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What sewing machine is best for quilting?

(24 Posts)
BsshBossh Tue 22-Nov-11 14:57:16

Hi, I'm looking for a sewing machine that's suitable for general dressmaking (at the moment simple dresses for my pre-school DD) but also for quilting. My budget is around £150/200. What make/model sewing machine do you suggest (quilters in particular!). Thanks.

bebemoojem Tue 22-Nov-11 17:56:09

watching with interest....

ElderberrySyrup Tue 22-Nov-11 20:54:55

I don't know what particular make but you would be looking for one with a large throat.

I would start by looking at the ones sold by specialist quilting suppliers like Cottonpatch since they will have picked out the ones that work best for quilting.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 22-Nov-11 20:55:55

just realised how expensive those Cottonpatch ones are, sorry!

moondog Tue 22-Nov-11 20:55:56

Do it by hand.Machine quilting isn't nice.

BsshBossh Tue 22-Nov-11 21:10:50

John Lewis is close to me so I was thinking about the £200 approx range of their sewing machines.

For example, this Janome one.

BsshBossh Tue 22-Nov-11 21:12:45

I like ad sewing but really want to do more machine sewing too and I have no problem with quilting by and and by machine, moondog.

BsshBossh Tue 22-Nov-11 21:13:31

*hand sewing, not ad sewing, damn iPad!

WoodRose Wed 23-Nov-11 13:04:01

Try and get a machine with a double feed. It stops the layers from slipping when you sew. I have a pretty basic Pfaff and use it for machine quilting when I am bored with hand quilting or running out of time.

WoodRose Wed 23-Nov-11 13:06:16

Sorry, that should be "dual feed", not double feed.

Hopefully Wed 23-Nov-11 19:14:38

Walking foot - make sure whatever machine you get can use a walking foot, and budget to buy one. It makes SO much difference. I have a husqvarna and I love it, fwiw.

BsshBossh Wed 23-Nov-11 19:24:48

Thanks everyone. I like the idea of handquilting too. How long does it take you to hand quilt say a child's quilt and is it really fiddly?

Fayrazzled Wed 23-Nov-11 19:33:58

I have a Janome Sewist 525S which I am really pleased with and costs just over £200. It is a Which best buy. I use it mainly for piecing and then quilt by hand, but I have bought a walking foot for it to try some machine quilting and a darning foot for free motion quilting. Now here's the rub- those extra feet cost about £40 extra each.

If you can extend your budget to £300 then I would go for this, which includes a quilting kit worth approx £99- all in all a good deal I think!


Fayrazzled Wed 23-Nov-11 19:36:27

Oh and to answer the question about hand quilting. I made a child's quilt for my friend's daughter- slightly smaller than single sized duvet. It took me 3 months to make, of which most time was spent on the hand quilting. I did 5inch patchwork squares and outline quilted them using perle cotton. it is time consuming but I love it and find it very restful. Very straightforward since it was basically sewing in a straight line and I use quilters tape to mark my lines.

moondog Wed 23-Nov-11 19:54:00

I've made and handquilted 3 kingsize quilts and 4 baby ones.
If you do al ittle every night/day, it doesn't take too long.
Love in every stitch!

ElderberrySyrup Wed 23-Nov-11 19:58:20

I've only done one handquilted and one machine quilted, both large single size; the machine quilting was harder than I had expected (I got a walking foot halfway through) and the handquilting took a few weeks of evenings. Much preferred the handquilting, though if I was better at it perhaps I would like machine quilting more.... Hand was definitely easier than machine, and very satisfying.

PopcornMouse Thu 24-Nov-11 09:12:09

I have quilted a Queen size HSQ quilt on my Janome DC3050 - £229 from John Lewis smile

BsshBossh Thu 24-Nov-11 19:24:22

I'm going to check those sewing machines out. Thanks all for the tips.

I think I'm also going to start small and hand stitch a quilted cushion cover or doll's mini quilt first just to get to grips with quilting (on a small scale) before I splash out on a machine. I love knitting with the TV or radio on at night or with my DD playing at my feet so hand stitching a small patchworked item first will work well I think.

Just bought Cath Kidston's Patch and borrowed a greay book from the library which as some easy patchwork/quilting projects in it (Queen of Crafts by Jazz Domino Holly) and this weekend I'll pick up some fabric off cuts or fat quarters.

I can't wait!

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 24-Nov-11 21:52:45

Handquilting is easier to pick up and put down and I prefer it although I am too scared to have a proper go on the machine - I have done some but not on anything that matter!

If you hand sew you can take it back a few stitches if you don't like what you have done but if you machine and get it wrong it is a devil to take out and do again. Machine sewing takes a lot of practice but if you can sew by hand, hand quilting is no trouble.

If it helps I have a Janome machine which I quite like. Have you thought of second hand to get a few more features and maybe a slightly longer arm?

Sleepyspaniel Fri 25-Nov-11 09:31:30

Machine quilting is quite easy. I have machine quilted a double quilt on a normal sewing machine (was a bit of a squash getting half the quilt under the arm, but it was fine).

Proper layering of the quilt is essential for a good finish. I tape the quilt backing (wrong side up!!!) to the floor using masking tape, to make it as perfectly flat and smooth as possible, then lay the wadding over, smoothing thoroughly, then the top layer (right side up!). Then pin everything furiously. (ie a long quilting pin every 2-3 inches). Peel quilt away from masking tape carefully to avoid disturbing the layers. Start quilting from the centre outwards.

When machine quilting even baby quilts you will really benefit from wearing quilting gloves here which are white cotton with rubber dots on. They provide grip as guiding the quilt through the machine is surprisingly hard physically.

A great tutorial is here - shows how you can create beautiful machine quilts.


Deux Fri 25-Nov-11 19:36:57

Quilting gloves, genius! Had no idea such a thing existed so I'm going to put them on my Christmas list.

I find 505 adhesive spray useful for holding together quilt layers before basting/pinning. Also use it it for other sewing craft problems, like attaching gold lame braid to a Roman costume before sewing. smile.

OP, you can do a 'rustic' hand quilting using long stitches.

Also, I have a Janome SL30X which is produced by Janome just for Costco. Costs about £230 but is a higher spec than a £230 Janome on the high street. I love it.

patchworkchick Sat 26-Nov-11 18:54:54

'i have a brother sewing machine and it is brilliant! But did have a basic Janome for years and would recomend them too.

BsshBossh Sat 26-Nov-11 21:47:33

Goodness, fantastic tips, thank you all so much smile.

annieworden Tue 18-Jun-13 16:23:43

I found this free eBook on sewing machines and which machine's are best for particular needs.

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