In this article, we will answer the question: what is the Best Sewing Machines For Free Motion Quilting in 2023
So, let’s begin.
Do you love quilting, but are looking for a sewing machine that will make your life a little bit easier? Free motion quilting has been gaining in popularity lately and many sewers are looking for affordable but high-quality machines.
But which machines are the best on the market? We’ve scoured the web to find the 9 best sewing machines for free motion quilting in 2023. So, if you want to find out what the top choices are, this is the article for you!
The history of sewing machines for free motion quilting
The history of sewing machines for free motion quilting can be traced back to the mid-19th century when the first sewing machine was invented by Elias Howe in 1846. Howe’s machine used a needle that moved up and down to create a lockstitch. This revolutionized the textile industry, making it possible to produce clothing and other textile goods quickly and efficiently.
In the 1870s, the first domestic sewing machines were introduced. These machines were designed for home use and were smaller and lighter than the industrial models. With the introduction of the domestic sewing machine, sewing became a popular hobby for women.
The first sewing machines designed specifically for quilting were introduced in the 1980s. These machines had special features such as a longer arm and a drop feed mechanism that allowed quilters to move the fabric in any direction they wished. This type of sewing is called free motion quilting.
Today, there are many different types of sewing machines available for free motion quilting. Some are designed specifically for quilting, while others are more general-purpose machines that can be used for a variety of sewing tasks.
One of the most popular brands of sewing machines for free motion quilting is the Bernina. Bernina machines are known for their quality and reliability, and they have a variety of features that make them ideal for quilting, such as a longer arm, a knee lift, and a built-in stitch regulator.
Other popular brands of sewing machines for free motion quilting include Janome, Pfaff, and Brother. These brands offer a range of machines at different price points, so there is something available for every quilter, from beginners to experts.
Free Motion Quilting Sewing Machines: Features
Free motion quilting is a technique of stitching where the user moves the fabric under the needle of a sewing machine, rather than the machine feeding the fabric. Many modern sewing machines have features designed specifically for free motion quilting, including:
- Drop feed dogs: This allows the user to lower the feed dogs that usually help move the fabric, so that the fabric can be moved freely in any direction.
- Large workspace: Free motion quilting requires a large workspace to accommodate the bulk of the fabric. Many sewing machines have extended tables that can be attached to the machine for this purpose.
- Adjustable presser foot pressure: The presser foot is the part of the sewing machine that holds the fabric in place. The pressure exerted by the presser foot can be adjusted to accommodate different thicknesses of fabric.
- Variable speed control: Free motion quilting requires the user to move the fabric at a steady pace. Many machines have variable speed control to allow the user to control the speed of the stitching.
- Needle up/down feature: This feature allows the user to stop the machine with the needle either up or down in the fabric. This is useful for pivoting or turning the fabric while quilting.
- Tension adjustment: The tension of the top and bottom threads can be adjusted separately for free motion quilting to ensure even stitching.
- Stitch length adjustment: The length of the stitch can be adjusted to achieve the desired look for the quilting.
- Thread cutter: A thread cutter can be a handy feature for cutting the threads between quilting lines without the need for scissors.
- Walking foot: A walking foot can be attached to the sewing machine to help feed the fabric evenly through the machine, which is especially useful for quilting multiple layers of fabric.
Top Sewing Machines For Free Motion Quilting in 2023
Now, We will explore nine sewing machines for free motion quilting and discuss their features, advantages, and factors to consider, helping you to arrive at an informed purchasing decision.
1. Brother CS7000X
The Brother CS7000X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine is a must-have for any sewist or quilter! With 70 built-in stitches, an improved needle threader, a metal frame & fixed needle bar, and a large needle-to-arm workspace, this machine packs a ton of features into one compact package. I’ve had the chance to use and test it out, and I have to say – it’s amazing!
To start, the CS7000X includes 70 unique built-in stitches including utility, decorative, heirloom, and quilting stitch functions, plus 7 1-step auto-size buttonholes. It also has an improved needle threader which makes threading the needle easier than ever before.
The durable metal frame construction allows you to tackle any project, while the convenient, jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin helps ensure your bobbin stays in place. Plus, the larger workspace with increased width in needle-to-arm space lets you work on larger projects like quilts.
On top of that, the CS7000X comes with a wide table, 10 sewing feet plus a quilt guide, a protective hard case, a trilingual English/Spanish/French user manual, and more. All these accessories make it easy to get started right away. I love how versatile this machine is – it can handle all kinds of projects from clothing repairs to complex quilt patterns.
- 70 unique built-in stitches
- Improved needle threader
- Durable metal frame and fixed needle bar
- Includes wide table, 10 sewing feet plus quilt guide, protective hard case, etc.
- Versatile enough for all types of projects
- Not compatible with 220 volts
- Limited customer support options
Overall, the Brother CS7000X Sewing and Quilting Machine is an excellent choice for anyone looking to take their sewing and quilting skills to the next level. With its durable construction, ample workspace, and useful accessories, you’ll be able to make beautiful projects with ease.
2. Brother PQ1500SL
This powerful Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine packs a serious punch, allowing you to sew up to 1,500 stitches per minute. It also comes with an array of features that make it perfect for any quilter or sewer. Here’s why this is my go-to machine:
- Advanced needle threading system: The automatic needle threader pushes your thread through the needle effortlessly and the jam-resistant drop-in bobbin keeps things running smoothly.
- Included accessories: Not only does the PQ1500SL come with the standard table, feet, and instruction manual, but it also includes a knee-lifter that allows you to lift the presser foot using just your knee – leaving both hands free for fabric handling.
- Precision pin feeding system: You can easily work with fabrics of varying thicknesses thanks to the Pin Feed system.
The Brother PQ1500SL offers amazing performance at an affordable price point. I especially appreciate its advanced needle threading system and included accessories. My favorite feature is definitely the precision pin feeding system which ensures accurate and consistent stitching on all types of fabrics.
- Up to 1,500 Stitches Per Minute max sewing speed
- Automatic needle threader and jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin
- Includes a wide table, 7 sewing feet, and knee-lifter
- Precision pin feeding system for precise fabric feeding
- Intended for sale only in the US at 120 volts
- No built-in light
3. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 portable sewing machine is the ultimate one-stop shop for all your creative projects!
With an impressive selection of 600 stitches, 5 alphanumeric fonts, and 13 built-in 1-step buttonholes, this high-speed 850-stitch-per-minute machine will ensure that you get through your project quickly and easily. And thanks to its automatic needle threader, you won’t have to waste time squinting or fussing with frustrating knots.
I’m a big fan of this machine’s ease-of-use features. Not only does it include a variety of presser feet – from All-Purpose Foot to Satin Stitch Foot – but its Mirror Imaging and Stitch Elongation capabilities make it even easier to create unique projects. Plus, its intuitive design makes it simple to switch between different stitches and settings.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the Quantum Stylist 9960 is the fact that it allows me to customize my projects with its extensive range of decorative options. From basic to stretch to decorative stitches, I can mix and match patterns to create something totally unique. And if I want to add a personalized touch, there are five different font styles to choose from to really express my creativity.
This machine is perfect for any level of crafter, whether you’re just starting out or a pro looking for a reliable workhorse. Here are some of the pros and cons:
- Intuitive design makes switching between settings easy
- Automatic needle threader eliminates eye strain and frustration
- Large selection of stitches including basic, stretch, and decorative stitches
- Five alphanumeric fonts for added personalization
- The maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute
- Plastic parts tend to feel cheap
- Limited availability outside of North America
- Can be loud when running at full speed
Overall, the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 offers great value for money and has plenty of features for both new and experienced sewers alike. It’s definitely worth investing in if you’re serious about crafting or quilting!
4. Juki HZL F600
The Juki HZL-F600 is a sewing and quilting machine that has it all! This user-friendly, feature-packed machine is perfect for sewers of all levels. From beginners to experts, this machine will make your creative projects come alive with ease.
For starters, the LCD screen makes navigating through 255 built-in stitches a breeze. With just the push of a button, you can easily select from basic, stretch, decorative, letters, or buttonhole stitches. Also included is an automatic needle threader – no more frustratingly trying to thread the eye of the needle!
You also get plenty of accessories like bobbins, spool caps, lint brushes, screwdrivers, needles, seam rippers, and even a soft-sided dust cover.
What I love most about this machine is how intuitive and easy to use it is. Even if you’re new to sewing, you won’t have trouble getting started with the Juki HZL-F600. The large selection of stitches means there are endless possibilities for creating beautiful designs. As someone who loves quilting and embroidery, this machine doesn’t disappoint.
- Large selection of stitches (255)
- Automatic needle threader
- Intuitive and easy-to-use design
- Includes plenty of useful accessories
- Perfect for both beginner and experienced sewers
- Can be noisy when in use
- Heavy and bulky
- No free-arm option
6. Janome MC6650
Why it made the cut: The Janome Memory Craft 6650 sewing machine facilitates free-motion sewing, as well as offers a plethora of convenient features and accessories for creating beautiful, heirloom-quality quilts.
- Weight: 24.25 pounds
- Product dimensions: 20 inches long by 9 inches wide by 12 inches high
- Computerized or mechanical: Computerized
- Drop-feed capability for free-motion sewing
- 6 LED lights in 3 locations
- High speed up to 1,000 stitches per minute
- 170 built-in stitches + 2 alphabets
- Upper-end price point
Overall, a good free motion quilting sewing machine should have a combination of these features to make the quilting process as smooth and easy as possible.
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