Can You Use A Quilting Machine For Regular Sewing

Main Topic: Can You Use a Quilting Machine for Regular Sewing?

Background Information and Relevant Data

Traditional quilting machines have been used by quilters and hobbyists to produce quilted blankets, clothing and decorative coverings for many years. Quilting machines are different from regular sewing machines and challenging to learn to use. Quilting machines can stitch together layers of fabric and batten to create quilts. Traditional quilting machines require a complex method to getting started and the time to learn the technique can be quite daunting for the beginner. Quilting machines are specialized for quilting and have a needle that is slightly bigger than a regular sewing machine and a feed that works differently.
Quilting machines are capable of much more intricate and durable stitching than any regular machine. With an expertly quilted product, you can expect a mesmerizing design that is reversible and long lasting. The purpose of today’s quilting machines is to help quilters complete their projects faster and with better quality quilting results.

Expert Perspectives on Using a Quilting Machine for Regular Sewing

Many experts agree that using a quilting machine for regular sewing is not advised due to the differences between the two machines. The main differences between these two machines are that quilting machines are designed to work with thicker, heavier fabrics, whereas regular sewing machines are designed to work with lightweight fabrics. Quilting machines offer more control of the fabric because the feed dog has a wide range of settings, allowing for the even finishing of projects.
Singer sewing machines dealer Brenda Cochran explains, “While you could theoretically use a quilting machine for regular sewing, it’s not recommended. The stitch settings on a quilting machine are not suitable for regular sewing, and the machine is more likely to cause more harm than good – from jamming to sewing together pieces of fabric separately.”
When compared to a regular sewing machine, a mid-range quilting machine can range from $500 – $1,000. Cindy Lones, an Embroidery, Quilting and Screen Printing Expert advises, “Although it is possible to use a quilting machine for regular sewing, it is really not worth the expense. It takes a lot of practice to learn how to operate a quilting machine, and if you’ll only be using the machine for regular sewing, it’s just not necessary to invest in a quilting machine.”

Insights and Analysis

Quilting machines offer quilters the opportunity to make their projects more intricate and finish their projects faster. However, it is important to note that quilting machines are designed to work differently than regular sewing machines, thus it is not advised to use a quilting machine for regular sewing.
If you are a beginner, it is even more important to invest in a regular sewing machine first. A regular sewing machine has a smaller needle and the appropriate settings for the type of sewing you are looking to do. Quilting machines can be used for quilting and crafting projects, but are not designed for regular tasks like mending clothes or making curtains.

How Do Quilting Machines Compare to Regular Sewing Machines?

Quilting machines have a dedicated quilting frame or frame system attachment which is used to hold the quilt fabric in place while stitching. This makes it easier to sew curved designs and other intricate shapes. Quilting machines also feature an automated stitch regulator, which maintains the consistent width of each quilting stitch, eliminating the need for manual adjustment. Quilting machines are also equipped with a drop-in bobbin, allowing the user to quickly replace the bobbin without interrupting the stitching process.
In comparison, a regular sewing machine has a single needle and feed dog with a limited range of settings. Regular sewing machines are lightweight and portable, making them perfectly suited for on-the-go projects or repairs. A regular sewing machine offers much less control of fabric as the needle and bobbin are manually adjusted. This increases the chances of uneven stitching and incorrect tension.

What Types of Projects are Best Suited for a Quilting Machine?

When using a quilting machine, you will want to select heavier-weight fabrics such as quilting cotton, denim, or canvas. Denim, twill, and canvas are some of the best fabrics to choose for quilting projects, as they provide stability and shape to a quilt.
It’s important to use the proper needle size and thread for quilting projects. Quilting machines use needles which are slightly larger than regular sewing machines, typically with a 90/14 size needle. The larger needle size allows for more stitches per inch, creating a firmer and more durable thread. Heavier threads are also suggested when quilting, as they are more durable and help to lock the quilt layers together.

What Are the Different Types of Quilting Machines Available?

There are different types of quilting machines available, ranging from computerized machines to mid arm and long arm machines. A regular domestic quilting machine is a small machine that is light weight and perfect for beginners. Mid and long arm machines are much larger and heavier, and are typically used for more intricate quilting patterns. They have the benefits of larger quilting frames and the ability to quilt larger quilts.
Computerized machines offer a more accurate stitch and more creative capabilities. Many of today’s computerized machines are also equipped with memory which allow you to save favorite quilting projects and designs.

What Are Some Tips For Using a Quilting Machine?

When using a quilting machine, make sure that you start with the right fabric and needles. You should also use a higher quality thread, as it is more durable and produces a better finished product. Quilting machines can be intimidating at first, so it is important to take the time to read the user manual and get comfortable with the machine before attempting to tackle a quilting project.
It’s also important to practice with scrap pieces of fabric to get a feel for the machine, as well as to check for tension and movement of the fabric. When you’re comfortable enough with the machine, practice quilting on a small quilt before making a large quilt. And never forget to use the safety mechanisms including the needle guard and presser foot.


Quilting machines are specialized tools that are specifically designed for intricate quilting projects. Although it is technically possible to use a quilting machine for regular sewing, it is not advised due to the differences in the two machines. Quilting machines require heavier weight fabrics, larger needles, and specialized stitches and feed dog settings in order to produce the desired results. It is important to invest in the right machine for your projects, as using the wrong machine can create frustration and delays in completing your quilt.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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