My version of the foam quilting table
There was a thread on Tuesday about the foam Sewing and Quilting Table tutorial by Marguerita McManus on YouTube at this link. That thread reminded me that I promised someone a few weeks ago that I would post pictures of my version of Marguerita’s table. (Sorry I forgot to do that sooner.)
When I first saw her video, I loved her idea and made one a couple of years ago, just as she describes, but using 1-inch thick foam insulation because that’s what I could find at my local home improvement store. The insulation I bought came in 24 x 48” sheets. I made the table in three sections: one section was left full size; one section was cut to fit around the back and left side of my machine; and the third section was a small piece to fit in front that could be easily removed to access the bobbin. I first taped the sheets together (I needed exactly 4” to be level with my machine bed, so that made it easy.). On the pieces shaped to go around my machine, I marked the foam with a Sharpie and used one of DH’s little hobby saws, but a hack saw or craft knife would work too.
I loved the table but found that the draped vinyl was sort of undependable…it shifted around, the edges hung free and caught on things and it was a pain to move it around when I needed to change a bobbin. Besides that, it was, well, just sort of ugly. So I then ordered a large piece of white oilcloth and used it for a drape instead of the vinyl. It was much slicker, stayed in place better, and looked much better. But I still didn’t care for the draping part.
I recently “remodeled” my table. I still have the same foam sections but I cut the white oilcloth and wrapped each foam piece sort of like a package so that there would be no draping to fuss with and the sections could easily be removed when I needed to use my machine’s free-arm feature. All of the raw edges are concealed.
Here are some pictures:
Picture 1 shows how the foam table looks when it set in place. You can see where each section fits up to the machine and/or another section. Notice that it extends beyond the left edge of the desk, which gave me a little extra surface space.
Picture 2 shows the two large sections moved out of place. The 24 x 48” rectangle is set on its edge so you can see how I taped the oilcloth on the underside. (I used just regular duct tape but had to use three different colors.) The other section is shaped to fit behind my machine and the next picture shows a closer view of it.
Picture 3 is a closer view of the shaped part of the section where it fits behind my machine. The foam I used was just regular old Styrofoam and when you cut it, it falls apart into a million little balls. (Try to get a better type of foam!) So I covered all the cut edges with duct tape.
Picture 4 shows the small section in front of the bobbin access. It’s wrapped “package style” and taped on the bottom just like the others.
I much prefer the wrapped sections because they are so easy to move or just put away and there is no draped piece to deal with. I ordered the white oilcloth from Mendel's Far Out Fabrics in San Francisco because it was the only source I could find for solid color oilcloth yardage. (As the name implies, they have some amazing fabrics….takes you right back to the 1960’s!!)
Let me know if you want more info or if something isn’t clear in this post. Margeurita McManus is a very clever quilter and she deserves all the credit for her unique and problem-solving ideas!