Buying a suitable machine for your crafty ventures is not among the most straightforward tasks (I wish it were). The complexity seemingly quadruples when looking for a sewing machine that can also quilt and embroider.
In such cases, a typical sewing machine won’t make the cut.
You need to look for a specific machine like the Brother SE1900. These units have the necessary components to handle embroidery and quilting.
In this article, I’ll draw expertise from my embroidery work and suggest the 7 best sewing machines for quilting and embroidery you can purchase in 2023.
Table of Contents
- 1 Sewing, Quilting, Embroidery: What’s the Difference?
- 2 7 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting & Embroidery
- 3 Do you need a special sewing machine for quilting and embroidery?
- 4 Best Overall Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- 5 Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- 6 Best Premium Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- 7 Best Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery with a large throat
- 8 Best Portable Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- 9 Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery: Best of the rest
Sewing, Quilting, Embroidery: What’s the Difference?
Buying a suitable sewing machine for quilting and embroidery starts with the basics. And that is learning the fundamental differences between sewing, quilting, and embroidery.
As a refresher, here are the definitions of the three terms:
- Sewing – Sewing is the process of passing stitches through the edges of two separate fabric pieces to bind them together. This process is also known as seaming. The objective here is to increase the functionality of the individual fabrics. Besides that, sewing also involves patching up a frayed or torn garment.
- Quilting – Quilting is like sewing in that you stitch together layers of fabric. But the difference is you sew three layers instead of two. The third layer is the batting layer, which is a warm, puffy insulation fabric sandwiched between two layers: top and backing.
- Embroidery – Embroidery is passing stitches through the fabric to create decorative partners. As opposed to sewing and quilting, embroidery aims to enhance the visual aspect of the fabric rather than the functional aspect. Besides yarn or thread, embroidery artists also use beads and quills for their designs.
Related: Best Embroidery Machine For Hoodies
The nature of the work is the same in all three types of needlework. But differences arise in terms of purpose, process, and project result.
These differences later play a deciding factor in the type of machine you’d be buying.
7 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting & Embroidery
- Best Overall: Brother SE1900
- Best for Beginners: Brother SE600
- Best Premium: Bernette 79
- Best with Large Throat: Janome MC6650
- Best Portable: Singer Legacy SE300
- Best of the rest: AVERMA ES3 & EverSewn Sparrow X2
Related: Best Longarm Quilting Machine in 2023: Top 6 Picks
Do you need a special sewing machine for quilting and embroidery?
No, you do not need a particular sewing machine for quilting and embroidery if you’re open to free-hand embroidery. If so, any mid-size sewing machine can be used for quilting and embroidery projects.
First, there isn’t much difference between the sewing and quilting process. You must select the correct thread, foot, and needle and stitch together the three fabric layers. So you can use just about any sewing machine for quilting.
However, in a quilting machine, you’ll have these added features:
- A bigger workspace
- An extension table
- Specialized foot like dual-feed foot, quarter-inch foot, free motion foot
- More number of stitch options (in computerized units only)
But the relationship between sewing and embroidery is radically different. If you’re not open to free-motion embroidery, which involves adjusting the fabric with your hands to create the design pattern, you’re better off buying an embroidery machine.
You’ll have two options to choose from:
As the name suggests, these machines are dedicated to embroidery work. They don’t operate like a conventional sewing machine and hence cannot produce most of the sewing patterns.
These are better than sewing machines and feature an ample working space. You can easily embroider most designs on a wide range of fabric and materials.
Combo machines are what you should look for when buying a sewing machine for quilting and embroidery. These are capable of both sewing and embroidery. While you can do only one type of activity simultaneously, they’re nevertheless versatile.
To switch from sewing to embroidery, you simply have to change the unit and make some adjustments on the touchscreen. Within a few minutes, you can start embroidery on the same machine you were sewing. These are more expensive than other machine types but are worth the price.
Now that you know what you should look for, here are my top 8 recommended sewing machines for quilting and embroidery:
Best Overall Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- Brand – Brother
- Dimensions – 23.19 x 13.43 x 11.54 “
- Weight – 22 lbs
- Working area – 5 x 7 “
- Built-in Designs – 138 embroidery; 240 stitches
The SE1900 is arguably the best sewing machine for quilting and embroidery. With a full metal design and ample working space, you can work on any needlework project with this machine.
This machine is an embroidery-first machine. That’s because of the 5 X 7 ” large working area (with a 5 X 7″ hoop included), 138 built-in designs, and a sizeable LCD touchscreen. You can set and preview the designs before embroidering. You can always load more designs using the USB cable.
Advanced features like an upgraded needle threader, automatic reverse stitches, automatic thread trimming, and automatic tension default help you get started quickly.
Switching from embroidery to sewing is as simple as changing a few parts. Once done, you can use this as a regular oversized sewing machine. There are close to 240 stitch patterns for you to choose from, and you can always customize them.
The Brother quilting and embroidery machine stitches at a speed of 850 spm, which is quite impressive.
Besides embroidery and sewing, the SE1900 handles quilting with equal ease. You can drop the feed dogs, install a spring-action quilting foot (not included in accessories), and quilt right at your home! There are four quilting stitches available in the settings.
The SE1900 ships with a knee lifter to lift the presser foot. So you work hands-free without interruption.
- Beginner-friendly and easy to use
- Large working area
- Knee lifter to lift pressure foot hands-free
- Cannot cut jump stitches
Best Beginner Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- Brand – Brother
- Dimensions – 21.18 x 15.51 x 16.54 “
- Weight – 26.2 lbs
- Working area – 4 x 4″
- Built-in Designs – 80 embroidery; 103 stitches
The SE600 is an entry-level combo machine from Brother. Although it’s inferior to SE1900, it’s an excellent tool for embroidery and sewing in one device.
The machine saw significant upgrades from the previous SE400 and is now much easier to use for sewing and embroidery. You have an automatic needle threader and the jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin to quickly set it up within minutes.
Select one of the 80 built-in embroidery designs from the 3.2″ LCD Touchscreen Display to start embroidering. Similarly, for stitching, there are 103 built-in options to choose from.
Despite being an entry-level product, it has a larger throat space than conventional sewing machines. This — along with the built-in free arm — makes quilting and embroidery much easier.
Among the accessories, you get seven presser feet, which you can use interchangeably to suit the project requirements.
Brother SE600 is the best sewing machine for quilting for under $500. Thus, it is the ideal combo machine for beginners that can also serve as a spare machine for advanced crafters.
- Easy to use for beginners
- Built-in LED lights for better visibility, especially in the dark
- Large and responsive touchscreen
- Limited working space
Best Premium Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- Brand – Bernette
- Dimensions – 22.5 x 21.5 x 18.5 “
- Weight – 43.5 lbs
- Working area – 6 x 10″
- Built-in Designs – 108 embroidery; 500 stitches
The Bernette 79 is the best-in-class combo machine that breaches almost all industry averages. Whether built, functional, or looks, this machine is superior to all.
You’ll first notice the oversized hoop area of 6 x 10′. This is the biggest I’ve seen of all the machines. You can sew, quilt, and embroider bigger, intricate designs on various fabric types.
Another corroboration of the 79’s superiority is 500 built-in stitches. This includes 35 quilting stitches and 133 decorative ones. For embroidery, you have 108 built-in stitches. These will help to kickstart the project faster, and the impressive stitching rate of 1,000 spm will help you wrap it up just as quickly.
The Bernette 79 also has a dual-feed system that feeds the fabric evenly.
You can unlock the machine’s full potential by integrating with the BERNINA Cloud and Toolbox (the proprietary software).
At the time of reviewing, Bernette offered $500 worth of embroidery design free with every purchase! With these, you can take your artwork to the next level.
- Compatible with almost all embroidery file formats
- More than 500 built-in stitches, including 35 quilting stitches
- Large working area
Best Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery with a large throat
- Brand – Janome
- Dimensions – 9 x 20 x 12 “
- Weight – 24.25 lbs
- Working area – 6 x 10″
- Built-in Designs – 170 stitches
If you prioritize speed while sewing or quilting, you must buy a machine with a large throat. This unit from Janome features a 10″ all-metal seamless flatbed for handling more extensive projects.
With this ample working space, you’ll spend less time adjusting and realigning the fabric. This feature is absolutely necessary for free motion quilting. To help with speed, the MC6650 can stitch at 1,000 stitches per minute. There are over 172 built-in stitches to choose from.
The unit has a top loading bobbin system, built-in needle threader, 7-piece feed dog, and adjustable pressure foot.
The MC6650 is geared more towards advanced sewists, but beginners will also benefit from it.
While this machine is perfect for sewing and quilting, it cannot embroider. You’re limited to free-motion embroidery. But you’ll have ample embroidery stitches and alphabets to play with if you’re up for it.
- Ample working space for free handcrafting
- Stitches faster at 1,000 spm
- A high number of accessories included for sewing and quilting
Best Portable Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery
- Brand – Singer
- Dimensions – 8 x 20.25 x 12.25 “
- Weight – 18.6 lbs
- Working area – 6 x 10.25″
- Built-in Designs – 200 embroidery; 250 stitches
The SE300 is marketed as a portable sewing machine that can also embroider.
Although it’s bigger than sewing-only machines, you can easily carry it around. It weighs under 20 pounds, which is impressive for a combo machine. And it doesn’t take up much space either.
Despite being a compact machine, you have an oversized 6 x 10.25 ” of field size. Thus, you can embroider more significant designs on the go. There are 200 designs to choose from, along with six fonts.
You can also experiment with over 250 stitches on various fabrics. If you’re an avid quilter, you’ll love these too! The USB stick allows you to import more to take your game to the next level.
It ships with ten different types of presser feet to offer further versatility.
The SE300 operates exceptionally smoothly and quietly, which is another perk if you don’t want others to get disturbed. All in all, it can be your travel companion and produce excellent stitches anywhere, anytime.
- Lightweight and portable
- Large working space
- Operates super quietly
- Editing options inferior to other models
Sewing Machine for Quilting & Embroidery: Best of the rest
- Brand – AVERMA
- Dimensions – 17.52 x 14.37 x 15.16 “
- Weight – 18.74 lbs
- Working area – 3.94 x 9.25″
- Built-in Designs – 96 embroidery; 160 stitches
The ES3 is a mid-range combo machine from AVERMA, a relatively unknown entity in the sewing industry. But given the features included in the device, it’s well worth the consideration.
To begin with, there’s an ample working space, which makes ES3 suited for most quilting and embroidery projects. Measuring almost 4 X 10 “, you can do both computerized and free-hand embroidery. There are 96 built-in designs for you to choose from, and you can import them in DST format via USB cable.
While the embroidery designs are limited, there’s an overflow of in-built stitch patterns. You have more than 160 designs available. To make every type of stitching possible, nine presser feet and a host of other accessories are included. For embroidery hooping, there are two hoops.
Last but not least, the ES3 features an extra-large 7″ touchscreen. The bigger screen ensures you don’t have to squint every time you want to select or edit the design. Moreover, it’s portable, just like the Singer SE300.
All in all, it’s a value-for-money sewing machine that you can use for quilting and embroidery.
- Beginner-friendly and easy to use
- Large working space
- Oversized LCD touchscreen
- It supports a few embroidery file formats
- Brand – EverSewn
- Dimensions – 8 x 18 x 12.5 “
- Weight – 20 lbs
- Working area – 4.75 x 7″
- Built-in Designs – 100 embroidery; 120 stitches
The Sparrow X2 is among the most technically advanced combo sewing machines. Technically, not in the sense that it has superior sewing components, but because it integrates with a smartphone and hence can be operated remotely.
You can download the official EverSewn Pro app from the iOS or Android app store and connect it to the machine wirelessly. The app allows you to select and design your embroidery pattern on a bigger screen.
You can readily transfer the design onto the machine and have it on the fabric within minutes. And you don’t even have to be in front of the unit!
Concerning its embroidery capabilities, it has over 100 designs and features a sizeable 4.5 x 7 ” of working area. With every purchase, you get two hoops in the accessories box. The stitching speed of 650 spm is appreciable.
The sewing capabilities are even more impressive. You get over 120 built-in stitches and can expand further. You also have advanced capabilities like an auto needle threader, auto thread trimming, auto tension adjustment, one-step buttonhole, and speed control knob.
You’ll love this combo unit if you prefer experimenting with your designs.
- Controlled remotely via an app
- Large embroidery area and free arm
- Advanced tension adjustment
- Learning curve involved