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Best Long Arm Quilting Machines For Home Use

Last Updated on August 26, 2020

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There are a few things that every seasoned quilter and new has in mind when looking for the best long arm quilting machines for use at home.

best long arm quilting machine

Whether you love large jobs or small, reading this review can show you a few things to look for when deciding on a purchase for home use;

    • Minimum work space of 9 inches
    • Large frame
    • Stitch regulation
    • L or M size bobbins
    • Specific quilting feet
    • Auto thread cutting
    • Ample lighting
      EDITOR’S CHOICE Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine

      • Custom designed collapsible table
      • Variable speeds with a foot control
      • Large bobbin with a built in winder
      • Automatic needle positioner
      Check Price
      RUNNER UP Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso Long Arm Quilting Machine

      • Color LCD touch screen display
      • Push button handlebar controls
      • Laser light
      • Adjustable front handlebars
      Check Price
      Juki TL-2010Q

      • Throat Area: 8.5(L)x 5.9 (H) inches
      • Sliding Speed Control + One Pedal foot control
      • LED light
      • 1500 stitches per minute; stitch length 6 mm
      Check Price
      Juki TL-2000Qi Gracie King Frame

      • Needle Drop Position is Predetermined
      • Knee Lifter Lever for Presser Foot (up to 12 mm)
      • Auto Needle Threading
      • Thread Tensioner
      Check Price

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Table of Contents

Long Arm Quilting Machine Reviews

Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine


1. 18 inch Open Area for Work

These options allow for a large work area that can be taken down to a smaller area if you need extra space.

2. Variable Speed Foot Controls

The foot controls allow for you to control the speed at which you stitch, and this model offers free motion quilters another great option: the collapsing table.

3. Collapsing Table (30 inches Height, 47 inches Wide, 30 inches Deep)

This table drops down to give you more space. Being a sit down machine, it allows for easier free quilting by being compact enough to allow shorter quilters the option of still sitting to work.

4. Needle Positioning for Up and Down Stops

The needle positioning lets you choose whether your stopping position is needle up or needle down. There are no frills and fancy computerized options on this model, but it does offer an all metal frame for durability and longevity.

5. Large Bobbin with Built In Auto Winding While You Work

To determine if the basics are what is right for you, it is suggested that you find long arm quilt machine reviews to see if this will meet all of your needs. Some quilters look for specific things, while others can make do with only necessities due to the projects they undertake.

Making your own decision on this model will take getting personal information from others who have used this model.

Read my Tin Lizzie 18 Long Arm Quilting Machine Review post for more information about this model.

Juki Long Arm Quilting Machines

Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso Long Arm Quilting Machine

A Juki by any other name would not be as great.

The features that make this model stand out are:

  • 18 inch by 10 inch Throat
  • Color LCD Screen Display
  • Stitch Regulator
  • Auto Thread Trimming
  • Stitching Modes: Precise, Manual, Baste, Cruise

The stitching modes offered on this model allow for just about any kind of project to be undertaken, and the LCD screen gives you the chance to look at the controls and not just guess at what has been programmed based on the larger screen.

The automatic stitch regulator will allow for users to determine if the machine starts, stops, and the speed the motor moves at. Since it has the capability of moving at 2,200 stitches per minute, it can get away from a novice.

And hitting one button gives you the thread trimming of both bobbin and needle threads at the same time. No more pulling and tugging to get to the bobbin thread and possibly pulling a stitch.

The need for reading reviews is dire for this model. There are options available that the manufacturer does not offer, and kinks that a new user would be lost on if they encountered them.

Therefore, reading through a few good reviews would be most beneficial to anyone who has not ever used a Juki machine of this caliber.

Check out my Juki TL-2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso Long Arm Quilting Machine post to know more about its features.

Juki TL-2200QVP  Long Arm with Grace Virtuoso King Frame

This unit made by Juki offers one of the best heights in the industry for home machines, and has features that make it a definite keeper.

Here are the high points:

  • 10 inch Height
  • 18 inch Throat Space
  • Auto Scissors
  • Bright LED Lighting Over Needle
  • Ergonomic Handlebars
  • One Touch Needle Position
  • Front Hand Wheel
  • Auto Bobbin Winding
  • 2,200 Stitches Per Minute Max Speed
  • Take Up Bar

This specific Juki machine allows for ten inches of height, whereas most other machines only offer 8 inches. This allows for you to work on larger projects, and use more material at one time.

The super bright LED bulbs used over the needle make it easier to see even your tiniest details while working and keeps you from getting those pesky headaches we have all got from eye strain.

One really nice feature is the automatic built in scissor function. This trims both the bottom and top threads at the same time, so you don’t have to worry about flipping material over and taking a chance on ruining your last stitch.

The handlebars on this model are able to swivel into the smaller micro handles so you can get even closer to your material to work. The front hand wheel lets you have easier control over raising or lowering your needle, without reaching or walking to the other end of your machine to do so.

The needle placement button lets you decide if you want the finishing position of the needle to be up or down, so it’s not a requirement to use the hand wheel if you do not choose to.

Take up bar: no more adjusting your frame or railing because there isn’t enough room in the throat to accommodate. You can simply roll up the material onto the bar so it isn’t on the floor and is no longer a trip hazard while working.

And the ultra glide tracks offer 8 ball bearings that run the frame’s track so you always have a smooth quilting experience without the jerks and pulling that are seen in older models.

The Virtuoso King frame offers a 10 foot frame area. The metal frame offers stability where wood sometimes falls short. And this frame can be set up in King or Crib fashion, making it a little easier to use.

The entire frame is height adjustable, so if you are only five foot two inches, you can still work without stretching to your limits.

It is entirely up to you as a quilter, what you would like to spend on a package deal. But do yourself a favor and check out some of the best long arm quilting machine reviews to get an idea to see if this is the machine for you.

The Juki TL-2000Qi Gracie King Frame

This Juki is a grand display of majestic quilting capability, for the right person.

Below are a few options offered:

  • LED Lights
  • Auto Thread Trimming
  • Speed Control
  • Quilting Foot
  • Needle Drop Position is Predetermined
  • Knee Lifter Lever for Presser Foot (up to 12 mm)
  • Auto Needle Threading
  • Thread Tensioner
  • Presser Foot Pressure Adjustments
  • Max speed of 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Feed Dog Switch Controlled Raise/Lower

This popular Juki model is one of the newest by the manufacturer that offers many of the sought after features that quilters love. This unit offers 9 inches between the needle set and the arm, so projects of any size can be completed.

Being a single needle with lock stitch machine, it also even offers one pedal controlling for trimming and speed.

The Gracie frame is the largest this company offers, and gives you stability while working. You do not have to set it up as the King (122 inches), as you can also set it up as the Queen (99 inches) or Crib (63 inches) for smaller areas.

The legs are completely adjustable in height, and the lower rail is a flip up so you never have to worry about messing with your project by simply adjusting your batting underneath.

An additional fourth rail is included also, so that your materials never have to rest on the floor.

And let’s not forget the ease that is the program QuiltCAD. This software allows you to choose from over 100 custom blocks, borders and pantographs already built in to the program from any home computer running a Windows operating system of 2000, XP, Vista or 7.

You can make your own patterns or even use pictures on your computer to make a pattern.

As far as stitch regulation, the Grace SureStitch dual function stitch regulator gives you the option of using it as simply a regulator or a speed control. This small unit offers colored lights to help you see when max speed has been obtained, and a pulse button to change it over to a constant speed mode.

This allows for you to have a professional stitch tie off and perfect stitch length every time.

A few other items included in this deal that every quilter will need are the 20 L sized metal bobbins and the 100 Organ branded needles. Drop feed is ideal for any quilter, and this machine doesn’t let you down in this area.

It also offers a 1/5 quilting foot and has the extended table for additional room for the larger projects.

Doing your research and current owners reviews will help you decide if this one will be the best deal for your money.

Top of the Line 18 Inch Long Arm Quilting Machine with Debutante Frame

This fantastically designed long arm machine offers you the newest in bright white LED lighting, and the Debutante frame by Grace make it a very interesting find.

Here are some of the features:

  • Brightness Adjustment on Lights
  • Ergonomic Handlebar
  • Extra Large Bobbin with Auto Winder
  • Rear LCD Handlebars
  • Five Stitch Regulating Modes
  • Special Needle Positions

This machine offers a built in bobbin winder so it winds as you work. Along with the thread stand, you get quiet and very smooth operation and stitching. And the lighting: we all know what it is like to try to get a good look at your work and be let down by having to bring in additional lighting.

With these white light LED bulbs, you get to see what your project truly looks like.

The ergonomically designed Rams Horn handlebars allow for less stretching and strain when quilting. The rear LCD handlebars make completing a pantograph from the back of your machine much easier, since you are able to see clearer.

The LCD screen offers built in controls for the head, including a Jog function which allows for the motor to move only when the button is engaged. You will not only be able to see the screen without straining, but can easily control your project with a few touches.

You can use the Tie off up or down switch, which allows your machine to tie off the stitches and leaves your needle in the up or down position. There is even the capability with this machine to use a robot, such as the Quilt Motion or Q-Bot.

Stitching Modes:

  1. Equate: Machine stops, needle stops.
  2. Ruler: The machine doesn’t time out while waiting for you to move the ruler.
  3. Robot: Offers full control of machine to your robot.
  4. Quilt Motion Robot: Grace’s Quilt Motion Robot can take over.
  5. Cruise: Needle moves when machine is stopped.
  6. Basting: Offers four stitches in every inch.

My Final Advice

It is best to read relevant reviews about long arm quilting machines as there are a lot of  information based on experience and they might give information and issues that the manufacturer does not list the info pages are useless. Locating good reviews will allow for you to get opinions from real quilters like yourself, so that you’re not left in the dark about a new model you are purchasing.The pricing for the long arm quilting machines are higher than an average sewing machine, and for this reason it is suggested that you get all the information possible before opening your wallet.  There will always be a few people who aren’t happy, and it’s great to see those also. At least in this manner, you are educated on your purchase and know what to expect.

14 thoughts on “Best Long Arm Quilting Machines For Home Use”

  1. I am looking into purchasing either a Juki TL 2010Q or the Tin Lizzie 18 sit down long arm. I currently have the Bernina 550 QE which I love for piecing, but quilting bigger quilts on it can be a bit of a challenge. One thing that makes me a little hesitant is spending so much money on the Tin Lizzie (even though it is reasonably priced for a long arm) vs the Juki. Also I hesitate because straight line quilting can’t be done on the Tin Lizzie as well. However, I love free motion quilting (meandering mostly). What do you know about the Juki TL 2010Q and do you think there is enough space for quilting on it without struggling, or should I bite the bullet and pay for the Tin Lizzie? Thanks!

  2. Hello Amber,
    I am considering a Baby loc long arm Fo r $16k. It has The momentum bar. What is your thoughts about this long arm,. Thank you.


    1. Crafty Seamstress

      Hi Justine. Sorry to get back to you so late. Baby Lock have offered some decent long arm quilting machine in the market. Getting their momentum frame is a good decision especially if you are keen to make quilts with continuous designs and is looking for the extra space it gives you making it easier to finish big quilts.

      As always, I do recommend to get on the nearest local distributor/dealer you can find from your place so that you can try the machine yourself. Once you know that it’s something you want and really need, it’s easier to formulate a smart buying decision.

      Good luck on your purchase!

  3. Donna sirinides

    Hello Erna –
    After over ten years of quilting and a growing stack of un quilted tops in my cupboard, I finally decided to buy a frame/long arm or mid-arm set up for my home. This is a bit complicated because I live overseas. I recently had a group of visitors bring over a hinterberg stretch frame, though I thought I was getting the original (smaller) frame. That leaves me deciding on what size sewing machine would be most practical to purchase to use on it.
    It will handle a long-arm or mid-arm, and money is definitely a factor, but I don’t want to make a major purchase being so completely ignorant as to what the differences are (other than size, obviously). I might even be able to get an industrial sewing machine second-hand, but don’t know what they do differently than a ‘quilting’ machine.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Oh – I own several ‘regular’ sewing machines, including two Singers and a Bernina, but none have a very large throat.

    1. My opinion and experience was that a 17 inch throat is nice if you have a quilting table the extra length in the
      is nice because the table already steals some of the area you have to work with so take 2 inches away you have 15 inches to work with. )

  4. I am looking to get into the quilting business and was wondering what a reasonable machine would cost and which one do you recommend?

  5. I am fairly new to quilting but have really become obsessed. I have always sewn and like to explore different sewing techniques. I have several machines that I use for different projects from a computerized Viking to a basic Brother to a heavy duty singer. I am not hugely interested in free-motion quilting but would like to be able to quilt my own projects, but with a computer. I do not want to quilt professionally, or quilt other people’s projects.

    Do you have any recommendations for someone w/ my level of interest and profile?

    1. Hi Kate. I so hear you and it seems you have had lots of sewing machines right now. That’S a good thing. In fact, the best thing I can suggest you is to explore more the sewing machines you have right now. You can do a random search on Youtube by putting your sewing machine brand and model number and you may find lots of tutorials for your specific needs. Another thing I always tell my students is just to play with their sewing machine and use it more often, you will be surprised of the things that it can teach you.

      If you are interested to know more about models that are affordable and beginner friendly, I suggest you check out Brother CS6000i and Brother XR9500PRW.

      Here are some of useful posts that I have written about these two machines;

      1. Brother CS6000i Review

      2. Singer 7258 vs Brother XR9500PRW

      3. Best Sewing Machines For Beginners

      I hope you can find the answer to your questions and if you need more help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Enjoy sewing!

  6. I am looking at either a Bernina Q series or PFAFF Power quilter P3 long arm machine and table for my wife for Christmas…in general which do you think is best. (It’s between these two as there are two dealerships in my town and I want to buy locally for service.) Please email to me your thoughts. Thank you so much…I’m a bit of a fish out of water in this territory.

    1. Crafty Seamstress

      Hi Eric. Thank you for contacting me and may I say what a lucky woman your wife is to have a very kind and loving husband like you!

      I think both brands are very good, but l think there are some important factors someone need to consider before buying a long arm quilting machine since they are quite expensive.

      Here are my thoughts;
      1. I personally think to buy a model from a dealer that lives near your place or is accessible so you can have all the support you need easily. Good thing you already have this sorted.

      2. Someone need to test the machines first before buying! For your wife, I think the best person to know what machine works best for her is no one but her so I’m so sorry if you are buying it as a surprise gift as I’m afraid its not the best idea to do. This is just my two cents.

      3. Using or upgrading to a larger machine has some learning curves even if the owner has some experience in quilting so really a model that will work for me might not work with others.

      4. Does your wife do quilting for business or as a hobby? If you are doing this for business you need a machine that offers smooth loading process on the frame for me its one of the most important factor and the deal breaker if you are out buying an upgrade machine. If it’s a hobby, I think someone really needs to consider if they want a long arm or if they actually need it.

      5. Do you have enough space at home for your new machine?

      I know friends that own Pfaff Powerquilt P3 and my aunt owns a Bernina. They are both happy and satisfied with their machines. I personally love my Gammil frame.

      Having said that, my best advice is to let your wife choose and try all these machines in person as what may be perfect for us may not work for others. I know no matter what, she will still be a happy wife as she is blessed to have a husband that thinks about her and her passion. I really hope I kind of answer your question. Please do let me know what you ended up buying. Enjoy shopping with the wife.:)

      P.s. I’m sending this message via email too.

  7. Crafty Seamstress

    Hi Erna. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. I’m so sorry but I don`t sell any conversion kits at the moment. I will try to ask my family as I think one of my mother`s nieces owns one.

  8. I have purchased Juki TL-2200QVP-S in TX and I am looking to add Grace Virtuoso King Size Metal Quilt Frame and need the conversion kits. Do you sell this? Pls write me back. Thanks!

    1. You can now get the conversion kits for the Juki QVP TL 2200 to go on a long arm frame. This is being sold at most Juki dealer, it around $2000.00.

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