can multitask; thus, it can do almost everything making it more suitable for beginners.
Benefits of a Quilting Sewing Machine
• Saves your money
The sewing machine is used for quilting, which uses sheets of clothes joined together, resulting in excellent products. Its affordability helps you save money by reducing the cost used in purchasing the sheets, and the machine is too is at a lower and affordable price.
• Help in fixing torn clothes
The sewing machine used for quilting enables one to repair torn clothes, securing them a more extended period of being worn rather than being thrown away. It is very economical. Additionally, using this machine enables one to adjust the outgrown outfit’s size and other unused clothes to fit you perfectly.
• Improves creativity
The machine allows one to join pieces of fabric together to make an excellent product. It enables one to utilize their skills properly, allowing them to design something unique that anyone else has not developed.
• Boosts your mental stamina
Working with a sewing machine boosts your mental stamina, resulting in increased concentration levels and your health energized. It also helps relieve stress by using the device, and it gives you a break from your everyday life issues. After the task is done and the desired results are achieved, one acquires a sense of accomplishment, which further reduces stress.
Who Makes the Best Sewing Machine For Quilting?
Below are sewing machine brands that have developed sewing machines that have outstanding and unique features.
1. Singer sewing machines
An American Isaac Singer invented the Singer sewing company. Over the years, the company has developed with significant innovations being implemented. Up today, it is the leading firm that manufactures the best sewing machines in the world. Examples of models are Singer S18, Singer1304, and 1304 start and Singer Quantum 9960.
2. Janome sewing machines
Janome sewing machine, was first invented by Janome. He was the first to innovate a computerized sewing machine for home use. He was the first made the long-arm quilting machines and the embroidery style available in the market.
Janome sewing machines are the best and very friendly to the user. The models sold throughout the world include Janome 2212, Janome memory craft, Janome JW7630, and many others.
3. Brother sewing machines
From the beginning, Brother Industries did not make sewing machines, but started by repairing sewing machines. Today, they are popular since they make various sewing machines, both simple and computerized ones. Brother models include Brother JK400, Brother PE770, and many others.
4. Bernina sewing machines
It is a sewing machine brand found in Switzerland. Sewing machines from this brand are expensive compared to other brands because its production standards are of high quality. The brand also makes electronic sewing machine but are popular in making computerized sewing machines.
5. Juki sewing machines
Juki cooperation is mostly known for making sewing machines in Japanese. It makes both mechanical, computerized, and electronic sewing machines. But they mainly make high-quality sewing machines for industrial use.
6. Pfaff sewing machines
Pfaff sewing machines are of high quality and are known worldwide. It’s a premium brand that was first developed in Germany. Pfaff sewing machines are made with some connectivity that grants your machine status and machine updates and time alerts.
Is It Worth Buying a Portable Sewing Machine for Quilting?
Various reasons make one feel the need to purchase a portable sewing machine for quilting. They include;
• Amount of money on your budget
It is the main thing that makes one go for a portable sewing machine since it is cost-effective. It is affordable and still contains some features as for the other devices used in quilting.
• Your level of skills
For most beginners who are not exposed to various concepts, a portable machine will be the best. This machine’s simplicity enables users to learn the concepts and principles under which it operates quickly.
People argue that portable sewing machine fits only professionals who need to keep moving from place to place. However, this is not the case since if one is taking sewing classes, it is good to purchase it since you can easily pack and carry it to study for practical sessions.
When working in rooms with limited space or working from home, this machine is worth it because it can be packed and remain in the cabinet if not in use. When you require using it, you only unpack it, thus helps in utilizing the limited space.
Sewing Machine vs. Quilting Machine
The length of the machine determines the workspace available. A quilting machine is longer; hence its throat is more comprehensive, creating enough working space for quilting. On the other hand, a sewing machine is shorter; thus, its working area is small when working with bulky projects.
• Sewing speed and stability
A quilting machine sews at more incredible speed and consists of stability features like a generous working space and a large flatbed. Sewing machines, on the other hand, lack some stabilizing features, and its speed of operation cannot be compared to that of a quilting machine.
Do You Need a Walking Foot to Quilt?
A walking foot is necessary for one to quilt since it adds a set of feed dogs on top of what is being quilted. These feed dogs help in pulling and grabbing the quilt via the machine.It also plays a role in converting a domestic machine into a quilting machine. The presser foot tends to push the quilt layers toward you in the absence of a walking foot.
What is a Quilt Stitch on a Sewing Machine?
A quilting stitch is a stitch that is used to hold the layers of the quilt together. For simple quilt stitches, they can either be hand sewn or stitched by using a machine. Back stitches, running stitches, and chain stitches are commonly used in hand sewing. When stitching utilizing a device, a straight stitch is used. Other popular stitches are used when quilting like a template, horizontal, shadow, square or diamond, and many others.
Difference Between Quilting and Knotting
Quilting is the process of joining a minimum of three layers of the quilt together using either a long arm quilting system or a needle and thread. Quilting uses a technique where the layers are sewn together with multiple rows of stitches. Knotting, on the other hand, involves sewing all the three layers of the quilt together, and in the end, a knot is made to secure it, and fewer stitches are used, not as those used when quilting.
Can a Regular Sewing Machine Be Used to Quilt?
A regular sewing machine can be used to quilt as long as the tools needed are available, and the user is ready to learn how to quilt using it. Two main ways can are used to quilt using a regular machine: straight line quilting, which uses a walking foot, or any other design that you wish to quilt using free motion quilting foot.
How to Set Up Your Sewing Machine for Quilting?
• Oiling the machine
It is one of the main steps that are out looked by people yet very important. Ensure oiling of the moving parts three times per week. Ensure you oil the machine using the oil that the manufacture recommends you to use.
• Working space
Ensure that your working space is massive, especially when quilting, to make your work easier. The workspace should be clear and large enough to support your quilt.
• Lower the stitching speed
When quilting, it is crucial to lowering the stitching speed to control the fabric better when quilting. Otherwise, quilting at high speed will always lead to one making a lot of mistakes.
• Foot selection
The right foot required for quilting is recommended to make the quilting process much more manageable. One can either have a darning, free motion, or a hopping foot. Since installing the foot may be difficult, it is one’s duty to read the instruction that guides you to go about the installation process.
• Lowering of the feed dogs
A lever or button is used to lower the feed dogs depending on what is present on your machine.
• Decreasing the stitch length
The stitch’s length should be set at zero, thus making the feed dogs to stop moving when they are lowered. It ensures that the size of the stitch corresponds with the speed of the needle.
• Turning off the thread cutter
When quilting, it is recommended that the thread cutter should be disabled since one needs to have enough tail to clip the thread very closely to quilt effectively.
• Stopping the down needle
Doing so enables one to reposition and turn quilting blocks without losing control.
• Stitch plate selection
The best stitch plate is the straight one that should go hand in hand with a linear stitch pressure foot.
• Check the pressure of the walking foot.
It should be done as per the instructions on the manual of the sewing machine.
• Fix stitch disabling
When one is quilting, the fix stitches should be disabled to ensure your quilt has no knots.
How to Take Care of the Sewing Quilting Machine?
Like other machines, a sewing machine is also an investment. Therefore irrespective of you using it daily, it is essential to maintain it. Regular performance of routine maintenance tasks and cleaning your machine is vital since it helps your device maintain functionality for a long time.
In all machinery, dust is an enemy that sticks on parts reducing the functionality of some features. Similarly, a sewing machine should be stored under a dust cover to protect it from dust. Additionally, one is also encouraged to do regular dusting of the bobbin case using a cosmetic brush.
• Regular changing of needles
When needles are used for a long time, they become blunt, leading to looped threads. These needles also form skipped stitches and may, at times, cause damage to the machine.
A sewing machine consists of moving parts like any other machine. Oiling it makes the internal factors run smoothly without stopping. It does this by reducing friction, which may cause the parts to wear out or become hard when operating making one use a lot of energy when running it.
• Annual servicing
It involves taking the machine to a professional for serving. Servicing includes adjusting the timer and tension. The experienced person will also help clean parts of the device that cannot be cleaned without opening it, enabling it to last longer.
In a nutshell, from the above articles, one can use a sewing machine for quilting and still form a fantastic product. Therefore, it is upon the individual to consider specific factors like the workspace when choosing a quilting machine. Doing so reduces the time spent when quilting, and it is easy and exciting when performing the task since the sewing machine you have selected fits all your desires.