I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I reviewed the Brother SQ 9050 sewing and quilting machine. Quite frankly, this is the first combination sewing and quilting machine in this price range that I have ever had an opportunity to review.

Given the affordable price range, I actually had some misgivings about whether or not this machine could meet the expectations of machine quilting enthusiasts.

At A Glance

The first things I noticed on the Brother SQ 9050 were all of the tutorial decals and promotional stickers affixed to the front of the machine. The manufacturer certainly wanted to make sure that anyone who uses this machine knows all there is to know before even turning it on.

Brother SQ 9050

Brother SQ 9050

The lavender floral decoration makes you feel instantly at ease when you sit down in front of this lightweight ergonomically designed machine.

At a Glance

At a Glance


Seam guide

Seam guide

For a machine in its price class, the Brother SQ 9050 is loaded with features normally reserved for a much more costly machine:

  • 140 utility and decorative stitch options
  • 8 one step buttonholes
  • 1 alphanumeric font for monogramming
  • Easy to use on board stitch guide
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Start/stop button
  • Free arm
  • Extension table
  • Upper and lower thread sensors
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Bright on-board LED lighting
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Seam guide on needle plate
  • On board accessory storage

Working on the Brother SQ 9050

Guide for Winding the bobbin

Guide for Winding the bobbin

As with any other sewing machine, the first things you must do when preparing to sew are wind the bobbin and thread the machine. Well, even with all of the instructional on-board decals, graphics and written instructions, I’ll have you know that winding the bobbin on this one was more than a notion.

Completely detachable plastic bobbin cover

Completely detachable plastic bobbin cover

Winding the bobbin on the Brother SQ 9050 should have been as simple and easy as it looks in all those pictures provided by the manufacturer. For some reason, the thread would start winding on the bobbin and then drop off the bobbin and wind itself around the spindle underneath.

100 separate utility and decorative stitch options

100 separate utility and decorative stitch options

After several attempts, I actually considered winding the bobbin by hand just to get through the review. However, I am not one to easily give up on anything as mundane as winding a simple bobbin; so I continued to work with it until the thread finally stayed in place long enough for the bobbin to be filled half way.

The Brother SQ 9050 comes with a drop in bobbin, but this terminology may be a bit deceiving. You can’t simply drop this one in like you do on some machines. When I followed the instructions on the diagram, however, I did not encounter any of the challenges I had with winding the bobbin.

I am not pleased, however, with the fact that the small clear plastic bobbin cover is completely detachable. It’s entirely too easy to lose something this small in a busy sewing room.

On the other hand, however, I am happy to report that the upper threading process was infinitely easier. Once the upper thread and bobbin were in place, I was able to get down to the business of testing a few of the 100 on-board stitch selections.

Selecting the stitches was easier than many of the other sewing machines in its price range that I have reviewed. The stitch selection guide consists of two separate panels. The first one is a display of 100 separate utility and decorative stitch options with a numerical code assigned o each one.

Backlit LED screen

Backlit LED screen

A panel flips up to reveal the entire alphabet in upper case block letters, each letter with an assigned numerical code. A backlit LED screen situated above the stitch selection guide displays the stitch number as well as the stitch length and width settings.

Four separate toggle switches control the stitch selection, width and length settings. Next to the LED screen is a tiny touch pad that allows you to move between utility stitches and the alphanumeric setting.

The utility stitches were clean, sturdy and perfectly formed. When it came to the some of the decorative stitch options, however, I found that the condensed stitches were not as tightly formed as I prefer.

Switching from the utility and decorative stitch options to the alphanumeric stitches is as easy as touching the appropriate area on the touchpad. Once the letter is selected, the stitch length switch is used to adjust the size of the letters or numbers while the stitch width switch controls the number of times the letter or number is repeated.

Clean, sturdy and perfectly formed stitches

Clean, sturdy and perfectly formed stitches

The accessories are stored inside a compartment that is removed to gain access to the free arm. It must also be removed in order to attach the extension table. The one and only hindrance if was able to find with that entire procedure is that when the plastic pouch containing the accessories is inside the compartment, it is a bit difficult to put it back in place without manipulating it.

Removable compartment for accessories

Removable compartment for accessories

I like the idea of having a separate pouch for the accessories. It helps keep everything together, but it is easier to slide the unit back onto the sewing machine without it. I suggest that the manufacturers consider a slight redesign of the unit so that it is large enough to accommodate the pouch.

Separate pouch for the accessories

Separate pouch for the accessories


  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers


I must admit, I was quite impressed with the accessories that were included with the Brother SQ 9050. One normally finds an accessory package like this on more costly machines:

    • 10 presser feet
      • Buttonhole
      • Button
      • Overcastting
      • Zipper
      • Monogram
      • Blind stitch
      • Walking
      • Quilting (2)
      • Zigzag
    • Twin needle
    • Extra needles (2 packs)
    • Bobbins
    • Seam ripper
    • Screw driver
    • Quilting guide
    • Eyelet punch
    • Owner’s manual (2 – 1 in English and 1 in Spanish)
    • Quick start guide (2)
    • Soft sided accessories case
    • Lint brush
Owner’s manual

Owner’s manual


After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

When it’s all said and done, the Brother SQ 9050 is possibly the best sewing machine in the low end price range that I have reviewed thus far. That, however, is not great accomplishment. In my opinion, any sewing machine that comes with a bobbin mechanism that is as challenging as this one should not be considered too seriously.

If you encounter the challenges I did with winding the bobbin, you might just get frustrated enough to decide to put the machine aside and do something else.

If, however, you can overcome this challenge, and depending upon how much you intend to actually sew on this machine you might just like it. Because of the bobbin issue, I hesitate to recommend the Brother SQ 9050 for beginners – especially for children.

The stitch quality and ease of selecting stitches, as well as the access to a start/stop button, automatic needle threader and variable speed slider at your fingertips are all definite advantages.

Taking these features into account along with the problematic bobbin winder, one must simply decide which is more important… a not so perfect bobbin winder or some great conveniences that are not usually available on a sewing and quilting machine in this price category.

One other thing that you may want to consider is the fact that this is machine is very light. This is a wonderful advantage for someone who must move it around regularly, especially if they are challenged with even the mildest case of arthritis or neck, wrist or shoulder pain issues.

However, I can’t help but wonder how long a machine that weighs less than 10 pounds will really be able to stand up to the drudgery of working on large quilt projects. If you decide to add this one to your sewing room, I recommend it only for the novice machine quilter.

The Brother SQ 9050 is probably a good machine for learning machine quilting techniques; but I think anyone who purchases it will be in the market for another machine within a very short time.

Brother SQ 9050 Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Stitch quality
Ease of use
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Winding the bobbin is a challenge
  • Accessories pack does not fit easily in storage area
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (18 Votes)

20 Responses

  1. linda feltner

    After discovering what I did wrong in winding the bobbin , I had no trouble, you must turn the bobbin clockwise one the spindle pushing into the small round cradle and u will hear a small click, now u are ready to wind your bobbin. I had this machine back in the day when we had to make our own dress in home ec , I might have passed. I love the way that I can slow the speed of the machine down. I really have no other problems with this machine,

  2. peggy gatteri

    I have a Brother SQ9050 sewing machine I want to do a straight satin stich but can’t figure out how. Can anyone help with this? I use this stich all the time.

  3. Vernelle

    Hi, Peggy –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    The way to achieve a straight satin stitch on your Brother SQ 9050 is to set your machine for a simple zigzag stitch then adjust your stitch length to its shortest setting.

    Happy Stitching.

  4. alma

    I got this machine from my husband for out 4th anniversary… i don’t have any problems never did and i have had it for almost a year now and i use it every day… The bobbin is not that hard to wind easy easy easy….i have stitched everything on this machine feathers too for my kids Halloween costume i have done fur leather i don’t know why you are experiencing problems if i was you i would contact brother and see what they say..

  5. Ploni

    This model jams with the hand wheel stuck after 1 yr and 3 mths, past its 1 year parts+labor warranty. Still in the shop.

  6. Marg

    I have a SQ9050.

    PROS: It sews well and is relatively easy to use. It’s the first sewing machine that I’ve owned that has needle threader and drop in bobbin…truly enjoy those features. It has multiple speeds which is really nice.

    CONS: The lighting could be better. Due to the lightweight it gets pushed around. I have tried a few times working with twin needles and end of breaking them and not getting the job done. For some reason the machine does not seem to have the push to go through the slightest bit of thickness when using twin needle. I dislike the way the throat plate goes together. Being half metal and half plastic it can be a bit annoying getting it properly seated once you’ve taken it off. Storage compartment is a joke.

    It comes with built in alphabet and special character stitches which work but they’re not all that great looking. I have an embroidery machine so I don’t use them.

    Overall: The SQ9050 does what I need it to do for the most part. By today’s standards, I think it’s good quality for the money. I paid $240 plus tax at Walmart. I first started sewing on an old Singer treadle machine and worked my way up through the years on various mechanical machines. This is the first computerized machine that I’ve owned. If I had it to do over again, I’d spend a little more and get a heavier machine.

  7. Carrie

    I am about to pick up the brother sq9050 at Walmart….I am wondering if anyone can tell me where to buy the darning (free motion) foot for this machine and which one is best…I’ve read that the plastic allows for more visibility is best?? Thanks!!

    • Shavon

      Mine came with darning foot, so check you accessories. I love my little SQ-9050, had mine almost 3 years issue free and used it pretty heavily the first year

      • Denise

        Does this machine actually come with owners manual and computer disc as shown above? The only instructions that came with mine were for the platform extension. When I bought this it was factory sealed. Sorry to say I had this for over a year before even opening due to one family health crisis after another. Who do I need to contact to see about getting these? Thanks!

      • Kendra

        I love my Brother SQ9050. I have had it for 3 yrs. Taken only to clean every year. I quilt on small projects only because I do not like to handle big quilts. I found this to be an excellent machine. I have another smaller Brother and i use this one when the other is in shop getting cleaned. I recommend a Brother to anyone that is looking for a great machine.

  8. Cathy

    I love this machine….BUT, how do you increase the font size on the monogramming? Has anyone figured this one out. Please email me if you can help!!

    • Marg

      Select one of the six fonts. Prior to selecting the first letter of the word or name, you have the choice of L M S.(Large, Medium, Small). If you want bigger than Large you could try going into Adjust menu, select SIZE and play with it there. I’ve never tried it but I don’t think the results will be that great. There are limitations to this machine.

    • Marg

      Cathy…so sorry re previous answer to you question. I just realized you were talking about the sewing machine. I have both the sewing machine and Brother embroidery machine and I gave you answers for my Embroidery machine. I do not think that you can change the font sizes on the SQ9050. I have tried using the fonts on this machine and never impressed with them so I stick to using my Embroidery machine. Sorry.

  9. Tammie White

    I am having trouble making the buttonhole feature work properly. I have read the book and watched the video. It will only sew one direction, then it balls up and will not go any further.

    • Tammy

      Mine is doing the same thing, and my feed dogs don’t feed the fabric like it should. ( not at all)

  10. Sally Baker

    I love my SQ9050. I am a self-taught quilter and do a lot of quilting these days. Although I’m not a professional I would recommend this machine to someone like me. I LOVE that the quilting foot and walking foot came with the machine. If you separated the price of the machine from the presser feet not normally standard my machine ended up costing me less than $100.

  11. April

    I am buying one that is used works fine but has no presser feet or accessories. They are asking 150 im going to get them down to 100. But where can i buy everything that fits this exact model. I havent had much luck searching online

    • Marg

      Mine is 2+ years old and bought it for approx $230 in Walmat. If this is coming with no feet I would try and get it for less than the ask of $150. This is a good machine. I’ve had no problems with it other than trying to use a twin needle. I’m not a quilter but I’ve done a couple of small child quilts and because of it’s lightweight it kept moving on me. If you do a lot of quilting then I would go for a heavier machine. However, my son, built me a sewing centre and now my machine is recessed into the cabinet which solves the problem. Don’t sweat getting feet for this machine. Go to Ebay and search for Brother Sewing Machine Feet. I bought an entire Janome 32 pc set for around $20 directly from China. They’re all good & work great. You will have a wait for them to arrive. I think I waited 3 or 4 weeks but it is such a big savings from having to buy them individually. Hope this helps.

  12. Judy

    I have this model sewing machine and I loved it. But today when I turned it on the stitch selection window is blank. I can’t get it to work. Anyone know how to fix this?


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