Baby Lock Espire | Archives

MSRP $3499 (Prices vary by dealer)
Reviewer: Brenda Groelz

They say good things come in small packages, but in this case, an excellent machine comes in a large box. Upon opening the box, you’re greeted by a beautifully designed machine with a very large extension table. I love to foundation piece and this table is the perfect staging area for all my tiny pieces.

The Baby Lock Espire is well designed for quilters. It has all of the features I look for in a sewing machine including one-touch buttons for start/stop, needle up/down, reverse sewing, thread cutter and automatic presser foot lift.

A combination of features make machine piecing and quilting easy to do. The advanced pivoting feature allows you to pivot your fabric by raising the presser foot while leaving the needle in place. Where was this feature when I was stitching all those set-in seams on my LeMoyne Star quilt?

If you prefer, you can use the knee lever to raise and lower the presser foot. The 3-speed motor allows you to stitch at your own speed (up to 1000 stitches per minute, which is great for machine quilting long lines). Love to do free-motion quilting? This machine includes 3 different quilting feet: free-motion foot for use with a straight stitch, open toe foot for use with decorative and zigzag stitches, and echo quilting foot with a guide for perfect echo lines.

Free Quilt Pattern from Baby Lock!
Get the free pattern for this Asian Inspired quilt.

Designed and made by: Beth Ann Cecchettini for Baby Lock. Fabric: Andover Fabrics and Kona Bay Fabrics.

Most quilters will find 343 built-in stitches to be plenty, but there’s even more-the built-in stitch memory allows you to edit and save stitch width and length for special projects. If you fill the machine’s memory, you can save additional stitches on your PC, which you can connect via the machine’s USB (Type B) port. I love it when the machines in our lives all work together.

I enjoyed my time with this machine. The touch screen is intuitive, the threading is simple, bobbin winding is a breeze. If I ever got lost, the manual has some of the best how-to photographs I’ve ever seen, which is a big plus for visual learners. Quilters will love the Baby Lock Espire.

By the Numbers

3 Presser feet specifically for free-motion quilting are included

5 LED lights to give you plenty of light where you need it

13 Snap-on feet included (lots more available to purchase)

343 Built-in stitches to combine and save


The 1/4″ line is marked on the throat plate (for use when the needle is in the center position).

The advanced needle threader lets you thread with one hand.

Perfect thread tension due to Automatic Thread Tension Control (and the Automatic Fabric Sensor System senses the thickness of your fabric and applies the perfect amount of pressure).

The thread stand can accommodate the large spools I prefer to use. No tangles and no feeding problems.

This Test Drive article also appears in QUILTMAKER November/December ’07 (No. 118).

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