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Thread: Acrylic Extension does NOT make it easier to FMQ

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Acrylic Extension does NOT make it easier to FMQ

    For Christmas I wanted an acrylic extension for my sewing machine (Janome MC4800). One of my primary reasons was the extra space for FMQ. I have liked my extension thus far. Tonight is the first time I tried to FMQ on it.

    I would say that was a fail! Couldn't move the quilt around on it for anything. Partly because the quilt kept getting caught on the corners, and why else I am not sure. I just know that it was incredibly difficult to move the quilt around on it. I am quilting a larger lap quilt, approximately 60 x 72.

    Pulled the extension off, would rather deal with the smaller space - at least I can move my quilt around.

    Ultimately I would like to get a table with an insert for my sewing machine so that everything is flush with the table.

    Anyone else with this problem? Am I missing something obvious that I am supposed to be doing to make this easier?

  2. #2
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    for fmq you really need a flat surface with the sewing machine and then have tables or ironing board or anything you can use to support your quilt. You will be able to move it around and your fmq will be alot better experience.

  3. #3
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    Can you take the feet off the acrylic extension table and use it as your insert to set the machine flush into a table?

  4. #4
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    i cut my own extension out of 1/4" plywood and 2 x 4 blocks for legs... then i covered the sewing machine AND extension with plain old oilcloth. i taped it down around the hole i cut for the foot (about 3" square) with duct tape as it comes off pretty easily... i only tried it because i wanted a bigger extension than those available... mine is 4 ft from right hand side of sewing machine to left hand corner, and 3 ft deep as that was all the bigger my table was. this has made it a lot easier to move around and all i have to do is re-tape occastionally... it usually lasts thru 3 or 4 quilts before it has too many 'fuzzies' on the edge of the tape to affect it...

  5. #5
    Member lovequilter's Avatar
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    deemail has a great idea. Have you posted this in the tips section?
    Linda
    Let every day be the best day of your life!

  6. #6
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    Wow! What an AWESOME idea!! Gotta try this one, Thanks!

  7. #7
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I've got the 4800 and the extension table, and I found the same: the surface just doesn't seem to be slick enough, and the fabric won't move easily on it.

  8. #8
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Someone on here uses that thick foam board stuff and covers it with plastic to make a bigger area to hold the quilt high enough. I don't know if it is under tutorials or what. It looks like it would work well too.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  9. #9
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    I read that a very very small amount of silicone spray wiped over a surface will help the movement of the quilt. I've bought the spray but haven't tried it yet - so don't know how successful it would be.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it of course takes some practice to get the hang of using a different surface. after some time (some people) wonder how they ever managed to quilt without it- but in the beginning it was difficult because it was (needing to learn) a new way. with some practice it would become much easier.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  11. #11
    Senior Member lenette's Avatar
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    I'm working on the thick foam board extension for my machine. I decided to cover it to hold it together when I move it around instead of fighting with the two layers. Hopefully, I will finish it up soon and be able to test a quilt on it.

    Funny, tho, how exciting it was when free arm machines came out, and now we're all wanting big, flat areas!

    I have an acrylic extension table that 'fits' my machine if I tape it on. It was made for my last machine. What a pain!
    Lenette

  12. #12
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I would love to do the foam board thing, but I am having trouble finding what I want locally. All I can find around here is full 4'x8'sheets. I would need 2 sheets, (1) 2" and (2) 3/4" sheets. It would be about $40 to make - more than I care to spend. Lowe's has 2'x4' sheets online, but those particular items they won't ship to store and will only deliver via truck. I'm sure that would be costly. I've even investigated other types of foam, from upholstery foam to floral foam, but they are all too expensive. The only thing cheaper is regular styrofoam, but I don't want those little bits all over the place. Any other ideas?

  13. #13
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    You may still need to add a slippery covering like the Supreme Slider or cover with oil cloth as suggested, or with the heavy clear plastic tablecover you can get from JoAnns to reduce the friction.
    Remember the teakettle...it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!

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  14. #14
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    i cut my own extension out of 1/4" plywood and 2 x 4 blocks for legs... then i covered the sewing machine AND extension with plain old oilcloth. i taped it down around the hole i cut for the foot (about 3" square) with duct tape as it comes off pretty easily... i only tried it because i wanted a bigger extension than those available... mine is 4 ft from right hand side of sewing machine to left hand corner, and 3 ft deep as that was all the bigger my table was. this has made it a lot easier to move around and all i have to do is re-tape occastionally... it usually lasts thru 3 or 4 quilts before it has too many 'fuzzies' on the edge of the tape to affect it...
    I was just wondering if I could use oilcloth, having been looking at a site selling it this morning, when I was searching out a wipe-clean tablecloth. Thanks for the confirmation!

  15. #15
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    i cut my own extension out of 1/4" plywood and 2 x 4 blocks for legs... then i covered the sewing machine AND extension with plain old oilcloth. i taped it down around the hole i cut for the foot (about 3" square) with duct tape as it comes off pretty easily... i only tried it because i wanted a bigger extension than those available... mine is 4 ft from right hand side of sewing machine to left hand corner, and 3 ft deep as that was all the bigger my table was. this has made it a lot easier to move around and all i have to do is re-tape occastionally... it usually lasts thru 3 or 4 quilts before it has too many 'fuzzies' on the edge of the tape to affect it...
    deemail, you are very clever and resourceful
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?


  16. #16
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    Thank you so much for starting this thread. I have the same issues. I will be interested to hear what others have to say.

  17. #17
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
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    I've heard of people that use a silicone baking sheet ... cheaper than the Supreme Slider.
    Suzy

  18. #18
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    I think you may need to smooth the rough edges on the extension table. I am using car wax on the bed of the sewing machine and table - makes a nice smooth surface!! Car wax is safe for all plastic and metal parts. I support my quilt on a large table and an ironing board on my left side lowered to the same height of the table. This has worked for me with little extra expense. Good luck and enjoy the process!
    quilter711
    Nancy

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Yes, my little table sits in the closet now and my machine is level with the table.
    I posted about quilts getting caught on edge a long time ago.
    Now have a long arm frame with a short arm machine. I just keep wasting money trying to save money.
    Now I need to save up for a long arm machine.

  20. #20
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I love my extension table. I actually broke the first one when I took it on retreat with me. Luckily my husband is a machinist. He used the broken pieces as a pattern and cut me out another top from clear acrilic. He also rounded off the corners and screwed the original legs back on. While I only machine quilt Linus quilts what I love about my table is that I can keep notions and stuff like my scissors, extra feet and lots of stuff I need all of the time under it. That way they don't get in the way but are perfectly visible and accesable while I am sewing. If I need to have a bigger area to say sew a binding on a bed size quilt I just set up a folding table behind my machine to support the quilt I am working on.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rilene's Avatar
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    Look at the Quilt in a Day site. Eleanor Burns has instructions for changing a kitchen table (she calls it a farm table) to a sewing table. Then, you can have your acrylic extension level with the table top. I found a table at a thrift shop and my husband cut a hole for my machine. It makes FMQ much easier!
    Rilène

  22. #22
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    deemail, what a great idea, I think I'm going to try it.

  23. #23
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    yep, me too. i had my extension on for quite awhile and loved it.but then my quilts kept getting caught on the corner and drove me nuts enough that I removed it. can't win for losing.

  24. #24
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    One yard of JoAnn's heavier clear vinyl draped over the surface should help. Mine has a hole cut in it for the needle area and I use one piece of tape there. If you're sewing on a table, put the machine and extension to the right so you have as much vinyl covered table as possible to the left to support the quilt. My ironing board sits at an angle to my left to help if the quilt is heavier. Gravity is not your friend when FMQ. A yard of vinyl is 45" wide so it smoothes quite a few edges.

  25. #25
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    I would love to do the foam board thing, but I am having trouble finding what I want locally. All I can find around here is full 4'x8'sheets. I would need 2 sheets, (1) 2" and (2) 3/4" sheets. It would be about $40 to make - more than I care to spend. Lowe's has 2'x4' sheets online, but those particular items they won't ship to store and will only deliver via truck. I'm sure that would be costly. I've even investigated other types of foam, from upholstery foam to floral foam, but they are all too expensive. The only thing cheaper is regular styrofoam, but I don't want those little bits all over the place. Any other ideas?
    The foam sheets I used were sold at Lowe's a few years ago as insulation material. They were 2 ft x 4 ft and 1 inch thick. But they are just white styrofoam...when you cut into them you see all the tiny little balls! But once you cover all the raw edges with duct tape and cover the top surface(s) with oilcloth or vinyl, you won't have little bits or little balls to deal with. I posted pictures of mine and how I covered it at this link:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission...e-t171975.html

    There's another post called "Update to my version of the foam quilting table."

    I had the same issue with trying to quilt on the acrylic table...kept getting caught on the corners of the table even though they are rounded.

    I like the idea of the custom-made plywood extension but I would find that hard to lift out of the way to get to my bobbin or to be able to use the free arm on my machine.

    AnitaSt

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