Written by: Rachael Folmar
Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW. To most people, those brands are the definition of superior luxury and excellent value. As quilters, sewists, and embroidery enthusiasts, we also have sewing products designed with the same superior luxury and excellent value. When we look at the sewing machine market, only a few brands can be classified the way Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW are ranked in the automobile world: Bernina, Janome, Brother, Singer, and Juki.
All About Janome
Janome quilting machines are strong and durable, and their numerous models mean there's a product for quilters of all levels. The brand was founded in 1921 in Japan as a factory called The Pine Sewing Machine. It was renamed the Janome Sewing Machine Company in 1954 and later acquired the New Home sewing machine company in 1960. The brand continues to lead the industry in mechanical and computerized sewing machines.
While it comes with a large price tag, the Janome MC6650 is a great machine for quilters looking for a professional device at home. It has a large throat space suitable for larger projects and a fantastic long arm. You'll likely need a wide table and plenty of workspace for this model, but it's great for quilters trying their hand at big projects. If this extra space still isn't enough for your jumbo quilting needs, extension tables can be purchased too. It has a memorized needle up/down feature and a host of other accessories. One of the standout features of this great machine is its high speed of 1000 stitches per minute.
The Janome MOD-30 is far more affordable than the MC6650 and has other valuable features, like three one-step buttonhole settings and 30 built-in stitches. Its backlit LCD screen and drop feed system with a seven-piece feed dog make stitching and quilting simpler, although some quilters might choose not to use the system when free-motion quilting. The stitch length can reach up to five millimeters (0.19 inches) and the stitch width is a maximum of seven millimeters (0.27 inches) Besides quilting, its modern technology, and lightweight design make this model perfect for creating home decor pieces and clothing.
The last Janome product we'll cover here, the M7200, comes with an extension table and is one of the company's most deluxe products. It's equipped with programmable alphabet stitches as well as 200 other stitches, including an applique set. It comes with a few standard accessories, but plenty of optional add-ons exist to increase your machine's value.
The Best Brother Workhorses
Brother, another Japanese company with decades of experience, has created quality products for sewists and quilters for years. Since its founding in 1908 as Yasui Sewing Machine Company, Brother sewing machines have been released year after year and seem to get better and better with time.
Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW
The CS5055PRW is a budget-friendly option from this famous company that comes with numerous accessories. One of its best features is the online, telephone and live chat technical support that's included with your purchase. It has a drop-in bobbin and is produced with aspiring designers in mind.
Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
This sewing machine is made for embroidery and has a small stitching area of four inches by four inches. It has 80 designs and built-in tutorials for beginners who would rather skip the band-aids-on-every-finger phase of embroidery. Several fonts are included in the machine's settings to give you a variety of options.
This is an even faster machine than the Janome MC6650 at an astonishing 1500 stitches per minute. Its high speed is complemented by a large extension table and the ability to adjust the foot pressure in numerous ways. The automatic needle threader makes a quilter's life easier and lets you focus on your next work without worrying about the mechanics of the machine.
Juki's Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
Juki was founded in Tokyo in 1938 and is currently the #1 sewing machine manufacturer in the world. That's a pretty impressive distinction, but Juki has the quilting and sewing products to back up its renown. Juki manufactures industrial, semi-industrial, and household machines. Some can be quite heavy, so they're great for sewists who want to move their machine from room to room. We'll look at a couple of their best products for home quilters, including their very popular HZL and TL lines.
Perfect for both light and heavy fabrics, the HZL-F600 is a compact machine whose size belies its strength and complex technology. It has 16 professional buttonholes and hundreds of different stitches in its programming, including zigzag and decorative stitches. The feed dogs can be dropped quickly, and you can easily control the tension.
This model is one of Juki's moderately priced units that still have the features quilters rely on. It uses an automatic thread cutter to save you time and give your projects a polished look. Its high speeds allow it to be used for private projects or semi-industrially. Some buyers say there's a bit of a learning curve when trying to get used to the presser feet, but this model makes the extra effort worth it, especially if you're starting a heavier project.
Quality Machines from Singer
Singer was founded in 1851 by Isaac Singer, an inventor who patented the sewing machine to become internationally successful. Singer is now one of the most recognizable names in the industry and has a reputation for high-quality products. One of the best things about Singer products is their wide price range; the company has budget-friendly machines under $200 as well as higher-end appliances if you're ready to up your sewing game.
Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine
Singer's Quantum Stylist 9960, from one of its most popular lines, cements its status as one of the best manufacturers. It has 13 buttonhole styles and a great speed control setting that allows you to determine how quickly or slowly you'd like to stitch, depending on the intricacy of the project. While some of the other products on this list have a larger selection of fonts than Singer's five, this model has over 600 stitch applications to make up for the fewer fonts. Some quilters aren't fond of automatic threading, so this Quantum Stylist 9960 is a good option for more independent crafters who want to thread the bobbin themselves. If you're really loving this model, it can also be bought on Amazon!
Quantum Stylist 9985
If the 9960 is a fantastic machine, the 9985 is a work of art. It trumps the 9960 with over 1000 stitch applications and a color LCD screen to guide you through choosing a font or stitch. Remember to always use your 9985 with a Singer Class 15 transparent bobbin, which comes with this machine. The ability to customize the length and width of your stitches with the LCD screen is a great bonus for quilters who want to add a little flair or individuality into their sewing projects. Reviewers love this machine's alphabet fonts, and many have said it's a perfect choice if you're sewing your own face masks.
For decades, BERNINA has been passionately committed to developing cutting-edge sewing and embroidery machines for creative people.
Swiss precision is at the heart of every product. Bernina founder Karl Friedrich Gegauf made sure his company would be in the history books when he invented the first hemstitch sewing machine. Bernina subsequently grew from a small factory to an international household name and established itself as one of the pioneers of new technology and techniques.
Bernina products are manufactured exclusively with high-quality materials inside and out.
We welcome you to begin your journey to discover the best quilting sewing machine on the market. Beginner or expert, BERNINA is for you. Whether you need a simple machine for basic functions or prefer an advanced machine featuring the latest in embroidery, you'll find your perfect choice in Bernina.
The Bernina 770 QE (Quilter's Edition)
The BERNINA 770 QE (Quilters Edition) was specially designed for the quilter. The machine is the true definition of luxury and value. Equipped with the technology for quiet and exact sewing, the BERNINA Hook sews high-precision stitches at speeds up to 1000 stitches per minute at 9 mm in width. Bobbins for the 770 are equipped with the capacity to hold 70% more thread so you can spend less time on the time-consuming details and focus more on your creativity. Additionally, the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) ensures exact stitch quality and ideal results at any speed throughout free-motion quilting. If you're a quilter who especially loves embroidery or are hoping to get into embroidery soon, the embroidery and quilt designs on this machine — over 500 of them from OESD — are definitely a must-have for your next project.
The Tula Pink Edition
Handling special materials can be quite the chore for many sewing machines, but the BERNINA B 770 QE SE Tula Pink Edition can handle special materials such as silk and leather with ease. The BERNINA Dual Feed is easily engaged when needed and tucks completely out of the way when no longer required. The excellent customer service provided by Bernina is once again taken to the next level on the 770 by offering the Sewing Consultant and built-in tutorials that bring you directly to on-screen support and immediate answers to your questions at all hours of the day or night. Need we say more?
Tula Pink Loves Her BERNINA 770 QE
Tula Pink herself quilts on the Bernina 770 QE, and in 2019 Bernina released a special edition BERNINA 770 QE Special Edition Tula Pink.
Here's what Tula Pink herself has to say about the BERNINA B 770 QE SE Tula Pink Edition:
"This beauty is really a one-of-a-kind delight! The lovely rainbow, oil slick finish on the freearm cover and thread take-up lever cover as well as the exclusive Tula Pink designed faceplate transform the BERNINA 770 QE. It comes with all the latest innovations of the B 770 QE plus lots of fabulous extras."
"This is the unicorn of sewing machines!" - Tula Pink, Quilters and Fabric Designer
The Quilter's Editions
Interested in learning more about which Quilter's Edition sewing machines we have available for purchase at Stitchin' Heaven? Keep reading!
Distinct features of the 475 Quilter's Edition:
Save time with Automatic Features
Hands free sewing allows you to keep your hands on the fabric!
Easily obtain precise stitches
Adjustable pressure foot pressure
Adjustable BERNINA Patchwork foot #37
Easy navigable touch screen
Distinct features of the BERNINA B 570 Quilter's Edition:
Greater sewing Comfort with the Free Hand System
A broader array of accessories
More memory options
Extensive stitch library
There are plenty of brands out there that suit sewists and quilters perfectly well, but Janome, Brother, Juki, Singer, and BERNINA are among the best. Whether you're trying to find the perfect straight stitch, a machine that's made for darning, or just the best sewing machine for quilting, these brands are sure to deliver excellence every time. Personally, we're in love with BERNINA thanks to its 770 line and Tula Pink's raving reviews. BERNINA is the machine that is made for quilters and those that sew. To return to our example at the beginning of this review, BERNINA is like the Apple of sewing machines. With every BERNINA, you'll get satisfaction and longevity.
We're committed to giving you a variety of quality options at our shop, just as you would feel going to a high-end automobile showroom. Stitchin' Heaven is dedicated as the "quilt shop" with a strong reputation for providing quality products and service. We'll make sure your next sewing or quilting project is a huge success!
Check out our Facebook Live Replay: Bernina Virtual Event that was held on May 5th, 2020.