The 10 Best Quilting Machines

Updated June 12, 2018 by Melissa Harr

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. With some handcrafted quilts selling for thousands of dollars, you could do worse for a hobby. Of course, it's also fine if you just want to create a cherished hand-me-down for your family. Either way, you'll find the perfect quilting machine for your needs on our list. We've included models for both beginners and the more experienced. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best quilting machine on Amazon.

10. Juki HZL-F300

Pattern selection is exceedingly simple with the Juki HZL-F300, thanks to a one-touch feature that lets you quickly choose from 10 popular patterns, sort of like a speed dial, if you’re old enough to remember those. You can also program and save your own pattern sequence.
  • adjustable foot pressure
  • independent bobbin winder
  • powerful feed dog system
Brand JUKI
Model HZL-F300
Weight 30.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter

With its electronic twin-needle control and four bonus quilting feet, the Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter will let your creativity flow right along with the fabric. Novices will especially appreciate its auto-threader and drop-and-sew bobbin.
  • ideal for piecing together patchwork
  • heavy-duty metal frame
  • occasional tension or timing issues
Brand Singer
Model 7469Q
Weight 22.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Brother Laura Ashley Limited Edition

The Brother Laura Ashley Limited Edition features a convenient start/stop button that can help you quickly accomplish your home decorating projects. It comes with an extra-wide table suitable for work on window dressings or bedspreads.
  • variable speed control
  • presser feet are easy to change
  • pieces and accessories feel flimsy
Brand Brother
Model CX155LA
Weight 18 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Janome Memory Craft 6300P

The Janome Memory Craft 6300P has an automatic thread cutter and an easy-to-read LCD screen with low bobbin indicator, ensuring that you'll never be caught off guard in the middle of sewing again. Its large 9-inch harp space makes quilting comfortable, too.
  • superlative memory capabilities
  • twin needle guard
  • could be more durable for the price
Brand Janome
Model MC6300P
Weight 36.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

6. Brother PQ1500SL High Speed

The Brother PQ1500SL High Speed offers an impressively fast and efficient rate of operation, creating as many as 1,500 stitches per minute. Its advanced fabric control settings will help enhance your artistry no matter your current skill level.
  • knee lifter helps with precision
  • spring action quilting foot
  • inserting bobbin is tricky
Brand Brother
Model PQ1500SL
Weight 33.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Brother Designio Series DZ3000

The Brother Designio Series DZ3000 has a drop feed for free-motion quilting, making it a good option for those who enjoy a lot of liberty in their creative endeavors. It’s also got an extra-bright LED-lit work area, so you’ll never have to squint.
  • 14 feet included
  • simple bobbin winding
  • plastic body feels less than sturdy
Brand Brother Sewing
Model DZ3000
Weight 21.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Juki HZL-F600

The Juki HZL-F600 features a bright and informative LCD screen that keeps pattern selection simple. The large work surface and box feed technology make it a joy to use this intuitive, reliable machine with any one of its 225 patterns.
  • 16 different button holes
  • 4 available fonts
  • on the expensive side
Brand JUKI
Model 0189684000190
Weight 33.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Brother CS6000i

The Brother CS6000i offers all the features you need to produce decorative and durable quilts at a price that won’t break the bank. For instance, it’s got a walking foot that feeds smoothly, an oversized table, a guide bar, and seven preprogrammed quilting stitches.
  • jam-resistant bobbin
  • good choice for beginners
  • can be operated without foot pedal
Brand Brother
Model CS6000I
Weight 17.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist

You’ll get everything you need for precise quilt-making with the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist, which comes with both a walking foot and quilting bar in addition to a whole host of other accessories, such as a stitch in the ditch foot and a seam ripper.
  • 600 built-in stitches
  • 25-year warranty
  • one-touch thread trimmer
Brand Singer
Model 9960
Weight 28.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Juki TL-2000Qi

The Juki TL-2000Qi is made to help you power through even the thickest layers and fabrics, from dense batting to denim. It's responsive, sews smoothly at variable speeds, and has a narrow body so you can see what you’re doing, which is great for free-form projects.
  • includes extension table
  • feed dog raises and lowers easily
  • built for the long haul
Brand JUKI
Model TL2000Qi
Weight 37.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Hand Quilting Versus Machine Quilting

Quilting is not a new art in any sense of the word, and long before quilting machines were around, people were hand quilting and loving it. Even with the advent of quilting machines, there are a select few who still prefer practicing the traditional method of hand quilting for a variety of reasons.

Those who are on a tight budget, but still love to quilt, will appreciate that hand quilting is considerably cheaper than machine quilting. It requires nothing more than some fabric, needles and thread. The downside though is that it takes much longer to finish a quilt. In addition to being faster, most people consider machine quilting to be an easier skill to learn. Machine quilting can also be performed by those with hand problems, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, whereas hand quilting would be painful and impractical.

Taking a hand quilting project on the road is also much easier than trying to deal with the logistics of transporting a large and heavy quilting machine. If one is going on vacation or likes to quilt in a variety of locations around the house, using a quilting machine can become more of a hassle than a help. But for people who will be sewing at the same place most days, a quilting machine is usually the preferred method.

In addition to speed, one of the biggest benefits to machine quilting is the durability of the finished product. Machine-sewn quilts are more durable than their hand-stitched counterparts and often last for many more years before the stitching begins to come loose. They also stand up to regular use and repeated washing better.

When using thicker fabrics, machine quilting is much easier than hand quilting. It can be very difficult and require a good bit of strength to hand quilt overly thick fabrics with heavier batting, but with a quilting machine the process isn't any more difficult or time consuming.

Features To Look For In A Quilting Machine

While it is possible to quilt with any sewing machine, there are a few features that dedicated quilting machines generally have to make the process of quilting easier. Needle up and needle down is one such feature. Some sewing machines only allow the machine to stop with the needle in the up position, but for quilting, it is often beneficial to be able to pause for a moment to readjust your hand position without having to worry about your project moving around.

The needle down function accomplishes this. It allows the machine to be stopped with the needle in the down position, so it can be used to hold your project in place while you sip your tea or take a small break. Some machines have a button specifically for this feature.

For free motion quilting, the ability to drop or cover the feed dogs is invaluable. This is because you need to be able to move the fabric freely under the needle, but the feed dogs move the fabric in a single direction. Once dropped or covered, they no longer drag on the fabric of the quilt. Another feature important to free motion quilting is a darning foot. This allows you to clearly see the area around the needle, unlike a traditional foot which obstructs the view.

Most quilting machines don't come with a darning foot, but some models are compatible with them and some are not. Double check before purchase to ensure the quilting machine you are buying allows for the installation of one.

Brief History Of Quilting

Historians are unsure of the origins of quilting, but it is known that the practice dates back thousands of years. The oldest known quilted garment adorns a carved ivory figure of an Egyptian First Dynasty pharaoh which dates back to 3,400 BCE A quilted floor covering was discovered in Mongolia in 1924. It is believed that it dates back to sometime between 1 BCE and 2 CE.

Over time there have been numerous references to quilts in literature. It is believed that Crusaders brought quilting back to Europe with them after their escapades in the Middle East sometime in the late 11th century. During the Middle Ages, quilts were often wore by knights underneath their armor for comfort or as an outer covering to keep expensive metal armor from the elements.

The oldest surviving bed quilt comes from 14th century Sicily and is made from a combination of linen and wool. It depicts scenes from the legend of Tristan and measures 122" x 106". It is currently housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

As settlers made their way to the new world, they brought with them the practice of quilting. One of the earliest references to quilts in the new world is from the listings of household inventory of a Massachusetts sea captain. Nearly all of the quilts from earliest American settlers were made from salvaged fabric and as such, none of them have have survived to the modern day.

It is believed the oldest surviving American quilt was the Saltonstall quilt, which was thought to date back to 1704, but recent research seems to point towards its fabrication being some time in the latter half of the 18th century.

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Last updated on June 12, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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