Looking for a larger sized sewing machine? 8 affordable options. And: I 💖 my machine!!

8:21:00 AM

Janome 6500, big machine, nice upgrade
My current baby!! the Janome MC6500
Every time I go to a sew-in or a retreat with my fellow quilters, someone comments on or asks about my machine.

Usually it's to ask questions about its functions and capabilities (lots!), what size quilt can I comfortably finish on it (full/queen), is it heavy (yup!), do I like it (LOVE IT), does it bounce (nope, it's a tank), etc.

I have a Janome MC6500P that I purchased last year (and have never looked back). It is a solid, reliable machine with a massive throat space. It accommodates cones and spools, has a knee lift, thread cutter, threader, stitch memory, independent bobbin winder, 7mm wide feed dogs, a ton of stitches, and more. It quilts (both free motion and straight stitch) like a dream. I freaking LOVE this machine. I researched the move to this machine (and all of it's competitors) for about a year before I actually purchased it, and I'm so glad I did!


the first new machine I ever had, and
again, loved it!
(Singer 9960)

Before moving to such a large machine I spent several years sewing on a vintage Brother, and then I was fortunate enough to upgrade to an entry level computerized Singer (which I LOVED as well but the harp space was tiny and anything more than a lap sized quilt was impossible to get through it's neck to quilt). But - that said - I didn't have anything to complain about with that machine for everyday piecing and sewing - it was a workhorse. (And to be honest? I'd still recommend this machine to anyone - awesome for everyday sewing and piecing - it's just not great with big bulky stuff). It had all sorts of fancy features on it like an auto thread cutter and threader. Going from my vintage, basic Brother, I felt like I had moved from a beat-up 1981 Honda Civic 2 door (you know the ones - that copper color, too...) to a Lexus. Boo ya.


Eventually I decided that:

➽ I was going to stick with this quilting thing, and
➽ I was spending a fortune to send quilts out that I could be quilting at home.

I compiled this list of larger harped sewing machines below (almost all of which were on my short list last year) as a starting point for anyone looking to upgrade to a larger machine (or for any spouses or family members out there who have a quilter in their lives and think that maybe this coming holiday season said Quilter maybe deserves said upgrade, tee hee) and included affiliate links for your researching pleasure.

Of course, the machine I decided to go with last year (the Janome MC6500P) made the list (can I say that I love it again???) although most of these machines below made my short list in some way or another - either through their features, test driving them at quilt shows, chatting with friends who own or have owned them, etc. Note that some of these machines below, notably the higher speed ones, are straight stitch only.

Other than the machine I ended up choosing being labeled as #1, the machines listed below are in no particular ranking or order. Here we go!
larger harped sewing machines great for quilters. Nice and big for all of those large quilting projects. Juki 2010, Janome 6500.
1  ⬤   2  ⬤   3  ⬤   4  ⬤   5   ⬤   6   ⬤   7   ⬤   8 

1) Janome 6500MCP
  • Stitch Speed: 1,000/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 9" x 5"
  • Stitch Count: 400
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: Yes

2) Janome MC7700 QCP:
  • Stitch Speed:1,000/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 11 inches
  • Stitch Count: 250
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • 9mm Accufeed
  • Knee Lift:
  • Extension Table:


3) Janome MC-6300P:
  • Stitch Speed:1,000/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 9"x5"
  • Stitch Count: 66
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: Yes

4) Juki TL-2010Q:
  • Stitch Speed: 1500/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 8.5" x 5.9"
  • Stitch Count: 1 - straight stitch only
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: Yes

5) Janome 1600P - QC
  • Stitch Speed: 1600/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 9" x 6"
  • Stitch Count: 1 - straight stitch only
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: No

6) Janome MC Horizon 8200QCP
  • Stitch Speed: 1000/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 11"
  • Stitch Count: 170
  • Thread Stand: No
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: No

7) Singer S18
  • Stitch Speed: 1,000/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 9" x 5"
  • Stitch Count: 400
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: Yes

8) Brother PQ1500SL
  • Stitch Speed: 1500/minute
  • Work Space (to right of needle): 9" x 6"
  • Stitch Count: 1 - straight stitch only
  • Thread Stand: Yes, 2 Cone/Spool
  • Knee Lift: Yes
  • Extension Table: Yes

I ended up going with the Janome 6500 last year for the following reasons:
  1. larger harp space than my previous machine
  2. higher speed sewing
  3. multiple stitch options (for my Etsy business I still needed embroidery and satin stitch capabilities, otherwise I would have considered a straight-stitch only machine)
  4. Knee lift
  5. auto-threader
  6. thread cutter
  7. extension table
  8. weight (that machine is HEAVY)
  9. it was in my price range

Regrets with going with the Janome 6500:

  1. only one: that I learned soon after acquiring it that the Singer S18 is the same machine - just licensed to Singer and a Singer facade put on it - and the Singer rings in at a lower price. D'oh! 

Hopefully this post helps anyone starting the search for a larger machine! I have absolutely no regrets moving to a larger more heavy duty machine. My shoulders and back thank me every day. It's a little heavy to bring to sew-ins and retreats, but it is totally worth it. Best thing I ever did!

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the machine rundown, especially about the Singer S18 being the same machine as a Janome 6500. That's the same with Babylock. Their sewing machines are actually made by Brother and given a different facade. So my Babylock Symphony is actually a Brother Innovis NS6000 (or something like that).

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  2. I dream of a larger machine and am going to have a look on thursday when I am at a stitching show, really would lke a 11" work space as my bernina has a 7" gap which is not big enough and there are now 11 quilts on the wiating to be quilted list mind you they need layering uo and have not the floor space to do them either. The last two I made I did on the featherweight Pearl is so accurate think this is because it is only a straight stitch machine and is 68 years old. Joining the blocks together on the bernina but Pearl is so good for making them called Paeral after the sonf Peral the singer! bernina called Heidi after the book as she is from Switzerland, hope you have named your new machine

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  3. Thanks for sharing. I've always dreamed of a newer, larger machine, but I love my little workhorse of a Singer. With so many choices out there, it's great to hear reviews from quilters.

    ReplyDelete

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