Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: May 01, 2021
Most enthusiasts enjoy quilting with their hands to sharpen their motor skills. Some people, however, fail to realize that though it’s fun, they consume a lot of time and procrastinate projects. Entrepreneurs have designed quilting machines to counter such challenges. Unlike long-arm quilting machines, mid-arm machines are efficient and consume less space. They have a nice throat space designed for large projects. Experts say this equipment favors buyers on a tight budget.
We reviewed ten mid-arm quilting machines then selected the four models. Our best model is the Janome 1600P-QC. It’s a powerful yet sleek machine with all the essential accessories for instant quilting. It offers 1600 stitches per minute. We reviewed other machines like Q’nique Quilter 15R, Juki TL-2010Q, and the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960.
Our team spent over 300 hours looking for the best mid-arm quilters. We reviewed the products on Amazon and directly on the seller’s website. We also engaged several sellers and experts in the research process. The features we factored in when conducting our research include the type, needles, sewing speed, and stitch length, among others. There are mechanical, electronic, or computerized mid-arm powered quilting machines in the market. You can purchase a model with a high or low stitching speed depending on the nature of your work. In this guide, we have prepared a table, in-depth reviews of the five mid-arm quilting machines, and a buying guide.
Top 4 Mid-Arm Quilting Machines Review 2021
Janome 1600P-QC – Editor’s Choice
Speed (S.P.M.): 1,600
stitch length: 6 mm
Dimensions: 25.6” x 13.6” x 17.9”
Weight: 38.6 lbs.
Other features: extra wide work area, side-loading bobbin, built-in needle threader, adjustable knee lift
The Janome 1600P-QC is a super-fast sewing and quilting machine with everything you need to kickstart your projects. It makes up to 1600 stitches per minute.
The sellers mention it has an extra-wide working space with a beautiful design. They offer a bonus kit with a ditch quilting foot, darning foot with plate, ¼” seam foot.
This sit down mid arm quilting machine comes with a side loading bobbin, an automatic thread cutter, an independent motor, and an ergonomics knee lift, among other accessories.
Experts say it’s a straight stitch machine, so get another model that can make zigzag stitches if you love sewing buttonholes. You can reverse or use free motion on this machine
Janome 1600P-QC also has an ergonomic knee lift for raising or lowering its presser foot while handling the fabric with your hands.
The seller claims it’s a powerful yet quiet machine with a sleek design. Most users confirmed that Janome 1600P-QC is straightforward and perfect for making quilts.
Janome confirmed it comes fully assembled. They claim it has four bobbins only. You only have to plug it in to sew or quilt. Some buyers, however, complained it lacks a walking foot.
The sellers recommend following the maintenance routine on the manual. You can oil every month and service it once a year.
One buyer mentioned it’s economical as a home quilter. Others mentioned it created nice stitches on fabrics with varying weights like denim, leather or chiffon.
What do we love it for?
ergonomic knee lift
What were we disappointed with?
Lacks a walking foot
Q'nique Quilter 15R – Premium Pick
Speed (S.P.M.): 1,800
stitch length: 0.25”
Dimensions: 15.5” x 23” x 18”
Other features: a 15-inch throat space, built-in stitch regulator, full-color LED display, a built-in bobbin winder
Q’nique Quilter 15R is the go-to quilting machine for making bigger quilts. Grace praises it for the 15” throat space that suits mid-sized and large quilting projects. They claim the Q’nique Quilter 15R is compatible with several quilting frames, including all Grace frames.
Q’nique Quilter 15R has handles with a comfy grip. The seller states the handles are adjustable to several micro-positions for added comfort while focusing on fine details.
The Q’nique Quilter 15R has features like a hopping foot, built-in stitch regulator, and a built-in bobbin winder. Its built-in stitch regulator ensures the stitch length is uniform while the hopping foot and the built-in bobbin foster fast bobbin loading.
This machine comes with three quick control buttons on the handles. Experts say the buttons give users control over stitch regulation and stitch length without adjusting the hands.
The seller clarifies it makes up 1800 SPM and the tension of the thread is adjustable. It also has a LED needle light for illuminating your working area if you have poor eyesight. There is a full-color OLED between the handlebars.
The key functions of this equipment are controlled directly on the handles. You can invest in Quilter’s Creative Touch Software to automate your machine. The touch software is great for customizing the settings with a tap of the finger. Experts recommend it for home and industrial use.
This tool uses M-Class bobbins to reduce the refilling time and costs spent on acquiring new sets. Overall, the Q’nique Quilter 15R is a powerful machine designed for detailed stitching.
Why is it special?
Suit mid-sized and large quilting projects
Compatible with several quilting frames
Three quick control buttons
What are the flaws?
Juki TL-2010Q – Best for Dressmaking and Tailoring
The Juki TL-2010Q is a sturdy sewing and quilting machine with components like an automatic thread trimmer, automatic needle threader, and a Juki ¼ and 1/5-inch Quilting feet.
Juki states that TL-2010Q suits dressmaking and tailoring. It has a 6mm stitch length that makes up to 1500 SPM. You can attach an auxiliary table and enjoy up to 23 inches of working area for large projects. Juki confirms that the throat area and the auxiliary table measure 8.5(L)x 5.9 (H) inches and 590 mm x 277 mm, respectively.
Experts also note this equipment comes with advanced features like a variable speed control slider and industrial sub-tension system for industries specializing in precision sewing.
Most buyers love that it comes with a thread tension scale for adjusting the tension according to the fabric and thread. Its maximum speed control feature regulates the speed of your machine. You can adjust the speed from 200 to 1500 stitches per minute.
The seller mentions it’s a good mid-arm machine for quilting on a frame. You can also mount it on cabinets or use it as a tabletop machine.
Like the Q’nique Quilter 15R, Juki TL-2010Q has LED lights for illuminating your working space. There is a needle up and down control for accurate free motion work.
Most buyers mention it’s compatible with several accessories like the Echo Quilting foot, throat plate for thick fabric, smooth and piping foot, among others.
Several buyers confessed it sews smoothly, and its control features are excellent. However, it’s not easy to thread it like Singer models. Some users complained that the manual is misleading.
The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 is a relatively small machine compared to the three previous models. It offers up to 850 stitches per minute.
The sellers mention it has lots of features like the stretch, basic, and decorative stitches to meet the needs of several users. They recommend it for quilting, sewing, fashion design, and home décor. You can customize your projects with the fonts.
Users confirmed it has an automatic needle threader. You won’t strain to search for the needle hole. Experts note that the sellers offer an all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, Open Toe Foot, among other accessories.
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 is the go-to tool for budding designers seeking several fonts. You can adjust its speed through the speed control feature. Increase the speed for projects that require long seams. Reduce it when dealing with delicate projects.
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 also has a one Touch Stitch Selection. Determine the stitch you want to use and tap the screen then begin sewing.
One buyer claimed this machine has a good weight, and the big color touch screen works efficiently. The seller also confirmed its extension table offers a large working area.
You can adjust the length or width of your stitches directly on the screen. Few buyers complained that the screen brightness couldn’t be adjusted.
Experts advise buyers to invest in a voltage corrector. Overall, this machine is sturdy and affordable.
Quilting is fun, and you can do it for pleasure or profit. However, it’s time-consuming and tiring when done with hands. You can adopt a machine like mid-arm quilting machines that are currently gaining traction. They create quilts fast and with less strain. Mid-arm quilting machines are easy to operate and customize fabrics well. You can easily find an effective one even with plenty of models in the market. In this guide, we will look at the definition of a mid-arm quilt, the benefits of owning one, features to consider when selecting a model, and the frequently asked questions.
What to expect from mid-arm quilting machines?
These are machines designed to make quilting a breeze. Mid-arm quilting machines come with features for accurate quilting.
Powerful mid-arm machines like Janome 1600P-QC and Q’nique Quilter 15R make up to 1600 and 1800 SPM, respectively.
Most models are compatible with One Touch machine system to automate the quilting process. Unlike long-arm quilting machines, the mid-arm machines enable you to sit and quilt for several hours and with high accuracy rates.
They come with large bobbins to reduce the refill time. Overall, these machines are costly but effective compared to regular sewing machines. Some are compact and require small storage spaces.
Benefits of mid-arm quilting machines
Mid-arm quilting machines come at a cost but offer endless benefits. The recent models can be automated in a few settings. They have a screen you can tap with your finger and automate quilting. Compared to regular machines, mid-arm quilting machines are fast and deliver a high number of stitches per minute. Models like Q’nique Quilter 15R are also compatible with several quilting frames.
These machines also provide enough space for quilting. You can add an extension table to tackle large projects. They come with nice accessories like automatic needle threaders and trimmers to boost the efficiency of the tool. Experts also recommend them for free-motion quilting.
Features to consider when choosing a mid-arm quilting machine
There are several mid-arm quilting machines ranging from small to large designs that suit residential and industrial use.
Some have accessories for instant quilting while others don’t. You will have to invest in extra accessories if you purchase a low-end model.
Apart from accessories and design, there are several features worth considering before purchasing a mid-arm quilting machine.
We will look into the features experts stress on, like the type of machine, sewing speed, stitch length, needle type and size, dimensions and warranty, among others.
There are several types of mid-arm quilting machines from mechanical to electronic or computerized.
Mechanical mid-arm quilting machines are controlled manually. They require users to manually perform tasks like changing the bobbins. Experts recommend them for beginners.
Electronic and computerized quilting machines have more features than mechanical models. The only shortcoming is they are expensive. Experts stress that electronic mid-arm quilting machines favor professionals.
A computerized model like SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 is compatible with One Touch stitch selection technology. Get a computerized or electronic model if you handle bulk quilting projects.
The sewing speed of your machine determines the amount of time you spend on projects. Machines with high sewing speed like Q’nique Quilter 15R and SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 get more work done fast.
Ensure the size of the bobbin matches the speed of your machine. The Q’nique Quilter 15R offers up to 1800 stitches per minute, which is the highest compared to the machines we reviewed.
The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 offers 850 SPM. Other machines like Juki TL-2010Q, Janome 1600P-QC deliver 1500 and 1600 stitches per minute.
Mid-arm quilting machines have varying stitch lengths that produce different outlook.
The average stitch length ranges from 0 to 3 mm. However, there are machines with five or even 6mm stitch lengths.
The equipment with small stitch length delivers small stitches and vice versa. Experts caution buyers against picking a tool that makes small stitches. They claim small stitches are hard to tear apart and can damage fabrics.
Machines with high stitch lengths are great for working on heavy fabrics. The models we selected like Janome 1600P-QC and Juki TL-2010Q have 6mm stitch length.
Needle type and size
Quilting machines work best with sturdy needles that don’t fray or break when quilting thick or thin fabrics. Experts claim the average needle size is 90/14.
They recommend testing different needle sizes in offline stores to get a good model for making perfect quilts.
Dimensions and weight
The weight of a machine affects portability and storage. The assets we selected have varying weights. Splurge on a heavy-duty model like Janome 1600P-QC for industrial or home use if you have enough space.
Most users prefer lightweight tools weighing 15- 20 lbs. like SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 for quilting at home. Models with weight in the 20 to 30 lbs. range like Juki TL-2010Q suit small to medium-sized rooms. Confirm the size of the room you’re planning to quilt on or store a machine before purchases.
A warranty covers unexpected structural defects a mid-arm machine can come with. For example, the seller can deliver a machine with broken side loading bobbins, knee lift, or ineffective built-in stitch regulator.
The warranty ensures all damages are catered to. The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 comes with a 25-year warranty. Buyers have to contact the manufacturer to get more details regarding the warranty when purchasing the Janome 1600P-QC, Q’nique Quilter 15R, Juki TL-2010Q.
The Janome 1600P-QC is the best model so far. It’s economical and has a nice design. It has a good throat space that suits mid-sized and large quilting projects.
Mid-arm quilters are relatively cheap and effective compared to long-arm quilters. They make quilting easy and enjoyable. Mid-arm quilters come in different designs like the ones we reviewed above. You have the key factors you need to pick an awesome model, whether you’re planning to use it at home or in your company.
The first model we prefer is the Janome 1600P-QC. It’s a fully assembled machine that creates super-nice stitches on varying fabrics like leather and chiffon. It’s also compatible with several quilting frames.
Our second pick is the Q’nique Quilter 15R that makes up to 1800 RPM. Its thread tension is adjustable. This machine comes with features like three LED lights, OLED lights, and three quick control buttons, among others. The handle controls most of its functions.
The third pick is the Juki TL-2010Q that makes up to 1500 SPM. The seller recommends it for dressmaking and tailoring. Experts mention it comes with advance.