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Best Sewing Machines of Free Motion Quilting Reviewed: Top 9 Picks of 2024

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best sewing machines for free motion quilting reviewedYou’re seeking the best sewing machines for free motion quilting reviewed, eh? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Machines like the Janome Memory Craft 8900QCP and Brother PQ1500SL are top contenders. They are designed specifically for quilters with larger workspaces and specialized quilting feet.

They’ll provide a smoother, more controlled quilting experience to reduce frustration and boost productivity. But don’t just take my word for it – let’s examine the key features that make these machines stand out for tackling intricate free motion designs with ease.

Sticking around? You’re in for a treat!

Key Takeaways

  • Free motion quilting is an artistic dance, and you’ll want a trusty partner – a machine designed precisely for this liberating craft. With features like spacious workspaces, specialized feet, and stitch regulation, these quilting machines will have you gliding through intricate designs like a prima ballerina!
  • Don’t be fooled by domestic sewing machines’ claims of quilting capabilities. For true quilting freedom, you’ll need a dedicated quilter’s companion – one built to handle the unique demands of layering fabric sandwiches, maintaining even tension, and granting you the control to bring your textile visions to life.
  • Embracing free motion quilting is an investment, both financially and in dedication. But like any profound artistic journey, the rewards of mastering this craft are priceless. Prepare to be transformed from a frustrated novice to a confident quilting virtuoso, your stitches flowing like calligraphic brushstrokes across a canvas.
  • Quilting is a lifestyle, a community bonded by a shared passion for textile artistry. Join the tribe through vibrant online forums, where seasoned quilters offer wisdom, novices find encouragement, and all revel in the sheer joy of creating heirloom quilts brimming with personal expression.

Top 9 Best Sewing Machines for Free Motion Quilting

Regarding the selection of an ideal sewing machine for free motion quilting, you possess a spectrum of possibilities to contemplate, ranging from the dependable Singer 7258 to the advanced Janome Memory Craft 8200 QCP. With attributes such as expanded workspaces, stitch regulation, and specialized quilting accessories, these highly regarded machines are conceived to elevate your quilting practice and escalate your productivity.

1. Singer 7258 Sewing Quilting Machine

SINGER | 7258 Sewing &View On Amazon
If you’re a quilting enthusiast seeking liberation through your craft, the Singer 7258 deserves a closer look.

This machine packs a punch with its smooth free motion quilting capabilities and user-friendly design.

Imagine gliding your hands effortlessly as you bring your quilting visions to life, mastering intricate patterns with precision and ease.

With its sturdy construction and quilting-specific features, the 7258 liberates you to explore your creative boundaries like never before.

Best For: Beginners and experienced quilters seeking a user-friendly and versatile machine for free motion quilting.

Pros
  • Smooth free motion quilting capabilities
  • User-friendly design
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • Plastic peg for automatic bobbin winding wears off over time
  • Requires gentle handling
  • Can be noisy on slow stitch mode

2. Brother PQ1500SL Sewing Machine

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine,View On Amazon
Are you seeking a powerful machine designed for quilters? The Brother PQ1500SL delivers with a precision pin feeding system, full range foot pressure adjustment, and blistering 1,500 stitches per minute.

Its advanced needle threading system and automatic thread cutter streamline your workflow.

While lacking decorative stitches, this straight-stitch beast promises unmatched control for your free motion quilting projects.

With a wide table and 7 included feet, it’s an investment that empowers your quilting potential.

Best For: Quilters seeking a high-performance machine with precision control for free motion quilting.

Pros
  • Precision pin feeding system for precise fabric handling
  • Full range foot pressure adjustment for optimal fabric thickness
  • Automatic thread cutter for effortless thread trimming
Cons
  • Does not offer zig zag or other decorative stitches
  • Bobbin is side loading and does not alert when thread has run out
  • Top thread tension dial is hard to see

3. Janome Memory Craft 8200 QCP

Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200View On Amazon
You’ll be smitten with the Janome Memory Craft 8200QCP! Its 11 arm space grants mastery over vast quilting projects. Janome’s esteemed ACUFEED FLEX fabric system ensures flawless stitch quality, while the 9mm stitch width expands your creative freedom. Enjoy features galore, like the built-in needle threader, speed control, and automatic thread trimmer—all designed for free-motion quilting bliss!

Best For: Quilters and sewists seeking a versatile and feature-rich machine for large projects and intricate stitching.

Pros
  • Expansive 11 arm space for handling bulky fabrics
  • ACUFEED FLEX feeding system for precise fabric control
  • 9mm stitch width for bold and decorative stitching
Cons
  • May be too advanced for beginners
  • Pricey compared to other models
  • Heavy weight at 27 pounds

4. Juki TL 2000 Qi Sewing Quilting Machine

JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and QuiltingView On Amazon
You’re looking for a reliable machine that can handle your free-motion quilting projects.

Juki’s TL2000Qi quilting machine is a powerhouse with a 1500 stitches per minute speed, allowing you to breeze through large quilts.

Its aluminum die-cast construction promises low-vibration operation and durability for marathon quilting sessions.

The automatic needle threader and included extension table enhance your quilting experience, ensuring precise stitches on a spacious work area.

Unleash your creativity with this high-performance machine.

Best For: Quilters and home décor enthusiasts who demand a reliable and efficient machine.

Pros
  • Fast 1500 SPM for rapid quilting
  • Automatic needle threader for effortless threading
  • Aluminum die-cast arm and bed for durability and low vibration
Cons
  • Requires oiling each use
  • No free motion foot included
  • Limited stitch variety (straight stitch only)

5. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP Sewing Machine

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCPView On Amazon
The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP is a dream machine for quilters.

Its robust metal interior frame guarantees stability.

The ample 11 workspace provides room for larger quilts.

You’ll love the automatic needle threader.

The stitch regulator ensures even stitching.

The 9mm stitch width is perfect for decorative quilting.

With 175 built-in stitches, including 10 styles of one-step buttonholes, this versatile machine has everything a quilter needs.

The large color touchscreen makes navigation a breeze.

Best For: Beginners who want to start quilting.

Pros
  • First REAL quilters machine for a beginner
  • Nice machine, great deal
  • Came with all kinds of goodies
Cons
  • Extra room for sewing throat
  • Versatile
  • Low location of reverse button

6. Janome 1600P QC Straight Stitch Machine

Janome 1600P-QC Straight-Stitch Machine andView On Amazon
With lightning speeds of 800-1,600 spm and a massive 8.85 x 5.5 work area, the Janome 1600P QC scoffs at restrictions. This straight-stitch powerhouse devours free motion quilting projects with an automatic thread cutter, knee lift, and industrial rotary hook. Prepare to uncover new horizons of liberation and proficiency – the extra-large throat space guarantees you’ll never feel restrained.

Best For: Quilters, sewists, and crafters seeking high-speed, precise, and spacious sewing capabilities.

Pros
  • Lightning-fast speeds up to 1,600 spm for efficient sewing
  • Extra-large work area (8.85 x 5.5) provides ample space for large projects
  • Automatic thread cutter, knee lift, and industrial rotary hook enhance convenience and precision
Cons
  • May be bulky for some users due to its large size
  • May not be suitable for beginners due to its advanced features
  • Some users may find the price point to be high

7. Brother Designio DZ1500F Sewing Machine

Brother Designio Series DZ1500F HighView On Amazon
You’ll be impressed by the Brother Designio DZ1500F’s workspace – a large, flat bed area ideal for bulky quilting projects.

Its sturdy metal interior frame and straight stitch capability make it perfect for free motion quilting.

Enjoy hands-free presser foot control with the knee lifter and adjust speeds from a snail’s pace to race car quickness.

The automatic needle threader is a game-changer, saving time and frustration.

Brother thoughtfully designed this machine with quilters’ needs in mind.

Best For: Garment construction, quilting, and needle felting enthusiasts seeking a feature-packed, high-speed sewing machine.

Pros
  • Pin feed system ensures smooth feeding
  • Needle felting attachment expands creative possibilities
  • Color-coded thread tension dial for precise adjustments
Cons
  • Manual tension adjustment may require some practice
  • Automatic threader can be challenging to use
  • Small bobbin capacity may require frequent refilling

8. Juki Portable Sewing Machine

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, PortableView On Amazon
If you’re seeking a portable free motion quilting machine, the Juki Portable deserves consideration.

Its aluminum die-cast construction ensures durability without compromising portability.

An automatic needle threader, knee lifter, and industrial sub-tension system provide user-friendly quilting.

With a 23-inch workspace from the auxiliary table, you’ll have ample room to let your creativity shine.

Experience professional-grade precision and speed with the Juki Portable.

Best For: Quilters seeking a portable machine with industrial-quality sewing capabilities.

Pros
  • Durable aluminum die-cast construction
  • Advanced features like industrial sub-tension system and variable speed control
  • Ample workspace with auxiliary table
Cons
  • Price may be higher than some other portable machines
  • May not be suitable for heavy-duty sewing tasks
  • May not be suitable for those who do not need industrial-quality features

9. Grace Majestic Quilting Frame

Grace Majestic Quilting FrameView On Amazon
When you’re ready to take your free motion quilting to new heights, the Grace Majestic quilting frame offers unparalleled freedom and control.

Its sturdy construction and adjustable rails empower you to work on projects of any size with ease.

But what truly sets it apart is the vendor’s dedication to helping you choose the perfect frame for your quilting machine – ensuring a seamless, liberating experience that grants your full creative potential.

Best For: Quilters seeking precision and control for free motion quilting projects of any size.

Pros
  • Sturdy construction for stability
  • Adjustable rails for flexible project sizes
  • Dedicated vendor assistance for personalized frame selection
Cons
  • Not specified in the provided context

Advantages of Using a Dedicated Quilting Machine

Advantages of Using a Dedicated Quilting Machine
Using a dedicated quilting machine offers significant benefits over a standard sewing machine. In addition to being designed with quilting-specific features like larger workspaces, free-motion capabilities, and improved stitch control, they also provide a smoother quilting experience by reducing frustration and increasing productivity.

Designed Specifically for Quilting With Ideal Features

You’ll want a machine designed specifically for quilting, packed with ideal features and accessories. These free-motion quilting machines offer larger work surfaces, specialty quilting feet, stitch regulators, and more quilting-focused functions. While pricier, their quilting-centric designs and superior stability make intricate quilting patterns effortless. With user-friendly quilting features and modern aesthetics, your quilting experience transforms from frustrating to freeing.

Provides a Better Quilting Experience

With a dedicated quilting machine, you’ll experience better FM and tension control, an ideal FM presser foot, and prime lighting for FM visibility. Enjoy these advantages: 1) Larger throat space for quilting, 2) Convenient knee lifter, and 3) Extension table for ample workspace. Plus, suitable bobbins, threads, quilting gloves, bobbin race, and quilting needles enhance your quilting experience.

Reduces Frustration and Increases Productivity

With a dedicated free motion quilting machine, you’ll bid adieu to frustration and welcome productivity! These beginner-friendly machines eliminate guesswork, allowing you to dive right into freehand stitching. No more wrestling with your domestic sewing machine – quilting’s a breeze with features like spacious throat space and lightning-fast stitches per minute. Troubleshoot less, quilt more!

Free Motion Quilting Basics and Essential Supplies

Free Motion Quilting Basics and Essential Supplies
To prepare for free motion quilting, you’ll need:

A sewing machine with the ability to drop or disengage the feed dogs.

A specialized quilting foot that allows for free-form stitching.

The right quilting needles.

Thread suited for quilting.

Quilting gloves to grip the fabric.

An extension table to provide a larger working surface.

Sewing Machine With Drop Feed

For FM quilting, you’ll need a sewing machine with drop feed. This disengages the machine’s feed dogs, allowing freehand stitching. Different fabric thicknesses require adjusting the machine tension. With practice, you’ll master controlling the needle movement. Proper machine maintenance, like cleaning and oiling, guarantees smooth FM quilting. Many sewing machines can do FM quilting with a darning foot.

Quilting Foot

You’ll need a free motion quilting foot to get started. This specialized foot attachment allows free movement for drawing quilting designs while controlling foot pressure and speed. Beginner quilters should consider models with a large throat space and adjustable foot control for smooth, steady foot movement when changing directions. Don’t forget extra quilting thread for continuous stitching!

Quilting Needles

You’ll want to use quilting needles designed for the job – they’ve a sharp point to pierce through multiple fabric layers easily. Get a variety pack of needle types and sizes to handle different projects and thread weights. Topstitch needles work well too. Proper needle sharpness prevents fabric damage, skipped stitches, and tension issues when quilting.

Thread

Regarding thread for free motion quilting, seek high-quality options that won’t break or fray. Consider these factors:

  • Thread brands: Aurifil, Isacord, Mettler, and Superior provide excellent quilting threads
  • Thread weight: 40-50wt cotton or polyester for the top, 60wt in the bobbin
  • Thread sheen: Opt for slight sheen to enhance stitch definition

With the right thread, your free motion quilting will achieve professional, long-lasting results.

Quilting Gloves

Quilting gloves are an essential tool you’ll want. They provide exceptional grip, allowing you to effortlessly manipulate the quilt sandwich as you stitch.

Look for durable gloves made from high-quality materials like leather or synthetic blends. Varying finger lengths offer flexibility, while color options let you express your personal style.

With the proper quilting gloves, your free motion quilting will be smoother and more controlled.

Extension Table

You’ll also need an extension table to expand your workspace for free motion quilting. Grab one that attaches securely to your quilting machine, providing:

  • A sturdy, flat surface for maneuvering your quilt sandwich
  • Space for adjusting sewing speed seamlessly
  • Room to maintain consistent quilting rhythm

With ample workspace, free motion quilting becomes a breeze – your movements flow gracefully across the extended surface.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What machine is best for free motion quilting?

Just like an artist needs the perfect brush, quilters need a machine that seamlessly translates their creativity onto fabric. The ideal free motion quilting machine gives you unparalleled control, stability, and workspace for those intricate, freeform stitches.

What sewing machine do most quilters use?

Most quilters use a reliable domestic sewing machine, like a Janome or Bernina, with the proper free-motion quilting foot. Your machine should provide a spacious workspace, sewing speed control, and sturdy construction for quilting ease.

Can any sewing machine do free motion quilting?

Free motion quilting unleashes your creativity like an artist’s brush. Yes, most sewing machines can enable this freeing journey with a few minor adjustments – opening up boundless possibilities to explore.

What’s the difference between a sewing machine and a quilting sewing machine?

You’ll find sewing machines have limited workspace and features for free-motion quilting. Quilting machines offer larger throats, extension tables, and specialized quilting feet to maneuver fabric easily. Get the right tool for the task!

How much does a good quilting machine cost?

Like a well-oiled machine, a quality quilting sewing machine will move effortlessly, enveloping you in pure freedom. Be prepared, though – enabling this liberating experience often comes with a hefty $1,500 to $5,000 price tag.

What features are essential for beginner quilters?

For beginners, look for features like an extension table for fabric control, a free-motion quilting foot to move easily, adjustable speed to start slow, and a sturdy machine for stability. Mastering these fundamentals builds confidence in your quilting journey.

How difficult is the learning curve?

You’ll find the learning curve a challenge at first, but stay patient – free motion quilting becomes second nature with dedicated practice. Once those rhythmic motions sync with your sewing machine, the freedom to quilt your unique designs is immensely rewarding.

Can regular sewing machines be converted for quilting?

Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, your regular sewing machine can spread its wings for free motion quilting with some key modifications. While not designed for quilting, converting it unlocks new creative possibilities for textile artistry.

What are the best online quilting communities?

Join online quilting forums like The Quilt Show, 24 Blocks, or AllPeopleQuilt. You’ll find an engaged community, helpful tips, and inspiration to master this liberating craft.

Conclusion

Discover boundless liberation to ignite your quilting creativity with the ideal sewing machine. Our comprehensive analyses of the best sewing machines for free motion quilting simplify the selection process, guaranteeing you select an ideal partner for complex designs and impeccable execution. Embrace quilting bliss with precision, control, and a machine customized to your artistry.

References
  • lovesewing.com
Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of sewingtrip.com, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.