There are tons of sewing machines out there and while you could use any of them for quilting – purchasing a large throat sewing machine for quilting makes the job so much easier. If you’ve ever tried maneuvering a large quilt around a standard machine… then you know exactly how frustrating it can be.
Of course, everyone would love to own a long-arm quilting machine to rid them of this problem, but, sadly, it’s just not in the budget for a lot of people. That’s why I’ve dug deep into the web to find the best of the best sewing machines for quilters – Here are my top picks.
Editor’s Pick: Top 3 Large Throat Sewing Machines For Quilting
Need a little more information? No worries! Keep reading for the full overview of each of these machines.
With a generous 12 inch throat and a very affordable price tag, the Baby Lock Jazz 2 is a quilter’s dream come true.
The Juki Kieri NX7 offers a 12″ throat and some impressive premium features you won’t find on cheaper machines.
The Janome 8200 offers 11 inches of throat space, and amazing premium featured like Janome’s Acu-Feed system for precise fabric handling.
What Kinds of features should you be looking for in a quilting sewing machine?
- A larger throat space (the area to the right of the needle) is beneficial for quilting, as it provides more room to maneuver and manipulate the fabric. Look for a machine with a wide throat space, ideally at least 9 inches or more.
2. Stitch Options
- Quilting often involves different types of stitches. Ensure that the sewing machine offers a variety of stitches, including straight stitches, zigzag stitches, and quilting-specific stitches like a 1/4-inch piecing stitch.
3. Walking Foot or Even Feed System
- A walking foot helps feed multiple layers of fabric evenly through the machine, preventing shifting and puckering. Some machines come with a built-in walking foot, while others may require you to attach one separately.
4. Extension Table
- An extension table provides additional support for large quilting projects, helping to manage the weight and size of the quilt. It gives you more space to work and prevents fabric from dragging.
5. Adjustable Speed Control
- Adjustable speed control allows you to set the sewing speed according to your comfort level and the complexity of the task. This is particularly useful for intricate quilting work.
6. Needle Position Control
- The ability to control the needle position is essential for quilting. Look for a machine that allows you to stop the needle in the down position, which makes it easier to pivot the fabric when quilting corners.
7. Thread Cutter
- A built-in thread cutter can save time and make the quilting process more efficient by eliminating the need for scissors.
8. Free-motion Quilting Features
- If you plan to do free-motion quilting, ensure that the machine has a drop feed-dog feature and comes with a darning or quilting foot. Some machines also offer a knee lift that allows you to raise the presser foot with your knee, leaving your hands free to guide the fabric.
9. Quilting Accessories
- Check if the machine comes with quilting-specific accessories, such as a quilting guide, quilting feet, and a 1/4-inch foot. These accessories can make the quilting process more accurate and efficient.
10. Durability and Build Quality
- Look for a machine with a sturdy build and durable construction. Quilting often involves working with multiple layers of fabric, so a robust machine is essential for handling the load.
11. Reviews and Recommendations
- Before making a final decision, read reviews from other quilters and consider recommendations from experienced quilters. They can provide insights into how well a particular machine performs for quilting purposes.
Baby Lock Jazz 2 – Editor’s Pick
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other machine in this price range with 12 inches of throat space. The Baby Lock Jazz 2 is simply in a class of its own in this department. It’s simply one of the best quilting sewing machine with large throat.
While it does lack some of the fancier features of more expensive machines, the truth is, many of those features will likely go unused anyway – needlessly wasting your budget.
For quilters, solid performance, good throat space, and a budget-friendly price point are the most in-demand features for a sewing machine – and the Baby Lock Jazz 2 ticks all 3 boxes.
Verified Buyer Review
Looking for a long-arm quilting experience without the high price tag?
Consider adding a Q Zone Hoop frame which allows for effortless free-motion quilting and mimics a much pricier long-arm machine for a fraction of the price.
Not the machine for you? No problem! Check out our comparison table below to compare our top 3 machines side-by-side to see everything they offer.
The Juki TL-2010Q was made with quilters in mind. It’s an amazingly fast machine, capable of 1,500 stitches per minute, and it also includes an extension table which makes crafting large pieces, like quilts, a breeze. Though, the 8.5-inch throat space is a lot smaller than what the Baby Lock Jazz II has.
Much like the Jazz II, this machine is also not as fancy as some high-dollar machines, but if you primarily want to use it for quilting, this workhorse will serve you right. It features stop and cut buttons for efficient work, but it also allows you to cut using the foot pedal, a unique and useful feature. You’ll also get a convenient knee lift lever for the presser foot which allows you to adjust it hands-free, so both hands can stay on the fabric.
You should keep in mind though that the Juki TL-2010Q is straight stitch only. It doesn’t do fancy things like monogram, and it doesn’t come with hundreds of built-in stitches, BUT it does do exactly what a sewing machine should do – it sews. Which it does very well, leaving consumers raving about how beautifully this machine stitches.
While this machine may seem a bit bare-bones compared to other modern sewing machines – it does include some very cool features. It includes two types of quilting feet and drop feed. You can use this for free motion quilting and free-hand embroidery, which can add a nice touch to your projects. The drop feed feature also allows you to sew precise, curved stitches with ease.
PS. The Juki 201Q is also THE best rated sewing machine for quilting by consumers!
JUKI Kieri NX7
While the Juki Kieri is not exactly budget-friendly, it is a fantastic sewing machine with 12 inches of throat space. The included extension tables also brings your workspace up to 22.4″ x 13.6″, giving you ample room for projects, and the machine zips along at a respectable 1,050 stitches per minute.
Unlike the first two machines on our list, this one does have all the bells and whistles. It’s a computerized model, which features a large, color touch panel, and a plethora of advanced features that will delight sewing enthusiasts.
One of which is Juki’s smart feed function, which moves the top and bottom layers of the fabric in sync with each other, allowing you to be more precise when quilting, and a float function that keeps your seams perfectly even.
However, there’s plenty more to love, including automatic tension, start/stop buttons, needle up/down, automatic thread trimming, retractable feed dogs, extra LED lighting, a free arm option for hemming chores and tight spaces, optional twin needle sewing capabilities, assignable foot pedal controls, a bobbin winder, a bobbin thread counter to avoid breakage, and tons more.
So, if you’re ready to splurge, and you’re looking for a machine that does it all – this is the one. It’s quiet and runs smoothly, it offers every quality of life feature you could dream of, and for everything it offers, the price point is more than fair compared to similar machines.
Janome 8200 QCP
The Janome 8200QPC offers an impressive 11 inches of throat space, making it the perfect choice for quilters, costume designers, and other sewists that need to work on large projects.
However, unlike the Baby Lock Jazz, this machine also comes with a ton of premium features. This includes the AcuFeed Flex System which helps to evenly feed fabric through the machine. What this means is that all fabric layers will feed the fabric evenly, preventing any movement, a must have for quilters.
This machine also has adjustable speed control slider (up to 1,000 stitches per minute), automatic tension, memorized needle up/down, built-in needle threader, a 7 piece feed dog, automatic thread cutter, reverse button, stitch editing functions, combination stitches, a knee lift, and more!
Juki Exceed HZL-F600
If the NX7 is out of your budget, then the Juki Exceed HZL-F600 could be an option. The throat space is not quite as nice (8 inches of throat space), but the price definitely is. You’ll be able to pick up this machine for almost a third of the price, and you’ll still have some pretty nice features to boot if you can deal with a bit less space.
The f-600 is almost as fast as the NX7, at 900 Stitches per minute, and it also includes premium features like a box feed system, random stitching, automatic needle threading, foot pedal thread trimming, sensor method button holes, and lots more.
This machine works well on many different kinds of fabrics, including heavy/thick fabrics, but it’s also great if you have other projects which require more delicate fabrics. It also comes with an extension table, and you can trim your threads by using the button, OR with a heel motion on the foot pedal for faster, hands-free snipping.
In closing, it’s important to remember that while you can easily purchase a sewing machine for quilting that’s the price of a used car, do you really need to do that? Will you use all of the features?
Knowing exactly what you need can save you a lot of money, and it’s important to think about that before you buy a machine. However, at the same time, you shouldn’t forgo a valuable feature that you’ll REALLY use to save $100 either. I hope this article has been helpful to you in finding a sewing machine with large throat space.
Is adjustable speed control necessary for quilting?
No, but it will be very helpful. Having the ability to slow down your machine can help a lot for performing detailed, intricate work.
Should you go computerized or mechanical?
Straight stitch machines work just fine for quilting, and if you don’t need fancy features then there’s no reason to waste money on them. However, newer computerized machines have a lot of time-saving and quality of life features that can be very helpful!
Can all sewing machines be used for free motion quilting?
Look for machines that feature a “drop feed” feature if you want to do free motion quilting.
Should I look for a machine with an extension table?
An extension table can be very helpful with managing oversized projects like quilts, but if the machine you want doesn’t come with one you can usually get an aftermarket one on Amazon.
How much throat space do I need for quilting?
I would aim for a machine with a throat space of at least 9 inches or more. More throat space provides room to handle large quilts without them getting caught or wrinkled. As a rule of thumb, 9 inches should suffice for large quilts, and 12 inches for king size.
What features should I prioritize in a sewing machine for quilting?
Prioritize features such as a wide throat space, walking foot or even feed system, quilting-specific stitches, and adjustable speed control.
How is a long arm sewing machine different than a regular large throat sewing machine?
While most home sewing machines tap out at around 12″ in throat space, a long arm can have a truly gigantic throat space. In addition, they also have a frame system that makes it much easier to work on quilts and they operate at faster speeds as well.
If you’re interested in a longarm, be aware that they are very expensive. However, there are some affordable longarm quilting options out there!
Barb, our resident quilter and embroidery aficionado, weaves a thread of creativity through our collection. Serving as the curator of machine embroidery content, Barb infuses each design with a touch of her artistic expertise. The free embroidery patterns you discover on our site often bear the mark of Barb’s craftsmanship. Let’s get crafting!