5 Best Sewing Machines for Quilting and Embroidery

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

If you’re new to embroidery or quilting, sorting through manufacturer specs for many sewing machines is daunting if you’re not familiar with the terms. 

To help you out, I’ll review the pros and cons of some of the best sewing machine

If you’re new to embroidery, purchasing the best embroidery machine for beginners is a crucial first step. 

However, without hands-on experience, how will you know what features you need and what will be a good beginner embroidery machine?

I’ve been machine embroidering for a while now and have put together this helpful guide of entry-level embroidery machine suggestions.

Machine embroidery is not an easy hobby to learn, and it’s not for everyone.

However, if you commit to the craft and get past the beginner woes, you’ll soon find yourself fearlessly embroidering everything you can get your hands on!

best embroidery machine for beginners

Table of Contents

Before Purchasing an Embroidery Machine

Everyone has different crafting backgrounds and expectations, so no one machine will be best for all embroidery beginners. 

Thus, let’s first talk about the differences between embroidery machines and the factors you need to consider to make the best choice for yourself. 

(And, if you’re a little confused about embroidery, this article on what an embroidery machine is and what it’s used for may be helpful!)

1. Embroidery-Only vs. Combination Machine

embroidery machine only or combination machine?

While embroidery-only machines cannot sew, a combination machine gives you the power to both sew and embroider.

I have a combination machine because it saves space in my small craft room. Plus, the sewing features like automatic thread trimming, automatic tension, and the monstrous number of stitches were appealing! 

However, if you already have a sewing machine you love, don’t ever need to sew, or don’t want a machine that converts, an embroidery-only machine might be your best bet. 

Decide which type you want, as this will be one of beginner embroidery machines’ most significant differentiating factors. 

2. Personal Use vs. Home Business

Next, sit down and consider your embroidery goals.

Do you want to do only basic tasks like applique onesies for grandbabies? Or, are you planning to start a home business to bring in extra income?

A machine for basic, personal use only may not need as many bells and whistles as a machine for a business that will help pay your mortgage.

When planning to start a home business with your machine, though, know that there’s a sizable learning curve to perfecting your embroidery, so don’t plan to quit your day job immediately. 

3. Embroidery Hoop Size

4"x4" hoop compared to 5"x7" hoop

What size designs do you want to embroider?

Every embroidery machine has a maximum embroidery area and corresponding hoop size. This is the size of the largest design you can stitch at one time. 

While it’s possible to split larger designs with software and then either use a repositional hoop or rehoop your fabric between sections, this takes time and expertise. 

The sad thing about hoop size is prices increase exponentially as the hoop size increases. 

The smallest hoop machines are 4″x4″ hoop machines. You can do many things with a 4″x4″ hoop, but larger machines offer more conveniences and possibilities for designs, like the ability to stitch larger in-the-hoop projects. 

4. Budget

How much is an embroidery machine even these days?

Some embroidery machines cost more than a car! Not to mention you need to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars for embroidery supplies, designs, and software. 

When considering the best embroidery machine for beginners, decide the maximum amount of money you want to spend, and stick to it. 

Don’t feel persuaded to spend more than you have. There is nothing wrong with starting small to ensure you like the hobby before investing thousands in the biggest machine your shop offers!

5. The Cost vs. Convenience Ratio

When considering your budget, know that every upgrade to your machine will cost more. 

Here are some convenient features that aren’t necessary but may be important for you to budget in. 

A. Automatic Jump Stitch Trimming

trim any jump stitches

Jump stitches are the thread trails left when a machine skips from one design part to another.

Basic embroidery machines don’t trim jump stitches, instead only automatically cutting at the end of each thread color. However, more deluxe machines automatically trim jump stitches, so you don’t have to. 

B. Magnetic Hoops

Metal/Magnetic Hoop for Brother/Baby Lock Embroidery Machine 6'x10' (SA441) 4500D 4700D 4750D 6000D 6700D 1500 1500D 2500 2800D 3500D NQ1400E NQ1600E NQ3500D NQ3600D Innov-ís XP1

If you love the idea of an embroidery machine for quilting, a machine with a magnetic embroidery hoop option can be especially helpful when quilting a finished top. 

C. Multi-Needle Machines

Purchasing a single-needle machine means you change the thread color yourself after the machine stitches each section. 

 

Janome MB-4S Four Needle Embroidery Machine with Accessories

Multi-needle embroidery machines, which start around $5k, change threads automatically for you. This is a big-time saver but a huge expense. 

6. Tech Savviness

If you don’t own a computer and are uncomfortable around electronics, machine embroidery may be a trying hobby for you. 

My 90-year-old grandmother, for instance, has sewn for 75+ years and can sew anything on her mechanical sewing machine. No matter how much I help her, though, the computerized aspect of machine embroidery makes learning this machine too tricky. 

Also, the more expensive machines with so many features on the LCD touchscreen are much more difficult to learn than simple, entry-level embroidery machines without all the added features.

Also, do you plan to design your own embroidery designs, or will you purchase them?

splitting designs for 4x4 hoop

Some machines come with basic embroidery software that auto-digitizes and includes masterful onscreen editing features while others have only essential editing functions. 

One thing to know is full-fledged embroidery digitizing software is EXPENSIVE and difficult to use for the not technically inclined. You might find it easiest to use your machine’s built-in designs and fonts and purchase the rest. 

7. Product Support and Help for Beginners

My experience with local dealers in my metroplex is you pay more for a machine from a brick-and-mortar store than you will online.

However, when you buy from a dealer, they help you learn to use your embroidery machine. If you think you’ll need the extra classes and support, a dealer might be a good option if you’re okay with paying a little more. 

8. Used vs. New Embroidery Machine for Beginners

If you’re a true beginner, I recommend not buying a used embroidery machine from a stranger. For instance, avoid individual eBay, Amazon, and even Facebook marketplace sellers who offer no warranties.

One place where it’s okay (and sometimes a good deal) to buy a used beginner machine is an authorized sewing and embroidery machine dealer. These experts know how to service machines and evaluate and fix issues before selling. They will also likely offer a warranty on used machines. 

Purchasing certified refurbished through Amazon, eBay, Sewing Machines Plus, etc., will also give you a warranty, and I’ve generally had good luck here. 

Best Embroidery Machines for Beginners

While there are many more expensive and incredible embroidery machines, this list of best beginner embroidery machines focuses on single-needle machines for less than $2,000.

What if you want to buy a multi-needle embroidery machine or even the newest Brother Luminaire XP3? In that case, I recommend you visit your nearest sewing machine retailer to try it out first.

My local sewing shops do not stock newer, low-cost machines, so I bought every one of my embroidery machines online before I had to buy my Luminaire XP2, which cost me a small fortune, in-store. 

1. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine

Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine, 138 Built-in Designs, 5

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Field5"x7"
Embroidery Designs138 designs
Maximum Embroidery Speed650 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Shop on Amazon!

As a Brother sewing and embroidery machine lover, I think Brother (and Baby Lock) make the easiest-to-use embroidery machines. The interface is more intuitive than Janome or Bernina, and Brother is typically less expensive also. 

If you know you’ll love embroidery and want a big enough hoop size for many tasks, the Brother PE800 embroidery only machine is a great place to start with its 5″x7″ maximum embroidery area. 

Now, just remember, it doesn’t have any sewing abilities. 

However, there are 138 built-in designs, 11 built-in fonts, 10 frames, and 14 borders. That being said, I guarantee you’ll want to collect your own fonts and embroidery designs online. (Check out where to find free embroidery fonts and free machine embroidery designs!)

Like most entry-level Brother embroidery machines, you can import any designs you create or download to the machine using a USB drive. 

Some drag-and-drop editing is available on the LCD color touchscreen, and you can also preview designs there before stitching.

For a larger 6″x10″ hoop machine, check out the Brother NQ1700E, which also offers automatic jump thread trimming. 

Learn more in my Brother PE800 review!

Note: The Brother PE900, which is an upgrade to the PE800, debuted in the Fall of 2022. It’s pricier but is WiFi enabled, automatically cuts jump stitches, and has more designs and fonts.

2. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine

Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine, 80 Built-in Designs, 4

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Field4"x4"
Embroidery Designs80 included
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Shop on Amazon!

The Brother PE535 is usually the smallest, most affordable embroidery machine you can purchase.

As one of the best Brother embroidery machine choices for beginners, it’s a great place to start if you only want to tinker with embroidery and don’t want to spend your life savings.

If the embroidery love bug bites you, this machine resells well, so you can easily upgrade to a bigger hoop machine. 

Like the Brother PE800, the Brother PE535 is an embroidery-only machine, meaning you need an additional sewing machine if you want to do more than embroidery.

Featuring a 4″x4″ embroidery field and 80 built-in designs, the Brother PE535 also has 9 built-in fonts. Of course, you can import .pes designs with a jump drive. 

What’s great about Brother embroidery machines is threading is very simple. Instructions are printed on the machine for both bobbin threading and upper threading. And, the instruction manual includes a lot of helpful information and quick-start guides. 

As an update, the upgraded Brother PE545 has finally come on the market and offers Wi-Fi design transfer and Artspira app compatibility. 

3. Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine

Janome Memory Craft 400E Embroidery Machine

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Field7.9"x7.9"
Embroidery Designs160 designs and 6 fonts
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Shop on Amazon!

My local library has a Janome Memory Craft embroidery machine, and it’s withstood the test of hundreds of patrons using it. 

While I’m a bigger fan of Brother due to their interfaces’ ease of use, some embroiderers contend that Janome machines last longer. 

That being said, the Janome Memory Craft 400E embroidery-only machine is one of the best Janome embroidery machines for beginners, thanks to its large 7.9″ x 7.9″ hoop size. 

In addition to the built-in designs, monogramming fonts, and ability to import .jef designs via USB, the Janome MC400E also embroiders faster than the Brother PE800 or PE535 and offers automatic jump thread trimming. 

4. Brother SE1900 Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine

brother se1900

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Field5"x7"
Embroidery Designs138 designs, 11 fonts, 10 frames with 14 borders
Stitch Options240 stitches, 10 buttonhole options
Maximum Sewing Speed850 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Shop on Amazon!

The Brother SE1900 combination machine, which I’ve happily had for several years now, has the exact embroidery specifications as the Brother PE800.

What differs between the two, however, is the Brother SE1900 is also a sewing machine. 

As such, it offers 240 built-in stitches (some are very similar to others), 10 buttonhole stitches, and 7 presser feet.

It also has the great user-friendly features of Brother sewing machines (easy bobbin winding and quick-set, top-drop bobbin).

Plus, it includes an advanced needle threader (easier to use than the one on my sewing-only machine), automatic tension defaults, automatic thread trimming, and the option for automatic reinforcement or reverse stitches. It also has a knee lifter, which is plain fun to have. 

Even though I’ve also upgraded to a high-end embroidery machine after many years of embroidering, I still have my SE1900 as my backup machine and never plan to get rid of it!

It’s especially great to use while my Luminaire XP2 works on long embroidery projects. And, I prefer to “test my luck” on certain projects using this machine rather than my higher-priced one!

If you want a larger hoop combination machine, check out the Brother NQ3600D, NQ3700D, or NQ3550W, all of which have a 6″x10″ hoop, an array of sewing stitches, and features like automatic jump stitch trimming. 

Read more in my Brother SE1900 review.

brother se2000

Update: The upgraded Brother SE2000 also entered the market in 2022; I purchased it shortly after to test out. It is WiFi-enabled, has added built-in designs, and can automatically trim jump stitches. 

I reviewed my Brother SE2000 recently, and you can grab more information about the differences between it and the Brother SE1900.

5. Brother SE600 Combination Machine

Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine, 80 Designs, 103 Built-In Stitches, Computerized, 4

Key FeaturesSpecs
Embroidery Field4"x4"
Embroidery Designs80 included
Stitch Options103 stitches, 10 buttonhole options
Maximum Sewing Speed710 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

Shop on Amazon!

The Brother SE600 machine is the combination sewing and embroidery version of the Brother PE535.

As such, it also features a 4″x4″ hoop and includes the same 80 designs and 6 fonts. 

While it’s not quite as spiffy as the Brother SE1900 when sewing, it does have 103 stitches, 10 buttonhole options, and 7 presser feet. It has automatic thread cutting and an advanced needle threader as well. 

As a downside, though, the maximum sewing speed is only 710 stitches per minute, which is less than the Brother SE1900’s 850 spm. 

Learn more in my Brother SE600 review.

Finally, the upgraded Brother SE700 is readily available in 2023. It is WiFi-enabled and includes more designs than the SE600. 

6. Janome Memory Craft 9850 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 Embroidery and Sewing Machine

Shop on Amazon!

One of the best Janome combination machines is the Memory Craft 9850. 

In terms of embroidery, the machine includes a 6.7″x7.9″ embroidery hoop, 175 built-in designs, and 2 English fonts. The maximum embroidery speed is 800 spm, and design transfer happens via USB. 

One beneficial aspect of embroidery is the embroidery hoop attaches at the back of the machine, so there’s no carriage in the way when maneuvering to trim threads during embroidery. 

The sewing speed is an impressive 1,000 spm, and there’s a maximum stitch width of 0.9mm, which is better than the Brother SE1900. The machine also features 200 built-in stitches and 9 presser feet. 

This machine is a great option for serious sewists, quilters, and embroiderers!

Beginner Embroidery Machine Suggestions – Final Notes

The rule of the land seems to be to buy as big of a hoop and as nice of a machine as you can afford.

Please, only do this if you know you can commit to learning how to use an embroidery machine and actually plan to use it! (Not to mention, the fancier the machine, the more difficult it is for a beginner to understand and use all the functions!)

If you only have the budget for an affordable 4″x4″ embroidery machine, there is no shame in that!

I started with the Brother SE625 embroidery machine, which has a 4″x4″ hoop, and I was thrilled with it for years before upgrading to the SE1900 for several years and, ultimately, the Luminaire XP2. 

I would change nothing about my process to get to the largest hoop machine I could find.

I made my mistakes, learned my craft, and decided I loved embroidery first on entry-level machines. All without cleaning out my savings!

Whatever you do, though, the choice of the best beginner embroidery is up to you, so make sure you take into account everything you want and need in a machine. 

Happy stitching!

s for quilting and embroidery and walk you through features to look at before making your purchase.

Then you can feel equipped to choose the machine that will meet your crafty needs best.

best sewing machines for embroidery and quilting

Two Types of Sewing Machines for Quilting and Embroidery

There are two types of combination quilting and embroidery machines.  It all depends on what you consider embroidery.

1. Standard Sewing Machine

All sewing machines technically “embroider” if you are open to free-motion embroidery or appliqueing with a sewing machine. 

On a standard sewing machine, there is no computerized component to import embroidery designs from your computer. Essentially, all embroidery must be done with you guiding the fabric and tailoring your machine’s stitch settings.

2. Computerized Embroidery Combo Machine

computerized embroidery machine

In contrast, with an embroidery machine that also sews, you can use built-in embroidery designs or import digitized designs from your computer. 

Simply hoop fabric and stabilizer, press go, and watch the machine embroider the design for you!

With these reviews of the best sewing machines for embroidery and quilting, I will focus on computerized embroidery machines that quilt also. 

However, if you are looking for a quilting sewing machine that does not do computerized embroidery, I recommend the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. You can also find more about this type of machine in my post about the best sewing machines for monogramming

How can an embroidery machine help a quilter out?

If you purchase a computerized embroidery machine that also quilts, there are many really cool things it can do that your average sewing machine can’t!

Here’s a quick list of just some things!

1. In-the-Hoop Quilt Block Piecing

in the hoop piecing example

With specially digitized embroidery files, you can create your own quilt blocks (like the Log Cabin one above) with your machine.

Piece In the Hoop is a fun book I recommend checking out to get an idea of how piecing with an embroidery machine is done.

All you do is place fabric onto your hoop, stitch a straight line (programmed in the design file), turn the fabric, press, and repeat.

Soon, you’ll have an awesome, beautifully complicated quilt block!

While it might be a little slower to piece this way if you’re a pro at foundation paper piecing, it produces MUCH closer to perfect results for me.

2. Personalized Quilt Labels

finished quilt label

If you want to stitch words or names onto your quilt, an embroidery machine is perfect for embroidering quilt labels. Import your favorite font to your machine or use a built-in font, and then start personalizing!

3. Embroidered Blocks

doll quilt

If you want to have the main feature of a quilt block be a design or applique, an embroidery machine can easily take care of that! 

Also, an embroidery machine can add a stippling or other FMQ-like design to a block before the design so there’s no need to “quilt” after attaching the backing. 

Or, you can create an entire scene in a block with your machine. For instance, I made the entire dollhouse quilt above using my Brother Luminaire embroidery machine. 

I also love making quilts with embroidered blocks using my AccuQuilt applique dies and their free embroidery applique designs.

4. Replicating Long-Arm Machine Quilting

quilting the puzzle quilt

With edge-to-edge embroidery quilting designs dedicated to finishing quilts, you can embroider swirls, shapes, and any digitizable patterns onto the surface of your quilt.

Assuming you line up your quilt within your hoop perfectly, this produces tip-top results! (See some tips and finished products in my post about edge-to-edge quilting with an embroidery machine.)

Helpful SEWING Features for an Embroidery and Quilting Machine

quilting machine that embroiders

If you’re not already experienced with sewing and embroidery, here’s a list of sewing features to consider when choosing the best embroidery machine for quilting.

1. Throat Space

The throat space is the area to the right of the machine head where you’d be able to roll up your quilt.

If you’re planning on sewing king-sized quilts, a larger throat space will accommodate larger quilts more easily. 

2. Dropping Feed Dogs

If you still plan to free-motion quilt, you must drop the feed dogs. These are the spiky metal pieces on the sewing machine plate that move the fabric along.

Feed dogs are dropped with a switch on most quilting and embroidery machines. However, some older and more inexpensive machines require you to get out a darning plate for coverage. I’m not a big fan of added steps, especially when I’m in a hurry to finish a project!

3. Extendable Table

Most embroidery machines do not come with an extendable wide table. Many machines offer this feature as an added accessory, though.

The purpose of an oversized wide table is to help hold bulky quilts to the left of the machine. To be honest, I rarely use mine, but if this is a necessity for you, make sure you choose a machine that offers this as a compatible accessory.

4. Knee Lifter

knee lifter

I always scoffed at the need for a knee-lifter until I purchased a machine with one. Then I realized how much I had been missing out on!

Knee lifters allow you to raise and lower the presser foot with your knee rather than having to use your hands.

Thus, your hands can remain free to help with fabric placement underneath your machine presser foot. This makes sewing two ends of elastic together, for instance, effortless!

5. Stitches On a Quilting Machine

Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine, 138 Designs, 240 Built-in Stitches, Computerized, 5" x 7These are a few of the stitches and stitch settings you should look for on your new machine.

  • Straight stitch. Make sure the stitch length is adjustable or has several preset options, especially a basting stitch if you baste quilts with your machine.
  • Zigzag stitch. Preferably, choose a machine with adjustable stitch length and width, especially if you ever plan to applique without using a computerized embroidery file.
  • Piecing stitch. While not necessary, a piecing stitch can help with those perfect scant 1/4″ seams.
  • Dedicated quilting stitches. Many quilting and embroidery machines will have a couple of quilting stitches such as the invisible applique stitch or a hand-look quilting stitch. While not necessary, they are nice to have!

6. Helpful Quilting Presser Feet

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches, Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing ProjectsWhile you can do piecing with your everyday zigzag presser foot, a few special quilting presser feet can help make your job easier. If your desired machine doesn’t include a certain foot, there’s usually a compatible option you can purchase. 

  • 1/4″ piecing foot. Sew perfect scant 1/4″ seams with this foot. It is helpful for beginners who have not yet learned to sew precise seams yet.
  • Walking foot. If you’re stitching multiple layers together, a walking foot (or even feed foot) helps all layers of fabric feed at the same rate.
  • Spring-action quilting foot (aka darning foot). For free-motion quilting, this clear foot helps you see where your needle is going and where your stitches and designs are.
  • Quilt guide. You can insert a quilt guide to help you sew parallel lines of stitches.

Important EMBROIDERY Features On A Quilting Sewing Machine

Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine, 138 Designs, 240 Built-in Stitches, Computerized, 5" x 71. Embroidery Field

An embroidery machine’s most important differentiating feature is its maximum embroidery area. 

This is the largest design you can embroider without having to split your design and rehoop your fabric. If you plan to only embroider specialized quilt labels, a 4″x4″ embroidery area will do the trick.

If you plan on piecing large quilt blocks in the hoop or want to add large quilting motifs, it’s worth investing in a larger embroidery area. 

For instance, instead of rehooping 15 times while all-over quilting with a large hoop machine, you may end up rehooping 50-100 times with the smaller machine. But, buying that top-of-the-line machine can cost $10,000 or more, whereas the smaller hoop machine may only be 1/10th of the price. 

2. Built-in Designs and Fonts

All computerized embroidery machines for quilting include built-in fonts, designs, frames, and more.

If you don’t want to have to download designs and import them to your machine, take a look at the pre-loaded designs and fonts before purchasing.

I’ve typically found the fonts and designs included with all my machines to be lacking and instead prefer to create my own designs or download them, though. (Two helpful posts to check out: where to download free embroidery machine designs and where to download free embroidery machine fonts.)

3. Design Import Method

USB port on the side of both the Brother SE625 and Brother SE600

There are three common ways to import new designs to modern quilting and embroidery machines.

First, attaching your computer to your machine via a cable. Second, plugging in a flash drive. And third, sending the design wirelessly.

If you’re not tech-savvy or don’t have reliable wireless internet, make sure not to choose a machine with only wireless transfer!

4. Ease of Switching Between Features

When you switch from sewing to embroidery, you often have to change the presser foot to your embroidery foot and then attach the embroidery arm.

Some machines make this process easier and less time-consuming than others, so check out the switching process before making your final decision.

For instance, the higher-end Brother combination machine models allow you to sew with the embroidery arm still attached. 

5. Magnetic Hoop Compatibility 

dime snap hoop monster

Magnetic embroidery hoops are perfect for holding quilt sandwiches when adding stippling or other quilting designs. These are game-changers when it comes to finishing quilts. 

One big perk (besides ease of use!) of a magnetic frame is it eliminates the need for stabilizer and adhesives.

For higher-end embroidery machine models, you can check the dime website for Snap Hoop machine compatibility to see your options.

For more budget embroidery machines (those with 5″x7″ hoops or smaller), not all hope is lost, though, as many of these options have compatible Embroidex magnetic hoops on Amazon. 

Best Sewing Machines for Quilting and Embroidery (2022)

Now, here are the top 5 sewing machines for quilting and embroidery reviewed in detail. 

1. Brother SE1900 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

brother se1900 review

Shop on Amazon!

FeatureSpecs
Embroidery Field5"x7"
Embroidery Designs138 designs, 11 fonts, 10 frames with 14 borders
Stitch Options240 stitches, 10 buttonhole options
Maximum Sewing Speed850 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

I’ve owned my Brother SE1900 for over two years now, and I still think it’s the best sewing machine for quilting and embroidery at its price point.

It has a nice-sized 5″x7″ embroidery area, which allows me to embroider a large selection of designs without splitting.

There are also 138 built-in designs (they’re ok, but I still recommend making or downloading others) and 11 fonts, 7 of which are in English. This large selection of fonts is VERY helpful if you’re looking to frequently monogram or add a name and brief personalization to a quilt.

You can also create your own applique shapes or frames from one of 10 basic shapes with 14 different border stitch options. Within the touchscreen, you also do have a lot of editing capabilities if you don’t want to purchase software.

In terms of sewing, the Brother SE1900 comes with 7 sewing feet (as well as the embroidery foot). A walking foot and 1/4″ piecing foot are not included, but these are inexpensive to purchase separately if needed. 

There are also an impressive 240 sewing stitches with the option to import new stitch files or create them on screen. So, no need to worry if your favorite stitch is not among the 240! It’s also fun that there are three different piecing stitches (needle left, center, and right) and several dedicated quilting stitches, too.

The Brother SE1900 also has a knee lifter, making a huge difference when I sew hands-free!

Read all about it in my Brother SE1900 review!

If you want a larger hoop size on a Brother combo machine, consider the Brother Luminaire XP3 (embroidery area 10 5/8″ x 16″ and what I also have), Innov-is XJ1 (area: 9.5″x14″), Innov-is VM5200 (area: 8″x12″), or NQ3600D, NQ3700D, or NQ3550W (area: 6″x10″). Prices are much higher, but you can get so much more done with a bigger hoop. The Luminaire is especially fun because it has Quiltbroidery features!

I’ve also made a list of the biggest hoop embroidery machines if you want to buy big! Obviously, the larger machines are better for quilting, but they also cost five figures and thus aren’t accessible for most users!

2. Janome Memory Craft 9850 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 Embroidery and Sewing Machine

Shop on Amazon!

Our local library has a Janome Memory Craft combo machine, and it’s amazing! However, Janome sewing machines are considerably pricier than Brother sewing machines and thus make more sense only for a very frequent hobbyist.

If you’re looking for an even larger hoop size than the 5″x7″ of the SE1900, though, the MC9850 has a 6.7″x7.9″ max embroidery size. It also works with smaller hoop sizes and has the option of a small free arm to help with small areas like cuffs.

There are 175 built-in embroidery designs and 200 stitches as well. Ways it is better than the SE1900 include programmable jump stitch trimming and a maximum stitch width of 9mm compared to 7mm on the SE1900.

It also embroiders up to 800 spm and sews at 1000 spm, which is a bit faster than the SE1900. (I rarely sew at top speed anyway, though!) However, it only has 2 monogram fonts compared to the larger selection on the SE1900.

It matches the SE1900 in that it includes a knee lifter, on-screen editing capabilities (no actual included software, though), automatic thread tension, and a built-in automatic needle threader.

3. Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade 35 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

husqvarna jade 35 sewing and embroidery machine

You can purchase this one from Sewingmachinesplus.com!

Our local JOANN always has the Jade Viking in the display area to take for a test drive. It’s fun getting to play around with it! Here are a few of its pertinent details. 

  • Maximum embroidery field: 6″x9.5″
  • Sewing stitches: 120
  • Embroidery designs: 70
  • Number fonts: 2 sewing and 1 embroidery, but software is included to design more!
  • Presser feet: 8

For the price, the Designer Jade 35 really is an impressive sewing machine that quilts and embroiders.

What differentiates it from some of the other machines on this list is the larger 8″ throat space and the nice-sized 6″x9.5″ embroidery field.

The one downfall is it’s just not as popular as Brother or Janome machines. That makes finding videos and tutorials online for complicated tasks more difficult if you’re a beginner!

Plus, I thought its interface was more complicated and difficult to figure out than that of my Brother SE1900. (I own 4 Brother machines right now, so I am a bit partial, though!)

One other fun thing about the Designer Jade 35 is it also comes with basic embroidery software, which will help you create additional fonts and monograms. It’s not a digitizing software for designing actual embroidery files, though.

If you want larger hoop sizes, Husqvarna also offers top-of-the-line machines such as the Designer Epic 2, Designer Ruby 90, and Designer Sapphire 85. 

4. Brother SE600 or SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

My Brother SE625 embroidery machine

Shop on Amazon!

FeatureSpecs
Weight14.3 lbs
Dimensions21.2" x 15.5" x 16.5"
Embroidery Field4"x4"
Embroidery Designs80 included
Stitch Options103 stitches, 10 buttonhole options
Maximum Sewing Speed710 stitches per minute
USB ConnectionBuilt-in USB port

I started my embroidery journey on the Brother SE625 embroidery machine, which is the gold-colored twin of the Brother SE600. I had it for about a year and then decided I needed a bigger machine when it turned out I enjoyed embroidery so much!

My Brother SE625 pieced well, and it embroidered well.  However, as I mentioned, the embroidery area was only 4″x4.” The throat space is also only 6.4″.

It’s one of the most inexpensive embroidery machines you can purchase, though, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend it to beginners. If you plan to embroider only a few times a year, learning to split designs and work with the 4″x4″ area is the most financially prudent option!

In terms of embroidery, the Brother SE600 has 80 included designs, and the Brother SE625 has 280 designs. The only difference between the Brother SE600 vs SE625 is the extra 200 designs on CD with the SE625 as well as a gold faceplate rather than the silver of the SE600.

In terms of quilting features, there are 103 stitch options, including 2 piecing stitches (needle center and right) and 4 decorative quilting stitches. It doesn’t have a knee lifter or wide extension table, but again, this is a budget embroidery machine. You won’t be disappointed with the stitch integrity, though, when sewing!

The maximum sewing speed is only 710 spm, which may be a bit bothersome if you piece like a fiend. 

5. EverSewn Sparrow X2 Combination Machine

EverSewn Sparrow X2 Sewing & Embroidery Machine, White

Shop on Amazon!

EverSewn is a brand at the forefront of technology for entry-level embroidery machines.

Instead of USB transfer like all these other quilting embroidery machines, the Sparrow X has WiFi transfer. This means you can transfer designs and control the machine’s embroidering from your electronic device.

This is great news if you have reliable WiFi and are techy, but not so much if an advanced computerized embroidery machine scares you off!

This machine also reads all of the most common embroidery file formats, which is convenient if you have a library of assorted embroidery files and don’t want to have to convert them all before stitching!

Here are a few other stats for this machine that may help form your decision.

  • Max embroidery field: 4.75″x7″
  • Embroidery designs: 100
  • Stitches: 120
  • Presser feet: 8

The reason I haven’t ranked this machine more highly is it includes NO built-in fonts. While it’s not too much of a hardship to import your own fonts, it’s just not as quick to add labels or names without a built-in font!

You can also purchase this machine from Sewing Machines Plus.

Best Sewing Machine for Quilting and Embroidery: Conclusion

I hope this post has explained the basic features you’ll want to look for in your next quilting and embroidery machine and helped you differentiate between some of the major players.

If you have a local sewing shop, you can stop by and try out several of these models. And, if you have any questions, let me know!

5 Comments

  1. Thanks this was very helpful.

  2. Sharon Bohaty says:

    Hi. Awesome info. Do you know if either the Husqvarna Viking Designer Jade 35, or the Janome Memory Craft 9850 have the magnetic embroidery hoop? Also, I see you own and are partial to Brother. I own a Brother Se600 for about 2 years now and I’m not happy with it. I have constant issues with poor stitch quality( on straight stitching) no matter what I set the tension to. I feel like it’s a very quirky machine. I’ve owned a metal no frills Necci for over 40 years and although it can’t do what these new machines can, I could always depend on high quality stitches. Just curious on your take. I spend more time fixing this machine’s quirky issues than I spend sewing and at this point I want to buy a higher end machine. Thanks in advance

    1. I *think* the Jade 35 has a compatible DIME Snap Hoop Monster, but I’m not sure about the MC9850. I recommend checking out the compatibility chart on the DIME website, and you can verify for sure.

      And, yes, I’m pretty partial to Brother based on my experiences with them. (I own/have owned the Brother CS6000i and CS7000X sewing machines and also had a Brother SE625 and have a Brother SE1900 and Brother Luminaire XP2 with XP3 upgrade embroidery machines. I also have Brother 1034D and 1034DX sergers and a Brother 2340CV coverstitch. I have never had any issues with the machines except the darn coverstitch, which is more my frustration with the lack of a tension release when lifting the presser foot. So, that’s why I recommend Brother products! Oh, and I have an SDX330D ScanNCut, but I prefer my Cricut or Silhouette for a few reasons not having anything to do with the unreliability of the machine.)

      I’ve trialed all the other brands of machines while picking out mine, and Brother machines have the easiest-to-use embroidery interfaces, in my opinion. They’re also generally less expensive than competitor machines, and they are so popular that machine-specific tutorials and FB groups/YT channels are very readily available.

      As for stitch quality on the SE600, I recommend cleaning the top thread path with unwaxed dental floss, cleaning the bobbin case and surrounding area really well and trying out a new bobbin case [my machines come with two bobbin cases with two different tension settings, so this could be an issue], and also making sure that the #6 metal piece is in place where it should be. Also, in the rare event you aren’t threading with the presser foot up or placing the bobbin case in the correct direction, do that.

      Hope that helps answer your questions!

  3. Olivia McLaurine says:

    Aly,
    Can you please tell me if there is a big difference between the SE1900 and the NS2750D sewing and embroidery machines? I loved your review on the SE1900 and was ready to purchase one, until I found a NS2750D for the same price!
    FYI, I plan to sew, quilt and do embroidery.
    Thank you!
    Olivia

    1. Usually, the NS2750D is more expensive, so if you can find the two machines at the same price, I’d opt for the NS2750D! It’s the same “machine” but includes Disney designs and the 5″x12″ multiposition hoop in the box with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.