The Best Large Throat Quilting Machines of Apr 2024

So, you love to quilt but struggle to work on your large projects because of the small throat size of your machine? This is a familiar problem for millions of sewing bees across the globe that try to work on large quilts using their regular sewing machine with a quilting arm. Luckily for you, I’ll have faced this exact problem in the past so, I went hunting for a large throat sewing machine for quilting and got to try a few of them out.

I want to help you find the right quilting sewing machine for those big blankets and other large projects you may be working on.

Some common questions I get include what features does the machine have, size of quilt can you work on in one piece, the weight of the machine, and what is the throat size, among others.

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Janome Memory Craft 6650 (MC6650)
Janome Memory Craft 6650 (MC6650)
  • See description below for features
55 User Reviews
Warranty: 25 Year Limited
Juki Kirei HZL-NX7 Large Throat Quilting Machine
Juki Kirei HZL-NX7 Large Throat Quilting Machine
  • See description below for features
174 User Reviews
Warranty: 5 Years Limited
Brother PQ1500SL
Brother PQ1500SL
  • See description below for features
522 User Reviews
Warranty: 25 Years Limited
Juki Exceed F600 Quilt Pro
Juki Exceed F600 Quilt Pro
  • See description below for list of features
30 User Reviews
Warranty: 5 Years Limited
Baby Lock Jazz II Sewing and Quilting Machine
Baby Lock Jazz II Sewing and Quilting Machine
  • See description below for list of features
184 User Reviews
Warranty: 25 Years Limited
Q'nique 21 Pro Long Arm Quilting Machine
Q'nique 21 Pro Long Arm Quilting Machine
  • See description below for features
46 User Reviews
Warranty: 5 Years

Janome Memory Craft 6650 (MC6650)

My absolute favorite large throat quilting machine is the Janome Memory Craft 6650 (Janome MC6650). I don’t complete a project without using this elegant and well-crafted sewing machine. It is a well-built and sturdy machine with massive throat space and an optional extension table (which I bought). The list of features for this machine is incredible. The features include:

  • A holder for large cones and spools of thread
  • An automatic thread cutter
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Knee lift frees both hands to focus on your project
  • 172 built-in stitches
  • One-step buttonholes
  • Snap-on presser feet make it super easy to change them
  • Extra-high presser feet allow you to quilt some really thick materials
  • Start/Stop button, speed control, reverse button, and many others
  • Stitch memory
  • 6 LED lights illuminate the entire work area so you can sew in low light environments
  • A 3.6-inch LCD Screen for easy stitch selection
  • Stich length and width adjuster
  • Thread tension controller

This list goes on and you also get 12 additional presser feet and a dust cover. But forget about all the bells and whistles because did I mention it has a very large throat? This is what matters most to us – and this machine handles both straight and free motion quilting like the pro that it is. I have fallen in love with it and I promise that you will too. I bought this machine after testing and comparing it to several others and I am very happy with it and can’t recommend it enough.

The MC6650 is not cheap but an awesome machine if you can afford it. I guess it all depends on what you want to use it for. It is totally worth the investment if you will be using it to make items to sell but it may be a bit too pricy if you’re just making stuff as gifts for friends and family. However, it is a fun machine to sew on and it’s also pretty easy to use so get it if you can.

A cheaper alternative will be the Janome MC6500P, which I also tested and I must say it is a top-notch machine. The only difference is that the throat space is not as large as the MC6650 and a bit older. The amount of 5-star reviews it has from other users shows what a good quilting sewing machine it is.


Juki Kirei HZL-NX7 Quilting Machine

Juki Kirei HZL-NX7 Large Throat Quilting MachineJuki makes several great large throat machines for quilting. I do not own the Kirei HZL NX7 machine but I have a friend who does and I have tested it a few times and I must say it is very good for both sewing and quilting. We’ve included the Kirei although it’s throat is 12″ which many will consider a mid-arm.

This offering from Janome is an advanced but user-friendly computerized machine that does what it does very well. It is a very popular long-arm machine with a large extension table, making it ideal for quilting and sewing large and bulky projects. I looked it up, and Kirei means beautiful in Japanese, reflecting the machine’s heritage.

This is an excellent machine but you should know that it is not a plug-n-play machine – you’ll have to take some time to learn how to set everything right. There are many useful videos on YouTube that will help you get it to work correctly. For example, it will not sew well until you set the bobbin tension to the same tension as the top thread. There are a couple of other crucial settings, but once you finish with the setup, you’ve got yourself an awesome quilting machine that will have you making beautiful quilts for years.

Some useful features include:

  • 12″ Throat
  • 1050 Stitches per Minute
  • 351 Stiches
  • 4 alphabetic and numeric fonts
  • Maximum Zig Zag Width: 7mm
  • Maximum Stitch Length: 5mm

This is a strong, sturdy, and super-fast sewing machine that makes neat and wrinkle-free quilts. You won’t regret buying it.

Brother PQ1500SL

Brother PQ1500SL Quilting Sewing MachineLet me introduce you to the Brother PQ1500SL quilting machine. I selected it as one of the best sewing machines you can buy today and for a good reason. It is a seriously good sewing machine that can sew through virtually anything. The large throat area and the large extension table combine to give you plenty of room to work your quilts.

This machine only sews straight stitches, which is what you want in a high-quality quilting machine. You’ll love the knee lift, the needle down feature, the anti-slip feed mechanism, adjustable feed pressure & variable feed dog heights, anti-puckering feature, drop feed, needle threader, and thread cutter, etc.

The machine is fast and built to last and is very easy to operate. It comes with an extra-large extension table, a fabric separator, and eight additional presser feet. You’ll love the PQ1500SL because it works well and lets you make beautiful quilts with ease. It is a dream for those looking for a quilting sewing machine with ample throat space to handle bulky projects. Go ahead and give it a try.

Juki Exceed F600 Quilt Pro

Juki Exceed F600There’s only one thing I need to say about this machine to convince you to consider it, and that is “throat space.” You want a large throat space right? This beautiful and strong machine has it in spades. It is a computerized quilting machine with a large extension table to make it easy to quilt and sew bulky projects. This machine does it all – from sewing and quilting to embroidery – and it does it exceptionally well.

It makes very clean and smooth stitches even when working with heavy-duty materials. At speeds of up to 900 stitches per minute, it is a very fast sewing machine. You can control the speed with the speed control button or a foot pedal, giving you a great option. The machine is very easy to use and you can even use it to teach your kids how to sew if you take the speed down to 80 stitches per minute.

It comes with a slew of very useful features, some of which I have highlighted in the list below:

  • Knee lifter
  • 16 Automatic buttonholes
  • Auto thread trimmer
  • Automatic threading
  • Memorized needle up/down position
  • Free motion quilting
  • 255 built-in stitches
  • LCD screen
  • A walking foot
  • Guilt guide
  • Automatic bobbin winder
  • LED lights
  • 10 additional presser feet
  • A hard case
  • An extension table

The thread cutter can be operated with a button on the machine or by pressing the foot pedal with your heel. This is a serious machine that is built-well and should last for many years. You can use it to make gifts for friends and family or use it for your commercial venture. It is a workhorse and can comfortably handle the workload.

Baby Lock Jazz II Sewing and Quilting Machine

Baby Lock Jazz II Sewing and Quilting MachineBaby Lock’s Jazz II is a feature-rich quilter with a large throat. What’s impressive is how much Baby Lock has packed into the Jazz II. It has just about everything a quilter needs as well as the utility you’d find in a solid a utility sewing machine but still has a very affordable price.

The list of features is far too long to list, but here are a few of my favorite. The throat comes in at 12″ and the Jazz II has a programmable needle up/down button, built-in needle threader, a large reverse lever that you won’t have to hunt for, and a quick-set top-loading bobbin.

Additional features include:

  • Large 12″ Workspace
  • 28 Built-In Stitches
  • Programmable Needle/Up Down
  • 1,000 Stitches Per Minute Speed
  • Built-In Needle Threader
  • Hands-Free Presser Foot
  • 6 LED lights that illuminate the needle and work area
  • Heavy-duty metal casting
  • Free arm
  • Side thread cutter

Q’nique 21 Pro Long Arm Quilting Machine

Qnique 21 Long Arm Quilting MachineAnother machine I tested but have not purchased is the Q’nique 21 Pro Long Arm Quilting Machine. Now, this is a true long arm quilting machine with professional features geared toward the avid enthusiast quilter. The enormous 21″ throat space is suitable for quilting all but the largest quilting projects. This is one of the more expensive machines we’ve put on the list and it’s most likely a higher price tag than a hobbisy would spend. But, for the serious quilter this is an absolute workhorse that can pretty much sew any size quilt.

It is a fast machine – up to 2,600 stitches per minute – but you can control the speed to suit your needs. If this is your first Q’nique machine in this style be sure to look over all the options to ensure you get everything you need to start quilting.

You will also have to get an automated quilting package like the Quilter’s Creative Touch 5 (or the newer but more expensive Quilter’s Creative Touch 5) to enable computerized automated quilting. Without this, you’ll have to control the machine manually. There are other optional accessories and by the time you assemble a complete quilting system it will set you back several thousand dollars. However, this may be the right purchase for you if you are an avid quilter or who has a business that can offset the cost.

Features of this Long Arm Quilting Machine Include:

  • Up-to 2,600 stitches per minute
  • 5″ square color OLED screen for improved viewing
  • Smooth, vibration minimized quilting from free-motion to full automation
  • Easy to handle
  • Bobbin Estimator
  • Cruise Speed
  • Adjustable handles

What is a Sewing Machine Throat?

The throat of the sewing machine is the space between the upright arm, sewing head, horizontal arm, and the machine bed as shown in the image below.


Why does a Large Throat Space Matter?

It is common practice to the roll whatever you’re quilting in the throat of the machine and unrolls it as you quilt. This becomes an issue if you have a machine with a small throat and you’re working on a bulky item like a queen or king-size blanket. It can lead to wrinkles and puckering if you cram your item tightly in the throat space. Basically, a large throat space is necessary so you can quilt bulky items easily.