While there are a number of sewing machines on the market that work for all kinds of projects, quilting is another thing entirely.
You can certainly sew a quilt using a normal sewing machine, but if you are creating a large quilt, or are just looking for something a bit different, you need a quilting machine – and perhaps, more specifically, the Tin Lizzie 18 Quilting Machine (it’s discontinued, but available to buy on eBay).
A specialized machine like the Tin Lizzie 18 could just be the answer to your prayers, making larger projects all the easier.
With its large table, easy threading abilities, the built-in bobbin winder, and its attached lamp, this might be your perfect fit.
There have been some complaints in regards to its noisy function and expensive price tag, but let’s take a closer look. The pros could outweigh the cons to make this an ideal machine for your next quilt.
Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine: The Details
The Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine is a white, fairly basic, modern-looking machine. It weighs 43 pounds, and because the sewing head is made of cast aluminum, it’s quite sturdy.
It’s about as wide as a toaster oven, but much shorter than your average sewing machine – at least before you set it in the collapsible table.
Once it’s placed in the table, then it reaches 36 inches high from the floor to the top of the machine.
- Weight: 43 lbs.
- Dimensions: Table: 30x47x30 inches. With the extended leaf: 47 inches wide x 24 inches deep. Throat Space: 18×6 inches.
- Stitches: One basic stitch.
- Speed: 3,000 SPM.
- Bobbin: Front-loading bobbin underneath the table.
- Warranty: Five years for parts; one year for labor.
- Bobbin case
- Encoder set
- Power cable
- Sewing machine oil
Tin Lizzie 18: The Company
Established in 1996, the Tin Lizzie 18 is a Utah-based brand and family business. They originally started in 1948 when Bill Floyd started the Floyd Sewing Machine Shop in California.
As Bill’s son, Ernie, joined the business, he moved to California and started what is now known as Tin Lizzie 18.
The company’s mission is to design quilting machines that work for both professionals and
those quilting as an at-home hobby.
The warranty for this machine is five years for parts and one year for any labor that needs to be applied.
This covers the machine and any of the electronics that are included in it. However, it doesn’t include any of the accessories, such as the needles, bobbins, belts, or light bulbs.
The warranty is also only valid if the damage is due to manufacturing error. Any mistakes or damage on your part is (sadly) not covered.
Under the warranty, you are guaranteed any new parts or labor your machine needs free of charge for the first year. Afterward, only the parts will be covered without cost.
One of the coolest parts of the Tin Lizzie 18 is that it comes with a relatively large, collapsible table. The table is 30×47 inches.
It allows you much more room to move your fabric than if you were operating a normal sewing machine. And since it’s collapsible, it won’t be too difficult to store once you’re finished.
The table has an extra hinged leaf that will further extend the space you have to work on. Can you ever have enough space? (No.)
Built-In Bobbin Winder
This quilting machine also includes a built-in bobbin winder, which can ensure you never run out of thread before you’re finished with the project.
Included also is an M-sized bobbin, the largest available on the market, so you can work for a longer amount of time before needing to switch to another bobbin. Perfect for large projects.
The Tin Lizzie 18 quilting machine comes with a variable-speed foot control.
You have the reins on how fast or slow you want to quilt, without worry that the machine is overwhelming or underwhelming your needs on a project.
This is especially good for beginning quilters who may want to take it slow with their first couple of projects.
The included lamp features a flexible arm that attaches to the head of the machine. You can quilt whenever you want thanks to this, day or night.
If you are working on something that really needs attention to detail, the light will help you see even the smallest of stitches.
Since the lamp is on a flexible arm, you can twist and contort it any way necessary to get that perfect spotlight.
The automatic needle positioner allows you to have the needle in an up or down position when you stop sewing, via the foot pedal or the buttons on the machine.
This means you are less likely to break or even bend your needle.
This quilting machine is built to last. The sewing head’s casing is made completely from cast aluminum. The motor allows you to get up to 3,000 stitches per minute (WOW!).
The whole machine is run by gears and shafts that are held in place by lubricated bushings and bearings.
The lubrication system inside ensures that everything is well-oiled, and because the oil reservoir is inside the machine, you don’t have to worry about making a mess.
Tin Lizzie 18 wants this machine to work for professionals as well as beginners, and they’ve built it with that in mind
Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine Review
Easy to Use
While this machine is built to handle large, professional projects, the features on it make it accessible for beginners too.
As you can’t use the machine if you can’t thread it, Tin Lizzie made sure the process was as easy as possible.
Several users noted how easy this machine is to thread, and the automatic bobbin winder and automatic lubrication hook allow you to focus on the important tasks at hand – sewing or quilting your project.
If you need help, it comes with easy-to-read instructions. There are also a few YouTube videos that show you exactly what to do.
Users are left at ease with this machine’s simple and intuitive functions so you’ll know you’ll be left a little less frustrated.
More Room to Sew
The collapsible table is undoubtedly a fan favorite. Our testers noted how much room it gave them to work on their quilting projects; and once they were finished, they could easily fold it up and store it away.
Quilting on a regular sewing machine can be difficult (especially when it’s a larger quilt), because you may not have enough space; things can get awkward and stitches can get messed up.
With this table, those worries can go out the window!
While Tin Lizzie machines, like the Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine, have been well-received it can still be worrying to purchase from a company that you’re not used to seeing alongside the big names in sewing.
Fear not! You won’t be left fumbling on your own should something be confusing or defected on your machine.
Not only are you entitled to that limited warranty we mentioned earlier, but Tin Lizzie is backed by a customer service department that will be truly responsive.
Customers have been impressed by how attentive the Tin Lizzie customer service is, and they also have an abundance of information on their website should you need additional resources.
They also offer to set up your machine and walk you through it upon delivery! Talk about helpful.
Great for Businesses
This machine will suit anybody looking to start a business, or looking for a machine that’s better to fill orders.
The Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Quilting machine not only allows you to spread your creativity even bigger thanks to its large worktable but this machine also packs power.
Whether you have a small business or need to churn out orders on a regular basis, this quilting machine will let you do it.
It won’t slow down and buckle under pressure from demand. And since it’s so sturdy and powerful, you can bet it can tackle heavier fabrics like denim and will stand up to large, thick, quilts.
While there weren’t many complaints about this machine, there were a few users who found it to be noisy.
All sewing machines make a degree of noise, but if it makes so much noise that you can’t concentrate on your project, is it really worth having? It’s up to you whether it’s too much or tolerable.
The Tin Lizzie 18 Long Arm Quilting Machine will cost you a few thousand dollars.
While that is not the most expensive quilting machine on the market (they can be up to $10,000!), you should be aware that this is not an inexpensive purchase.
If you are willing to spend the money, great! You’re looking at a solid machine to last you the years. Though if you’re on a budget, you might want to do a little more shopping or pondering before purchasing.
It’s probably a given seeing as this is a sit-down quilting machine, it will be hard to make this portable.
While the table is collapsible, this machine also weighs in at over 40 lbs, making it something you may not want to lug around.
This is better kept in your workroom, or in a space where it can sit for a while.
After weighing every positive and negative, we are highly recommending the Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine.
With the collapsible table, the flexible lamp, and the ability to sew 3,000 stitches per minute, it has just about everything a user could possibly want in a quilting machine.
Where to Buy the Tin Lizzie 18 Quilting Machine
Tin Lizzie may or may not be a brand that you’ve heard of, but one thing’s for sure, they’ve definitely been turning heads.
The Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Quilting Machine, in particular, has been given rave reviews across the board from experts, enthusiasts, bloggers and websites.
The only problem? It’s very hard to find the machine in stock.
This particularly machine has been discontinued, but you can still find it available to order on eBay. Some machines will be local collection only, but others can be shipped USA-wide.
That’s it for our Tin Lizzie 18 review! Tempted to give this machine a try?
For more reviews, head over to our complete archives of machine reviews.
Tin Lizzie Long Arm Quilting Machine Review
Ease of Use
Craft Sewing Specs
The Tin Lizzie 18 Sit Down Long Arm Sewing Machine is a powerful, sturdy machine – great for both beginners and expert sewers, and perfect for businesses big or small.
The price tag may make this an item to invest in, but if you do, chances are you won’t be disappointed.