Best Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting

For those who are new to this, you are probably thinking what a sewing machine throat or in other words harp is. It is the area behind the needle that is enclosed by the machine. If you are surprisingly still confused, it is the open part of the sewing machine that allows the right-hand side of the fabric to pass through it

If you do not know by now, the arm plays a vital role to determine the throat space and determines the sewing of large patterns. The arm is the distance from the needle to the top of the machine going vertically. The reason behind its importance is that the longer the arm of the machine, the larger the patterns you can quilt.

Why Does a Quilter Need a Large Throat/Harp Space?

This is one question that any curious mind would ask and the answer is simple. It provides enough room for the material to be easily handled before it is being repositioned. Another function of a large throat is the ability to use larger patterns and thicker batting. Using a sewing machine without a quilting frame will require consistent folding or rolling during the process.

How to Choose?

Throat/harp space

The throat space is one of the first areas you need to look into when you want to purchase a quilting sewing machine for yourself. The throat space determines the length of the sewing machine. And as the saying goes and I quote “the bigger the better”. This would enable the user to quilt larger projects with ease. The size chart for the throat is measured by how long the arm is.

● Short-arm – 12” or less
● Mid arm – 12” to 17”
● Long-arm – 18” and greater

Number of included quilting feet

This is highly essential and plays one of the major roles that differentiates a quilting machine from your regular sewing machine. There are three major kinds of quilting feet that can get you through any quilting situation. They are the walking foot, quarter-inch foot, and the hopping foot. You can also get to use your sewing machine feet for some operations on your project if you so desire. The trick here is to know that the greater the number of quilting feet included, the more versatile your quilting experience will go.

Maximum stitch speed

The maximum stitch speed for an average sewing machine for quilting is put between 900 – 1600 stitches per minute. But that is not what you should be worried about. In the craft of quilting, it is required of the quilter to provide precision speed control during the process. In other words, you need to use a speed that you can control. If you are a novice at this or do not have fast reflexes, I do not think you should turn up that dial to its peak.

Size of the extension table

The extension table should be large enough for a quilting project. This is strictly because quilters require a flat table area to aid in sewing borders and binding. It is designed to fit tightly to the quilting machine.

Free motion

Two features enable a quilting machine to perform free motion activities while quilting. They are the Darning foot which is also known as the free motion foot and the size of the workspace. The darning foot is the best foot to use for free-motion quilting. It ensures that there are minimal skipped stitches if any, ensures proper stitch formation, and protects your fingers as you work freely. The work of the extension table is to provide a flat surface to ease the free flow of fabric across it. This makes quilting easier than normal.

Knee lifter

This does nothing bit extra than providing ease of operation of the quilting machine to the user. It does the same function as the foot pedal. That is, to control the sewing machine power but this time, with your knees. And almost all kinds of sewing machines use this but is not known by many. To find out if the sewing machine you want to get has the capacity for a knee lifter, look at the side of the base facing you, there should be a hole in the frame.

Best 3 Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting Reviews

Best Overall: Juki HZL-F600 with Durable Quilting Foot and Extension Table

This sewing machine is notably developed for all sewing and quilting projects. It has amazing features that make the sewing experience a lovely one. The Juki HZL-F600 is easy to understand although it looks like a complicated machine. All you need to do is read the user guide.


What you would like.

Multipurpose use

Superbly amazing, the Juki HZL-F600 features an outstanding number of built-in stitches. At a record of 225 stitches including embroidery stitches, this sewing machine can work on basically any kind of design and project you feel like throwing at it. Be it projects like household sewings such as drapes and curtains, hemming, quilting, and mending. This sewing machine will get you through.


Packed with an extra LED light, your workstation would be illuminated enough to provide a smooth sewing experience in low light.

Free Motion Sewing

Taking care of the thread tension for you, this computerized sewing machine allows for free-motion sewing. Therefore, you can work with a variety of lightweight and heavy materials with this machine.

Bobbin motor

Well designed and developed, the Juki HZL-F600 has an independent motor with the sole purpose of winding the bobbin.
What is needed to be upgraded?

The Bobbin winder

Noted by a select few, the bobbin winder on this sewing machine although using its own motor is slow and winds unevenly. Then when used in the machine it does not feed properly and in turn, does not stitch properly.

What the customers say about them

Most customers think it’s easy to use for beginners and professionals: “This sewing machine is easy to use as a novice in the sewing world. It has an excellent user instructional manual that makes it easy to understand the machine and navigate through it. Every function of the Juki HZL-F600 is easy to use without jams or other related problems you can find on most quilting machines”.

A lot of customers are happy about the quality and amazing features: “The Juki HZL-F600 is worth every cash you spend on it. It’s durable and sturdy, meanwhile providing amazing features that not only a quilter can use, but a novice sewist also can.“

Budget Pick: Lightning Fast Brother PQ1500SL

With a starting price of $650, this quilting machine from the stables of Brother stands as one of the cheapest of all quilting machines of its time. Developed with a lot of features including the amazing speed of 1500 SPM, the PQ1500SL will make your project run faster and smoother.


What you would like.

Heavy Duty

The Lightning-Fast Brother PQ1500SL is not just your average quilting machine that frustrates whenever it can’t sew through some thick fabrics. This quilting machine is capable of sewing even the thickest of layers with accurate stitches.


Considering the speed of the motors, the Brother PQ1500SL quilting machine is quiet enough to meet the standards. Now everyone in the room does not need to know you are sewing at each given time.

Knee Lifter

One of the most amazing features of both quilting and sewing machines is this. And the PQ1500SL happens to have this. The knee lifter raises the presser foot instead of your hands. With your hands-free, it would be easier to control the fabric to any position you like.

Needle adjustment

With the push of a button, you can easily adjust the needle position on this quilting machine.

What is needed to be upgraded?

Auto Threading

Noted by several customers, the auto thread has a poor construction unlike the other models of Brother quilting machines. It is regarded as hard to understand and use. Even when you finally understand how to use it, it tends to work its dark magic and shred the thread in the process. In most cases, some would prefer threading the needle by hand. This is very frustrating for many users and demands a look.

The bobbin runs out without notice

This is a huge problem that requires an upgrade. There is no indication showing that you are about to run out of thread in the bobbin. This tends to frustrate some users who all of a sudden run out of thread in the bobbin and would have to start a reasonable length of the project all over again. It would be a plus on this quilting machine if the next version to come out has a bobbin thread indicator to warn quilters on time.

Thread cutter issues

The thread cutter on the PQ1500SL tends to cut the thread too short sometimes that it causes you to rethread.


Almost a disappointment, the Lightning Fast Brother PQ1500SL is strictly a straight stitch machine. In other words, there are no decorative or buttonhole stitches made available on this model which is bad for versatile quilters.


No doubt, the lighting on this model of Brother quilting machine is good but is not considered as great. Any user with this problem can fix it with an auxiliary light. But truly, this needs to be fixed.

What the customers say about them

Most customers are happy about the pricing and quality of the machine: “As amazing as it sounds, this is by far one of the cheapest quilting machines I have ever seen. It has a great speed and remains sturdy and quiet. It has a large throat space that makes quilting so easy without having wrinkles on the quilts.”

There are some of those customers who think an upgrade should be done: “The PQ1500SL needs a few upgrades. I find some problems in these areas and I believe they need to be fixed. The thread cutter cuts the thread short sometimes, the needle threader although automatic is difficult to use and there are no decorative stitches on this machine. The joy about quilting is in the decoration and if there are no decorative stitches then what am I supposed to be doing with it? ”

Feature-Packed: Janome Memory Craft 6650 with Largest Throat Space

Undoubtedly one of the best quilting machines ever to be made, the Memory Craft 6650 is the best for both home quilters and industrial quilters. It has a starting price of $1600 on Amazon and is worth every penny spent. This quilting machine is packed with a lot of features enough to produce crafts of amazing designs.


What you would like.

Can be used for multipurpose sewing

With an overload of 172 stitches, this quilting machine is capable of working on any kind of pattern you so desire to work on.

Low Light sewing

Packed with 6 LED lights, your workspace is entirely illuminated. This helps when you are working with low light or in the nighttime.

Needle Threader and Thread cutter

You do not need to worry about straining your eyes anymore, the Janome Memory Craft 6650 is equipped with an automatic needle threader. This threads the needle for you and utilizes the thread cutter so you do not have to consistently pick up the scissors.

Bobbin system

As exciting it is for young quilters and professional ones, the bobbin system on this piece of machinery is the top-loading bobbin. It is made by Janome to be jam-proof and easy to set, unlike the dreaded front-loading bobbins.

What is needed to be upgraded?

The Threader

Several customers complained about the threader going bad after a few weeks of use which is not supposed to happen. Although the complaints came from individuals that got theirs online, It would be best if Janome looked into that aspect, correct it and put smiles on their happy customers’ faces.

What the customers say about them

Most customers think it’s easy to use for beginners and professionals: “The instructional manual and online video tutorials are easy to understand and the controls easy to use. Even a beginner can try hands on it and succeed on a few trials”.

A lot of happy customers praise it for its quality and amazing features: “the Janome MC6650 is the best quilting machine ever. It features a lot of features that make the quilting experience for an expert so smooth and easy. It also has a rolling cart to enable easy transportation to classes and a carrying case to hold other necessary accessories “

Top Quilting Machine Brands


Counting down in years of service, this Japanese brand is regarded as an old company in the game. Over 50 years in the business, they have created a variety of sewing machines for sewing, quilting, serging, and embroidery.


The Japanese company is known around the world for their computerized, mechanical and electronic machines for both home and industrial use. There is one thing that fascinates people who have used Juki products and love them is their superior feeding system.


Sold all over the world at a rapid rate, the Janome company presents itself as one of the leading sewing machine manufacturers in the world. The company is known to be the one that sets the pace for others to follow. They were the first to produce a home use computerized sewing machine, a long arm quilting machine also for home use. And professional-style embroidery to the non-industrials.


Owned by Singer today, the Husqvarna was a Swedish brand popular in most of Europe for its design and craftsmanship.

What’s the Difference Between a Sewing Machine and a Quilting Machine?

A sewing machine and quilting machines are almost identical in looks. They are both sewing machines but with different capabilities. The quilting machine is the same as a sewing machine but is reinforced to work on heavy projects most especially. Here are some basic features that distinguish these two machines.

● Throat

This is the first obvious feature that differentiates these machines. Quilting machines feature a longer throat than the sewing machine to provide the appropriate workspace for comfortable quilting.

● Foot options

For quilting, you hardly use the regular sewing machine foot options during your project. Quilting requires a special kind of foot to provide you with the desired results. They include

● Quarter-inch Foot
● Darning foot (also known as the Free Motion Foot)
● Walking foot (also known as Even Feed Foot)

● Number of available stitches

Built with decorative intent, the stitches on the quilting machine were made to make your craft shine in its beauty. Sewing machines do not offer as many stitches as the quilting machines with some ranging over 200 in number. The sewing machine features at most 80 stitches slike found on the Husqvarna Viking Jade 20.

● Speed and Stability

Unlike the regular sewing machine which offers great speeds, they are not just great enough compared to that of the quilting machine. The quilting machines sew at a great speed with some models topping speeds of 1600 SPM (Stitch Per Minute). Due to their speed, they were built to withstand its effects and be highly stable. Some features on the quilting machine that makes this possible are the extra-wide flatbed and the roomy workspace.


● What accessories does a quilter need?

You do not need to throw away all your sewing accessories just cause you want to start a quilting project. You would still need them. All you need to do is acquire extra accessories to fit the profile of the project you are working on. Here is a list of extra accessories you would need.

1. Lamp with a magnifying glass
2. Extension arms
3. Electric Cutters
4. Spool stands
5. Special quilting feet
6. Sewing clips

● Do I need a special thread for quilting?

Yes, you do need a special kind of thread aside from the regular thread that you can find at any store. The type of thread used to quilt is the Machine Quilting Thread. when the stitches are sewn they hold the quilt layers securely. In doing so, they make indents in the project which also provides a decorative finish to the project. Just like regular threads, they are made from natural fibers and synthetics.