Having a hard time finding the best sewing machine for free-motion quilting? If so, keep your eyes on the screen and follow our post to find the best one for yourself!
Anyone who has tried free-motion quilting before can all agree that this technique is nothing near simplicity. The virtuosity that goes into the making of every quilting piece is revealed in the complicated, eye-catching finishing product.
To make the quilting process more enjoyable, equipping yourself with a decent sewing machine is a must. For that reason, we are going to give you some recommendations on what is the best sewing machine for free motion quilting 2022.
Hopefully, it will narrow down the options and help you find the best companion for yourself as soon as possible. Now, let’s delve right into the post, shall we?
- Best Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting – Quick Comparison
- Product Reviews
- #1 – Best For Personalized Projects – SINGER 9960 Portable Sewing Machine
- #2 – Best For Portability – Brother CS600i Quilting Machine
- #3 – Best For Accessories – Brother XR3774 Quilting Machine
- #4 – Best For Speed – Brother PQ1500SL Quilting Machine
- #5 – Best For Beginners – Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
- #6 – Best Value – SINGER 7258 Sewing Machine
- #7 – Best Heavy-duty – SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
- How To Use A Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting
- Buying Guide – How To Find The Best Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting
- Useful Tips On How To Maintain Sewing Machines For Quilting
- The Bottom Line
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#1 – Best For Personalized Projects – SINGER 9960 Portable Sewing Machine
This portable sewing machine from SINGER is, hands down, one of the best options if you are on a hunt for an assistant to perform customized sewing projects on.
How come the device is tailor-made for personalized works, you may ask. It all comes down to the availability of more than 600 built-in stitches equipped in the system. The widest range of quilting options is laid down on the table for you to choose from.
More specifically, it varies from standard, stretching to decorative stitches, allowing you to go as far as where your creativity wanders to. Making fashion quilting, home-decor quilting, crafting will be within your reach with this particular feature.
Also, the machine offers an extended selection of fonts to give your quilting project a little flair, since the product gives lots of attention to the customizability of one’s sewing work.
However, the needle design makes it complicated for beginners to assemble and disassemble. It might take a few tries before you can master the tips and tricks.
- Perfect for a customized project
- Wide range of built-in stitches
- Large selection of fonts
- Lots of accessories
- The needle is hard to change
#2 – Best For Portability – Brother CS600i Quilting Machine
The CS600i from Brother weighs only 13 pounds and a compact, simply-designed construction. Therefore, it comes as no wonder why this buddy is one of the top picks for anyone who prioritizes portability in their quilting machine.
Within such a close-packed unit, the brand still managed to add in 60 built-in sewing stitches with seven styles of buttonholes to spice up your quilting projects. Also, the automatic needle threader is included to work in harmony with a jam-resistant drop-in bobbin, allowing the sewers to create various smooth, flawless quilting patterns.
What’s more, there is a detachable 9-feet table, which is perfect for a large on-the-go project. This small feature makes it more convenient for the user to move the unit around while still ensuring the work is done efficiently.
On the downside, the dissembling process for cleaning up and maintenance can get a little bit tricky, especially for the inexperienced.
- Super lightweight
- Have LCD display
- Large detachable table
- Automatic needle threader
- Hard to clean up
#3 – Best For Accessories – Brother XR3774 Quilting Machine
Since this is the second sewing machine from Brother that appeared on our list, you can see how trustworthy the Brother products are. This specific one makes a big impression on purchasers thanks to the extensive add-on package including in the order.
To be more detailed, aside from a computerized machine with high-tech features such as automatic needle threader, versatile free arm, drop-in top bobbin, you’ll get a bunch of additional accessories. There is a machine hardcover, a wide table, buttonhole, zipper, zig-zag, button-sewing, quilting feet, an instructional DVD, and so on.
Besides the extra number of available accessories, the XR3744 also has a different stitch/design selection compared to the CS600i version. Specifically, this model uses the dial selection, while the previous one is equipped with a button selection.
On the negative side, due to the modest price, there is a lack of LCD screen in the design. Therefore, you might come across some inconvenience when working in places with poor light conditions.
- Lots of additional add-ons
- Extension table included
- Versatile free arm
- No LCD screen
#4 – Best For Speed – Brother PQ1500SL Quilting Machine
When the topic of needle speed is touched upon, the PQ1500PL model is probably the best Brother sewing machine for free-motion quilting.
In comparison with the other units in the list, this product puts the rest in the shade with its impressive needle movements. Specifically, for such a compact computerized sewing machine of 29 pounds, it can produce up to 1500 stitches per minute.
For someone who doesn’t know, a sewing machine making around 750 stitches per min is already considered competent enough to get any quilting job done. Therefore, imagine how much more productive and time-saving it will be with help of this PQ1500PL machine.
Apart from the boost in productivity, the needle speed works side by side with the precision pin feeding system to create a flawless finishing product on a wide variety of fabric thicknesses. Also, the quick penetration on the fabric surface will reduce the surface deformation, making the piece more aesthetically pleasing.
However, this product has an above-averaged price range. Therefore, budget-oriented purchasers should consider carefully before buying this product.
- Impressive needle speed
- Precise control of the tension thread
- Easy to use
- Extended workspace
- On the expensive side
#5 – Best For Beginners – Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
This XM2701 model from Brother is a must-check quilting machine for complete beginners who want to get off the sewing practice on the right foot.
You might be wondering what makes this product the perfect match for novice players. It has everything to do with the minimal, easy-to-use, and user-friendly construction of the unit.
More specifically, the unit features 27 built-in stitches, a perfect number to practice with. It gives you enough space to practice different skill sets, such as a blind hem, decorative, and fashion quilting. Simultaneously, it takes away the initial confusion of having to deal with too many stitch options.
To add to the effect, the needle moves at the starter-friendly rate of 800 stitches per minute. This feature works for hand in glove with the available six quick-change sewing feet to challenge and push the users to improve essential skills without giving them any sense of overwhelming.
On the minus side, since the machine is specifically made for practicing purposes, it might not be the best pick to deal with thick fabrics.
- Lots of stitch patterns
- Automatic built-in needle threader
- Easy to use
- Within the budget
- Not suitable for thick fabrics
#6 – Best Value – SINGER 7258 Sewing Machine
Being offered at a price half as much as most products on the list, the list of benefits that the sewing machine from SINGER provides the users will fill you with amazement.
Looking further into the product’s available features, you can notice it is almost as fully-equipped as any high-end quilting machine. As you may have guessed, there is obviously the inclusion of a time-saving built-in needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin system.
But besides that, the machine is also built with tons of supporting features to boost quilting efficiency. To name a few, there is a StayBright LED Light for optimal sewing workspace, a 6-in-1 step buttonhole for adjustability, 100 built-in stitches for versatility, a winder stop for bobbin overfilling prevention.
However, this machine can’t take anything above medium weight. If you overwork the system, a C4 error will likely show up and stop the sewing process.
- Super affordable
- LED light included
- Effective up/down needle position
- 25-year limited warranty
- Can’t work with heavyweight material
#7 – Best Heavy-duty – SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
This heavy-duty 4423 model from SINGER is the last product to appear on our list today. It deserves as much recognition from people as possible since it is probably the best home sewing machine for free-motion quilting when it comes to heavy-duty products.
Many people shy away from heavy-duty machines for the fear that they only serve industrial purposes, make lots of noise, and have a limited number of quilting patterns. However, with this smartly-constructed sewing machine from SINGER, you can get rid of all these worries.
To be more precise, the unit has more than 20 built-in stitches. It works well together with a powerful motor of 120V-68W and a high-speed, quiet automatic needle threader. These features offer you a wide selection of quilting techniques while guaranteeing the sewing line’s stability and accuracy.
Besides that, the 4423 model has a sturdy, heavy-duty metal interior frame covered in a stainless steel outer frame. The construction contributes a lot to reducing the unwanted vibrations of the hammering needles and making the thread evener. Therefore, this product can be a suitable march for beginners whose sewing skill is not fully-fledged.
Be it as it may, the storage compartment is relatively small and should be improved in size.
- Reasonable price
- High-speed sewing machine
- 25-year limited warranty
- Small-sized storage compartment
How To Use A Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting
#1 – Basic Sewing Machine
Many people have sunk in the common misconception that the utmost requirement for free-motion quilting has to do with the modernity of your sewing machine. However, as it turns out, your regular sewing machine at home can perform as flawless as any specialized one.
Although doing free-motion quilting on a basic sewing machine is possible, you have to go through a few more extra steps for the best finishing look.
The very first thing to note in mind is that the sewing machine’s foot dog needs to be disengaged from the unit. Only by doing that will you be able to assemble the darning foot specifically designed for free-motion quilting.
Even though newer models will allow you to remove the feed dogs easily, most basic sewing machines aren’t equipped with that capacity. Suppose you are using an older model; it is required that you use a darning plate to cover the feed dog.
After handling the feed dogs, it’s time you positioned the darning foot. Its pen should be placed above the sewing unit’s needle clamp screw. Also, make sure its lower left is in alignment with the presser bar.
When done, you can start your sewing session by switching on the sewing machine and picking an appropriate stitch.
#2 – Advanced Sewing Machine
Doing free-motion quilting on an advanced sewing machine can take away many unnecessary steps in the preparing process. There is no need for you to disengage the food dog or resort to a darning plate to cover it if detachment is out of the question.
This is mainly because every advanced sewing machine comes with the feature to lower the feed dogs. Some devices are even well-built with a high-tech system to automatically regulate the quilting stitch. From adjusting the stitch length to keeping up with your hand speed, advanced devices can manage to do them all effortlessly.
To get down to your sewing process on any advanced sewing machine, all you need to do is threading your sewing machine. Ensure the bobbin and the thread match in colors since the flawed tension can make the quilt filled with unpleasant thread dots.
If you are not a professional sewer, testing out on an unused fabric first before working on a proper one might be a good idea. It would help if you only started sewing on the real fabric once you’re fully satisfied with the test run.
Buying Guide – How To Find The Best Sewing Machine For Free Motion Quilting
#1 – The Extension Table
A lot of people skipped this factor when looking for sewing machines that can perform free-motion quilting. However, the size of the table can directly affect the efficiency and your workflow.
Imagine you have finished quilting several different fabrics and now it’s time to sew them together. However, the table surface is not large enough to fully lay the fabrics for a proper overview. Even though you still manage to patch them together, the stitches are uneven and inaccurate. How annoying will that make you feel?
A large extension table will immediately solve this problem by providing a wide space for spreading the fabrics fully on the table surface. The machine will create the smoothest stitches without any imprecise thread dots, making the task much more enjoyable for you.
#2 – Built-in Stitch
Why built-in stitches are important when picking out sewing machines, you may ask. Even though preparing the stitches yourself is essential; having a place for built-in stitches in your sewing machine is equally important.
This feature should be taken more seriously by professional sewers since it allows you to work on different fabrics simultaneously. This factor is also crucial if you want to take your quilting game to the next level and add more color to the final work.
#3 – The Needle Speed
The number of stitches that the sewing machine can create per minute is another factor that should not be overlooked. The stitch-making speed of the machine can largely influence the sewing efficiency. A slow-moving system will significantly extend the project’s finishing time.
Generally speaking, a sewing machine should be able to produce at least 750 stitches per minute to be considered compatible for free motion quilting. A more high-end option can even create up to 1500 stitches per min. Imagine how much more time you will save by take the machine’s speed into consideration.
#4 – The Needle Position
The needle position plays an important part in controlling the presser feet, adjusting the needle, and placing the stitches at accurate spots. Zig-zag width and up-down position are the two most common needle patterns used these days.
When it comes to sewing machines for free motion quilting, the up and down position is much more preferred. This pattern of needle movement is considered ideal for quilting since it gives you more control over various shapes and sizes you want to create.
Besides that, the up and down needle position is suitable for a wide range of fabric materials, allowing the sewers to broaden the available resources to work on.
#5 – The Interior Quality
The quality of the interior construction has such a huge impact on the accuracy of the stitching process. The best sewing machine to free motion quilt with high-quality machinery parts can brush up the unit’s performance tremendously.
Also, a sturdy interior can reduce the unwanted vibrations of the hammering needles, making the thread more even and stable.
Useful Tips On How To Maintain Sewing Machines For Quilting
It is common knowledge that the longevity of one product depends largely on its quality. Be it as it may, how you treat the machine also has a major say in determining its lifespan. And that is the reason why we want to give you some tips on how to protect your sewing machine and make it work optimally for you.
- When noticing any sign of stagnation, make sure to lubricate your sewing machine as soon as possible. Lubrication can reduce the unnecessary friction and boost up the operation. By ensuring the system is oiled sufficiently, you have already lengthened the machine’s lifespan by a few more years.
- When the machine is not in use, you should take a protective sheet and cover the unit fully. Using the hardcover can minimize the effect of external conditions, making the machine look newer than it actually is.
#1 – What Is Free Motion Quilting?
Free motion quilting is a common quilting style that can only be created by using sewing machines. The nature of free motion quilting gives you full control over the needle movements and leaves room for more creativity in the quilting project.
#2 – Is It True That Any Sewing Machine Can Do Free Motion Quilting?
Yes, you can perform free-motion quilting techniques on a regular sewing machine. However, the preparing process on a basic machine involves more steps and can be challenging to follow.
Therefore, if possible, opt for the advanced one, since it is the best domestic sewing machine for free-motion quilting. Specialized quilting machines are designed with many additional features to support the task.
#3 – What Is The Best Sewing Machine Needle For Free Motion Quilting?
Choosing a compatible needle for free motion quilting depends a lot on the weight of the thread. In other words, the heavier the thread is, the larger the needle is required. Typically, a thread weighing about 40 pounds will be suitable with a 7.5-inch needle.
#4 – How Can I Improve My Free Motion Quilting Skill?
As with any other skill, the key to improvement is practicing more. However, if you have no prior experience in sewing, jumping right into free-motion quilting might not be a good idea. This is mainly because this technique requires a certain level of experience and virtuosity to achieve a flawless finishing product.
However, if you are consistent in your practice, your skill will definitely get better. Besides working on your techniques through books and real-life people, you can look for tons of free online tutorials and follow them.
#5 – How Many Stitches Per Minute Is Good For Quilting?
Since the surface that needs to be covered in free motion quilting is considerably large, the faster the needle goes, the more work will be done. The average speed for a good quilting machine is about 750 stitches per minute.
The Bottom Line
Our review of the best sewing machine for free-motion quilting has finally come to an end. We hope it has been such an interesting ride, and you have learned enough about this topic after finishing our post.
It would be best to do further research on the product that fascinated you by going on the brand’s website or reading more online reviews. Only by doing that will you be able to make the best decision for yourself.
All things considered, we wish you luck and see you in our next review!