Quilting by hand is a true passion project. However, a sewing machine can really speed things up. When searching for the best sewing machine for quilters, there are a few extra features to look for compared to a standard sewing machine.
You’ll want an extended table and more throat space, making it easier to work with the thick material. Some machines even come with automatic thread cutters, digital displays, or the ability to embroider.
Comparing these features takes time. Luckily, we’ve searched and reviewed the top options for you. Here’s our Sewing Life round-up of the best sewing machines for quilters.
1. Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q
The Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q is the best overall value for a quilting machine. It is reasonably priced and includes many of the features that you need for quilting, including:
- LCD screen
- Attachable extension table
- Multiple feet
- 215 built-in stitches
- Automatic bobbin winding
- 25-year warranty
It’s a computerized sewing machine with over two hundred stitches. It also has a seven segment feeding system.
Other features include automatic stitch length and width, electronic twin needle control and automatic bobbin winding, all of which help simplify your quilting project.
The 215 built-in stitches include 17 quilting stitches and 176 decorative stitches. Using the LCD screen and stitch selection dial, you can easily switch between different stitches. You can also easily change the stitch width and length from the same controls.
With this quilting sewing machine, you also get a knee lifter, which allows you to raise and lower the presser foot without using your hands. You may find this useful when quilting, as it keeps your hands free.
The extension table is one of the greatest features. With the Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q, the extension table is removable. When added, it creates 25 inches of sewing space.
The multiple feet are also useful. You get an all-purpose foot, satin stitch foot, button sewing foot, blind hem foot, freehand embroidery foot, walking foot, quarter-inch foot, and an open toe foot. You also get a quilting guide.
Is there anything that we didn’t like about this machine? Not really. It’s a great quilting machine that also includes some embroidery options. You can also remove the table, which is great.
Some users have had issues with the computerized controls. We admit that it may take some practice to familiarize yourself with the controls. However, you’ll eventually master the machine and have no problem changing the settings.
It’s one of the most well-rounded options for quilters, thanks to the variety of feet, stitches, and the long table.
2. Brother XR3774 Full-Featured Quilting Machine
The Brother XR3774 is the closest comparable model to the Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q. It also includes a 25-year warranty and multiple sewing feet. However, it’s the less expensive option.
- 37 built-in stitches
- 800 stitches per minute
- LED lighting
- Wide table for quilting
- Simple controls
The Brother XR3774 is also equipped with the usual accessories, including tweezers, needles, and thread. You also get an instructional DVD to help you learn how to use the machine.
Pros and Cons of the Brother XR3774 Quilting Machine
The main reason to consider getting the Brother XR3774 is the cost. It’s one of the less expensive options and it still works great for quilting. You get a large work table that you can remove when you need to perform regular stitching.
While it lacks the computerized controls and LCD screen, it has a simple interface that most people can start using within seconds. If you’ve used any sewing machine, you should have no problem operating the Brother XR3774.
It also includes several features to make it even easier to use. You get a built-in needle threader, a bright LED work area, and a jam-resistant drop-in bobbin.
We couldn’t find any major disadvantages to this sewing machine other than the lack of computerized features, such as extra stitches or embroidery options. However, this is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
If you don’t need those computer features, they become a nuisance and increase the difficulty of operating the machine.
You can also save money by choosing this reliable machine that may even replace your standard sewing machine. You can simply add the extension table when quilting and select the right stitch.
3. Brother SE600 Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
The Brother SE600 provides a variety of functions, making it effective for sewing, quilting, or embroidery. It’s about twice the price compared to the Brother XR3774 and a little more expensive than the Singer Modern Quilter.
- Large color touchscreen
- 4 x 4-inch embroidery field
- Custom embroidery imports
- 103 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Bright LED lighting
- Seven different sewing feet
The built-in stitches and embroidery features include six different embroidery lettering fonts. If you want to personalize a quilt, you can allow the machine to handle the embroidery.
Pros and Cons of the Brother SE600 Sewing Machine
The Brother SE600 is a versatile sewing machine that can be used for all types of sewing projects. You can use it for standard sewing, along with quilting and embroidery.
Computerized embroidery machines such as this tend to cost quite a bit. You’re getting a 4 x 4-inch embroidery field at a reasonable price. The embroidery function is also easy to operate, thanks to the large 3.7-inch touchscreen display.
You can select from a variety of built-in embroidery designs or import additional ones. You can download them from the internet or design your own. Using software, you can convert almost any image into an embroidery design.
The one feature that is missing from this machine is the extension table. However, it does have an expanded throat area that provides more room for working with quilts and other bulky projects.
Overall, this machine has a lot of extra features that not every quilter is going to need. For example, if you don’t need the embroidery feature, you should consider one of the other options. However, it is a great option to have at your disposal.
4. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine
The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine includes many of the features found on the Singer Modern Quilter. They both have the removable extension table and LCD display.
- Built-in needle threader
- 13 built-in buttonhole styles
- Built-in stitches include lettering
- Heavy duty metal frame
- Multiple feet
- Automatic tension
The LCD screen is backlit, allowing you to see it in dimly lit rooms. It also makes it easy to select from the hundreds of available stitches, which also include lettering. You can use these preset stitches for basic letter embroidering.
Pros and Cons of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
With the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, you simply get more of everything. You get 18 different presser feet, including a zipper foot, embroidery foot, and walking foot.
The hundreds of stitches may also be useful. You should never run out of options and you can easily select the stitch that you want.
The Quantum Stylist also features a heavy duty, metal frame. This does increase the weight slightly. While many of these machines weigh 10 to 15 pounds, the Quantum Stylist weighs about 20 pounds. However, it’s built to last and is backed by a 25-year warranty.
The primary disadvantage of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is the cost. It’s one of the more expensive sewing machines for quilters. Depending on the sale prices, you may pay twice the cost for this machine compared to most of the other choices.
Most of that cost comes from the extra stitches and the metal frame. If these features are not important to you, you may want to save your money and choose a different machine.
Also, see our full review of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960.
5. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
The Brother CS6000i is the least expensive sewing and quilting machine that we could find that still gets the job done. If cost is a factor, this your best option.
- Wide extension table
- Built-in free arm
- Adjustable sewing speed
- Automatic needle threader
- LCD stitch selector
- Bright LED lighting
You also get a hard protective case and eight different sewing feet. The available feet include a walking foot, monogramming foot, and a spring-action quilting foot.
Pros and Cons of the Brother CS6000i Quilting Machine
Why should you consider choosing this sewing machine for quilting? It’s got the oversized table that you should find useful for feeding your quilt through the machine.
The table is also removable, allowing you to switch to a standard sewing setup.
Despite the lower cost, the machine is still capable of working with thicker fabrics. You can use this for all types of sewing projects, from quilting to making your own clothes.
The LCD display may not be as flashy as the displays on the other machines. However, you can still easily select your stitches. You just don’t get to see a preview of the stitch on the screen.
In the end, this sewing machine is one of the best options for quilters due to the lower cost and reliable function. It works as advertised and includes some of the features that you need most for quilting, such as the extension table.
Also, see our full review of the Brother CS6000i.
6. Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine
The Juki TL-2000Qi is a high-end option for those that are willing to spend a little more on their quilting machines.
- Bright LED lights
- Automatic needle threader
- 1,500 stitches per minute
- Simple controls
- Heavy-duty, metal frame
- 1/5-inch quilting foot
One of the first details that stand out is the lack of digital features. This machine doesn’t have an LCD display or digital options for selecting the stitch. This old-fashioned machine simply requires you to turn dials to select stitches and adjust the tension.
Pros and Cons of the Juki TL-2000Qi Quilting Machine
While it doesn’t come equipped with hundreds of stitches, this sewing machine offers one of the largest work areas and deepest throats – which is the distance between the needle and the inner part of the arm.
You can easily work your quilt across the machine without it gathering. The extension table also has a ruler along one side.
The primary advantage of choosing a low-tech machine is its durability and dependability. You don’t need to worry about computer components not working properly. It also has a durable frame and quality components.
The primary disadvantage is the low-tech design. You don’t get to choose from a variety of stitches. However, this may also be an advantage.
The bottom line is that this quilting machine is best suited for those that want a workhorse that won’t give out on them when sewing for hours at a time.
The Juki TL-2000Qi may be one of the most expensive options, but it may be the last quilting sewing machine you need to buy.
Also, see our full review of the Juki TL-2000Qi.
Decision Time: What is the Best Sewing Machine for Quilters Like You?
Choosing the right sewing machine for quilting may depend on what type of quilting you’re doing. If you’re not working with heavy fabrics or quilting a large quilt, you may not need an extended work table.
Cost may also be a factor in choosing the right machine. With the Brother XR3774 , you get a great value on a quality sewing machine that can handle quilting.
The Brother SE600 is also a wonderful choice for beginners. While it may cost a little more, you get a large color touchscreen display and a 4 x 4-inch embroidery field for computerized embroidery.
Overall, the best sewing machine for quilters is the Singer Modern Quilter 8500Q . It has a large work table and 215 programmable stitches. It’s a powerful machine designed for beginners and expert quilters.