Browse By

Best Long Arm Quilting Machine (TOP 10 FOR 2019)

Vault50.com is a completely independent review guide covering medical, business and industrial products and software. If readers choose to buy our selected editorial picks, we sometimes earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

A long arm quilter is a significant investment, that’s why it is important to do your research before you buy. With prices ranging from just a couple of thousand dollars to large industrial machines in the low 5 figures, the range of models available is wide.

Not only do you need to purchase a machine with the correct features and capacity for you requirements; the quilter also needs to suit your pocket.

That’s where we aim to help. In this top 10 product review round up, we have pulled together a selection of the best long arm quilters on the market today.

For our findings at a glance and an overview of the selected LA quilters, just head to the table below. For an in depth review of each machine, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.


Best Long Arm Quilting Machine

NAME QUILTER DETAILS OUR RATING
TOP PICK 14"
Qnique Long-arm
Quilting Machine
14+ Inch Throat
OLED Screen Display
Dual-cone Thread
King Quilter
Special-Edition
Computer Motion
Control, Wifi Enabled
Built in Android
TinLizzie18
Sitdown Long
Arm Quilter
Throat Space: 18" x 6"
Dual Thread, Table
Included,
Juki TL-2200QVP
Quilt Virtuoso-Pro
Throat Space: 18" x 10"
Color LCD Display
Independent Bobbin
4 Stitching Modes
HandiQuilter
HQ Sweet Sixteen
16" Throat Space
Color LCD Display
Table Included
TOP PICK 18"
King Quilter II
ELITE LA Quilter
NEW-King-Quilter-II-ELITE-Long-Arm-Quilting-Machine-3 18" Throat Space
10 or 12ft Frame
7" Touchscreen
3 Year Warranty
The Quilter's Pro
Sit-down Quilter
With Table
Throat Space: 18" x 16"
15" Quilting Area
1 Year Warranty
TOP PICK 24"
TheHandi Quilter
Forte 24
Long Arm
24" Throat Space
10 or 12 Foot,
Gallery2 Frames
HQ Track
(8-wheels)
The HQ Fusions,
24″ LA Quilter
with Pro-Stitcher
24" Throat Space
12′ HQ Frames
5 Year Warranty
TOP PICK 26"
The Artistic 26-8
Quilting Machine
w/ C-Frame
26" Throat Space
23" Quilting Area
LCD Screen

Long Arm Quilting Machine Reviews

To determine whether the machine model can be considered as high-quality, the following criteria can be used as a checklist.

To begin with, it should be easy to use, and its manual must provide the right instruction in an easy-to-follow fashion.

Secondly, because it is a costly machine, it should come with a warranty, with the most preferable being a lifetime warranty.

Thirdly, the machine head should have a large throat size, preferably 20-26inches. Also, it should come with a dependable stitch regulator that allows for consistent, taut, and equally-sized stitches to be made at any machine speed.

Based on these rating criteria, 10 of the best long arm quilting machines have been identified and selected for review.

1. TOP PICK (14″ Throat): Qnique Long-arm Quilting Machine Review

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

The Qnique is our best rated long arm with a 14″ throat because it perfectly balances price point with functionality within this size category of machine.

It is a high-quality, electrical unit with a manual-guided long-arm. It also comes with stitch regulation as well as adjustable stitch speed.

It features an crystal clear OLED screen display and well-positioned, easy-to-access advanced control settings. This model has front hand-bars, which allows the machine head to be guided manually across the quilt fabric when a custom design is being sewed into the quilt.

The model is designed and built by a reputable U.S-based manufacturer, The Grace Company.

Some Specifications

  • The machine head weighs in at 42lbs.
  • The fully-assembled machine head is: 23inches long, 15.5inches wide, and 19inches tall.
  • Its throat size is at the smaller end of our top 10 picks at 14inches, (however, this still allows the user to sew large patterns, or blocks, on the quilt fabric).

It uses a timing belt system and comes with ergonomic hand-bars and handles that provide comfortable grips that allow the quilter to efficiently use the machine head for an extended period of time during each quilting session.

The machine head has multiple accessory ports that allow the quilter to convenient machine-operated sewing add-ons. This improves on the quality of the quilting process and quilt finish. It also has integrated LED lamps which can be used to illuminate the work area in poor lighting conditions.

Included in the package

Its shipping package comes with 2 boxes, one contains the machine head itself, and the other has the installation hardware along with a bobbin case, 3 quality bobbins, and 10 high-quality sewing needles.

The installation hardware includes the following:
  • an encoder set,
  • front handles,
  • power cable,
  • lint brush,
  • screw drivers,
  • and Allen wrenches.

Also included in the package is the sewing machine oil for lubricating the moving parts of the machine.

The bobbins are the large M-class type, and they serve to ensure that the thread is kept under tension as the bobbin thread guide directs the taut thread to the sewing needle.

Also, to ensure that the thread tension is precise, this unit features a built-in bobbin winder and dual-thread tension guides. This bobbin winder is motorized, and thus does not need the machine to run in order for the bobbin to be wound up.

It also features dual-cone thread towers. This package also comes with an easy-to-follow, well-illustrated and labeled instruction guide.

This easy-to-use machine head allows the main controls and unit settings to be adjusted from the handles with the full-color display atop the front of the hand-bar assembly showing the settings in real-time. Also, the needle position can be raised or lowered using a press button.

Speed (SPM) & Power

This model is powered by a high-capacity motor that allows the machine head to achieve a sewing speed of up-to 1800SPM (stitches-per-minute).

Its minimum sewing speed is 90SPM and the quilter can uses the speed setting in the advanced control panel to adjust the sewing speed as appropriate.

The unit runs on AC power, and requires an input voltage of 110volts or 220volts. During peak operation, the maximum power draw is 300watts, which makes this model an energy-efficient long-arm quilting machine.

Its conveniently-placed easy-to-access control buttons allow the quilter to create delicate and detailed customized designs on the quilt fabric.

Likewise, its stitch regulation feature allows the stitch length to be consistent regardless of the sewing speed. This model also allows for pantograph designed to be sewed into the quilt.

The bright OLED screen serves to display a well-contrasted, easy-to-navigate menu that allows the quilter to select the sewing mode.

Another unique aspect of the stitch regulation feature is that it allows for the stitch length to be adjusted as appropriate depending on the design and sewing speeds. It also allows for the stitch (sewing) mode to be selected.

The Qnique has  4 in built function modes:

  • Precise mode for equally-sized stitches,
  • Cruise mode for consistent stitching at a low sewing speed,
  • Baste mode for creating long basting stitches,
  • Manual mode that allows for intricate stitching.

The model is compatible with standard frames. Nevertheless, its perfect fit is the Continuum Frame, a modular no-baste frame made by Grace Company. Likewise, this machine head can fit well into a Grace Qnique Quilting Frame, the Grace SR-2 Quilting Frame, or the Grace GQ Quilting Frame.

This machine head benefits from a 5-year warranty.

Specifications
  • 14” Throat Space
  • Physical dimensions: Length 23″, height 18″, width 15.5″, tower height 11.25″, weight 42 pounds.
  • Extended work area: Length 15″, height 8.5″
  • Built-in stitch regulation
  • 6 Bright LED needle lights
  • 6 quick-access handle buttons
  • Easy-change bobbin case
  • Built-in bobbin winder motor
  • Dual-cone thread holders
  • Commercial grade aluminum body
  • Screen Menus and Settings
  • Preference settings
  • Tools settings: Machine diagnostics, system info, stitching time
Pros of the Qnique Long-arm Quilting Machine
  • Easy to use.
  • Good throat size.
  • Creates high-quality quilts.
  • 4 selectable sewing modes.
  • Adjustable stitching speeds.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Maximum sewing speed of 1800SPM.
  • Energy efficient with maximum power consumption of 300watts.
  • Has conveniently-placed, easy-to-access control buttons.
  • Has motorized bobbin winder.
  • 60-months warranty.
The Cons
  • Cannot work at optimal level during power black-outs.
  • Thread tension needs constant adjustment.

Bottom-line

The Qnique Long-arm Quilting Machine is a heavy-duty, computerized longarm quilting machine with an allowance for manually-guided quilting too.

It has a full-display OLED screen display, easy-to-access advanced control settings and comes with stitch regulation; and also allows for adjustment of stitch speed as well as selection of stitching mode.

Overall, it is an easy-to-use machine complete with a ton of accessories to get the user started. These factors along with its affordability, make it our pick as the best long arm quilting machine for those looking for a 14″ throat width.


2. King Quilter Special-Edition Review

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

The King Quilter Special Edition, is an electrically-powered computerized long arm quilter that supports stitch regulation. It also comes with a tablet and adjustable LED handle-bars.

The tablet can be a 7-inch or 10-inch LCD tablet running on Android. It has a large throat space of 18 inches, and allows for stitch speed adjustments via its advanced control settings. This allows for precise management of the stitching process.

It also comes with front hand-bars, which when fitted allows the machine head to be guided manually across the quilt fabric so that an intricate custom design can be sewed. This model is designed and built by King Quilter.

This compactly-designed machine head weighs in at 47pounds. As mentioned, the throat size is 18″ deep, however, it is also 8″ high, which allows the quilter to sew large patterns on the quilt fabric.

The machine comes with ergonomic hand-bars and handles that allow the quilter to efficiently use the machine head for an extended period of time during each quilting session. The actual quilting area is 15inches long.

This machine head has multiple accessory ports that allow the quilter to convenient machine-operated sewing add-ons. This improve on the quality of the quilting process and quilt finish. It also has integrated LED lamps, which feature LED dimming, and can be used to illuminate the work area in poor light conditions.

Its shipping package comes with 2 boxes, one contains the machine head itself, and the other has the installation hardware along with a bobbin case, quality bobbins, and high-quality sewing needles.

The installation hardware includes the following:
  • an encoder set,
  • front handles,
  • power cable,
  • screw drivers,
  • and Allen wrenches.

Image Credit: Sewing Machines Plus

Also included in the package is the sewing machine oil for lubricating the moving parts of the machine. The bobbins are the large M-class type, and they serve to ensure that the thread is kept under tension as the bobbin thread guide directs the taut thread to the sewing needle.

This package also comes with an easy-to-follow, well-illustrated and labeled instruction guide.

This easy-to-use machine head allows the main controls and unit settings to be adjusted from the handles. Likewise, the needle position can be raised or lowered using a press button.

This model is powered by a durable motor that allows the machine head to achieve a sewing speed of up-to 3000SPM.

The advanced control panel is used to adjust the sewing speed as appropriate. Likewise, its stitch regulation feature allows for the stitch length to be adjusted as appropriate depending on the design and sewing speeds.

This model runs on AC power. Its conveniently-placed easy-to-access control buttons allow the quilter to create delicate and detailed customized designs on the quilt fabric.

Likewise, its stitch regulation feature allows the stitch length to be consistent regardless of the sewing speed. This model also allows for pantograph designed to be sewed into the quilt.

The display wire and RJ cable of this machine head are covered by the rocker arm cover. Likewise, the front hand-bar assembly and thread-stand fit snugly on the unit.

Its display bracket is mounted atop the front hand-bar assembly, and the tablet which has the computer program that runs this model is secured into this bracket. The display wire and RJ cable are connected to the connection ports of the tablet.

The rear handle assembly when fitted gives the unit dual-operating positions as the quilter can run it from either the front-end or the rear-end.

This machine head benefits from a 5-year warranty.

Specifications & Features
  • 18″ Throat Space
  • Stitch Precision Mode
  • Stitch Cruise Mode
  • 4 options for Basting Stitch
  • 4 to 22 Stitches Per Inch
  • Stitch Manual Mode – 2 Presets
  • Light Ring Included
  • 2,200 Stitches Per Minute
  • M Class Bobbin
  • 7″ Color Touchscreen Included
  • 10 Foot Frame Included with option to upgrade to a 12 foot
  • Front handlebars with control buttons – adjustable and customizable
  • Rear Handlebars with controls
  • Built In Micro Handlebars
  • Quilt Alarm
  • Quilt Timer
  • Stitch Counters
  • Low Bobbin Estimator
  • Low Bobbin Alarm
  • Warranty (Casting/Mechanical/Electrical): 10yr/5yr/5yr
  • 8 Watt LED Power Consumption
  • 5mm Sew Foot Stroke/Lift
  • 35.3 mm Needle Bar Stroke
  • 73 mm Take-Up Stroke
  • Permamnent Kluber Lube Main Components Lubrication
  • Velocite 10, Texaco 22 Hook Lubrication
Pros of the King Quilter Special-Edition
  • Easy to use.
  • Throat depth is 18inches.
  • Creates high-quality quilts.
  • Adjustable stitching speeds.
  • Dual operating positions – Front-end and Rear-end.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Maximum sewing speed of 3000SPM.
  • 60-months warranty.
The Cons
  • Cannot work at optimal level during power black-outs.
  • Sometimes produces squeaky sounds.

Bottom-line

The King Quilter Special-Edition is a high-performance computerized longarm quilting machine that supports stitch regulation, and comes with a tablet and adjustable LED handle-bars.

The 7-inch or 10-inch LCD tablet runs on Android and controls the stitching process done on the quilt placed inside its large throat space. For those comfortable with the hi-tech nature of the machine, the King Quilter comes highly recommended.

However, our top pick 18″ long arm quilting machine is the King Quilter Elite, (reviewed below).


3. TinLizzie18 Sitdown Long Arm Quilter Review

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

Our top 5 round up would not be complete without a Tin Lizzie long arm quilting machine review.

True to form, Tin Lizzie do not disappoint with this sitdown machine. This is a high-performance, manual-guided long-arm quilter with variable stitching speed, and comes with a specially-designed collapsible worktable and a lamp attached to the machine head.

It has a throat depth of 18inches and uses easy-to-access advanced control settings. It can be used to sew a a custom design to a quilt. This model is designed and built by Utah based, TinLizzie18.

This compactly-designed machine head weighs 43pounds. The collapsible table is 47inches long, 30inches wide, and 30inches tall.

Its shipping package contains the machine head and the installation hardware. It also comes with a bobbin case, quality bobbins, and high-quality sewing needles. The installation hardware include an encoder set, power cable, and screw drivers.

Also included in the package is the sewing machine oil for lubricating the moving parts of the machine. The bobbins are the dual-capacity M-style bobbins, and they serve to ensure that the thread is kept under tension as the bobbin thread guide directs the taut thread to the sewing needle.

Likewise, to ensure that the thread tension is precise, this unit features a built-in bobbin winder and dual-thread tension guides. This package also comes with an easy-to-follow, well-illustrated and labeled instruction guide.

This easy-to-use machine head uses a gear-driven power transfer system that features gears and shafts. The shaft is held in place by well-lubricated heavy-duty bushings and bearings. The automatic-hook lubrication system ensures that these moving parts are well oiled.

The sewing head casing is molded from cast aluminum. Its stitching unit allows for dual-thread stitching. Its two-station needle positioner is controlled using either a standard foot pedal, or soft touch buttons, or these 2 control sets can be used concurrently to improve the quilting performance.

The variable-speed foot control is of the standard quality, and allows for one-toe stippling foot to manage some of the machine operations. Its needle position can be raised or lowered using a press button.

This model is powered by a whisper-quiet motor that allows the machine head to achieve a sewing speed of up-to 3000SPM. The quilter uses the speed setting in the control panel to adjust the sewing speed.

Its conveniently-placed easy-to-access control buttons allow the quilter to create delicate and detailed customized designs on the quilt fabric. It also allows for pantograph designed to be sewed into the quilt.

This machine head benefits from a 5-year warranty.

Specifications & Features
  • Throat Space – 18″ x 6″
  • Actual Quilting Area – 15″
  • Machine Weight – 43 pounds
  • Warranty – 5 years parts / 1 year labor
  • Specially-designed Table – Standard dimension 29.5″ H x 43.25″ W x 29.5″ D
  • Extended Leaf – Standard dimension 43.25″ W x 23.5″ D
  • Gear / Shaft Power Transfer – Gear Driven
  • Cast Aluminum Molded Sewing Head – Standard
  • Double-Capacity “M” Style Bobbin – Standard
  • Dual Thread Capability – Standard
  • Built in Bobbin Winder – Standard
  • Heavy-duty Top Shaft Bearings and Bushings – 3
  • Automatic Hook Lubrication – Standard
  • Stitch Regulation – N/A
  • Hook Position Finger – Standard
  • Variable Speed Foot Control – Standard
  • Two-station Needle Positioner – Standard/Foot pedal and soft touch buttons
  • Open Toe Stippling Foot – Included
  • Flexible Light Fixture – Standard
  • Operator’s Manual – Standard
  • Automatic Hook Lubrication – Standard
  • Oil Impregnated Bushings – Standard
  • Stitching Speed – Standard
  • Built in Diagnostics – Standard
  • Variable Speed Control – Standard
  • Basting Stitch – Standard
Pros of the TinLizzie18 Sitdown Long Arm Quilting Machine
  • Throat depth is 18inches.
  • Easy to use.
  • Creates high-quality quilts.
  • Adjustable stitching speeds.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Maximum sewing speed of 3000SPM.
  • Dual thread capability.
  • 60-months warranty.
The Cons
  • Cannot work at optimal level during power black-outs.
  • Lacks a stitch regulation feature.

Bottom-line

The TinLizzie18 Sitdown is a high-quality, high-performance electrically-powered manual-guided long-arm quilting machine with variable stitching speed, and comes with a specially-designed collapsible worktable and a lamp attached to the machine head.

It has a throat depth of 18inches and uses easy-to-access advanced control settings. However, buyers should consider the fact that it lacks a stitch regulation mechanism.


4. Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso-Pro Review

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

The Juki Virtuoso Pro is a high-performance, electrically-powered machine with manually-guided long-arms that supports stitch regulation. It is shipped with a 10-foot long Grace Virtuoso-King Frame and a large full-screen color-display LCD that has a touch screen.

It allows for adjustment of the stitch speed; and can be operated via the well-positioned, easy-to-access advanced control settings.

This model has front hand-bars, which allows the machine head to be guided manually across the quilt fabric when a custom design is being sewed into the fabric. This model is designed and built by Juki America, Inc.

This compactly-designed machine head weighs 57pounds. The fully-assembled machine head is 28.7inches long, 8.6inches wide, and 18inches tall.

Its throat size is 18inches long and 10inches high, which allows the quilter to sew large patterns, or blocks, on the quilt fabric.

It comes with ergonomic hand-bars and handles that provide comfortable grips that allow the quilter to efficiently use the machine head for an extended period of time during each quilting session. Its color scheme is white.

Its shipping package contains the machine head and the installation hardware.

The unit comes with the following items:
  • bobbin case,
  • quality bobbins,
  • and high-quality sewing needles.
  • The installation hardware include an encoder set, power cable, and screw drivers.

Also included in the package is the sewing machine oil for lubricating the moving parts of the machine. The bobbins are the dual-capacity M-style bobbins, and they serve to ensure that the thread is kept under tension as the bobbin thread guide directs the taut thread to the sewing needle.

Likewise, to ensure that the thread tension is precise, this unit features a built-in bobbin winder and dual-thread tension guides. This package also comes with an easy-to-follow, well-illustrated and labeled instruction guide.

This easy-to-use machine head uses a gear-driven power transfer system that features gears and shafts. The shaft is held in place by well-lubricated heavy-duty bushings and bearings. The automatic-hook lubrication system ensures that these moving parts are well oiled.

This easy-to-use machine head allows the main controls and unit settings to be adjusted from the handles with the full-color display atop the front of the hand-bar assembly showing the settings in real-time. Also, the needle position can be raised or lowered using a press button.

This model is powered by a durable AC-servo motor that allows the machine head to achieve a sewing speed of up-to 2200SPM. The quilter can uses the speed setting in the advanced control panel to adjust the sewing speed as appropriate.

Its conveniently-placed easy-to-access control buttons allow the quilter to create delicate and detailed customized designs on the quilt fabric. Likewise, its stitch regulation feature allows the stitch length to be consistent regardless of the sewing speed. This model also allows for pantograph designed to be sewed into the quilt.

This machine head benefits from a 5-year warranty.

Specifications
  • Sewing Speed: Max. 2200 spm
  • Needle bar stroke: 35mm
  • Presser Foot Lift: 5.5 mm
  • Needle GB: 134R
  • Bobbin: Double capacity “M” style
  • Motor: AC servo motor
  • Machine Head: Made in Japan by Juki
  • Dimensions of sewing machine: 10 1/4″W x 18″H x 28 3/4L”
  • Weight of sewing machine: 26 kg
Pros of the Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso-Pro
  • Easy to use.
  • Throat depth of 18inches.
  • Creates high-quality quilts.
  • Comes with a 10-feet long heavy-duty metal frame.
  • Adjustable stitching speeds.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Maximum sewing speed of 2200SPM.
  • Has conveniently-placed, easy-to-access control buttons.
  • 60-months warranty.
The Cons
  • Cannot work at optimal level during power black-outs.

Bottom-line

The Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso-Pro is a high-performance long-arm quilting machine that supports stitch regulation, and comes with a 10-foot long Grace Virtuoso-King Frame and a large full-screen color-display LCD that has a touch screen.

As a complete package in the 18″ throat category, this is a long arm machine well worth considering.


5. HandiQuilter-HQ Sweet Sixteen Review

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

In this Sweet sixteen quilting machine review, we are looking at the electrically-powered, manually-guided long-arm Handi Quilter-HQ.

The machine comes with a height-adjustable table and an upgraded TruStitch stitch regulator along with a bonus package of 20 high-quality needles and 4 extra bobbins.

It allows for adjustment of the stitch speed; and can be operated via the well-positioned, easy-to-access advanced control settings.

This model has front hand-bars, which allows the machine head to be guided manually across the quilt fabric when a custom design is being sewed into the fabric. The model is designed and built by Handi Quilter, Inc.

This compactly-designed machine head has a throat size that is 16inches deep and 8inches tall, which allows the quilter to sew large patterns, or blocks, on the quilt fabric.

The height-adjustable table is 36inches long, 30inches wide, and its height can be adjusted from 26inches (lowest height) to 42inches (highest height). This model comes with a built-in project timer that is backed by a quilting alarm.

Its shipping package contains the machine head, and the installation hardware along with a bobbin case, quality bobbins, and high-quality sewing needles.

The installation hardware include an encoder set, front handles, power cable, and screw drivers. There is also the sewing machine oil for lubricating the moving parts of the machine.

The bobbins are the large M-class type, and they serve to ensure that the thread is kept under tension as the bobbin thread guide directs the taut thread to the sewing needle. This package also comes with an easy-to-follow, well-illustrated and labeled instruction guide.

The machine head allows the main controls and unit settings to be adjusted from the handles. Likewise, the needle position can be raised or lowered using a press button.

The machine uses a gear-driven power transfer system that features gears and shafts. The shaft is held in place by well-lubricated heavy-duty bushings and bearings. The automatic-hook lubrication system ensures that these moving parts are well oiled.

This model is powered by an AC motor that allows the machine head to achieve a sewing speed of up-to 1800SPM. The quilter can uses the speed setting in the advanced control panel to adjust the sewing speed as appropriate.

Its conveniently-placed easy-to-access control buttons allow the quilter to create delicate and detailed customized designs on the quilt fabric.

Likewise, its stitch regulation feature allows the stitch length to be consistent regardless of the sewing speed. This model also allows for pantograph designed to be sewed into the quilt.

Likewise, the stitch regulation feature allows for the stitch length to be adjusted as appropriate.

This machine head benefits from a very generous 10-year warranty.

Specifications & Features
  • 16″ throat space
  • 8″ vertical space
  • 36″ x 30″ height-adjustable table, from 26 to 42 inches
  • Easy-Set Tension™
  • Stitching speed of up to 1,800 precision stitches per minute
  • Handi Feet mount with quarter-inch ruler foot installed, open-toe foot
  • Adjustable color touchscreen
  • Walking stitch plus four basting stitch options, controlled with touchscreen or foot pedal
  • Needle-stop position control
  • Quilting alarm and project timer
  • Low-bobbin estimator and alarm
  • LED light ring
  • High-speed rotary hook with large-capacity M-class bobbin
  • Easy needle change with ergonomic thumb screw
  • Responsive foot pedal
  • Four extra bobbins, 20 needles, sample thread pack included
  • Built-in diagnostics
  • Four language options: English, French, German, and Spanish
Pros of the HandiQuilter-HQ Sweet Sixteen
  • Easy to use.
  • Throat depth of 16inches.
  • Creates high-quality quilts.
  • Comes with a height-adjustable table.
  • Adjustable stitching speeds.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Maximum sewing speed of 1800SPM.
  • Has conveniently-placed, easy-to-access control buttons.
  • 60-months warranty.
The Cons
  • Cannot work at optimal level during power black-outs.

Bottom-line

The HandiQuilter-HQ Sweet Sixteen is a good choice electrically-powered manually-guided long-arm quilting machine for those looking for a unit in the 16″ throat capacity range.

It features a height-adjustable table and an upgraded TruStitch stitch regulator along with a bonus package of 20 high-quality needles and 4 extra bobbins.

Another worthy addition to our top 10 round up.


6. TOP PICK (18″ Throat): The NEW Kings Quilter II ELITE Long Arm’s Quilter Review

This is quilting machine has exceptional features that make it reliable, reminding you of your love for the Old King Quilter. It is sturdy. Hence, the quality is unquestionable and will last you a long time. It also comes with essential accessories needed in the quilting process. Thus, you do not have to use the extra money to enhance your machine.

Made in the USA, it offers greater functionality since it uses high-tech electronics. It also has touchpad interface that is very innovative. Overall, this a top quality long arm quilting machine for home use.

This machine comes with free accessories inclusive of bobbins and bobbin case, needles, thread mask, spool stand, screwdriver, pin oiler, lint brush, power cord, and a user manual.

(Additional Specs & Benefits: 10 or 12 Foot Quilting Frame, with Laser Light Kit, Bobbin Winder, Carriage, Accessory Kit, with 2 FREE Rulers, has 3 Year(s) Platinum Upgraded Warranties).

 

Specifications & Features
  • 18″ Throat Space
  • Stitch Precision Mode
  • Stitch Cruise Mode
  • 4 options for Basting Stitch
  • 4 to 22 Stitches Per Inch
  • Stitch Manual Mode – 2 Presets
  • Light Ring Included
  • 2,200 Stitches Per Minute
  • M Class Bobbin
  • 7″ Color Touchscreen Included
  • 10 Foot Frame Included with option to upgrade to a 12 foot
  • Front handlebars with control buttons – adjustable and customizable
  • Rear Handlebars with controls
  • Built In Micro Handlebars
  • Quilt Alarm
  • Quilt Timer
  • Stitch Counters
  • Low Bobbin Estimator
  • Low Bobbin Alarm
  • Warranty (Casting/Mechanical/Electrical): 10yr/5yr/5yr
  • 8 Watt LED Power Consumption
  • 5mm Sew Foot Stroke/Lift
  • 35.3 mm Needle Bar Stroke
  • 73 mm Take-Up Stroke
  • Permamnent Kluber Lube Main Components Lubrication
  • Velocite 10, Texaco 22 Hook Lubrication
Pros of the The NEW Kings Quilter II( 2) ELITE Long Arm's Quilting Machine
  • The machine has a three-year warranty, which allows you to communicate your worries and have it replaced incase you aren’t satisfied.
  • It is fast and reliable to stick with the machine as it covers two thousand two hundred stitches per minute and four to twenty stitches per inch. The machine features the precision mode, batch stitch, and cruise mode.
  • It has a ten to the twelve-foot frame, whose high quality provides the quilter a comfortable stand up experience. You can choose the size you prefer when purchasing the product.
  • It is a new version of the Old Kind Quitter, which you are used to, therefore adding quality, and reliability to the machines you are love.
The Cons
  • It is more expensive than its older version.

Bottom line

Whether you are a home quilter or an industrial quilter, if you are looking for 18″ throat capacity this is the machine to buy.

Easy to use, with some excellent features this machine will help you quilt complex patterns in no time. Highly recommended.


7. The Quilter’s Pro, Sit-down, Long Arm Quilter w/ Table Review

For users looking for a quilting machine (has long arm) with an ample space to work on, then this could be your choice. It has an open area measuring eighteen inches.

\It has a speed foot control with both needle up and needles down positions. The machine also comes with a collapsible table for convenience.

The quilting area for this machine is fifteen inches, and the treated space is eighteen inches by six inches big. It has standard variable speed control and stitching speed.

It comes in handy with an open toe stippling foot and standard foot pedal and soft touch buttons.

Pros of the The Quilter's Pro Sit-down Quilting Machine (Long Arm) & and with a Table
  • It is easy to achieve precise stitches with this quilting machine since it has variable speed. It sews uniformly sized stitches.
  • The machine comes with a flexible light, which allows you to move it anywhere needed. You can conveniently adjust it backward for pantographs or bring it closer for micro stripping.
  • It is easy to store it as the table is collapsible and the hinged leaf can be removed. It, therefore, does not need big storage space.
  • You do not need to oil the quilter every time you change the bobbin. The machine comes with self-contained oil making its maintenance easy.
  • It has the largest bobbin capacity (M-size bobbin). the bobbin is would as you quilt by built-in bobbin winder; hence your bobbin will always be ready for use.
  • You are not likely to beak your needle since you can stop it with the foot control and soft touch button close to your fingertips.
  • The Sit-down Quilting Machine( long arm) comes with five years warranty for the parts and one year warranty for labor
The Cons
  • The Sit-down Quilting Machine has no option for stitch regulation. The quilter has to use the same stitch for all their work.

Bottom line

The Sit-down Quilting Machine is a suitable option as its price is reasonable. The expansive table that comes along with the machine allows you plenty of space to work. It is also a great long arm quilting machine for home use, as you fold it and store away whenever it is not being used.


8. TOP PICK (24″ Throat): TheHandi Quilter Forte of 24 Quilting Machine ReviewHandi Quilter Forte 24 Long Arm Quilting Machine

This quilter is a powerful machine with features that stand out and distinguishes it. It has Gallery2 Frame ( HQ ) ten or twelve inches depending on your preference.

It also has an HQ Precision Slide Track with eight wheels. Quilting on this machine is free-motion, and it comes with a separate bobbin winder making it convenient.

Handi Quilter Forte 24 Long Arm Quilting Machine 2

The throat space for this longarm quilter is twenty-four inches, allowing you enough quilting space.

It has a pinpoint needle laser, a throat, bobbin, and needle bar package that is menu controlled, a comfortable set tension, and five tie-off stitches that are conveniently built-in.

Handi Quilter Forte 24 Long Arm Quilting Machine 3

Specifications & Features
  • 24″ of brightly-lit throat space
  • Pinpoint Needle Laser
  • Easy-Set Tension
  • 7-inch color touch screen (add the Pro-Stitcher and use that tablet for your machine display instead)
  • Menu-controlled QuiltMaster LED Lighting Package: throat, needlebar, and bobbin
  • QuiltMaster front handlebars: Independently adjustable, ergonomic with integrated micro handles
  • QuiltMaster servo-controlled stitch regulation (perfect stitches, every time)
  • Programmable handlebar buttons
  • Stitching speeds up to 2,500 stitches per minute
  • Consistent stitch quality from 4-24 stitches per inch
  • Two modes of stitch regulation: Precision or Cruise
  • Five convenient built-in tie-off stitches
  • High-speed rotary hook with large capacity M-class bobbin
  • Manual mode with three customizable preset speeds
  • Pro-Stitcher ready! All necessary cabling is pre-installed inside
  • Choose from 10-foot or 12-foot HQ Gallery2 Frame sizes
  • Handi Feet-compatible; includes ruler foot and open-toe foot
  • On-screen hand wheel
  • Magnetic Tool Minder Collar
  • Bobbin-use estimator
  • Front power switch
  • Thread-break sensor and alarm
  • Stitch counter
  • Easy needle change
  • Needle-stop up/down control
  • Five basting stitches
Pros of the TheHandi Quilter Forte of 24 Quilting Machine (LONG ARM)
  • The machine is fast with a stitching speed of two-thousand-five-five-hundred stitches per minute. It has the Precision and the cruise modes of the stitches regulation, covering four to twenty-four stitches per inch assuring you of perfect stitches for all your work.
  • It has Quilt Master front handlebars with micro handles that you can easily adjust to your liking. The handle buttons can be programmed and controlled with the seven -inch color screen that comes in handy with the quilting machine.
  • The quilting machine has a preinstalled cabling system making it ready for use as soon as you the quilt receive the product.
  • The bobbin comes with plenty of benefits. There is an estimator of how you bobbin is being used. It is big with a hook that rotates at high speed. The machine also comes with a bobbin winder as a separate accessory.
  • The Handy Quilting Machine has a sensor and alarm to alert the quilter when a thread is broken. With the needle-stop control, one can stop the needle quickly to save it from breaking.
  • The machine has ten years warranty.
The Cons
  • The machine doesn’t have rear handlebars
  • It is quite expensive

Bottom line

TheHandi Quilter Forte is a formidable machine. With its 24″ throat width this is the option for big commercial projects.

Packed with features aimed at the professional this is an excellent choice for those with the budget. Our top choice, 24″ long arm quilter for good reason.


9. The HQ Fusions Package [24″ Quilter with Pro-Stitcher Premium & 12′ HQ Gallery Frames] Review

HQ Fusion Package - 24" Long Arm Quilter with HQ Pro-Stitcher Premium 2

This is the latest of all Handi- s Quilters long armmachines. With a combination of engineering and technology, it meets all your needs as a quilter.

The fusion quilter is a product of the USA where it is created and assembled. It comes with the best quality precision stitch regulated system, which enables you to have a quilting vision.

The machine comes along with a free package with sixteen needles, a pin bowl, twelve inches by six inches mine ruler and ruler base, a multipurpose tool, mini scissors, HQ Zinger and eight bobbins.

HQ Fusion Package - 24" Long Arm Quilter with HQ Pro-Stitcher Premium

With a twenty-inch quilting space, one can quilt big products and have room for expansion. The machine has a color LCD touchscreen for regulating stitches, accessing stitch settings and change needle positions.

It has both front and rear handles where the display is located. The screen also has an additional audio player, a video player that can hold an SD memory card and a calculator.

The keypad, X and Y motion as well as the needle and motor sensors are checked through diagnostic features. To maintain the screen, do not clean with cleaning solutions and chemicals.

Pros of the The HQ Fusions- Package ( HQ) -of 24
  • It has a twenty inches squirting space allowing easy movement from Crip to king.
  • It has a sensor that alerts the quilter when a thread breaks.
  • The LED lighting is built in and is controlled with a menu with options that vary from dim to bright and cold to neutral and warm.
  • Switching from manual mode to stitch-regulation mode is quick and easy with the fingertip control.
  • The quilting machine is fast with a stitching speed of two-thousand-two-hundred stitches per minute.
  • One does not keep adjusting the quilting machine as it has a twelve-foot HQ gallery Frame System.
  • The machine comes with free accessories that include; a bobbin case, five bobbins, power cord, oiler, needles, hex wrench as well as a manual and DVD for instructions.
  • The Handi Quilter Fusion machine comes with five years mechanical warranty, five years electronic warranty, and ten years casting warrant.
  • It is easy to use. The maintenance cost is low boosting the confidence of novice users.
The Cons
  • The Handi Quilter Fusion machine is costly.

Bottom line

For the quilters who are new in the job, this machine is the best option to purchase. It is easy to handle and maintain. The DVD and manual are a bonus to allow guide you as you embrace your new machine.


10. The Artistic of 26-8 Quilting Machines (LONG ARM) w/ C-Frame Review

Artistic 26-8 Long Arm Quilting Machine wC-Frame 1

Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

This machine has been advanced to add the features and hardware to match the trends and needs of the quilters. It comes with a LED lighting that is bright and adjustable to illuminate the working space.

The 26-8 has a large quilting area of twenty-six inches. The ample space is essential for the quilter who works with large blocks, allowing them to work on up to twenty inches without having to move and roll the quilt.

Artistic 26-8 Long Arm Quilting Machine wC-Frame 1

The machine has an LCD screen with easy to use touch keys located at the head of the machine making it easily accessible and quick to make adjustments.

It has a built-in bobbin winder, which winds while you quilt ensuring that the bobbin has enough thread anytime you want to put into your use.

Artistic 26-8 Long Arm Quilting Machine wC-Frame 1

Pros of the Artistic of 26-8 Quilting Machines (LONG ARM) w/ C-Frame
  • The lamp that comes with the 26-8 quilting machine is flexible; you can bend it when you need to do a micro stippling and pull it backward for pantographs.
  • It comes with self-contained oil. The quilter does not have to oil the quilts every time they change the bobbin.
  • One can control the bending and breaking of needles since you can stop the machine with the needle both up and down.
  • The model has five modes for regulating the stitches.
  • The equate stitch allows the needle to stop as soon as you stop the machine
  • Basting stitch helps the quilter achieve four large stitches per inch.
  • Cruise stitch does not stop the needle even when the machine stops.
  • Ruler stitch gives you time to move the ruler without timing out.
  • Quilt Motion Robot Stitch control the Quilt Motion Robot
  • Robot stitch allows the machine to be in control of the robot.
  • The machine has a large quilting area of twenty-three inches allowing you to quilt extra-large work.
  • It also has a manual with instructions for use.
  • It comes with a twenty-five years warranty.
The Cons
  • There is no approximation of how many stitches this model can make in a minute.
  • It is the most expensive of all the longarm machine series.

Bottom line

The 26-8 quilting machine has an extremely large quilting area and as such is aimed at the professional quilter.

You will obviously need to dig deep into the pockets for a machine of this calibre, however if you are starting an industrial quilting business, (or need to upgrade you existing equipment), you need look no further. It is worth spending the extra money for this sturdy and spacious, high quality machine.


Long Arm Quilting Machines – A Buyer’s Guide

What is a long arm sewing machine for quilting?

The long-arm quilting machine is a sewing equipment designed to efficiently and simultaneously sew the 3 layers of a quilt, that is the a quilt batting sandwiched between a quilt top (which acts as the top-cloth) and backing (which acts as the bottom-cloth layer), into a finished patterned or non-patterned quilt.

This machine is part of a long-arming system, and can only be used when it is well-assembled into this system.

Parts to make up the whole

A functional long-arming system consists of the following main parts;

  • an industrial-grade sewing machine head (also described as the long-arm quilting machine, or simply as the machine head),
  • a 10-14feet long heavy-duty metal frame that has tracks along its length, carriages that can be wheeled along metal tracks,
  • the worktable whose top-most plastic layer covers a pantograph,
  • and fabric rollers which hold the 3 layers of the quilt in place as it is being stitched by the machine.

The top and bottom carriages

The bottom carriage has tracks along the length of its top edge, and the top carriage is wheeled along these tracks. The quilting machine is mounted on the top carriage.

The bottom carriage has wheels, and can be wheeled along the tracks of the metal frame.

Therefore, in the fully assembled long-arming system, the quilting machine can be pulled towards or pushed away from the quilter as it rolls along the top carriage; as well as be rolled right or left along the metal frame by wheeling the bottom carriage along the tracks of the metal frame.

Ultimately, this gives the machine a full-range of movement across the entire section of quilt fabric that rests on the worktable. This allows the quilter to stitch the quilt along both its width and length. Likewise, the pantograph enables the quilter to easily sew patterns into the quilt.

The main quilting styles of the long arm quilter

One can also sew customized patterns on the quilt without using the pantograph. This also means that there are 2 main quilting styles that can be used when quilting by a long-arming system, the pantograph design and the custom quilting style.

In the fully-assembled and operational long-arming system, there are at least 2 front rollers, the top and bottom rollers; as well as one back roller.

These rollers are fitted to the metal frame and are above the worktable, with the front rollers being in front of the table while the back roller is behind it.

The quilt top is secured to a top roller while the quilt backing is secured to a bottom roller with the batting (also called padding) inserted in between these 2 cloth layers.

The stitched layers are secured to the back roller. There is a mechanism (usually feet-operated) for driving these rollers, which allows for the back rollers to pull the quilt as the front rollers passively roll thereby feeding the layers to the worktable, and for this reason the front rollers are also called the feeder rollers.

Equally, if one needs the layers to be taut, the feeder rollers can be pinned down to prevent them from rolling while the back roller pulls the layers hence causing the layers across the worktable to be pulled tight thus allowing one to efficiently stitch all the 3 layers together without creating creases.

The 2 main types of long arm quilting machine

Long-arm quilting machines can be broadly categorized into 2 categories depending on how they are operated – the electrically-powered and the hand-crank operated (or manually-operated) machines. Even so, almost all high-quality machines are electrically-powered.

Electrically Powered Quilters

These electrically-powered models can be further grouped into 2 main types; the hand-guided models where the quilter uses the machine handles to move the sewing head across the quilt fabric during sewing, and the computer-guided models where a computer programs moves the sewing head across the fabric when sewing and designing the quilt.

Computer Controlled

There are also hybrid models which allow the long-arm quilting machine to be connected and operated by a computer system, while also featuring handles that can be used to manually guide the machine when it is not connected to any computer system.

The long-arm quilting machine is shipped in a pre-assembled state as it needs to be fitted on the frame of an existing long-arming system.

Normally, high-quality models come with their installation hardware and easy-to-follow installation guides. The basic installation process is described below, but this is just the basics, and quilter must follow the installation procedure that is laid down in the instruction guide that comes with the acquired model.

What is the price of long arm quilting machines?

us dollars

The price of long arm quilting machines starts at around $3,000 for a starter unit with computerized functionality. However, it is worth remembering you will need to buy the quilting frame separately on top of this.

Wider throat long arms with superior features range in price from between $5,000 and $8,000. At this price point some of the units will be shipped with the frame too.

It is then possible to pay anything from $8,000 right up to around $16,000 for a top quality long arm quilting machine used for commercial purposes. These packages will have everything you need to start a quilting business.

How much space do you need for a long arm quilting machine?

To efficiently operate a long arm quilting machine you should allow at least 2 feet of access space around the entire machine. This means you should not have your quilter and frame pushed up against any walls in the room you plan on working in.

A clearance of 2 feet gives you access to all sides of the table, while providing space for the head of your machine to move freely throughout the quilting area.

It is also worth remembering that a longarm table has two main areas;  the “dead end” and a “live end”. The rest is quite self explanatory. No quilting action takes place at the dead end, so you will not need access to this area so regularly. (If you are short of space, the dead end is where you can minimize clearance).

The live end however is where the roller bars will be advancing the quilt as you work. This is where you will definitely need regular access and is vital you allow your self the 2 foot of clearance with which to work.

For more information on how to organize your space for a long arm quilting machine, head here.

Getting your head around the setup

In the package is the encoder set which features 2 encoder pieces, bolts, locking-washers, spacers, and related installation hardware that allow each carriage is fitted with an encoder piece.

The encoder piece has a spring mechanism (in the spring arm) that allows the carriage to press down snugly on the track thus allowing the carriage to roll smoothly along its track. Each encoder piece also has a wire that connects it to the machine head.

Next, the machine head is mounted properly on the top carriage. Then, the rear hand-bars (handlebars) and thread-stand along with its (thread-stand) accessories are fitted to the machine head.

However, if the model is an electrically-powered computer-guided model, the display wire and RJ cable are first fixed to the machine and then covered by the rocker arm cover before the front hand-bar assembly is fitted along with the thread-stand.

Afterwards, the display bracket is mounted atop the front hand-bar assembly. The tablet that has the computer program that runs this model is then secured into the bracket and the display wire and RJ cable connected to the connection ports of the tablet.

Thereafter, the rear hand-bars are fitted and the cables from the encoder pieces are plugged into their respective (top and bottom) encoder ports on the rear end of the machine.

Then, the power cable can be fitted to its port in the machine, and on the other end, the cable is plugged to a power socket.

If the power is turned on, one can test the machine to ensure it is setup properly.

Further Reading

Websites:

Reading:


Review Image Credits: Sewing Machines Plus

More From The Vault