What To Look For In A Quilting Machine (Video)
Here’s a little video for you no matter where you’re at in your quilting game. If you’re brand new to things and you’re wondering what kind of sewing machine and sewing machine accessories are best for quilting, I’ve got lots of great tips for you. And if you’ve been quilting for a while, but you’re looking for some tools that’ll make quilting easier, I’ll show you those, too!
Let’s talk about quilting! There are two basic types of machine quilting: straight line and free-motion. Straight-line quilting is sewing pieces together much like sewing straight seams, and free-motion quilting is like drawing on your quilt top — you’re creating a pattern using a needle and thread.
If you’re new to quilting, or if you’re looking for tools that will make quilting easier, I’m going to show you some things to look for.
- Look for a sewing machine that has an extension table, which gives you a larger working surface than a regular machine bed.
- And you want to have a lot of room to the right of your needle. The larger this space, the easier it is to maneuver fabric when working on big projects
- If you plan to do free-motion quilting, you’ll need to be able to lower your machine’s feed dogs.
- And look for a machine with a knee lifter, which allows you to raise and lower your presser foot using your knee so you can keep your hands on your project when pivoting.
- A needle-up/down function is another great feature, which can ensure your needle ends IN your fabric to prevent your quilt from shifting and moving each time you stop sewing.
- Now when you’re talking about presser feet, if you’re doing straight-line quilting, you’ll want a walking foot. This adds an extra set of feeddogs on top of your machine, allowing the fabric to feed through evenly, which makes it easier to match patterns.
- Also try a quilting guide. It goes into the back of your walking foot, and you adjust it to the desired width of your seams
- You can also use a 1/4″ foot (6 mm) foot with guide for straight-line quilting. The built-in guide takes the guesswork out of acheiving perfect 1/4″ seams.
- A free-motion foot (sometimes called a darning foot) lets you maneuver the fabric with ease in any direction you want, so this is what you’ll use for free-motion quilting. This clear sole gives you maximum visibility.
All of these features are available on the Brother NQ 900, and the machine comes with each of the accessories I’ve mentioned, plus a whole bunch more. Check out Brother’s entire line of Q-series sewing machines — the Q is for quilting, so you know they’ve got what you need! Please keep me posted on your quilting adventures. I’d love to see what you’re working on!