THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SEWING MACHINE FOR QUILTING
There are several different types of best lightweight sewing machine for quilting. You have mini sewing machines that usually weigh less than 5 pounds. Costs less than $50 or so and can usually run on AA batteries if needed. Then you have full-fledged lightweight machines that weigh less than 15 pounds that are still light enough to transport to and from sewing classes or on trips.
Top picks are based on weight as we focus on portability and overall features and reviews. All of these machines are less than 14 pounds. Three of them are mechanical sewing machines (those are always lighter) and one is a computerized sewing machine if you want touch button controls and automatic functions. Read more about computer vs. mechanical machines if the difference is not clear to you.
TOP THREE LIGHTWEIGHT SEWING MACHINES FOR QUILTING
Best lightweight sewing machine for quilting. These three are full-featured sewing machines from trusted brands, and each one is lightweight. This is an overview of weight, different features and costs. Continue reading below for a more detailed breakdown of each of these machines.
JUKI TL-2000Qi sewing machine for quilting
Weighing in at 37.8 pounds, this sewing machine requires some muscle to move, but provides exceptional performance and durability. The extension table creates an extra wide work surface that is ideal for sewing large quilts. Weighing in at 37.8 pounds, this sewing machine requires some muscle to move, but provides exceptional performance and durability. The extension table creates an extra wide work surface that is ideal for sewing large quilts.
- 1500 stitches per minute
- Silent operation
- Minimal vibration
- Automatic thread cutter
- Difficult to use for beginners
Brother CS6000i Quilting Sewing Machine
At 13 pounds, the Brother CS6000i easily qualifies as a portable sewing machine. This product balances a wealth of useful features with portability. It measures 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches and comes with a hard plastic case. When sewing larger quilts, you can attach a wide work table. Using the LCD screen, you can view and select 60 different stitch styles programmed into the machine.
- Drop-in top coil
- Automatic needle threader
- 25-year limited warranty
- Brightly lit work area
- High cost of repairs
Heureux sewing and quilting machine, Z6
The Z6 has 200 stitches that you select using the LCD screen. At 11.6 pounds, it will be easy to carry to your quilting group or class. The product includes an automatic needle threader and a quick-release bobbin. The sewing machine comes with most of the standard accessories you would expect, such as three bobbins, various presser feet and a screwdriver. A pull-out compartment holds accessories.
- Light weight
- Contains many extras
- Noisy traffic
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A LIGHTWEIGHT SEWING MACHINE FOR QUILTING
Of course, size is a big factor in portability. It is much easier to lug around a 12 lb. sewing machine than a 20 lb machine. My main sewing machine that I’ve sewn on for years weighs about 18 pounds. Each type of machine has its pros and cons depending on what you need it for, and quilting sewing machines are no exception, as quilting requires a few extra features from a sewing machine that aren’t always needed for regular sewing projects.
Another thing that attracted me is to keep the machine simple and cheap. It would be devastating to drop an expensive computerized sewing machine and break or damage it; some of these machines can cost thousands of dollars.
Also, what features are must-haves for you? Some seamstresses have their main heavy bells and whistles machine at home that stays there and want a simple and light machine to move around with. Or maybe you have that one machine, but you want it to be as full-featured as you can get, yet light enough to take to sewing classes or other outings.
The machines listed here are great choices if you’re looking for a full-featured sewing machine that’s light enough to take with you to sewing classes, family outings, or other situations where you need to move your sewing machine around. There are certainly more machines that fit the profile of a great lightweight sewing machine.
Portable sewing machines have garnered a lot of positive reviews since their launch, and for good reason. They are the best on the market and everyone knows it. That’s why we decided to come up with this informative review of the best portable sewing machines. Each of the machines we offer is fully functional and at the same time highly portable.
GREAT FEATURES OF A LIGHTWEIGHT SEWING MACHINE FOR QUILTING
- Needle or press
Best lightweight sewing machine for quilting. When you are sewing something thick with many layers, you need to consider the clearance available when you lift the presser foot. The space you might need to get two layers of cotton under the needle for braiding will be much less than the space you’ll need for the top quilt, batting, and backing fabrics all put together. Different machines have different clearances and some of them are adjustable. Make sure there is enough room when you raise the presser foot so you can easily slide your quilting projects under it.
- Lots of light
Quilting requires a lot of precision. While you may be able to sew a regular straight seam on a sewing machine with insufficient lighting, trying to stitch a complex pattern without proper lighting will be much more frustrating. While there are accessory lights you can purchase to add to your workspace or even attach to your machine with magnets – a good light source is always a plus to begin with, especially for delicate work like quilting.
- Machine weight
While it’s sometimes nice to have a lightweight sewing machine that’s easy to move around, that’s not always the case with a quilting machine. Think about the weight of a larger quilting project hanging on the left side of the sewing machine as you quilt it. A light machine with all that weight on one side could very well tip over completely on its side. To make sure you have a safe and secure sewing surface, it’s a good idea to get a heavier quilting machine. Some machines can suction to the work table with small suction cups on the legs, and those with a table extension have extra small legs to help hold the extension for extra support. However, if you start with a nice sturdy and heavy machine, the chances of a rollover accident are much less.
- Automatic thread cutters
Some sewing machines have a unique feature that will cut the thread ends for you as you work. This can be useful when going through many small seams, such as when braiding, but it also leaves a thread end behind that you have to trim later. Using it for quilting has the same problem and some people have problems with thread tangling when they are used for quilting which is also not ideal. And if you choose to tie the thread ends to secure the quilting stitches, the tales from the automatic cutter may not be long enough to tie. Machines that have this feature also have a manual mode, so if you choose a sewing machine with automatic thread trimming, it might be worth experimenting a bit to see what works best for your personal work style and the specific quirks of your machine.
- Adjustable speed
Depending on what you are sewing, you may want the additional control of an adjustable speed machine. If you’re driving through some very basic rig, you might want to kick the pedal and channel your inner factory worker. However, if you’re trying to stitch a complex pattern neatly, you may want the extra control of a slower speed. The speed setting feature can be more useful than trying to drive slowly by yourself with a machine that likes to run away with you. Many sewing machines will advertise their “stitches per minute”, but adjustable is more important to quilting than fast.
TOP TWO RECOMMENDED BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SEWING MACHINE FOR QUILTING
Best lightweight sewing machine for quilting. Only the best sewing machine for your needs can help you save time and make your quilting experience even more fulfilling. So if you’re looking for a regular home sewing machine for quilting, an important factor to consider is that no matter what brand or model you end up choosing, make sure it can handle multiple layers of material and doesn’t jam.
Brother PQ1500SL quilting machine
What’s special about the Brother PQ1500SL is the pin feed system that many other machines don’t have. It’s literally a pin on the bottom feed that helps feed the fabric, helping you match checks and stripes perfectly, or work with heavy wool without any problems. However, it can be easily disconnected if you don’t want to use it all the time. This machine was somehow designed to model old fashioned sewing machines that were much sturdier than many modern models. Thanks to this, although it does not have a feed speed reduction, you can go from one stitch at a time to full speed with the sensitive pedal and always with a perfect feed and a precise stitch.
- You can change the height of the feed dogs for better work with different materials or for free movement.
- Thanks to its weight, it vacuums in place while quietly sewing large projects even at full speed.
- The pedal is very responsive and easy to operate, making speed control a pleasure.
- Built-in knee lifter that leaves both hands free for fabric handling.
- Comes with a wide folding table.
- No free arm.
- The needle up and down function stops working on the next stitch instead of immediately.
- No straight stitches only, no zigzag or decorative stitches.
- The needle up/down button only works when you leave the needle either up or down at the end of the seam.
Brother CS6000i Quilting Machine
If you’re looking for an entry-level, basic quilting machine that’s easy to use and won’t break the bank, the Brother CS6000i is what you need. It’s packed with features that will not only help you learn the ropes, but also allow you to work on even more advanced projects later. The great thing about this model is that it comes with a table (sometimes sold separately for working on larger projects like quilts and other types of home decor items.
The seam guide makes even achieving straight seams on your quilting piece a breeze. In addition to 10 quilting and heirloom stitches, this machine has 7 styles of one-step buttonholes, including the popular cross stitch, perfect for home decorations such as pillows or doilies. You can also adjust the needle up/down position depending on the needs of your project. This machine can be a good choice if you have never used a quilting machine as it is a great beginner quilting option that will help you hone your skills until you are ready to move on to something more advanced.
- Extremely affordable
- Decent build quality and very user friendly
- Easily move it around the house or take it to your retreat and second home.
- Somewhat light (not too strong)
- Not for professional use
Best lightweight sewing machine for quilting. If you want to start quilting but are on a budget, know that any sewing machine can be used for quilting. You can even use your regular machine for free motion quilting by switching to the free motion quilting foot and dropping the feeder. If your machine can’t drop the feeders, put some plastic over them and tape it down with a few pieces of tape. You will now be able to move the fabric as you wish.