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Buying A Sewing Machine For Quilting [2021]

The best sewing machines for quilting are ones that have a larger sewing areas, often with a long arm for quilting; this means they are extra long so there's more space to the right of the needle for large materials.

buying a sewing machine for quilting

Technically, yes, but you'll soon find you need a larger machine to fit your heavy material and standard sewing machines are only good for straight line quilting (basic quilting). For more complex projects you'll need free motion sewing, which generally only quilting machines offer.

Ideally yes, sewing machines designed for quilting use needles that are slim and tapered to a sharp point and are often stronger than standard needles (they need to punch through many layers of fabric). For regular or thick quilting use a 90/14 needle and for detail work use a 70/10 or 80/12 needle.

Yes, you'll need a walking foot for quilting and always ensure a sewing machine comes with this; some sewing machines marked up patchwork machines, for example, often won't feature one. So what is a walking foot? This is a foot attachment that pinches two layers of fabric together and moves them under the needle together at the same speed. As you'd expect, quilts need this as they are made up of two layers of fabric with batting in the middle, making them heavy and hard to move.

When reading reviews for the best sewing machine for quilting, especially in the budget-friendly category, it was important to sift through reviews that specifically mentioned using it for quilting, as what might be perfect for sewing may not have worked as well for quilting.

A quilting machine has a longer length, which allows for a wider area to work with. This is not a big deal when you are sewing basic crafts, but quilts are bulky and require more room.

If you are planning to start quilting and you already have a sewing machine, this is not a bad thing. You can get a lot of learning done on a regular sewing machine and decide if quilting is right for you.

Depending on if you plan to make quilting an occasional hobby or you want to make quilting more a more serious pursuit that you intend to make money off of, then you will likely be looking at different types of machines.

The main difference between a machine that sews and a machine that embroiders is that sewing machines are used for more practical and functional stitches while embroidery machines are more for sewing designs onto fabric.

Sewing with the machine that you already have can help you determine if you want to get into quilting. That way, you have an idea of whether or not it would be worth it to invest in a quilting machine and other equipment.

In preparation for writing this guide, I spoke to several sewing professionals to get their advice and personal requirements for a good machine. This group included sewing teacher Léana Lu of SewLeana, professional tailor and jeans-making queen Lauren Taylor, tailor and workwear designer Kelly Hogaboom, sewist and accessibility advocate Samantha Waude, and sewing-ergonomics expert Rose Parr.

To assemble an initial list of models for potential testing, I consulted recommendations from publications such as Good Housekeeping and The Strategist, scoured Reddit and the forums on, looked at reviews from Amazon and Joann customers, and polled sewing friends near and far, in person, over email, and on Instagram, where the modern sewing community is alive and well. I also asked sewing machine manufacturers about their best sellers and fan favorites.

Extensive testing in such practical applications helps reveal quirks that might not present themselves in quick run-throughs of comparison tests, as in the case of the machine that started stitching just fine on a quilt sandwich (not a snack, but actually the term for batting between layers of quilting cotton) but soon began making a horrible banging sound as it stitched. (It could quilt, yes, but it was absolutely making its complaints known to the management. It would rather not.)

If you purchase your machine through a dealer, you may miss out on some discounts or extra-fast shipping and convenience, but dealer machines often come with classes, tune-ups and other servicing, or other perks in exchange for buying directly. Plus, by visiting your local dealer, you support local businesses and have the opportunity to try a machine out before you buy it.

The Brother CS7000X seems almost too good to be true thanks to its combination of a reasonable asking price, a wide variety of computerized stitches, reliably excellent performance, an impressive range of accessories, and a surprisingly compact footprint (just 16 by 8 inches, in its included hard cover). All together, these things make it an easy recommendation for anyone looking to pick up their first sewing machine.

Like the CS7000X, the Quantum Stylist offers several helpful accessibility features, including a speed-control sliding switch, the ability to turn off beeping sounds, adjustable contrast for the LCD screen, and a start/stop sewing button, which allows sewists to use the machine without a foot pedal.

There are a few other popular stitches, including the lightning bolt stitch (great for sewing knits in a more subtle line than a zigzag stitch) and the triple stitch (which is often used for seams that bear heavy loads). Less commonly used stitches include decorative shapes (like flowers and leaves) and alphabets, which can be handy for quilting or pieces where you want to mimic embroidery.

On the other hand, buying as much machine as you can comfortably afford saves you the hassle of having upgrade later on down the road or ending up with a machine that lacks the workmanship and durability to perform your desired tasks.

On the subject of running a business such as a quilting business, you may want to invest in a machine that not only sews a variety of stitches and stitch lengths but on that also incorporates quilting software. This takes the process to another level that allows you first design your own quilt before piecing and sewing it together!

Most of the time a sewing machine will be set up in a designated room or area of your home and stay there. However, there may come a time when you will want to join a quilt guild or attend a retreat or special class and will need to be able to bring your own machine. If these activities occur frequently I would check the overall weight specification.

The people who buy these machines are also running a small business doing embroidery or quilting, etc., and need as fast a turn around from design to product and distribution as possible. The high costs of such a high end machine is often offset as a deduction at the end of the year since the machine is also considered a business expense.

This is an excellent guide for choosing a sewing machine. It is the purpose that decide which sewing machine is going to fulfill the need. I want a sewing machine for basic use,should be light in weight and portable too. I liked the idea of going to local sewing dealer for test drive.Thanks for writing this informative post.

I grew up with the newest model sewing machine my dad bought my mom, and I have had a love of sewing my entire life. Back then I could do a bunch of different stitches and zig zags, and I thought that machine was the bomb! Now, the machines can write out your name in inbroidary and with the computer in them, they can do so much more than I ever thought a sewing machine could do! LOL. I do agree you get what you pay for, and I love the models you displayed. Thanks for the info!

Yes, people are still buying sewing machines and in all price ranges but not so much for garment making. As you stated, clothing that is mass produced and outsourced is much cheaper to buy than make.

Hey i really enjoyed this article, it was very informative. I have never sewed in my life so i think it would be pretty hard for me to learn. There looks like there is a lot of different kinds of machines, are you good at sewing? If so you could always sew things and put them up for sale on your site.

When setting a budget for purchasing a sewing machine my best advice is always to choose quality over bells and whistles. Of course, that will depend on your budget which ultimately determines the features that are available to you.

I always recommend that you purchase a machine locally and develop a relationship with your local dealer. If they are a quality dealer they will match you with the right sewing machine. A good dealer will have an excellent service department that will keep your machine in top shape for many years to come.

Before heading out to shop for a sewing machine, I recommend you do some research on various manufacturers. Knowing a little about the company that manufactures your sewing machine will help match you to the right machine and allow you to make the most informed decision. 041b061a72

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