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Quilting machine--what should I purchase?

by Jill

I would very much appreciate some help here. I am about to purchase a machine for quilting and am overwhelmed with the choices out there. I like the fact that the Juki is a solid machine.

Has anyone sewn on one before and how do they like it? Also, Janome, Pfaff and Bernina I have also looked at.

I really don't want to pay more than $2000. What would you recommend since I have not quilted for 15 years and would like to get back into it again.

Thank you.


I've written an article on the 'Best Machine for Quilting' here on the website that may be helpful to you. Click here to go to it.

Since I first wrote that article, more and more manufacturers have come out with machines with larger harp space...the area underneath the arm where we stuff half our quilt when machine quilting.

My advice...get the one with the most space under the arm and that makes a great straight stitch if you'll be doing a lot of machine quilting. Needle stop down and the ability to control your machine's speed with a touch of button are important features for me, too.

Dealers will often tout the amazingly faster speeds at which their machines stitch. Personally, I think it's a lot of phooey. I slow down my speed when I'm doing marked free motion quilting work. I have more control and my stitches are very even. Way less ripping, too.

Others may disagree with me...and if you do, please add your comments using the link below...and that's OK. We won't all like the same machine.

The best way to know is to actually stitch on one with things that you think you'll be working on. If it's quilts, bring a practice quilt sandwich and put the machine through its paces before signing on the dotted line. Make sure it's got presser feet that make your job easier. For quilting you'll want an open toe walking foot, a selection of darning feet to choose from. For piecing you'll need a good quarter inch foot (I prefer the one with a guide on the right side) but there are other versions, too. And finally, an open toe applique foot for invisible machine applique. Might as well let the machine do most of the work for you, right?!

I hope the information on the website is of help to you. Congratulations on your upcoming purchase and welcome back to quilting!


Julie Baird

Comments for Quilting machine--what should I purchase?

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Janome 6600
by: Rosemary

I previously had only Singer machines, but after 25 years I started to quilt, so I purchased a Janome 6600. It has been a very good machine for me, has a large throat, and many patterns to chose from.

A real workhorse.

From the Editor: It's a wonderful feeling to be happy with your machine. Makes a quilter feel downright invincible.

I wish you many happy hours of quilting.


Julie Baird

Janome Horizon
by: Elaine DeFoor

About a year ago I purchased a Janome Horizon. I love it. I have sewn for more than 60 years on many, many brands and types of machines. This is by far the best sewing machine I have ever owned.

It does great free-motion quilting and piecing seams are beautiful. It has a large throat area so a king-size quilt can be quilted quite easily. It comes with a walking foot as well as several types of free-motion feet. Plus many other feet. It starts and stops by the touch of a button but it comes with the foot feed or knee feed it you want. It has multiple speeds. It will cut your thread at the end if you wish. It has a needle threader attached which works like a dream.

This machine will sew anything from fine dresses to Sunbrella projects for our boat.

I told someone at a quilt show that I would love a quilting machine but since I lived in a condo I did not have room for multiple machines. She told me about this one and am I glad she did.

I do mostly large quilts for family gifts but I recently finished a large boat project.

And I believe it is in your price range.

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