The Best Lightweight Sewing Machine for Quilting, a review by top US sewing blog, The Sewing Korner

Maybe you’re an avid quilter who loves to socialize at their local quilting club or maybe you’re a beginner who has just started taking your first quilting class. Either way, you’re not going to want to lug around a big, heavy sewing machine wherever you go. That’s where the search for a lightweight sewing machine can be a good idea. Here are some recommendations.

  1. Brother XR3774
  2. Brother CS6000i
  3. Brother HC1850
  4. Brother XR9500PRW
  5. Janome 2212
  6. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960
  7. SINGER 4423 Duty
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    Comparison Table

    Model Name Weight Auto Needle Threader Built-In Stitches
    Brother XR3774 12.3 lbs Yes 37
    Brother CS6000i 13 lbs Yes 60
    Brother HC1850 13.2 lbs Yes 130
    Brother XR9500PRW 9.92 lbs Yes 100
    Janome 2212 13 lbs. No 12
    SINGER 9960 18.2 lbs. Yes 600
    SINGER 4423 14.6 lbs. Yes 23

    Picking the Best Lightweight Sewing Machine for Quilting

    iStock-853883178 950 x 540 Best lightweight sewing machines for quilting

    Once you start that seemingly never-ending search, you’ll find that there’s so many different options, price ranges and features. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming! So, we’ve narrowed down the top brands and machines to help you find the best lightweight sewing machine for quilting.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather carry around a 10-12 lb. sewing machine from my car to my quilting class than a hefty 20 + lb. machine. Lightweight machines are easier to pack, easier to carry around and tend to take up less space than a regular, heavy duty machine. Just think about taking your machine out at your next class – you want something that is quick to set up and can be lifted easily from your bag to the table.

    A heavy-duty machine is fine if you have a dedicated space in your home for your machine but if you don’t, you’ll want something that can be moved effortlessly from floor to table and is easy to store.

    What Quilting Features Should I Look for in a Sewing Machine?

    It’s true that most sewing machines on the market will work perfectly well for your next quilting project. However, there are some out there that have unique features that will take your project to the next level – maybe even making it easier for you in the process!

    The best lightweight sewing machine for quilting will give you customizable options for things like easily changeable presser feet, stitching combinations and stitching width. They’ll also have a top loading bobbin and strong thread tension. Lastly, look for the ability to lock the needle in the up or down position. Having a fully automatic needle makes threading easier and can help speed up your sewing.

    Quilting machines also have wider tables which can accommodate the wider size of a standard quilt.

    The Brother XR3774 includes 37 built-in stitches including blind hem, decorative and quilting stitches and a 1-step buttonhole. Has automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin.

    The Brother XR3774 is a great choice if you’re looking for a machine that has just enough features for everyday quilting projects. This machine is a good entry level option and is relatively inexpensive.


    • quilting table included
    • built-in quilting stitches
    • comes with ¼” required quilting presser foot
    • inexpensive


    • doesn’t have a lot of features
    • basic machine
    The Brother CS6000i includes 60 built-in sewing stitches, including decorative stitches and 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes. This machine has an automatic needle threader and a jam resistant drop-in top bobbin.

    The Brother CS6000i is another great machine for beginners that also comes in at a great price. It’s a powerful machine for its size with easy to use controls and a simple LCD display. It’s also lightweight making it a perfect choice for portability.


    • easy to use
    • adjustable sewing speed
    • 60 built-in stitches
    • 850 SPM sewing rate
    • automatic needle threading
    • easy bobbin winding
    • extended table


    • not very durable
    • set on a plastic chassis
    The HC1850 includes 130 sewing stitches including 8 styles of auto-size buttonholes, plus 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches. This machine has an advanced needle threader and drop-in top bobbin.

    The Brother HC 1850 is a great choice for both the beginner and more advanced quilter. It’s also lightweight and portable, making it ideal to take to your next class. It’s loaded with features and is designed for flexibility and ease of use.


    • 130 built-in stitches
    • large LCD display
    • 850 SPM sewing rate
    • 8 quick-change presser feet included
    • quick set drop-in bobbin
    • easy bobbin winding system


    • not made for all-day, everyday use
    • doesn’t include a walking foot
    The Brother Designio DZ1234 is a durable 3-4 thread serger made with a metal frame. High performance 3-4 thread serger with an adjustable stitch width between 3.0mm to 7.0mm with 1,300 stitches per minute.

    The Brother XR9500PRW Computerized Sewing Machine is an excellent choice for beginners – it’s easy to use, simple to set up and creates quality stitches. It’s also affordable which makes it a great choice even for more experienced quilters. It’s also lightweight, weighing only 9.9 pounds which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a portable machine.


    • 100 built-in stitches
    • 850 SPM sewing rate
    • simple design
    • fully computerized
    • oversized wide table
    • automatic needle threading
    • automatic bobbin winding


    • front loading bobbin
    The Janome 2212 has an easy turn dial pattern selection with 12 built-in stitches including a four-step buttonhole, stitch width adjustment and length adjustment and drop feed for free motion sewing and quilting.

    The Janome 2212 is another great basic sewing machine. It’s small and compact, making it an excellent option for those needing portability. And, because of its simplicity, it’s a great choice for beginners just starting out.


    • easy to set-up and use
    • includes free arm for circular sewing
    • lightweight
    • 860 SPM sewing rate
    • adjustable thread tension


    • manual tension adjustments
    • limited number of stitch options
    • no automatic needle threader
    • smaller than normal stitch width
    This 9960 sewing machine has 600 Built-In Stitches including 5 Alphanumeric Fonts and 13 built-in 1-Step Buttonholes. This machine has a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute and automatic needle threader.

    The features on the Singer 9960 make it one of the best choices for both beginner and experienced quilters. It has a wide range of stitch options, customizable tools and numerous feet. However, because it is a heavy-duty machine, it’s not the best choice for portability.


    • great value, reasonably priced
    • easy to use LCD
    • works with a wide range of fabrics
    • 600 built-in stitches
    • 18 different presser feet included
    • can also do embroidery
    • includes extension table


    • buttons and functions may be overwhelming for a beginner
    • lettering all the same size, whether upper or lower case
    The SINGER  4423 has 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches. This high-spread machine comes with an automatic needle threader and has a maximum sewing speed of  100 stitches-per-minute.

    The Singer 4423 sewing machine is a heavy-duty machine ideal for the more experienced quilter. It has a high sewing speed that allows you to work quickly and efficiently.


    • strong and durable
    • automatic needle threading
    • automatic bobbin winding
    • easy to use
    • high top stitching speed
    • 23 built-in stitches
    • powerful motor


    • limited number of built-in stitches
    • features are limited, lacks advanced functions
    • very loud
    • heavier than other portable models 

    In Summary

    As with any sewing machine purchase, whether you’re looking for one that is lightweight or not, make sure you think about what features and functions are most important to you. Remember to factor in the cost of the machine and how often you’re going to use it. If you can, I recommend going to a dealer that will allow you to try the machine before you buy. This way you can see if it’s the right fit for you.

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