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Best Sewing Machine for Quilting Under $500

best sewing machine for quilting under $500

Are you an avid quilter looking for the best sewing machine that won’t break the bank? Look no further than our guide to the best sewing machine for quilting under $500. With a plethora of options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that meets your needs and budget. But fear not, as we’ve done the research for you.

Our curated list includes top-rated sewing machines that offer exceptional performance and features specifically tailored for quilting enthusiasts. From advanced stitch options to larger workspaces, these machines are designed to help you bring your quilting projects to life with ease and precision. Plus, they come with budget-friendly price tags, making them accessible to all skill levels.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced quilter, our comprehensive review will guide you in selecting the perfect sewing machine for your quilting needs. Get ready to unleash your creativity and produce stunning quilts with a sewing machine that fits your budget. So, let’s dive in and find the ideal sewing machine for your quilting journey!

Factors to consider when choosing a sewing machine for quilting

When searching for the best sewing machine for quilting under $500, there are several factors to consider. These factors will help you narrow down your options and find the perfect machine that suits your needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. Stitch Options and Variations

One of the most important features to consider in a quilting sewing machine is the variety of stitch options it offers. Look for a machine that provides a wide range of built-in stitches, including straight stitches, zigzag stitches, decorative stitches, and quilting stitches. Having a diverse selection of stitches will allow you to experiment and add creative touches to your quilts.

2. Sewing Speed and Control

Another crucial factor to consider is the sewing speed and control of the machine. A good quilting sewing machine should offer adjustable sewing speeds, allowing you to work at a pace that suits your comfort level. Additionally, look for a machine that provides precise control over stitch length and width, as this will enable you to achieve the desired results for your quilting projects.

3. Work Area and Throat Space

For quilting projects, a spacious work area and throat space are essential. Look for a sewing machine that offers a generous workspace, preferably with an extension table or detachable quilting table. This extra space will provide ample room for maneuvering your quilt and make it easier to handle larger projects. A larger throat space will also allow for smooth fabric feeding and stitching.

4. Needle Position and Thread Tension

Consider the needle position options and thread tension control offered by the sewing machine. Quilting often requires precise needle placement, especially when working with intricate patterns. Look for a machine that allows you to adjust the needle position, both left and right, to achieve accurate stitching. Additionally, a machine with adjustable thread tension will ensure even and balanced stitches throughout your quilts.

5. Durability and Build Quality

Investing in a durable sewing machine is crucial, especially if you plan on using it extensively for quilting projects. Look for machines made with high-quality materials and sturdy construction. Pay attention to customer reviews and ratings to gauge the machine’s durability and overall build quality. A well-built machine will withstand the demands of quilting and provide years of reliable performance.

6. Additional Features and Accessories

While the above factors are essential, don’t overlook the importance of additional features and accessories. Some machines offer automatic needle threaders, built-in thread cutters, adjustable presser foot pressure, and other features that can enhance your quilting experience. Consider which features are important to you and look for a machine that offers them within your budget.

Top features to look for in a quilting sewing machine

When it comes to quilting, specific features can make a world of difference in your sewing experience. Here are some top features to look for in a quilting sewing machine:

1. Extension Table or Detachable Quilting Table

An extension table or detachable quilting table provides additional workspace, allowing you to handle larger quilting projects with ease. Look for a machine that includes this feature or offers it as an optional accessory.

2. Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure

Quilting involves working with multiple layers of fabric, batting, and backing. Having the ability to adjust the presser foot pressure ensures smooth and even stitching across various fabric thicknesses.

3. Knee Lifter

A knee lifter is a handy feature that allows you to lift the presser foot with your knee, keeping your hands free to guide the fabric. This feature is particularly useful when working on large quilts or intricate designs.

4. Thread Cutter and Automatic Needle Threader

Having a built-in thread cutter and automatic needle threader saves time and makes the quilting process more efficient. Look for machines that offer these convenient features.

5. Walking Foot

A walking foot is essential for quilting, as it helps feed multiple layers of fabric evenly. Look for a machine that includes a walking foot or offers it as an optional accessory.

6. Free-Motion Quilting Capabilities

If you’re interested in free-motion quilting, make sure the machine you choose has this capability. Look for a machine with a drop feed mechanism and a darning or free-motion quilting foot.

Best quilting sewing machines under $500 – reviews and recommendations

Now that you know what to look for in a quilting sewing machine, let’s explore some of the best options available under $500. These machines have been carefully selected based on their performance, features, and value for money.

1. Janome 3160QDC

The Janome 3160QDC is a feature-packed quilting machine that offers excellent performance. With 60 built-in stitches, including 6 one-step buttonholes, this machine provides versatility for a variety of quilting projects. It also offers a large throat space, adjustable presser foot pressure, and a knee lifter for ease of use.


  1. Range of Stitches: With 60 built-in stitches and 6 buttonhole options, it provides ample creative possibilities for various sewing projects.
  2. Ease of Use: The machine’s user-friendly design, including an easy control panel and LCD screen, makes stitch selection straightforward and accessible for all skill levels.
  3. Robust Performance: It handles a variety of fabric types, from thick quilting materials to delicate silks, efficiently and with high-quality results.
  4. Automatic Features: Features like the automatic needle threader and jam-proof bobbin system add to the convenience and ease of use.
  5. Quiet Operation: The machine operates quietly, enhancing the sewing experience.


  1. Occasional Hiccups: Users have reported occasional issues such as skipped stitches or challenges with needle positioning.
  2. Button Sewing: While it has an array of utility stitches, some users find sewing on buttons a bit tricky and requiring extra effort to align properly.

Reasons to Buy

  • This machine is well-suited for those who are looking for a reliable, feature-rich sewing machine that balances advanced features with ease of use. It’s a strong candidate for beginners who want a machine they can grow into, as well as for seasoned sewists seeking a dependable and versatile machine.

2. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is a popular choice among quilters for its extensive features and affordable price. With 600 built-in stitches, including 13 buttonhole styles, this machine offers unparalleled creativity. It also comes with an extension table, automatic needle threader, and adjustable presser foot pressure.


  1. Extensive Stitch Options: It offers an impressive 600 built-in stitches, including 13 one-step buttonholes and 5 lettering fonts, providing great versatility for customizing projects.
  2. Ease of Use: Features like an automatic needle threader and cutter, top drop-in bobbin, and an LCD screen with a digital information adviser make the machine user-friendly.
  3. Build and Design: The machine has a metal frame and includes a detachable extension table, allowing for work on larger projects.
  4. Lighting and Speed Control: Dual LED lights enhance visibility, and the adjustable max speed slider caters to different sewing speeds.
  5. Additional Accessories: Comes with 13 presser feet, enhancing its functionality for various sewing tasks.


  1. Complexity for Beginners: The wide array of features might be overwhelming for beginners initially.
  2. Challenges with Thick Fabrics: It may struggle with thick and heavy fabrics like denim.
  3. Portability: The machine is relatively heavy, which might be a consideration for those needing portability.

Reasons to Buy

  • The Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist is ideal for sewers looking for a machine that offers a wide range of stitches and advanced features at a reasonable price point. It’s suitable for those who enjoy customizing their sewing projects and need a machine that can handle a variety of materials and tasks.

3. Juki HZL-F600

The Juki HZL-F600 is a high-quality quilting machine known for its durability and precision. With 255 built-in stitches, including decorative and quilting stitches, this machine provides versatility for all your quilting needs. It also offers a large throat space, automatic needle threader, and adjustable presser foot pressure.


  1. Versatility: With 225 built-in stitches and 16 buttonhole styles, it’s ideal for a variety of sewing and quilting projects.
  2. Speed and Precision: Offers a sewing speed of 900 stitches per minute, allowing for fast and accurate work.
  3. User-Friendly: Features an intuitive design and large LCD display, making it easy to select and customize stitches.
  4. Quilting Features: The large throat space and extended work table are especially beneficial for quilting.
  5. Automatic Features: Includes an automatic needle threader and LED lighting for improved visibility and convenience.


  1. Learning Curve: Might be overwhelming for complete beginners due to its advanced features.
  2. Weight: At 21.6 lbs, it is relatively heavy, which might be a consideration for portability.
  3. Price: Higher price point, reflecting its advanced features and build quality.

Reason to Buy:

The Juki HZL-F600 is ideal for experienced sewers and quilters who need a versatile, feature-rich machine for a wide range of projects. Its combination of speed, stitch variety, and user-friendly features make it a great investment for those looking to advance their sewing skills.

4. Brother PQ1500SL

The Brother PQ1500SL is a professional-grade quilting machine designed for speed and precision. With a high sewing speed of up to 1,500 stitches per minute, this machine is perfect for large quilting projects. It features a wide table, adjustable presser foot pressure, and a knee lifter for ease of use.


  1. High-Speed Sewing: Capable of up to 1,500 stitches per minute, making it extremely fast and efficient.
  2. Straight Stitch Precision: As a straight-stitch machine, it delivers high-quality, accurate stitches.
  3. Large Workspace: Includes a large extension table, providing ample space for larger quilting projects.
  4. Adjustable Features: Offers adjustable feed dogs, presser foot pressure, and an automatic thread cutter for convenience.
  5. Durability: Built for heavy-duty use, it’s suitable for both home and commercial sewing.


  1. Limited Stitch Options: Only provides a straight stitch, which may limit its use for those needing a variety of stitches.
  2. Weight: Weighing 24.2 lbs, it is bulky and not easily portable.
  3. Advanced Use: Its features and speed might be challenging for beginners.

Reason to Buy

The Brother PQ1500SL is perfect for sewers who primarily need a fast, reliable straight stitch machine, particularly for quilting and large projects. Its speed and build quality make it an excellent choice for both serious hobbyists and professionals.

Comparison of different quilting sewing machine brands and models

To help you make an informed decision, here’s a comparison of the different quilting sewing machine brands and models mentioned above:

Sewing MachineStitchesThroat SpaceExtension TableKnee LifterPriceBuy Now
Janome 3160QDC60StandardYesYes719$Buy Now
Singer 9960600StandardYesYes499$Buy Now
Juki HZL-F600255StandardYesYesBuy Now
Brother PQ1500SL1500StandardYesYes719$Buy Now

When looking for the best quilting machines in 2024, several models stand out based on various criteria like overall performance, suitability for beginners, professional use, budget-friendliness, and more. Here’s a brief overview:

Best Overall: Juki HZL-F600, known for its expansive array of features and reliability.

Best for Beginners: Brother PQ1600S, offering a balance between advanced features and ease of use.

Best for Professionals: Singer 9960, notable for its wide range of stitches and robust performance.

Best for Budget: Brother XR3774, an affordable option that doesn’t compromise on essential features.

Best for Computerized Sewing: Brother HC1850, ideal for those who prefer a computerized experience.

Best for Demanding Quilters: Juki TL-2000Qi, perfect for those needing a machine that can handle more complex quilting tasks.

Best for Free Motion Quilting: Janome MC6650, offering excellent features for free motion quilting.

Best for Multiple Stitch Options: Bernette B77, providing a wide range of stitching options for creative quilting projects.

Each of these machines has its unique strengths, catering to different aspects of quilting and sewing. Depending on your specific needs, budget, and level of expertise, one of these models could be the ideal quilting companion for you​

Tips for quilting with a sewing machine

Quilting with a sewing machine can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you get the best results:

1. Use the right needles and threads for quilting. Opt for sharp needles and cotton or polyester threads that are suitable for quilting projects.

2. Practice your quilting techniques on scrap fabric before starting on your actual quilt. This will help you get familiar with the machine’s settings and ensure consistent stitch quality.

3. Take breaks and stretch regularly. Quilting can be time-consuming, so make sure to give yourself breaks to avoid fatigue and maintain focus.

4. Experiment with different quilting designs and stitches to add visual interest to your quilt. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new techniques.

5. Invest in a good quality quilting foot or walking foot for your machine. This accessory will help feed the fabric smoothly and prevent puckering or uneven stitching.

Maintenance and care for your quilting sewing machine

To keep your quilting sewing machine in optimal condition, regular maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to help you maintain your machine:

1. Clean the machine regularly by removing lint and dust from the bobbin case, feed dogs, and needle area. Use a brush or a small vacuum attachment to do this.

2. Change the needle regularly, especially if you notice skipped stitches or fabric pulls. A dull or bent needle can cause damage to your machine and affect stitch quality.

3. Oil the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure smooth operation and prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

4. Store your machine in a clean and dry area when not in use. Cover it with a dust cover or a soft cloth to protect it from dust and debris.

By following these maintenance tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your quilting sewing machine and enjoy its optimal performance.

Where to buy the best quilting sewing machines under $500

When it comes to purchasing a quilting sewing machine under $500, there are several options available. Here are some popular places where you can find the best deals:

1. Online Retailers: Websites like Amazon, eBay, and SewingMachinesPlus offer a wide range of quilting sewing machines at competitive prices. They often have customer reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision.

2. Local Sewing Machine Stores: Visit your local sewing machine store to explore different models and get expert advice from knowledgeable staff. They can guide you in selecting the best machine based on your specific needs.

3. Sewing Machine Expos and Events: Keep an eye out for sewing machine expos and events in your area. These events often feature discounted prices and special offers on quilting sewing machines.

4. Second-Hand Marketplaces: If you’re open to purchasing a used machine, consider checking out second-hand marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Just make sure to thoroughly inspect the machine and test it before making a purchase.

Before making a purchase, compare prices, read customer reviews, and consider the warranty and after-sales service provided by the retailer.

Quilting accessories and tools to enhance your sewing experience

In addition to a quilting sewing machine, there are several accessories and tools that can enhance your quilting experience. Here are some must-have quilting accessories:

1. Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat: A rotary cutter and cutting mat are essential for accurately cutting fabric and creating precise quilt blocks.

2. Quilting Rulers and Templates: Quilting rulers and templates help you achieve accurate measurements and shapes for your quilt blocks.

3. Quilting Pins and Clips: Use quilting pins or clips to hold your fabric layers together while sewing. These tools ensure that the fabric stays in place and prevents shifting.

4. Quilting Gloves: Quilting gloves provide you with a better grip on the fabric, allowing for smoother quilting movements and more control.

5. Quilting Thread: Use high-quality quilting thread that matches your fabric and ensures durability and longevity of your quilt.

6. Quilting Batting: Choose the right quilting batting based on the desired loft, warmth, and drape of your quilt. There are various types of batting available, such as cotton, polyester, and wool.

7. Quilting Marking Tools: Marking tools like fabric pens, chalk pencils, or water-soluble markers help you transfer quilt designs onto the fabric for precise quilting.

By investing in these quilting accessories, you can elevate your sewing experience and achieve professional-looking quilts.

Conclusion and final thoughts on finding the best sewing machine for quilting under $500

Finding the best sewing machine for quilting under $500 is an exciting endeavor, as it opens up a world of creative possibilities without breaking the bank. By considering the factors mentioned earlier and exploring the recommended models, you can find a quilting sewing machine that meets your needs and budget.

Remember to prioritize features like stitch options, sewing speed and control, work area, and needle position when making your decision. Additionally, take into account the durability and build quality of the machine, as well as any additional features and accessories that enhance your quilting experience.

With the right machine in hand and the right techniques under your belt, you can unleash your creativity and produce stunning quilts that showcase your skills and passion. Happy quilting!


What sewing machine do most quilters use?

Many quilters use machines like Juki HZL-F600 and Brother PQ1600S. These are popular because they offer features like different stitches and speed, which are handy for quilting.

How do I choose a quilting machine?

Look for a machine with a larger workspace, different stitch options, and good speed. Also, consider if it’s easy to use, especially if you’re a beginner.

Do I need a special sewing machine for quilting?

Not necessarily. Regular sewing machines can do quilting, but machines made for quilting have features like bigger workspaces and special quilting stitches that make the job easier.

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

Quilting machines usually have larger work areas, more stitch options for decorative quilting, and features like extension tables and walking feet which are great for handling large, bulky quilt projects. Regular sewing machines might not have these specialized features.

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