5 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Quilting is the method of sewing together various layers of fabric to create a thicker, warmer piece. A quilt is split into three parts: the Quilt Top, the Wadding, and the Backing. Quilters often like using a ‘quilt sandwich’ analogy when describing this setup. Just like the sandwich is split into three primary parts, so is a quilt in a comparable sense.

Machine quilting is a somewhat faster method in which a quilter utilizes a sewing machine to stitch the quilting layers together. You can still quilt with your standard sewing machine. However, the tension may keep getting off, the light won’t work, and every so often, the bobbin will come unthreaded. In that case, you might end up obliviously humming along until you pick up your chain piece just to have it all fall apart. 

So if you’re serious about your quilting, you should definitely consider investing in a proper quilting unit. 

Important quilting machine features

Among some features, you have to look for in that perfect quilting machine are the following: 

Larger working space – you need it for an outstanding quilt! 

Good quilting sewing machines also should have easy threading feature. You have to change your stitch at a particular stage of your creating process. The finest quilting units allow you to turn mid-stream stitches and apply custom characteristics. In the end, it will help to improve the easy of work and the quality of the quilt you are making. 

The possibility to adjust the stitch characteristics, the width, the length, and room between each stitch, is also essential.  The proper quilting units provide a width of up to 7 mm, thus generating a lot of design variation. And they also often allow you to be more exact with each stitch. 

Quilting machines should have the power to sew for hours while maintaining the same stitching precision. Only in that case the stitched will come out beautifully and look the same across a quilt.

A quality machine constructed to industrial standards should last for decades − stitch after stitch, quilt after quilt.   

So, as with any significant investment, when raising up your quilting game, it pays to do your homework. And we hope this report will help make the right choice.

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How we compared the best quilting sewing machines

  • We’ve analyzed the selection of most popular sewing machines that are sold on Amazon.com and selected 70+ best-rated units with quilting capabilities.  
  • We’ve scrutinized the shortlist based on the units’ design, users’ reviews and feedback, functionalities and more. 
  • The final list of top 5 best sewing machines for quilting was categorized based on the major machines’ capabilities or features: whether its portability, price, or else. 
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Compare the best sewing machines for quilting

For your convenience, you can locate all the major data points describing each sewing machine in the rating in one table below. You can quickly access the detailed review related to the particular model by clicking on its name in the left column. 

ModelWeight, PDimensions, IPriceStitchesCompH.DutyEasySYS Score
#1 Juki TL-2010Q3825.7 x 14 x 18$$$$~NYN9.0
#2 Brother CE7070PRW16.319.5 x 12.7 x 15.9$$70YYY9.5
#3 Brother xm270112.612.1 x 5.9 x 15.3$27NYY9.0
#4 Brother XR9550PRW 19.817 x 16.3 x 12.5 $$110YYY9.3
#5 Brother SQ918517.717.4 x 17.2 x 13.8$$185YYY9.7

And now let’s dive deeper into details about the best quilting sewing machines in each category.

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Best rated sewing machine for quilting

Juki TL-2010Q

Description: 

Just to clarify, we don’t mean top-rated by the editors of this report when we say top-rated. Triumphing in this category signifies that this machine has the highest user rates compared to other models. We are not surprised about this one, though, Juki TL-2010Q is a terrific workhorse. For quilting and beyond.

It makes fantastic stitches. It’s mechanical, no computers, no blows, no whistles. However, if you want a powerful, reliable quilting machine without spending a fortune, this is the one. This device is the dream of a quilter. (But you can also sew on it as well).

Juki TL-2010Q manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Check instructional videos here

Features:

  • 1500 stitches per minute
  • Foot and Sliding Speed Control
  • Comes with large (12 x 23) working table
  • Knee-lift and a needle up-down

You can check more specifications HERE

9Expert Score
Juki TL-2010Q

Single needle machine for straight stitching and quilting, perfect for tailoring, dressmaking, home decor items or anything else. The only limit is your imagination.

Design
9
Functions
9
Sewing Quality
10
Accessories
8
Ease of Use
8
Value for money
10
PROS
  • It sews fast, quiet and smooth
  • Very strong and sews through the thick fabric without lagging and maintaining evenly sized stitches
  • Nice extension table
  • Very responsive foot control
  • Perfectly formed straight stitches
  • Knee lifter
  • Very sturdy
CONS
  • Manual could be better
  • The needle threader is taking some practice to learn
  • Some reported the light is a bit dim
 Go back to comparison chart or beginning of the report
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Best sewing machine for free-motion quilting

Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW

Description: 

For free-motion quilting, your sewing machine must be able to lower its feed dog. So that there is no pushing, pulling, or any other fabric resistance. You will also need a free-motion foot that is consistent with your sewing machine. It is brand-specific in most instances.

Once the feed dog is in the right position, and your free motion foot is safely attached, you are in full command of the fabric and stitching. Your machine will not provide any resistance so you can freely maneuver with your “quilt sandwich” around and construct any pattern you like.  And this machine, this little worker, is capable of it. It can basically sew any sort of stuff and will do whatever you want, even if you quilt / sew every day.

It’s pretty much as awesome as $5,000-worth industrial quilting units. But costs a small fraction of it. And it’s lightweight so you can even bring it along on the trips or meeting. You’ll enjoy the detachable broad sewing table that comes with it and the free arm quilting drop feed system.

Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Features:

  • 70 built-in stitches
  • Tons of accessories, including 7 presser feet, 4 bobbins, 3-piece needle set, ballpoint needle, twin needle, etc.
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 7 styles of built-in, one-step buttonholes 
  • Wide table for larger projects with ruler markings
  • Jam-resistant Quick-Set bobbin
  • Drop feed for free-motion quilting 

You can check more specifications HERE

9.5Expert Score
Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW

It will do anything you want without skipping any stitches and the drop feed system will allow you to handle free-motion quilting with ease.

Design
9
Functions
10
Sewing Quality
9
Accessories
10
Ease of Use
9
Value for money
10
PROS
  • The needle threader is great
  • Quiet and runs smoothly
  • Lots of stitches
  • Light and portable
  • The drop-in bobbin compartment is convenient
  • Very easy to use machine
  • Amazing price/value ratio
CONS
  • Led display is not lit and hard to see
  • Bobbin winding is a bit complicated
 Go back to comparison chart or beginning of the report
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Best quilting machine for a beginner

Brother XM2701

Description: 

This machine has once hit our ratings before. It was featured as the best value for money in our searches of the best sewing machines by Brother. (You can read it here).

So now you know that it’s not only great for a quilting beginner, but for any Brother’s aficionados. Especially the ones who appreciate an opportunity to get the most of the sewing power per dollar. It’s also a sound machine for novices who are learning to sew and quilt and even fit the needs of more seasoned sewers who are looking for more versatility.

Brother xm2701 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Check instructional videos here

Features:

  • 27 built-in stitches, including decorative, and quilting stitches
  • Sewing speed up to 800 stitches per minute
  • Jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Built-in free arm
  • One-step buttonholer
  • Includes 6 sewing feet and more accessories

You can check more specifications HERE

9Expert Score
Brother XM2701

Great little portable sewing machine great for quilting beginner.

Design
9
Functions
8
Sewing Quality
9
Accessories
8
Ease of Use
10
Value for money
10
PROS
  • Drop in bobbin works great
  • Easy to set up
  • DVD instructions are very helpful
  • Has a lot of various stitches, including quilting options (more than other machines in the same price range)
  • Comes with tons of accessories
  • Built-in easy needle threader
CONS
  • Doesn’t include the case
  • It can handle the jeans fabric, but it’s quite challenging to make it work
  • Dim LED light (which is the case for most of the machines)
  • Foot pedal seems cheap
 Go back to comparison chart or beginning of the report

Looking for more “beginners” options? Check our research of best sewing machines for beginners here.

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Best machine for both sewing and quilting

Brother XR9550PRW 

Description: 

This unit is TERRIFIC for the price. There are more than enough types of stitches. It even has a monogramming functionality. A good set of accessories is included with each machine purchased. And it comes with most of the feet you might ever need for any project (including hopping quilting foot) 

You can create anything from curtains to a quilt on this unit. And any of those projects destined to turn out great as long as you are following the manual.

Brother XR9550PRW manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Check instructional videos here

Features:

  • Includes 110 utility, decorative and heirloom stitches
  • 8 sewing feet included (for buttonhole, zipper, overcasting, blind stitch, monogramming, quilting, etc)
  • Comes with a protective hard case and an oversized wide table 
  • Equipped with a large LCD screen that enables computerized stitch selection
  • Free arm capability for sewing cuffs and sleeves
  • Drop feed for free-motion quilting and sewing

You can check more specifications HERE

9.3Expert Score
Brother XR9550PRW

Really great machine for both some serious quality sewing and quilting at a cheapy price. Better than most at the fraction of the cost.

Design
9
Functions
9
Sewing Quality
9
Accessories
10
Ease of Use
9
Value for money
10
PROS
  • Very easy to learn user interface
  • Great manual
  • Convenient quilting table extension
  • Lots of feet for everything
  • Loaded with features
  • PRICE for the features
  • The bobbin is not only drop-in but, it is a quick set up too
CONS
  • The case is plastic and not as sturdy
  • Monogramming is basic and is a set size
  • Bobbin size is very specific
 Go back to comparison chart or beginning of the report

Interested in more options from Brother? Check our research of the best brother sewing machines here.

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Best inexpensive sewing machine for quilting

Brother SQ9185 

Description: 

Yes, it’s Brother again. But what can we do if they create those solid machines, packed with features and very moderately priced? So, yes, it’s not surprising that this one is a winner in the “cheap” category. 

See for yourself: drop-in bobbin, velocity control, up / down needle button, reverse push button, free arms for sewing sleeves and baby clothing, and 185 built-in stitches. Not enough?

Computerized, lightweight, it comes with an assortment of the most used, snap-on, feet. Even a walking foot that is great for slippery or hard to manage fabrics is included. And if all these characteristics seem a bit intimidating, the user manual is also pretty amazing. It’s a great machine for an aspiring quilter on a budget. 

Brother RSQ9185 manual

Download User’s guide (PDF)

Check instructional videos here

Features:

  • 185 Built-in Stitches, including styles for quilting and monogramming
  • Large easy to navigate LCD Display
  • LED-lit work area
  • Bunch of accessories included ( many feet, including ones for buttonholes, zippers, monogramming, various quilting feet along with quilting guide, etc.)
  • Wide table for larger projects such as quilts 
  • Free arm for sewing cuff and sleeves
  • Easy-to-use speed control

You can check more specifications HERE

9.7Expert Score
Brother RSQ9185

This little machine most likely will inspire you to do your first quilt if you are a newbie. And will allow you to take on projects beyond your wildest imagination if you are a seasoned sewer.

Design
9
Functions
10
Sewing Quality
9
Accessories
10
Ease of Use
10
Value for money
10
PROS
  • The included quilting table is very useful for most projects
  • The tension is perfect
  • Lots of interesting and fun stitches
  • Handles a variety of fabrics without difficulty
  • Pretty straight forward right Out of the box
  • Great price
CONS
  • Screwdriver for the presser foot holder is a bit too small
  • The threading is tricky
  • Some reported tension issued (those were solved by following the manual)
 Go back to comparison chart or beginning of the report

Looking for more inexpensive options? You might like our list of 8 best cheap sewing machines HERE.

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Quilting machines deals and pricing guide

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Credits: cover photo Canva
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