A square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square. Similarly, all quilting machines are sewing machines, but not all sewing machines are quilters. The distinction is slight. A quilting machine is simply a sewing machine that’s equipped with a wider range of add-ons and capabilities than a traditional sewing machine. Because quilts are large and cumbersome to work with, quilting machines have a spacious work area. They can accommodate extension tables, have a quarter-inch seam allowance for machine piecing a quilt top, and come with a free-motion foot add-on. They also have powerful motors and fast stitching rates. A quilting machine is a must-have for the avid quilter. Browse our roundup of the best options below.
1. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
This machine from a trusted brand is a great choice for everyone from the beginner to the expert, thanks to its automatic needle threader, feature-rich design, and sturdy composition. It offers 600 stitches and 13 styles of automatic one-step buttonholes, and you can monogram your quilts in any of five different fonts. With control over stitch length, width, and mirror imaging, you can easily customize the stitching to suit your design. You also get an extension table and 18 different presser feet.
2. Janome JW8100 Sewing Machine
Janome machines are known for their high quality construction, and this tool lives up to that reputation. With a built-in automatic needle threader and backlit LCD screen with navigation buttons, this machine is ultra user-friendly. Handy controller buttons are located right by the needle, so you can easily turn the machine on and off, sew without the foot pedal, reverse your stitches, move the needle up and down, and make a lock stitch. There’s plenty of stitch variety to choose from, as the machine is programmed with 100 stitches and 7 buttonholes.
3. Brother CS7000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
This is an extremely popular entry-level quilting machine, the one educators often use in demonstrations and classrooms. Threading is made easy with the automatic needle threader function, and the LCD screen makes stitch selection simple. Equipped with 70 built-in stitches, a protective hard case, 10 sewing feet, and a wide table, this machine is a complete product. Light and portable, it is a great tool to take to quilt-making classes.
4. Flynn Multi-Frame Quilting System
This cleverly designed and well-priced quilting frame makes it easy to sew quilts on virtually any home sewing machine. It is composed of two roller pipes made of PVC and three fiberglass rods that make for a smooth quilt roll-out. The frame accommodates quilts up to 38 inches wide, and you can easily widen the frame by adding new rods.
5. Bernette B77
This premium machine is designed with a 5-inch color touchscreen for easy navigation and control. The multifunction knobs allow quick operation, and the semiautomatic needle threader makes setup convenient. With 500 preprogrammed stitches and 17 different buttonholes, this option is the most richly outfitted of the bunch.