Best Portable Sewing Machine For Quilting

Image of the Best portable sewing machine for quiltingAlthough people used the earliest quilting to make bedcovers, this ancient craft evolved through the ages. Today, in addition to coverlets quilting, it is used to make tablecloths, table runners, and sometimes as unique art pieces put on display. The significance of quilting goes beyond the essential utilitarian value and into the social aspect. Many communities worldwide give quilts as gifts to celebrate important days, such as weddings, graduations, and births. To honor this craft and produce fantastic work, you will need the best portable sewing machine for quilting.

We have recently witnessed hand quilting’s resurgence after the industrial revolution that brought the large-scale production of quilting machines. Despite this, machine quilting has carved an undeniable niche for itself in the quilting space, and with the right care and skill, can produce pieces just as unique as those made by hand. Find below a comprehensive analysis of 8 machines that will work efficiently to create your best work yet.

Best Portable Sewing Machine For Quilting

1. Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i

The CS6000i from Brother is an excellent machine for quilting, which has the distinct advantage of offering affordability coupled with high-end features. Although it is a computerized machine, setting it up and using it is straightforward for both beginning and advanced users. Beginning with threading, a numbered diagram on the device directs you to the appropriate threading spots. The automatic needle threading function will thread your needle only through the press of a lever on the machine. This feature makes the CS6000i easier to use for sewers with low vision or lacking dexterity. Sixty integrated stitches provide a wide variety for different types of work. Among the 60 are 20 decorative stitches, 20 general-purpose, seven quilting, six heirloom, and seven buttonholes.

There are seven styles of one-step automatic buttonholes in this machine, which means you can create a buttonhole in one quick process. The dimensions of the stitches are adjustable easily through the LCD screen. At around 13 pounds, the CS6000i can be moved without difficulty while remaining heavy enough to stay stable as you quilt. It is full of features that make it ideal for quilting, including a spring action quilting foot and a walking foot for smoother fabric feeding and working on a multi-layered fabric. This detachable extra-wide table gives extra space and drop-feed capability for free-motion sewing.

This machine’s top speed is 850 stitches per minute, which is fast enough for prompt finishing of your projects. This speed is adjustable, though, and can be slowed down for a beginner or if you want to do precise, intricate work or work on thicker fabric. This speed control is also invaluable to a beginner who may have difficulty operating the foot pedal. Other features that make this machine convenient are the drop-in top bobbin and the start and stop buttons for use without the foot control.

Summary of Top Features

  • Automatic needle threading
  • 60 integrated stitches
  • Adjustable stitch dimensions
  • Sewing speeds of 850 stitches per minute
  • It has a free arm.

Pros

  • The machine works quietly.
  • Stable working surface
  • you can use the machine with or without the foot pedal.
  • Simple to set up and use.
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The lighting is not bright enough.
  • No automatic tension control.

2. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine

Among the many home quilting machines in the market, the JUKI-2010Q is a class leader in efficiency and convenience. It is full of features that make it tailor-made to be one of the best quilting machines. one of these features is the ample space that this machine provides. The device has a more considerable distance between the column and the needle for working on larger projects. There is also an extension table to expand the available working space when it is not sufficient. The 2010Q also comes with ¼ inch and 1/5-inch quilting feet, which will come in handy when doing free motion quilting. The even feed foot on this machine will also allow you to create even seams.

At a top speed of 1,500 stitches per minute, you can work on larger projects quickly and move on to other ones. The beginner need not fear these high speeds, though. The rate is adjustable using a speed control lever, and you can lower the speeds to as little as 200 stitches per minute, which is also useful for thick fabrics and precision work. The speed control system is controlled by a microcomputer, which means that you will get excellent results even when sewing at low speeds. You can adjust the presser foot tension on this machine accordingly to accommodate different fabric thicknesses and help match the top and bottom fabric. You can also raise the presser foot with a knee lever (so you don’t have to stop sewing) through a distance of 12mm.

Features in the 2010Q that make the machine easy to use are the automatic thread trimmer that snips the upper and lower threads, easy bobbin replacement, needle up/down control, and multiple accessories.

Summary of Top Features

  • Top speeds of up to 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • A maximum stitch length of 6mm
  • Automatic thread trimming

Pros

  • Knee lift lever
  • Fast sewing speeds
  • Expandable working space
  • Adjustable sewing speed
  • Sturdy and durable

Cons

  • The machine only has straight stitches.

3. SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine

The Singer 9960’s most notable feature is the high number of stitches. With 600 integrated stitches, it is improbable that you will ever lack a stitch to use for different projects. These stitches’ breakdown includes 450 character and number stitches available in five fonts, 91 general sewing stitches, 34 decoratives, 12 utility, and 13 buttonhole stitches. You can also elongate the stitches up to five times their original size. Keeping track of all these stitches has also been made easier by using the machine’s reference chart. You can adjust the dimensions of the basic stitches accordingly, and you can increase the size of some of the decorative stitches.

While 600 stitches are quite awe-inspiring, the 9960 is also choke-full of other features that make it a dream to use for quilters. One of these is the box-feed mechanism. This unique feeding system provides a more consistent fabric feeding as it ensures that the feed dogs are always in contact with the presser foot and the fabric equally.  The maximum speed of 850 stitches per minute is also relatively fast and will work well. You can reduce and increase the sewing speed as needed on the machine using the slider bar.

The bobbin is loaded by dripping in through the top, with easy access for quick rethreading. The bobbin is also covered with a transparent cover that will allow you to monitor the thread supply and refill it when running out. If you wish to work on larger projects and need more space, you can attach the machine’s extendable table.

Summary of Top Features

  • Five alphanumeric fonts
  • 600 stitch applications
  • Built-in needle threading
  • Top sewing speeds of 850 stitches per minute
  • Drop-in bobbin

Pros

  • Well-lit working area
  • Steady and durable
  • Relatively affordable
  • Box feed mechanism
  • Slider bar for speed control

Cons

  • Non-adjustable presser foot pressure

4. Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine

If you want an affordable, mid-range computerized sewing machine that is durable and works efficiently, then you should give the HC1850 serious consideration. With 130 integrated stitches ranging from basic garment construction to decorative and even quilting stitches, you can create various projects. A chart is located on the front of the machine that helps you choose your stitch in seconds without referring to the manual. You can then select your stitch using the LED screen at the push of a button. The maximum stitch width and length are a decent 7mm and 5mm, respectively, and you can adjust these to suit your needs.

The machine comes with eight presser feet that increase its functionalities. Other useful accessories that come with this machine include foot control that allows you to control your sewing speed and a wide table for larger projects. This machine has three rates to be adjusted according to the material’s thickness, the pattern’s difficulty, and the sewer’s general skill level. The feed mechanism on this machine works perfectly for smooth and even fabric feeding, which prevents bunching up of the fabric. Hence, the stitches come out looking neat and consistent.

The drop-in bobbin is easy to load and access for later rethreading of the machine. A transparent cover also covers the case so you can keep track of your thread supply and rethread when needed. Bobbin winding is also an easy task, and with the thread in place can be done in 3 quick steps. If you have poor eyesight or low dexterity, you will be glad to hear that this machine has an automatic needle threading function that will push the thread through the eye of the needle at the touch of a lever.

Summary of Top Features

  • 130 integrated stitches
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • One monogramming font
  • Maximum stitch length and width of 5mm and 7mm, respectively
  • The machine has a free arm.

Pros

  • Adjustable sewing speed
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Easy-to-load bobbin
  • Easy to use.
  • Wide working area

Cons

  • There is no automatic thread cutter.
  • You cannot change the sizes of the lettering stitches.

5. JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine

The JUKI TL- 2000Qi is a mechanical sewing machine between an industrial and home sewing machine. It has a heavy-duty aluminum frame that makes it extremely sturdy and durable. At around 37 pounds, this machine will provide a stable working surface that does not vibrate while you work while also making it portable without much difficulty. This machine can only sew straight stitches, which may seem a disadvantage to some but can also work in its favor as it does it superbly. The stitch quality is excellent, neat, and consistent. You can also tweak the stitch length up to 6mm, a feature that will prove useful in layering materials.

The speed of 1,500 stitches per minute is among the features that make this machine stand out. You can blaze through your projects and increase your productivity. This speed can also be adjusted for when you are not comfortable working at such lightning speeds. The presser feet included with this machine include a 1/5” quilting foot, handy in free motion quilting, and other presser feet that add functionalities to the device. The drop feed dog feature is another useful one to have. The feed dogs can be lowered at a moment’s notice if you are working with a delicate fabric that you do not want to be caught on the grooves or if you’re going to do some free motion quilting.

If you are working with thick fabrics or need to lift the presser foot, a knee lever will help you do this without taking your hands off your work. The needle on this machine also stops at the down position automatically, so you can rotate your fabric and resume sewing accurately.

Summary of Top Features

  • A top speed of 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Automatic thread trimmer
  • Adjustable stitch dimensions
  • The machine has a knee lift lever.

Pros

  • Expandable working space
  • Fast sewing speeds
  • Great stitch quality
  • Good value for money
  • Well-lit working area

Cons

  • The machine only has straight stitches.

6. Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine

This computerized, easy-to-use sewing machine is built to last with features to help you work conveniently and efficiently. It comes equipped with 110 integrated stitches ranging from utility to decorative. There are also eight one-step buttonholes on this machine that help you create buttonholes in one quick step. The stitches and other settings can be easily selected using the LCD screen, which is backlit and intuitive. You can also adjust stitch dimensions (width and length) to your required size.

The bobbin loading system is a drop-in one, so you can change the bobbin quickly and easily without having to disrupt your creative process. This machine also comes with various presser feet that allow this machine to perform multiple patterns and stitches. Though the working space is large, the functional area can be increased using a detachable table for larger projects. Adjustability is also another prominent feature of this machine. You can adjust and tweak all sorts of settings on this machine, from the light’s brightness to the organization of your favorite stitches. At around 19 pounds, this machine is also lightweight enough to move around quickly. You can carry this machine with you to class or your sewing group meetings.

Sewing through small spaces or tune-like areas is also simple with the free arm capability. The drop feed dogs will allow you to express your creativity with free-motion sewing fully.

Summary of Top Features

  • 110 integrated stitches
  • Eight styles of buttonholes
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Intuitive LCD screen

Pros

  • Adjustable sewing speed
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Easily portable
  • Easy to load bobbin
  • Convenient auto buttonholes

Cons

  • Relatively fewer accessories compared to other Brother machines.

7. EverSewn Sparrow 30s Sewing Machine – Perfect for Sewing and Quilting

Although EverSewn is not as popular as most other brands, it packs many features into an affordable machine used by sewers of all skill levels. This machine comes with 310 stitches that you can use to work on a variety of projects. These stitches include 32 utility, 84 decoratives, and two full alphabets. The alphabet and decorative stitches in this machine will also allow you to do monogramming and embroidery on your quilt without buying a separate device. This machine also has a stitch memory function that will help you save stitch combinations that you used before. This feature is handy when working on a large project, so you don’t have to reset everything each time.

The adjustable features on this machine include the thread tension. The machine starts with a fundamental tension setting of 4, which you can then increase by turning the dial-up and down to lower the pressure. You can set the thread tension according to the thickness of your fabric. You can also change the sewing speed to reflect your skill level and project. If you want to work fast, this machine offers a top speed of 850 stitches per minute.

The Sparrow 30 comes with an automatic needle threading function that is great for those with low vision, and threading the machine is also straightforward and can be done within seconds. The start/stop button on this machine makes using this machine convenient as you do not need to use the foot pedal. This feature makes it handy for freehand quilting. The multiple accessories that come with this machine are also another reason to buy the device.

Summary of Top Features

  • 310 stitch patterns
  • Nine included presser feet
  • LCD screen
  • Maximum stitch width of 7mm
  • Lettering capability

Pros

  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Stitch memory function
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Expandable working space
  • High-quality stitches

Cons

  • The many features can be overwhelming for a beginner.

8. Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, XR3774

The Brother XR3774 is an entry-level quilting and sewing machine that offers good value at its price point. Though it is not precisely feature-rich, it works well with the features that give an excellent experience. The machine has 37 built-in stitches, including general-purpose, heirloom, quilting, decorative stitches, and a one-step automatic buttonhole. The XR3774 comes with eight presser feet in its accessory package, including quilting and walking foot.

At a top speed of 800 stitches per minute, you can get through your work reasonably quickly. This speed is also a great feature for beginners who may find it challenging to work at high rates. This machine’s sewing rate is controlled by a foot pedal, though, and the pressure you apply will determine the speed you get. The foot pedal on this machine is not so touchy that you will have difficulty controlling the pace, and with some practice, you can use it like a pro. The automatic needle threader is another feature that will save you a lot of time and frustration. This machine will push the thread through the needle’s eye, and you can quickly get on with your work.

The top drop-in bobbin is another highly convenient feature of this machine. Unlike other bobbin loading systems, which are prone to jamming, the top drop-in is easy to load and jam-proof, saving you from a lot of frustration. The transparent cover also helps you monitor the thread supply for quick rethreading.

Summary of Top Features

  • Maximum stitch width of 5mm
  • A maximum stitch length of 4mm
  • 37 integrated stitches
  • Top sewing rate of 800 stitches per minute
  • Top drop-in bobbin

Pros

  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up.
  • Jam resistant bobbin.
  • Automatic needle threading

Cons

  • The LED light is not bright enough.
  • The machine does not have a speed control slider.

Buyers Guide

Buying a quilting machine may be an excellent investment or a tremendous flop, depending on your preparedness before the purchase. Below is a buyer’s guide that will give you expert tips on choosing the best machine for you.

Why Should You Buy the Best Portable Sewing Machine For Quilting?

  1. Efficiency

The best portable sewing machine for quilting will have features that gear it towards working as efficiently as possible. You can produce the best possible results in good time and increase your productivity.

  1. Convenience

The name of the game in the machine industry is convenience. And as much as significant, bulky machines have their undisputable place, smaller, more portable devices are undoubtedly useful. They are easy to move and are a great choice, especially for students who may need to carry them to class.

3. Versatility

one of the best reasons for buying the best portable sewing machine for quilting is that it is not exclusive to that one function. You can also use it for general purpose sewing and garment constructions and embroidery, and monogramming, depending on the machine’s specifications.

 

What Should You Consider When Purchasing The Best Portable Sewing Machine For Quilting?

  1. Throat size and quilting space

The size of the quilting table on your machine will determine the size of the projects you can work on to no small degree. Choose a device with a large table and, if possible, one whose working space is expandable with a detachable table. The throat size is also another factor you should consider seriously. This feature is the distance between the arm of the machine and the needle. Get the device with the largest possible throat size because your future quilting needs can change in the future, and you may find that you need to work on larger quilts. It is much easier to have an oversized machine when you do not need it than an undersized device when you need a lot of space.

  1. Is it upgradeable?

New upgrades and features are being rolled out annually by manufacturing companies. A large part of ensuring your machine’s longevity and relevance is to update the elements and features to match modern standards. Otherwise, you will get stuck with an outdated device, and you will not be working at your maximum productivity.

  1. The Brand

The brand may seem like a superficial way of looking at things, but the brand of the machine you buy is critical. Machine brands globally recognized get to that status by consistently producing reliable, high-quality products and having a record of high customer satisfaction rates and good after-purchase care.

If this is your first purchase, it might be safer to stick with recognized brands. However, not to say that you cannot buy from a brand that is not popular. Research and read up on customer reviews on the product. If possible, speak to other sewers who have purchased the same machine before making your choice.

  1. Test Drive

While reading customer reviews and talking to other purchasers is undoubtedly essential, taking a test drive for yourself to see how the machine works are crucial. Trying out the machine will give you a feel for how compatible the device is with you, and how it works is a must-do before making any purchase. Try out your friends’ machines if they have models you are interested in buying. If not, visit trade shows, roadshows, or your local quilt supply shop. These areas will allow you to test machines before settling on one to buy personally.

  1. Machine specifications

The specifications of the machines and their features will determine their efficiency and convenience when you use them. Some of the specifications that you should look for in the best portable sewing machine for quilting machine include:

  1. i) Drop feed capability- this feature is useful when you want to work on delicate fabrics that would not go well over the feed dogs’ grooves. Another essential function of this feature is that it allows you to do free-motion quilting. This feature will be necessary for quilters who are looking to create truly unique pieces.
  2. ii) Automatic needle threading and thread trimming- these two features, apart from saving you a lot of time, will also keep you from a lot of frustration. You get to finish your work quickly without stopping for long periods.

iii) Accessories- for quilting accessories such as a walking foot, a ¼ inch foot, and a darning foot are necessary. If you don’t already have them, look for a machine that includes them in their accessory package.

  1. iv) Speed control- the maximum speed of the device you choose is also vital. If you do this professionally or have a large workload, select a machine that has a high top-speed so you can get through your work faster. Apart from the maximum speed, speed control mechanisms are also important. Being able to slow down will be invaluable for a beginner or need to go through some precise, intricate work. It is also useful when sewing through thick fabrics.
  2. v) Needle positions- the needle up-down position is also a feature that can make your work easier. In a machine where this feature is programmable, you can have the needle, for example, stop in the down position when you stop sewing. This feature will allow you to get greater accuracy when you rotate or move the fabric you are working on.
  3. Warranty

Different machine brands offer various lengths of warranties for other parts. Some machines come with as much as 25 years for individual components. Carefully read the warranty agreement and understand it before signing to prevent an avoidable misunderstanding from happening later. Also, remember to keep the proof of purchase safe so that you can claim your warranty when you need to. Without your receipt, claiming your warranty will be impossible.

Final Thoughts 

Buying a quilting machine is a decision that will have implications beyond the moment of purchase. You will need to take some time before buying to think about what you want in this machine; in terms of specifications and the price, you are willing to pay. Do your due diligence and investigate deeply before settling down on a device. Talk to colleagues and people who know about quilting machines before settling down on a choice.

At the purchase, make sure you understand the warranty details and get the proof of purchase. After the purchase, you will need a company that will be reliable and there for you in support. It would be best if you bought from a brand that offers reliable customer service, fair terms of repair and replacement, and a trustworthy warranty, which is why buying from a recognized brand is so important. Getting spare parts for them will also be much more comfortable. But with proper maintenance, you should be able to use your machine for many years to come.

Leave a Comment