The 8 Best Quilting Machines

Updated October 12, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

8 Best Quilting Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. With some handcrafted quilts selling on the open market for thousands of dollars, you could do worse for a hobby. Of course, its also fine if you just want to create a cherished hand-me-down for your family. Either way, you'll find the perfect machine for your needs on our list, where we've rated the units by ease of use, durability, and versatility. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best quilting machine on Amazon.

8. Brother Laura Ashley CX155LA

The Brother Laura Ashley CX155LA features a convenient start/stop button, and is a great option for quickly accomplishing your home decorating projects. It comes with an extra wide table suitable for work on window dressings or bedspreads.
  • good customer service
  • foot controller included
  • too hard on lightweight fabrics
Brand Brother Sewing
Model CX155LA
Weight 18 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. 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. Its auto-threader and drop-and-sew bobbin make setup easy.
  • ideal for piecing together patchwork
  • 25-year warranty on parts
  • not designed for heavy-duty use
Brand Singer
Model 7469Q
Weight 22.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Juki HZL-G110

The Juki HZL-G110 has 37 variable needle positions, eight automatic button holes, and a memory that contains 70 patterns for repeated use. It features bright LED lights that make it easy to see what you're working on even in an otherwise dimly lit room.
  • reliable speed controls
  • adjustable stitch lengths and widths
  • lcd screen does not have a backlight
Brand JUKI
Model HZL-G110/UL
Weight 26.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Brother PQ1500S High Speed

The Brother PQ1500S 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.
  • ideal for professional quilters
  • dual thread stand
  • bobbin placement is odd
Brand Brother
Model PQ1500S
Weight 34 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Singer Studio S16

If quilting is your passion, you will surely appreciate the easy threading Singer Studio S16, an inherently high-quality machine that carries a 25-year limited warranty and features a programmable needle up/down and knee lifter.
  • perfect option for larger projects
  • sews 1600 stitches per minute
  • runs noisily without frequent oiling
Brand Singer
Model S18
Weight 36 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Janome MC-6300P Heavy-Duty

The Janome MC-6300P Heavy-Duty has an automatic thread cutter and an extra-large, easy-to-read LED screen with low bobbin indicator, ensuring that you'll never be caught off guard running out of line in the middle of a project.
  • superlative memory capabilities
  • twin needle guard
  • very easy to operate
Brand Janome
Model MC6300P
Weight 36.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Brother Designio Series DZ3000

The Brother Designio Series DZ3000 comes with an extra-wide table as well as a hard cover with a convenient tray that's great for organizing all of your accessories and increasing your productivity. Its backlit LCD screen makes it easy to see your stitch selection.
  • 14 feet included
  • machine is jam resistant
  • thread feeds easily
Brand Brother Sewing
Model DZ3000
Weight 21.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Juki HZL-F600

The Juki HZL-F600 features a bright and informative LCD screen that makes pattern selection simple. The large work surface and box feed technology also make it a joy to use this intuitive, reliable machine with any one of its 255 patterns.
  • 16 different button holes
  • 4 available fonts
  • designed for comfortable use
Brand JUKI
Model 0189684000190
Weight 25.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 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 October 12, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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