Do you like quilting as a hobby? You may be having difficulty selecting the best long arm machine to meet your requirements. A long-arm quilting machine may help you turn a beautiful piece of quilt backing, batting, or top into a completed quilt.
Anyone who sews quilts regularly will benefit from investing in a longarm quilting machine, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 options available. The throat area of these machines (often between 18 and 24 inches) is only one distinguishing characteristic; others include an OLED display, quick-access buttons, automated bobbin winders, and the ability to work with a variety of frame or table sizes.
A long arm quilting machine simplifies the process of quilting but comes at a high price. Nonetheless, picking the best model might be challenging. Let’s go through some of the top long arm options so you can make an informed decision.
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Investing in a long arm quilting machine is a serious financial commitment. The nature of these items makes them expensive. Thus, it becomes very necessary to adhere to a purchasing guide. However, it is not sufficient or prudent to just follow a purchase advice without thinking things out for yourself.
Think carefully about whether you need a certain model of long arm quilting machine before you buy it. We’ve made an effort to maintain the same level of clarity throughout the review and the purchasing guide.
We’ll give you a helpful hint now. Don’t pass judgment on a product just because it has a lot of fancy features. Think of them as extras. If you are good at judging and measuring the typical traits, you will always end up with the best option. Let us now guide you in finding the best long arm quilting machine :
How many stitches a quilting machine can create per minute is indicated by its motor speed. Naturally, the greater the height, the better. With a speedier unit, you can get more done in less time. Choose a long arm quilting device with a stitch rate of at least 1,500 per minute.
Check for speed limits as well. Use this setting to make sure your stitches look the same all across your project.
The most important part of a long-arm quilting machine is its throat space. Machines are classified as either mid-arm or long-arm depending on the distance from the needle to the back. Among the long-arm quilting machines we looked at, the neck space varies from 15 to 26 inches.
However, 18 and above is the sweet spot. It may be classified as a mid-arm quilting machine if the neck gap is smaller than 18 inches. However, individuals who aren’t prepared to make a big financial commitment or who are limited by floor area might check out the models we assessed that have a throat width of less than 18 inches.
You won’t find these capabilities on all long-arm quilting machines. Those characteristics make up for the absence of a longer neck by hiding it, so it’s a win-win.
It takes time to thread the needle, particularly if you’re using tiny needles with even tinier eyes. That’s when helpful aids like automated needle threaders come into play.
Needle threading is a breeze thanks to the automated needle threader. You may save yourself a lot of stress and effort by purchasing an automated long-arm quilting device.
Time is saved by using a long arm quilting machine, as we discussed before. How many stitches you can make per minute determines how quickly you can finish a quilt. The number of stitches that a sewing machine can make per minute is determined by its motor power and its sewing speed. In order to improve your SPM, you should try using the long arm machines. The cost increase will be reasonable. Your best bet is between 2500 and 3100.
The most essential and widely used function of a long arm quilting machine is stitch regulating. While the inclusion of a manual option is appreciated, you seldom switch to it. The finest quilts are made using a stitch regulator and machine that efficiently controls the stitch length and width. Stitch regulation and a choice between precision and cruising modes are essential features for every sewing machine.
Since it’s a long-term investment, its quality had better be up to the task of withstanding the wear and tear of the years. Such machinery isn’t something you’d typically acquire every year. The ones we looked at were all reliable, too. High-quality materials were used to construct the sturdy frame and parts. This ensures a life expectancy in the decades.
Don’t go out and purchase a quilting machine with a 26-inch throat space and a 12-foot Gallery2 frame because you’re wowed by the specs and have the cash. To get the most out of these machines, you need a dedicated room large enough to accommodate both the frame and the machine itself.
The act of quilting never takes place in a crowded area. You’ll need a lot of open space even if you can put up the quilt in your room without any trouble. A 5’10” body with a neck clearance of just 18 inches may also produce spectacular results with the right technique. The available space should be measured before deciding on a machine.
Both seated and standing usage are possible with the long arm quilting machines. Use a quilting machine designed for seated operation if you find it difficult to stand while using the machine.
Plus, they’re cheaper than free-standing alternatives. But then you’ll need standing kinds to build big quilts with complicated designs. Compared to the seated versions, they are by far the most productive.
The quilting machine will be simple to use and navigate thanks to the ergonomically designed handlebars and touchscreen display. Ideally, there would be grips on both the front and back of the handle. Any high-quality long arm quilting machine should be designed with user convenience in mind, with the controls placed as conveniently as possible. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough time relocating them while quilting at the same time.
Despite our focus on SPM, throat space, frame, size, and similar factors, it is important to remember that a long arm quilting machine provides much more. To get the most out of your quilting machine, you’ll need all of its features and accessories.
We advised you to think of them as a bonus at the outset of this shopping guide, but we feel it’s important to clarify that you really need them, just like you need a wide neck opening. It might be the software, the bobbin location, an additional pack of needles, or the needles themselves. Expanding the range of possible expression via the addition of characteristics.
In this first segment, we review seven of the best long arm quilting machine on the market as of now:
1. Handi Quilter Capri 18 with HQ InSight Stitch Regulation Table
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A long arm quilting machine needs enough room. The Handi Quilter Capri 18 is a large machine; yet, it takes up relatively less room than other machines of its kind. That is how it was intended to work. The equipment is connected on top of an HQ InSight table that has a patented size of 36 inches by 32 inches.
When it comes to characteristics that have been patented, its stitch regulation is one of them. In addition to that, it has a precision mode as well as a cruise mode. Utilize the precision setting if you feel as though you need a certain sewing pace in addition to improved control in order to complete a quilt. However, you should switch to the cruise mode if the quilting demands a consistent pace as well as a minor slowing.
The stitching speed of the machine is 2200 stitches per minute (SPM). You have a range of 4-22 stitches to choose from each inch, so decide how many stitches you wish to use. You may experiment with various themes on the quilt with this machine in order to give it as much of a unique look as possible.
On this apparatus, performing free motion is as simple as it is possible to get. It is a machine that is not only simple to use but also has a throat space that is 18 inches. Additionally, you will have a vertical space that is 8 inches. Therefore, quilting on a king-sized scale is a perfect fit for you.
Using the various lights that are built into the machine, you can examine all of the lovely stitches that you are creating on your quilt. During the course of your job, your vision will be improved thanks to the LED light ring, neck illumination, and bobbin light.
2. King Quilter II Longarm Quilting Machine
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The King Quilter II long-arm quilting machine is an upgrade to the previous King Quilter long-arm quilting machine in the sense that it has high-tech electronics as well as an innovative user interface that has a touchpad. As a result, it provides quilters with both an easier time using the machine and greater functionality.
This quilting machine is the perfect dream come true for quilters since it is simple to maintain and has a sturdy build. 4.3 or 7 inches in size, the color touchscreen is available. Because of this, you will be able to exert complete control over the machine with only the tip of your finger. It has a ton of applications that make the quilting process easier and more enjoyable. In addition, the control buttons for the quilting machine are located on the front handlebars, so you can operate it with your thumbs.
The width of the machine’s throat space is 18 inches, and the height of the throat is 8 inches. The area surrounding the needle is illuminated by fluorescent lights, providing excellent visibility even while working on projects in the evening.
The engine of the King Quilter II is strong, dependable, and lightning-fast, and it can reach speeds of up to 2,200 stitches per minute (SPM). Although in this respect it is inferior than the Q’nique 21, overall it is a more robust and dependable piece of equipment. In addition to its speed, this machine has a cruise setting, a precision mode, a basting stitch, and it can generate anywhere from four to twenty-two stitches for every inch.
3. Grace Company Q'nique 21 Long Arm Quilting Machine
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The Q’nique 21 long arm quilting machine from Grace Company, which is widely regarded as one of the most dependable brands of quilting machines, continues to be one of the company’s most ground-breaking creations.
The machine features a rapid motor that can produce up to 2,600 stitches per minute and has a throat space that is 21 inches in length. It has the same dimensions as a smartphone and has an excellent OLED touchscreen, which not only provides you with more functionality but also makes it easier to use. The intuitive design of the square-shaped, full-color OLED display, which measures 5 inches in all directions, makes it simple to use.
The height of its huge screen can be adjusted, making it suitable for use by anybody while also ensuring that it is always at an appropriate level for the user’s eyes.
The number of long arms available on the market that come equipped with a low bobbin indication is rather few, however this one does. The fact that this one may be configured according to the various bobbins is a definite plus.
In addition to this, the handles are completely modifiable. They may also be rotated up or down in case you are taller or shorter than average, or if you just want them to be closer to the cloth for any reason.
4. Handi Quilter Amara 20-inch Longarm Quilter Machine
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You may experience quality, accuracy, and a world full of possibilities with the Handi Quilter Amara long-arm machine, which is yet another option available from Handi Quilter. The Amara is an excellent choice for each and every kind of quilting project, despite the fact that it may be customized to a very tiny or very big size. The HQ Amara is a long arm machine with a 20-inch working length and an HQ-Studio2 frame (10 or 12 feet).
Adjustable and programmable controls are located on the handles. Additionally, the handles may be readily adjusted to function as micro handles. Because of this, you will have your hands immediately over the quilt, allowing you to manage the machine accurately while maintaining your safety. When it comes to tiny stippling and quilting around appliqués, this function will come in handy for you.
When seen from the front, the handwheel is simple and straightforward to use. To spin the handwheel, it is no longer necessary to go all the way around the table.
During operation, you will have access to LED illumination in the region of the channel, needle, and bobbin. When working with huge designs that can be completed in a short amount of time, you will always have an excellent overview of the quilt. The LED light source in the bobbin region guarantees that a clear view of the bobbin casing may be obtained. Because of this, inserting the bobbin is made much simpler.
You won’t want to miss the laser demonstration that will take place in the needle area. It denotes the precise place at where the needle was inserted. That way, you’ll be able to begin or resume quilting precisely where you wish to do so.
5. Quilter's Pro Longarm Quilting Machine
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A quilting machine known as the Quilter’s Pro has a throat area that is 18 inches wide and is designed to work with a frame that is either 10 or 12 feet in length. It is an entry-level quilting machine that is relatively affordable and comes with additional features like as a one-year guarantee, an oil reservoir, a bobbin winder, and the biggest bobbin in its class. The machine also incorporates ergonomically curved handles located on both the back and the front of the device.
Quilters who want a machine that is simple to use, comes with additional capabilities, and requires little in the way of maintenance or service will find this to be the most inexpensive option.
A reconditioned LED iPad Mini with a screen size of 7.9 inches is included in this deal. Using Bluetooth technology, you can establish a wireless connection between this and your machine. By downloading the machine’s program from the web store, you will have access to all of its functions as well as the controls for operating it.
6. Handi Quilter Forte 24 Long Arm Quilting Machine
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Quilting choices are available on a 24 inch width with the HQ Forte. You’ll be able to construct even more quilts and let your imagination run wild thanks to its myriad of practical uses, as well as the clearing space they provide. The HQ Forte 24 inch long-arm machine has been purpose-built to work in conjunction with the HQ Gallery2 Frame TM (you can choose a 10 or a 12-foot frame).
Although this handwheel can be turned easily from the front, there is no longer any need to go all the way around the table to access it. The machine contains a point laser in the needle region in addition to a well-lit transmission area that is 24 inches in diameter.
In addition to that, this comes with the proprietary Easy-Set TensionTM, which is a computerized adjustment for the thread tension. You also have a touchscreen that is seven inches in size (if you add the Pro-Stitcher®, you may use the tablet as the display for the machine instead). In addition to it, there is the menu-driven QuiltMaster TM LED lighting package, which includes lights for the spool, the needle bar, and the throat of the machine.
As all of the essential internal wiring has already been pre-installed, the machine may be used for the Pro-Stitcher® as soon as it is turned on. Each and every stitch is flawless because to the servo-controlled stitch regulator included in the QuiltMaster.
7. Quilter's Pro Deluxe Longarm Quilting Machine
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Although it has a narrower throat area, the Quilter’s Pro Deluxe may be used with either a 10- or 12-foot frame. The neck space of the machine is just 18 inches, but it is equipped with a 9.7-inch iPad Pro, making it the machine that is fitted with the biggest sized touchscreen.
In addition to this, it comes with Comfort Grip handles that can be adjusted to fit your needs. The Quilter’s Pro, in contrast to the HQ Forte 24, is equipped with handles in both the front and the back. This machine’s controlled stitches and automated needle positioner are two of our favorite features since they make it so much simpler to use than other models. In addition to it, there is a bobbin winder included inside the machine.
This machine is more affordable than the versions offered by Handi Quilter, in contrast to the goods that were examined and assessed before. The machine has a direct drive motor that is capable of stitching at a rate of over 2,000 times per minute.
8. King Quilter II ELITE Long Arm Quilting Machine
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The King Quilter 2 Elite is the longarm quilting machine of the future! It provides a two-piece computer numerically controlled casting as well as a stitch regulating system that is state of the art (2,200 stitches per minute).
This dependable workhorse guarantees outstanding performance at an affordable cost. It takes everything that you liked about the previous King Quilter and elevates it to new heights by adding greater dependability and interesting new features.
You do not need to be concerned about its steadiness since it is now more sturdy than in the past. Quilting will feel like a breeze with this model since it is both durable and well-built. It has design characteristics that are durable and can be maintained with ease.
9. Consew Premier 1255RBL-18 Single Needle Long Arm
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The Consew Premier 1255RBL-18 Single Needle Sewing Machine packs a lot of features into a single unit. You can count on this longarm to be the machine you can depend on, despite the fact that it is not as technologically sophisticated as the alternatives that have been discussed.
10. Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 Versa Longarm Quilting Machine
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Finally, the Janome long-arm quilting machine is another outstanding model that was designed with both novice and seasoned quilters in mind. The space in the neck is 18 inches, while the space in the vertical direction is 8 inches.
The working area is four times larger than the quilting space offered by conventional sewing machines for the house. Installing and putting it together doesn’t take up a lot of time. The most exciting part? It can do 2,200 stitches in a single minute.
The table is the part of this machine that appeals to me the most. The height of the table may be adjusted with relative ease from 25.5 inches to 39.5 inches. This model comes with the Versa Table, which has an integrated stitch regulator for the Versa system.
There are two different ways of stitch regulation available for your selection. In addition to it, there is a programmable high-definition color touch screen. It makes it simple to access all of the configuration options. In addition to that, you will have a quilting alarm and timer.
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We finish off by answering some of the common questions about the best long arm quilting machine :
A. Due to it’s length, this kind of quilting machine is known as a “long arm” model. The primary reasons for such lengthy arm are the neck space, as well as the total working area. When there is more room in the neck area, the quilt may be made in a larger size. To tell you the truth, a quilt has a certain measurement. It is possible to place an order for a custom-sized quilt that is even larger than the king-size quilts available for purchase. But they are very unusual occurrences. Layers are a component of quilting. The top, the batting, and the backing all need to be handled correctly before they can be sewn together. Therefore, there is a need for a clear and unobstructed working space all the way around and beneath the long arm.
A. A maximum of 80 square feet of area is required for a frame that is 10 feet in length. You may experiment with the smaller frames or the quilting machines that have tabletop surfaces if you do not have access to a significant amount of open area. These are very little, yet they are capable of stitching a king-size quilt with no problem. In addition, if you have a sufficient amount of room, you have the option of purchasing larger frames, such as a Gallery2 frame that is 12 feet long. It is not the machine itself; rather, it is the frame that takes up a significant amount of area.
A. Sewing machines and quilting machines are not that unlike from one another in terms of their structure or their operation. In point of fact, a number of machines have the capacity to sew as well as quilt.
One of the most notable distinctions that can be made between quilting machines and sewing machines is the amount of workspace that is provided on the machine. In comparison to sewing machines, quilting machines include a substantially larger work area, which makes it much simpler to complete massive projects.
Quilting machines may also feature greater stitching speeds and specialized presser foot, which can make it easier to complete tasks in a shorter amount of time while giving them a more expert look. They are quite skilled in making quilts of a variety of configurations and dimensions.
A. Yes! If you want your project to go off without a hitch and turn out its finest, you’re going to require a walking foot. The top of your quilt will effectively have an additional set of feed dogs if you install a walking foot. However, despite the fact that this may not seem like a big deal, it really is.
The tops of quilts often have a lot of seams, which leads in the overall product having a lot of mass. The volume of the finished product increases noticeably with the addition of the batting.
A standard sewing machine may be transformed into a quilting machine by adding a walking foot to the machine. If it did not have it, a standard presser foot would press against the top layer and move toward you because of the bulk. This will result in a quilt that is rumpled and clumped together, which is not a pleasing appearance.
A. Working with many layers of thick fabric is significantly simplified by the use of a walking foot, which also functions as an additional set of feed dogs. The top layer of the walking foot scoots along at the same speed as the one below it. Since the two layers move in tandem, there is no need to be worried about the possibility of misalignment occurring. When it comes to preventing the fabric from bunching up while you are sewing, they are the most effective method.
The feed dogs on the presser foot grasp the top layer of the fabric and transport it under the needle at the same pace as the feed dog that runs along the length of the machine.
A. Yes. A quilting sewing machine’s accessory pack could already come with a walking foot already attached to it. On the other hand, you may get them independently for your PC (in most cases). It may be difficult to track down a walking foot for an older sewing machine, but the majority of the most up-to-date machines come with the option to purchase one as an accessory.
The best long arm quilting machine is a time and labor saver for quilters of all skill levels. And add some fun to your time spent stitching.
King Quilter II Longarm Quilting Machine is a great option if you’re looking for a machine that’s both simple to use and customizable. Choose between the Quilter’s Pro Longarm Quilting Machine and the Consew Premier 1255RBL-18 Single Needle Long Arm machines if you’re on a tighter budget. They are trustworthy, long lasting, user pleasant, simple to use, and simple to keep up.
This shopping guide was written with the hopes of assisting you in making a purchase that is suitable for both your requirements and your budget. In the comments, you may tell us what you think or ask us questions about what we wrote.
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