[[https://www.sewvacdirect.com/]], quilting machines
Depending on the quilting you expect to do and how much time you'd like to spend, an appropriate quilting machine can cost less than $200 all the way up to $10,000 and more.
Relax - most quilters are near the low end of this range and at the lowest end, you don't even need a machine at all.
Despite the many tedious hours it takes, some people still prefer traditional hand quilting for true pride in workmanship.
At the next level, conventional sewing machines are fine for most, if not all, of the stages of making a quilt.
Then there's a big step up to long-arm quilting machines, typically costing $1,000 to $2,000 and the frames that move the machine and quilt can easily cost just as much.
Finally, there are computerized and mechanized machines that can complete a quilt almost by themselves.
The Stages of Making a Quilt
Essential stages of quilt making and the demands they place on quilting sewing machines typically include:
The first step is making the individual pieces to be sewn together that can be almost any shape, a process that many people consider to be the most creative step.
Quilters can select various materials, colors, and fabric patterns, add embroidery and more.
This stage of quilting doesn't require a special quilting machine; just about any good quality sewing machine will be fine.
If you're especially creative, you might even do this by hand.
Some people enjoy embroidery machines that can do embroidery patterns. Although more expensive than a basic machine, the added cost is relatively small and the machines are quite easy to use.
The next stage is putting all those pieces together is appropriately called piecing!
Here you can be quite creative as you combine colors and textures into patterns for the overall quilt. Doing this by hand would be quite tedious, yet low-cost sewing machines are just fine.
A table extension accessory can be handy, making it easier to maneuver things as the pieced quilt grows bigger and bigger and a long-arm machine is a bit more convenient here if you make a lot of quilts, especially bigger ones.
The final stage is the quilting itself, combining the beautiful top layer with batting and a bottom layer.
This involves a huge number of fairly regular stitches, so it's truly tedious to do this by hand and many people do some machine quilting here.
It's this stage that puts the greatest demands on a quilting machine. Many sewing machines can handle that final quilting as long as they have at least one quilting stitch and a quilting foot which can often be found or added as a separate accessory.
With regular sewing machines, it can be time-consuming and a bit frustrating to manage a huge quilt under the small reach of the sewing head.
Here's where long-arm machines shine, making this stage a whole lot easier.
Having a frame that slides the machine one way and rolls the quilt the other way can make this final stage a breeze; however, at a cost of thousands of dollars and more, you need to make a lot of quilts to justify the cost.
Many people do the piecing of a quilt top themselves, than pay someone a much smaller amount to do the final quilting for them.
Choosing Your Machine
As you might expect, most people use the lower-cost machines which makes it important to choose a brand and model that's reliable, rugged, and has the stitches and feet you'll need.
A quilting sewing machine also needs to have enough power to handle the thick stack of pieced top, batting, and back fabric. When making a selection, go online to check for customer reviews with an eye out for those that mention quilting machines.