How to Choose the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting

Sewing Machine Quilting

If there’s one thing I love about quilting, it’s the magnitude to which I can take any project. There’s no limit to how large you make your quilt, and in my opinion, the bigger the better!

But with all that quilting I need a top sewing machine that can handle me putting it through its paces. In fact, I need the best sewing machine for quilting—because I want the best quilt!

Here’s what I look for in a good quilting sewing machine.

Endurance

Like I said, my quilts are large. So I want a sewing machine that can handle extended sewing session.

When it comes to choosing a sewing machine for quilting, long lasting quality is the first aspect I look out for.

I want my sewing machine to last for many years to come. If I’m going to get used to using one machine, I want to keep using that same machine way into the future. Why? Because I want to perfect my skills on one machine, rather than start all over with a new one.

I’d also love to pass my sewing machine on to my daughter one day. If it lasts long, I can show her how to use it. It’ll be something of sentimental value that I can pass down to her.

Precision

A difficult truth I’ve learned over the years is that most sewing machines do not meet the standards by which I sew quilts.

I need accuracy. 100% ACCURACY!

Many of the quilts I sew are sold commercially, so there’s no room for error. While my family may not expect complete consistency in their gift quilts, my customers sure do.

But precision isn’t just about customer expectations; it’s also about taking pride in my work. I want a sewing machine that delivers consistent results every time. And the best sewing machines for quilting always do.

Speed

Don’t get me wrong; I love quilting. It’s been my passion from a young age, and now I get paid to quilt—and write about it too!

But that doesn’t mean I want to sit and quilt for 8 hours a day. Speed and output are important to me, because I want to create something awesome—but in a minimal amount of time.

The best sewing machine for quilting must be one that cuts my output time by at least 20%.

This needs to be done without compromising on the quality of the quilt, which is why I mentioned precision previously.

Flexibility

People who have watched me quilt all say that I become a little carried away. They call it ‘possessed’. I call it ‘being in the zone’.

And when I’m in the state, I do go a little crazy. I stand, I sit, I turn, I move backwards, sideways, forwards—it’s a bit like playing twister, but with a sharp moving needle in the centre!

I want a sewing machine that allows me to move around freely. There’s nothing worse than a sewing machine that makes you feel restricted or bound to a particular position.

Mobility

Although I have a designated area for my quilting, I don’t always do my work there.

The other day my daughter and I quilted in her room. It was just one of those days where she wanted to help, and I was craving her company.

Moving my sewing machine wasn’t too much of a big deal. It’s small, compact and light to carry.

Ease of Use

I hate wasting time with overly complicated devices. Over the years I’ve tried many different sewing machines. I actually used to prefer sewing quilts with my hand; until I realised I wanted to do more with this gift.

Ultimately I want a sewing machine that’s easy to use—for me and my daughter. The easier it is, the fewer complications I experience while quilting.

But I also want to learn my sewing machine quickly. If it’s too complicated, I waste time figuring out aspects that should be obvious.

Every setting is simple to understand and adjust. Perfect for a dummy like me.

Simple to Teach

My daughter and I do a lot of bonding through quilting. Part of my quilting journey is passing on what I’ve learned to someone else.

We differ in many ways, but quilting is one thing we have in common. I love showing her quilting techniques, discussing squares and watching her improve this skill.

In my humble opinion, the best sewing machine for quilting is one that’s easy to teach to someone else. Since I taught myself on this machine, how hard can it be for my daughter to learn?

Affordable

As a fulltime blogger, I understand how scary financial problems can seem. Many of us are living in a mild state of fear about the economy, and so we tighten the belt and try save wherever we can.

Even though sewing is such an integral part of my life, I would never go into debt to purchase one.

But I will invest in a sewing machine for quilting that’s high quality for the money I am willing to pay.

The thing about awesome sewing machines is that they’re more expensive than the rest. Now look, I understand that a decent sewing machine costs more than an inferior one.

But that doesn’t mean you have to go broke to follow your passion.

In the long run, a high quality sewing machine for quilting will pay for itself. So choose wisely and get great value amongst all the duds out there.

Choosing the right sewing machine for your quilting hobby is an investment. Make the right investment using the above as a checklist for your next (or first) purchase.

Happy quilting!