The 8 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting Projects

The Singer Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine is loved by beginners and pros

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Quilters have particular needs when it comes to their sewing machines: an expansive workspace to accommodate large quilts, special feet, powerful motors, and much more. Fortunately there are plenty of options, no matter if you're a pro quilter or beginner.

"A few main features I would look out for is a machine with a large throat space, the ability to lower the feed dogs, stitch speed, and an automatic thread cutter," says craft blogger Jeni Baker. This will ensure even beginners can make beautiful quilts.

When we researched the best sewing machines for quilting projects, we considered factors like ease of use, durability, and versatility. Our top pick is the Singer Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine (view at Amazon) which has all of the factors that Baker suggests, along with a sturdy construction and 100 included stitches.

If you’re looking for a sewing machine for quilting projects specifically, here are the best ones on the market today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: SINGER Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine

4.7
SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet and Metal Frame

Amazon

What We Like
  • Sturdy and durable

  • 25-year limited warranty

  • Includes helpful accessories and features

What We Don't Like
  • Not portable

When it comes to sewing machines, Singer is one of the best-known brands. This particular machine—the Singer 7258—tops our list for sewing machines for quilters because it offers the essential features quilters need at a reasonable price. 

To quickly find your desired stitch, you can utilize the handy push button stitch selection feature. While the machine is already set with the optimal settings for length, width, and tension, you can adjust the settings as needed. One user noted that it easily sewed through four layers of denim with interfacing, an impressive feat for models in this category. The singer 7258 is a sturdy, dependable machine, backed with a 25-year limited warranty.

Dimensions: 14.5 x 7.5 x 12 inches | Weight: 14.8 pounds | Included Stitches: 100 | Accessories: Automatic needle-threader, top drop-in bobbin, snap-on presser feet | Power Source: Electric

Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

The Spruce Crafts

What Testers Say

"The ability to take on more control by moving from auto to customized selection makes this a great machine that will take you from beginner to advanced."—Katie Begley, Product Tester

Best Portable: Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine

4.8
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Provides a large workspace

  • 25-year limited warranty

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Users note tension could be better

There are all sorts of reasons to want a portable sewing machine: Maybe you don’t have a dedicated area for crafting, attend all sorts of classes, or simply want to be able to easily travel with your machine. The space-friendly Brother CS600i allows you to easily move your machine without sacrificing functionality. 

It weighs just 13 pounds and contains all sorts of desirable features. It has 60 built-in stitches, an automatic needle threader, a protective case for when you’re on the go with the machine, and several helpful accessories. This machine also comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

Dimensions: 11. 4 x 6.7 x 16.1 inches | Weight: 13 pounds | Included Stitches: 60 | Accessories: Automatic needle threader, oversized wide table, 10 presser feet | Power Source: Electric

What Testers Say

"The Brother CS6000i is designed for streamlined sewing. Winding the bobbin and threading the needle are simple tasks."—Rebekah Joan, Product Tester



Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine

The Spruce Crafts / Rebekah Dietz

Best Budget: Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Includes helpful accessories and features

  • Portable

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't provide a large workspace

Janome is another stand-out brand when it comes to sewing machines. This budget-friendly option doesn’t skimp on the quality: While it’s not packed with features, it has the essentials. This is a great option if you’re new to quilting or want a second machine (either to take to quilting gatherings or because you split your time between two locations). 

This mechanical machine is easy to use and suitable for piecing and other quilting tasks. With the Janome 2212, you can drop the feed dogs if you need, too. It’ll handle thick quilting material, although note that it won’t provide the workspace necessary for a big quilting project (like, say, a quilt for a king-sized bed).

Dimensions: 15.2 x 11.6 x 6 inches | Weight: 13 pounds | Included Stitches: 12 | Accessories: Four-step buttonhole, snap-on presser feet | Power Source: Electric

Best Splurge: Janome S5 Computerized Sewing Machine

Janome S5 Sewing Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Provides a large workspace

  • Includes helpful accessories and features

  • Sturdy and durable

What We Don't Like
  • Not portable

Say hello to features with the Janome S5, which offers a generous amount of space for your quilting projects, along with all sorts of features quilters will appreciate, including a needle-down option and automatic thread cutter. 

This machine can sew through multiple layers with ease. And while it offers a lot of features, picking up on how to use them is relatively easy, compared to other, more complex computerized sewing machines. This is a sturdy, dependable machine from a well-renowned brand—while it’s ideal for any sewing project, the throat space and other features make it particularly ideal for quilters.

Dimensions: 19 x 12.5 x 9.25 inches | Weight: 22.5 pounds | Included Stitches: 170 | Accessories: Automatic thread cutter, memorized needle up/down, built-in needle threader, buttonhole stabilizer plate | Power Source: Electric

Best for Beginners: Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Provides a large workspace

  • Includes an instructional DVD

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Users note plastic composition feels cheap

Sewing machines of today come with built-in computers, and all of the technology involved can sometimes make getting accustomed to a machine an overwhelming task. This isn't the case with the beginner-friendly model from Brother. 

It offers 37 built-in stitches, eight sewing feet (including walking and quilting feet), an automatic needle threader, and plenty of helpful accessories, including an instructional DVD to help get you started using the machine.

Dimensions: 10.5 x 18.0 x 15.0 inches | Weight: 12.3 pounds | Included Stitches: 37 | Accessories: Automatic needle threader, 8 sewing feet, instructional DVD | Power Source: Electric

Best Mechanical: Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Provides a large workspace

  • Sews 1,500 stitches per minute

  • Includes helpful accessories and features

What We Don't Like
  • Not portable

Of course, there are huge benefits to computerized sewing machines, such as all sorts of bells and whistles that can lead to precise stitching and time-saving automation features. However, a mechanical machine also has its benefits: These machines are typically less pricey, and while they offer fewer features, they're often easier to use. 

The Brother PQ1500SL is ideal for quilters who’d prefer to use a mechanical machine: Not only does it offer a large extension table, making for a big workspace, but it has a built-in knee lifter, an automatic thread cutter button, and sews up to 1,500 stitches per minute. It also comes with a quilting foot and a detachable wide table to extend your workspace. 

Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.9 x 19.3 inches | Weight: 24.2 pounds | Included Stitches: Not listed | Accessories: 7 presser feet, extra-large wide table, automatic needle threader | Power Source: Electric

Best with Large Throat: Juki TL-2010Q

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle Sewing Machine

Amazon

What We Like
  • Provides a large workspace

  • Portable

  • Sturdy and durable

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note tension could be better

If you’re making large-sized quilts, the throat space—or, distance between the right side of the machine and the needle—makes a really big difference.

This Juki TL-2010Q comes with more than 8 inches of throat space—some machines offer more, but this one comes with an extension table, which leads to a large work area that’s ideal for quilting. With the extension table attached, the work area is nearly 2 feet wide. 

The machine is portable. It offers several quilter-friendly features, such as several feet for quilting, an automatic thread trimmer, and the ability to determine if the stop position of the needle is up or down.

Dimensions: 17.75 x 9 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 25.4 pounds | Included Stitches: Not listed | Accessories: Several presser feet, automatic thread trimmer, needle up/down control, extension table | Power Source: Electric

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Quiet

  • Suitable for many different projects

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

With an embroidery sewing machine, quilters can make their own labels, embroider designs on the quilt, and more. If you’re interested in embroidery—either on its own, or as part of your quilting—this Brother SE600 machine suits your needs. 

It offers 80 embroidery designs, 103 sewing stitches, and software to design fonts, and has a good-sized work space for both quilting and embroidery. There are the seven easy-to-swap sewing feet, which include overcasting, monogramming, and blind stitch. This ensures any project, whether sewing, quilting, or embroidery, comes out beautifully.

Dimensions: 21.18 x 16.54 x 15.51 Inches | Weight: 26 pounds | Included Stitches: 103 | Accessories: Not Listed | Power Source: Electric

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Singer Stylist 7258 Sewing Machine (view at Amazon). It's durable, includes various stitches, and has an automatic needle threading function. As an added plus, it's also covered by a 25-year limited warranty. For something a little cheaper, the Janome 2212 Sewing Machine (view at Amazon) has all of the quilting essentials you need and can handle thick material—at just under $200.

What to Look for in a Sewing Machine for Quilting

Price

Owner of Suzy Quilts, Suzy Williams knows how important price is when it comes to a large purchase like a sewing machine. "If you're a dabbler, or not sure you like quilting just yet, a used or borrowed sewing machine is a great option," she shares. Beginning with a less expensive option ensures you can test and try new skills and features without fear of messing up.

Once your skills develop, you can begin to look at more expensive options with more advanced features and accessories. Williams suggest visiting a sewing machine dealer (where you can get your machine serviced) and ask professionals for advice in the important purchase.

Luckily, there are a wide range of machines available at various prices to fit whatever your budget is. Baker knows it may be tempting to purchase a cheap option from a big box store, which may be a perfect option for a first-timer. "However, if you plan on making more than a few things, I believe it's worth it to invest in a more substantial machine. I'd start looking in the $500 range," she shares.

Writer and craft blogger Carole Carter recommends buying the best machine you can afford to have the best quilting experience. "It is worth the money to not be frustrated with a throat size too small, or the inability to do what you wish because of not having the right feet or accessories to make the process fun," she says. "Sewing and quilting should be a joyful experience."

Features and Accessories

Having specific features can make your quilting experience easier, whether you're a pro or beginner. Carter believes that the two main features to look for in a domestic sewing machine for quilting is throat size and the ability to drop the feed dogs for free motion quilting. "However, do be aware that not all machines do well with free motion, particularly curved lines, sometimes resulting in ladder-looking stitches or loopy stitches on the backside of your project," she cautions.

Also, an automatic thread cutter saves time. The quicker the stitch speed, the quicker you will be able to complete a project. Beginners may additionally want to look for a machine with a lot of included stitches to increase the testing and learning that occurs. Other convenient things to look for include a carrying case, specifications for portability, and whether the machine is computerized or not.

Skill Level

Baker recommends that beginners look for machines with just a few basic features. "Specifically, look for a 1/4-inch seam foot, a walking foot and a free-motion quilting foot," she says. As you advance your skills, you can move onto a more complex machine, perhaps one with a computerized display that can also embroider and sew beautifully.

FAQ
  • What is the difference between a quilting machine and a sewing machine?

    Most sewing machines have everything you need to sew and create quilts. The only exception would be the longarm sewing machines, also known as a quilting machine. These are used for the quilting portion of making a quilt. "That is the stitching done through all three layers (quilt top, batting, quilt back), that you see on the finished quilt," says Baker. But, sewing machines can complete this step as well, so a specific machine for quilting is not necessary.

  • Can you use any sewing machine for quilting?

    Yes. "A sewing machine can be used for piecing the quilt top, for quilting, and for binding (finishing the edges) of the quilt," says Baker.

  • What is the best quilting machine for a beginner?

    According to Williams, you do not need a fancy machine to get started. She recommends looking for a sewing machine that can sew a straight line, which is pivotal for quilting. Also, join a quilting Facebook group or equivalent in-person or online. "Those are the places filled with knowledgeable people who can help troubleshoot and guide you on your personal quilting journey," she says.

Why Trust The Spruce Crafts?

Madeleine Burry has written for The Spruce Crafts since 2019, covering pets, crafting, and helpful home and kitchen products. Previously, she’s written about the best sewing machines for beginners. To assemble this list, she consulted customer reviews and third-party websites for insight. She also considered the features she appreciates the most when using a sewing machine. Additional reporting was done by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more.

Expert advice was provided by craft blogger Jeni Baker, owner of Suzy Quilts, Suzy Williams, and writer and craft blogger Carole Carter.