If you love to quilt, it’s wonderful to have a dedicated quilting machine. A regular sewing machine may be limited to only a few decorative stitches, a small workspace, and not enough power to handle multiple layers of material. If you’re looking for a powerful, versatile quilting machine, take a look at these two models. One of them may be exactly what you want for your next project.
Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine
The Brother PQ1500SL is fast and powerful. It sews up to 1500 straight stitches per minute and has some user-friendly features that are perfect for quilters. You’ll notice at once that the extension table is a generous 12 by 18 inches in size and it’s marked with the graphic of a ruler.
When it’s time to begin your quilt, setting up the machine is fast and easy. It has an automatic needle threader and a push-button needle positioner. You can raise and lower the presser foot with a knee lifter instead of using a lever. You can also drop the feed dogs and do free motion sewing. There are four feed dog positions total.
Instead of using the feed dogs, you can replace them with the pin feed mechanism. The pin comes out from underneath the machine to move all the layers of your quilt at once, or else stitch something like a delicate velvet fabric without leaving marks. When you’re finished, use the automatic thread cutter to free your project from the machine.
There are a few downsides that owners of regular sewing machines may notice. The Brother PQ1500SL does straight stitching only. There’s no drop-in bobbin and thread tensioning must be done by the user. Your sewing speed is controlled by the foot pedal as there is no speed control on the machine itself.
More features of the Brother PQ1500SL quilting machine:
- Covered by a 25-year limited warranty
- Comes with these presser feet: straight stitch, rolled hem, adjustable zipper, invisible zipper, quarter inch, spring action quilting, and walking foot, plus seam guide, power cord, foot control, sewing notions, and an owner’s manual
Singer 8500Q Modern Quilter Quilting and Sewing Machine
The extension table on the Singer 8500Q quilting machine is even larger than the one on the Brother PQ1500SL. It measures 22 inches long by 14 inches wide. The ruler graphic measures up to 16 inches along its length.
Even better for quilters, the Singer 8500Q has 215 stitches built-in. That includes 17 for quilting, nine basic stitches (think straight stitches like the only one the Brother machine does), and 176 other decorative stitches for all sorts of heirloom work.
This isn’t just a quilting machine, by the way. You can sew many other projects with it, including clothing. It does 6 different one-step buttonholes or an endless buttonhole with no size limit. If you want to stitch partial or full circles, you can.You can also adjust most stitches up to 7mm in size. Sewing multiple layers of fabric is no problem because you can lift the presser foot to an extra high position.
Use the knee lifter to raise the presser foot if you don’t want to take your hands off the material you’re embroidering. You can set the needle to stop in the up or down position so it’s easy to pivot the fabric. In fact, you can sew with two needles, not just one, if you like.
If you don’t like sewing with a foot pedal, use the speed control slider on the front of the machine. If you hate threading, the 8500Q will do it for you automatically. You can also drop in your bobbin and check its status through the clear compartment cover.
While you work, the 6 bright LED lights make it so you don’t even need a room light lit to see your work. Use the one-touch lockstitch button to reinforce your work. When you’re finished, the automatic thread trimmer cuts your project loose.
More features of the Singer 8500Q quilting machine:
- Covered by Singer’s 25-year limited warranty
- Comes with several presser feet: All-Purpose, Zipper, Buttonhole with Underplate, Blind Hem, Satin Stitch, and Button Sewing, plus needles, bobbins (Class 15J), spool caps and nets, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdrivers, seam ripper-lint brush, extension table with circular sewing pin, knee lifter, instruction manual with included stitch guide, power cord, and foot controller
If you would like a very fast and simple straight stitch machine for quilting, get the Brother PQ1500SL.
If you would prefer a machine that can quilt, do garment construction, and home decorative projects, get the Singer 8500Q. It has a larger extension table and many user-friendly and helpful features plus it can sew over 200 different stitches.