5 Best Long Arm Quilting Machines 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide

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As technological advances have affected the sewing industry, quilting has become an easier process. You don’t have to cry and cry for layers of fabric to slide through your machines.

In fact, there are many such machines made today that are designed for quilting only. One of those categories that shows an advantage for the sewing industry is the long-arm sewing machine.

It was definitely a difficult task to complete a large project on a normal sewing machine in the early days. But as industry and techniques have revolutionized, there are so many machines available on the market that they fall into several categories.

Choosing the best one can also be an intriguing question. All of these machines announce that their hearts will be collected in the market.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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SaleBestseller No. 1
Brother CP100X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, White
  • 100 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The Brother CP100X sewing and quilting machine includes 100 built-in stitches including utility, decorative and heirloom stitch functions, and 8 auto-size buttonholes
  • IMPROVED NEEDLE THREADER: The 1-step automatic needle threader is easier than ever to use, the needle threader reliably pushes the thread through the needle
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: The CP100X includes a wide table, 10 sewing feet plus quilt guide, protective hard case and more
  • DURABLE METAL FRAME CONSTRUCTION: Durable metal frame, quality construction allows your machine to tackle any project ranging from thick denim to heavy quilts
  • FIXED NEEDLE BAR: The needle is fixed in place while you work, allowing for cleaner stitching and even lines
Bestseller No. 2
Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine, Computerized, 165 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, Wide Table, 8 Included Presser Feet, 20x12x17, White
  • 165 unique built-in stitches: The Brother XR9550 computerized machine includes 110 built-in utility, decorative and heirloom stitches including 8 styles of auto-size buttonholes, plus 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: The Brother fast needle threading system takes care of threading the needle for you and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: Included with the XR9550 quilting and sewing machine is a protective hard cover, wide table, 8 sewing and quilting feet, instructional DVD and more
  • LCD screen: The intuitive LCD display allows you to easily choose your stitches and settings with the push of a button
  • At your side support: The XR9550 quilting and sewing machine comes with Brother at your side support offering free technical support via online, live chat or phone for the life of your machine
Bestseller No. 3
Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine, Up to 1,500 Stitches Per Minute, Wide Table, 7 Included Feet
  • 1,500 Stitches per minute max sewing speed: Maximum stitching of up to 1,500 stitches per minute allows you to sew and quilt more in less time
  • Advanced needle threading system: This sewing and quilting machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: The PQ1500SL longarm sewing and quilting machine comes with a wide table, 7 sewing feet, knee-lifter, instruction manual and more. The removable knee-lifter enables you to lift your presser foot with your knee, leaving both hands free for fabric handling
  • Precision pin feeding system: It's so easy to sew a wide variety of fabric thicknesses thanks to Brother's Pin Feed system for precision fabric feeding
  • At your side support: The PQ1500SL quilting and sewing machine comes with Brother at your side support offering free technical support via online, live chat or phone for the life of your machine
SaleBestseller No. 5
SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine With Accessory Kit, Extension Table - 600 Stitches & Electronic Auto Pilot Mode
  • SINGER COMPUTERIZED SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 portable sewing machine has loads of ease-of-use features to allow you to fulfill your creative dreams Has a large selection of stitches including basic, stretch and decorative stitches for fashion sewing, quilting, home decor and crafting There’s even a selection of fonts to personalize projects
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER: Threading the machine is so easy that you can have the entire machine threaded, from the spool to the needle’s eye, in seconds The built-in needle threader threads the eye of the needle for you, eliminating eye strain and frustration
  • BEST SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 sewing machine has 600 Built-In Stitches including 5 Alphanumeric Fonts and 13 built-in 1-Step Buttonholes with Exclusive Buttonhole Underplate It also has Mirror Imaging and Stitch Elongation providing even more creative possibilities
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 sewing machine has a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute, projects can be sewn quickly
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of presser feet are included with the sewing machine: All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot with Underplate, Button Sewing Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, Open Toe Foot, Overcasting Foot, Darning and Embroidery Foot, Rolled Hem Foot, Cording Foot, Straight Stitch/Quilting Foot, Even Feed / Walking Foot 110 volt machine designed for United States and Canadian use only
Bestseller No. 7
Juki HZL-F600 Full Sized Computer Sewing and Quilting Machine
  • Direct Pattern Selection: One touch pattern selection to quickly start your sewing adventure. Simply push a button to select from 10 of the most popular sewing patterns, including applique stitch and blanket stitch
  • Electronic Buttonholes: With Juki’s combination of industrial and modern technology, this system automatically measures and evenly sew on both the right and left sides. With 16 buttonhole styles to choose from, you'll always have the perfect buttonhole for any fabric
  • Combine, Save and Recall: Combine decorative stitches or lettering into pattern sequences and save them to the machine memory. The Exceed allows you to save up to 70 patterns, in 10 memory folders! Recall your favorite patterns with a touch of a button!
  • Drop the Feed Dogs and Go: With just a flip of the switch, you can be creating free-motion quilting stitches or free-hand embroidery with ease
  • Auto or Manual Tension Settings: With the Exceed series, tension settings are never a worry. You can use the Automatic Thread Tension or increase or decrease the tension to create different stitch effects
Bestseller No. 8
Brother CS7000X Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, 70 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, Wide Table, 10 Included Feet, White
  • 70 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The Brother CS7000X sewing and quilting machine includes 70 built-in stitches including utility, decorative, heirloom and quilting stitch functions, and 7 1-step auto-size buttonholes
  • IMPROVED NEEDLE THREADER: Easier than ever to use, the automatic needle threader reliably pushes the thread through the needle. The convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin easy to load and helps ensure your bobbin stays in place
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: The CS7000X includes a wide table, 10 sewing feet plus a quilt guide, protective hard case, a trilingual English/Spanish/French user manual and more
  • METAL FRAME & FIXED NEEDLE BAR: The durable metal frame construction allows your machine to tackle any project, and the needle is fixed in place while you work, allowing for cleaner stitching and even lines
  • LARGE NEEDLE-TO-ARM WORKSPACE: A larger workspace with increased width in needle-to-arm space allows users to work on larger projects including quilts
Bestseller No. 9
JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine
  • Updated with LED lights and one pedal operation
  • 1500 SPM for quilting apparel and home décor
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Aluminum die cast arm and bed for low vibration operation
  • Extension table included for wide work area
SaleBestseller No. 10
Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day (Explore Machine Quilting)
  • Day, Leah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 10/30/2017 (Publication Date) - Day Style Designs (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Can A Long Arm Quilting Machine Do?

A long arm quilting machine is more powerful, sews at better speed, and pretty massive. It is expensive and requires space.

To make the perfect quilts, that too regularly at a reasonable quantity, one has to have a long arm quilting machine. One cannot take years to make a couple of quilts.

So, the best thing that a long arm quilting machine does is save time. With it, you don’t need to baste. Also, all three layers- top, batting, and back, you can load and sew on it altogether. Less hassle and saves enough time.

When it comes to business or profession, both higher quantity and top quality matter the most. Or it remains a mere hobby, not a solemn job. So, high speed, perfect stitching, and time are what you need in this case. And a long arm quilting machine is the best at it all.

What We Need to Consider When Buying Long Arm Quilting Machines?

Best Long Arm Quilting Machines

Buying a long arm quilting machine means a substantial investment. These are by characteristics, pricey. So following a buying guide becomes all the more important. But just blindly following a buying guide is not enough nor wise.

Make sure to do intensive research to determine what type of a long arm quilting machine you want and ask yourself whether you genuinely need the one you chose. Just like the review, we have tried to keep even the buying guide simple.

Here is a little tip from us. Do not judge a product with its complicated features. Treat those as bonuses. Judge and measure the standard features well, and you are not going to fail to choose the best.

Throat Space

The throat space is the prime aspect of a long arm quilting machine. The space between the needle and back decides whether it’s a mid-arm or a long arm machine. The long arm quilting machines we reviewed have a throat space between a minimum 15 to a maximum 26.

But the optimal range is 18 and above. Throat space less than 18 -inch might put it into a mid-arm quilting machine category. But those who are not ready to invest a huge amount or have a lack of space can definitely try the ones with less than 18-inch throat space we reviewed.

Some of these have features that even some typical long arm quilting machines don’t have. The lack of longer throat space is covered with those features, so it’s a win-win.

Stitches Per Minute

As we stated earlier, a long arm quilting machine saves time. Stitches per minute play a key role in completing a quilt within a couple of days. The motor power and the speed of the machine decide the number of stitches a machine is going to compose per minute. Try the long arm machines with a bigger figure when it comes to SPM. It will raise the price but will be worth it. 2500 to 3100 is your best bet.

Stitch Regulation

Stitch regulation is the most common and much-needed feature when it comes to a long arm quilting machine. Having manual mode is fine, but you do not use that mode much. A stitch regulator and its efficient control in the machine make the best of quilts. So, make sure the machine has stitch regulation and operates in both precision and cruise mode.

Sturdy

When it’s an investment and costs so much, it has to be sturdy and last for decades. Such machines are not something one buys every year. And the good news is that all the ones we reviewed are sturdy. Every part and frame is durable and made to last with high-quality materials. So, lasting for decades is guaranteed.

Size

Do not buy a quilting machine with a 26 inches throat space and a 12 feet Gallery2 frame just because you had the money and were impressed. You need proper space to set the machine up with the frame to use them to their true potential.

Quilting never happens in a congested space. Even if you easily could set up the quilt in your room, you need ample space around to move the quilt and yourself freely. An 18-inch throat space and 5ft frame can also work wonders if you do it correctly. So, first, measure the space you have and then choose the size of the machine.

Format

The long arm quilting machines are configured as two types of use- sit-down, and standing. If you are not comfortable standing and controlling the machine, then go with the quilting machines that are configured as sit-down use.

Also, they cost less than standing ones. But then to make quilts that are large and have intricate patterns, you will need standing types. These are much more efficient compared to the sit-down ones.

Easy Navigation And Control

A nice set of handlebars and touchscreen will make the navigation and control of the quilting machine easy. The best is to have handle grips both at the rear and back. Keeping the control under fingertips should be the prime motto of any high-quality long arm quilting machine. Otherwise, moving those and quilting will be hard.

Rich In Features And Accessories

Though we have emphasized SPM, throat space, frame, size, and suchlike, you need and get much more in a long arm quilting machine. Every feature and accessories matter when it comes to a quilting machine.

At the start of this buying guide, we asked to consider those as a bonus, but we also need to mention that they are the bonus features and accessories that you need just like you need a generous throat space. It can be the needle position, pack of needles, extra bobbin, software, anything. More features create the scope of vast creativity.


Comparison Between A Mid Arm And Long Arm Quilting Machine

Though we reviewed some of the long arm quilting machines, you must know whether you need one or not. So, here we compare a long arm one to a mid-arm quilting machine to give a clear idea.

Mid arm quilting machine is more affordable than a long arm one. Where the price range ends for a mid-arm quilting machine, it starts for the long arm quilting machine.

The long arm ones are industrial machines, made for professional use only. So, these being highly-priced is understandable.

Mid arm ones are comparatively smaller. These are not heavy or bulky like the long arm machines.

But what makes a long arm quilting machine the winner is its power, speed, and a larger throat space ranging from 18 to 24 inches. Whereas, the mid-arm quilting machine has a 12-17 inches throat space. The larger the throat space, the bigger the quilt one can sew with ease.

What Are The Benefits Of Buying A Mid Arm Quilting Machine?

Best Long Arm Quilting Machines

Longarm knitting machines are cumbersome and take up a great deal of land. You could discover your workstation zone is limited for space.

Not an expert quilter? At that point do not go to the cost of putting resources into a generous in length arm stitching machine.

Home quilters can embrace various tasks not identified with stitching. That is a direct result of the alternatives accessible on a mid-arm machine. Different advantages incorporate a simple overhaul way.

What’s more, you can stitch outlines and an expansion table at whatever point required.

With long-arm stitching machine tables are typically appended. Also, being so specific it’s trying to attempt different undertakings.

Throat Space

Throat space is a fundamental factor for stitching. Excessively little and you’re seriously constrained in the number of activities you can do.

Numerous mid-arm knitting machines, however, have an adequate throat size. It implies quilters utilizing these machines can finish generally extends.

Body

The group of mid-arm machines is uniquely built. Along these lines, quilters can see and access the whole work from their work position.

That part of the structure is obtained from the long arm knitting machine. While the needle position and working plan are embraced from household sewing machines.

Bobbins

Ensure you can pick the bobbin size that suits your necessities. Most mid-arm machines are worked to deal with either L or M estimated bobbins. You select your inclination when you purchase.

Stitch Controllers

Mid arm machines are a mixture. They have the highlights of both a household and a long-arm machine. Thus, in case you’re searching for a stitch managed machine, it shouldn’t be an elusive one.

What is Computer Quilting System And Why Do I Need One?

Advanced quilters attach a computer quilting system to their long arm quilting machine because they prefer to complete ideal designs right after buying a quilting machine. They want to reduce the action for mastering this type of quilting. So, if you are an advanced user, consider buying a quilting system.

Navigator Computerized Quilting System

You use the Navigator Computerized Quilting System to create your masterpiece as well. Equipped with the Windows 10 All-In-One Tablet PC, it offers the opportunity for editing, design layout, and full control of ending pattern stitch out. It enables you to easily turn back to free-motion in just a matter of seconds.

You will get 50 patterns if you choose this quilting system. It comes with the ability to insert .dxf and .pat file format patterns allowing you to bond with thousands of computerized quilting designs and patterns.

Benefits

  • Two digital FOC stepper closed-loop amplifiers
  • Two stepper motors with encoder feedback
  • Polyurethane steel reinforced timing belt drive
  • Navigator proprietary motion control software
  • 50 quilting patterns
  • Max travel speed of 8 inches per second
  • Average travel speed of 4 inches per second
  • Stretch pattern and rotate patterns

Tips For Easier And Successful Quilting Experience

  • Choose the right Fabric: Pattern and color are essential in choosing the right fabric. Color of the structures should match the thread. Pick patterned material that will hide the mistakes if any.
  • Press the Fabric: To make the fabric smooth, you have to press it. Cut any loose threads.
  • Take your Time: Now decide whether you are hand quilter or machine quilter. Machines quilters use pins, whereas hand quilters baste their work by threads and needles.
  • Quilting a Shape: First make patterns by using chalk or removable marker. Then quilt it section by section. You will get your desired design. You can quilt straight and curved line if you are doing the quilting section by section. You must check guidelines before starting it.

Check this Janome guide on how to operate your long arm sewing machine successfully.

How Much Space Do You Need For A Long Arm Quilting Machine?

Longarm quilting machines come in different sizes:

  • Longarm quilting frame ranges from 10ft – 14ft in length
  • Head of the machine is 19-30in long
  • A table, rollers, and pantograph

Usually, you will require a space 3ft more in length than the table length. For example, for 11ft table, you will need a 14ft x 8ft space.

How Much Extra Fabric Do I Need For Long Arm Quilting?

In long arm quilting, machines backings and battings should have 3 inches more space than the quilt top. But most owners require 8 to 10 inches’ larger battings and 4 to 5 inches backing than the quilt top.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Quilt Long Arm Quilting?

Size of the long arm machines is varying depending upon the requirements.

It ranges from $10K-$30K. They are not manual machines, although some automatic machines are also gaining popularity. You can find a dealer who is dealing with these machines and can get some discount.

You can also sell these machines after a few years as there are some buyers who want to purchase second-hand machines.

Conclusion

Hand knitting a quilt or a regular sewing machine with quilting stitches and free arm might be an option, rather be a great one. It makes a product distinct, and many still prefer quilts that are made in an old-fashioned way. But the fact is it takes time.

Time is everything when it’s a job. Your reach subsides when you do things manually, and for obvious reasons, you have to claim a much higher price. A significant number of people will not show any interest in buying a quilt that is out of their limited budget.

So, your customers lessen furthermore. Thus, the best thing to do in such a case is investing in the best long arm quilting machines. You can continue to sew a quilt in an old-fashioned way. But primarily and majorly make bunches of perfect, high-quality quilts in time in your efficient long arm quilting machine.

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