Technological advancements have hit virtually every modern industry including the sewing industry. Thanks to these advancements, quilting is now easier than ever before. With the advanced quilting machines of today, you don’t have to crib and cry to get different layers of fabric glide through your machines. One quilting machine category that has become a boon to the industry is a long-arm quilting machine.
Long-arm quilting machines essentially finish a quilt. These are big industrial devices that run either manually or via a computer system. A solid system head is mounted on track and wheels, using pliers, worktable, and a framework. If you are looking to invest in a long-arm quilting machine, take a look at some of the best ones currently available in the market to ensure that you get your hands on the right model.
1. Juki TL-2010Q 9″ Long-arm Machine
The Juki TL-2010Q 9” is a powerful quilting machine that comes in handy for designing apparel, creating home decorations, and other tailor functions. It comes with a metal frame that should help you with your quilting projects. One of the most impressive features of this quilting machine is its dual function regulator that allows you to regulate the stitch and control the stitch speed. The Juki TL-2010Q also features QuiltCad software that you can use to print customized pantographs, blocks, and borders with your computer.
Another special feature of this long-arm quilting machine is the Pattern Perfect that allows you to create standard and unique designs on your quilt. The quilting frame of the Juki TL-2010Q is made with metal which makes it extremely durable and sturdy. It also sports an upgraded carriage system with a dual-wheel design to improve accuracy, motion and stitch quality.
- Powerful and study
- Allows you to create a variety of quilting designs
- Automatic thread trimmer
2. Juki TL2000QI Long-Arm
The Juki TL2000Qi offers a good value for money and a commendable degree of functionality, which makes it one of the best long-arm quilting machines. At this price range, it is hard to find a quilting machine that can compete with the Juki TL2000QI in terms of power, accuracy, and durability. Unless you want the bells and whistles that a computerized long-arm quilting machine offers, this machine should give you everything you need from a long-arm quilting machine. Stitch control of the Juki TL2000QI is very impressive and as accurate as those you get in ultra-premium models.
This long-arm quilting machine is easy to maintain and use. The instructions are clear and you also get a DVD that shows you how to operate the machine. It comes with a solid frame too, which would make your quilting experience more pleasurable. The Juki TL2000QI boasts a foot controller with a thread trimming function that should allow you to take on a variety of quilting projects with ease. There is also a built-in LED light to keep the workspace illuminated.
- LED light
- A foot controller with thread trimming function
- Automatic thread trimmer
- Basic compared to premium models
3. Brother PQ1500SL
Brother is a well-known sewing machine manufacturer that has established its reputation by providing high-quality sewing and quilting machines at a reasonable price. The PQ1500SL is one of the best quilting machines ever made by Brother and it is popular among professional seamstresses. This machine comes with a single straight stitch and is a semi-industrial unit with an impressive speed of 1,500 stitches per minute.
The Brother PQ1500SL sports an automatic thread trimmer, which means that you won’t have to worry about trimming a thread manually. An automatic needle threader is also there which saves your time precious time and allows you to complete your quilting projects within the deadline.
One of the key features of the Brother PQ1500SL is its 4 feed dog height adjustments. This gives you maximum control over your fabric. An adjustable pin feed mechanism is also there that allows you to use the feed dogs for a single pin and move all the layers of the fabric without leaving any feed dog mark on any layer.
The PQ1500SL also boasts a knee lifter that makes it easier to lower or raise the presser foot. Other qualities of this machine include heavy-duty construction, LED light, thread tension table, extension table, and telescope thread stand.
- Automatic needle threader
- Automatic thread trimmer
- Strong and sturdy
- Built-in knee lifter
- Free motion quilting
- Small bobbin
- Limited throat space
4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Long-Arm Quilting Machine
Long-arm quilting machines come in two main formats. Some models have a sit-down design and you are supposed to use them on a table. In this setup, the long-arm sewing machine always stays in place and you are required to move the quilt around the tabletop. Sit-down models are less expensive and a good option for seamstresses with leg pain or back pain.
Other long-arm sewing machines are designed to be operated while standing. They are mounted on long stands with rollers. Standing models generally have a long track that stretches to the length of the quilting stand, allowing you to sew across the quilt. The rollers make it easy to move the quilt around as you work on the fabric. These are a great choice for very large and elaborate patterns. When shopping for a long-arm quilting machine, consider the format that would be right for you so that you can get the right model.
You should look for a long-arm quilting machine that gives you a lot of room to work. Generally, standing long-arm models give you plenty of room to spread the quilts out. Reason being, you can use the height and rollers to your advantage and cut the length of the fabric in half by hanging the workpiece up. With a sit-down long-arm quilting machine, you are limited by the size of the table and some of your fabric could spill over the edge if you aren’t careful.
If you are looking to buy a standing model, consider the stand’s length. Longer stands will accommodate wider quilts. If you work on larger pieces, you might have to get a 4-roller stand to ensure that the piece stays on the work area.
For sit-down model, you’ll need to find the table that you can accommodate in your workspace.
You should think about your ability to expand the long-arm quilting machine over time. If you get a completely manual model, you are generally stuck with it. On the other hand, many of the computerized models provide computer connectivity or accessory ports. These will allow you to add things like ruler attachments, laser sites or other tools later on. If you are big features person, you’ll probably be better off with an expandable long-arm quilting machine.
Computerized vs Manual
Computerized long-arm quilting machines cost more, but they offer better features than manual models. If you buy a manual long-arm machine, you will have to do all the tweaking yourself. You will be responsible for keeping the stitch lengths consistent. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are experienced and confident. However, if you are a novice seamstress, a computerized model that comes with a stitch regulator would be a better option for you. It’ll ensure that your stitches are always of the same length, no matter how slow or fast you go.
While computerized long-arm quilting machines don’t have all the built-in patterns and stitches that standard quilting models with feed dogs have, they can help in neatening your stitches. They allow you to plan designs and patterns and make automatic stitch length and speed adjustments.
Our Final Thoughts
We have listed some of the best long-arm quilting machines currently available in the market. Now that you have the top models right in front of you, you should be able to select a long-arm quilting machine that suits your needs and your wallet. When buying a model, make sure to consider your workspace, the format of the machine, and the expandability options it features. This should help you select a long-arm quilting machine that is right for you.
We have provided detailed information about long-arm quilting machines, but if you are still having a problem finding a model that is right for you, feel free to reach out to us. We will be more than happy to guide you and help you select a long-arm quilting machine.