Choosing the best quilting machine takes a lot of consideration, there are many different machines out there that claim to be good for quilting but simply because they claim it does not make it so. The problem is what is right for one person may not be what is right for the next. Why? Because there are far more variables than most people realize. Budget is probably one of the first and most important ones, there is such a range of machines and many of them are priced out of the budget of the average consumer.
Level of experience and how much you quilt will also factor heavily into your decision, if you have been quilting for a long time then you will have some definite ideas about what you need and want in a machine. That opinion will be based on the type of work you do, how complex it is as well as what machines you have had in the past and where they either fell short of the mark or left you feeling spoiled.
A beginner will likely be overwhelmed by a machine that may seem ideal to an seasoned quilter, this does not necessarily make it the wrong machine for the quilter who knows what she wants, but a beginner would be better off choosing a simpler sewing machine that they can learn to use at the same time that they learn to quilt. The best quilting machine for a beginner will have the features you need for quilting without going overboard with fancy features you may not need or use.
Machine quality is an important consideration; nobody wants a machine that will not work or one that is going to break before you even finish your first quilt. However it is important to note that you can get a quality machine in many different price brackets so you do not need to put off your desire to learn how to quilt until you can afford an expensive machine. Sure these machines are a dream, but for a beginner getting their feet wet a lower budget machine can be found that will get them well on their way, there is time to dream about the better machines another day.
In conclusion you should find machine that matches your budget and skill level. Then have a clear idea of what you need the machine to do before you go looking, too many times people rush to buy a machine only to find out later that it lacks important features, do your research first. Finally investigate each machine on your list to ensure that they have an overall positive reputation for being reliable and working the way the user expected.
Next we will talk about what types of features you should look for in the best sewing machine for quilting, too many machines say they are ideal for quilting that really are not, so it is important to know what features you will need.
Part of what makes a sewing machine a great quilting machine is the features that it has, yes it still needs to be a good machine, but even the best quality machine will not work if it does not have the features you want for sewing. Of course this is rather subjective too since the more experienced you get the more likely you will be to want more features. This article seeks to explain the features that most quilters need and want in a sewing machine.
Keep in mind that many machines claim to be adequate for quilting and yet fail to provide these important features, this goes for budget and premium machines, so it is important to make a list of the features you need and compare it against any machine whether it is advertised as a quilting machine or not. Many machines do not advertise as quilting machines but rather as embroidery machines but are also very well equipped to produce beautiful quilting. While it is impossible to list all the desired features in one article here is a look at a few of the ones you will most want to look for.
- Good Straight Stitch – While this may seem like the obvious this is one of thetop things quilters cite as an absolute must for a quilting machine. If you have had many sewing machines you will also know that this is not an automatic. This is information you will have to search for in reviews and buyers comments if you are buying online, and if you are buying at a dealer it will be time for a test drive to make sure
- Your machine should be easy to thread– if you do a lot of sewing you know how important this is, an automatic needle threader, a thread cutter and drop in bobbin can save time and make fun hobbies not so tedious.
- The machine should come with a number of different feet – Check to make sure that the machine you are considering has the correct feet for the type of work you will be doing, some of the feet used in quilting include a walking foot for ditch quilting and straight line work, an open toe applique foot if you plan to do any applique, an edge stitching foot that produces a very accurate 1/4 in seam by using a guide, and a darning foot for free form quilting.
- Check the stitches – While most machines come with a wide range of stitches built in there are a couple you will really need for certain quilting tasks, the zig zag stitch and a blind hem stitch along with a standard straight stitch is all you should need.
- The ability to disengage the feed dogs by lowering or covering them- this allows you to quilt free form, this ability is often available on embroidery machines and on some quilting machines be sure to ask.
- A Good quality motor – while not exactly a feature, quilting machines get a lot of use and tend to burn out quickly if you do not have a good quality motor, look for a motor that can run for extended periods of time without overheating.
- A control for needle up and needle down as well as a pivot function – This offers more control over your quilting and allows you to keep your eyes and hands on your work.
- Setting the speed of your motor – this really is a must for quilters especially beginners, this handy feature allows you to set the maximum speed that your motor will run meaning that you can keep a consistent steady pace through your sewing and avoid mistakes.
This is really only a few of the features that quilters ask for and some of the most important ones that you need to be on the lookout for. There are dozens of other neat features available on high end models that will make quilting a pleasure.