Desiring to learn about a quilting machine or buying one but don’t know where to start? Or maybe having business projects related to quilting but confused to choose what machines can possess all the features you need? It’s hard when no one is able to give you advice. Don’t , I’m here to support you.
With expertise in the sewing industry, I can find the right machine for you. Not only can you apply your creativity and skills, but you can also earn a decent amount of money. Fascinating?
Are there chances that you’ve come across the phrase free-motion quilting (FMQ) before? In this review, we will compare the features of the 10 best sewing machines for free motion quilting on the market. I am sure that this will help you save time and allow you to choose the right and reliable machine.
Before we go into the details of the products, it is important to highlight that a regular sewing machine is differ from a quilting model. Therefore, from the features to the functions of two machines won’t be the same. Now let’s get started!
Reviews: Top 10 Best Sewing Machines for Free Motion Quilting
First let’s clarify some basic concepts like what is quilting and what is free-motion quilting – Knowing this you can have a deeper understanding about the contents below.
For millennia, sewing techniques such as piecing, appliqué, and quilting have been employed in many parts of the world, creating an evolution of quilting styles and techniques. You may feel surprised by the history and the development of them, but let’s come back to the main point, shall we?
First used in the UK in the 13th century, the origin of the term ‘quilt’ is linked to the Latin word meaning cushion. By sewing two or more layers of fabric together to produce a thicker, padded material, results are often used as bed sheets, pillowcases, and sometimes as wall hangings.
The technique of stitching fabrics in quilting, for me, is very diverse, showing the aesthetic view and creativity of each craftsman. But at the same time, I also admit that it’s not easy to do it 100% manually. Therefore, a sewing machine for free motion quilting was invented and developed. The term “free-motion quilting” is when you can drop the feed dogs and control the stitches by moving the quilt by hand during the process of using a sewing machine.
Getting used to it? With all the things above, I’ll list my top 10 best sewing machines for free motion quilting. Read carefully and make the best decision for yourself!
1. Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
Out of 10 machines, this is my highest-rated one. Why?
Let me tell you, if you are a perfectionist who is always looking for perfectly smooth and even stitches as well as its high performance and automatic thread trimming, this machine is for you.
This modern sewing machine is a step up from the JUKI HZL-F300. The HZL-F600 is almost identical to the F300 in terms of size, weight and function, but the HZL-F600 offers a wider choice of embroidery stitch pattern and additional LED light.
This, in fact, is one of the best sewing machines for quilting and embroidery on the market. It got everything you need.
Firstly, it comes with 255 built-in stitches which meet your needs for embroidery patterns. The stitches have a large range of stitches from basic, stretch, decorative, letters to buttonhole stitches, including 16 automatic industrial-style buttonholes and 4 fonts of letter sewing.
Secondly, the industrial sewing machine free motion foot allows you to automatically thread trimming by heel motion of the foot pedal. You can also push the button.
Thirdly, with up to 900 spm of the sewing speed, a wider needle-to-arm space, and a large throat, users can accomplish larger projects including quilts without worrying about running out of time or being inconvenienced..
Lastly, we cannot forget how much more you can do with this machine. Basically everything! From quickly set the bobbin winder, change the needle and presser foot positions to adjust the thread tension. How cool is that?
I think the only downside is that it’s a bit more expensive. Even so, it is still suitable for many people’s pockets.
For that reason, if you’re looking for a multi-function, good sewing machine for free-motion quilting then this is a great choice.
|✓ Great stitch variety (255 built-in stitches
✓ Automatic thread trimming
✓ Sewing speed up to 900 spm
✓ Large throat, large range needle-to-arm space
✓ Quick-Set bobbin winder
✓ Variable needle positions
✓ Quick change presser feet
✓ Adjustable thread tension control
|– Slightly higher price
– Better used by people with more experienced
2. Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine
The Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine
Landed at the 2nd place on the list is the Brother’s PQ1500SL Quilting and Sewing Machine.
The first thing to be sure about this model is that the Brother PQ1500SL is fast and professional. Indeed! It provides an advanced automatic needle threading system and a drop-in top bobbin that resists jams which enables the machine to handle the needle threading process.
Moreover, one thing that makes me crave for this is that you can quilt up to 1,500 stitches per minute. That is undoubtedly an insane number. You won’t have to worry about projects or deadlines being late because you can’t complete them in time.
Not surprising, this Brother model also has an adjustable threading tension control. This enables you to control and alter the thread more precisely depending on the type of project that you’re completing.
Another unique product features is that a broad table, 7 sewing feet, a knee-lifter, and more, are included with the PQ1500SL – making it a long-arm sewing and quilting machine.
In particular, you can lift the presser foot with your knee, freeing both hands to handle fabric thanks to the removable knee-lifter.
Oh and I’m also quite amazed by how the machine can adjust the presser foot pressure dial to deal with materials with different thickness levels.
At the same time, besides all its amazing features, the price of this Brother is a significant advantage. If you’re fancy for a machine with an inexpensive price, this is the one – So don’t be hesitant, own one and you won’t feel regret!
|✓ 1,500 Stitches per minute (max sewing speed)
✓ Advanced needle threading system
✓ Built-in Knee-lifter leaving both hands free for fabric handling.
✓ Precision pin feeding system
✓ Adjustable thread tension control
|– Positions of feed dog
– No stitch selection, only straight stitches
– No speed slider reducer
3. SINGER | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
SINGER is not a strange brand, its machines are not only famous for their durability and variety of products but also useful. Therefore, without a doubt, the model SINGER 7258 with 100 Stitches & Programmable Needle is not an exception. Here’s why.
I think what makes this machine so special is that you can adjust the stitch length and width and the LCD screen will take care of the rest, showing the stitches in a huge, clear format. By that, it enables you to customize your own stitches. You have full creative freedom to create one-of-a-kind products. Isn’t it impressive?
Not only that, but when you buy the machine, it comes with a great number of free accessories – though the features will be a bit limited compared to other products.
To clarify, it’s almost the finest for home use because of its 100 built-in stitches, 6-segment feeding system, programmable needle up/down, extra-high presser foot lifter, and automatic presser foot pressure control.
Fashion sewing, home and decorative heirloom sewing, quilting and crafting, all can be easily done. You’ll have no trouble threading the machine and won’t be concerned about damaging the stitch when pausing it.
With all the things I’ve mentioned, I truly believe this machine is ideal for those who are having a fresh start and wanting to create novelty, unique designs.
|✓ Adjust the stitch length and width
✓ Comes with free accessories
✓ 100 built-in stitches
✓ Top drop-in bobbin system
✓ Programmable needle up/down
✓ Extra-high presser foot lifter
✓ Automatic presser foot pressure control
|– A bit limited features compared to similar products|
4. Janome 4120QDC Computerized Sewing Machine
Designed for all types of sewing, the Janome 4120QDC has 120 built-in stitches, including 7 buttonholes. The model offers consistent high quality and versatility.
Changing your bobbin can never be easier! Simply use the Top-Loading Bobbin system and follow the procedure, and the machine will bring up the bobbin thread for you, automatically. No longer have to be concerned about the project slipping away from you.
Again, have I mentioned how handy this machine is? Janome has a wide range of handy and impressive push button functions. Thread trimming button cuts both upper and lower thread at the touch. What’s even better is the Lock Stitch button – completes the stitches for you. There is also a switch to reverse sewing.
I also love how it helps users to take the guesswork out and prevent mistakes by providing a touch-screen. And it includes an extension table for additional sewing and working space.
Though the needle threader is quite ineffective and the hook is not so large, there is no need to be worried. It’s not a big of a deal. Eventually, you’ll love it just like I do.
|✓ Automatic needle threader
✓ 120 built-in sewing stitches
✓ Top-loading bobbin system
✓ Handy touch buttons: Lock-stitch, reverse,…
✓ Providing touch-screen
|– The hook is not so large
– Needle threader is quite ineffective
5. Brother CS7000X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
Don’t be surprised. The Brother CS7000X sewing machine is extremely renowned. Has been the #1 seller on Amazon for years, its reasonable average price (only $199.99) and abundance of features that are only found in higher-priced machines. This model is mostly fit for beginners.
The options are unlimited with 70 built-in stitching stitches ranging from decorative to quilting stitches to auto-size buttonholes. The CS7000X is a fantastic choice, as it comes with a variety of sewing and quilting accessories, including 10 presser feet and a quilt guide. Even with all the great accessories, it’s still lighter than all the other models and has a detachable wide table that is perfect for home use and in classes.
So in my opinion, this easy-to-use machine is a good machine to start with – If you want to try free-motion quilting for the first time but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to keep with it.
What I personally dislike about CS7000X is that it has a small throat size which may be a minus point for an expert.
|✓ Best for beginners
✓ 70 built-in sewing stitches
✓ 10 presser feet
✓ Detachable wide table
✓ Easy-to-use comes with affordable price
|– Has a small throat size
– Less unique features than other products
6. SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine
Out of the 10 models, I would highly recommend the Singer 9960 for those who want to get started with free-motion embroidery and appliqué. Without any reservation, this is definitely the best quilting sewing machine for home use with its user-friendly features.
Why am I so sure? I’ll highlight some of the machine’s easy-to-use components for you.
SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine
First is 600 stitches and 13 various buttonhole styles already built-in with the machine. Not only they provide you a wide range of stitches to pick from but also you can be creative as much as you want.
The bobbin system, I think it seems to be extremely simple to use as it allows you to thread the entire machine in a couple of minutes. As a result, you’ll be able to devote more time to stitching your materials. At the same time you can see how many bobbins are left through the cover.
Different from a domestic sewing machine, this Singer 9960 provides a way faster sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute so that projects can be done quickly and perfectly. A variety of presser feet are included for enhanced capability:
|✓ 600 built-in stitches and 13 various buttonhole styles
✓ 70 built-in sewing stitches
✓ Best for home use
✓ Drop-In Bobbin
✓ 850 stitches-per-minute and Presser Feet
✓ Thread Trimmer Button
|– Slightly slower while using than some products
– May not for all materials
7. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine
There is a machine that can quickly help you improve your work and that machine is called Juki TL-2010Q 1. Yes! This is an incredibly reliable and extra intuitive machine. Here is why.
It is a single needle, lock-stitch, and portable machine. The model enables you to trim the needle and bobbin threads precisely using a control system called foot trimming – Also known as the automatic thread button. The sewing speed can be up to 1500 spm, yet unfortunately has no buttonholes.
In fact, with all the features covered, Juki is still a bit lacking to be a potential candidate – It produces straight stitch only and no buttonholes.
So what makes it so special to land on the list?
The needles are up and down instantly, unlike some other machines, which require waiting for the next stitch. It also has a number of thread-cutting choices, including an on-machine button and a foot pedal.
On top of that, thread tension scale is also included in the product. When sewing high-weight fabrics, the machine’s microcomputer mechanism for speed control ensures precise stitching. And when you stop stitching, the machine will come to a halt with the needle down, allowing pivoting or more precise free motion work.
So as I’ve said above, the products come with outstanding functions related to needles (Needle Up/Down Control – Knee Lever Lifter – Needle Stop Position – Automatic Needle Threader). Consequently, this makes Juki’s needle the best sewing machine needle.
But it doesn’t just stop there – 9” throat space turns it into the best large throat while the SINGER 9960 model only has 6.5” throat space.
|✓ Single needle, lock-stitch, and portable
✓ Sewing speed up to 1500 spm
✓ Thread-cutting choices
✓ Needle Up/Down Control, Needle Stop Position
✓ Automatic Needle Threader
✓ Best large throat
|– Higher on cost than some other products
– Produces straight stitch only and no buttonholes
8. SINGER | Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine
When talking about the best sewing machines, it is impossible for us to ignore the SINGER Heavy-Duty 4452. Outstanding in sewing performance, SINGER 4453 compared to its previous models is even more versatile, dependable, and durable.
It is clear that the product is undefeatable on the market of heavy-duty sewing machines. Not so hard to explain!
A heavy-duty sewing machine is different from a household sewing machine as it incorporates advanced features, allowing you to work easily with heavy-duty fabrics such as upholstery fabrics, denim and leather or with multiple layers. You can invent any looks you want, release your imagination. For instance, you can create a vintage style of denim pants.
The Singer 4452 has a solid construction that minimizes table vibrations. It has 32 built-in stitches, 6 basic stitches, 7 stretch stitches, and automatic 1-step buttonholes, as well as a high speed of 1100 stitches per minute (SPM). The machine is also equipped with an automatic needle threader and a top-bobbin one. Obviously, this helps users work quickly and accurately.
However, four bonus heavy-duty optimized accessories included from walking foot, non-stick foot for leather to a 5-pack of needles (size 16) are the things that make it different from older models. Though, I did have a hard time working with thick leather or layers of fabrics.
If you need the best heavy-duty machine, this is my 1st recommendation.
|✓ Versatile, dependable, and durable
32 built-in stitches
✓ Sewing speed up to 1100 spm
✓ Work easily with heavy-duty fabrics
✓ Minimizes table vibrations
✓ Automatic needle and Top-Bobbin Threader
✓ Innovative from old machines
|– Somehow hard to work with thick leather or layers of fabrics|
9. Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP Special Edition Computerized Sewing Machine
Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP isn’t as famous as the other, but don’t be disappointed. If you are looking for the ideal machine for large quilts, bridal dresses and big projects for home furnishing then we cannot forget this machine.
You may be surprised why I included this machine on the list. Despite its high price of about 2,500 dollars, this machine is not a bad choice for a professional quilter. Trust me, you won’t believe how amazing this machine is. With its outstanding features, it has the capacity to take even the most difficult quilting tasks.
Three alphabet stitches are available, making monogram projects simple to accomplish. There are also 10 one-step buttonholes built-in and up to 1,000 stitches per minute of the sewing speed which is incredibly fast, making sewing jobs a breeze.
I also realize that the width and length can be adjusted by pushing a button, and the brand has increased the stitch width of 9mm.
One more thing to consider is the built-in AcuFeed Flex system, which enhances the performance – you can feed the fabric evenly from top to bottom.
|✓ Ideal for large quilts, bridal dresses and big projects
✓ Sewing speed up to 1000 spm
✓ Three alphabet stitches
✓ 170 built-in stitches, 10 one-step buttonholes
✓ Automatic needle Threader
✓ Has the AcuFeed Flex system
|– Highest cost on the list (around $2,500)|
10. Brother Sewing Machine, GX37
Ranked #4 in Sewing Machines on Amazon and landed last on my list, it’s effortless to say that the Brother GX37 is the cheapest product among all. With only $145.00, you can enjoy 37 different stitches and which is enough for beginners.
You can control this machine at ease. Hard to believe?
Yes, its lightweight and portable feature makes it insanely effortless to set up and thread. Once threaded, make sure the light is turned on and use the foot pedal. The more pressure you apply, the faster the machine runs.
Like other machines, it has an automatic needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin.
In short, though may not be the best for large projects, the GX37 model is still the best quilting sewing machine on a budget.
|✓ 37 different stitches
✓ Nearly effortless to set up and thread
✓ Best quilting sewing machine on a budget
✓ Automatic needle Threader
✓ Drop-in top bobbin
|– Maynot be the best for larger projects|
After comparing all the TOP 10 products of best sewing machine for free motion quilting, I hope you are able to make the greatest decision for your quilting career.
A Quilting Sewing Machine vs A Regular Sewing Machine: What Is The Differences?
Now let’s take a look at how different a quilting sewing machine is compared to a regular one. With the definition of Quilting that I’ve noted above, it’s not too hard to distinguish between two types: Quilting machine vs Sewing machine.
Firstly, It is obvious that a sewing machine for quilting has a larger working space than a regular sewing machine. In other words, if you are seeking for a comfy and spacious working area – since you’re doing large projects, regular sewing products may not be a wise choice. What’s more is that for quilting machines, the table is extended, which is beneficial to those who include borders or bindings on their design.
Secondly, the quarter-inch piecing foot like AcuFeed system of the Janome 8200 QCP allows for precise quilting, especially for quilting projects with tiny seams. When you buy a quilting machine, this normally will be included in the package. We have the free-motion foot function which simplifies free-motion quilting and darning.
Lastly, a sewing machine for quilting comes with a higher number of stitches and sewing speed than the regular one. Therefore, professionals tend to choose the highly productive one – which is the quilting machine. Also, its stability and great durability is a bonus point, making it more well-rated than the other.
What Should Be Considered While Buying The Best Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting?
The one thing I realize is many people are still hesitant even after reading the reviews. So here are some key points that you definitely need to take into consideration when deciding to purchase your own sewing machine for free-motion quilting
FEATURES. Without a doubt, this is one of the most important factors when making decisions, since each product comes with different features. I have one tip for you: DO NOT get caught up in all the bells and whistles; instead, focus on what you truly require and make an informed decision. A sensible decision is one that is appropriate for both you and your job.
PRICE & SIZE. This is also a big deal. Be careful with the price. If you’re a beginner and haven’t fully entered the industry then buying an expensive machine with features that you cannot apply to use will be a waste. Instead, choose something that really fits you!
For the size, we all know that choosing an inappropriate size can directly affect your performance and result. So let’s consider more of the space you’re working – You need to fit the machine in with the work space.
POWER. Thick fabrics shoved through a machine can cause problems with the feed dog system, built-in needle threader, and free-motion foot, putting a stop to any urgent quilting endeavors.
MATERIALS. This is most crucial for beginners. As long as you use the wrong materials, your machine will give ugly and inappropriate seams. So if you work with what kinds of fabric, choose the machine used for them. For instance, with thick or layered fabrics like denim, you should choose a heavy-duty quilting machine – like the SINGER 4452
WARRANTY. A high-quality sewing machine for free motion quilting can be costly, however, this can come with longer warranties. You should choose products with 25 years of limited warranties.
How Can We Maintain a Quilting Machine?
Everything you purchase is a kind of investment. So how to prolong the process of profit receiving? You take care of it. The same goes with your quilting machine.
First of all, dust is the greatest enemy of all kinds of machines. So simply cover it up when you’re not using it. You can also use a small brush to clean the inside motor, for example, the bobbin case.
Also, oiling and repairing your quilting machine periodically. Oiling, as always, helps inner parts run smoother and last longer. The oil can be purchased online while for repairing, you need to go to the store or call an experienced one.
I finally recommend you to change the needles regularly. It’s better to change your needle every eight hours, but it’s fine to change after each project. Because over time, needles become dull, which can lead to looped threads, skipped stitches and damage your machine.
I always want beginners to have the finest options, and while my evaluation isn’t comprehensive, I’ve come up with a variety of solutions for different purposes and prices with my TOP 10 of the best sewing machine for free motion quilting. If you’re interested in a product, use the links above to find out how much it costs in your area.