Quilting has become a popular hobby among middle-aged and older women with the average age of a quilter being 58 according to the Quilting in America survey conducted by the International Quilt Market and Festival and Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. While these individuals spend money on fabric, patterns, and accessories, one of the largest expenses for them is purchasing a new quilting and sewing machine. It's important that they are able to compare the machines in order to get exactly what they need for the best price.

Things You Will Need

General knowledge of sewing or quilting machines

Step 1

Determine the power of the motor. Quilting sewing machines run for several hours when you are quilting a large blanket or bedspread. You want a machine that has a motor powerful enough to run without stopping for at least two or three hours. Motors that can't be consistently operating while quilting will result in the stitches being uneven or out of line with the quilt pattern.

Step 2

Look at the opening between the needle and feed dogs. The thickness of a quilt is determined by the thickness of the batting inserted between the front and the back fabric of the quilt. If you plan to make quilts or blankets with a thick batting, you need a quilting sewing machine that has a large gap of at least three to four inches between the needle and the feed dogs. If you don't the needle will be unable to go through the entire fabric to create a stitch.

Step 3

Check to see the capabilities for free motion quilting. There are a number of different patterns you can choose to have quilted on your fabric, or you can choose to quilt free hand and simply make up the pattern as you go. With the latter you want a machine that gives you the ability to do free motion quilting by dropping the feed dogs. Instead of the fabric being fed through to the needle in a straight line, you can move and twist it as you want to.

Step 4

Decide if you want an automatic quilting sewing machine. Advances in technology have made more possible with quilting sewing machines. In fact there are machines that will run by themselves for several hours once they are programmed until the quilting is finished. This can save you time if what you really enjoy in quilting is putting the different fabrics together to form the top piece.

Step 5

Check with quilting machine salesman for comparison charts. One of the great ways to compare quilting sewing machines is to ask the dealers or salespeople of quilting machines for a comparison chart. Many have put this together to aid customers in determining which brand of machine is right for them.


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