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Best Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting: Free Motion Quilting

If you possess a fervent love for the art of quilting or if you’re intrigued by the idea of embarking on this creative journey, this article is tailored precisely for your interests and aspirations. Here, we will immerse ourselves in the captivating world of quilting and explore a selection of sewing machines that have been meticulously crafted to elevate the experience of free motion quilting. Gone are the days when quilting necessitated the use of bulky and unwieldy machines; today, a multitude of remarkable options are at your disposal, promising to transform your quilting endeavors into a source of sheer delight.

To commence our exploration, let’s first clarify the essence of quilting, as it may be a novel concept for some. At its core, quilting is the art of uniting two or more fabrics into a cohesive and thicker textile. While there exists a spectrum of quilting machines tailored to cater to individuals at various skill levels, each with its own price point, this article will primarily focus on sewing machines that universally earn acclaim for their exceptional performance. So, let us embark on this enchanting journey and uncover the gems within the world of free motion quilting.

What is Free Motion Quilting?

Free motion quilting is a distinctive technique that empowers the quilter to manipulate the fabric freely beneath the delicate embrace of the sewing machine’s needle. Unlike the conventional approach to quilting, where the machine dictates the fabric’s movement, free motion quilting bestows an unprecedented level of creative freedom and precision over the stitching pattern. This technique acts as a canvas for quilters to express their artistic inclinations, enabling the creation of intricate designs that range from elegantly simple swirls to breathtakingly complex motifs. Through free motion quilting, quilters infuse their creations with a unique and profoundly personalized touch, transforming each quilt into a masterpiece that resonates with their individuality and passion.

So, whether you are an avid quilting enthusiast or an aspiring artisan eager to explore the realms of free motion quilting, prepare to be captivated by the possibilities that lie ahead.

Advantages of Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting

Expansive Sewing Area

One of the primary advantages inherent to the use of large throat sewing machines is the significant increase in sewing space they provide. When we speak of throat space, we are referring to the gap between the needle and the body of the sewing machine. This augmented throat space opens up a world of possibilities for quilt-makers, offering ample room to expertly navigate the fabric during the quilting process. As a result, stitches become smoother and more precise, elevating the overall quality of the quilting work.

Enhanced Ease of Movement

With a large throat sewing machine at their disposal, quilting artisans gain the remarkable ability to effortlessly manipulate the fabric in any direction they desire. This heightened maneuverability proves especially invaluable when working on intricate designs or sizeable quilts. It significantly diminishes the need for constant fabric repositioning and effectively minimizes the risk of fabric entanglement or unwanted folds during the quilting endeavor.

Accommodating Bulky Creations

The world of quilting often calls for projects that involve multiple layers of fabric, such as quilts with batting and backing materials. In such instances, large throat sewing machines excel, effortlessly accommodating these bulkier projects. This accommodation ensures that quilting through multiple layers is executed with ease, without any compromise in the quality of the stitching work.

Diverse Quilting Possibilities

Large throat sewing machines extend their versatility beyond free motion quilting. They empower quilting enthusiasts to delve into various quilting styles with ease. Whether it’s transitioning between free motion quilting, straight-line quilting, stippling, or embracing other decorative stitching techniques, these machines provide a canvas for artistic exploration. This versatility enriches the creative potential of quilting projects, allowing for a more expansive range of possibilities and outcomes.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Large Throat Sewing Machine

When it comes to choosing a large throat sewing machine, several essential factors should guide your decision. These considerations, akin to a seasoned quilter’s discerning eye, can help you find the perfect machine for your quilting endeavors.

  • Throat Space Size: One of the most critical aspects to deliberate upon is the size of the throat space. This dimension significantly impacts your ability to work on extensive quilting projects or engage in intricate design work. A machine with a generous throat space accommodates large fabric pieces and allows for smooth maneuvering, enhancing your creative possibilities.
  • Stitching Speed: Efficiency is paramount in the world of quilting. The stitching speed of your machine plays a pivotal role in your productivity. Opt for a sewing machine with adjustable stitching speed controls, granting you the autonomy to set the pace that suits your work best. This level of control empowers you to tackle various quilting projects with precision and finesse.
  • Stitching Patterns: Elevate your quilting projects with built-in stitching patterns. Many large throat sewing machines offer a diverse selection of decorative stitches. This feature not only adds artistic flair to your quilts but also fosters boundless creativity. The ability to experiment with different patterns can breathe life into your quilting designs.
  • Needle Positions: Flexibility is the hallmark of an exceptional quilting experience. A sewing machine with multiple needle positions equips you with the adaptability needed for various quilting techniques. Whether you’re striving for precise quilting lines or exploring complex designs, the ability to adjust the needle position enhances your stitching precision.
  • Additional Features: To further enhance your quilting journey, explore the array of additional features available. An automatic thread cutter streamlines your work, saving time and effort. An adjustable presser foot ensures even fabric feeding, resulting in flawless stitches. Additionally, a wide selection of presser foot options expands your quilting horizons, allowing you to tackle diverse projects with ease and confidence.

Top 4 Large Throat Sewing Machines for Quilting:

Brother XR9550 Sewing and Quilting Machine


This is the overall best large throat sewing machine for quilting. This is one of the best entry-level machines produces by Brother. It comes with a lot of accessories and provides many features.

The machine comes with 155 stitches. It offers 8 1-step buttonhole patterns as well. This machine can be used for embroidery too. It also has 55 alphanumeric stitches.

The Brother XR9550 Quilting Machine has an extra-wide table which is a must for quilting. It also has a built-in font for mono-programming. Thus, the machine offers quality and variety. The machine is powerful enough to go through multiple layers of stitches.

The price is also affordable for any beginner. Thus, this is an overall package for quilting. I highly recommend this Brother XR9550 Quilting Machine for people who want to learn quilting or just want to do it at home.

  • 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

Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter


This is another great machine for novices. It comes with 98 built-in stitches and has 7 1-step buttonhole patterns. So, it offers a great variety of projects at any level.

It has a table large enough for doing quilting. It also has four bonus quilting feet to make your quilting experience memorable every-time you use the machine.

The machine is beginner-friendly and inexpensive. It is extremely easy to use and easy to set-up. The drop-in bobbin and the bobbin winder are very easy to use. Thus, the machine is a perfect buy for any beginner.

The programmable needle up/down features makes the use further easier. Thus, I also recommend this machine as it provides value for its price.

  • Automatic needle threader and Drop & Sew bobbin system make for quick and easy set-up. Helpful Hint: To secure thread, pull both threads to the backside of the fabric and tie together.
  • 98 built-in stitches with seven fully automatic one-step buttonholes provide endless project possibilities
  • Programmable needle up/down and drop feed make quilting fun and easy

Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Sewing Machine for Quilting


This might prove to be a great machine for intermediates and experts. This machine is highly recommended for industries. This machine is one of the highest-rated machines available in the market.

It has 600 built-in stitch patterns. Thus, it offers a huge amount of variety. You will never ask for more for quilting. It has 13 programmable one-step buttonholes. So, you will never have to create a buttonhole manually.

Stitch length and width can be adjusted automatically. It has an automatic needle threader and a needle up/down button. The set-up of this machine is extremely easy.

It has a large table which is perfectly suitable for quilting. It has an automatic thread cutter too. It has 19 presser feet and a lot of other accessories.

So, if budget is not an issue for you, this is one of the best machines available for any task in the market today

  • 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

Juki TL-2000Qi (Best Sewing Machine for Quilting)

juki-tl-2000qi -best-sewing-machine-for-quilting

This machine is not that inexpensive but has value for its price. It is one of the best sewing machines for free motion quilting from Juki. The machine offers a lot of features.

One of the significant advantages of using this machine is its speed. Its stitching speed is 1500 stitches per minute. So, the machine is very fast.

It has an automatic needle threader. It has a large table which provides a wide work area for quilting. Thus, this is another good feature required for quilting.

It has an aluminum die-cast arm. It also has a bed for low vibration operation. This model is updated with LED lights. Hence, the user can work easily on dark fabric.

It also features one pedal operation. So, this is the best model available there for intermediates and experts.

The price might seem a little higher but if the budget is not a problem, I highly recommend this sewing machine for you.

So, these were my picks for the best large throat sewing machines for free motion quilting available in the market. There are many other models available that can prove good for you. For beginners, other models include Brother HC1850, Brother CS6000i, Janome 8002D Serger, Janome 2212, etc. These models are highly affordable by any beginner and provide a good amount of features.

  • Updated with LED lights and one pedal operation
  • 1500 SPM for quilting apparel and home décor
  • Automatic needle threader

There are other models available for expert quilters too. These models include Janome MC-6300p, Brother pq1500SL, Janome New Home MC7700QCP, etc. These machines will cost you more but are very good at quilting. So, first, you need to decide the purpose of using a machine for quilting and then you can choose any of these amazing machines available in the market. I hope this post is helpful to you in choosing the right quilting machine for you.

Tips for Mastering the Art of Free Motion Quilting

The art of free motion quilting is a delightful journey, where every stitch tells a story and every design reflects your creativity. To embark on this captivating endeavor, here are some invaluable insights that will elevate your quilting game:

  • Choose Fabrics Wisely: The cornerstone of successful free motion quilting lies in your fabric selection. Opt for high-quality quilting fabric that exudes durability and minimal stretch. This ensures your stitches remain consistent, and the fabric glides smoothly under your needle, preventing fraying or unsightly bunching.
  • Machine Mastery: To achieve quilting perfection, your sewing machine must be your trusted companion. Maintain it meticulously, ensuring the tension is precisely calibrated. Select the right needle for quilting, and employ a darning or free motion quilting foot. These elements will grant your fabric the freedom to flow gracefully as your artistic vision takes shape.
  • Prelude to Precision: Before commencing your magnum opus, take time to acquaint yourself with the machine’s rhythm and speed. Practice on scrap fabric to build muscle memory and cultivate confidence. This preparatory phase paves the way for a flawless execution on your masterpiece.
  • Elegant Beginnings: In your journey as a quilting virtuoso, simplicity is your ally. Start with basic designs like loops, meanders, or gentle curves. These foundational patterns will serve as stepping stones, propelling you towards more intricate and challenging creations as your expertise burgeons.
  • The Virtue of Patience: Quilting is a meditation in motion. Embrace the serenity of a steady pace; resist the urge to rush. Allow your hands to guide the fabric with precision, every stitch an ode to your dedication and patience.
  • Rhythmic Flow: Quilting is a dance of sorts, a rhythmic performance. Find your own tempo and style that resonates with your artistic sensibilities. Experiment with different speeds and patterns, letting your intuition guide your hands to unveil your unique flair.
  • Breathe and Release: In the throes of creativity, it’s easy to hold one’s breath. Counter this tendency by taking deep breaths and releasing tension from your shoulders and hands. Your body’s relaxation will transpire in the quality of your stitches.
  • Grip with Grace: Enhance your mastery of the fabric with quilting gloves or grip aids. These nifty accessories reduce slippage, offering you greater control over the fabric’s movement. Your hands will glide with elegance, transforming your visions into tangible artistry.
  • Plot Your Course: Before diving into your masterpiece, visualize the path your quilting will take. This foresight will safeguard you from stitching yourself into corners or ending up in precarious situations. A clear plan ensures your creativity flows uninterrupted.
  • Embrace Quirks and Quirks of Quilting: Imperfections are the heartbeats of quilting. Embrace those charming quirks and the occasional uneven stitch. They are the signature of your unique style and the soul of your quilt.
  • Practice, Persist, Perfect: The road to quilting mastery is paved with practice. Dedicate regular time to this craft, and watch your skills evolve. With each stitch, you’ll refine your art, inching closer to quilting perfection

In summary,

The significance of large throat sewing machines cannot be overstated when it comes to empowering quilters in their pursuit of elevating their free motion quilting skills. These remarkable machines offer a myriad of advantages, including an expansive sewing area that facilitates intricate work, enhanced maneuverability that allows for smoother quilting, and the remarkable ability to effortlessly handle even the bulkiest of quilting projects.

When faced with the task of selecting the perfect large throat sewing machine, quilters are confronted with a multitude of considerations. These include the crucial aspects of throat space size, stitching speed, available stitching patterns, adjustable needle positions, and the presence of additional features that can augment their quilting experience.

For those individuals who harbor a deep passion for the art of quilting, making the investment in a high-quality large throat sewing machine is a sagacious decision that promises to significantly enhance their quilting endeavors. Such a machine not only elevates the quality of their quilting projects but also expands the horizons of their creative potential, enabling them to achieve quilting feats previously thought unattainable.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How can I determine the right throat space size for my quilting needs?

A: The right throat space size depends on the size of your quilting projects. If you work on large quilts or intricate designs, opt for a machine with a larger throat space.

Q: Can I use a large throat sewing machine for regular sewing tasks as well?

A: Yes, large throat sewing machines are versatile and can handle regular sewing tasks in addition to quilting projects.

Q: Are large throat sewing machines suitable for beginners?

A: While large throat sewing machines offer more space and features, they can be used by beginners with proper practice and guidance.

Q: Do all large throat sewing machines come with adjustable stitching speed?

A: Not all machines have adjustable stitching speed. However, many modern machines do offer this feature for quilter convenience.

Q: Can I use a large throat sewing machine for embroidery work?

A: Large throat sewing machines are primarily designed for quilting and general sewing tasks. For embroidery work, specialized embroidery machines are more suitable

Hannah Nelson

Hi, there! I am Hannah Nelson, your host on this website. I started this blog to teach my lovely readers how to master the art of sewing effortlessly and how to turn this hobby into an income generating business.

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