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Best Sewing Machine for Quilting From $100 - $1000

Sewing machines come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of features to appeal to different people. If you're looking for the best sewing machine for quilting, you'll want to be sure to consider all your options. In this post, we'll take a look at some of the best sewing machines for quilting on the market in 2022. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced quilter, we think you'll find something here that will suit your needs. So read on and see which machine is right for you!

There are a lot of sewing machines on the market these days, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Luckily, The Quilting Room with Mel is here to help! We've rounded up the best sewing machines for quilting, no matter your budget. Whether you're looking for a new sewing machine or a vintage gem, we've got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping today!

This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing items from the links cost you nothing more and adds a few pennies to the fabric budget.

The Best Sewing Machines for Quilting

I'm just going to spoil the entire blog post right now, the best sewing machine for quilting is the one that you will use. I know it's not that simple so we'll talk about the budgets, features, and reliability all the things that play into the shopping for your sewing machine. Don't worry if you only have $10 you can still get a sewing machine you'll just have to put some sweat equity into it fixing it yourself.

Some notes about the machines listed below:
  • All machines linked are from either Sew Vac Direct or Sewing Machines Plus. These are trusted partners of mine. You might be able to get the exact model cheaper elsewhere on the internet but you won't have a small business backing your purchase or the warranty.
  • Speaking of warranties be sure to read the info on the warranty as far as who pays to ship. This isn't necessarily the shop's decision but the manufactures decision.
  • Not every brand is represented below. It's not that I have an issue with any brand but I was looking at 3 factors for my recommendations price, function, and reviews. If a machine didn't have solid reviews or the features didn't match the price I didn't include it.
  • There are no embroidery sewing machine combo machines. I am not comfortable recommending those machines since I don't have a lot of experience with them or the brands that make them. I suggest checking Spruce Crafts post on those machines.

Budgeting For A Sewing Machine

Before we start looking at sewing machines you need to set a budget. Knowing how much you can comfortably spend is key. With the variety of machines available today, finding a machine that covers what you want to do within your budget is possible. There are some things to keep in mind when setting your budget:

  1. Do you want new or vintage?  Vintage will be cheaper but you might need to be able to fix and maintain it yourself. Not every area has someone who repairs older machines. New will have easier-to-use features and it will be easier to find a repair shop in your area for maintenance. While a new machine might not last as long by the time it wears out the technology in the machine will be outdated anyway.
  2. What fabrics do you want to sew?  If you are not just a piecer you'll need more features than someone who only pieces quilt blocks. Are you going to be sewing just cotton or do you want to sew a leather skirt? If you want to sew something heavier than garment fabric, i.e. thicker leather than a leather skirt it would be best to have an industrial sewing machine. The longevity of your sewing machine is determined by how well you take care of it. Using it for things it wasn't designed for will shorten its life and you will spend a lot more on repairs.
  3. What features do you NEED? Need and want are two entirely different things. If you don't need zigzag do you need a sewing machine with that feature? If you aren't going to use embroidery you don't need to buy those features. If you do applique you'll want zigzag and maybe some other decorative stitches. If you make clothes as well you'll want stretch stitches.  
The newer the machine and the more features it has the more expensive your machine will be. Buying from a dealer, online or locally, will yield you a better machine than buying from a big box store. Before scrolling on I want you to write down the number you are comfortable spending now and the number you are comfortable spending after saving for three months. Once you have those two numbers continue reading.

*A note about the vintage sewing machine suggestions. I put them in the price category that I normally see them. As always, many factors play into the price of vintage sewing machines like accessories, condition, and market area.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sewing Machines for Quilting

There are a lot of questions about sewing machines and even more when we start talking about the best sewing machine for quilting.  Let's get those questions answered before we start shopping.

What sewing machine do most quilters use?

The one that fits their needs.  There are many popular brands and everyone has their favorite.  Janome, Bernia, and Babylock are all great brands but keep in mind your budget and your needs.  You don't NEED a Janome or Bernia or Babylock to make a quilt. 

What sewing machine do I need to quilt?

If you are piecing, i.e. making the quilt top, you need a sewing machine that does a straight-stitch and has a 1/4" foot or needle setting to get that perfect 1/4" seam.  If you want to do the quilting, i.e. stitch all three quilt layers together you'll need a machine with a wide throat area and the ability to drop the feed dogs.  You might consider a mid or long-arm machine dedicated to quilting.  There are a couple of budget-friendly ideas below or you can check out my ultimate gift guide for my recommendations on sit-down and standing quilting machines. 

What is the difference between a regular sewing machine and a quilting machine?

You can quilt on a sewing machine and there are more and more "regular sewing machines" that you can quilt on.  A regular sewing machine is going to have a smaller throat space and some can be added to a frame plus they do more than just one thing.  A quilting machine is on a frame, either a stationary frame in which you move the fabric or a carriage that moves the machine over the fabric.  A quilting machine will also have more throat space making more room for the quilt sandwich.  

Best Sewing Machines for Quilting Under $200

There's only one new machine that I would suggest if your budget is under $200. With that exception, the rest are going to be vintage machines. All of these machines are mechanical machines meaning they are going to be easier to maintain yourself.  There aren't a lot of bells and whistles on sewing machines that are less than $200.  Honestly though, for quilt piecing you only need a straight-stitch sewing machine. 

Treadle and hand crank machines are absolutely an option for quilting. They are not my specialty, they are Paul's. You can certainly make quilts on them, Paul has made several. Hand cranks are also a great option for kids just starting.  If you end up with a vintage machine and need help restoring it check out all of our sewing machine restoration posts.

Suggested Sewing Machines for Quilting Under $200

These machines will handle what housewives of the 40s and 50s would have sewn. Quilter's cotton, lightweight garment material, and lightweight home decor fabrics. You'll be able to hem a pair of jeans on them, make new curtains for your living room, or even a new cushion for the couch.  That's truly why I think these are the best sewing machines for quilting under $200.  

Singer 301 - A great straight-stitch only machine, lightweight, big sister to the Featherweight but much more affordable. The feed dogs do drop and with a slant shank FMQ foot, you can quilt on these. These machines use the same bobbin case and bobbins as the Featherweight. 

A 15 machine - A Singer 15 or a 15 clone is another great option. These are usually cheaper than the 301 and are straight-stitch-only machines as well. Some of these machines will have the ability to drop the feed dogs. They are also low shank machines.

Singer 66 or Singer 99 - Another great option for an affordable straight-stitch-only machine.  

Necchi BU - Is a great machine with zigzag capabilities. They are high shank machines.

If you want a few more features like so decorative stitches these machines will do them with cams. These come from the 50s and 60s so again keep in mind what women were sewing in those days.  

Necchi Nora - These look a lot like the BU but take cams. There are 12 available for this machine.

Singer 401 or Singer 500 - Both of these have some built-in stitches and they take cams giving you a wide variety of stitches. These machines are slant shank machines.  

If you want to sew stretch fabrics you can not go wrong with a Kenmore from the early 70s. I adore my Kenmore 10 and Kenmore 1040 for garment construction. They are slower sewing machines than those listed above so they aren't my favorite to piece on.  

The new machine is the EverSewn Sparrow 15. For those not familiar with Eversewn it is a brand of Brewer sewing that also has Bernina. You can order this machine from Sewing Machines Plus for $149.  It's a mechanical machine with 32 built-in stitches. 

Mel's Picks of the Best Sewing Machines For Quilting Under $200

Hands down it's the Necchi BU. It's my daily sewing machine, it is a simple machine. ZigZag and straight stitches are all I need usually. The biggest con of this machine is it's not portable. I can't take it to retreats because it weighs close to 50 pounds and it is in a full cabinet. 
The best vintage sewing machine for quilting under $200 is the Necchi BU.

I wouldn't turn my nose up at the EverSewn either. Those machines have a great reputation and are from the same company that sells Bernatex fabric, Brewer Sewing. 
Best Sewing Machine for quilting under $200 is EverSewn Sparrow 15

The 301 would also be a great portable option. 

Best vintage sewing machine for quilting under $200 and portable is the Singer 301

Best Sewing Machines for Quilting Under $500

This price point will get you more new machines than vintage. Vintage sewing machines typically are much cheaper but there are always exceptions to that rule.

Suggested Machines

Singer Featherweight is a great little machine for piecing. I did put this in the under $500 range but they can go for more, especially if they have a custom paint job and have been restored. It is a straight-stitch-only machine.  

Necchi Supernova Julia is another great option in this price range. The machine takes cams and you can build your own decorative stitches with the cams.  

A great budget-friendly new line of sewing machines is the Bernette machines. Seven different models are under $500. Bernette is the budget-friendly line of machines from Bernina. They do have one cheaper model but due to its lack of features, I didn't recommend it.  

Babylock has introduced a beginner's model, Babylock Joy sewing machine. At $249 I originally passed over this machine in my research. Something told me to do a little more digging on the machine and I'm glad I did. It has EXCELLENT reviews for a beginner sewing machine. It's not a loaded machine but it does have a good warranty and enough basic features to get you started in any kind of sewing you want to do. It would also make a great machine to carry back and forth to classes.  The Babylock Zeal sewing machine has a few more features than the Joy 25 stitches vs 19 stitches. It also comes with two more feet. The Babylock Zeal will cost you $349.00

Brother ST150HDH Strong & Tough Computerized Sewing Machine is another great option at $299.99. It has an all-metal frame inside meaning your machine won't twist when hemming a pair of jeans.  It also has 50 built-in stitches.

EverSewn has three models in this price range. The Sparrow 20 computerized with 80 stitches for  $279.99 and the Sparrow 25 computerized with 197 stitches for $329.99 have great features for under $400. They both feature a threader, quilting stitches, and a stitch width of 7 mm. The Sparrow 25 also can save stitch combos and has a built-in alphabet. The Sparrow 30s has some amazing features at $429. It has 320 built-in stitches, a 7mm stitch width like the other two models, an automatic thread cutter, adjustable presser foot pressure, automatic stop, and 2 alphabets. 

Mel's Picks for the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting Under $500

I love my Necchi Supernova Julia, it's a great machine. It has an automatic needle threader very similar to the needle threaders on modern machines. The downside of it is it's not portable. 

This price range has a few modern machines that I would buy depending on what I had to spend. If I needed to be under $250, I would grab the Babylock Joy. Babylock are great machines, the Joy has great reviews, and it's portable. 
Top pick from best sewing machines for quilting under $250 is the Babylock Joy

If I had a little more money I would get the Sparrow 30s. I'm amazed at the features it has for the price point. 

Best sewing machine for quilting under $500 is EverSewn 30s

Best Sewing Machines for Quilting Under $1000

This price range, $500 - $1000, is where most seasoned quilters will shop. You want something that has easy-to-use features but you don't want it to cost as much as a car either. You know you'll get your money's worth before the machine dies or the technology ages out.  

Juki has two models in this price range. The Juki TL2000QI $699 and the Juki TL 2010Q $999 are not only great options for piecing you can also put them in the Grace frame and use them as a quilting machine. These machines will allow you to get into basic long-arm quilting at a fairly reasonable price point. Both machines have an automatic needle threader, thread cutter, knee lift lever, and does 1500 stitches per minute. They both also have 8.5" of throat space.  

Bernette has a machine in this price range as well. The Bernette B38 comes in at $699. It comes with an extension table and has 394 built-in stitches.  It also has a double-needle safety button to help you get your machine switched over. 

Babylock has four sewing machines in this price range. The Babylock Presto II $799, Jazz II $799, Brillant $999, Accomplish $999. The Presto II has a touchscreen LCD, 100 built-in stitches, allows you to edit the stitches, and has 14 needle positions. The Jazz II has a 12" throat, knee lift, 28 built-in stitches, and the ability to go in the Grace frame I linked in the Juki section. The Brillant has a knee lift, an LCD screen, 190 built-in stitches, and a start/stop button. The Accomplish has an 8.75" throat and does 1500 stitches per minute. It is a straight-stitch-only machine. It also has a built-in telescoping thread holder.

The Brother PQ-1500SL comes in at $799. It has the basic features we've seen in this price range like the automatic thread cutter, the extension table, and 1500 stitches per minute. It also has a color-coded tension dial. One reviewer mentioned she was purchasing her second one because she's had her original for 10 years and wanted to make sure she had a replacement ready to go. I think we can all say that we get $80 a year of use out of our machines.  

Mel's Pick for the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting Under $1000

My pick for the best sewing machine for quilting under $1000 is the Babylock Jazz II. It has a HUGE throat, 4 inches more than the Juki and Accomplish. It has some built-in stitches giving you the ability to do more than just straight stitches. It can also go in a Grace frame meaning you can piece and long arm quilt with the same machine.

Top pick for under $1000 is the Babylock Jazz II sewing machine

Conclusion for the Best Sewing Machines for Quilting

I have come to the conclusion that it might be time to update my disclaimer from fabric budget to new machine budget.  Since the machine would be for business it would need to come out of the business account.  That machine would be Babylock Jazz II.  

Are you in the market for a new sewing machine? Whether your budget is under $200, under $500, or under $1000, we've got you covered. From new machines to vintage finds, we'll show you the best sewing machines for quilting out there - both computerized and mechanical. So whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned pro, find the perfect machine for your needs right here!

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