I remembered the time when I was choosing a sewing machine for quilting specifically.

This one was to upgrade the one I already own at the time after I have fallen in love with free motion quilting and quilting in general. 

And that said, the one I owned at that time wasn’t bought specifically for quilting purpose.

chain piecing sew effectively

Did you know, I’ve never seen a real patchwork quilt with all the fun shapes and details until I went into a quilt shop to get myself a machine for my sewing hobby? (I use to sew garments)

Yup, we don’t quilt in Malaysia. It is not the right weather for it, though they are pretty and we do appreciate it.

In fact, these days, the China-made patchwork (those manufactured in large scale and uses cheater fabrics) are quite popular in Malaysia these days.

No, they are not the same as our handmade quilts. But, for those who don’t quilt and don’t really have the eye to appreciate handmades.

Hmmm. You must know at least one person like that don’t you?

They would be like,

“how much is your quilt? “

And then you answered.

And they’ll be like….

“what???? I can get that for a fraction of price.”

Yup. that person.

Anyway, let them be.

Cause we will never compete with mass production and our handmade is way better if you really do appreciate handmade and custom made items

.Anniversary Quilt Gift

Well, anyway, back to the story –

Getting a new machine.

Are you planning on upgrading your current one?

If you are, what is the one thing you look for?

I’ll share with you what I went for and why I am SO glad I did in this very post. Keep on scrolling.

There are affiliate links within this post where I can make a small commission at NO cost to you at all. Thank you for the support. Read full disclosure here.

Well, when I was scouring for the upgrade, I was pretty sure I wanted a fancy machine that does more than just straight lines.

I already have an experience and at the time still own a straight line industrial Juki (it is at my mom’s house cause it is way too heavy to move) and I thought I’ll really appreciate the extra stitches and the other things that the machine could do.

While the other bells and whistle are great, in the end, the one thing that I appreciate most about the machine I bought as an upgrade to my old machine at the time was…..

the throat size.


That made all the difference.

A lot.

I thought I may need a stitch regulator ( which only a Bernina offers at the time and it was way out of my budget),

but in the end, after many practices, I really don’t think the stitch regulator is required.

I am not annoyed at all that the stitches are not perfectly even, but the stitches certainly have improved by having more space to move my hands to free motion quilt.

The throat size matters

It is the very reason why I wouldn’t go back to a smaller machine too.

Well… at least reluctant too.

But looking back, I’ve come a long way. And I am so thankful.

I use to quilt on the same table as my computer desk to have more space for the quilt to sit on. And it was still possible.

So, if you are not yet going to be upgrading anytime soon, appreciate what you already have cause everyone has a beginning.


Borrowing computer table for quilting..


Can we quilt a large quilt with a regular sewing machine though?

I still own a regular throat size sewing machine, and I do plan to try free motion quilting on it to show again that it is possible.

I have done so with this quilt here, here and here.

Quilting the Irish Chain


I even quilted a large feather design using my small machine at that time.

A small machine doesn’t mean that you can’t quilt a queen size quilt on it.


It is just harder. 

Not going to sugar coat that.

It is harder but possible. Challenging but fun and satisfying (at the end).


If you have the table extension, use that. If you have a sink-in table, use that.


I find it easier to maneuver the quilt when I used the extension table. I just have more space to place both hands on the quilt.

Hurs - My new Baby

My Hursqvarna has an extension table that helps as oppose to Janome DC 2050. You can read more about this machine here.

If you are not looking into buying bigger machine just yet, this machine has an included extension table and the price is budget friendly too.

free motion quilting on hursqvarna


O one more thing,

You may go through a phase of love and hate during the whole process of quilting with your domestic sewing machine.

You’ll go through this even with the right machine. I think it is just the creative process.  😛




Today I want to be just thankful for the blessing to own this machine and to have made many quilts and to have enjoyed many free motion quilting adventures with it.

baby quilt Animal house free motion quilting fun quilting!

Based on the experience I’ve had with the machine, after 5 years owning the machine, I’d say I am still fully in love with it.

And that one feature (having a larger throat size) really do make the difference in improving my free motion quilting skill and has increased my love for it.

I recommend you put this as number one priority if you are looking to upgrade your machine to do more free motion quilting.

Sewing Machine Recommendation

If you have a smaller budget, opt for the one that has larger throat but only do straight stiches like:

However, if you do have the budget, you can try:

OR EVEN HOP ON HERE to check LONG ARM MACHINES! (someday maybe for me, but at the moment I am content with my Janome Horizon.)


You can check this post to read more about some of the best sewing machine for free motion quilting.



  1. The Bernina and its stitch regulator was a dream, but out of my price range. Besides, I never liked a front or side loading bobbin. The Janome 8200QCP was my choice, and I love it. I do FMQ and am happy with my progress. I now have courage to actually do FMQ on my quilts – doing these quilts has become my actual practice.

  2. Jackson Watkins Reply

    Hi Amira, I agree 100% with you that the throat size of a machine should be priority #1! I had a great beginner machine, a Brother Innov’ 50 which I had for at least 5 years. Never had it in the shop expect for regular cleanings. Approximately 2 years ago I came to the conclusion that to move forward in my quest to improve my free motion quilting I would need a bigger throat area on my machine. In my quilt guild, many woman own Janome brand machines so that is where I wanted to look. I found an online store that was still selling the Janome MC 6500p Bundle for an incredible price, leaving me nothing else that I would really need to buy. Now my throat space is 9″ instead of 7″ on the Brother and it has made a world of difference. I LOVE my Janome!

Write A Comment

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