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Best Sewing Machines for Quilting

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Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine Review

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This is a review for the Brother CS6000i, an affordable electronic sewing machine for home use that has all the features you need to tackle a basic quilting project. 

Although this sewing machine comes with a low price-tag, it does a lot and is not only good for quilting but numerous other sewing projects too.

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

Features and Specifications

This machine sews at a rate of a very respectable 850 stitches a minute and weighing just 13 lbs is a good lightweight machine and very portable.

An Amazon best seller, this popular computerized machine has over 7000 reviews from past customers. 

Here are some of the features:

Quilting Table

One of the great features of the Brother CS6000i is its removeable quilting table that slides easily on and off as needed, an incredibly useful, if not essential accessory when making a quilt. 

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine with Extension Table Attached

Many sewing machines at this end of the market will not come with such a useful accessory for quilters and if you do need to buy one separately it can be an expensive purchase. 

Some users have found the extension table can be a little unsteady at times but most of the reviews relating to this feature are positive because it is so useful and an unexpected but welcome addition to a model at this affordable price.

Ability to Drop Feed Dogs

If you are planning to do free motion quilting, you will be pleased to know that the feed dogs can be dropped. Lowering these gives you a smooth surface gives you the freedom to move the fabric around as desired. When the feed dogs are up, they help guide the fabric.

Quilt made with squares and free motion design

Although some customer reviews say that it feeds smoothly, others comment that they have had problems with fabric or thread becoming stuck in the feed dogs. However, this may be due to using quite thin or stretchy fabric and a solution for this is mentioned in the instructions that come with the machine. It is also important to ensure you have the right thread and needle for your project so if you double-check what is best for your fabric you shouldn’t have any problems.

For extra thick fabrics such as a quilt, it is possible to raise the presser foot. If you do this it should prevent the fabric becoming stuck. 

Accessory Feet

This sewing machine comes with a walking foot (also known as an even foot) which is great when you are dealing with multi-layer projects such as quilts. This will help feed the layers through evenly without them getting stuck. It also comes with a spring loaded quilting foot that can be used for free motion quilting.

Foot Plate for the Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

The only feet absent from this machine are a ¼ inch foot and the free motion foot. However it does have two built-in stitches that sew ¼ inch from the right edge or ¼  from the left edge which may mean that you don’t need to make that extra purchase.

Even if you do feel that you need the extra foot, the fact that you’re saving so much money with this machine already means that it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Also included in the accessory package for this Brother machine are the following extra feet:

  • Overcasting foot
  • Monogramming foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Zigzag foot
  • Blind stitch foot
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Button fitting foot

Lots of Built-In Sewing Stitches

If you want to get fancy with your stitches, you are certainly spoilt for choice with this sewing machine! 

Equipped with 60 in-built stitch programs, it includes 

  • 20 beautiful decorative stitches
  • 7 quilting stitches
  • 20 stitches for garment construction
  • 6 heirloom stitches
  • 7 auto buttonhole styles

Although you may not need all these stitches for your quilting project when you first start, it gives you the option to use them and experiment a little once you’ve got the hang of the machine.

Other Great Features for Quilting

More features this machine includes that are very useful for quilters are 

  • A needle up/down control which means you can always make sure the needle finishes in (or out) of the fabric when you stop the sewing.
  • Adjustable speed control so you can speed up or slow down as you feel comfortable
  • Auto needle threader which is a great time saver.
  • Quilting guide to help you evenly space the rows of your quilting stitches and achieve good straight lines.

As well as these quilting-specific features, the machine has an LCD display showing the stitch you’ve selected, a good, bright light so you can easily see your work and a set of accessories including 3 bobbins, a set of 3 needles, a twin needle, seam ripper, eyelet punch, extra spool pin, screwdriver, and cleaning brush. It also has a power cord.

LCD Display on the Brother CS6000i

This sewing machine doesn’t come with a knee lifter or an automatic thread cutter which are useful attributes for quilting machines but many of the other affordable machines around this price don’t have these either.

Pros

  • One of the major advantages of this sewing machine are the numerous features you get for such a low price. This is what makes it such a popular machine.
  • It’s a lightweight machine so portable and light to carry around - particularly good if you go to quilting lessons
  • Past customer reviews confirm that this sewing machine is user-friendly and easy to operate. The bobbin is easy to change, as are the feet, and the needle is easy to thread.  These are very important aspects if you are a quilting beginner.

Cons

  • Although the fact that it is lightweight is an advantage, some customers have commented that this can also be a disadvantage as it can move or slide on the table while you are sewing.
  • It may be difficult to sew very large quilts due to the throat of the machine not being as wide as some quilters may like. However, this isn’t a quilting sewing machine as such rather than a good all rounder that has some excellent features for quilters. If you are more skilled at this craft, you will probably want to opt for a more advanced machine.
  • When turning the machine on, the needle defaults to the left rather than the center. Some users have said they’ve broken needles because they forgot to change it before beginning to sew. 

Summary

The majority of past customers are very happy with their purchase of the feature-packed Brother CS6000i with only the odd gripe and it has a 4 ½ star average rating which is extremely good. 

Perhaps you might worry that this machine has so many features you will not know where to start. However, previous customers have said how easy it is for beginners to learn on this machine so you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed.

All in all, the Brother CS6000i is a good sewing machine and offers excellent value for money compared with many other machines at this price.  It comes in a hard carry case which is great if you are planning to take it to quilting classes.

Is This Machine Right for You?

Although it is very capable of tackling quilting projects, it is not a very heavy duty machine, so if you plan on working with a lot of very thick fabrics and layers, a more solid machine might be advantageous.

If you are a skilled quilter with plenty of experience behind you, this machine may not be for you as you may require more advanced features. If you have a larger budget you would be best to opt for a quilting specific machine.

If you are a quilting beginner, this is probably the best sewing machine you could buy to learn the craft and get your head around the basics of machine quilting. It is also perfect for anyone who likes to quilt and tackle other sewing projects too, but has a tight budget.