Best Quilting Sewing Machine

Are you passionate about quilting? Would you like to upgrade from hand to machine quilting? What about replacing your older machine with one of the latest models? Yes? Then, we believe you’re going to love today’s topic as we explore the art of quilting.

Well, there has been a growing number of fabric artists in recent years, with 2020 presumably recording the highest. After the global lockdowns, most of us had been at home, and unless you want to spend the whole day on TV, you had to find something productive to do. Quilting has been one of the few things creative minds decided to try and pass time while making fabric items for home use.

Like any other craft, however, you must have the proper tool if you want to produce consistent and graceful designs. So, in this article, we’ll look at the best quilting sewing machine under $500 that can help you achieve these results and on time.

But before we come to that…

Must You Use A Machine For Quilting?

When knitting something like a scarf or beanie, we do know casting on the yarn is the first step to starting your project. In quilting, the first step to starting your project, with the materials ready, of course, is to put together your design. After that, you’ll now decide how you want to do your quilting; by hand or by machine.

In case you’re new to this and wondering, quilting is just a fancy name for the stitching process you use to sew the quilt layers together. They are usually three layers, including the quilt top, batting, and backing.

Anyway, back to the two techniques, hand quilting is mostly used when you making an heirloom that you want to have a part of you. It’s pretty enjoyable and also satisfying, even though the finished item has a looser appearance. 

Meanwhile, machine quilting leaves the layers of the quilt tightly sewn, giving it a crispier look. The technique is the best when making a larger quilt, or else producing many pieces for donations or to make a profit.

What Is The Best Quilting Sewing Machine?

Technically, many sewing machines can do quilting, albeit not as perfect as the specialized quilting machines. Also, the top-best machines for quilting should be the long-arm designs but they’re rather expensive and mostly used for commercial production.

Regardless, the home sewing machines are also great and you do lots of applications when you have the right one. From the eight selections that we’ve gathered, Brother XR9550  wins our editor’s choice badge, thanks to its perfect balance of pricing, performance, and high customer rating score.

The following is a summary of the features of the sewing machine model, as well as the rest of the machine alternatives.

Best Overall: Brother XR9550 Computerized Quilting Sewing Machine 

Up to 165 unique built-in stitches, easy to lift, use for reverse sewing, works with consistent speeds, budget-friendly, and has a quick start/ stop button

Best for Beginners: SINGER Simple 3232 110-Stitch Sewing Machine 

Has a durable design, effortless to set up, easy to move, multiple basic sewing options, built- storage for the accessories, and a generous budget

Best Budget: Brother XM2701 Free Arm Sewing Machine 

Has a built-in LED light, quick self-threading, easy to move, easy-to-follow instructions, very affordable, and a built-in storage

Best Portable: SINGER Start 1304 Light Free Arm Sewing Machine 

Straightforward to use, less workspace, build-in storage for accessories, supports reverse sewing, and has to carry handle

Best Value: SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine 

Premium durable design, a total of 600 built-in stitches, easy to change stitch style, LCD display, plus self threader and thread cutter

Best For Embroidery: Brother SE1900 Embroidery Quilting Machine 

Supports large 5” x 7” embroideries, delivers accurate stitching, has a stylish design, built-in thread cutter, and 100+ built-in stitching and embroidering designs 

Best For Large Quilts: Brother CS7000i LCD Wide Quilting Machine 

Quick to load the thread, supports multiple sewing speeds, can work without the foot pedal, 

and pretty quick to switch out presser feet.

Best Of Design: Brother HC1850 LCD Quilting Sewing Machine 

Has a superior durable body, effortless to operate, easy to lift, can work for people with leg disability, and has a fair pricing

Best Accessory: HOMEST Universal Nylon Sewing Machine Carrying Case 

Has spacious storage, decent look, multiple carrying options, extra side pockets, wide top opening, and Padded interior for added protection

The Best Quilting Sewing Machine Built-In Stitches And Table Length Comparison Chart

For any great quilting sewing machine, the ability to perform different applications is very crucial. The following is a side-by-side comparison of the built-in stitches and the actual dimensions of the various machines. The goal is to help identify which piece has the kind of capabilities you need and how much space it’s likely to use.

Quilting Sewing Machine BrandUnique BadgeBuilt-in Stitches Product Size(In Inches)

Brother XR9550 Quilting Sewing Machine 
Best of All16512.5 by 16.3 by 7.0
SINGER Simple 3232 110-Stitch Sewing Machine Best for Beginners3215.0 by 7.5 by 12.0
Brother XM2701 Free Arm Sewing Machine Best for Budget2712.1 by 5.9 by 15.3
SINGER Start 1304 Light Free Arm Sewing Machine Best for Portability613.0 by 7.0 by 11.5
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine Best for Value60017.5 by 8.5 by 12.0
Brother SE1900 Embroidery Quilting Sewing Machine Best for Embroidery24013.4 by 23.2 by 11.5
Brother CS7000i LCD Wide Quilting Machine  Best for Large Quilts 601.4 by 6.7 by 16.1
Brother HC1850 LCD Quilting Sewing Machine Best for Design18519.2 by 12.5 by 15.2
Janome 2212 Electric Mechanical Quilting Sewing Machine Best Alternative1215.2 by 11.6 y 6.0
HOMEST Universal Nylon Sewing Machine Carrying Case Best for AccessoryN/A17 x 10.25 x 13.25

The 8 Best Quilting Sewing Machines Under $500

Here are the detailed reviews of the products that we picked. In this section, you’ll learn how each product differs from the others in terms of features, benefits, as well as drawbacks.

Best Overall: Brother XR9550 Computerized Quilting Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Electric powered

2. A total of 165 built-in stitches

3. LCD display with backlight

4. Functional push buttons

5. Droppable dog feed

6. Printed directions and video tutorials

BROTHER Group is one of the top providers of sewing machines across the globe. With over 100 years of innovation, the company has become a favorite of many sewists, courtesy of their rich quality and reasonably-priced machines. 

The model XR9550 is one of the brand’s successful creations and a precious gift if you need to take your creative quilting to the next level. Not only does it incorporate ancient craftsmanship, but also the latest technology for the best sewing experience.

For one, the machine has a total of 165 built-in stitches, which allows you to make your quits in varying patterns and decorations. The patterns are easy to set, all thanks to the backlighted LCD display and the push-buttons. 

Furthermore, the sewing machine has an automatic needle threader that makes it quick to conduct the threading process. It also has a droppable dog feed, which means you can do free motion quilting with much efficiency.

Still, the sewing machine has a pretty wide top table that provides you with the extra support that you need for larger quilts. It also has a convenient speed control button, plus you can use it without the use of the foot pedal. Hence, a great choice for someone unable to use his/ her legs.

Pros:

1. It’s light and easy to lift

2. Supports reverse sewing

3. Works with consistent speeds 

4. Easy and quick to complete projects 

5. Includes clear and simple instructions

6. It’s budget-friendly

Cons:

1. Has many plastic parts

2. The self-threading feature is difficult to use

Best For Beginners: SINGER Simple 3232 110-Stitch Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Electric sewing machine

2. 32 built-in stitches

3. Automatic needle threader

4. 4 Snap-On presser feet

5. Build-in lighting bub

Overall, this is the best quilting sewing machine under $500 for starters or learners in the fabric art. It has everything that you need to get started, including extra accessories like a seam ripper, needles, bobbins, and a concise quilting guide.

The sewing machine itself has a compact yet high-quality construction to provide the best performance and for long. It has numerous built-in stitches that allow you to express your creativity in different and attractive forms. This also makes the machine very easy to set up and also use.

More on that, there’s an automatic threading feature that allows you to get the thread to the needle eye in seconds. It also does have an automatic reverse button so that you can reinforce the stitching and prevent the thread tails from unraveling. 

Furthermore, the machine can be adjusted to customize your project with wider or narrower zigzag stitches. It’s a mechanical design, in which case you use the dials at the top and in the front to make the needed settings.

Pros:

1. It has a well-made, durable construction

2. Quick and effortless to set up

3. Lightweight and easy to move

4. Supports a variety of basic sewing

5. Has built-in storage for the accessories

6. It’s a friendly budget

Cons:

1. The automatic threader is tricky to master

2. The controls (on the right-hand side) may be uncomfortable for some lefties 

3. Impossible to use large spools of thread from the design of the spool spindle

Best Budget: Brother XM2701 Free Arm Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. 27 unique stitches

2. Built-in LED light

3. Automatic needle threader

4. Multiple control dials

5. Compact and lightweight

6. Printed manual and instructional DVD

If you need a sweet machine for sewing and quilting but at a lower budget, this piece could do the trick. Of course, you shouldn’t expect much then, but this model has everything you need to sew garments and also make quilts.

For one, the machine has multiple built-in stitches, including straight, zigzag, and decorative patterns. You can also make buttonholes and blind hem for your trousers or dresses while using the various sewing feet included.

While the machine doesn’t have droppable feed dogs, you can easily cover them with the darning plate. Hence allowing you to make free motion quilting when needed. It also has an automatic bobbin winding system and a self-threading feature that might come in handy when you have poor eyesight.

Unlike its brother, this machine doesn’t have an LCD screen or push buttons. It relies on round knobs for the changing of the different stitches, stitches length, and stitch width that suits your needs. Moreover, there’s a built-in LED light that can help illuminate your work area for the best results.

Pros:

1. It’s very affordable

2. Has a sleek, durable design

3. So easy to use and operate

4. Compact and easy to move around

5. It has a built-in accessory storage

Cons

1. Not ideal for large projects

2. Tricky to use for lefties (controls on the right-hand side)

3. Tend to struggle on very thick fabric, like denim jeans

Best Portable: SINGER Start 1304 Light Free Arm Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Electric, mechanical sewing machine

2. Reverse lever

3. 6 built-in stitches

4. Fixed stitch width

5. Built-in light source

6. Lightweight and Carrying handle

Compact and lightweight, this SINGER machine is certainly a great option if you happen to go to sewing groups or classes. It even has an integrated handle that you can use to carry by hand with much comfort.

Despite the lightness, however, the inner construction is metallic and the outer body high impact plastic. So, the machine can serve you for many years if you are gentle enough and provide the needed maintenance.

When it now comes to the performance, it has a total of 6 built-in stitches that you can use to perform dozens of applications. Of course, that’s the lowest of all the selections on our list but the device also has reasonable pricing. 

As a mechanical sewing machine, all the operations use physical controls that include dials, buttons, and a lever. It also comes with all the accessories you need to set up and use the machine straight from the box. This includes multiple footers that include one for making zippers and another one for buttonholes.

Pros:

1. It allows working with the best visibility

2. Straightforward to learn and operate

3. Require less space to work and store

4. Includes built-in storage for accessories

5. Supports reverse sewing to reinforce stitches

6. It’s affordable

Cons:

1. Pretty small for large projects

2. Instructions are a little confusing

3. Not the best for heavy denim material

Best Value: SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Computerized sewing machine

2. Extension table

3. 600 built-in stitches

4. Automatic needle threader

5. LCD display with backlight

6. The maximum speed of 850 stitches/ minute 

If you need a premium buy but under $500, the Singer 9960 can be a great choice. Not only does it have a well-made design but also gives you numerous basic sewing options with a wide range of stitches. It even has several decorative stitches to embellish your quilts with unique patterns, as well as customize lovely patterns for your home décor.

At the core, the sewing machine has a powerful motor that can deliver a maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute. It even has a built-in needle threader that threads from the spool to the needle’s eye. Hence very helpful if you have poor eyesight or when working under limited visibility.

Speaking of visibility, by the way, this machine does have integrated lighting above the footer to illuminate your work area. It also has a backlighted LCD display that you can use to adjust the various programs alongside the easy-push buttons.

The sewing machine comes with various unique presser feet, including quilting, blind hem, zipper, overcasting, and satin stitch. Its working table is also rather wide as it has an extension part that you can easily attach and detach.

Pros:

1. It has a superior and long-lasting design

2. Quick and easy to change stitch style

3. Includes the sheer amount of accessories

4. Has self threader and thread cutter

5. Can perform numerous sewing and quilting projects

6. It’s powerful enough for light and thick fabric layers

Cons:

1. It’s relatively expensive

2. Has an inferior tension controller

3. Tend to skip some stitches (especially zigzag satin stitching)

Best For Embroidery: Brother SE1900 Embroidery Quilting Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Computerized sewing and embroidery machine

2. Reverse sewing

3. 240 built-in sewing stitches

4. Colored, touchscreen display

5. Advanced need threading feature

6. Large 5” x 7” embroidery

This piece is a great alternative if you’d like to add your quilts and garments with beautiful embroideries. It’s no doubt pretty expensive than other alternatives but comprises a combo of sewing and embroidering features. So, creativity is the only thing that can limit your achievements.

Even better, the sewing machine has numerous built-in designs and fonts for embroidery. It also has various stitching styles to help you customize your project with unique patterns while simultaneously providing a solid reinforcement. 

Thanks to the computerized nature, the machine doesn’t have many controls despite the numerous functionality. It has an LCD touchscreen display that’s not just easy to operate but also makes your sewing more fun. The small screen is even colored, which allows you to preview the designs much accurately.

More to love, the sewing embroidery machine has an automatic threader and also a drop-in top bobbin. So, you won’t need to strain your eyes trying to thread. Furthermore, the device can work with twin needles, albeit it comes with one.

Pros:

1. It has a sleek and stylish look

2. Has a built-in thread cutter

3. Delivers accurate and neat stitching

4. Has many stitching and embroidering designs

5. Offers easy-to-follow instructions (on display)

6. It has a bright light to illuminate your work 

Cons:

1. It’s a little expensive

2. Sometimes the bobbin thread jams and stick

Best For Large Quilts: Brother CS7000i LCD Wide Quilting Machine

Summary Features:

1. Computerized quilting machine

2. 2.0-inch backlighted LCD display

3. 60 built-in stitches

4. Detachable extension table

5. 9 sewing and quilting feet

While all Brother sewing machines are great, this model allows you to go about your fabric creativity while going big. It has everything any sewist would want to complete his projects, which explains the over 15,000 ratings on Amazon. 

The device has a high-tech profile, with up to 60 built-in sewing stitches for basic, decorative, and quilting functions. There are also various styles for buttonholes and even a feature to sewn the buttons onto the fabric.

Thanks to the self needle threader, the sewing machine makes it easy and convenient to push the thread through the eye. It also has an integrated LED light that gives extra brightness on your small or dark project.

Furthermore, the sewing machine has an extension sewing table that you can easily attach or detach. It also has easy-to-push buttons that you can use to raise the needle and for reverse sewing. There’s also a button to start/ stop the machine so that you don’t have to rely on the foot pedal.

Best of all, the machine has a small LCD display that allows you to switch the various stitches easily and quickly. The screen also acts as a great guide, in which case it shows you the presser foot to use and even detects errors when using the automatic buttonhole function. 

Pros:

1. It’s so easy to fill the bobbin and thread

2. Can work at different speeds

3. Perfect if you have feet disability

4. Comes with various accessories

5. Lightweight and effortless to move

6. It’s pretty quick to switch out needles and presser feet.

Cons:

1. The throat size is quite limited

2. Pretty fussy on tension setting

3. Tend to struggle and jam on thicker layers of fabric

Best Of Design: Brother HC1850 LCD Quilting Sewing Machine

Summary Features:

1. Computerized sewing machine

2. Wide quilting table

3. Reverse sewing

4. Simple push-buttons

5. A total of 185 built-in stitches

6. Printed manual and instructional DVD

This is a great alternative if you would like to produce large quilts and at the same time play with a wide array of stitches. If you’d like to add decorations, the machine also has various alphanumeric sewing stitches that you can employ.

Like most from the renowned maker, this model has a small LCD display to help you adjust your preferable stitch quickly and easily. You can do all this using the push buttons beneath and on the right side of the machine. There are also switch for reverse sewing and another if you’d like to work without the foot pedal. That’s not all.

The sewing machine can work at low or high speeds, which you can easily control with a sliding lever. There’s also a lever to enable automatic threading, thus saving you a lot of time that you’d otherwise wasted while squinting at the needle’s eye. 

More on that, the machine has a quick-set drop-in bobbin, with a clear cover so that you can easily monitor the remaining thread.

Pros:

1. It has a well-made, durable build

2. Effortless to learn and use

3. Offers concise instructions

4. Light and easy to lift up

5. Perfect for people with feet disability

6. It has a reasonable pricing

Cons:

1. The automatic threader can be tricky to get to work

2. Tend to jam on some thick fabrics

3. It makes odd (knocking) noise when sewing.

Best Accessory: HOMEST Universal Nylon Sewing Machine Carrying Case

If you’d like to travel with your quilting sewing machine, it’s not the best idea to go around carrying it bare on your arms. So, a great carrying case can come in handy to ensure the safety of your device and ease the stress on your hands.

Like any good storage for electronics, this bag consists of heavy-duty, nylon material to support the extra weight and durability. It also has a well-padded sidewall and some nice cushioning at the bottom to protect your machine against impact.

The bag has a padded carry handle and a removable shoulder strap. Thus, making it easier to carry your craft to the group, class, or even a relative. It has double, heavy-duty zippers that make it quicker to access inside while at the same time providing backup in case one fails.

Furthermore, the bag has a generous storage space that allows you to store the machine and extra accessories. You can use for SINGER models 1304 and 3242 or BROTHER XM2701 and LX2763, amongst others.

Pros:

1. It has plenty of storage space

2. Has a decent, gorgeous style

3. Supports multiple carrying options

4. Includes extra side pockets

5. Effortless to pack and unpack the content 

6. Has Padded interior for extra protection

7. It’s very affordable and long-lasting.

Buying Guide: The 6 Important Factors To Consider On A Good Quilting Sewing Machine 

Truthfully, choosing any quilting sewing machine is pretty easy, but choosing the best is not. Each model has a particular design that has a unique build and features that stand it out from the rest.

Anyway, here are six factors that you should be watchful of when looking for the best quilting sewing machine under $500: 

1. Design Choice: There are different types of quilting sewing machines. One is a long-arm machine, which usually has a long and perfect table for quilts. However, the standard home sewing machine is relatively cheaper and since it still does the job, many people consider it as their tool.

2. Built-In Stitches: The more stitches a quilting machine has, the much fun your quilting will be since you’ll be open to a wide array of applications. This includes the basic straight stitching and decorative ones to add unique styling to your project.

3. Feed Dog Style: By definition, feed dogs are those metallic teeth-like ridges that emerge in the throat plate beneath the presser footer. When choosing a machine for quilting, the teeth should be droppable or else with a means to cover them if you’re to’ enjoy free-motion sewing.

4. Throat Space: usually, most home sewing machines don’t have a great throat space as we’d expect but the small one still works. Nonetheless, a larger space is usually more worthwhile as it means you’ll have more space to handle projects

5. Quick Start/ Stop Button: While it’s not a must, this switch can be very helpful for those unable to operate the foot pedal. Also, it can help ensure your machine runs at a consistent speed since the switch locks the “accelerator” in position.

6. Walking Foot: This is a special foot that you dress your machine to improve the quilting experience. Unlike the other presser feet, this one is fairly large and provides the best grip when working with multiple layers of fabric (just like quilting with three). So, if your manufacturer doesn’t include it in the package, you can ask how to get one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Best Machine For Sewing And Quilting?

It’s no secret there are numerous sewing machines that you use to produces wonderful quilts and still make garments. However, the Brother XR9550 Quilting Sewing Machine  is the best option if you need something budget-friendly and with a perfect balance of performance features

Do All Sewing Machines Do Free Motion Quilting?

Usually, free motion quilting is a form of stitching that allows you to sew in any direction. Most people use the feature with a straight stitch but the machine satin stitch can also work if you need to create monogramming. When doing free motion sewing, you can either use a free motion foot or not, but your machine must have the ability to drop down the dog feeds 

Which Is Better, BROTHER Or Janome Sewing Machine?

In general, both sewing machine brands are great as they have their own qualities and advantages. However, Janome is more of a high-end brand, with most of their products selling above five hundred. Hence the reasons, we didn’t include it in our reviews. Meanwhile, the BROTHER machines have won the hearts of many users as they’re much affordable and also advanced in terms of tech. 

Final Thoughts 

A sewing machine is a real great tool to have at home or if you have a fashion clothing store. At home, not only can you repair your clothing but also explore more fabric adventures, especially if the machine supports various sewing stitches.

Luckily, all the products we’ve discussed have multiple sewing stitches, with a model like Brother SE1900 Embroidery Quilting Machine  supporting up to 240 of them, plus dozens of embroidery designs. Nonetheless, the device is pretty expensive, thus the reason it didn’t qualify our first recommendation and opted for the Brother XR9550 Quilting Sewing Machine .

In any case, we believe the article was helpful and you’re now you’re reconciling your mind on the various projects to start on.

Last update on 2021-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API