Best Long Arm Quilting Machines
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According to our tests, the best long arm quilting machine is the Juki TL-2200QVP-S. This unit has laser guided precision and is one of the more affordable long arm quilting machines with its capabilities.
We didn't just test one machine though, we tested a handful and compiled a list of quilting machine reviews! Keep reading to see the other products that made the cut.
Featuring a guide with laser precision, this affordable and adjustable long arm quilting machine is perfect for everyday use.
A high speed, industrial grade sewing and quilting machine that suits both commercial and personal needs.
Grace Gracie King Sewing/Quilting Machine
With an ability to adjust for three sizes, this quilting machine is a user favorite. It’s also made with traditional wooden materials which is a highlight of this machine.
Grace Majestic Quilting Machine
Designed to offer the ultimate quilting experience, this sturdy frame combines favorite features, both old and new. Its new dual wheel system gives better precision than before.
Boasting a built-in threader and trimmers, this Brother quilting machine is built for convenience. It’s even backed by a 25-year limited warranty.
Our Picks For Long Arm Quilting Machines
Quilting has been a popular pastime for decades, with mostly women from all walks of life participating and creating colorful fabric masterpieces. With roots as far back as hundreds of years ago, quilting has made gradual progress in terms of application.
Where quilters used to have to quilt by hand, there is now the option of using a quilting machine - a large, user-friendly automatic machine that sews quilts and other garments with precision and ease.
If you're one of many quilters interested in investing in one of these modern machines, keep reading. We've compiled a list of some of the best long arm quilting machines available.
One of the biggest things we found when doing a machine review of the Juki sewing and quilting machine is that it boasts a ton of great features and a modern style. As a sit-down model, the machine comes with two optional leaves that when assembled, can make the table up to 50 inches wide. It has a built-in laser point guide for ensured precision and automatic thread trimmers.
In addition, it also features a direct drive motor and an auxiliary hand wheel. You’d love how extremely quiet it is when in use. Perhaps one of the most beneficial parts in terms of convenience is the machine’s easy-to-access pressure foot pedal.
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More About The Juki DDL-8700-H
The Juki DDL-8700-H is one of Juki’s most popular sewing machines. Classified as a straight stitch sewing machine, this machine is ideal for medium to heavy materials. At max speed, this machine works at a rate of 5500 stitches per minute and a stitch length of 5mm, placing stitches close together for a seamless, secure hold.
Its arm is 11 inches long and puts out a total of 6 stitches per inch. This sewing machine is also eco-friendly, using less energy than previous models and complying with the JUKI standards for environmentally-friendly products. It features a fully automatic lubrication system that makes maintenance easy, and stitch regulation functionality.
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More About The Grace Gracie King Sewing/Quilting Machine
This handy quilting machine combines both classic style and modern convenience. Its large frame can adjust to meet the demands of the crib, queen, and king sized quilts so users can make colorful creations for beds of any size.
Its adjustable legs allow for users of all heights to find a comfortable position. There is also a flip up the rail and a set of bungee clamps to keep your work secure and prevent slipping. To keep your batting off the ground, this machine features a fourth rail that can hold it up while in use.
>> Related Content: How to make a quilting frame
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More About The Grace Majestic Quilting Frame
This top of the line sewing machine and quilting device is innovative and easy to use. It comes with many of the beloved features from other models such as a bobbin winder, free motion design, as well as new features such as a dual-wheel carriage system. You won’t have to worry about stability as it’s made of solid steel.
This Grace Majestic Quilting Frame is the only model to come with fully adjustable legs, which is another one of the great new features on this model. It can fit machines with a throat space of up to 18 inches and comes with a set of sturdy bungee clamps.
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More About The Brother PQ1500SL
One of Brother's most popular machines, the PQ1500SL is a groundbreaking sewing machine that boasts versatility and ease of use. With a built-in needle threader for easy loading and an automatic thread trimmer, large quilting projects are made simple and convenient, as well as quick and efficient.
The machine can sew up to 1,500 7mm stitches per minute and boasts a number of settings, including stitch regulating functionality that make work a breeze. Its bed extension means that projects of all sizes can be completed, including full-size quilts. For your peace of mind and assurance, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty and free telephone technical support.
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What to Know About the Long Arm Quilting Machine
In the old days, quilting was a long and painstaking process. Now, with modern technology like the long arm quilting machine available to us, it doesn’t have to be that way.
So what is a long arm quilting machine? Essentially, a longarm machine allows you to finish your quilting project by sewing the top, back and batting together. It is comprised of a large, stable frame and a machine with a long arm that can reach across the entire quilt, mimicking the hand-sewn quality of the old days.
These are really large machines. At first glance, they can be pretty daunting. But modern models are actually fairly easy to use and can make the whole quilting process much faster.
How it works
A longarm is made up of two main parts: a frame, and the machine itself. The frame loads the different parts of the quilt and the machine sews them together with an automatic needle.
Most machines have four rollers, or rails, to support the parts of the quilt. Once the back, batting and quilt top are loaded onto separate rollers, you can operate the machine with a presser foot to stitch them all together. Most modern models allow you to adjust the stitch speed so you can work at your desired pace.
If you are in the market for a brand new longarm quilting machine, here are all the important factors you need to consider before you make your purchase.
Type of machine
There are three common types of longarm quilting machines on the market: mechanical, electric, and computerized. Each of these types has its individual benefits and drawbacks.
Mechanical longarm machines are the simplest and generally most affordable models. With a mechanical machine, a lot of the work is done manually by you. This includes threading and positioning the needle. A mechanical long arm machine is a great choice for someone who is new to sewing and quilting or someone who teaches beginners.
An electric longarm quilting machine is probably the most common type you are likely to find. These machines are larger and more technical than manuals. They come with special features like a needle positioner, stitch regulation functionality, feed dog and bobbin winder to help you to get the job done faster.
Finally, computerized longarm machines can be connected to the internet to upload a specific stitching pattern. These high-tech machines are much more complicated and usually more expensive. But they’re great for someone who likes to sew complex decorative patterns.
The speed of your longarm machine is another important consideration in your purchase. Preferably, your machine should have speed control settings to adjust the stitch speed as you go. A beginner may want to start out on a lower speed, but you can get faster as you adjust to using the machine.
Frame and parts
Make sure you clearly read what is included in your longarm quilting machine before you make your purchase. Not all longarm machines come with the frame included – sometimes, the two parts are sold separately.
If you buy the machine alone, you will need to find a frame that is compatible. Not all longarm machines will fit with all frames. Contact your machine’s manufacturer to see which brands and models of frames will fit with your longarm machine.
Additionally, a lot of machines come with extra accessories. A longarm machine that comes with extra bobbins and oil can be really helpful in the long run.
Extension quilting table
We recommend choosing a longarm quilting machine that comes with an extension table. While most machines have rollers to place the quilting fabric on, some have to extend tables that can help you to set up and plan out your quilt as you go.
Especially if you are a beginner, an extension table can really help you to make sense of your quilt and sew everything together exactly as you want it.
Techniques in Using the Long Arm Quilting Machine
Never used a longarm quilting machine before? Don’t worry – it’s actually much easier than it looks. Here are a few helpful techniques for making the perfect quilt, fast.
Like with any craft, the real key to longarm quilting is to get plenty of practice. Start out with simple, easy patterns and use your longarm machine every day. The more you get to know it, the easier it will be. Soon, you will be quickly tackling complicated, beautiful quilting patterns.
Plan your motifs
Even with a longarm machine to help you, quilting is not a “make it up as you go” kind of activity. You will want to make sure that you have every detail of your quilt motif planned out before you start.
You should know exactly what kind of stitching pattern you want to use on each part of the quilt before you load your back and batting onto the machine. If you don’t have it all planned before you start, you might end up with awkward gaps, missed stitches or even wrinkles in the fabric.
Follow the “8 inches rule”
Quilting experts will always advise you to leave an additional 4 inches on each side (8 inches in total) of your backing. That means your backing will extend past the quilt top by 4 inches.
This is a more important rule than a lot of people give it credit for. Any more than 8 inches and you will end up with an excess of fabric, and any less than 8 inches might be too little.
Longarm quilting machines are nothing to be afraid of. These modernized machines make quilting faster, easier and more fun. If you are a serious crafter, you can’t go wrong with one.
Remember to pick the right type of machine for your needs, and find a frame that will fit with your machine. Happy quilting!