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best sewing machine for quilter

rhyslyn | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi, I am new around here. I am a beginner quilter looking for advice on the best sewing machine to buy. So much out there..feeling overwhelmed..the computerized models look appealing but where do I start?


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    A beginner quilter can use any machine, so I'd recommend the simplest, least computerized, and most comfortable machine that you can find.  I've quilted with a 100-year-old treadle machine, a 50-year-old electric machine, and a 5 year-old computerized machine, and all three were equally suited to the task. 

    Sometimes, the older machines are heavier and simpler to use, and you can get them for a song at thrift stores and yard sales.  Always take some thread, a good needle, and a piece of quilt fabric with you so that you can test drive a machine before you buy it.

    All you really need is a straight stitch for all the piecing and a walking foot for machine quilting all the layers together.  Good luck and have fun!

    1. User avater
      lauradublin | | #2

      I've been quilting for a number of years and have just had a fun day with a group of girls of all levels that got together for a days sewing where this was a question that was raised.  If you are a beginner quilter, without a doubt all you need at the moment is a straight stitch but don't make the mistake of one of my friends who thought that that was all she would ever need and went out and bought a machine.  She then discovered that she loves applique but her machine now has no buttonhole stitch!

      Try many machines - each person has their own preference.  I'm a Bernina girl but I have friends who swear by their Pfaff's, so you really need to try them all.  I would advise to try to buy a level above what you think you will need because remember you will grow with time and some of those stitches you think you will never use, you actually find you will.  A knee lift is one thing I wouldn't compromise on.  It's invaluable.

      Have fun!


  2. starzoe | | #3

    First and foremost, buy from local dealer, someone you can go to for help when you need it, someone who is knowledgeable about their machines, someone who will let you test drive the machines, someone who will give you a warranty that doesn't include packaging the machine up and shipping it across the country.A reconditioned machine is a good choice for beginners. It gives you an opportunity to realize what you want and need if you should want to upgrade to an expensive model later on. You might even get some lessons on it and a warranty of sorts. As has been pointed out in previous postings, you can quilt on machines that are not high-tech.So your next step is to search out dealers within your area and spend some time test-driving.

    Edited 8/12/2009 5:21 pm ET by starzoe

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