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Best Sewing Machine For Quilting 2018 - 5 Sewing Machines For Quilting reviews

When it comes to picking a sewing machine for quilting, buyers need to think about their skills, quilting projects, and budget. If you don’t already know the basics of sewing, buying a beginner machine is a great way to introduce yourself to some of the concepts of quilting sewing.

Sewing Machine For Quilting Leaderboard 2018

Last update: 

  Brother XR9500PRW singer modern quilter 8500q janome memory craft 6500p Juki TL-2010Q Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930
  Brother International XR9550PRW Sewing Machine SINGER Modern Quilter 8500Q Janome Memory Craft 6500P Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930
Rating 9.2
Very Good
8.8
Very Good
8.2
Good
7.5
Good
6.0
Satisfactory
Brand Brother International SINGER Janome Juki Husqvarna Viking
Product Dimensions

7 x 16.3 x 12.5 inches

22 x 9.5 x 13 inches

25.8 x 18.5 x 12.7 inches

25.7 x 14 x 18 inches

21.8 x 14.6 x 12.5 inches

Item Weight

19.8 pounds

37.6 pounds

36.4 pounds

37.9 pounds

30.1 pounds

Presser Foot Lifter and Pressure Control

Includes 8 quick-change presser feet

Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter

A knee lifter for lifting the presser foot

One Pedal foot control

Pedal foot control

Buttonhole Type

8 On-Step Buttonhole

6 One-Step Buttonholes

7 One-Step Buttonholes

10 One-step Buttonhole

7 One-Step Buttonhole

Automatic Needle Theader

ja

ja

nein

ja

ja

Stitch Length and Width

5mm x 7mm

7mm

7mm

6 mm

7mm

Automatic Reverse Stitch

ja

ja

nein

ja

nein

Light Included

ja

ja

ja

nein

ja

LCD screen Included

ja

ja

ja

nein

ja

Warranty

25-year limited warranty

25-year limited warranty

2 Year

5 Years Parts and 2 Year Electrical Parts

5 Year

Features
Performance
Price Value
Functionality
Product Review Product Review Product Review Product Review Product Review Product Review
Where to buy
Large selection of Sewing Machines For Quilting at affordable prices on Amazon.com
Wide range Sewing Machines For Quilting Secure Payment & Buyer Protection Free delivery from 29 Euro upwards

 Sewing Machine For Quilting  Sewing Machines For Quilting Bestseller now on Amazon.com & save!

Advanced sewers may look at sewing machine for quilting or a durable machine with high quality parts and different features. Some machines are also better suited for sewing multiple types of fabrics, not just quilts.

Most experts will tell you that prioritizing ease of use like automatic threading, sewing spread, and one-step buttonholes is more important over complicated stitching features. In addition, when you purchase a sewing machine for making quilts, you are specifically looking at long arm machines. These provide more space to easily maneuver quilts through the machine.

This guide provides a detailed walk-through of different sewing machines, what you can expect when shopping for quilting sewing machines, and how to find the right features for your skill level and value.

What is a Sewing Machine for Quilting?

sewing machine for quilting reviewsA basic sewing machine uses a mechanical needle to stitch all types of materials together with a single thread. You can stitch fabric, leather, and other materials using a chain stitch or lockstitch in most cases. The top needle will move the thread down into the fabric, which is then caught and looped, then pulled back up through the bobbin.

There are a variety of sewing machines on the market, but there are typically two types of machines that you find from every brand. One is a domestic sewing machine, which is a very traditional sewing machine that has been around for hundreds of years. Then, there is the long arm quilting machine.

Long arm machines are made for sewing quilts and blankets with thicker fabric and higher thread counts. There is a difference in features, size of the motor, throat space, and design. In addition, these machines tend to be industrial-grade and cost quite a bit more than your traditional sewing machine.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a traditional domestic sewing machine to make quilts. Many quilters do use the smaller machine because they don’t enjoy the long arm, but they also make adjustments and thread quilts differently to use the smaller machine due to the lack of space and motion.

If you are not experienced with sewing at the moment, it may be best to improve your skills first so you save money and time. You can still make incredible quilts using the domestic machines with a bit more practice and eventually graduate to a long arm machine when you feel more comfortable.

Quilting with long arm machines is also very different because there are some models that do all of the work for you. In fact, you can program a pattern into a machine and have it do almost all of the threading and sewing for you with very little effort on your part. This doesn’t make it easier if you want to learn how to make complicated and beautiful designs, but it is helpful if you want to make quilts faster or have a lot of different ideas.

Shoppers looking for sewing machines should think about quality stitching and improving skills in addition to the fastidiousness and features of a machine. You can grow your sewing level to become a better quilter and take on new patterns that will challenge you with the right sewing machine.

How does a Sewing Machine for Quilting work differently?

Sewing Machine Work ReviewsOne of the biggest reasons that quilters choose to get a long arm machine is because they have a lot of different ideas and want to make a variety of quilts. They choose machines with more features and programmable designs so that they can create intricate designs and patterns.

There are a number of differences that make long arm quilting machines better than a regular sewing machine for these purposes. Here are a few of the features that you can expect if you specifically want a sewing machine for expert quilting.

Throat Space

Often called the harp or throat space, this area on the sewing machine is the expanse between the body of the machine and the needle. Basically, if you have thick fabric, you want a larger throat space to move the fabric through. When you take on quilt projects, you do need more space to create those comfy, oversized quilt squares. Whereas a traditional machine will have a throat space that is between 8 and 9 inches, the throat space of a long arm machine is double that of a traditional sewing machine.

It can be a challenge to push a quilt through a traditional machine and make it more complicated to complete stitching in certain patterns. The long arm sewing machine typically will have 20 inches or more to accommodate larger quilts. You don’t have to reposition the quilt while on the needle or sew in any difficult positions when you can’t get the quilt to move through space.

There are some traditional sewing machines today that do have much larger throat spaces but are considered traditional sewing machines. It’s important to look at the throat space specifications when you purchase a machine for quilting.

Motor and Power

Motor and Power of Sewing MachineThere are all types of sewing machines out there that are made for kids and adults. They are built for clothes tailoring and have programmable features to help you achieve specific projects. However, the motor, power, and speed of a sewing machine are very important.

Long arm machines are more of an industrial grade model, and they come with a motor that supports up to 1400 stitches per minute (SPM). However, there are some with a maximum of 800 stitches to per minute. This makes the long arm machines much faster for quilting because of the motor size. In some cases, you can push these machines to go 2100 SPM. While you may not want to go that fast for your quilt, you can use that additional power for other projects.

In addition, quilts have multiple layers of fabric, and you need a powerful machine to punch through the bulk while also keeping those layers intact. If you are looking at sewing machines online, you probably will find some machines that are traditional models with commercial or industrial grade motors. You should still make sure that reviews and specifications allow for easy quilting stitches.

Positioning

There are different configurations for sewing machines that are more conducive to the type of sewing that you want to do. This is about how the machine sits on the table. Most of the sit down long-arm machines are situated on the table with the machine facing the quilter. This means that when you move the fabric through the throat space of the machine, the machine can get in your way as you push it into the needle.

Some machines are positioned so that it is off to the side, which is much like a domestic sewing machine placement. This really depends on your comfort level and budget. Special positioning is not necessarily a deal breaker for any seamstress, but it can be difficult if you are used to the positioning of a domestic machine.

Advantages & Applications

Advantages of Sewing MachinesQuilting on long arm machines is very different from a home or domestic machine. There are different costs and preparation needs as well as advantages to using machines specifically made for thick fabric. If you are an experienced quilter, you already know that fabric plays a major role in the type of machine that you purchase and use on a daily basis to create quilts. Here are some of the advantages and applications where sewing machines for quilting are best.

Easier for Thick Fabric

The throat space is significantly larger on a quilting machine. They were designed to be able to move layers and layers of thick quilts through the needle without fear of getting stuck or having to reposition yourself. It takes less work to create a quilt with a long arm machine because you can simply push through double and triple square quilts with ease, and it can handle much more fabric than that in most cases.

Most quilters want to be able to create thick, complicated patterns that test the strength of your machine and the ease of use. You will not be able to create some quilts with a traditional sewing machine because you’ll need to send them to a quilter to add more fabric and finish complicated stitches.

Stitches Per Minute and Power

Stitches Per Minute and PowerThe power of a long arm machine is much greater than a traditional domestic machine. The machine is made to stitch over 2000 SPM in some cases. This means that you can finish larger quilts in half the time using a machine specifically made to do so. With a domestic machine, there is a lot more time and work involved for the quilter. You have to push the fabric through, re-position for complicated stitches, and you can’t make very thick quilts due to the lack of power.

Different Thread

Most of the domestic machines on the market today can only do an average of 1,000 SPM. You can use all-purpose thread and other lower cost thread with these types of machines as well. With a quilting machine, your best product will come from using threads that are much higher quality and have different properties. Quilting machines operate about 3 times faster than your average home machine. While you can likely use the same thick thread with a home machine that you would with a quilting machine, you can’t use flimsy or rayon thread through a quilting machine. It won’t be able to withstand the strength, speed, and stitches that a long arm machine will require.

While this makes for a stronger quilt overall, it does mean that you need to purchase and spend a bit more on the thread to achieve the quality with a long arm machine.

Industrial Needles

There are different materials used to create certain sewing needles. For long arm machines, the industrial needle is a selling point because it uses a different numbering system than a traditional machine. Experienced quilters may say that a long arm needle is 3.0 or 4.5, where a quilter using a traditional machine will speak in designations of 80/12 or 90/14.

Industrial needles also look very different. Their shape and design provide a completely round top with a long notch at the front of the needle. You may need to move the needle to the left and right to get the stitch you want in some cases.

Less Work

As mentioned above, working with a home machine is quite different than working with a long arm model. As you work on a domestic machine, the machine is fixed in its position and stays flat on the table. You typically will baste the quilt’s layers, creating the quilt from the center outward. You also use your hands more to maneuver the quilt as you sow. The speed of your hand’s movements must coordinate with the slow movement of your foot pedal. Thread tension is not that big of a deal with these machines either so you can use whatever thread you like and not worry about it breaking.

However, long arm machines made for quilting require that you load the quilt into a frame. The quilt is stationary and laid flat, and the machine actually moves around the quilt. With this method, you can quilt from bottom to quilt top without ever having to send out to a professional quilting shop. It’s much easier and requires very little hand-foot coordination. You can create a quilt with some machine and never have to move a muscle.

What types of Sewing Machines for Quilting are There?

Understanding the differences between types of quilting machines really depends on convenience and budget. If you do want a high-end long arm machine, you should expect to pay significantly more than what you would pay with a traditional sewing machine. Within quilting models, there are also other differences.

For example, the position of the quilter can change depending on the model you buy. If you are not quilting every day and selling those quilts, you may not want to purchase some of the models that are over $3,000.

These types of long arm sewing machines for quilting are top-rated and provide the most features for beginner, intermediate, and advanced quilters.

Sit Down Long Arm Machine

Sit Down Long Arm MachineThese look most like your home domestic sewing machine, but they have a different design upon closer inspection. You can use it for tabletop quilting and old-school style of stitching. Some of these machines have multiple sewing modes and automated features, while others are manual.

You get the same throat clearance of larger, standing machines, and a lot more workspace than the domestic machine. The table that comes with these machines is specifically designed to give you the most room and complements the model of sewing machine you purchase. Typically, these are old-fashioned folding models that is very simple to use and come with a leaf, so you can store the table and machine just as fast as you can pull it out to do some quilting.

If you have a bad back or simply want to quilt the old-fashioned way, then a sit-down longarm machine is best.

Manual Sewing Machines

Manual Sewing Machines ReviewLong arm machines offer a variety of benefits for quilting, especially if you want to cut down on the time you spend stitching and standing. Manual sewing machines are a lot cheaper than some of the newer models that allow for programmable stitching and automated functions. You still have to work the needle, maneuver the quilt, and move the fabric through the needle as you sit at the table. These are very sturdy and more akin to those who want the old-fashioned feeling of quilting, which requires more time spent at the sewing machine.

These are typically all gear-driven inside with a power transfer system. They are mechanically built very well and have an aluminum sewing head with an all-metal construction. You won’t find a lot of plastic in these old-fashioned models, which is why buying a used manual long-arm may be the best option if you are on a budget and want to try a long arm machine.

Pros

  • More control over stitching and speed
  • Less expensive
  • Traditional stitching styles
  • Sturdy builds

Cons

  • Not as fast as automated
  • More work for the quilter
  • Takes more time to finish the quilt

Automated Sewing Machines

Automated Sewing Machines ReviewsFor those who don’t want to spend a lot of time with stitching or don’t care about the old-fashioned feeling of quilting, you may want the more industrious models that have automated features. These are computerized quilting machines that take minutes to do complicated stitches and can easily make multiple quilts per day in some cases. They are more expensive, take more thread, and typically only come in standing models, but you get a high-quality quilt in the faster time than with a traditional or manual long arm machine. Some of these machines look similar to a domestic machine while others are very long and look more like a printer station, rather than a sewing machine.

These machines typically have different modes that you can select. For example, there might be a precise mode that allows you to regulate the accuracy of the stitch. This means that no matter how fast the needle moves, you will get the same stitch. Cruise settings are different. This mode keeps the stitches per every inch but it also adds a minimum stitch speed. You can stop and slow the movement of stitching without having to change the minimum stitch speed.

If you are doing basting, then you can select a mode that lets you create long basting stitches around the edge of your quilt. You can pick different length options and conveniently finish your quilt.

Most models still have a manual mode that lets you handle the speed and stitch through the handles and buttons.

Pros

  • Best for advanced quilting
  • Faster
  • More automated settings and modes
  • Less work for the quilter

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Lacks the need for skill

Stand Up Long Arm Machine

Stand Up Long Arm MachineIf you want a model to stand at, then you are probably thinking of a full-size long arm machine that comes with a frame so you can hang the quilt piece as you work. It is the exact opposite of the domestic machine and doesn’t really resemble anything like the older models besides the needle and base. There are a ton of automatic and computerized features that remove the manual nature of other long arm machines as well. You can work faster with these machines and achieve higher accuracy without having the technique of an advanced quilter.

Most of these machines can go over 2000 SPM and come with LED screens, as well as programmable features. The menu typically features different stitch and speed selections. The result is perfectly neat, even stitching without having to rely on any manual work.

Pros

  • More advanced stitching
  • Automated modes
  • Hangs quilts while you work
  • Better for finishing large quilts
  • Higher stitching speeds

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Not good for bad backs

Hybrid Quilting Machines

Hybrid Quilting Machines ReviewWouldn’t it be great to have both? If you are feeling an old-fashioned quilt, you may want to control everything manually and sit at the machine for a couple of hours. It can take your mind off of everything and allow you to focus on just creating a beautiful masterpiece. For advanced quilters, you probably don’t want a machine that can control every aspect.

What’s the fun in that? However, sometimes, for convenience, it’s nice to have a machine finish up particularly complicated stitches or make it faster when you’re tired from basting layer after layer. These machines offer the most versatility and combine automated and manual settings, as well as stand-up or sit-down convenience.

Pros

  • Best of manual and automated features
  • Variety of stitching modes and speeds
  • Better for fast basting
  • Finishes quilts in shorter time

Cons

  • Most expensive

How to Pick the Right Sewing Machine for Quilting?

The right machine for your quilting style depends on your skill level and budget most of all. You should pick a machine that is going to provide value to your quilting needs. If you aren’t quilting every day, then spending over $3,000 on a long arm machine might not be a good endeavor. However, if you want more convenience and have the budget, then you should purchase a quilting machine that is going to provide you with the ease and control you want.

There are a few things to consider when picking the right machine. These features make up the best profile when looking for a sewing machine for quilting.

  • Cost
  • Design
  • Automated Modes
  • Table Size
  • Throat Size
  • Maximum SPM
  • Materials
  • Needle Design
  • Warranty
  • Convenience
Overall, the one thing that is going to separate models for the average quilter is cost. The price of an industrial-grade, high-powered sewing machine is typically over a $1,000 even when refurbished.

The better brands and higher-quality machines are typically over $2,500, and there are also models that cost well over $7,000 but can handle all types of quilts and stitches.

Cost should match your skill and quilting personality. If you are the type of quilter who wants to spend time with the machine and creating designs that are very personal, then you can probably cut costs and get a manual long arm machine that won’t have as many automated features. However, it feels like you’re working at a traditional machine.

Long-arm machines are either sit down, stand up, or both. They have a larger throat space, and they are designed with a powerful motor. You can judge the power of the design by the strength of the needle, type of motor, and computerized features included. Some machines are designed to sit horizontal across the table with a frame, allowing you to set up the quilt and let the machine do the work. Others require that you feed the fabric through and maneuver around the table as you go.
If you want to get the most convenience, then you are looking at a machine that has different set or programmable modes for stitching, mode, and type of quilt. For example, there are modes for basting or manual stitching. You can set it to automatic and get more precise stitches. The modes allow a quilter to walk away for a moment and let the machine do the work, getting the perfect stitch and speed to match the pattern you are trying to create.
Some long arm machines will come with a table that allows you to easily maneuver the quilt around the machine or work with an automated machine that will hang the quilt for you. These are great options to have with your machine for convenience, accuracy, and presentation.
The maximum throat space of a traditional long arm machine is over 15 inches. You want this size because you may have multiple layers and thick fabric to work with as you baste each piece. As you look at the specifications for different machines, make sure that you look at the size and design, as well as the throat space. If you are purchasing a long arm, then anything with a throat size under 10 inches won’t work and isn’t technically a long arm machine for quilting.
The greatest feature of a long arm machine besides larger throat space is the speed of the stitch. You should be able to get over 1500 SPM with a small long arm machine, but if you are going with an industrial-grade model, you can go over 2000 SPM in most cases. This is important if you plan on making multiple quilts per day and want to go with a model that has automated modes.
What is the machine made out of? You definitely want to steer clear of plastic parts. Industrial grade machines are going to have aluminum and steel parts, rather than any plastic cases.
You want a heavy duty needle that is a 3.0 or 4.5 in size. These allow you to use a higher thread quality and will make for the best stitching as you punch through layers of fabric. The needle should also have a round top and deep groove, allowing you to maneuver it when necessary to create more complicated stitches.
Some warranties are better than others, and it’s typically indicative to the quality you can expect. Some sewing machines have lifetime warranties, which mean that you can replace multiple parts of the machine through its lifetime. Others will have a one-year to five-year warranty, which isn’t technically the worst, but if you are paying thousands of dollars for a sewing machine, you should get a warranty that will cover any malfunctions or broken parts for more than a few years.
Most of all, you should ask yourself if a machine is going to be easy to use for your style of quilting. If you see a quilting video where it looks easy, you can pay attention to the amount of coordination and detail that a quilter must put forth in order to achieve the design. Are your skills ready for a long arm machine? You should watch a couple of quilters work with different long arm machines to get a better idea of how convenient it will be for you to use the same machine.

What should I pay attention to when buying a Sewing Machine for Quilting?

Most sewing machines out there today claim that you can make anything with their models. However, that’s not really the case. For example, machines with smaller throat space and lesser quality needles won’t be able to create some of the quilts you might design due to layering and thread. Here is a quick breakdown of everything you need to look for when picking a sewing machine for making quilts.

  • Free Motion Foot
  • Automatic Modes
  • Auto Needle ThreadeR
  • Automatic Trimmers
  • Knee Lifter
  • Free Motion Drop Feed
  • Folding Table
  • LED Touchscreen (if going with automated)
  • Large 4” x 4” Embroidery Field
  • Aluminum and steel construction
  • 10 Inches or More Throat Space
  • Thread Color Preview
  • Custom Embroidery EImports
  • Multiple Stitching Combinations (Some have over 100)
  • Adjustable Handle Bars
  • Automated Stitch Speed
  • Up to 3000 SPM
  • Warranty
  • Automatic Thread Cutter

The most important features to look out for will depend on design and automatic modes. The design should allow you to sew quilts with ease, meaning large throat space and free motion, and have different digital modes for more convenience if you want to create quilts quickly.

Top Brands for Sewing Machines for Quilting

Some brands stand out over others for their high reviews, quality materials, industrial-grade design, and durability. Most of these brands have a variety of different sewing machines, so you can find domestic and long arm models under each. Then there are some brands most known for their quilting sewing machines. Here are a few of the brands that we like for quilting.

  • Brother
  • Tin Lizzie
  • Q’nique
  • Juki
  • Handi Quilter
Brother is one of the most well known sewing brands out there, and it’s for good reason. The brand has a long history of producing high-quality machines, and a lot of quilters prefer brother because of its construction and vintage styles. While Brother makes some high-tech machines, their best-known quilting machine is the SQ9285, which is a computerized sewing and quilting machine with 150 built-in stitches and 7 buttonholes.

There are a number of different quilting stitches you can do with this machine, and it comes with 10 feet of space for large quilting projects. Brother sewing machines are not heavy duty as some of the other brands on this list, but if you are looking to begin quilting and want a variety of options without a big price tag, Brother is a great bet.

This one of the preferred manual quilting brands available today. It’s also one of the more affordable options for a sit-down model that comes with a table. It has more options and features than the Brother PQ models, and it’s best for those who want to sit down and spend time manually creating a beautiful quilt. If you are an old school fan, then Tin Lizzie is probably your go-to due to its durable construction and price. The Tin Lizzie 18 is the brand’s most highly rated quilting machine.

It has a high throat clearance and provides 15” of quilting space. It also comes with automatic needle positioning, bobbin-winder, and a variable speed foot control that makes the pedal go as fast as you like. It’s a great purchase for those who are starting out with quilting who are used to the older domestic machines.

The long arm quilting machines from Q’nique are the most purchased today for those who want a full-size long arm machine and fast quilting. It comes with a frame so you can lay out your entire quilt piece. The Q’nique long arm is for working faster and developed accuracy without the need for technique. If you want a large scale quilting machine, then this would be the best option. However, it is quite expensive. You won’t find Q’Nique models for under a thousand. These machines produce even stitches that are extremely precise. You don’t need to have as much quilting skill to run these machines either.
The long arm quilting machine from Juki is probably the most expensive one on this list. However, it has the most features and a hybrid design, so you can choose to sit and work the quilt the old-fashioned way or you can stand and use it much like the Q’nique. There are more amenities and digital features with the latest version as well.
Some of Handi’s machines are truly epic, including the HQ Amara and HQ Fote 24” quilt machine. However, these will set you back quite a bit of money. There are some smaller models that are better suited for home quilting, like the HQ Stitch 510 and HQ Stitch 210.

However, it’s the HQ Simply Sixten Quilt Machine and HQ Avante Quilt Machine that avid quilters are more likely to purchase. These machines use high-quality materials like steel needles, so you are guaranteed to get precise and accurate stitching. Why are the machines so expensive? They are meant for tailoring and quilting shops that finish a high amount of large quilts. You wouldn’t purchase one of the bigger models from this brand unless you wanted to make industrial-grade quilting your everyday job.

Internet vs. retail trade: where do I buy my sewing machine for quilting?

Where to buy Sewing Machine for QuiltingMost quilters purchase the high-grade sewing machines online. It gives you the best options to find the right machine and compare everything online. You can look at different models on several websites or purchase directly from the store online. While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get a better price, purchasing in the store often doesn’t allow you to see all of the different specifications that you want to check before purchasing a new sewing machine.

Online shopping for sewing machines can be done on a number of different websites as well. You may find the best prices on bargain online stores like Amazon, but sometimes to get the best quality, you should purchase directly from the manufacturer. This guarantees that you get the warranty and best model from the sewing machine brand.

Interesting facts & advice

Sewing is an artform that has been around as far as 25,000 years ago. However, the word quilt didn’t catch on until 1250. It is estimated that quilting dates back to 3400 BC in its most raw form. Here are some other interesting things to note about sewing machines and quilting.

  • The oldest quit that you can still see today is The Tristan Quilt, which is dated back to 1360.
  • The largest quilt ever made is the AIDS memorial quilt, which weighs about 54 tons.
  • Quilters started using the rotary cutter in 1979. It was originally made for garment making, but quilters saw advantages to using it with their pieces.
  • Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry.
  • The Canadian Quilters’ Association has one of the largest member bases, including 20,000 members and has annual conferences including the National Juried Show.
  • One of the oldest designs is the Dresden Plate quilt block, which has also been called Grandmother’s Sunburst, Dahlia, and Sunflower.
  • The first spools of thread used for quilts were invented in 1820 and were made from birch wood.
  • Early sewing needles came from bone and ivory materials
  • The whole nine yards comes from seamstresses who needed more fabric to make fancy coats in the early days.
  • In the 20th century, there have been over 4,000 different types of sewing machines created.
  • The 1950s are regarded as the golden age of sewing.

The history of the Sewing Machine for Quilting

The History of Sewing MachineLike most of today’s historically popular inventions, the beginning of the sewing machine is riddled with scandal and hearsay. The history of sewing dates back 20,000 years ago, but it was by hand. The first needles being used at this time were made from animal horns. The thread was made from animal sinew.

The Industrial Revolution created a need for more seamstresses, and eventually, the dependency on manual sewing called for something faster and less cumbersome. The German inventor Charles Weisenthal got a British patent for a specific type of invention called “a needle that is designed for the machine.” This was the first evidence that there was a need for a mechanical sewing machine. It wasn’t until 1790 that the first detailed design of the machine was released by Thomas Saint. The next patent also described a hand crank that would be used to sew together canvas and leather materials.

In 1874, another name threw his hat into the sewing machine ring with a prototype. William Newton Wilson found the drawings and made an actual working sewing machine out of wood. However, there were many more attempts to build a sewing machine that wasn’t a challenge to use. There was an automatic sewing machine created in 1810 by Balthasar Krems.

It wasn’t until 1830 that the most successful sewing machine at the time was invented and commercialized. It was created by Barthelemy Thimonnier, who was a French tailor. He created a machine that had a hooked needle and one thread with the ability to create a chain stitch. He created an entire clothing manufacturing company, but as French tailors were dependent on manual sewing for business, they burnt down his factor while he was still inside. He did manage to escape.

America’s first sewing machine came in 1834 by a man of Walter Hunt. He had the design that was closest to the sewing machines we see today. However, he was afraid that it would put many tailors and seamstresses out of business, so he only created the drawings for the patent.

It was in 1845 that the prototype was actually made by Elias Howe. He created a prototype that resembled what Fisher did. However, he also created the lockstitch. The machine used a needle with an eye at the point, which went through the fabric to create a loop on the other side, then shuttle on a track that pushed the second thread through the loop. This was the start of the lockstitch.

Isaac Singer came on the scene in 1851 as well as becoming one of the most well known sewing machines manufactures. However, he was eventually brought to court by Elias Howe for patent infringement. The singer was eventually forced to pay a lump sum to Howe and gave him a share in the IM Singer & Co profits as well.

Figures, data and facts about the Sewing Machine for Quilting

There’s no question that sewing is an ongoing art form. Sewing for quilting has regained popularity as a young generation of quilters begins to create new designs using the power and speed of automated quilting machines.

  • There are approximately 136,000 sewing machine operators in the US.
  • The average sewer makes about $12.62 an hour in the US.
  • More than one million people have started sewing since 2017.
  • The launch of Etsy and other craft seller online stores has helped revive the quilting industry.
  • Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry.
  • There are approximately 7 to 10 million quilters in the US.
  • Dedicated quilters account for a large majority 72% of the total industry’s sales.
  • In 2017, an estimated $2.4 to $2.6 billion was spent on quilting by dedicated quilters.
  • Most quilters are female, aged 60s with an average household income of $95,000.

How Does A Long Arm Quilting Machine for Sewing Work

Sewing Machine FeaturesQuilting machines are very similar to the straight stitch domestic machines that you have seen for years. However, long arm machines are much larger and capable of handling thicker fabric. Quilting machines are meant to be bigger, and they typically have a throat that is 20 inches long.

The giant opening allows quilters to push through massive quilts that can spread over king-sized beds. It is difficult to stand and push a quilt through over and over, maneuvering in so many directions, so the latest models have automatic feeders, automatic trimmers, and other digital modes that let you control almost all aspects with the push of a button.

Stand-up machines are much different than other quilting machines. These are typically mounted on wheels attached to a track that sits on a long table. It is about 12 to 14 feet long and about 6 feet wide. As you set up the table, you’ll spread the quilt’s layers that are attached to different poles on the table, which create a bit of a quilt sandwich for the throat. This allows easy access to stitch the layers of the quilt together without having to stand around all day and wait for it to finish.

Tips for Care and Maintenance of Sewing Machines

There are a few things to remember once you purchase a new quilting machine. For one, you have to protect it from getting damaged or water, as it will corrupt your machine and render it useless. If you spend thousands on the machine, don’t forget to cover and store your machine with care.

  • Store the sewing machine under a dust cover.
  • Keep your machine in a dry space that is at room temperature.
  • Try to use only new, high-quality thread to decrease the amount of interior lint builds up.
  • Dust out the bobbin case with a small, soft brush as often as you can.
  • Add lubrication to the bobbin case using sewing machine oil.
  • You can run a piece of fabric scrap through the machine to remove residual oil after changing it.
  • Clean the machine with a microfiber cloth.

Useful accessories

sewing machine accessoriesThere are some things that every quilter should have in their arsenal. Some of these are no-brainers, but in the essence of making sure you’re the most prepared, we haven’t left anything out.

  • Large fabric shears
  • Rotary cutters and replacement blades
  • Self-healing cutting mats
  • Seam rippers
  • Acrylic Rulers
  • 50-weight cotton thread
  • Pins and pincushions
  • Clips
  • Replacement needles

FAQs

What’s the difference between quilting machines and regular sewing machines?

What’s the difference between quilting machines and regular sewing machines?

The term for a quilting machine is long arm machine. It’s called this because of its long arm and bigger throat space, allowing for more motion and bigger quilting projects. Regular sewing machines or domestic machines can handle some quilting, but you typically have to have a quilt shop finish the quilt topper for you as it will be quite large and unable to move through the space between the needle and base.

Why are long arm machines so expensive?

Why are long arm machines so expensive?

These machines are built to manage heavy duty quilting projects. They require better thread and a large amount of space. They typically have stronger materials, such as a steel needle, and aluminum casing. Some allow you to set up different digital modes so that you can automatically get precise stitches without having to do any manual labor yourself.

Which is better to have, manual or automated quilting machines?

Which is better to have, manual or automated quilting machines?

Manual machines are a great purchase if you don’t have the funds and want to use your quilting skills every day. You can improve your quilting with a manual machine that lets you choose the stitches and speed. However, automated quilting machines are faster and require less time sitting or standing at the machine. You can simply start and finish a quilt by setting up an automatic mode.

How long does it take to create a large quilt with a long arm machine?

How long does it take to create a large quilt with a long arm machine?

It depends on the style of quilting that you plan as well as the complexity of stitches. If you are an experienced quilter who has used a machine before, it will also cut down on the time to create. On average, it takes a couple hours to create a large, king-size quilt if you have the experience and a fast machine.

Alternatives to the Sewing Machine for Quilting

Other Types of Sewing MachineThe main alternative to sewing machines for quilting include domestic machines and hand stitching. Domestic machines will require more maneuvering and time at the machine, whether you are standing or sitting. You may not be able to finish the quilt as expertly or at all if you have a much larger quilt than your machine can handle. If you want to create a quilt quickly, these methods may not offer the best options.

However, many quilters use standard domestic machines to create smaller quilts and basting layers. You may have to outsource the final quilt to a quilt shop to add the top layer, however. While these machines are a lot smaller and cheaper, not all of them are going to allow you to create the best quilts.

The major differences in these alternatives are that it takes quite a bit longer and focus to create a precisely stitched quilt, whereas most long arm machines allow you to set up a precise stitch and speed for faster quilt creation.

Hand quilting is a great past time and produces some high-quality stitching that is customized to your skill level. These quilts take time, and it shows in the craftsmanship when you present a quilt that has been handmade.

Further links and sources

https://www.apqs.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-sit-down-longarm-machine-vs-a-domestic-sewing-machine-for-quilting/
https://stitchers-source.com/long-arm-vs-traditional-sewing-machines-which-is-better-for-quilting/
http://fashion2apparel.blogspot.com/2016/12/parts-sewing-machine-function.html
https://lovebugstudios.com/home-machine-vs-long-arm-quilting-part-1/
https://www.brother-usa.com/products/SQ9285
https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/article/quilting-facts/
http://sewingdesignstudio.com/10-interesting-facts-about-sewing/
https://www.contrado.co.uk/blog/history-of-the-sewing-machine/
https://quiltersresources.com/article/quilting-is-a-37-billion-industry.html
https://www.apqs.com/quilting-machines-how-do-they-work/

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