Free Motion Quilting or FMQ might seem overwhelming to master. Hearing it may give us thrills, whether thrilled as to excitement or thrilled as to be fearful. For beginners, it is like climbing a mountain that will need a lot of patience and perseverance to achieve success. It takes a lot of practice, practice and practice to perfect it. For experienced hobbyists, they will be thrilled for joy once they have mastered this skill.
Below in this article is a list of our top recommendations for the best sewing machines for free motion quilting.
Best Sewing Machines for Free Motion Quilting Top Picks
1. Janome 2212 Sewing Machine
The Janome 2212 is a great machine for basic sew and go or beginner Sewing Machine that doesn’t cost much. This is a little machine that has the same qualities of the bigger Janome’s sewing machine, solid, very dependable and has a sturdy workhorse that keeps going for years. It is very smooth, precise and all the stitches are perfect there’s definitely no reduction in quality. The best part is it works well with free motion quilting.
- 7 inches
- 15 pounds
- 860 stitches per minute
- 12 Built-in Stitches
- 5 Piece Feed Dog
- 4-step Buttonhole
- Free Arm Drop
- Drop feed – Perfect for Free Motion Quilting
2. Juki TL-2010Q Sewing and Quilting Machine
The Juki TL-2010Q sewing and quilting machine is a high-performance unit that you would love. A dream machine that is sturdy and powerful. A true workhorse machine where free motion and straight line quilting are great on it. The stitch is consistent and it feeds the piecing very well. The feed dogs take the fabric easily. The bobbin loads from the side and most of all it has a larger harp area, it is easy to see what you quilt.
- Large Work Area
- Variable Speed Control Slider
- Bright White LED Lighting
- Industrial Sub-tension System
- Can Handle Large Quilt
- Automatic Thread Trimmer
- Arm and Bed is Constructed of Aluminum Die-casting
- Maximum Predetermined Stop Position of the Needle
3. Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine
The Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine is a tough machine that works amazingly. It is very easy to use and adjust the tension threads when free motion quilting.The bobbins hold a lot of thread so you will not be changing them so often when quilting. Brother PQ1500SL has a wide throat space that you can slide the whole queen size quilt without even rolling it up.
This sewing machine is best for experienced hobbyists because it sews faster than a sports car which is scary at first until you can learn to control the speed. This is a heavy sewing machine which makes for zero vibration when sewing.
- 1,500 Stitches per minute
- Knee Lift
- Precision Pin Feeding System
- Advanced Needle Threading System
- Free Motion Quilting and Walking Foot
- 4 Built-in Feed Dog Positions
- Automatic Thread Cutter
- Automatic Needle Threader
- Free Technical Support via Live Chat or Phone for the life of your machine
4. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
The Singer 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine is a fantastic and reliable machine. It has a neutral aesthetic design, a more modern look than the other Singer units. This machine is capable of sewing heavy duty materials. It has a mirroring capability that opens up a lot of possibilities in using decorative stitches. A much nicer interface using the LCD screen. It is great for beginner to advanced hobbyists. The best part is it is easy to find any in-depth video on how to solve any problems you may run into this machine. This will help you avoid going in to get your machine fixed and help you understand your machine more.
- 850 stitches-per-minute
- 600 Built-In Stitches
- 5 Alphanumeric Fonts
- 13 built-in 1-Step Buttonhole
- 13 Presser Feet
- Mirror Imaging and Stitch Elongation system
- Automatic Needle Threader
- One Touch Stitch Selection
- Easy-to-Load Top Drop-In Bobbin System with Clear Cover
5. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200QCP Special Edition Computerized Sewing Machine
The Janome Memory Craft Horizon 8200 QCP will take you to a whole other level of sewing than the other brands. It has a AcuFeed Flex™ Dual Feed Holder which allows feeding both the bottom and top layer of fabric and synchronizing its movements.
Horizon Memory Craft 8200QCP has five very bright LED lamps for shadow-free sewing and a quiet motor that when you are working in the middle of the night you will not disturb anyone who is sleeping. It also has a large throat (11 inches) that will give you so much space when you are doing your project. We can say that this is the best mid-arm (not regular sized or longarm but in between) perfect for quilters!
- 1,000 spm Sewing Speed
- Speed Control Slider
- Twin Needle Guard
- 170 Built-in Stitches up to 9mm wide, plus 3 Alphabets
- 7-piece Feed Dog
- High Resolution LCD Touchscreen
- Adjustable Knee Lift
- 10 One-step Buttonholes
- AcuFeed Flex™ Dual Feed Holder
- 5 Ultrabright LED Lamps for Shadow-free Sewing
- Advanced Plate Markings
6. Bernina 770QE Sewing Machine with BSR
Bernina is a reputable company in the sewing industry that is known for producing high-quality sewing machines. A lot of hobbyists are using this brand because it gives endless possibilities in sewing and quilting.
Bernina 770QE Sewing Machine with BSR is one of the most recommended sewing machines for Free Motion Quilting. The Bernina Stitch Regulator that comes with this unit will guarantee that you have error-free stitch quality and beautiful results at any speed during free-motion quilting. It has also a Dual feed system that handles special fabrics, whether fine or multiple layers, effortlessly with ease.
The Bernina 770QE Sewing Machine is one of the most advanced sewing machines out there.
- 1000 spm
- Dual Feed
- LED Work Light
- Extended Free-arm for Big Projects
- Bernina Stitch Regulator
- Automatic Buttonhole
- Automatic Presser Foot Lift
- Upper and Lower Thread Indicator
- USB Interface for PC connection and Data Stick
- Changing Stitch Settings while Sewing
- Embroidery Capable
- On-screen Help
No matter which sewing machine you will use for Free Motion Quilting it will still require that you practice a lot to perfect your technique. You may practice on a scrap piece until you get comfortable with the movements. You will learn Free Motion Quilting with enough time and practice so don’t give up!