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A sit-down long-arm quilting machine is a notable investment, which makes it more important to do proper research on them before you make a purchase. By making proper research, you’ll not only be buying a machine that’s packed with surprising features, but you’ll also find one that’s right on the budget.
However, doing your research is boring and time-consuming. Not everyone likes doing it – so they end up buying whatever they find first. Unfortunately, this is an easy recipe for disaster.
That’s why we’ve decided to write this article on your behalf. After conducting thorough research, we came up with 5 of the best sit down long arm quilting machines and gave each of them an in-depth review.
Apart from the reviews, we’ll also discuss useful information to help beginners and novices get a clear idea of these machines. So, let’s go and take a look, shall we?
What is a Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine?
A sit-down longarm quilting machine is a machine that you can use while sitting. It is not to be confused with a walking foot sewing/quilting machine which stands on the floor and has one or two legs.
By using a longarm quilting machine, you can work on your project while sitting at a comfortable height. If you have used an ordinary sewing machine in the past, then you will find it easy to use a sit-down long arm quilting machine.
It is a device that offers a motionless design that allows you to move the fabric to quilt. These machines are built with generous throat space to accommodate large quilts with ease.
This unique feature makes it a favorite among quilters. New designs are also more compact so that you can mount them in any workshop with ease. That also makes them highly giftable.
Best Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine Reviews – (with pros and cons)
Juki TL-2200 QVP Sit Down Quilter
- 35" Width
- Comes with the Table and Stand
- Adjustable 30"-34" Height
- Foot Control
- Exclusive Thread Trimmer
At the top of our list is the Juki TL-2200 QVP Sit Down Quilter. This machine is designed to ensure comfort and convenience, especially when the quilter operates it while sitting down. That makes it a great solution for those who can’t work while standing up for long periods.
One of the features we love about this Juki sit-down quilting machine is its large, adjustable table. It’s equipped with an optional leaf that lets it reach up to 50 inches wide. This feature gives you more working space to get the job done better.
Additionally, the Juki TL-2200 QVP Sit Down Quilter comes with a 10-foot Grace Virtuoso King frame and a large full-screen color display with a touch screen. These features make it easy to operate, so even beginners won’t have a hard time with this machine.
To ensure the best results, you can easily adjust the stitch speed on this device. All its buttons are easy to read, and its highly intuitive control panel makes quilting a breeze.
And to make things even easier for us, its laser-point guide can help you make accurate and even stitches. It even has built-in thread trimmers to help deliver neat and high-quality results.
Without a doubt, the Juki TL-2200 QVP Sit Down Quilter is the best sit-down quilting machine in the market today.
What we like:
- It offers a large throat area.
- It offers adjustable stitching speeds.
- It is easy to control.
- It comes with a 60-month warranty.
What we don’t like:
- It is not recommended for use when there’s a power outage.
Grace Q’nique 14+ Long Arm Quilting Machine with SR2 Frame
The Grace Q’nique 14+ with SR2 Frame is another top contender for the best quilting machines in the market. Aside from being a full-sized machine, it also has a useful stitch regulator to produce professional-level masterpieces.
It has an onboard computer and all the advantages the computer is capable of providing. It features a bright and legible OLED screen. The screen can show you sewing settings for your current project, as well as an easy-to-understand menu system. These features make operation a breeze.
The Grace Q’nique 14+ offers four different modes: manual, precise, cruise, and baste. The precise mode can get exact stitches per inch, regardless of how quickly you move along the quilt. The cruise mode is capable of keeping the stitches per inch setting and adding a minimum stitch speed.
The baste mode will let you do long-lasting stitches around the edges of your quilt, and the manual mode will keep you in charge of everything. In this mode, you’ll be able to handle the stitch speed with the buttons on the handle. These work modes are bound to help you handle anything thrown your way.
There’s no doubt that the Q’nique is the best sit-down long-arm quilting machine for serious quilters for its versatility and reliable performance.
What we like:
- It produces very neat stitches.
- It offers four different sewing modes.
- It comes with comfort-grip handles.
- It has an easy-access bobbin mechanism.
What we don’t like:
- It is hard to set up.
Handi Quilter Moxie Long Arm Quilting Machine
- Comes with a height-adjustable 8-foot HQ Loft Frame for quilts up to 84” wide
- 15-inch throat space and high-resolution, full-color display, and up to 1,800 stitches per minute.
- Built-in stitch regulation and manual stitching modes.
- Built-in LED lighting around the needle.
- 3D interactive assembly instructions with the free BILT app
The Handi Quilter Moxie Long Arm Quilting Machine is inarguably one of the greatest tabletop quilting machines one can find in the market. With this machine, you’ll have full control over every stitch of your quilt – from the first to the last. You’re bound to create intricate pieces with this machine.
What’s most interesting about the Moxie is its impressive stitch speed. It can produce stitches of up to 1800 per minute! If you don’t find that impressive, we don’t know what will. This feature allows you to create an unlimited range of patterns. As a result, you’re guaranteed to work faster and more accurately with this device – perfect for professionals and budding entrepreneurs.
The Handi Quilter Moxie Long Arm Quilting Machine also comes with an 8-foot frame. While it’s not as big as the others on this list, we find this to be a decent size to let you get the job done. This feature also makes it easy to set up in small work areas. The frame is also made of durable powder-coated steel, so you know that it’s built to last for years to come.
We also love how comfortable it is to use. It comes with cushioned handlebars that are easy to grip. All things considered, the Handi Quilter Moxie is obviously designed to ensure the best user experience.
What we like:
- It is easy to operate.
- It can be used for quilts of different sizes.
- It has a user-friendly interface.
- It comes with built-in diagnostics for easy monitoring.
What we don’t like:
- No laser to mark the needle position.
Grace Q’nique 15R Midarm Quilting Machine
For those who prefer a midarm quilting machine, the Grace Q’nique 15R is perfect for you. With its computerized controls and reliable performance, the sky’s the limit to what you can create.
Perhaps the best feature on the Q’nique 15R is its seemingly unlimited needle position option. And we mean it – you can place it wherever and however you want. This allows you to unleash your creative side and create the quilts of your dreams.
What’s more, this quilting machine can make mundane tasks a lot easier. With simple control adjustments, you can either connect the seams or stitch corners within a few minutes. Now that’s something we all want to do.
Like the Q’nique 14+, the Q’nique 15R also comes with four stitching modes to maximize your quilting time. Speed control is also available, so you can adjust accordingly when you’re using different fabrics. And that guarantees the best results.
With over 200 stitches and patterns to choose from, there’s no doubt that the Grace Q’nique 15R Midarm Quilting Machine means serious business. That’s why it deserves a spot on this list.
What we like:
- It has a user-friendly interface.
- The electronic display offers hassle-free operation.
- It offers four stitching modes and adjustable speeds.
- It comes with free accessories.
What we don’t like:
- It is not easy to assemble.
Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine
Last but not the least, the Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine is regarded as a high-quality, high-performance electrically powered manual guided machine. It comes equipped with a variable stitching speed, a specifically designed collapsible worktable, and a lamp attached to the machine’s head.
It has an 18-inch throat space and uses easy-to-access advanced control settings. With these settings, you’ll be able to sew a custom design to your quilt with ease. The head of the machine is designed compactly. It weighs only 43 pounds.
The shipping package includes the machine head and the installation hardware, which contains an encoder setting, power cable, and screwdrivers. The package also includes things like an encoder setting, power cable, screwdrivers, and most importantly, the sewing machine oil to lubricate the moving parts.
Moreover, this easy-to-use machine makes use of a gear-driven power transfer system that is equipped with gears and shafts. Well-lubricated heavy-duty bushings and bearings hold the shafts in place.
What we like:
- Easy to use.
- Creates stitches of high quality.
- Easy to look after.
- Dual thread capability.
What we don’t like:
- Lacks a stitch regulation feature.
Top 5 features you should be looking for in your new longarm quilting machine
- The maximum quilt width that the machine can handle.
- How many bobbins are included with the machine, and how many more will I need to purchase separately.
- The type of bobbin – plastic or metal – impacts thread tension and stitch quality.
- What is the weight of the top fabric that you can sew on this machine without damaging it?
- Does this particular model come with a built-in light for sewing in low-light conditions, such as at night time or in a basement studio space?
Types of Longarm Quilting
There are typically 2 major types of longarm quilting. They are; pantograph designs and custom work.
A pantograph design refers to a long design that mainly runs through the entire length of the table. This type of design is located beneath the plastic layer on the table. You can trace this design using either a stylus or laser on the head of the machine. Pantograph designs are the most popular option as it requires minimal to zero efforts on your part.
Custom works are perfect for those who like to sew different designs on each block or area of the quilt. This method is great at making the quilt look more professionally sewn. However, it costs more as it takes a lot of time and requires more attention to detail.
Types of Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machines
There are two types of sit-down longarm quilting machines: the floor model and mounted frame models.
Stand-alone mounted frame models with built in frames have a sturdy construction, which makes them highly preferred by experienced quilters.
On the other hand, floor models allow for easy mobility since they can be moved from one place to another easily. If you are interested in quilting but don’t want to make a long-term investment, then a floor model is recommended.
Tips for using your new Quilting machine correctly and safely
There’s more to quilting machines than what meets the eyes. To make the most of these machines, take note of the following tips for the best results.
- Large workspace. As much as possible, make sure that you have a wide and extended work area. This will allow you to freely move the fabric around and see what it looks like as a whole.
- Color harmony. You can easily tell when the seeming explosion of colors does not well put a quilt together. We recommend using the same colors on top and in the bobbin for more harmonious and eye-pleasing results.
- Sketch before quilting. By doing this, you get an idea of where each stitch goes to get a clean outcome. Heading straight to quilting can be quite careless, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
- Practice. It will take a while for you to get a hang of the machine. As long as you keep practicing, you’ll be more familiar with it over time.
- Baste properly. Basting is pretty simple, but you’ll end up with ugly fabric wrinkles if you don’t do it properly. Always take the time to learn how it’s done properly.
- Machine Maintenance. Always clean the machine after every use to ensure an efficient performance every time. Also, check the user’s manual for more information on taking proper care of your quilting machine.
- Change the needles. Speaking of machine maintenance, you may also need to change the needles regularly. Over time, these needles will become dull, so piercing through the fabric won’t be easy. When you notice that it’s no longer as swift as it used to, it’s probably time to replace them.
Also, you might want to consider using heavier needles. These work well with different fabrics and can punch through thick ones with ease.
- Lower your foot pressure. The biggest mistake that beginners make is to apply too much pressure when operating the machine. Instead, learn how to control it to ensure the best results.
- Safety First. Before operating the machine, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear – like quilting gloves to protect your fingers. You’ll never know when an accident might happen, so it’s best to stay protected.
Which are the most popular Long Arm Quilting Machine brands on the market
The Grace Company has been successfully able to take the position of the leading manufacturer of sit-down longarm machines for over 25 years. What truly distinguishes this company from other well-renowned companies is its quality, value, and experience level toward all of its endeavors.
The Grace Company efficiently responds to market and customer requirements, starting from products to external and internal customer experience. No wonder why they’re continuing to lead the quilting industry. Their long-arm quilting machines are well built and compatible. With them, quilting will seem like a piece of cake.
Handi Quilter is another top-notch brand involved in prefabricating sit-down long arm machines. This brand generates reliable, low-maintenance quilting machines, which most people, nowadays, are looking for. Their manufactured machines make it easy to finish more quilts and look great in the studio.
Whether you like to quilt for fun, charity, or profit, with Handi Quilter’s innovative technology and quality engineering, you’ll have the necessary functionality, as well as the smoothest stitch in the industry.
Longarm quilting machines from Juki are built with industrial sewing machine technology. With their machines, you’ll be able to boost your creativity and expand your artistry to greater levels. So far, the TL-2200QVP is one of the greatest machines this brand has manufactured.
Post you may also like: Innova Long Arm Quilting Machine Reviews
Long Arm Quilting Machine vs. Regular Quilting Machine
The throat space mainly refers to the space shared between the needle and the body of the machine. Sewing something as large and big as a quilt requires a lot of space. Otherwise, it becomes quite difficult to accommodate the bulk of the project.
Regular quilting machines feature between 8-9 inches of horizontal space in the throat space. This kind of throat space makes it challenging enough to maneuver a quilt through the machine, which often causes you to do a less professional stitching job.
On the other hand, long arm sewing machines feature a lot more space in their throat. Some of them even have as much as 20 vertical inches to accommodate all sorts of large projects, including quilts.
This will prevent you from repositioning the quilt in the needle, again and again, as well as sewing in awkward positions when the quilt’s not fitting through the opening.
Power and Speed
Regular quilting machines usually operate at a maximum speed of 800 to 1400 stitches per minute (SPM). However, some regular quilting machines are either commercial or industrial grade. These machines sometimes have speeds and power that fall in the middle of regular quilting machines and long arm quilting machines.
These machines equipped with such power are great for making quilts. However, they might not provide the same results when you use them for larger projects.
Meanwhile, long arm quilting machines are industrial grade, and they operate with the power they get from an installed powerful motor. This motor is the reason why these machines can go much faster.
Moreover, some of them are so powerful that they can easily reach speeds of 2000 SPM. Though this extra speed seems redundant for quilting, it’s necessary for sewing through multiple layers of fabric and other huge projects.
How to find affordable longarm quilting machines?
Finding affordable long arm quilting machines is quite tough and difficult to do so. Most of them come with price points between $8,000 and $15,000. This makes it impossible for everyday home users to buy one, especially those with a limited budget.
However, that necessarily doesn’t mean there aren’t any affordable longarm quilting machines in the market. There are a few inexpensive options like the ones from Sew Steady.
They come with an acrylic table that can place the machine’s head in a position where it can face you, therefore letting you experience a quilting experience similar to a sit-down longarm.
One of the best features of these longarm machines, apart from their affordability, is their portability. So, if you want to find affordable ones, search for ones that Sew Steady manufactures.
What is the Grace Q-Zone Queen Frame, and how does it work?
The Q-Zone is a quilting frame that uses a 2-rail system for ease of use and improved fabric control. The frame is designed to ensure smooth fabric loading for accurate placement and neat outcomes. It uses Quilt Clips to control the fabric for better layering.
The Grace Q-Zone is also designed to promote use with quilting machines, so you don’t have to worry about a stressful setup. And for your convenience, you can choose between any of its setup modes: the space-saving crib or the generous queen.
What can a long-arm quilting machine do?
A long arm quilting is very powerful. Due to its massive power, it can sew at better speeds, which is one of the best things it can do. Also, you don’t need to baste it. You can load and sew on it at the same time without any hassle. Therefore, you’ll be able to save enough of your time.
What do we need to consider when buying longarm quilting machines?
When buying longarm quilting machines, there are a number of factors we need to consider. Some of these important factors include throat space, SPM, stitch regulation, sturdiness, size, and format. We also must consider easy navigation and control, as well as features and accessories it comes with before we make a purchase.
What is the Price Range of Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machines?
On an average, a new floor-model quilting machine will cost between $5,000 and $10,000. When buying this type of model, you should also consider the cost of accessories such as a frame and thread stand. If purchasing a used long arm quilting machine is more affordable for you, then this option should also be considered. There are several online sites that can help you find the best long arm quilting machine for your needs at a reasonable price.
Final thoughts about the best sit down long arm quilting machines available today
So which is the best long arm quilting machine? We’ve done our research and found that Juki TL-2200QVP-S Sit Down Long Arm Sewing Machine has all you need. No more kneeling on a cold floor to finish your project since this one lets you sit down! Plus, it comes with some really cool features like an automatic needle threader so those pesky threads just won’t be able to get in your way anymore.
When it’s about a job, time matters the most. It means everything. Doing stitches manually subsides that time, and for that, it’s obvious for most quilters to claim a much higher price. As a result, a huge number of people stop showing interest in purchasing a quilt that’s way out of their budget.
So, if you want to get more customers without making them worry about the price tag, spend your money on buying the best sit-down longarm quilting machine. With this kind of machine, you’ll be able to create bunches of perfect, excellent quilts in time, as well as stay in business.