Embroidery machines used to cost thousands of dollars.
With the popularity of personalized items and handmade gifts, companies have begun creating home embroidery machines for home crafters and small business owners.
As a quilter, an embroidery machine would be an excellent investment.
It’s perfect for creating custom labels for your quilts.
It also works well for baby quilts to add the child’s name and birth date on the quilt top.
You can even create beautifully intricate embroidered blocks to add extra texture and detail to your quilts.
What to Look for in a Home Embroidery Machine
There are several machines on the market with all the bells and whistles, and when you first start searching, it may feel a bit overwhelming.
Let me break it down into the features you should consider when figuring out which machine to purchase:
- Built-in Designs: Most embroidery machines will come with a variety of different designs and fonts. There are even special edition trademark machines that have Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, etc. designs included.
- Hoop Size: This is probably the most important feature you need to consider when shopping around for your new machine. The larger the hoop size, the better. The larger size gives you the most flexibility related to the size of the designs you can create.
- LCD Screen Size: Depending on your design style, this may be a big part of your purchase decision. Most machines come with software to tweak and create your designs on a computer and then transfer them to your machine. If you prefer to tweak the design directly on the machine, I recommend getting a larger screen.
- USB Port: If you are going to create your own designs, be sure to check if the machine you are interested in has a USB port so you can transfer your designs from your computer to your machine.
- Stitches Per Minute: The speed of your machine may not be a big deal if you are creating just one or two pieces at a time. But if you plan on using your machine for small business purposes, you may want to invest in a faster machine to keep up with your production times.
- Machine Type (Embroidery only vs. Sewing/ Embroidery): Do you want your machine to do embroidery work only? Or do you want one that is a multitask option? This option is something you should decide before making a purchase. Keep in mind, the machine that can do sewing and embroidery might cost a bit more, but you’re getting two machines in one.
- What to Look for in a Home Embroidery Machine
- 7 Best Embroidery Machines for Quilters
- 1. Brother PE800 Embroidery Machine
- 2. Brother PE535 Embroidery Machine
- 3. Janome Memory Craft 500E Embroidery Machine
- 4. Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 Embroidery and Sewing Machine
- 5. Janome MB-4S Four Needle Embroidery Machine
- 6. Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine
- 7. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
- Our Pick for the Best Embroidery Machine
7 Best Embroidery Machines for Quilters
Keeping all of these features in mind, here are our recommendations for some of the best embroidery machines on the market.
Brother has the most variety when it comes to home embroidery machines. The PE800 is an excellent option for personal and business work. It has 138 built-in designs (including quilt designs), 11 fonts, and a 3.2” color touchscreen for you to view and edit your designs before you create them.
With a 5”x7” hoop, you will be able to do a wide variety of different designs. If you look up embroidery machine reviews, the PE800 is one of the best.
The PE535 is the little “brother” (pun intended) of the PE800. It has many of the same features but is significantly cheaper. If you were to ask me, “What is the best embroidery machine for beginners?” the Brother PE535 would be my answer.
You get 80 built-in designs, nine fonts, 3.2” color touchscreen, plus it has a USB port so you can add your own designs into the machine’s memory. The hoop is much smaller than the other Brother machine at 4”x4”, which will limit what size designs you can create.
Janome is a well-known brand in the quilting community, and the Memory Craft Series embroidery machines are a great option.
The 500E machine boasts a large 5” full-color LCD touchscreen, 160 built-in designs, six fonts, and comes with four different hoop sizes with a maximum design size of 7.9”x11”.
The LCD touchscreen is large enough for you to edit your design without having to go to your computer. This machine is on the pricey end of the spectrum, but you can purchase with confidence knowing you will be getting a quality machine with features that beginners and seasoned embroiders alike will love.
The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 is a 2-in-1 machine with embroidery and sewing capabilities. The sewing side has 200 built-in stitches for all your sewing needs, from garment making to quilting and everything in between, seven-piece feed dog, memorized needle up/down feature, automatic thread tension, etc.
The embroidery side has 175 built-in designs, two fonts, monogramming, 6.7”x7.9” embroidery design area, USB port, large 5” LCD touchscreen, etc.
The Janome MB-4S Embroidery Machine is a pretty macho looking piece of machinery. It may not be something a beginner embroiderer would consider, but I wanted to include an option here for those looking for an industrial machine.
All the other machines I have listed are single needle machines. This machine, however, is a four-needle machine. That means you can use four different color threads, set your design, start the machine, and just walk away.
There’s no need to switch out your threads (unless you are using more than four different colors, of course). It has a 5.7” remote computer screen to work with. It will also work with most professional formats.
The Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine is a great option for those who want to create custom pieces for their quilts or other items they will make. The max embroidery design size is 5”x7”.
The Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine not only has 80 built-in embroidery designs, but it also has 103 built-in stitches. This product is a fantastic option for a quilter or anyone who wants to do a variety of projects.
This is the top-rated embroidery machine on Amazon, and I can see why. It is also the best affordable embroidery machine, has many options, and is versatile. It has a 3.2” LCD color touchscreen and USB port so you can add your own designs to your creations.
The only downside is the embroidery area is only 4”x4” on this machine. But if you know you will only be doing small designs, this machine is the perfect option for you!
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Our Pick for the Best Embroidery Machine
The machine that I have chosen for the Best Pick is…*drum rolls*…The Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850 Embroidery and Sewing Machine. To me, this machine is set apart from the others because it’s a multitasker, it’s a reliable brand, it has a reasonable price, and it has one of the larger embroidery areas.
I hope this post helps you with your decision-making process. You really can’t go wrong with any of these options. It all depends on what you’ll be using the machine for, and what you feel comfortable spending.
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she's not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.