If you've recently been bit by the quilting bug, you are probably passionate about your new hobby and are quickly building your very own fabric stash. You may have stocked up on several colors of quilting thread and obtained all the cutting tools and measuring devices you need for your new obsession.
You decide it's time to shop for a new sewing machine and feel overwhelmed when you walk into the sewing machine dealer. You may wonder where to begin and how to choose the perfect machine.
Don't feel bad. Even seasoned quilters find purchasing a new sewing machine to be a daunting task. However, you can narrow down your choices by taking an honest look of your needs and making sure the machine you select has the features most vital to quilting.
Avoid low-end machines
A standard sewing machine may be fine if you're just mending clothing or doing some basic home sewing. However, quilters run their machines long and hard. They stitch through several layers of fabric at once. Purchase the best machine you can afford. A good quality sewing machine is an investment, but it will serve you well for years to come.
Look for a few important features
- Quilters should look for machines equipped with extension tables. A larger work surface makes it easier when working with large and bulky quilts.
- A quarter-inch foot attachment is crucial. Obtaining a perfect quarter-inch seam is at the core of all quilting projects. If a machine comes with this special foot, you can be certain it was manufactured with quilters in mind.
- A stitch regulator is another good feature to look for. Good stitch length control is important for achieving a uniform stitch length when quilting. Look for machines that come with this attachment or see if an attachment can be purchased separately to fit the machine.
Buy from a reputable dealer
Make sure your machine dealer stands behind the machines they sell. Ask if they offer classes on how to use the machine and if they provide regular cleaning and maintenance for the machine. They should be willing to help you get comfortable learning to use the machine. A good dealer will also offer repair services if you need them in the future.
Be realistic about your needs
Be realistic about your sewing needs. Are you going to use your sewing machine only for quilting or will you also be doing home sewing and fashion sewing? Are you planning to eventually turn your hobby into a business and make quilts to sell?
When you're honest about how much time you're going to spend using the machine, you can narrow your options down. If you're going to start making quilts to sell, you will need a machine with a powerful motor that will hold up under extensive use.
If you plan to do more fashion or home sewing than quilting, you can probably go with a less expensive machine, as quilting typically is more demanding then fashion sewing.
Buying your first sewing machine for quilting doesn't have to be a dreaded task. With the help of a reputable machine dealer like Hi Fashion Sewing Machines, and being honest about your needs, you will be able to find a machine that will serve you well for years to come.