I’ve been quilting since 2010 and have struggled with the small machine I have.  It’s doable, but there is a lot of pulling and tugging involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Brother cs6000i machine.  It sews like a dream and I’ve never had a problem with it. at a cost of around $150 I think it is the perfect machine for a beginner.

The trouble is, the throat is too small.  The photo above show a lap quilt I’m quilting.  Since it’s a smaller quilt, It’s not too much of a problem.  If I were to try a larger quilt, like a queen or king size, there would be no way!

Here are a few of the machines that are on my wish list:. (Click on the names to take you to the manufacturer product page)

Janome 9450

The Janome Memory Craft 9459 has all the features I’m looking for in a machine (except embroidery) and at $5499 MSRP, is also the most budget friendly.

The large LCD color touch screen makes it easy to navigate through the 350 built-in stitches, including 11 one-step buttonholes and 7 alpha numeric fonts. You can customize each stitch, including buttonholes, plus save as a favorite stitch which I would personally like. Sewing Applications gives you a variety of pre-set stitch functions, ready to sew zips, blind hem, buttons, quilting, rulerwork, patchwork and lots more.

Brother Innov-is NQ3600D

The Brother NQ3600D is also an embroidery machine (licensed Disney).  It has 233 Embroidery designs and 291 built-in stitches.  The maximum embroidery area is 4×4. The large workspace, Automatic Height Adjuster (AHA) feature and the Pivot function all make for easy sewing and quilting projects. There are 233 built-in embroidery designs, including 35 designs featuring Disney characters.

List price is around $10,999 MSRP.  You can get a refurbished one for around $3000.  I know Brother is a great brand and would definitely look at this one.Janome Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000

The 15000 is a sewing plus embroidery machine with WiFi and 5 Apps.  What I love about this machine is that is comes with Ruler Quilting that allows you to follow along the guiding edge of precision cut templates.  This is usually only available on long arm machines.  It also has an AcuStitch tool that will convert select ordinary stitches into embroidery stitches and arrange them along precisely sized lines and circles with perfection. I like this feature since machines usually have a good variety of built-in stitches that are very pretty. At $12,999 MSRP this is only a dream for now!

I know there are many options out there.  Even though I only mention Brother and Janome, other brands that my quilter friends love swear by include, Babylock, Bernina, Juki and Husqvarna Viking.  Most of these machines can only be purchased though a licensed dealer.  This isn’t a bad thing and they also come with a warranty.  Some even offer a free lesson or two with your new machine.

I would love to test any of these babies out!

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Lori Summers

Author Lori Summers

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