Best Sewing Machines for Quilters
There are always so many demands for lists or recommendations for the "best" of something, and the problem with giving anyone your opinion about the "best" this or that is simply that it is entirely subjective. For instance, what one quilter likes the most about their machine could be something of little value to another active quilter.
Where does that leave someone looking for some help finding the best sewing machines for quilters?
It lets them know that the first thing to consider are the various features that all quilters like to have on their sewing machines. These include:
- Free arm - machines that have an option for removing the standard work area are great, but even better are free arm machines that can also accommodate extension tables. These are meant to slide up to and over the free arm area and to allow the sewing machine to function as if built directly into the surface of a large table;
- Easily switched feet - the best sewing machines for quilters are going to facilitate the work. This means that special presser feet, adjustable guiding feet, walking feet, or even "free motion" feet for free quilting, are an absolute must. While quilting can often be done with a darning foot, it is best if you purchase a machine with the capability and design for a lot of quilting activities.
- Knee lift - this is something unfamiliar to many people, but is often seen as an absolute essential where the best sewing machines for quilters are concerned. It allows the individual using the machine to lift up the presser foot without using their hands or the traditional lever. Instead, the process is managed by their knee lifting on the special device. This gives optimal control of the quilting process and even comes in handy for garment making too.
- High speed bobbin winding - many regular quilters and sewers tend to groan when their bobbin runs out. This is because it means that a new bobbin winding procedure has to occur. This can be timely and annoying with many simpler machines, but the best sewing machines for quilters tend to have rapid-fire bobbin winding and larger bobbins in general.
- Needle stop adjustment - when sewing, you cannot always tell where the needle is located in its path of movement. The best sewing machines for quilters will let the user choose to have the needle automatically stop in the lowest part of the path of movement (effectively holding the layers of fabric together) or at the peak of the movement (above the materials). This often ensures that the results are as desired and that no problems occur with the quilting process.
Of course, that is the list of the typical or common features to be found on the best sewing machines for quilters, but that is not where the story ends. This is due to the fact that there are now also machines that are meant to be used entirely and only for quilting activities. These too can be found with a range of functions, including all kinds of specialty stitches and settings.
Also consider that many experienced quilters admit to owning more than one machine.
They will always indicate that each machine tends to do one thing in a way that is superior to another, and this is what results in the creation of the best quilts. For example, one machine may piece things consistently and nicely. Another might handle the assembly really well, and a third might be an embroidering type of machine that can quilt in a precise manner.
So, the best thing to do in order to identify the best machines for quilting is to consider what other tasks you might use various machines to do, and explore investing in one or two to handle all of the different work.