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Top 7 Best Sewing Machine Features for Quilters

There are so many new and innovative sewing machines out there! It can be hard to choose which one will be best for you! So, we put together a list of the “Top 7 Best Sewing Machine Features for Quilters” that you should look for in your next machine!

Just as an upfront disclaimer, I will be talking about the BabyLock Chorus machine! BabyLock is one of the sponsors for Modish Quilter magazine and for good reason! They have some of the best machines for all kinds of levels of quilters. The BabyLock Chorus machine is the one I use every day and has all of the features I will outline below.

Here are the Top 7 BEST sewing machine features

Have you ever seen a useful feature on a friend’s machine or in a shop and thought, “Wow! I need that!”. Well that’s what this list is made of! 

  • Auto Thread Cutter
  • Auto Threader
  • Laser Light Guide
  • Dual Pedal
  • Dual Feed foot
  • Large Throat Space
  • Additional Light 

Automatic Thread Cutter

This comes pretty standard on most newer machines now a days. But we added it to our list of “Top 7 Best Sewing Machine Features for Quilters” because it is so useful and handy every time you sew! Sure, we probably all have a handful of fun and useful scissors. But when it comes to automating the trivial parts of quilting, I think this job is the first on the books! 

Automatic Threader

Similar to the automatic thread cutter is the automatic threadER! How many times have we all sat at our machines and agonized over getting that thread through the tiny eye of the needle in a dimly lit space? Raise your hands if you feel me! Having an automatic threader will feel like luxury at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back! A must have for sure.

laser light guide

This is a little less common and not NECESSARY, per say, but SO COOL! A couple of years ago I was at a quilt retreat and another quilter brought in a huge fancy quilting machine that definitely shone brighter than all the others! The coolest thing about it was that it had a laser light that shone a line down on the workspace that was in line with the needle. GAME CHANGER! Never mark another HST again! It was then and there that a laser light made it to my “Top 7 Best Sewing Machine Features for Quilters”.

The BabyLock Chorus has a laser light. The cool thing about it is that you can set it to be in line with your needle or you can move it from side to side. So, you can set it at 1/4″ and sew on either side of the diagonal line for HSTs! I know it’s not necessary, but I am here to tell you that it is a life saver! 

dual pedals

Driving a car takes two pedals… so why shouldn’t an advanced sewing machine?! Having a dual pedal option might sound confusing, but it is one of the most handy features on the list! Obviously, the main pedal is for sewing! But a second pedal can do a range of different things! I used to have a pedal that would cut the thread for me!

The BabyLock Chorus’ second pedal can actually be set to any of the following features: thread cutting, needle up/down, single stitch, reverse stitch, and presser foot up/down! Currently, I have it set to Presser Foot Up/Down. 

dual feed quilting foot

If you are an avid quilter- you need a quilting foot. If you have ever tried to quilt all three layers on a non-dual feed quilting machine, you probably had some issues with fabrics not feeding evenly. A dual feed quilting foot is a larger mechanic automatic foot that has to be plugged in and will help feed all layers of fabric through the machine at an even pace. It makes a huge difference and will make your life so much easier for those of us who don’t have a longarm! 

dual feed quilting foot

large throat space

As well as a dual feed quilting foot, a large throat space is imperative for those of you who do your own quilting. Shoving three layers of fabric and batting through the throat space is hard enough as it is! I don’t recommend anything with less than 10 inches of throat space. The BabyLock Chorus has 11 inches. 

additional workspace lighting

sewing machine lighting

The last item on the “Top 7 Best Sewing Machine Features for Quilters” list is lighting! I cannot stress this enough! Good lighting is key! Natural light is always the best but, if you are like me, you might like to sew at night! So having a good light source is going to make all the difference! So get a machine that has some extra built in lighting around the workspace area. 

The BabyLock Chorus has a clear casing above the needles that lets light shine all around the work space. It also has two additional lights on the arm above the throat space. I always keep a “daylight” standing lamp nearby for those night-time sewing sessions.

I hope this helps you on your quest to find the perfect sewing machine for you! To find a BabyLock Chorus, reach out to your local BabyLock dealer for more info! You can also check out more info on the BabyLock Sashiko machine in our Slow Stitch Issue.