Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting in 2021

best sewing machine for free motion quilting

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Every sewing machine has feed dogs for pulling the fabric during normal stitching. However, a free motion quilting machine enables you to lower the feed dogs for effortless sewing.

On the other hand, a quilting machine is a must-have investment for home DIY hobbyists and experts. With this tool, you can transform your creativity into marvelous pieces of art. As such, you need a durable machine that will deliver the best service for many years. 

Unfortunately, the market is overwhelming with all manner of machines. But, worry less! We’ve whittled down the list to enable you to pick the best sewing machine for free motion quilting. Read on as we slice up the choices.


Table Of Contents
  1. Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Summary
  2. Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting in 2021: Comparison Table
  3. 1. SINGER Quantum 9960 – Editor’s Choice
  4. 2. Brother-CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine -Best Affordable/Budget
  5. 3. Brother-XR3774 Sewing & Quilting Machine-Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $500
  6. 4. Brother-HC1850 Sewing & Quilting Machine – Value/Overall Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting
  7. 5. SINGER-4423 Sewing Machine – Best High Speed
  8. 6. Brother-PQ1500SL Sewing & Quilting Machine – Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $1,000
  9. 7. JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing & Quilting Machine-Best High-End
  10. 8. Brother Designio DZ1500F Sewing Machine
  11. 9. Brother-XR9550PRW 
  12. Buying Guide for Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting
  13. Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting – Supplemental Information
  14. What Does Free Motion Quilting Mean?
  15. What Is a Quilt sandwich?
  16. What Is the Difference between a Quilting Sewing Machine and a Regular Sewing Machine?
  17. Free Motion Stitching vs. Straight Line
  18. How Much Should I Spend on a Free Motion Quilting Machine?
  19. Do I Need More Stitches per Minute for Quilting?
  20. Can Any Sewing Machine Do Free-Motion Quilting?
  21. Are Sewing Machines for Free Motion Quilting Easy to Use?
  22. How to Free Motion Quilt on a Regular Sewing Machine?
  23. Can I Use More Than One Type of Darning or Free-Motion Foot for My Machine?
  24. What Other Quilting Supplies Do I Need Besides the Machine?
  25. Do You Have to Use a Foot for Free-Motion Quilting?
  26. Will a Larger Throat Allow Me to Get My Whole Quilt under the Machine?
  27. What Does the Term Stitch in a Ditch Mean?
  28. What Is the Walking Foot For?
  29. What’s the Difference between Quilting and Knotting?
  30. I’m Having Difficulty Controlling the Tension on My Quilting. What Should I Do?
  31. What Needle Do You Use for Free Motion Quilting?
  32. How to Maintain Quilting Sewing Machines
  33. How Do I Get Better at Free Motion Quilting?
  34. FAQs on Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting
  35. Conclusion on Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting

Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Summary

Editor’s choice – SINGER Quantum 9960

The SINGER Quantum 9960 takes the slot as the Editors choice. Although it’s costly, it’s easy to use, and you can feed the bobbins effortlessly. It’s a digital machine with many features, and it’s the real value for money.

Overall Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting for Value- Brother HC 1850

The Brother HC 1850 is a good option and is the best value/overall. It’s versatile and uses high-end technology such as an LCD to boost your quilting experience.

Affordable/Budget Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting – Brother-CS6000i

Brother-CS6000i is a reasonably priced machine that works just the high-end options. For this reason, it’s the best best sewing machine for free motion quilting for sewers on a budget, beginners, and home users.

No products found.

High End Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting-JUKI TL-2000Qi 

JUKI TL-2000Qi is the best high-end sewing and quilting machine. Despite the high price, it comprises high-quality features and is a top seller. It’s uniquely built and can perform a wide range of projects.

High Speed Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting- SINGER 4423

When quilting large projects, you need a high-speed machine. For this reason, we recommend SINGER-4423 for quilting a wide variety of fabrics. You can also use it for decorating and creating unique patterns.

Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $1000 – Brother-PQ1500S

Brother-PQ1500S is the best sewing machine for under $1000. It’s a suitable option if you’re looking to upgrade your machine and the cost is affordable. It’s also highly effective and can stitch up to 1500 stitches every minute.

Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $500- Brother-XR3774

Brother-XR3774 is a good choice if you need an affordable machine that performs exceptionally. It has all the features and accessories that you need to kick start your project.


Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting in 2021: Comparison Table

NameRatingFeatures
SINGER Quantum 9960
Editor’s choice 
Dimensions:17.25 x 8.25 x 12 inches
Weight:20 Pounds
Color: White
LCD Display
Automatic-needle threader
600 built-in stiches
5 alphanumeric stiches
13 one step button holes
Sewing speed 850 stiches/minute
Accessories included
110v requirement
Brother HC 1850
Best for Value/Overall
Dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
Weight: 5896 Grams
60 built-in stitches
7 styles of auto size buttonholes
Automatic needle threader
drop-in top bobbin
needle set
LCD display
Brother-CS6000iBest Affordable/BudgetWeight: 5896 Grams
Color: Beige/Blue
Dimensions: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
Plenty of accessories
Automatic needle threader
Drop in top bobbin
LCD screen
Wide table Seven styles of auto size  button holes
JUKI TL-2000QiBest High EndMaterial; Aluminum
Weight: 37.8 pounds
Dimensions:17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
LED lights
Sewing speed: 1500 stitches per minute
Extension table
One-pedal operation
Color: White
SINGER 4423Best High SpeedDimensions: 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
Weight:14.5 Pounds
Color: Grey
Automatic needle threader
600 built-in stitches
23 built-in stitches
Sewing speed of 100 stitches per minute
Lots of accessories
Metal frame
Brother-PQ1500SBest Under $1000Weight: 29.76 Pounds
Dimensions: 7.9 x 12.6 x 19.3 inches
Color: White1500 stitches per minute
Automatic-needle threader
Jam resistant drop in top bobbin
Pin-feeding system
Wide table
Brother-XR3774Best Under $500Material: Metal
Weight: 15.87 Pounds
Dimensions: 15.3 x 5.8 x 12 inches
37 built-in stitches
Automatic-needle threader
drop in top bobbin
Ample accessories
Free arm included
Color: White
Brother Designio DZ1500F Sewing MachinePopularColor: White
Dimensions: 25 x 11.61 x 15.24 inches
Sewing speed: 1500 stitches per minute
Needle-felting attachment
Lots of accessories
6 sewing feet
Large table
Unique feed dogs
120 V AC requirements
Brother-XR9550PRW Runner UpWeight: 19.42 Pounds
Dimensions: 7.01 x 16.26 x 12.48 inches
Color: White
165 built-in stitches
110 decorative stitches
8 styles of auto sized  button-holes
Automatic-needle threader
Drop in top bobbin
LCD Screen
Instruction DVD
Wide table

1. SINGER Quantum 9960 – Editor’s Choice

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable...

Why It’s the Editors Choice

We do agree that SINGER quilting sewing machines cost an arm and a leg. However, they are superior products that will deliver the best value for money. In our research, we tested the SINGER Quantum 9960, and it performed exceptionally great in all aspects. We present a detailed review of this machine.

Detailed review

For over 100 years, SINGER has been providing high-quality knitting and sewing products. That’s why the SINGER Quantum 9960 tops our list as one of the best sewing machine for free motion quilting. In addition, it is one of the best quilting machines for beginners.

The first thing that strikes us about this machine is the ease of use. Once you get the hang of it, everything runs smoothly. You can fill the bobbins within seconds. The automatic-button hole is a breeze and fun. 

Secondly, it’s a digital machine with loads of features to allow for creativity. It’s is real value for money for a long-lasting sewing journey. It can handle many projects for beginners, intermediaries, and experts too. 

Other features include; five alpha-numeric fonts, thirteen-step 1 buttonholes. No need to pedal since the machine has multiple buttons for starting, stopping, reversing, and speeding. 

Plus, You can use it to decorate stitches, fashion sewing, crafting, home decor, and quilting. You can also select fonts to personalize your projects.

We need to mention that this machine is remarkably fast. It can sew at a speed of 850 stitches every minute. Therefore you can complete your projects pretty fast. 

Finally, there are many accessories to get you started. These include a presser foot, blind hem foot, overcasting foot, satin-stitch foot, and more. 

ColorWhite
Weight20 pounds
Dimensions17.25×8.25×12 inches

Pros

  • Your eyes will not strain when using this machine since the needle threader pulls the thread in the needle’s eye for you. 
  • The presser foot is a unique feature that assists in holding your fabric when fed via the machine.
  • The machine works on 100 volts, hence the best choice for use at home.
  • The sleek design looks good on your counter-top
  • There is an extended table that increases your working area

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • It doesn’t work in the UK since the electronics are different from those in the US

2. Brother-CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine -Best Affordable/Budget

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60...

Why it’s the best affordable/budget option?

The Brother machine is a great option for beginners due to its low cost. You’ll not regret having this machine to kick start your sewing career. Whether you’re a home DIY or a learner, it’s a sure bet to get you on the right footing. 

Detailed review

Our first product is the Brother-CS6000i, which is a sleek machine for your sewing and quilting. This machine comes with tweaks and improvements to boost your overall experience, which is why it made our list for best sewing machine for free motion quilting. It has sixty internal stitches that let you explore your creativity. This means that you can use it for a wide variety of tasks such as decorating. But, perhaps the most impressive feature is the seven modes of regular-sized buttons. 

As a best beginner quilting machine, it comes loaded with an automatic needle threader, which conveniently pushes the stitching thread via a needle. Also, it has a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin. 

The package includes lots of accessories so that you get started immediately without making a return trip to the stores. Inside, you’ll find a wide table, ten sewing feet, a needle set, three bobbins, and a sturdy case for protecting the machine. 

Another feature is the LED screen that lets you select the stitches by just touching them. The best part is that you can control your selections depending on your needs and view everything on display. 

Finally, you’ll get a twenty-five-year limited warranty on the machine, which gives you a reason to shop.

Overall dimension16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
ColorBeige or blue
Weight5896 grams

Pros

  • What we love most is the twin needle that comes with the package. It’s vital in creating parallel lines when stitching as the bobbin thread is zigzagging. Therefore, this need is useful when sewing on knits and decorating.
  • The compactness of this machine makes it suitable for use in places with limited places. Furthermore, it looks good on your counter-top and is portable; hence you can carry it for some sewing lessons.
  • The versatility of the Brother sewing machine makes it suitable for sewing a wide array of items such as pants, sleeves, quilts, free arms, costumes, and more.

Cons

  • Even though it’s easy to use, it can be a headache to arrange the quilts together. 
  • It’s a beginner’s machine and may not handle large scale knitting.

3. Brother-XR3774 Sewing & Quilting Machine-Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $500

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, XR3774, 37...

Why It’s the Best under $500

Our next product is the Brother-XR3884 sewing machine. Versatile, this machine is a favorite amongst sewers since you can use it for both sewing and quilting. In our research, we rate it as the best sewing machine for free motion quilting under $500. Other than the unbelievably affordable cost, other things score great points for this machine.

Detailed Review

First of all, this Brother model features a wide table design that accentuates your working space. It also creates more space to sew and place your accessories. Hence, it’s the best brother sewing machine for quilting projects.

Further, this machine has thirty-seven built-in stitches that make it a versatile product for a wide variety of tasks. It has a bound hem, quilting stitches, decorative stitches, and a one-step button home. 

Another feature is the automatic-needle threader, which squeezes the sewing thread through a tiny needle home. 

It can be frustrating working with a bobbing that keeps on jamming, which can be caused by low tension in the top thread. Fortunately, the Brother-XR3884 has a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, allowing for smooth and quick sewing.

There are several accessories to help you start on a positive note. For instance, the machine cover protects your worthy asset. At the same time, the instructional DVD is loaded with set-up instructions and quick tips.

The free arm makes Brother-XR3774 your everyday machine suitable for a variety of sewing and quilting projects. Therefore, a good choice for beginners and home users. 

Overall dimension15.3 x 5.8 x 12 inches
ColorWhite
Weight15.87 Pounds

Pros

  • The drop-in top load enables you to see the remaining thread via the small window. Hence, no need to remove the tray when changing the bobbins.
  • It’s an excellent machine that can work on heavy-duty garments such as denim jeans and canvas.
  • The walking foot helps in feeding many layers of the quilt into the machine. Even better, it has feed dogs that can supply the quilt effortlessly.
  • This machine is amazingly efficient and easy to use. Therefore, we recommend it for beginners. 
  • It’s relatively affordable yet high quality and good value for money.

Cons

  • It’s only a 110V; thus, you may need a stepdown transformer to use alongside the machine.
  • It’s not suitable for high-speed quilting.

4. Brother-HC1850 Sewing & Quilting Machine – Value/Overall Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting

Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine, 185...

Why it’s the best value/overall

If you’re a beginner, you’d want a machine that is easy to use. Switching between different types of stitches should be a breeze. It does everything from decorating, sewing to stitching.

After researching and analyzing several machines, this Brother model takes the trophy as the overall best sewing machine for free motion quilting. It’s an economical and highly-reliable little workhorse that does the job perfectly. Keep reading as we explore the amazing features that this machine has to offer.

Detailed Review

Brother-HC 1850 is a versatile machine that uses superior technology to function. It’s packed with advanced features that make it a number one choice for sewing, decorative stitching, monogramming, and quilting. 

This model has an LCD, which lets you stitch by touching a button. Then, you can select your options on the display. 

185 built-in stitches comprise 130 sewing and 55 alpha-numeric stitches. Whether you have heavy-duty, medium, or light garments, there are sewing stitches that also come with eight styles of buttonholes for different types of fabrics.

The machine has an automatic needle threader that works alongside a lever. Therefore, it pushed the sewing thread via the needle with less effort. Also, there is an advanced jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin.

Brother-1850 is a renowned brand that has been consistent in quality products. For this reason, you can’t go wrong by choosing this sewing and quilting machine. Inside the package, there are many accessories such as a DVD manual, a wide table, and more.

Overall dimension19.2 x 12.5 x 15.2 inches
ColorWhite
Weight10.14 pounds

Pros

  • The feed dogs are highly advanced and automatic for sewing or quilting different types of fabrics. Therefore, this makes the machine suitable for free motion quilting.
  • An important aspect of this machine is the compactness and lightweight. Therefore it’s a portable option for learners and travelers.
  • It’s an affordable machine for users on a budget.
  • The LED light illuminates your workplace for better viewing.
  • The sewing speed adjustable, and this gives you control over your sewing tasks.
  • The wide table offers ample area for large quilts sewing.

Cons

  • It doesn’t work in countries with limitations on 120V AC.

5. SINGER-4423 Sewing Machine – Best High Speed

SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine, Grey

Why it’s the best high speed

Next in our recommendation is the SINGER-4423 model, which is the best high-speed machine for sewing and quilting. It’s the best singer sewing machine for quilting. Some of the highlights of this machine are detailed in our comprehensive analysis below.

Detailed Review

As a heavy-duty machine, this SINGER model comprises twenty-three internal stitches that boost your projects’ versatility. With this machine, you can do other things such as decorating, quilting, and stitching. Whether you want to get creative for crafts, home decor, quilts, or fashion, SINGER is a sure bet.

An advanced feature is the needle threader that lets you feed a thread in the needle’s eye without much struggle.

According to our research, this Singer machine offers a speed of 100 stitches/minute. With this incredible speed, you can complete your projects quickly and conveniently. The powerful motor is 60 percent stronger, thereby proving more power when piercing through heavy-duty seams.

If you’re looking for quality, you may as well call off your search. The machine has a heavy-duty frame made of solid steel. Therefore this transforms it into a powerful machine that can sew all types of fabric for many years. When you compare with the price, you’ll get real value for money. 

Some of the sewing accessories include multi-purpose, buttonhole, button sewing, and zipper foot. Others are quilting guide, bobbins, needles, spool-pin felt, screwdriver, and more. What we love most is the convenient tray where you can access the items easily. On top of that, there’s a dust cover for protecting your machine against dirt.

Overall dimension15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
ColorGrey
Weight14.5 pounds

Pros

  • It’s not rocket science operating this machine since there are videos you can refer to anytime.
  • A versatile machine for heavy-duty projects such as jeans and canvas.
  • Lots of accessories for your sewing projects
  • Heavy-duty frame for long-lasting durability
  • A transparent cover allows you to view the bobbin-thread feed
  • The additional presser-foot lift enables this machine to have heavy-duty fabric. 

Cons

  • The tension requires a bit of adjustment before you start working on your projects

6. Brother-PQ1500SL Sewing & Quilting Machine – Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting Under $1,000

Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine, Up to...

Why it’s the best under $1000

Without a doubt, some of the highly-priced sewing and quilting machines perform exceptionally. However, they are pretty expensive, and their cost may as well be above $1000. Luckily, you can still find reasonably priced models such as the Brother-PQ1500SL, which takes the slot as the best sewing machine for free motion quilting under $1000. 

Detailed review

If you’re looking to upgrade your sewing machine, the Brother-PQ1500SL is a sure bet. Best of all, the automatic needle threader is ideal for conveniently pushing the thread via the needle. Also, we find the drop-in top bobbin quite useful.

You’ll be very impressed by your pick since it can stitch a maximum of 1500 stitches every minute. Therefore you’ll take less time sewing and quilting.

The kit comes with seven sewing feet, an instruction manual, and a knee lifter. What we like about the knee lifter is that it’s removable, and you can elevate the presser feet using your knees. It enables a hands-free operation so that you can handle the fabric seamlessly.

There is a unique feeding system for the pins, which allows you to knit various fabrics of varying thickness with ease. It’s also precise and leaves no room for errors.

Overall dimension7.9 x 12.6 x 19.3 inches
ColorWhite
Weight29.76 pounds

Pros

  • The pin feeding mechanism is adjustable to allow for easy operation of the feed dogs. Indeed, it shifts your quilt layers, thereby eliminating feed-dog marks.
  • It has a complete foot pressure adjustment that reduces the tension.
  • A high-quality machine that will last many years

Cons

  • Although it costs less than $1000, it’s still expensive for a beginner or someone on a budget

7. JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing & Quilting Machine-Best High-End

JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine

Why it’s the best high end

For a high-end sewing machine, you’re looking for many things. Price aside, you want to be sure that it will perform exceptionally; it’s reliable, durable, and good value for money. That’s why we consider JUKI TL-2000Qi as the best high-end sewing and quilting machine. Let’s jump straight onto the review, where we slice up everything about this little powerhouse.

Detailed review

The first thing that impressed us is the sleek and unique design. This machine can fit on a small counter-top, which is good news if there’s little space around your work area. But don’t be deceived by the small size; the extended table is generously large to give you more area to spread out your fabric when sewing.

If you’re a learner, you’ll be glad to note that this machine can fit in a small travel bag. Hence, you can carry it to your classes or when traveling. 

Besides the size, a few other things make this model a top seller. For example, the LED light illuminates the work area; thus, you can clearly view the workplace. 

Next, this machine is modern with a touch of tradition. As you can see, there is one pedal operation that lets you control the sewing needle.

With an SPM of 1500, this machine can quilt or sew at high speed, and this means it’s a highly efficient tool that will get the job done pretty fast. It’s multi-use and can sew a wide range of apparel ranging from jeans, canvas, cotton, and more.

The automatic needle threader allows for easier feeding of a knitting thread through the needle hole. For a silent operation, the arm is made of aluminum die-cast, which minimizes vibration.

Overall dimension17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
ColorWhite
Weight37.8 Pounds

Pros

  • It’s a high-quality machine with less maintenance
  • Easier to use even for beginners
  • It’s lightweight and, hence you can carry it anywhere
  • The LED lighting provides a lot of light for your knitting
  • The machine is stable and occupies less space on a tabletop

Cons

  • It’s pricey

8. Brother Designio DZ1500F Sewing Machine

Brother Designio Series DZ1500F High Speed Straight...

Basically, the Brother Designio DZ1500F series is not a starter sewing machine but perfect if you’d love to step up your game. And, it will last long with proper care and maintenance. The feet of this model is absolutely sturdy, and you’ll enjoy the threading.

The machine is easy to use, stitches your garments beautifully, and is sturdy to operate at high speed without wobbling. The best part is that the automatic threader is a super time saver, especially if you’re sewing several pieces. 

The Brother Designio model is worth every penny you spend on it and is super responsive. Therefore, it’s the best machine for professionals. 

We also like the fact that the feed dogs can supply many layers of garments simultaneously and with precision.

Overall, this machine is strong, solid built and consists of a couple of high-quality accessories. The set consists of a felting attachment, six sewing feet, and a fabric separator. The extension table is wide, and this offers a convenient space for your sewing. Another feature is the protective case that ensures your machine is super-clean by keeping away dust and dirt. 

We love the color code thread-tension dial that enables consistent and high-quality stitching. 

Overall dimension25 x 11.61 x 15.24 inches
ColorWhite
Weight32.8 pounds

Pros

  • A reliable brand with a long history of quality free motion quilting machines
  • A large extension table that enables to sew or quilt of large garments such as gowns
  • The piping or zipper foot is adjustable, and hence you can fit attachments effortlessly.
  • The needle felting allows you to expand your creativity to woven art. Plus, there is a yarn-revolving set to kick start your project.

Cons

  • On the flip-side, this machine is not recommended for countries that are not compatible with 120AV

9. Brother-XR9550PRW 

Brother XR9550PRW Sewing and Quilting Machine, Project...

Brother XR9550PRW is a small and the best quilting sewing machine suitable for large projects.

Firstly, it includes 165 unique internal stitches that make the project runway a dream come true. Among the 165, you’ll find 100 decorative stitches, 55 alpha-numerical stitches, and 8 styles of regular-sized buttonholes.

The first impressions of this machine portray a stylish little tool with an LCD. But that’s not all. It is highly intuitive. Therefore, you can select your preferred settings or stitches by just pressing a button. 

One thing that makes the brother model the perfect choice is the FAST threading system. It means that there’s an advanced needle threader that allows for easier threading and convenience. Also, the jam-resistant drop-in bobbin is all you need for a hassle-free sewing session.

To conclude, there’s everything you need in the package. The eight sewing feet and DVD video are some of the bonus items to get you started. We can’ forget to mention the wide table that lets you sew large garments while the outer cave keeps dirt at bay for long-lasting protection.

Overall dimension7.01 x 16.26 x 12.48 inches
ColorWhite
Weight19.42 Pounds

Pros

  • Lots of accessories to get you started
  • A large table for all your quilting projects
  • It comes at a reasonable price and hence the best for beginners
  • The feet are sturdy and well built
  • Stylish design that makes it an excellent gift idea for your loved ones.

Cons

  • Only suitable for use in the USA due to voltage limitation. It can’t work even with an adapter.

Buying Guide for Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting

When shopping for the best sewing machine for free motion quilting, you’ll be amazed at the wide variety of options on the market. As such, it can be difficult to decide on what will work out best for you. Below, we have several things to keep in mind when looking for the best sewing machine for free motion quilting.

Presser Feet

The first thing to consider is the presser feet, which is a vital feature of your sewing machine. A presser foot attachment holds the garment horizontally during feeding and stitching. Therefore, it helps in feeding the garment at a consistent or uniform rate. 

Large Extension Table

Even though a sleek and compact machine is the desire of every sewer, you need to think about the size of the extension table. It is especially so if you have large projects to accomplish, such as gowns that require large space. Also, with a large extension table, you have enough space to place your sewing accessories. 

Specialist Stitches

When quilting, you need a machine that can deliver high-quality stitches. Specialist stitches give you the option of quilting decorative or attractive patterns for personalized stitching.

Stitches Per Minute / Quilting Speed

If you’re an expert, you need a reliable speed to help in working on various projects. The quilting speed should be high so that you’ve to work on large products quickly. A high SPM also means accuracy and efficiency. However, if your project involves decorating pieces, then you may consider a slow speed.

Built-In Stitches

Different machines come with several built-in stitches. What you need is to establish the number of stitches that will work for you. These stitch patterns are programmed in your sewing machine and, you can’t add them later. However, you can adjust them depending on the length or width of your preferred size. Each stitch has different types of movements for horizontal line stitching. 

Wide/Large throat

The throat is located just below the sewing needle and is also known as a harp. Large throat sewing machines for quilting are useful for sewing large patterns as you quilt. These allow the feed dogs to interlock from below the fabric grip and let you move the garment forward as you sew. You’ll need to consider the machine’s length since a longer one means a wider throat space and, so is the work area.

Heavy-Duty Interior

A heavy-duty interior means that the machine is super strong, solid, and sturdy to withstand several sewing and quilting projects for long-lasting service.

Up/Down Needle Function

An automatic needle up/down function is what you need for convenient and easy sewing. It is vital, especially so when turning on a corner and would like to pivot around it. Therefore, this eliminates the need to raise or drop the sewing needle manually.

Also, a machine with this function keeps the needle down. The machine comes to a halt, thereby preventing it from damaging the stitching. 

Knee Lift

Can you imagine a situation whereby you use your hands to do everything? That’s where a knee lift comes in. This great function allows for a hands-free operation because it raises and lowers the machine presser feet. Therefore, it leaves your hands free to do other things like placing the fabric.

Bobbin

A bobbin holds the sewing thread for feeding via the sewing & quilting machine. Hence, this helps in securing a fabric for easier sewing. And yes! It would be best if you had a bobbin, and it is practically impossible to sew without it. 

A drop-in or top loading is a favorite feature in our quilting machine reviews since the bobbin case lifts on the machine’s top-most surface. Some machines come with bobbins of varying colors, and, thus, you can choose one that matches the thread’s color.

Also, check whether the bobbin system contains a see-through stitch plate for a clear view. Equally, a large machine enables you to adjust the bobbin tension, a plus feature. 

Free Arm

Normally, a sewing machine has a free arm for swing tube garments such as colors, sleeves, trouser legs, and cuffs. This useful feature is located at the end of the machine and protrudes out of the body.

You may need to check if your machine has this attachment to allow for versatility. The only downside is that it gets complicated when sewing a straight stitch like those of shirts and long pants.

Feed Dogs

Every machine should have feed dogs, a set of metal bars that interlock back and forth while gripping the garment. Consequently, you can pass the garment via the sewing machine effortlessly.

For free-motion quilting, the feed dogs may lead to jamming and spoiling your knitting. Pushing the quilt with your hands is the only workable option. Luckily, ensure your machine has a cover or a drop to block the feed dogs. 

No products found.


Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting – Supplemental Information

What Does Free Motion Quilting Mean?

Free motion quilting is a type of sewing that lets you stitch and quilt different types of projects with free hands. Therefore, you have control over your sewing and the direction of the quilt. 

Any sewing machine may not be suitable for free motion quilting. There are some features, such as the darning foot, that you can use to stitch quilts. 

What Is a Quilt sandwich?

A quilt sandwich is the entire quilting material before you commence the sewing project. It includes the backing, batting, and top of the quilt. Therefore it’s the whole quilt with three layers that are held together via the basting process. 

The battling is the middle layer, which is obviously the sandwich meat.

What Is the Difference between a Quilting Sewing Machine and a Regular Sewing Machine?

Although both machines are for sewing, we’ll provide a quick rundown on the unique differences. First of all, they feature different throat sizes. Undoubtedly, a large throat is essential when working on enormous fabric such as quilts.

If you’d like to explore your creativity and decorate, then a free motion quilting machine is better than a regular option. Hence, a regular machine doesn’t offer much in terms of versatility.

Free Motion Stitching vs. Straight Line

If you’re a beginner, it can take time to build-up on a free motion task. Luckily, when you get the hang of it, you’ll get used to either free motion or straight-line sewing.

One unique thing about straight-line sewing is that it delivers accurate but restrictive stitches. That’s why free motion is a choice for many people since you can correct irregular stitches. 

How Much Should I Spend on a Free Motion Quilting Machine?

All too often, different machines come with different prices. However, many factors can explain the price differences. Some brands such as Brother and SINGER have been in existence for so many years. Due to this, they have high-end machines that are a little pricey.

Nonetheless, if you’re a beginner or a home sewer, you can find a reasonably priced machine that fits your budget. The most important thing is to find a product that gets the job done, is durable, and will deliver the best value.

In our review, we have analyzed best sewing machine for free motion quilting below $500, $1000, and high-end options.

Do I Need More Stitches per Minute for Quilting?

Yes! More stitches per minute mean that you can sew your quilts faster, efficiently, and reliably. However, if you’re decorating your pieces, a slower speed is ideal. Also, if you’re covering a more wide area, you’ll need high speed. Hence, this speeds up your project. 

Can Any Sewing Machine Do Free-Motion Quilting?

Although you can use sewing machines for your quilting projects, not every machine can do free-motion quilting. 

Modern machines are packed with a variety of features that enable users to quilt as well as regular stitching. If you’re an advanced user, a free motion machine allows for versatility. 

Are Sewing Machines for Free Motion Quilting Easy to Use?

Yes! However, it depends on the type of machine. Most modern machines come with instructional videos to get you started. 

An advanced option has an LCD screen and digital settings. Although it can be difficult for a beginner, it gets easy with time. When shopping, look for a machine that’s easy to set up and use.

How to Free Motion Quilt on a Regular Sewing Machine?

A regular sewing machine should sew alongside the feed dogs. You’ll need a specific foot for the standard machine to do free-motion sewing. If your machine doesn’t have this foot, you can use a darning foot in its place.

Can I Use More Than One Type of Darning or Free-Motion Foot for My Machine?

Yes definitely! However, this depends on the specific task you’re handling because every user has his/her own needs for the foot. You’ll find some sewing machines have more than one, and you may need to consider, among other things, such as the type of toe, foot area, and more.

What Other Quilting Supplies Do I Need Besides the Machine?

You’ll need several accessories to kick start your project. You’ll need quilting gloves to allow for better control of the quilt, prevent injury, and reduce strain. Grippy gloves help in ensuring a firm grip on the quilt.

Do You Have to Use a Foot for Free-Motion Quilting?

Yes! You can’t do free motion quilting without a foot. However, it can be dangerous since you may injure your finger since the foot is not offering a protective barrier. In this method, the quilt moves in all directions, and hence it’s easier to control the movement and speed. 

Will a Larger Throat Allow Me to Get My Whole Quilt under the Machine?

Yes, a large throat comes across as a plus feature if you’re looking for a large working area for your quilting project. Rotate your quick and start from a particular direction instead of having the entire quilt on the machine.

What Does the Term Stitch in a Ditch Mean?

A stitch in a ditch is a unique method that lets you stitch just near the seam to ensure the edges are properly secured. In this way, you’ll need to use a walking foot for gripping the upper and lower layers of your quilt and feed them simultaneously, thereby securing the middle layer.

What Is the Walking Foot For?

A walking foot is an essential feature that helps in stabilizing the quilt sandwich. Another name for this function is the quilting stitch. It ensures you’re able to run over different layers.

What’s the Difference between Quilting and Knotting?

In quilting, a quilt and knot are common terms, however, they’re different in certain aspects. Quilting involves fastening the different layers of the quilt alongside the stitches.

But, with knotting, you’ll need to complete one round over the layers, then return and tie two different ends to form a square knot. Although knotting may seem easier, quilting is durable and long-lasting.

I’m Having Difficulty Controlling the Tension on My Quilting. What Should I Do?

Sewing machines handle tension levels differently. When using a fine or smooth thread, you’ll need a lower bit of the top tension, which then makes it appear loose. Before you start, you can attempt to control the tension using a tiny needle. 

It would help reduce the top tension for large threads, which subsequently ensures it’s a bit tight. If you use a thick thread, then try lengthening the stitch to allow for flatness and smoothness.

What Needle Do You Use for Free Motion Quilting?

Before you choose a needle for free motion quilting, you’ll need to keep in mind the thread’s weight. For instance, if the thread weighs 40wt, then a 75 inches needle will be ideal.

How to Maintain Quilting Sewing Machines

Quilting sewing machines are a great and valuable asset for your sewing projects. Therefore, it needs proper care and maintenance to deliver a long-lasting service. For starters, you need to cover it with a protective case when not in use. It protects dust and dirt from gathering on the surface. Luckily most modern machines come with a protective case.

You also need to oil the movable parts, especially the metal ones, to prevent rusting. Before you oil, remove any dirt using a clean cloth. When not in use, keep it a cool, dry place where there’s no exposure to dust or moisture.

How Do I Get Better at Free Motion Quilting?

Free motion quilting is a skill that gets better with time. If you’re a beginner, you can get useful lessons online, and with much practice, you’ll soon be a pro. Besides, most products have tutorial skills that can help you boost your skill.

If you’re a home sewer, we suggest working on a place with a lot of space for your quilt and other accessories.


FAQs on Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting


Conclusion on Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting

As we come to the close of our discussion, it is evident that a quilting machine is a step-up option for your projects. Therefore, there are several things to consider if you’re looking for the best sewing machine for free motion quilting. Some of the top brands include SINGER and Brother. Although some of the prices are high, you can find a reasonably priced machine at a great price. Hopefully, you can now pick the best product effortlessly.

External Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_quilting

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/13/business/sewing-machines-demand/index.html

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