Once you have completed your first quilt, you must be looking to learn the free motion quilting in order to add a finely finished quilt sandwich. Free motion quilting requires particular features from your machine, which, when absent, will give mediocre results and make the entire process tedious and exhausting.
If you are looking to upgrade your sewing and quilting skills by learning free motion quilting, you must have a sewing machine that is capable enough to give you just that. This is why we have decided to help you with a review of our top pick of sewing machines we recommend for free-motion sewing.
Our how-to choose section contains a step by step instruction on what to look out for when choosing the best sewing machine for free-motion quilting.
Best Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting – Top 5 picks of the Year
Top 1 – Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine (CS6000i)
This is a more advanced sewing machine built uniquely to optimize quilting in addition to the regular sewing processes. It is a heavier and more powerful machine than the XM2701.
The CS6000i has an impressive 70 built-in unique stitches with seven different styles of auto-size buttonholes. The device features the usual automatic needle threader that, in several ways, eases the sewing process by taking out the often frustrating job of threading the needle. The needle threader seamlessly pushes thread through the needle with an easy-to-use, jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin.
With all the extra stitches, an LCD screen became necessary to ease the process of choosing the stitch to use. Two buttons situated right by the screen can be used to navigate and select the stitch of your choosing.
The machine has an impressive table with a wide platform for convenience. It also comes packed with a protective case that can be used to protect the machine when it is not in use. A number of other vital accessories are also enclosed, including ten sewing feet, a needle set as well as three bobbins.
- LCD display for easy navigation
- Efficient and convenient workspace
- 70 built-in stitches
- Vital accessories for free quilt stitching
- Automatic threader and Jam-resistant bobbin
- Protective Case
- Heavy machine
- Quite Expensive
Top 2 – Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine
Any sewing enthusiast and veteran would know the Singer name as they represent top-quality machines. The Heavy Duty 4423 is no different, with a simple and elegant design.
The machine is built with an extra powerful motor that lets it handle heavy-duty projects with ease. It features an adjustable presser foot pressure that lets fabrics of varying texture to slide over with ease. 23-stitches built-in stitching gives additional comfort to the usual sewing process, letting you choose from preset stitches that you need without any guesswork. An automatic 1-step buttonhole maker is also included.
The Heavy Duty 4423 features a built-in needle threader as well as a drop-in bobbin for a smooth threading process. The machine is highly durable with a solid framework made of heavy-duty metal that ensures the component part is held in perfect alignment.
The product also features an automatic reverse, which ensures that the sewing occurs automatically in reverse to reinforce the stitches, with no extra work from you. This machine is also compatible with the Singer sewing assistant app available for your phone.
- Automatic threader and drop-in bobbin
- Built-in stitches
- Impressive durability
- Seamlessly carry on heavy-duty projects
- Automatic reverse stitching
- Can be challenging to navigate built-in stitches
- Heavy machine
Top 3 – Singer Quantum Stylist (9960) Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Singer’s Quantum stylist is a computerized sewing machine packed full of exciting new features with an upgrade on the old, vital ones. The impressive part is that the machine still retains a compact structure.
An impressive collection of 600 stitches is available on the computerized machine, ready to help you reach any creative goal, the selection includes basic, stretch, and decorative stitches both for sewing and quilting. The otherworldly sewing speed is another part of the 9960s wonder; it is capable of making 850 stitches per minute, with great precision and a smooth flow.
The machine features an automatic needle threader, of course. With an extensive selection of accessories that makes creative work lively and super easy. The accessories include an all-purpose foot, a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, a button sewing foot, blind hem foot, satin stitch foot, embroidery foot rolled hem foot, and so much more.
A large back-lit LCD screen makes the machine easy to navigate. A number of other automatic features make the machine special when it comes to convenience. This Quantum stylist 9960 is sure to bring your imaginative ideas to live with comfort and style.
- Optimum power control
- Automatic threader
- An incredible selection of built-in stitches
- High presser foot lifter
- Automatic Locking stitch function
- Impressive durability
- Complex to learn to use
Top 4 – Singer Start (1304) Free-Arm Sewing Machine
The last product on our list is the Singer Start 1304, designed exclusively for beginners. It is a downstep from the other sewing machines featured on the list, but it also is the easiest to use and while still retaining impressive capability for free motion quilting.
The machine features just the six basic stitches to help a beginner get into motion without being overwhelmed by a myriad of choices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an automatic threading feature like the others, but a simple guide is illustrated on the right to guide beginners on how to thread the needle.
The Singer Start still retains the durable, heavy-duty framework that is characteristic of Singer sewing machines. This ensures skip-free sewing. In addition to the six built-in stitches, the machine has a 4-step buttonhole maker that automatically makes buttonholes in 4 simple steps. It also features three basic presser feet that are capable of carrying out basic sewing processes.
- Durable, heavy-duty frame
- Light and very portable
- Capable of carrying out basic sewing processes with ease
- Automatic built-in reverse stitch
- Preset Stitch Length and width
- Dual spool pins for twin needle sewing
- Lacks automation
- Very few preset stitching
Top 5 – Brother (XM2701) Lightweight Sewing Machine
This lightweight sewing machine from brother holds true to its name, weighing just 12.6 pounds. It is very portable and exquisite. It is minimalist in design with an LED display that illuminates the workspace and gives light to the work process—adding extra elegance along with its brightness.
The XM2701 features 27 unique built-in stitches to help ease your sewing process as you can easily pre-select the stitching style you need, the stitches include all the vital ones like a blind hem, zigzag, stretch stitches as well as decorative stitches.
The product has an automatic needle threader and drop-in bobbin that helps you thread your needle perfectly with minimal effort. The drop-in bobbin is reliable and jam-resistant, so you can rest assured you won’t get into a frustration work session on this machine.
The machine comes fully packaged with essential accessories not just for free motion quilting but as many different sewing styles as possible. With six sewing feet, a 3-piece needle set, a twin needle four bobbins, as well as an instruction manual and DVD.
- Extra sewing feet for free motion quilting
- Automatic needle threader
- Jam-resistant bobbin
- 27 different preset stitches
- Bright LED to aid sewing
- Auto-size buttonhole
- May not sit well for pros
How to Choose the Right Sewing Machine for Free Motion Quilting
While in making free-motion quilts, the feed dogs are disengaged to give more fluidity to the quilts enabling you to make more creative stitches not limited by the feed-dog’s straight-line stitch. But this also brings on an additional problem of static fabric since the feed dog is also in charge of automatically sliding the fabric over.
To solve this, a quilting foot is required to replace the usual multi purpose presser foot. These are capable of moving the fabric with each stitch. They are often referred to as the hopping feet, as a testament to their peculiar ability to hop with every stitch made.
A single hole throat plate offers more support and gives the fabric an easier gateway for penetration. Your throat plate has to be wide enough to give room to maneuver the fabric to achieve the desired stitching pattern during quilting. And that is why the single hole throat plate is a vital accessory to your free motion quilting endeavor and an accessory that must be included in your new sewing machine’s package.
A sewing machine with a good number of built-in stitches opens up the world of creative flexibility where you can easily select a stitch from a built-in collection. In regards to free-motion stitching, the availability of pre-built stitches speed up your learning process and help you make exceptional designs with ease and comfort.
Automation in a sewing machine offers incredible convenience that takes care of small but tedious activities for you while you can focus more on the creative aspects of your sewing. An automatic threader, for instance, takes care of threading your needle with minimal effort from you. Everyone knows threading a needle can be odious, it requires extreme focus and dexterity.
The amount of automation a particular machine features usually influences its price. Another incredible automation is the automatic reverse stitching that adds a reverse stitch to your fabric, automatically reducing your workload by half.
The stitching rate of a sewing machine is measured in stitch per minute (SPM), and your machine’s SPM rate automatically puts a room over how good you can get at free motion quilting. It is ideal to choose a swift machine with a high SPM rate as this will ease your sewing process by offering fluid and precise stitching when quilting.
A great sewing machine would make the sewing process extra fun – an activity that you will look forward to. A poor sewing machine makes the process tedious and more work than play. Not to mention the freedom needed to make free motion quilting. Hence, the need to know exactly what to look for when getting a new sewing machine for your free motion quilting.
With our buying guide and review, we hope to have helped push you on the right path to choosing the most valuable sewing machine amidst the hoard in the market.